Archive for January, 2023

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 25 January 2023

Wednesday, January 25th, 2023


“The very nature of our job is to be invisible,” says Nashville session multi-instrumentalist Mark Casstevens. Specializing in acoustic guitar, Mark accompanied over 250 artists in the recording studio from 1971 through 2010. “If you have an ego, you shouldn’t be in my line of work. You have to be happy to be part of the wallpaper, and I was. I got paid for my hobby.” He is one of Garth Brooks’s G-Men, the group who played on Garth’s first nine studio albums. “I have made it my life’s work not to be in a video,” he told me when I called him last week. “I’d rather be in the shadows. I want to be a supporting cast member; I don’t want the limelight.”


Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 11 January 2023

Wednesday, January 11th, 2023


Randy Travis’s 1993 album, Wind in the Wire, contained four cuts by one songwriter, Roger Brown. I called Roger to discuss how that astounding number came about. He was in the right place at the right time. He and his friends had been writing cowboy songs, something no one else in Nashville was doing. Word quickly got around that “Brown got four Randy Travis cuts,” and that legitimized him as a songwriter. “Recording those songs was life-altering for me,” Roger tells me. “Because of that little album, which wasn’t a huge commercial success, I got to meet Randy Travis, I got to write with Randy Travis, and more important to me than any of it, I got to be friends with him. And remain so to this day.”