Roots/Rock Notes: Johnny, Ryan and Bobbie 

Since it was the weekend of the righteouseness that is the Cash Bash at Radio Radio (celebrating the awesomeness of the cross-genre legend that was Johnny), here's some related notes to know and places to digitally go:

• Cash's latest album (via the archives) came out on Tuesday; the Johnny Cash - Bootlegs 2: From Memphis to Hollywood set was released Feburary 22, and is a collection of rare recordings from Johnny Cash's early career. The first CD covers Cash's career in Memphis from late 1954 to late 1957, including a a Memphis radio broadcast hosted by Cash, and 18 previously unreleased demos/songs, including outtakes from Sun Records. The second disc gathers Cash's non-album singles, outtakes and B-sides he recorded for Columbia from 1958 to 1969, following his move to Los Angeles. (read more from Cash's website)

Rob (non) award-winning artwork
  • Rob (non) award-winning artwork

• Just for fun, here's a website worth ten (or 60) minutes of your time tonight. It's a simple idea executed brilliantly: An online music video tribute to Johnny Cash where you "contribute" a drawing to create a one-of-a-kind music video for "Ain't No Grave," the title track from "American VI: Ain't No Grave".

It's really easy to do, and a bit addicting.

You draw right on the website and instantly submit. I took me about 15 minutes to do my first contribution and I wanted to create more. Watch the video when you first come to the site - you will understand the process quickly. And look for my drawing on frame 948.
Go to the Johnny Cash Project

MORE:
• The Band Perry, who Ex-Elms guitarist Thom Daugherty has been touring with as an "all things string" sideman", was just awarded a gold record (500,000 US album sales) for their debut album. Daugherty has been lending a little rock crunch to their country-pop, "two brothers with a lead singer sister" hook. They've gigged on TheTonight Show and The View, among other live appearances, and in April, start a four-month run opening for Tim McGraw - they play at Deer Creek on July 17. And we saw on Facebook that Daugherty got together with Elms ex-bandmates over lunch a week or so ago to talk about the band's DVD that is getting ready to be edited. They write that the live footage from the final show has morphed into a bit of career retrospective.

• Bit of a buzz for Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses show at Birdy's on March 10. I've seen the show mentioned on music blogs and websites over the past couple of weeks. And they were the subject of the question I got asked a half-dozen times from audience members at the Truth and Salvage Co. show last Saturday (because once the notebook comes out and people see you are writing things down, they are attracted to me like nails to a magnet) "Hey, who you writin' for?" leads to a conversation that always includes a question or suggestion about music - which I am very cool with. Love to talk music. Saturday's prevailing audience question was "Are you goin' to the Ryan Bingham show?"

Review of Bingham's show this week in Utah, from Salt Lake Magazine
"...he leaned heavily on his 2010 release “Junky Star,” with songs including “Strange Feeling In The Air,” “The Wandering,” and “Hallelujah.” The well-lubricated crowd (of 1,200) greeted these numbers with whoops of recognition and sang along. There were guys in cowboy hats alongside mohawk-wearing punksters, heavily made-up girls next to hippie chicks and even a few hipsters scattered amongst the densely packed dance floor. The somewhat stoic Bingham addressed the audience sparingly and moved briskly through the 13-song, 70-minute set."
Read full review

• Bloomington's mandolin-wielding Americana chanteuse Bobbie Lancaster has some new shows lined up, including a concert March 19 as part of the Indy Folk Series at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis (615 West 43rd St in Indianapolis - $10 at the door). We'll have more on what Lancaster has been doing this winter and talk about a possible new album for 2011. Oh, and if you are in the B-ton area, she is playing this Saturday (2/26) - singing songs for kids and their grown ups - at the Indiana University Mathers Museum of Art (416 North Indiana Avenue) IN from 1-3 pm.

• Wanna be a touring musician? Wanna be one that tours through the Midwest in the middle of winter? Here's why many don't: The alt-country/red dirt country-rockers Randy Rogers Band found themselves pulling into Lincoln, Nebraska in the middle of a snowstorm on Thursday. Pic taken from their van. If I was a band, would make me want to drink some whiskey and crash on a couch after the gig.

From the van: Randy Rogers Band in Lincoln, NE
  • From the van: Randy Rogers Band in Lincoln, NE

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Rob Nichols

Rob Nichols

Bio:
A music writer for more than 30 years, Rob began as a rock radio jock at age 17. Born in central Indiana, Rob moved north and spent his college years in Hillsdale, Michigan. That meant traveling to Detroit for all the good rock shows, and explains his affinity for Seger, the J. Geils Band, and Mitch Ryder. He's... more

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