Aaron Watson is an optimist, and a pragmatist. And though a swath of independent and traditional country fans tend to find themselves generally turned off by these things—only identifying with country music that breaks the heart—Aaron Watson is adhering to the very first rule of independent and traditional country: be authentic to yourself.
When you have a good song, most everything else tends to get in the way. That’s the case with “Barabbas.” Wise songwriters know that when you can put the weight of historical moments and important figures behind your song, you’re getting a vastly superior head start on your average, sappy love song.
There are those moments in music that will be forever immortalized for one reason or another, whether it’s the writing of a legendary song, a once-in-a-lifetime performance or collaboration, or the birth of a new genre or era. One such moment transpired in College Station, TX in 1976 not far from the corners of Church and Boyett streets.
Editor’s Note: This is a contribution to Saving Country Music by Zac McDaniel who is a freelance writer. Zac is also a rancher and small business owner from Oklahoma. Along with immersing himself in the music of others he is also an aspiring songwriter. He enjoys spending time with his wife, children and Gibson guitar. […]
As we near the end of February and look forward to spring every year, it becomes time for the annual exercise to pontificate on who perhaps the CMA will deem worthy for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. About this time the secret CMA-approved committee is going over their final ballots and whittling down the precious names to the few who will make it.
Foul-mouthed country music star Wheeler Walker Jr. is furious after crowdfunding and merch fulfillment site PledgeMusic pulled pre-orders for his new album Ol’ Wheeler on Wednesday (2-22) due to concerns over the content, Saving Country Music has confirmed.
For many of the best practitioners of country music, they don’t choose to pursue country music as a profession, country music chooses them. 2017 is still young, but the effort expended by Jaime Wyatt on ‘Felony Blues’ is impressive enough to be considered the best in the country realm so far.
The prospects of a new incarnation of the long-running country music-themed television show Hee-Haw being in the works opens up a whole realm of delicious possibilities of how the show could take shape, and who could comprise the cast. So if a new Hee-Haw show comes to pass, who should be part of the cast?
Announced Tuesday morning (2-21), Old Crow Medicine Show has signed with Columbia Records Nashville. Put this on top of being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2013, and the band isn’t showing signs of age, they’re solidifying their place as a serious traditional roots band with mainstream and major label acceptance.
In a recent interview with Kacey Musgraves ahead of her opening for George Strait in Las Vegas, Strait said “Tennessee Whiskey” was one of the songs he most regrets punting on when it was first pitched to him early in his career. “Dean pitched me to that in the 80’s … and I missed it,” George Strait says.
“I’m a dirt road, in the headlights. I’m a mama’s boy, I’m a fist fight,” is how “Small Town Boy” starts off. What does this stuff even mean? It’s just nonsensical self-referential, self-ingratiating pap. There’s no point to it except identity politics tied to the demographic country radio is looking to serve, which is primarily people who don’t live on dirt roads.
‘Nothin’ Unexpected’ is traditional country, meaning you’ll hear fiddle and steel guitar, and many other indicators that your brain will immediately recognize as the familiar modes of country’s original and authentic sound. But it’s all done in a voice and perspective authentic to Ags himself instead of trying to stretch the truth, or do his best impression.
Fans of oldtimers such as Townes Van Zandt, Todd Snider, and Ray Wylie Hubbard know that when it comes to the best songwriters, they don’t just know how to put a good story into song, they know how to take a good story back out of a song to introduce a live performance. California-based songwriter John Craigie has perfected this art just about as good as any.