RIP Earl Scruggs:
Bluegrass evangelist Earl Scruggs passed on to the great banjo rally in the sky late yesterday. He was 88-years-young. Known for his lightening-quick picking style and briefly, for his contribution along with guitarist Lester Flatt to the theme of The Beverly Hillbillies, Scruggs and Flatt wrote the code to crack for aspiring bluegrass slingers, the winding cruiser, “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” that also got poached by Hollywood via Bonnie and Clyde. But enough of his accolades on paper. Just watch the dude play.
Going To Graceland:
Paul Simon is making due with his Graceland 25th anniversary package. As previously reported, the anticipated roc doc Under African Skies will be dropped in tandem, retracing all the cultural boycotting steps that happened in 1985. While new details came to light today regarding three extra tunes on the vinyl format, five extras on CD and two different special collector’s editions, one with a DVD of an ’87 concert from Zimbabwe and an 80-page book, among a plethora of other swag.
Superproducer Diplo got to leaking on his Facebook page that one of his next projects involves the collaboration of Snoop Dogg on a reggae record. 18 tracks! “I don’t think the world is ready,” the post says. Speaking to MTV, Diplo elaborated: “Snoop Dogg is an icon, man; he’s bigger than the music. It’s like Snoop Dogg and Major Lazer together. It’s all reggae and he’s singing and he’s doing a f—ing awesome job and I never knew it, but he had his heart in every song. We’re going to get back into the production of it next month, and I’m really proud of that record. It’s the first record I’ve ever executive-produced and his crew is amazing.”
The fine rock push up on its toes above The National, NYC indie rock-wise, The Walkmen, are readying the follow-up to 2010’s Lisbon, the epic-titled Heaven, complete with an epic producer, Phil Ek (The Shins, Fleet Foxes), and an epic trailer following a whipping camera pan on the other side of some trees for a sunset and a new tune with tease of a lyric, “line by line, we all scrape by.” Also, we now have artwork and a drop date of June 4.
Welshman Tom Jones joined the royal “Sir” ranks of Elton John and Paul McCartney when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on this day in 2006, the first in a series of late career booms for the pop punchline. But of course, he always had some serious class. Or as Tom would say: “It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone.”