TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY
T. Texas Tyler born (1916) in Mena, Ark.
Chet Atkins born (1924) in Luttrell, Tenn.
Whitey Ford, "The Duke of Paducah," died at age 85 in Nashville, Tenn. (1986)
OF MUSIC AND MORE
GUITARS AND MORE GUITARS
Some country music fans like fiddles, some like banjos, and some like the thump of the bass. But the guitar is the core of country music and Jack Ingram has lots of them on his new album "Electric" released earlier this month.
Ingram says he is trying to recreate the raw energy of his live performances with the album. He has enlisted Richard Bennett, Bob Britt, Kenny Greenberg, David Grissom and Jay Joyce, known around Nashville as some of the liveliest guitarists going.
"I wanted to create a space for the guitars on this record so I could let them speak for me," Ingram tells CMT.com. "I chose guitar players carefully. I wanted people to hear the guitars; I wanted them to be a part of my voice."
He says he and producers Frank Liddell and Mike McCarthy wanted to bring the performance to the point where the whole world is shut out and there's nothing else but the music and the audience.
"You know how when you're in that part of a relationship at the front, and it's intense, and when you're with them, there's nothing else going on in the whole world?" Ingram says. "The loudest that I can get and the quietest I can get is in that same place. It's like that moment in the middle of the night when no one else is awake."
The 31-year-old Dallas resident says he's not out to be the next big act in country music.
"As far as wanting it all right now, I do, but I'm not going to let my music suffer for that," Ingram told CMT.
"I want to be as big as my music will make me. I don't plan on playing the fair circuit. I don't see me stepping into some pre-blazed path where you have a Top 10 hit, then you get $15,000 gigs all summer long at fairs across the country."
"I want to play places where I've driven to town to play for these people, whether it's 500 or 20,000. These people have come to find me and paid their money to see me play, and we speak to each other. That's why my live shows are what they are, because all have chosen to be here; we're all paying a price. That's when you've created something that's lasting," Ingram said.
NICKEL CREEK RELEASE DATE SET
Nickel Creek will release a new album, "This Side," in August on Sugar Hill Records. Chris Thile, Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins recorded their self-titled debut three years ago. "Nickel Creek" has sold over 600,000 copies and spawned three videos popular on CMT. Alison Krauss produced both collections. All in their early 20s, the members of the group say they are "a conglomeration of everything we listen to."
HANK JR. ON JULY 4
Hank Williams Jr. has a few words about his playing on ABC's coming July Fourth special "In Search of America: A July 4th Musical Celebration." Williams was invited to play after show host Peter Jennings nixed Toby Keith because of the salty language on his latest hit "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)." Said Williams: "Toby Keith has something to say -- and said it damn well with his current music. Man ... who can argue with success ... the single's screamin' up the charts, so obviously a big chunk of America is buying what he's saying. As far as replacing him on ABC ... Hell, that's what makes it America, baby."