2012 will go down as the year that the roots music revolution went transcontinental, as the Muddy Roots Festival heads over to the Old World to storm the beaches of Europe with a ridiculous lineup of talent. Though the festival is happening in Europe, it will mostly feature American acts.
Monthly Archives: December 2011
Alright, so we all had a good chuckle poking fun at the 6 Pop Country Archetypes, now let’s see what happens when I turn the poison pen towards the folks much more likely to frequent Saving Country Music; those folks that live on the fringes of the greater country music world.
It was an unbelievably strong field, and they all deserve to be recognized. But in the end what Willie Tea Taylor’s “Life Is Beautiful” had that no other candidate could match was poignancy. It’s also hard to deny a song that can make grown ass men cry, but Willy Tea’s poignancy is what really put him over the top for 2011.
Despite the safety, there is a good flow to this music, and a patience. In most music, you have a group of guys doing their best individually, hoping it fits in the context of the song. With Velvet, everyone is on board, listening to the music and what the song is calling for. It’s the difference of four horsemen riding side by side across the plain, or four horses yoked together.
As the headlines were making people wonder why anybody would ever sign with Curb in the first place, here was a big country star re-signing with the label he’s been with since 1996. We would later find out the potential reason for the curious move. On November 21st, police were called to the home of Rodney Atkins…
Well here it is, the end of December. The last few moments of 2011 are counting down, and yet completely unbeknown to us, right under our noses, one of the most expansive, imaginative, engaging, and inspiring projects all year is finally coming into full bloom. It is called Year of the Horse by the Cold Spring, KY-based Kentucky Struts.
Have you ever wondered who actually listens to those songs they play on pop country radio? Here are the six primary Archetypes, or as Music Row refers to them, “target demographics”, that make up the audience of the pop country world: The “Affliction T-Shirt “New Outlaw” Doucher”, “Bored Suburban Soccer Mom”, “Glitter-Faced Pop Country Girl”…
Aaron Lewis, Blackberry Smoke, Brantley Gilbert, Carrie Underwood, Colt Ford, Gary Levox, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Thompson Square, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Yelawolf
On Monday Curb Records released a brand new single from Tim McGraw’s long-disputed album Emotional Traffic called “Right Back Atcha Babe”. The timing of the single release is somewhat puzzling. Many McGraw fans are refusing to partake in Emotional Traffic and it’s singles, not wanting their money to go to the label that kept him under thumb for years.
I can’t recall a year with this high caliber of a crop of bad songs. This group can hold their own against the Achy Breaky Hearts and Honky Tonk Bandonka Donk’s of the last few decades. And this year might be the first that songs do well not in spite of being stupid, but because they are stupid.
Bloodshot Records has just announced that Justin Townes Earle will be releasing his 4th LP Album on March, 27th, 2012, and it is a mouthful, called Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now. Earle told Billboard he wanted his next album to have a Memphis vibe. This album will hypothetically be one Justin Townes Earle recorded while sober.
This is some of the best true country songwriting I have heard all year. I am floored folks. I’ll be honest with you, knowing the context of this album going in, I didn’t think it had much chance to charm my little music heart, but that is exactly what it did. Ray’s songs are just so true, honest, well-written, and authentic, it makes his adeptness at song craft absolutely undeniable.
One of the great things about the now disbanded .357 String Band from Milwaukee, WI was that it really didn’t have a frontman. However guitar player and songwriter Derek Dunn did feel like the primary spokesman throughout its 7 years, and the fulcrum that the rest of the band rotated around.
Michigan songbird Rachel Brooke has a new project on the way that can now be pre-ordered called Late Night Lover. It is a 7″ vinyl release that will only be sold in a limited-edition 500 numbered quantity accompanied by a digital download card. Late Night Lover features just Rachel and her guitar.
When people talk about the “manufactured” pop star, what they mean is taking a pretty face, and pushing all the right buttons to make an artist that has mass appeal at the expense of soul and creativity. It is very easy to pigeon hole Taylor into this lot. But in truth Taylor Swift’s success has nothing to do with her following all the rules. She broke all of them.
When you’re compiling your list of most-anticipated albums for 2012, you’ve got another one to add to the top of the heap. Ray Wylie Hubbard has announced he’s got a new one ready for 2012 called Grifter’s Hymnal, and he’s got an interesting cast of characters helping him, including Ringo Starr, long-time drummer Rick Richards, George Reiff, and his son Lucas Hubbard.
The Carper Family illustrates the unfair, unreasonable amount of talent, and specifically female talent, that can be found in Austin, TX on any given night. And that is what The Carper Family does; they are a working, local band, playing many nights a week at various Austin venues. Back When proves that this local band deserves more national, and international attention.
In a very alarming story, fiddle phenom Ruby Jane and her mom JoBelle Smith were carjacked and held at gunpoint in Houston Thursday night (12-8-11) around midnight after a show at Dosey Doe. The man fled in their 2004 Chevy Trail Blazer, with all of Ruby Jane’s music gear. Below please find a list of the stolen instruments to be on the lookout for.
Saving Country Music is very sad to report that Bee Spears, the perennial bassist for Willie Nelson, who played in Willie Nelson’s “Family Band” for 40 years, died on Thursday, 12/8/2011 after falling outside of his home in Nashville and being exposed to the elements overnight.
So here it is, the list of albums Saving Country Music deems essential for 2011 listening. Please note this list only includes albums that have been reviewed so far. And as always, your feedback is encouraged. What are your essential albums? What did we miss? What was released in 2011 that deserves a review?
Bob Wayne, Coday Canada, Eilen Jewell, Gillian Welch, Hank3, Husky Burnette, Jason Boland, Jimbo Mathus, Larry & His Flask, Little Lisa Dixie, Lone Wolf, Lonesome Wyatt, Lucky Tubb, Lydia Loveless, Nick 13, Olds Sleeper, Rachel Brooke, Scott H. Biram, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Sunday Valley, The Damn Quails, The Dirt Daubers, The Goddamn Gallows, Tom Waits, Ugly Valley Boys, William Elliot Whitmore, Willy Tea Taylor
As Nashville and Nashville-based entities are erecting what will be landmarks, before taking money from Mike Curb, maybe they should take to heart the headlines that have hounded the Mike Curb name over the last few years, and ask themselves if that name is a legacy their building, their institution, or the City of Nashville wants to tie their future to.