32-year-old Owen Mays, known as the staunch country traditionalist of the underground country and roots movement, has died. Known for his blistering and honest songwriting, he reportedly passed away in his sleep in the early Wednesday morning hours (7-22). Owen was born and raised in south central Wisconsin in the small town of Cambria where he began playing guitar at the age of 16.
There’s been a Clint Black sighting! And there’s been a Clint Black signing! And now one of the lost artists of country music’s famed “Class of ’89” is back in the saddle, and one of the most forward-thinking and upwardly-rising record labels in Nashville have landed arguably their biggest fish yet.
Texas country artist Stoney LaRue was arrested for domestic abuse in Oklahoma City early Monday (7-20) after police received a 911 call from Stoney’s girlfriend. Stoney was arrested without incident, booked into the Oklahoma County Jail and was later released on bond.
We’ve seen some pretty dramatic arrest totals and other alarming stats at country music concerts and festivals over the last few years, but the arrest totals from the Jamboree in the Hills Country Music Festival in Belmont County, Ohio over the weekend have to set a new record. And once again alcohol was a factor in many of the incidents.
Okay all you Texas, Rocky Mountain, and West Coast Sturgill Simpson fans that were bitching you had no tour dates on the left side of the Mississippi, the Sturgill Simpson train is going to be coming your direction hard and heavy, so stretch out your ticket ordering fingers because he’s just announced a new slew of dates and many of the shows will be selling out fast.
The autopsy and toxicology report for artist manager Jon Hensley was released to the public on Friday (7-17) with an official cause of death determined to be “Asphyxia via Choking on Food Substance” and “Ethanol Andalprazolam Intoxication.” Jon Hensley died unexpectedly on June 1st in his home in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Luke Bryan has called Waylon Jennings’ widow Jessi Colter to apologize after he made comments characterizing Outlaw country artists as cocaine addicts “laying in the gutter, strung out on drugs.” Waylon’s son Shooter Jennings has also commented on the situation, saying, “It’s all flush in my book.”
You may not be comfortable with how exactly to define the quasi country, quasi-rock music that comes out of the Texas / Oklahoma region known as Red Dirt, but what you can be confident in is that it would never have come to life like it did without a man named Tom Skinner. Bass player, songwriter, and father of Red Dirt music Tom Skinner passed away Sunday evening, July 12th.
After the demo of “Too Late to Save The World” was played to the audience, the song received rousing applause and a standing ovation. “You may have just set a record Daryle Singletary,” Eddie Stubbs said. “That’s the first time we ever played a demo that got a standing ovation. True story. You know it’s one thing to sing a song live and get a standing ovation. But a demo…”
Now one of the members of Waylon’s extended family has spoken out about Luke’s initial words and his apology. Kathy Pinkerman Jennings, who is the wife of one of Waylon Jennings’ sons Buddy Jennings, spoke out about the matter via Facebook initially on July 10th, and the posted a video to YouTube late Saturday night. Despite some media reports, Kathy Jennings makes it clear she is not speaking for the family.
No matter what happens with country music in the mainstream, there will always be musicians that will pick up the cause of preserving country’s traditional modes and make sure they never die. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, it was the unlikely champion of punk musicians that rose to the occasion and started releasing old-school country albums and launching country side projects.
I’m not sure the relevant question anymore is “if,” but “when” Justin Timberlake will go country. And if some recent actions by the pop megastar are any indication, it might be sooner than later, and it might be with music that is not as mainstream oriented as one might think. On June 1st, it was announced that Justin Timberlake had paid $4 million for a 126-acre parcel in philanthropist Aubry Preston’s Lieper’s Fork community.
Amidst their 20th Anniversary as a band, Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers have announced they have signed to legendary punk label Alternative Tentacles, and will be releasing their first album in five years The Southern Surreal on September 11th. The news comes after the band resumed touring last year after calling it quits in November of 2012.
Alternative Tentacles, Billy Bob Thornton, Charlie Stamper, Duane Denison, Jello Biafra, Jessica Wilkes, Legendary Shack Shakers, Ralph Carney, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, The Dead Kennedys, The Dirt Daubers, The Southern Surreal
The first two weeks in June 2015 were some of the darkest moments the greater independent country world has experienced in quite some time. After Jon Hensley passed away on June 1st, so did Randy Howard and a newborn of Texas artist Randy Rogers on June 9th. Then just two days later, Jim Ed Brown died. It has made the month of June a time of deep sorrow, and July as a month to pay tribute.
A father of two is dead, and Seattle police are looking for the killer in an altercation that occurred right after the Kenny Chesney concert in Seattle at CenturyLink Field Saturday (6-27) night. According to witnesses, two men were seen fighting at around 9 p.m. near 5th Avenue and S. Weller Street in Seattle, and 31-year-old Benito “Benny” Enriquez suffered a head injury during the fight.
Announced Tuesday (6-23), Downtown Music Publishing has signed Sturgill Simpson to a worldwide publishing deal, according to Downtown’s Senior Vice President of Creative Services Jedd Katrancha. It not only includes any music Sturgill Simpson may release in the future, but also his back catalog of songs from his Thirty Tigers releases.
The summer is heating up, and so are the disturbing stories surrounding the behavior at mainstream country music concerts. In 2014, concert conduct became a big concern as statistics and specific stories flooded in as the summer rolled on, and 2015 is shaping up to be just as concerning, if not more. A suspect from Nevada County, California has been arrested in connection with a rape at a Brad Paisley concert.
After solving the mother of all First World problems, the United States Treasury has announced that pop superstar Taylor Swift will be the new face of the $10 bill. What cataclysmic upheaval did Taylor Swift stave off to be bestowed such distinctions? . . . The contentious and complex issue of whether music artists would be paid during a preliminary, 3-month trial period as part of Apple Music’s new streaming service.
Move over Michael Jackson. Patsy Cline is coming back too, and in the form of a holographic image according to Hologram USA and the singer’s estate. Patsy Cline will be the very first country legend to be revived in hologram form, and will be used in performances, commentary, and even participate in audience interaction.
Saving Country Music contacted the Green Bay Police Department and confirmed 22 arrests were made during the stadium show, but any more specific information on arrests, ejections, or medical responses was not immediately available. However one enterprising local reporter, Doug Schneider of the Green Bay Press Gazette decided to listen in to the police scanner during the concert and Tweet what he heard.