Welcome ladies and gentleman to the Saving Country Music LIVE blog from the 2012 Muddy Roots Festival! This will be a running timeline of pictures, observances, news, festival updates, and funny quips from the Muddy Roots site for festival goers and the folks that can’t make it and wish to live the experience vicariously.
I bet when you saw Bob Wayne’s name in the title of this article, you had some sort of immediate emotional reaction, didn’t you? You either thought, “That foul mouthed punk, I can’t even stand to see his ugly face,” and you blame him for perpetuating a perversion of country music. Or you said “Hell yeah.” Like him or not, Bob Wayne has arrived. One way you can tell this is by the polarization that precedes his name.
I’m probably a fool for trying to give advice to American Idol on how to right their ship. At this point, barking advice is about as helpful as saying, “I told you to look out for icebergs.” The cultural phenomenon that was American Idol in the early oughts is no longer. So what’s American Idol’s solution for next season? Pander even more to celebrity.
Like most of the overused song formulas employed by Music Row songwriters, the laundry list likely started with some good, creative, innovative tunes. But once something works, it is called upon again and again by Music Row until all creativity is spent and it becomes cliche. Such is the evolution (or devolution) of the country checklist song.
Dale Watson’s last album “The Sun Sessions” with its Johnny Cash-infused vibe came out in October of 2011 so you’d figure it’s about time for him to release some new material, and that’s exactly what he’ll do on Monday (8-27) when he debuts his new single “Daughter’s Wedding Song”; the first single from his upcoming album I Lie When I Drink due out in early 2013.
Old World’s Ocean puts The Calamity Cubes’ bevy of talents on glorious display. Excellent songwriting is conveyed through flawless vocal performances and inventive music. They say to make it in music today you need a distinct voice, and The Calamity Cubes have two of them; the deep, brooding baritone of Brook Blanche, and the whimsical, character-filled sighs of Joey Henry.
Texas country music legend James Hand will be releasing his brand new studio album Mighty Lonesome Man on October 16th. The 12-track album will include all original material, and contributions from an All-Star cast of Austin, TX’s country music talent. It will be released digitally, and on CD and vinyl. James Hand recorded the album this spring at Summit Street Studios in Austin, and has a busy year ahead of him.
We first learned about pop country’s Michael Jackson Montgomery over 1 1/2 years ago, when the pop country “mega-franchise” project he was a part of for a major Nashville record label pulled the plug on his manufactured music career. Well now he is ready to begin releasing the full studio versions of his songs and is starting today with what he calls “The perfect pop country song” called “Ice Cold Beer In A Pickup Truck”.
The Muddy Roots Festival is nigh upon us, and folks from all around the country and world will be making the trek to Cookeville, TN in a few days for the premier event for underground/independent roots music. This is all the info you need in one place, so print it out, bookmark it and pull it up on your phone during the fest, and most importantly, have fun!
Country Music legend Willie Nelson spent Sunday night in a Denver area hospital after complaining of breathing problems due to Emphysema and the high altitude. According to KVET 98.1 in Austin, Willie Nelson is feeling better this morning and planning to head back to Texas today. Nelson has a show scheduled at the Dallas House of Blues for Tuesday (8-21), but no word if he will be playing the show or not.
50% of Americans may not be able to correctly identify that Saskatchewan is a part of Canada, or comprehend that Canadians are technically Americans too, but if one of your friends has been exposed to Canadian country singer Corb Lund’s music and scoffs it off as something too foreign for their ears, you may want to seriously consider a renouncement of said friend’s country music citizenship.
Fake country music “Outlaw” Justin Moore has been served papers for a copyright infringement lawsuit stemming from his 2009 laundry list song “Backwoods” released on his debut self-titled album. Also named in the suit is the Country Music Anti-Christ Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records label who released the song.
The hints of what Taylor Swift had in store for her new album were subtle, but seemed to be leaning towards a maturing of her music. She talked openly about how her next album would be a “darker” album. And then she premiered the first single from the album “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and even the most devout Taylor Swift apologists were reminded very starkly that Taylor Swift is just a pop star.
After 50 years of service to country music, the 80-year-old George Jones has just announced that in 2013, he will be going on his final tour. “The Grand Tour” as it is being billed will begin in 2013, and include 60 dates. At this time, no dates or cities have been announced. “The Grand Tour” was also an album and song Jones released in 1974.
Try telling Blackberry Smoke that genres don’t matter in modern music. In many ways they don’t, and in many ways they are absolutely the most important thing. Blackberry Smoke may be a prime example of why. Many modern Southern rock bands focus too much on force to drive home the Southern rock vibe. I was surprised at how little hard-driving songs there were on this album, and how much attention was paid to lyrics.
What a banner year it has been for bad songs in country music. After 2011’s “Red Solo Cup” by Toby Keith and Jason Aldean’s country/rap “Dirt Road Anthem” the bar has been raised for how low you must go to get attention for your twilighting music career. Put a clothesline clip on your nose, a paper bag on your knee, and dive in…if you dare.
There’s so much music these days vying for everyone’s attention, it is almost imperative that you employ some sort of “bit” to get noticed: a distinctive singing style, a blending of genres, humor, irony, etc. How about just sincerity in craft, and good songwriting? Why can’t that get noticed too? After all, in music these days, that’s pretty rare itself, and those attributes are what Andy Vaughan puts into play in Searching For The Song.
Alright, so we’ve all now had our yucks over this story of a naked Randy Travis being arrested, and I am certainly not above guilt, but I am seeing some fairly alarming rhetoric surrounding this story that I feel is unhealthy to the country music environment. The details of the story may be funny, but the incident is not. Celebrity or no, Randy Travis is a human being who is clearly going through a moment of crisis in his life.
What is the cause of all of Randy’s recent erratic behavior? One expert says it can be linked to the silver wings that have recently sprouted from the side of Randy’s head. “Paulie Walnuts syndrome is what some like to call it, named after the famous Sopranos TV character known for being especially ruthless and having ‘silver wings’ in his hair.”
The thing I am most thankful for when it comes to Pickathon is that in this age of music and cultural mypoia, where technology and media that intuitively should give us access and awareness to so much more seem to instead be fueling the narrowing of the music reality tunnel, Pickathon works to erode music myopia by filtering off the cream of many different scenes and styles of music and offering them all in one place.
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