Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Saving Country Music’s 2016 Americana Music Awards LIVE blog! As the festivities stream live from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, we’ll tag along to leave our observations, keep up with the winners, discuss the performances, and share what happened for those folks who missed it.
AmericanaFest is one of the biggest annual gathering of the tribes on the roots music calendar, and the crown jewel is the Americana Awards on the Wednesday of the festival week. This year Saving Country Music showed up early to take in the rehearsal for the festivities taking place at the Mother Church of Country Music, the Ryman Auditorium.
With over 200 artists playing AmericanaFest this third week of September, it can be a little bit intimidating for the folks either looking to attend in person, or experience the gathering vicariously through various social channels and video streams. So here is a curated list of artists battle tested and approved by Saving Country Music.
AmericanaFest, Austin Lucas, Brent Cobb, Caitlyn Smith, Dori Freeman, Jason Eady, John Moreland, Lori McKenna, Luke Bell, Parker Millsap, Sammy Brue, Sarah Shook, Tami Neilson, The Secret Sisters, William Clark Green, Willie Watson
On the Bobby Bones Show Thursday (9-15) morning (listen at the bottom), Bobby spoke to Aaron Lewis after his recent blowup at pop country artists, and what did he do? Aaron backpeddled and admitted he was playing to the crowd. Then Bobby Bones finished his segment with Aaron Lewis on Thursday by bringing up Saving Country Music in a strange context.
“You have to always be conscious of the songs. I never want the songs to be too songwriterly or too clever,” Jason Aldean said in a recent interview. “I think you do have to make it, to some extent, black and white. The song has to say what it means and it means what it says. If you try to get too tricky with the lyrics, it gets confusing.
Modern music has so incredibly lost touch with what’s true and important about personal expression that most music listeners are left wondering if they’ll ever again hear music that touches them like their favorites did years before, or elicit a sense of wonder through the vehicle of soundscapes and story.
But this is the thing about Aaron Lewis and his anti-country stance: Normally this type of thing would solicit high praise from an outlet like Saving Country Music. And hey, I will give him credit for taking a stand. But Aaron Lewis, a dyed-in-the-wool rock gone country guy, is not the one to be delivering this message, I’m sorry.
She’s not doing it through slithering her way into pop country songwriting circles, or selling out with some big single that may impact country radio. She’s doing it by being her own badass self, and in a way that gives the music and entertainment industry no choice but to pay attention, and figure out how to apply her talents to whatever they’re doing.
Publicists for pop star Kelsea Ballerini and her label Black River Entertainment are fawning all over themselves this week for their “historic” achievement of getting the single “Peter Pan” to inhabit the #1 spot on both Billboard’s Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts simultaneously—the first time this has ever happened for a female.
This is the reason that it’s imperative that true country music fans, true blue collar Americans, and people of just general decency publicly distance from someone like Jason Aldean, and lump his music into some demeaning subgenre with terms like Bro-Country.
The reigning king of Americana music at the moment is arguably songwriter and performer Jason Isbell. But Jason Isbell will not be performing at Americana’s annual premier event every year—The Americana Music Conference, or AmericanaFest, that transpires September 20th through 25th in downtown Nashville.
The reason much of country music, bluegrass, blues, folk, and other older genres are referred to as “roots” is because these vital influences to American music are the building blocks for most or all of the music people enjoy today. Before there was rock and roll, and before there was hip-hop, roots music paved the way for all popular music genres.
After so many high profile defections from rock to country, you really can’t rule out anyone taking the country music plunge, especially after the incorrigible Steven Tyler made the move recently. But there is one who has made his opinions unflinchingly known to where little doubt is left that we won’t see him writing songs with Shane McAnally anytime soon.
In a society where everyone is aggressively on the lookout for reasons to be offended and to call out gross injustices that only exist because someone decides they should, guess whose fans are creating an internet furor because country music had the lily white audacity to snub her for an award she doesn’t deserve
The hip thing in 2016 for many big-named artists is to only make their music available on one specific streaming or download service, usually in a deal struck between the artist’s label or management and the streaming service in hopes of drawing more subscribers towards one service, or in many cases, away from another—specifically Spotify.
Even though large orchestrations or highly-choreographed choir sections are undoubtedly elements of overproduction, they are still by definition organic. There is still a human element to them, in both the performance and the arrangement. But comparing them to the electronic accoutrements of the day is poppycock.
‘Hell or High Water’ selected some really worthy roots artists to feature in the movie soundtrack, including country legends Waylon Jennings and Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Chris Stapleton, Scott H. Biram, and even up-and-comer Colter Wall.
When The Byrds played the Opry in 1968, they were heckled from the gallery of the Ryman Auditorium. Today it is a much different story. Pharrell Williams, Kiefer Sutherland, and even Chewbacca Mom have made appearances with not just the approval of the Opry management, but to ovations from the Opry crowd.
It’s not every day that you see the hero of what is expected to be a blockbuster movie wielding a stringed instrument as his weapon against evil, but that is the premise of the new animated film called Kubo and the Two Strings set to open August 19th in the United States. The 3D stop-motion animated feature film produced by Laika Entertainment is receiving stellar reviews.
The reason so many can make so much money on the secondary market is because there is way more demand than there is supply. And by performers not ramping up their supply and only playing one, or maybe two shows in a market that could potentially support four or five, they’re allowing the secondary market to thrive.