An enjoyable evening watching "Country Music Live At The Ryman" on AZ PBS.

Last night, the wife and I had a most enjoyable evening, gratis our comfy couch and AV system, watching a AZ PBS broadcast of "Country Music Live AT The Ryman" 

A wonderful tribute to the history of Country Music and the many artists, writers  and producers who helped pave its way. It was hosted by producer Ken Burns with tribute performances of the music of such iconic legends as Hank Williams. Johny Cash, Maybelle Carter and many others, performances by Vince Gill, Rodney Crowell, Kathy Matea, Marty Stewart, Dwight Yoakam, Holly Williams and other noted artists.
It was both educational and entertaining and inspired me to dig out some of my old favorite Country LPs and CDs and spend the night enjoying some almost forgotten, wonderful tunes. 

Whether or not Country Music is among one's favorite genres, it definitely has deep roots in America's musical landscape.
For those who haven't had a chance to enjoy this great broadcast, check your local PBS for possible re-broadcasts and follow up additions of the history and artists of American Country Music, as well as specials on the many other genre of music. 


Showing 8 responses by bdp24

Damn, another show on TV I missed. I gotta start payin' attention! I just checked out of my library the first season of "Nashville" on DVD, which I missed as well. I hear Buddy Miller and some other greats are on it.

Jim, I assume the full documentary will include Emmylou, and Gram Parsons, Steve Earle, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Poco, Commander Cody, The Byrds, Dylan, maybe even The Band---the whole Rock ’n’ Roll/Country convergence of the late-60’s/early 70’s and beyond.

In the 1980’s, the radio station operating out of the Community College in Northridge, California had great programming of Roots music---Hard Country, Hillbilly, Bluegrass, Blues, Jump Blues, Rockabilly, some Jazz, and much more. Some guys with attitudes like that of schubert considered such music below the dignity of a college, and moved to change the station to an all-Classical format. You know, music more befitting an institution of higher learning. Snobs.

If the band’s drummer looks familiar, it’s 'cause he’s Chad Cromwell, Neil Young’s drummer for his Prairie Wind show, also taped at The Ryman. I would have preferred they had Harry Stinson (the drummer/singer in Marty Stuart’s band The Fabulous Superlatives), imo a much better player. It was great seeing and hearing Marty in the Show. Quite a mandolin player, ay? He turned pro at the age of 13, being offered a job in Lester Flatt’s road band. 13! Marty owns the Fender Telecaster Clarence White played in The Byrds, and Hank Williams’ Martin acoustic.

This was a pretty good show, lots of excellent artists, There were some major practitioners of the music missing (no Emmylou Harris?!), and why did they have Kathy Mattea, a mediocre singer, doing a Loretta Lynn song instead of Loretta herself? Loretta’s still alive and well, her last two albums having been produced by Jack White.

I love Burns’ documentaries on The Civil War and Mark Twain, and am really looking forward to this one. The reason he did a documentary on Country music and not Classical is because Country is an American art form, Classical a European one. The Civil War, Mark Twain, Baseball, Jazz, Country music. Get it? Burns specializes in U.S. History. I thought everyone knew that ;-) .

Geez schubert, that’s a rather un-Christian sentiment, attitude, and posture. Don’t forget, pride and wrath are 2 of the 7 deadly sins. Repent sinner, and remember what Country folk say: Don’t get above your raisin’.
Pre-war (WWII) Martins, worth a small fortune. Everybody wants one, there aren't enough to go around.

Did y'all appreciate Marty Stuart displaying his abilities at mandolin playing, when he demonstrated how Bill Monroe played the instrument? Marty was a child, a mere 13 years of age, when he became a professional musician, hired by Lester Flatt to join his band.

Marty currently has the best band in the world, The Fabulous Superlatives. He and they have been making great music for quite a few years now. Marty owns Clarence White's B-Bender Telecaster and Hank Williams' Martin acoustic! One of my very favorite living musicians. 

I’m green with envy, @edcyn! I somehow managed to miss The Byrds with Clarence up in NorCal. I’ve been to The Troubadour many times (once on it’s stage), that would have been a great place to see and hear he and they. I have mixed feelings about that Byrds line-up: While I love Clarence, The Byrds drummer during his tenure was Gene Parsons (no relation to Gram), a not-very-good Country player (too busy and "messy", didn’t understand when to play a simple 1-3 or 1-2-3-4 on the kick). Gene did invent the B-Bender, though ;-) .

One world-class Telecaster player I have seen & heard close up was one you probably also like: Albert Lee. In the 90’s Al would occasionally performed at a nice bar in Ventura, CA, just south of Santa Barbara. The night I went the place was packed with guitarists, watching his hands like hawks do field mice. Al tore up the place.

Yeah Ed, Chris must have left The Byrds soon after that show, starting The Flying Burrito Brothers with Gram. The last Byrds album I bothered to listen to was the double untitled, which had only one good song---"Chestnut Mare." I then wrote them off. But Chris did some real good Bluegrass albums on Sugar Hill Records, and as the leader of The Desert Rose Band. His newest album (produced by Mike Campbell of The Heartbreakers) is also mighty fine.