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We enjoyed reading accounts of Sturgill Simpson’s appearance on the street outside the Country Music Association’s award ceremony in Nashville earlier this week. The singer, with his Grammy Award for “Best Country Album” in his guitar case, performed outside the gala and took questions from fans via Facebook Live.
Its a safe bet that Simpson was inspired to make the appearance after the CMA took heat earlier this month for issuing guidelines to journalists which prohibited asking questions about the mass shooting in Las Vegas, gun control or political affiliations. The warning, which threatened potential revocation of credentials, was rescinded in response to harsh criticism from artists and fans.
Nine time CMA host Brad Paisley criticized the ban before the event, but received a mixed reply from fans. He and co-host Carrie Underwood offered a tasteful tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas massacre, and their song parody schtick at the awards ceremony poked fun at politicians but hardly touched on actual issues of policy.
Simpson was less diplomatic in his appearance outside. Although he has never embraced the role of country music’s savior, many fans see him as the torchbearer of the tradition of anti-establishment icons such as Merle Haggard. Hag won a series of CMA awards in 1970, largely due to his jingoistic, eternally misunderstood song “Okie from Muskogee” but became something of an outsider owing to his anti-establishment bend.
Outside the CMA Awards this week, Simpson’s mock acceptance speech hit on several of the ‘third rail’ subjects entirely avoided by the country music establishment:
Nobody needs a machine gun, and that’s comin’ from a guy who owns quite a few guns,” Sturgill said. “Gay people should have the right to be happy and live their life any way they want to and get married if they want to without fear of getting drug down the road behind a pickup truck. Black people are probably tired of getting shot in the streets and being enslaved by the industrial prison complex. Hegemony and fascism is alive and well in Nashville, Tennessee. Thank you very much.
The Dillards were a successful bluegrass group, whose first found fame as recurring characters, the Darling Family, on The Andy Griffith Show. They recorded several albums for folk-friendly Elektra Records, before beginning to explore an electric version of their sound which retained its traditional roots.
The Dillards’ “progressive bluegrass” records weren’t huge hits, but they had a lasting influence on country-rock. Elton John took them along when he toured on Honky Chateau in 1972, and bands like the Byrds and the Eagles clearly took a cue from them.
Their second album after leaving Elektra also has some fans here in Minneapolis. Tribute to An American Duck has one of our all-time favorite album covers.
Why only two posts on the Hymie’s blog this week? Because we have once again become caught in the City of Minneapolis’ briar patch of bureaucratic fascism. Instead of the business of the American people as per President Coolidge’s prescription, we’re wasting hours of time appealing the City’s latest abuse of power.
If you get a sense of bitterness from us its because we are not merely your friendly neighborhood record shop — We are the most thoroughly inspected an re-inspected building in the City of Minneapolis.
We feel the City of Minneapolis is more welcoming of the vacant properties which have surrounded us on all sides for years than an actual vibrant, growing business that contributes to the community. In creating this environment of mistrust they actually impede the shared goals of safe buildings and healthy commerce.
“Waiting Room” by Fugazi
Funny this album wasn’t included in our “Too Many Daves” post a couple years ago.
I worked in a diner for years and the owner thought “Dave’s Not Here” was the funniest shit in the world. I feel like he had been waiting years for an employee named Dave, just so he could say it at least once a week. I swear I once had a girlfriend call and ask for me on my day off, just to give him the opportunity.
Of course, I’m the only one here at Hymie’s who never gets a chance to say it — No matter where I go Dave is there.
“Everybody’s Talking” by Nilsson
We had a spam filter installed here on the Hymie’s blog that blocked pretty much everything for a while because the site was getting flooded with as many as 1,000 spam comments a day. We were being offered more mail-order drugs than Ashlee Simpson. We have finally gone through and eliminated the unwanted comments, so sorry if your past comments have been lost.
Now you can click on comments and add your opinion. Including your real name and/or email address is optional. You’ll have to type in the jumbly words you see in a box to prove you’re a person and not a computer, something we learned is called a “captcha.” Thanks for your patience with our long process of figuring out how to get the comments section of the blog back – turns out success has a dark side, and it’s SPAM!