Author Archives: Steve Wosahla

About Steve Wosahla

Steve Wosahla's interviews and reviews have appeared in Song Hits, Rock, Good Times, Circus, the Messenger-Press, New Haven Register, Soap Opera Digest and the New York Times. He is a member of the Americana Music Association and lives in Bristow, VA. You can follow him on Twitter: @swosahla.
Apr
2

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In ‘Buck ‘Em,’ Buck Owens Tells His Life Story – Book Review

Buck Owens is Bakersfield. The city might have already been on the map but Buck Owens created the Bakersfield sound. He called the spare sound of pedal steel and twangy guitars “American Music” but it was an important counterpoint to the more slickly produced sides coming from Music Row in Nashville.

You can’t talk about one without the other.

Now a decade after his death, Buck Owens’ autobiography Buck ‘Em is out in trade paperback. And it’s a worthy read.

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Mar
30

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What Would Mamma Coal Do? Carra Stasney Updates ‘Red Headed Stranger’ – Interview

Mamma Coal

During SXSW, as Willie Nelson performed at the Luck Family Reunion on the property he built for the filming of Red Headed Stranger, a schoolteacher in Portland, Oregon set up shop in a recording studio to record her own concept album of songs inspired by the landmark album. It’s called Raven Haired Vixen.

More than forty years ago, Willie Nelson conceptualized a whole album inspired by a song he once played as a disc jockey called “Tale of The Red Headed Stranger.” The record traced the life and crimes of a fugitive who kills his wife and her lover but lives into old age to find redemption.

While she spent days and nights rocking her infant son, Carra Stassney thought a lot about Red Headed Stranger. The idea of re-imagining the album with a female character took shape. Stassney asked herself a question: What would make a female character act with such impulsiveness and violence? Then a vision came of a mother standing over her baby’s empty crib waking up in shock and anger that her child had been stolen in the night.

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Mar
25

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Margo Price Makes a Classic: ‘Midwest Farmer’s Daughter’ – Review

Photo by: Angelina Castillo for Third Man Records

I can’t remember an opening track of an album that dealt with such a rich narrative as “Hands of Time” on Margo Price’s stunning album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter. The album begins with the expansive “Hands of Time” that’s allowed to unfold and develop over six minutes in which Price enumerates a life’s confessional – losing a family farm at the age of two, seeing her father’s spirit broken when he’s forced to take a prison job, her move to Nashville, the ensuing broken relationships and the realization that alcohol is not the cure for her pain. “I thought I found a friend but I only found a thief,” she laments in a homespun but learned way.

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Mar
14

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Maren Morris At Sea – The Buddy & Jim Show Recap

The day Maren Morris met Buddy Miller, she and her publisher were pitching songs for the television show “Nashville.” When Morris headed out to sea on the annual Cayamo music cruise, Miller asked her to play the song she played that day called “The Book.”

Miller and Morris were sharing stories somewhere out in the Atlantic on a special Cayamo taping of the Buddy & Jim Show on SiriusXM radio.

“My informant Kate York says you’re breaking all kinds of records,” Miller said of news of Morris receiving the most radio adds for a female artist.

Just then co-host Jim Lauderdale joined in. “My source says it’s one of the most added records in Billboard history.”

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Feb
28

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Striking Matches & Parker Millsap’s Nashville Skyline – The Buddy & Jim Show Recap

strikingmatches(Justin Davis and Sarah Zimmerman Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

Striking Matches can count all of their songs that have appeared on the television show Nashville. There’s already been eight and one more is coming soon.

“I’m recording another one,” executive music producer Buddy Miller revealed on a recent Buddy & Jim Show taped in front of a live audience at the City Winery in Nashville.

“I don’t know if you spoiled it,” guitarist Justin Davis shot back. It was the first Buddy & Jim Show which will be taped monthly in front of a live audience at City Winery. The show featured musical guests Parker Millsap, Lee Ann Womack and Striking Matches. Miller remembered how the television show’s music supervisor Frankie Pine had gone out one day a few years ago and came back talking incessantly about the duo.

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Feb
22

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FEATURED: Rick Hart’s ‘Levon Helm’ EP

Rick Hart

It’s almost midnight and Rick Hart is looking to the radio to find company. The coffee is wearing off and he’s got to see his girl in Carrollton, USA. He won’t be home for eight hours but maybe you just want to keep him company and ride along through the Texas night.

Hart may be from Australia but he fits right into the American landscape he uses as a backdrop for his new EP Levon Helm. When you listen to “Carrollton,” it’s like hanging out with an old friend. Hart evokes the classic homespun feel and vocal intonations of the great late Texan storyteller Townes Van Zandt. When you find yourself tapping along to the rollicking “Favourite Skin” or the classic honky tonk piano line in “Carrollton,” you might feel the familiarity of Bob Dylan’s “It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry” seeping in.

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Jan
28

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Lindi Ortega Talks About Matters of The Heart – Interview

“Lindi is my compass,” a woman was telling me at the bar of Gypsy Sally’s in Washington, D.C. a few minutes after her set ended. “I always come back to her when things get difficult.” Before she could tell me more, she apologized as she made her way to a deepening line of people who were lined up to meet Ortega at the venue’s merchandise table.

This is the place where Ortega meets her faithful fans who share their stories about how her songs have affected their lives. There’s “So Sad” from her first album which helped one through the loss of a family member. Or “Angel” which someone found helpful coping through their depression. Ortega has come to learn that “Demons Don’t Let Me Down” is a song people find uplifting during dark times.

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Jan
21

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Ryan Bingham’s Cowboy Dreams: The Buddy & Jim Show Recap

ryan-bingham-2010_featured_photo_gallery

All Ryan Bingham ever wanted to be was a cowboy. His family ranched in Hobbs, New Mexico and his uncle rode bulls professionally. As a kid, Ryan entered junior rodeos, participating in breakaway roping and riding steers.

“I looked up to my uncle and dad and grandfather and wanted to be like them,” he told Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale on a recent visit to The Buddy & Jim Show on SiriusXM Outlaw Country.

But Bingham, whose Fear and Saturday Night was one of last year’s best albums, found that music was tugging at him. He kept bringing his guitar to the rodeos he’d attend on weekends.

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