From the beginning, there has always been a dark, Gothic side to American country and roots music. From murder ballads to ghost stories, to tales of struggle and lunacy, Gothic country never gets its due credit, nor do the dozens of artists and bands who keep these traditions alive with new music bathed in the darkness and depression…
We’re living in historic times in country music, when the resurgence of more traditional, and more substantive music is taking hold like never before, and receiving more recognition for the industry than any period in recent memory. And it’s hard to not look at Sturgill Simpson and give him at least part of the blame.
Steve Goodman. Even if you haven’t heard the name, you’ve most certainly heard the music. And if you’ve ever heard David Allan Coe’s country music classic “You Never Even Called Me By My Name,” you know that Steve Goodman (with an assist from John Prine) is the writer of this “perfect country and Western song.”
The amount of older talent announced on the presentation so far is quite unprecedented. According to Saving Country Music’s calculations, of the announced performers so far, 16 performers who could be considered either country legends or artists whose careers started before or during the “Class of ’89.”
When Saving Country Music started in 2009, the biggest artist in country music was Taylor Swift. Now, it’s arguably Chris Stapleton. Independent artists are finding support like never before, allowing them to be able to completely sidestep the pitfalls of the mainstream industry and still have sustainable, and in many cases, very successful careers.
Reviews and opinions on the Netflix original series The Ranch starring Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Debra Winger, and Sam Elliot continue to be mixed, but the country music tie-ins—whether in the soundtrack, the set, or the dialogue—continue to make it a point of intrigue for many country fans.
Brett Young and his rising single “Sleep Without You” is just the latest in a line of preordained male country debut singles looking to launch yet another heartthrob music franchise with lots of sizzle and extremely little substance. “Sleep Without You” isn’t the premise of a country song, it’s the whining of a P-whipped moron missing his snuggle buddy.
Maybe you came for the speed, but you stayed for the songs. It’s hard to believe that the bluegrass-esque band from Duluth, MN has been around for going on 14 years, but in that time Trampled By Turtles amassed a strong fan base in Minnesota and beyond, and released eight records, including their latest ‘Wild Animals’ from 2014.
When Blackberry Smoke’s album ‘Holding All The Roses’ went #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart in February 2015, it was the first time an independently-released country album had climbed to the top of the country charts in the modern era. And now Blackberry Smoke has done it again.
Well now, perhaps there is a reason for old school traditional country fans to tune into the CMA Awards in 2016. Celebrating their 50th Anniversary, the Country Music Association has promised to honor country music’s past in the presentation, and they have put their money where their mouth is.
Zane Williams is a smart one, and like many others are recognizing, he understands that the new trend in country music, is actual country music. And this has been exemplified in the Texas scene as much as anywhere. Zane Williams senses that people want by God country music again, and that’s exactly what he delivers on the aptly titled ‘Bringin’ Country Back.’
Country music crooner, piano player, and brand mogul Mickey Gilley has released his first studio record in some 20 years called ‘Kickin’ It Down The Road.’ Only available through his website at the moment, it features 10 songs, including the title track written by Byron Hill, Mike Kenny and Michael Cosner.
The manager of the George Jones Museum in Nashville, and a major investor and partner of George Jones’ widow Nancy Jones, is headed to prison for two years and owes nearly $1 million in restitution after pleading guilty to two counts of bank fraud. Kirk West, also known as Kirk Leipzig, lied about his income…