Arts and Entertainment

Sheryl Crow "Feels Like Home" (Warner Bros)

Album: Tim Easton, Porcupine (New West)

There's a rough-hewn, rootsy charm to Mojave Desert-based singer-songwriter Tim Easton's latest album, recorded in Nashville with a band that pairs his former Ohio punk buddies' rhythm section of drummer Sam Brown and bassist Matt Surgeson with multi-talented guitarist Kenny Vaughan, from Marty Stuart's band.

Album: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Speed of Life (Sugar Hill)

The Nitties were one of those happy aggregations that spent the late 1960s alloying the American folk tradition with new-fangled West Coast rock, to no discernable impact on the drift of Western culture – even when Jackson Browne was briefly a member.

Album: Dave Cloud & The Gospel Of Power, Fever (Fire Records)

Nashville's resident "garage-rock lounge lizard extraordinaire", Dave Cloud looks like Jim Royle readying himself for a "tom tit" trip to the loo, and sounds like something nasty lurking in the undergrowth waiting to scare small children.

Brendan Benson - Your old, unfamiliar friend – or so he wishes

Since the success of his acclaimed band The Raconteurs, Brendan Benson has earned plenty of public recognition – but he'd rather have his anonymity back, writes Nick Hasted

737s checked after hole opens in fuselage

Southwest Airlines inspected about 200 planes overnight after a hole measuring 1 foot by 1 foot (30 centimeters by 30 centimetres) opened up in the passenger cabin of a jet in flight, forcing an emergency landing in West Virginia.

American Football: McNair was murdered say police

Former American football player Steve McNair's shooting death was a homicide, police said yesterday, but authorities stopped short of saying it was a murder-suicide committed by the 20-year-old girlfriend found dead by his side.

Mystery of married football star shot dead with woman

Police are trying to unravel the relationship between the former NFL quarterback Steve McNair and his friend, a 20-year-old woman, both found shot to death in his downtown condominium.

Album: Elvis Costello, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane (Universal/Decca)

Recorded in Nashville with T-Bone Burnett producing and Jerry Douglas on dobro… SP&S isn't Almost Blue 2 but it is country, bluegrass, the soup of white American folk music thickened up with jam-packed Elvis metre. You might argue that much of what we hear borders on the academic in its pursuit of the idiomatic, but it is also true that it is all done with passion. You'll have to find out for yourself how this all connects with Hans Christian Andersen. A dense, sometimes studiedly beautiful effort.

Album: Willie Nelson, Stripped (RCA)

While his growing success as a songwriter – thanks to hits like Patsy Cline's "Crazy" – was enough to win Willie Nelson a recording contract of his own in 1964, it wasn't enough to secure him control over the way his songs were treated.

Ted Jarrett: Musician, label-owner and producer who brought R&B to Nashville

Nashville might be known as "Music City, USA" but it is primarily seen as the home of country music.

Dan Seals: Member of the soft-rock duo England Dan and John Ford Coley

The singer-songwriter Dan Seals was one half of the Seventies soft-rock duo England Dan and John Ford Coley. In Britain they had two hit singles, the yearning "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" (1976), and the gorgeous "Love is the Answer" (1979), and they had even greater success in the United States. The pair broke up in 1980 and Seals went on to a solo career in country music, topping the country charts 11 times, most notably with "Meet Me in Montana", a duet with Marie Osmond, in 1985.

Lyle Lovett - This charming man

He married Julia Roberts, but Lyle Lovett's heart was always in Texas. On the eve of a UK gig, he talks to Nick Hasted

Album: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Beware (Domino)

What the hell to make of Will Oldham's umpteenth record in his guise as Bonnie "Prince" Billy?

Far from the old country music

Nashville is making yet another attempt to conquer the UK charts with artists who have crossed over so far they are virtually mainstream. Nick Hasted assesses their chances

Album: Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere, Nudge It Up a Notch (Stax)

Though more associated respectively with the soul-music scenes of Memphis and New York, both MGs guitarist Steve Cropper and Young Rascals singer Felix Cavaliere now reside in Nashville, a proximity that led them to perform together and to this recording.

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