For the majority of 2017, Saving Country Music has been engaged in a private war against the increasingly intrusive restrictions being placed upon music journalists—and photographers especially—who take time out of their evenings and weekends, leave their families at home, to cover live music events.
The Americana Music Association has announced their 2017 Top 100 Albums of the Year based on reporting to the Americana Airplay Chart from Americana stations during the period of Dec. 6, 2016 through Dec. 4, 2017. The chart can be a good way to see what you might have missed in the year of Americana.
Since many of your favorite independent country and roots artists get little to no love from mainstream radio, other outlets have opened up to help feature their music to wider audiences. ‘Damnation’ has been sliding in cool songs from some of the finest artists from the roots world, while mixing in many of roots music’s forgotten greats.
Luke Bryan is the Ronald McDonald of country music. Millions and millions served, even if the fare is nothing more than palatable. So many paychecks and livelihoods beyond Bryan’s own inner circle depend on him taking center stage and shaking his ass for the amusement of millions each year.
Colter Wall is one of those artists you better damn well see while you have the opportunity to catch him in intimate settings. At only 22-years-old, you may have plenty of time to see him in the future, but with this level of talent and interest, it may not be in the mid-sized club, small theater level for much longer.
As we near the end of 2017, it’s time to start thinking about some of the records we expect to see in the coming year. And since it’s been some 2 1/2 years since Kacey Musgraves released a record of new original material, she would be one on the short list of who to anticipate will be showing up with new music.
Whether you love or hate the music of Garth Brooks, everyone must bow down and give the Prince of Garthness incredible credit as the most cunning music marketer to ever suck air on planet Earth, and it isn’t even close. Garth could sell ice to Eskimos, or the same song to the same music fans ten times.
When it comes to country music albums, it is Chris Stapleton, and everyone else. And it’s not even close. After the release of Stapleton’s latest record, ‘From A Room: Vol. 2,’ Chris Stapleton holds three of the top four spots on the country albums charts. ‘From A Room: Vol. 2’ easily comes in at #1 in country, as well as #2 all genre.
Man did Music Row in Nashville turn in a whole slew of stinkers this year, setting new lows for the substance, and non-country-ness of “country” songs in 2017. This year was a great example of how you should never think it can’t get any worse, because it can, and did, and by a long stretch.
Sturgill Simpson, who has regularly criticized print media for coming to him with preconceived notions for interviews, has clarified his statement about Luke Bryan to the New York Times, and revealed via screenshots that his quote about Luke Bryan was cut off mid sentence, and never meant for public consumption.
One of the very last true links to the Golden Age of country music has retired to the great honky tonk in the sky. Leon Rhodes, one of the most famous and influential Texas Troubadours behind Ernest Tubb, as well as one of the mainstays of the Grand Ole Opry house band, and the backing band on the television show Hee-Haw.
The issue with Chris Janson has never been that he can’t write a song, or even sing one. The problem is Chris can’t resist the temptation to write and record the trashy super hit as well, and this is what has gone on to define his career. “Drunk Girl” is one of the good ones.
There was a time in 2015 when it wasn’t a question of “if,” but “when” Justin Timberlake would release a country or country-influenced record, and this information was all but confirmed by none other than Timberlake’s long-time producer Timbaland. Now we have a little bit clearer picture of why there may have been a delay.