Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Country Music Is For the Birds 5/10/23

Last week, my Back to the Country co-host and fellow bird lover Art Stevenson invited Rachel and I to come up to Stevens Point, WI for some bird watchin', music pickin', and serious chowin'. It was a glorious trip for many reasons, but among the highlights were: sandhill cranes, blue jays, yellow-rumped warblers (aka butter butts), a cooper's hawk, mourning doves, red-headed woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, red-winged blackbirds, ducks, geese, swans, chickens, turkeys, and more. And all of this was BEFORE Art and Stephanie led us on a guided tour through the Sandhill State Wildlife Area!

It was an awesome introduction to the varieties of birds in the Upper Midwest, how one goes about identifying various bird species, and why birding matters. At one point Art even loaned his camera to me and let me snap some good-looking photos of the birds! Many, many thanks again, Art and Stephanie! Y'all are incredible hosts!

You know who else loves birds? Country musicians! As soon as we got home I quickly did a search through my records and found more than 200+ country songs about birds. I won't be able to play them all for you tomorrow morning on Back to the Country (9am-noon CST), but I WILL play for you the very best during my "Country Music Is For the Birds" special!

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Nate Gibson & the Stardazers w/ Asleep at the Wheel, Brennen Leigh, and Joshua Hedley 4/13/23

Hey Friends... the word is out. Nate Gibson and the Stardazers are opening for Asleep at the Wheel tomorrow night at the Stoughton Opera House. We're on at 5:55-7:15, then the Wheel gets turnin' at 7:30. I'm super excited about it. The sold-out show is called The Past, Present and Future of Country and Western Music with Asleep at the Wheel, Brennen Leigh, and Joshua Hedley. We're the opening act. I'm not sure where exactly that puts us on the country music time-space continuum, but we're just happy to co-exist. See you there!

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

The Kids of Country Music on WORT 4/12/23

I recently found a copy of Rhonda Vincent’s first 45, recorded when she was just 8 or 9 years old, and it’s really good. It reminded me of Dolly Parton’s first single, made when she was just 13. And it made me realize that I actually have a lot of great country records made by kids!

I think a lot of folks may be familiar with country music child stars like Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, LeAnn Rimes, Billy Gilman, and that kid who was yodeling in a Wal-Mart (Mason Ramsey), but child prodigies have been making country music records at least since Grand Ole Opry star and 7-year old Little Jimmie Sizemore first recorded back in 1934. Brenda Lee began her recording career at 11, Larry and Lorrie Collins when they were 10 and 12. Teens like Wanda Jackson, Doug Sahm, Barbara Mandrell, Lenny Breau, Rose Maddox, Little Roy Lewis, and Tanya Tucker gained notoriety at young ages and continued to build their fanbases for decades. A few years later, folks like Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, and Keith Whitley were turning heads in their early teen years.

So, tomorrow's Back to the Country radio program will be entirely by the kids of country music. Ages 5 to 17. Now, I know there are a few folks out there who really don’t like the sound of children singing, but I can assure you that these kids are rocking, inspiring, impressive, and sometimes downright hilarious. I hope you can tune in tomorrow from 9am-noon (cst) via 89.9FM or streaming via wortfm.org. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Country Music Open House on WORT 89.9fm 3/29

It is said that kidney stones and constipation are among the most painful experiences one can endure. I would like to add to that list: house hunting in Madison, WI. Rachel and I had a good one on the line yesterday and made what we thought was a very competitive offer... but alas, it got away. Super sad.

On the positive side, wherever there is sadness there is country music. And wherever there is country music there is a plethora of songs about empty, distant, and/or broken houses. I'll be hosting a Country Music Open House on Back to the Country on WORT tomorrow (3/29) morning from 9am-noon (cst) featuring three hours of classic country music dedicated to housing; Houses on hills, houses on shady lanes, and houses in big cities. Crying window panes, empty nursery rooms, and silent walls. For sale, for rent, or for lease. I'll also be joined by my friend John Stanislawski, an expert on both Nashville and WI real estate, country music, as well as the craft of writing sad country songs.

You can listen via 89.9fm (in Southern WI), stream the show at wortfm.org (or via the WORT app), and please feel free to send any and all Madison-area home-buying leads directly to my inbox! 

Monday, February 13, 2023

Record Collecting, Archiving, and Country Music at the Country Music Hall of Fame

I'm super honored to be invited to The Country Music Hall of Fame next month to discuss record collecting, archiving, and country music--three of my most favorite things--alongside brilliant researchers and scholars Patrick Huber, Bill Ivey, and Tony Russell! The event is Thursday March 2 at 3:00pm and is being held in honor of the Hall's 50th anniversary of acquiring the Bob Pinson Recorded Sound Collection.

If you're in Nashville, please come on by! The event includes an after-party where we'll get to spin many of the particularly special records from the collection!

Details of the event can be found here:

and here:


Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Country Kisses on Back to the Country

Hey there Friends, I've got a special Valentines Day show prepared for ya this morning (2/8) on Back to the Country. It's called Country Kisses and it'll be three hours of my very favorite country tunes about kissing, smooching, puckering, smacking lips, pecking cheeks, swapping spit, and smushing eyelashes. Show starts in 45 minutes (9am-noon cst). Tune in to 89.9fm in Southern Wisconsin or stream it via wortfm.org or the WORT app.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

The Month of Starday

Some exciting Starday Records-related events are happening this month and I'd love to see y'all there either virtually or in person.

This Tuesday 1/10 at 5:30pm(cst) I'll be giving an online talk about the importance of Starday Records for the Tennessee Historical Society's Tennessee 101: History of Tennessee Music series. Tickets are free, but you do need to register for the event here: https://tennesseehistory.org/ths-events/preserving-starday-records-in-story-and-song/

The following morning, Wednesday 1/11 from 9am-noon(cst), I'll be hosting a Starday Spectacular on WORT's Back to the Country program that'll tie in with Tuesday's talk. Southern WI friends can tune in via 89.9FM or you can stream it at www.wortfm.org

And then later this month, on Saturday 1/28, I'll be debuting a new band and lots of new tunes at Full Mile Beer Co. and Kitchen--Nate Gibson and the Stardazers. The group is tops and we are dusting off a whole slew of awesome tunes for your listening and dancing pleasure. With any luck, I'll be able to convince the entire wait staff to sing Happy Birthday to me. Feel free to join the party early here: https://fb.me/e/2uREdyAK2

photo by: Tall and Small Photography
photo by Tall and Small Photography

And while it is still on the way down low, I am also partnering on a super cool Starday project that we will be able to announce publicly soon... Stay tuned for more Starday goodness soon!