Americana Radio Albums 2017

The Americana Music Association released their 2017 Americana Airplay Chart Top 100 Albums.

Jason Isbell's The Nashville Sound

I tend to track the AMA Radio chart fairly closely through the year.  Spotify helps feed the new music habit—or is that “enable the new music habit”? While I’ve streamed most of these albums, my spins for 2017* may tune a different frequency but are mostly on similar bandwidth.

(*They do technically chart 6 December 2016 – 4 December 2017.)

1
Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit
The Nashville Sound
2
Chris Stapleton
From A Room:  Volume 1
3
Nikki Lane
Highway Queen
4
Ryan Adams
Prisoner
5
Steve Earle
So You Wannabe An Outlaw
6
Band Of Heathens
Duende
7
Justin Townes Earle
Kids In The Street
8
Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real
Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real
9
Son Volt
Notes of Blue
10
Old 97s
Graveyard Whistling
11
Willie Nelson
God’s Problem Child
12
Rodney Crowell
Close Ties
13
Mavericks
Brand New Day
14
Valerie June
The Order Of Time
15
Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives
Way Out West
16
JD McPherson
Undivided Heart And Soul
17
Pokey LaFarge
Manic Revelations
18
Jamestown Revival
The Education Of A Wandering Man
19
Delbert McClinton & Self-Made Men
Prick Of The Litter
20
Gregg Allman
Southern Blood
21
Taj Mahal & Keb Mo
TajMo
22
Tift Merritt
Stitch Of The World
23
Slaid Cleaves
Ghost On The Car Radio
24
North Mississippi Allstars
Prayer For Peace
25
Rhiannon Giddens
Freedom Highway
26
Alison Krauss
Windy City
27
David Rawlings
Poor David’s Almanack
28
Dan Auerbach
Waiting On A Song
29
Secret Sisters
You Don’t Own Me Anymore
30
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Tell The Devil I’m Gettin’ There As Fast As I Can
31
Will Hoge
Anchors
32
Infamous Stringdusters
Laws Of Gravity
33
Drive-By Truckers
American Band
34
Alejandro Escovedo
Burn Something Beautiful
35
Tyler Childers
Purgatory
36
Aaron Lee Tasjan
Silver Tears
37
John Prine
For Better, Or Worse
38
Kasey Chambers
Dragonfly
39
Reckless Kelly
Sunset Motel
40
Sunny Sweeney
Trophy
41
Josh Ritter
Gathering
42
Bruce Robison & The Back Porch Band
Bruce Robison & The Back Porch Band
43
Brent Cobb
Shine On Rainy Day
44
Old Crow Medicine Show
50 Years Of Blonde On Blonde
45
Jason Eady
Jason Eady
46
Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer
Not Dark Yet
47
Chuck Prophet
Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins
48
Shinyribs
I Got Your Medicine
49
Jim Lauderdale
London Southern
50
Hurray For The Riff Raff
The Navigator
51
Shannon McNally
Black Irish
52
Angaleena Presley
Wrangled
53
Wilco
Schmilco
54
Dustbowl Revival
The Dustbowl Revival
55
Margo Price
All American Made
56
Robert Earl Keen
Live Dinner Reunion
57
Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
Souvenir
58
Bruce Cockburn
Bone On Bone
59
Gillian Welch
Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg
60
Mastersons
Transient Lullaby
61
Iron & Wine
Beast Epic
62
Hiss Golden Messenger
Hallelujah Anyhow
63
Jim Lauderdale
This Changes Everything
64
Eilen Jewell
Down Hearted Blues
65
John Moreland
Big Bad Luv
66
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings
Kings And Kings
67
Todd Snider
Eastside Bulldog
68
Various – The Life & Songs Of Emmylou Harris
An All-Star Concert Celebration
69
Neil Young
Peace Trail
70
Brigitte DeMeyer & Will Kimbrough
Mockingbird Soul
71
Samantha Fish
Chills & Fever
72
Blackberry Smoke
Like An Arrow
73
Ruthie Foster
Joy Comes Back
74
Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters
Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters
75
David Luning
Restless
76
Jesse Dayton
The Revealer
77
Old Crow Medicine Show
Best Of Old Crow Medicine Show
78
Paul Cauthen
My Gospel
79
Ray Davies
Americana
80
Wayne Hancock
Slingin’ Rhythm
81
Colter Wall
Colter Wall
82
Chris Hillman
Bidin’ My Time
83
Radney Foster
For You To See The Stars
84
Amanda Shires
My Piece Of Land
85
Jade Jackson
Gilded
86
Lucinda Williams
This Sweet Old World
87
Chuck Berry
Chuck
88
Jackie Greene
The Modern Lives Vol. 1
89
Govt Mule
Revolution Come…Revolution Go
90
Tim O’Brien
Where The River Meets The Road
91
Lillie Mae
Forever And Then Some
92
Yonder Mountain String Band
Love. Ain’t Love
93
Joan Osborne
Songs Of Bob Dylan
94
Dead Man Winter
Furnace
95
Seth Walker
Gotta Get Back
96
Jeffery Halford & The Healers
Lo-Fi Dreams
97
Dwight Yoakam
Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars…
98
Whiskey Gentry
Dead Ringer
99
Great American Taxi
Dr. Feel Good’s Traveling Medicine Show
100
Moot Davis
Hierarchy Of Crows

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Three Ladies and a Cowboy: Buy Good Roots Music for Xmas

Lee Ann Womack - Wikipedia

Black Friday. Small Biz Saturday. Sunday. Cyber Monday. Whatever Whenever.

There’s no good excuse not to buy somebody you love some good music for Christmas. Or Hanukkah, Or Kwanzaa, Or Yuletide. Or Whatever.

The Americana Radio Charts et al are bursting with late year releases of Roots and Traditional Country music.  New stuff is Autumn is good for stocking stuffers even if they won’t garner enough spins for many Top 10 year-long lists.  So while you wait for my Top 10 (or Top 20 or Top 30 or whatever) lists, here’s three ladies & a cowboy to start off your Xmas shopping:

Lee Ann Womack—The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone:  Lee Ann Womack, a Nashville veteran, goes home to deliver 14 tracks of country gold. Released in October, Wikipedia (where I borrowed the cover image) quotes (apparently Rolling Stone with unclear attribution) “I wanted to get out of Nashville, and tap the deep music and vibe of East Texas. I wanted to make sure this record had a lot of soul in it, because real country music has soul. I wanted to remind people of that.”

Margo Price—All American Made: Margo Rae Price knocked Lucas Nelson off the top spot on the AMA radio chart this week with her sophomore album that features a duet with his father, Willie Nelson. Increasingly noticed as an outspoken critic around Nashville.  I like the first 11 tracks on this album (and unclick the title track that would be right at home on a Steve Earle album). Price is a great songwriter and performer. She may take her craft down Earle’s blatantly political track. I’m hoping she matures more subtle like Nelson. We’ll see. For now, this is a sure bet if you have cousins in the Resistance.

Dori Freeman—Letters Never Read: Dori Freeman‘s cut “Where I Stood” was my favorite (or at least most played) song of 2016.  Dori is also opinionated in an already subtle, quieter manner that strikes me as both mature and wise like an ancient murder ballad come to life (except this time the villain gets the knife). The Galax, Virginia, singer-songwriter’s follow up to her self-titled debut continues to draw on both Appalachian country-folk traditions and modern sensibilities.  The album has also drawn kudos from Rolling Stone and NPR.

Ned LeDoux—Sagebrush:  First off, yes, Ned LeDoux is the son of famed country & western artist and rodeo cowboy Chris LeDoux of Kaycee, Wyoming (pop. 263), and played in his father’s band.  Yet while he rides for the brand keeping that tradition alive, Ned wears his 0wn hat.  Sagebrush is a full-length debut building on the 5-song Forever a Cowboy EP released in 2016.  I’m partial to “Johnson County War” but you’ll find a variety  from rodeo to radio-friendly tunes that will keep your Christmas stocking two-stepping.

After you’ve filled your Amazon cart (or amazed your local record shop with your amazing good taste in music), go ahead and check out:

    • Folkish:  Nora Jane Struthers—Champion
    • Folkish Trio:  The Wailin’ Jennys—Fifteen
    • Jamin’ Country Folky (more country than Music Row):  Turnpike Troubadours—A Long Way from Your Heart
    • Neotrad Texas Country:  Whitney Rose—Rule 62
    • Pop Country (it’s Texas if you gotta): Granger Smith—When the Good Guys Win

 

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Americana Music Awards 2017

As autumn leaves turn golden hues, music awards season begins each Fall with awards for golden tunes.  Each September, the Americana Music Association bestows Honors and Awards on the previous year’s crop and the genre’s legends.

The Americana Honors & Awards show is fairly well established these days.  The Call for Nominees goes out in May to the membership—I was a member back when I was on KRFC, longer ago with each passing season.  Eligibility for “Of the Year” runs April-March prior, which is a bit of an odd growing season, but it gives a flavor for the later, more well known, awards shows.

Through the year, I use Americana Radio chart to watch for what I might want to listen to.  The AMA radio chart is getting a dust up next year, but the current iteration anyway is a pretty good indicator of pretty good music.  The annual AMA music awards are also a pretty good indicator, but they tend to be a bit more political and a bit more, well, “hippie” maybe, then my more Traditional Country Music leanings.

My 2016 favorite/most played music tended to encompass most of the AMA winners.  Sturgill’s A Sailor’s Guide showed up at #20 album scrobbled, and Amanda Shires scored #23 for her album My Piece of Land.  At the end of 2016, Sturgill took the top spot in the No Depression reader poll, followed by Drive-By Truckers, Lucinda Williams, Margo Price and John Prine, with Shires at #10.  The Lumineers gained #4 on the AMA radio chart, with Sturgill at #8.  I’m surprised, otherwise, that the AMA radio chart didn’t predict the AMA nominees more closely, something to watch as the radio chart methodology is adjusted.  I don’t listen to the Riff Raff or Billy Bragg, and the Lumineers are on the Pop end of my taste.  Lori McKenna, as usual, turned in solid songwriting on The Bird & The Rifle, released in June 2016, but Rodney Crowell is an AMA institution.

Adjusting my last.fm stats to the eligibility period (4/16-3/17), A Sailor’s Guide rises to #15—I played Elizabeth Cook’s Exodus of Venus, and Brandy Clark’s Big Day in a Small Town twice or three times more and they are both June 2016 releases solidly in the AMA universe.  Jason Isbell’s new album with the 400 Unit was released after the nomination period, and will threaten all comers at next year’s awards.  Margo Price’s Midwest Farmer’s Daughter came out in March 2016, earned her recognition last year (her promising new album came out Friday 10/20/17).  MacArthur “Genius” Rhiannon Giddens and Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives are scoring in my 2017 charts (Freedom Highway was released 13 February 2017 and Way Out West was released 10 March, both fresh for AMA nominations).


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ALBUM OF THE YEAR nominees:

AMERICAN BAND by Drive-By Truckers
CLOSE TIES by Rodney Crowell
FREEDOM HIGHWAY, Rhiannon Giddens
THE NAVIGATOR, Hurray for the Riff Raff
A SAILOR’S GUIDE TO EARTH, Sturgill Simpson winner

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

JASON ISBELL
JOHN PRINE winner
LORI MCKENNA
MARGO PRICE
STURGILL SIMPSON

DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR

BILLY BRAGG & JOE HENRY
DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS
MARTY STUART & HIS FABULOUS SUPERLATIVES winner
THE LUMINEERS

EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR

AARON LEE TASJAN
AMANDA SHIRES winner
BRENT COBB
SAM OUTLAW

SONG OF THE YEAR

“ALL AROUND YOU” Sturgill Simpson, Written by Sturgill Simpson
“IT AIN’T OVER YET” Rodney Crowell, Written by Rodney Crowell winner
“TO BE WITHOUT YOU” Ryan Adams, Written by Ryan Adams
“WRECK YOU” Lori McKenna, Written by Lori McKenna and Felix McTeigue

INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR

SPENCER CULLUM, JR.
JEN GUNDERMAN
COURTNEY HARTMAN
CHARLIE SEXTON winner

Regarding the Lifetime Achievement awards, well, I don’t know much what to say.  I’ve never paid much attention to Van Morrison other than to recognize background music that’s not unpleasant.  And Hi Rhythm Section is R&B or Soul or whatnot but Americana?  C’mon, this is just more of what shoe-horned the talented  R&B artist William Bell into the Americana Grammy.

Sir George & Mr. Cray & Graham Nash (along with the late, great Tom Petty) are among the legacy R&B and Album-Oriented Rock musicians which Americana is adopting as they lose any place on commercial radio.  That’s fine.  I like them, yes.

It just feels like we’re claiming others’  glories when there are plenty of our own to tout.

Iris DeMent, on the other hand, is an obvious Americana treasure with a unique vocal style.  Her duets with John Prine are precious.  I’m not sure what music earned Charlie Sexton the Instrumentalist of the Year.  Knowing there’s always new (to me) music out there helps make the Sweet Old World worth exploring through another season.


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LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT FOR SONGWRITER

VAN MORRISON

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT TRAILBLAZER AWARD

IRIS DEMENT

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT FOR PERFORMANCE

ROBERT CRAY

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT FOR INSTRUMENTALIST

HI RHYTHM SECTION

SPIRIT OF AMERICANA / FREE SPEECH IN MUSIC

GRAHAM NASH

JACK EMERSON LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR EXECUTIVE

LARRY SLOVEN AND BRUCE BROMBERG FOR HIGHTONE RECORDS

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Telluride, Bluegrass and the Cross of Gold (Repost #APACO17)

My first time into Telluride I was coming in from the East. The summer was hot and dry; the Colorado backcountry better suited to rattlesnakes than trout water. I had been camping up the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, some rutted jeep trail of a Forest Service road that would have seemed an interstate compared to the insanity of Black Bear Pass. That is to say, I drove in from the West, down Leopard Creek Canyon through Placerville by way of Ridgeway. When in doubt, go higher.

“I would be presumptuous, indeed, to present myself against the distinguished gentlemen to whom you have listened if this were but a measuring of ability; but this is not a contest among persons. The humblest citizen in all the land when clad in the armor of a righteous cause is stronger than all the whole hosts of error that they can bring. I come to speak to you in defense of a cause as holy as the cause of liberty-the cause of humanity.”

William Jennings Bryan spoke as such when he visited the town of Telluride in 1896, speaking in front of the New Sheridan Hotel while campaigning for the presidency. Telluride sits astride a narrow box canyon at the headwaters of the San Miguel River. It’s not the sort of place you happen across, that you wander through on your way from here to there. Telluride is a destination.

“Never before in the history of this country has there been witnessed such a contest as that through which we have passed. Never before in the history of American politics has a great issue been fought out as this issue has been by the voters themselves.”

The mines of the San Juan mountains gave birth to Telluride in the 1870s. Zinc, lead, copper, silver and gold flowed from the Sheridan, the Tomboy, the Pandora mines. Miners mined the ore, the town mined the miners. The good times were good. The bad times were bad. Butch Cassidy began his career in crime in June 1889 when his “wild bunch” robbed the San Miguel Valley Bank. Eastern financiers dealt a much heavier blow during the Silver Panic of 1893. It was silver and gold that brought Bryan to town.

“But in this contest, brother has been arrayed against brother, and father against son. The warmest ties of love and acquaintance and association have been disregarded. Old leaders have been cast aside when they refused to give expression to the sentiments of those whom they would lead, and new leaders have sprung up to give direction to this cause of freedom. Thus has the contest been waged, and we have assembled here under as binding and solemn instructions as were ever fastened upon the representatives of a people.”

Over time the mines played out. By the 1970s, “hippies” had taken over many of the old union shacks. The search for silver and gold turned to the perfect slope. And the perfect music festival. According to the Library of Congress, the first Telluride Bluegrass Festival was organized by a bluegrass band, Fall Creek, for the 1974 Independence Day celebration. Telluride, acoustic music and the Festival have all changed a lot since then.

“we stand here representing people who are the equals before the law of the largest cities… The miners who go 1,000 feet into the earth or climb 2,000 feet upon the cliffs and bring forth from their hiding places the precious metals to be poured in the channels of trade are as much businessmen as the few financial magnates who in a backroom corner the money of the world.”

Author & professional contrarian Edward Abbey made his home downriver, past where the San Miguel joins the Dolores River and flows into Utah. He lamented the mining at Moab that followed the bust at Telluride. He lamented the rise of industrial tourism that turned desert towns and mining towns into meccas for the leisure class. Abbey’s Moab and Bryan’s Telluride are the same, yet different, than hundreds of others places in the high country. Built and broke on the back of mining and ranching. Reborn as recreational playgrounds, some might say they sold their souls to the new company store. Might say they’ve lost their souls on a cross of gold.

“If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we shall fight them to the uttermost, having behind us the producing masses of the nation and the world. Having behind us the commercial interests and the laboring interests and all the toiling masses, we shall answer their demands for a gold standard by saying to them, you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”

William Jennings Bryan spoke of literal gold, the heavy yellow mineral competing with Telluride’s silver for status as legal currency. Yet we still today find ourselves pressed down upon: Our crown of thorns is a gold record standard. The over-riding expectation that all that matters is the next hit on the radio chart, the next big thing on MTV, the next Girls Gone Viral on the world wide web.

Telluride is one of the few places that have staked out their own claim outside the Next Big Thing. Citizens of the town work hard to stand up for their land and historic fabric, looking for ways to balance growth and development—to make a place for a ski resort, summer recreation and a functioning community. The Telluride Bluegrass Festival has done as well, balancing a broad and diverse lineup to stay funky yet relevant.

It is no easy thing to resist the lure of easy gold. To resist the urge to get yours while the getting is good. To do better. To go higher.

To go To Hell U Ride — Telluride.
 

(Repost from 2009, in honor of APA Colorado conference.)

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West County Line


Building permits required.  Archuleta-LaPlata county line, US Highway 160 east of Bayfield, Colorado.

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Neuromancer the Movie

Rumors are surfacing again that William Gibson‘s classic cyberpunk SciFi novel Neuromancer may finally be reaching the big screen.  The 1984 story—winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Philip K. Dick awards—has had far-reaching impact on pop culture as Gibson fleshed out the ideas behind “cyberspace” and “the Matrix.”

You might have heard a bout a little movie series based on that last term, drawing heavily from Gibson’s prognostications. Even earlier, Keanu Reeves gave a preview of his role as Neo in the film version of Gibson’s 1981 short-story “Johnny Mnemonic”.

Many have tried and failed to adapt the Neuromancer dystopia.  Let’s hope this one’s a go.

P.S. Congrats to author N.K. Jemisen on her 2nd Hugo award for The Obelisk Gate, sequel to last year’s Hugo winner The Fifth Season, itself due for a TV adaptation.  The 3rd novel in the series, The Stone Sky, is now on your favorite bookseller’s shelves (and on my library wish list).  Both science fiction and fantasy authors, Gibson and Jemisen, are outspoken critics on social media, but I like their stories anyway.
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The Disease that Afflicts all Modern Institutions

Wikipedia CC BY-SA 2.0

Repatrimonialization

Modern state institutions, which are supposed to be impersonal even if not necessarily democratic, are particularly vulnerable to insider-capture in a  process that I labeled “repatrimonialization.”  As we have seen, natural human sociability is built around the twin principles of kin selection and reciprocal altruism—the favoring of family or of friends with whom one has exchanged favors.  Modern institutions require people to work contrary to their natural instincts.  In the absence of strong institutional incentives, the groups with access to a political system will use their positions to favor friends and family, and thereby erode the impersonality of the state.  The more powerful the groups, the more opportunities they will have to do this.  This process of elite or insider capture is a disease that afflicts all modern institutions.

Francis Fukuyama, Political Order and Political Decay, page 464

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The Fates Have Been Kind — New Music for 2017

The Fates have been gracious again to Americana music this year.

2017 has featured several strong releases from long-time Country music stars (Alison Krauss, Marty Stuart, Willie Nelson), Alt.Country should-be stars (Son Volt, Mavericks, Jason Isbell), and ignored-by-radio Texas Country stars (Aaron Watson, Sunny Sweeney).  I’ve been streaming a LOT of music this year, and frankly, I’m having a hard time keeping up with the cornucopia of new music while also enjoying my favorites.  What a beautiful conundrum.

Some favorite new Albums released so far in 2017:

Alison Krauss – Windy City:  Alison honors her Country heroes with her own take.  This would chart higher except for the multiple custom “Deluxe” releases (Spotify has one, I bought a different one from Target, etc.) messes up Last.fm’s Scrobbles.

Marty Stuart – Way Out West:  Marty Stuart credits his whole band with this production evoking wide open spaces and classic Country music–in fact he has both kinds of music, “Country” AND “Western”.

Aaron Watson – Vaquero:  A nice-guy cowboy in the cut of George Strait, Watson throws in just enough pop country to keep the radio DJs happy.

The Mavericks – Brand New Day:  This disc is just plain fun, with plenty of horns to liven up the dance line.  Their last release made into to my Top 10 for 2015 and I’m thinking this one’s a keeper.

Sunny Sweeney – Trophy:  Wow.  Just wow.  Powerful songwriting.  Powerful performance.

Some others:

  • Otis Gibbs – Mount Renraw
  • The Infamous Stringdusters – Laws of Gravity
  • Songs of the Fall – Confessions (Colorado local band touring internationally)
  • Kasey Chambers – Dragonfly (late release in the U.S.)
  • Son Volt – Notes of Blue
  • Willie Nelson – God’s Problem Child
  • Rhiannon Giddens – Freedom Highway
  • Dead Man Winter – Furnace (Trampled by Turtles lead’s side project)
  • Nikki Lane – Highway Queen
  • Blackie & the Rodeo Kings – Kings and Kings
  • Lindi Ortega – Til the Goin’ Gets Gone (4-song E.P.)

And very strong recent releases:

  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – The Nashville Sound:  This is the future of Country music.
  • Chris Stapleton – From A Room: Volume 1:  I’d settle for this as the future of Country music, too.
  • Amanda Anne Platt – Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters:  This is how we write music for the future based on our rich musical traditions of the past.  Now if we could get the Scrobbles to

And last but far from least, Halden Wofford & The Hi-Beams – Missing Link: Hot off the record press, if you can find it, buy it.  Classic Colorado real country, rock-a-billy, whatever, it’s good stuff.

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Gene Habets, 1940-2017

20130826-152902.jpg

Eugene “Gene” H. Habets, 77, of Dutton, Montana, passed away June 15, 2017, at home with his family.

Gene was born on January 12, 1940, in Conrad, MT, to Eugenius “Eugene” Hubertus and Irene (Slezak) Habets. Eugenius emigrated from The Netherlands with his father in 1913, and Irene’s parents emigrated from Silesia. Growing up Gene worked on the family farm and silver mine near Valier.

Gene married Lois Ann Franklin on December 2, 1967, in Anaconda, MT. Their children and grandchildren were the loves of their lives. After crossing the country as a custom cutter, Gene worked in a mine in Anaconda, was road superintendent for Pondera County and owned a restaurant in Conrad. After retiring the first time, Gene was a mechanic with A&P Motors and Greyn’s Supply in Dutton. In his spare time he flood irrigated and worked on cars. His favorite car was a 1958 Chevy Impala.

Gene is survived by four of five daughters, LaVee (Kenneth) Arnold of Shelton, WA, Vi Habets of Dutton, Char (JC) Shepard of Pagosa Springs, CO, and Farlee (John) Albertson of Bremerton, WA, and his five brothers and sisters. His grandchildren include Tyler (Jessicca) Arnold of Helena, Chris Albertson of Shelton, Carrie Carlbom (Austin Christopherson) of Rawlins, WY, Mallory Arnold of Lacey, WA, Sarah Albertson of Bremerton, Cyndi Albertson of Shelton, Steven Werre of Dutton, Derek Carlbom of Dutton, Dominique Albertson of Bremerton, and Brian Carlbom of Pagosa Springs. Gene was preceded in death by his wife Lois, daughter Noreena Habets, parents and one brother.

A vigil service took place June 20, at 7pm, and funeral mass June 21, at 1pm, both at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Choteau. Burial followed at Dutton Cemetery under the direction of Gorder Jensen Funeral Home. Memorials are suggested to Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute or Lions Club of Choteau, Easter Egg Hunt Bicycle Fund.

Condolences may be left on-line at www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.com.

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Songs of the Fall – Confessions

Stetson Adkisson and Cia Cherryholmes—Songs of the Fall—have a new Americana album out, called Confessions.  After an initial singer-songwriter release as Stetson & Cia, they recorded a self-titled album in 2012.  So this may be a sophomore effort, or it may not. In light of Cia’s multiple Grammy nominations with her Cherryholmes family bluegrass band, this couple has high expectations and they’ve been working on these songs for awhile.


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The result is pretty good.  Stetson grew up in Pagosa Springs, and a couple years ago they moved back to the mountains of Colorado from the hills of Tennessee.  Their last album, Songs of the Fall, opened strong with “Beneath the Willow” and several strong tracks without filler.  This effort also opens strong with the upbeat “Love and Lust”. I caught two well-crafted releases on the new album at a local show back in the fall of 2015, the upbeat “Good to Have You Back” and the maudlin “Lucky”.  The rest of the album is growing on me, although I’m puzzled by the choice of “Confessions” as a name. It’s almost a nod to a Fleetwood Mac or Blondie pop sound, without diluting their roots too much, or something completely different. A friend heard a kinship to The Civil Wars duo.  Whatever the trend, the couple can cover the bases from string band to rock & roll when they want to.


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Confessions was just released in mid-May 2017, and they’ve been holding release shows around Southwest Colorado.  Songs of the Fall perform as a strong duo and I’ve also seen them with a band adding bass, uke & beat box.  Stetson, Cia, and their little one head to Europe in August, with dates posted for La Roche-Sur-Foron, France, and Bystricka, Czechia.

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