Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Country music notes: I've been listening to KHYI in Dallas. Turn on your speakers and click on "Listen Now" on the upper left of the screen. They rock. They play about half classic country--Merle, Willie, Johnny, George and Tammy, and the like--and half active Texas musicians and especially their newest stuff. There's a song they play over and over called "The Road Goes On Forever and the Party Never Ends" which was apparently written and first recorded by Robert Earl Keen and covered by Joe Ely, which compares favorably to any Bruce Springsteen story-song. Joe Ely is great. He kicks ass. Friggin' A. Some rock radio station ought to just get slightly hip and start playing Keen, Ely, and Steve Earle--call themselves "Authentic American Rock" or something like that and then play Petty and the Dead and the Stones, who wanted to be American so badly they succeeded, and Creedence and Dylan and the Band and the Allmans and the Byrds and that stuff, plus the Blasters and Jason and the Scorchers and Cracker and whatever. And a little bit of Taj Mahal and Keb Mo blues stuff, not to mention your B.B. King and Willie Dixon and an occasional funky James Brown tune. That'd be a great station.

They've been playing this guy named Tom Russell, whom I've never heard of before, who's got a new record out with three good songs on it, one called "Modern Art", another called "Racehorse Haynes", and one more Western tune about a vigilante called Deacon and two horse thieves, the Sandoval brothers. Great stuff. I highly recommend it. According to the DJs, Russell got on David Letterman a few weeks ago, so he's not exactly an unknown.

The only thing that bugs me about KHYI is they play a lot of Waylon and Jerry Jeff songs about how great Bob Wills was, but they don't play any Bob Wills. Or Hank. They play a lot of covers of Hank, many of which are terrific, but we wanna hear the real thing occasionally.

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