Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Flashback, Again

I've said it before and I'll probably say it again: 2009 has been a flashback kind of year for me. A few months ago it was Steve Martin and Spinal Tap, now it's Rosanne Cash and Radney Foster and Sam Bush. I've also reconnected with old friends via Facebook.

I'm not complaining.

Each in their own way, Rosanne Cash, Radney Foster and Sam Bush are all big reasons why I'm involved in country music today. When I was hired at WXKX Parkersburg, W.Va., in 1987, I knew little of country music. But artists like Cash and her then husband, Rodney Crowell, Foster & Lloyd and Bush's New Grass Revival quickly caught my ear and sucked me in.
Americana Music Festival And Conference - Day 2

Twenty-plus years later, Cash, Foster and Bush are still very much on my radar. Rosanne's new album, "The List," which was inspired by a list of 100 essential country songs that her father, Johnny Cash, gave her when she was 18, is a wonderful walk down memory lane.

Radney's new album, "Revival," is one of my favorite releases of the last two years. There's a passion there that reminds me of Radney's best work with Bill Lloyd. I'm guilty of playing the title cut again and again. Loudly.

And then there's Sam Bush. I wrote his bio for his forthcoming album, "Circles Around Me." That's a big deal for me, both musically and professionally. If you had told me way back when I was spinning New Grass Revival records like "Callin' Baton Rouge" that I would write Sam Bush's bio one day, I would probably respond "OMG," or whatever the '80s equivalent was. ("No shit?")

I may one day write a book about the importance of late '80s country music in the big scheme of musical things, but for now I'll relish the fact that artists whose music I fell in love with 20-plus years ago are still around and thriving.

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