Sturgill Simpson Lays into ACM over Merle Haggard Award

Rolling Stone Country reports: "Just minutes before the Academy of Country Music officially announced Miranda Lambert as the recipient of the new Merle Haggard Spirit Award this morning, singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson unleashed an epic online tirade against the organization and those who, he feels, are exploiting the late Country Music Hall of Fame member's name. Writing on Facebook, Simpson took the ACM to task, singling out their annual April awards show. The ACM Honors, an offshoot of the ACM Awards, which recognize off-camera winners and special-achievement recipients – including the new Haggard award – will be taped in Nashville Tuesday night."


Franc Cinelli Announces Autumn Tour Dates

A year on from the release of his critically-lauded fourth album The Marvel Age, Italian-born UK-based songwriter Franc Cinelli hits the road once more throughout Autumn. It's been a busy year for Franc, which has seen him play several dates in Italy and the UK, participate in the Rome Marathon and win an acoustic Eurovision Song Contest at London’s Union Chapel – emulating Domenico Modugno’s 1958 feat with a rousing version of ‘Volare’. He released a single ‘Blue’ from the album earlier in the Summer. Warming up for the tour with one of the last ever shows at one of London’s favourite acoustic music pubs, the Gladsone Arms, Franc will also be appearing at Sussex’s Hailsham Festival, guesting with Bob Collum in Chelmsford and Otis Gibbs in Sheffield and taking in a brief trot round the Highlands of Scotland, before coming to rest with a full band show at The Railway in Dalston, London in December. Click through for the dates.


Jason Isbell Appears in Cartoon Network Show 'Squidbillies'

Rolling Stone Country reports: "Nearly five years after recording his own version of the Squidbillies theme song, Jason Isbell is working with the Cartoon Network program once again, this time as a guest star. Isbell voices a new character, pastor Kyle Nubbins, in the season 10 finale, which airs this Sunday, August 21st at 11:30 p.m. ET.  In the clip [here], Isbell's hip preacher — complete with pomaded hair, decorative wrist cuff and a Jesus tat — welcomes the Culyer family to a backwoods church in Appalachian country. He's excited about the job, even if the church itself leaves something to be desired."


Billy Bragg and Joe Henry New Video Now Online

Uncut reports: "Billy Bragg & Joe Henry have shared the video for “Hobo’s Lullaby“, which is taken from their forthcoming collaborative album, Shine A Light – Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad. You can watch the video below. The album is released on September 23 through Cooking Vinyl and features songs popularised by Hank Williams, Lead Belly, The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Glen Campbell, Gordon Lightfoot and more."

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