Erich Church wants it both ways. He wants to be considered the “new Outlaw” of country music, but he wants to still use the same pop country machine he criticizes to get success. If Eric Church has such a problem with Blake Shelton, why did he perform his song “Springsteen” at last month’s ACM Awards, that were hosted by, guess who… Blake Shelton.
The problem with The Grand Ole Opry is that it is owned by a public company, Gaylord Entertainment, who is beholden to shareholders and profit margins before the Grand Ole Opry’s charter of preserving the roots and traditions of country music. The Country Music Hall of Fame on the other hand is a private, not-for-profit institution.
What do we mean when we say “country” music? Well take a listen to Mississippi native and Texas transplant Jason Eady’s new album AM Country Heaven, and that should give you the strongest of all possible clues. And what do people mean when they say “Texas” country? This album isn’t a bad example of that either. Where I distance from a lot of other music writers is in the project’s originality.
Sturgill Simpson, the dynamic force behind the band Sunday Valley, who is on the tail end of completing what Sturgill hopes to be his breakthrough album, has decided to go with a name change to “Sturgill Simpson & The High Top Mountain Boys” out of respect to the side players who are no longer with the band.
They say it’s a shame you can’t pick your family like you can pick your friends, but who would have ever picked the hellraising Hank Williams III and the holy cross-clad Marty Stuart to be buddies. But that’s exactly what they have been for years now, and the relationship has resulted in in some great music for the fans of both men.
Did you ever wonder what it would sound like if a performing artist with absolutely no qualms or reservations spread their arms wide in a succumbing posture and completely forfeited their Will to a record label saying, “Okay Music Row, do your worst! We’ll that is exactly what you get with Luke Bryan and his gawd awful album Tailgates and Tanlines.
Marty Stuart is on an amazing roll ladies and gentlemen. What he’s doing right now with lead guitar player “Uncle” Kenny Vaughan and The Fabulous Superlatives is stuff that legends are made of. You know those periods in an artists’ career that you look back on like they can’t do wrong, churning out amazing songs and albums one after another?
Hollywood seems obsessed with finding talent among the masses with their silly reality show contests like American Idol and The Voice, when in reality there’s a boatload of talent just sitting there waiting to be discovered right under their surgically-crafted, cosmetically-sculptured noses. So here’s a list of some bands that are go ready, right now, no excuses.
In the end, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame isn’t illegitimate because of who has been inducted into their institution, it’s illegitimate because it is an institution, formed around a genre of music whose roots are in rebelling against institutions. Conversely, where the Rock & Roll HOF found its fundamental weakness is where the Country Music HOF finds its strength.
Katy bar the door and baton down the hatches folks because Lone Wolf, the Italian, trilingual, pizza spinning, gator wrestling, globe trotting, banjo plucking, banjo building, wild-assed Floridian from up North via Costa Rica has a new album headed your way. Warn the neighbors downstairs, cause it’s about to get loud and feet will be stomping!
The fight to preserve classic country and present it to a new generation of fans may just have become a lot easier. After 12 years off the air, the original TNN, “The Nashville Network” has just announced it is coming back this summer, and is committed to “true country music.” TNN ran for 17 years from 1983 to 2000 until Viacom morphed it into Spike, leaving many traditional and classic country fans underserved.
This Saturday, April 21st with be the 2012 installment of Record Store Day, the annual event started in 2007 to help the struggling independent record store. 2012 will go down as the year when country came busting through the Record Store Day scene with full representation, with so many projects being released taking stock of it all can be dizzying. So here is your 2012 Country Music Record Store Day Field Guide.
Today is the released date of Long Gone Daddy, an album Curb Records is releasing that contains outtakes from early in Hank Williams III’s career when he was under contract with the label. Most of the material on the album has been released previously. according to a press release released today by Allcorn, he had no more consent from Curb to release his song “This Ain’t Montgomery” than Hank3 did.
The war vs. pop influences and progress in country music, and the purity yearned for by the traditional elements of the genre is almost as old as the genre itself. In an attempt to power through the rhetoric, here is a cool-headed attempt to explain some of the differences between the traditional and mainstream mindsets.
Trampled by Turtles have flat out blown up on our asses, debuting videos on CMT and selling out theater shows, while still being true to their original approach. That’s what happens when you have good guys putting out great songs and great albums and developing a sound that is familiar enough that it’s easy to get comfortable and acquainted with.
Country music songwriting legend and original Outlaw Billy Joe Shaver will be releasing a loaded 20-song CD package with companion DVD called Live at Billy Bob’s Texas on July 17th, recorded in the “World’s Largest Honky Tonk”. This will be Shaver’s first album in five years. Billy Joe Shaver will be the 42nd artist to release a “Live at Billy Bob’s” album.
The day after Vince Gill surprised Keith Urban with an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry at his “All For The Hall” benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame, apparently Vince handed out another surprise invitation, this one to none other than the frontman and sole remaining founding member of Guns & Roses, Axl Rose.
Isn’t Arron Lewis bored yet and ready to return to butt rock? Apparently not, as he told The Tennessean late last week he’s planning to release a “very country” album in June. What does “very country” mean? If his previous song “Country Boy” is any indication, it will be songs with laundry list country lyrics, and that’s exactly what you get with his new single “Endless Summer”.
Scott McDougall from Portland, OR might be the last of the true Romantic-era troubadours: a bardic-like, almost fantasy character that arrives in town with a bass drum on his back and guitar in hand, and sets up at the local pub to sing songs, spin tales, slay lonesome moments, and save the spiritually repressed before whisking out of town like something out of a dream.
Today it was announced that a new statue of Willie Nelson will be erected in Austin, TX, commemorating the country music legend whose career now spans over 50 years. The statue will also officially be unveiled at 4:20 PM “as a nod to the country star’s reputation as a stoner.” Some may want to commemorate Willie Nelson’s “reputation as a stoner”, but I choose to remember him as so much more.
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