It has felt like a long, cold, never-ending Canadian winter since we last heard new music from Alberta-based country music artist Corb Lund. But like the chutes of green that come peaking out of the thawing tundra in a welcomed and well-deserved spring, the Canadian country star has put us on high alert that a new record is imminent, and it will be produced by the award-winning Dave Cobb.
On Saturday, July 25th, Kenny Chesney’s Big Revival Tour and Jason Aldean’s Burn It Down Tour merged at the historic Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA for one epic show. As a performer who has played numerous stadiums in his career, Kenny said finally getting the opportunity to play the Rose Bowl was a dream come true. However for one attendee, the experience became a nightmare.
Along with his multiple Americana Music Awards, and many accolades from critics declaring him one of the best songwriters of this generation, Jason Isbell is now the owner of the #1 album in all of country music according to Billboard. Isbell’s album Something More Than Free—released by Isbell’s Southeastern Records via Thirty Tigers—pulled off a last-minute rally to best Alan Jackson’s latest.
The latest appetizer dangled out there by Curb is an acoustic version of a song called “I Met Merle Haggard Today.” Pretty self explanatory and plenty entertaining, it’s the true account of Mo meeting one of his country music heroes for the first time. It’s a simple little song, but it shows you that Mo’s commitment to authentic country music isn’t just a marketing angle.
While tabloids continue to seize on every last speculative detail of the divorce between A-list country stars Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, serious new concerns about the legalities of how the divorce was handled by the State of Oklahoma have been raised, and if the celebrity couple benefited from preferential treatment from the judge who filed the paperwork.
Is it wrong that every time I think about brothers Matthew and Gunnar, known collectively as the 90’s glam metal raid-your-sisters-closet bubblegum rock band Nelson, I think of a pair of overly affectionate and mostly albino Afghan hounds falling asleep with their heads on each others shoulders?
In one corner you have the wily veteran who’s sold more than 80 million records worldwide and racked up untold awards and accolades during his quarter century career. In the other corner you have the scrappy young upstart who after years of paying dues on the club circuit can now sell out three consecutive nights at The Ryman Auditorium in 30 minutes and is on the tip of everyone’s tongue as the name of one of the best songwriters around.
Just 40 miles west of where Woody Guthrie was born in Okemah, Oklahoma is the town of Shawnee, where Ramseur Records-signed singer songwriter Samantha Crain was born and raised. And like Woody did many years before, she has decided to champion the causes of the common man through the music of her fourth LP.
Jillian Johnson was doing her part to help save country music in Lafayette like so many local musicians do all across the country and world as a member of the six-piece all-female country and roots outfit called The Figs. She played ukelele and sang harmony in the band. Their Facebook page lists their influences as, “Guitar, Banjo, Country Music, Sassiness, High Heels, Bob Wills,” and describe their sound as “High-Heeled Stomp.”
In some respects, broaching a discussion on this album seems nearly futile. Or maybe not futile, but at least frustrating. It’s almost fait accompli that it will fail to achieve the commercial feats and radio success the quality of the material warrants, but that’s just the way it is for women in this particular era of country music. We should be basking in the enjoyment of a new generation of inspiring country music females…
Remember the curious news of how Korn frontman Jonathan Davis was working on some sort of country project, and was in the studio with Big & Rich trying to hone in on the “Bakersfield” sound? Well now the story has turned even more strange. Though we still don’t have any solid details on exactly what Jonathan Davis is working on, apparently Marilyn Manson is also on board…
Daron Norwood, the singer of mid-90’s Top 40 hits such as “Cowboys Don’t Cry” and “If It Wasn’t for Her, I Wouldn’t Have You,” has died according to police in Hereford, TX, just west of Amarillo in the Texas panhandle. He was discovered by his landlord who had come by to check on him. No cause of death has been determined.
32-year-old Owen Mays, known as the staunch country traditionalist of the underground country and roots movement, has died. Known for his blistering and honest songwriting, he reportedly passed away in his sleep in the early Wednesday morning hours (7-22). Owen was born and raised in south central Wisconsin in the small town of Cambria where he began playing guitar at the age of 16.