If songwriting is storytelling set to song, then one must look to a musician’s wishing well of history to see the experience from which they draw from. For Chris Roberts, that well is deep and pure with an undeniable passion for music. Few artists can lay claim to have been born in the Deep South delta blues, grown up in the Wild West of Montana, stood in front of Broadway’s bright lights in New York . . .
Maddie & Tae have become the perfect foil to today’s male country stars. They’re like the Minnie Pearl of country music’s Millennial generation. Staunch traditionalists are never going to give Maddie & Tae a serious chance, but that doesn’t mean their music (and “Shut Up and Fish”) doesn’t symbolize a wholesale reversal of course for what we’re used to the mainstream serving.
Going back to what the Supersuckers do best, which is come out kicking with a shit eating grin, and then hitting you in between the eyes with something meaningful when you least expect it, this raucous group sets you right about what is real and raw about country punk roots. In a rather pedestrian year for music that has included some high-profile letdowns, Holdin’ The Bag holds up to the legacy they started nearly 20 years ago.
At this point, Toby Keith is a relic. What talent he had was questionable to begin with, and he hasn’t ever really evolved for there. Time has passed Toby Keith by, and he doesn’t have the fluidity or desire to change with the times, or the quality it takes to be considered classic. But this album is far from the problem.
Like so many of these contestants, not much has come of Jake Worthington in regards to industry success after his finale appearance in May of 2014, but he has just released a new EP. Settling somewhere between John Anderson and George Strait, this five-song offering is a straight-laced true country testament from start to finish that leaves little to no doubt where the heart of the young Jake Worthington lies.
American Idol, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, Craig Wayne Boyd, George Strait, Jake Worthington, John Anderson, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, Review, Scotty McCreery, Sturgill Simpson, The Voice, Wayne Mills
How cool is it to have a father and a son in the same band? There’s a beer league factor to the Electric Rag Band, and not in a bad way. They make music when they can, how they can, and for the right reasons. And they’ve been doing it for quite a while now. Formed in 1994, their new record My Side accounts for their sixth release.
It’s nauseating enough when horrifically average people are given extraordinary opportunities. It’s even worse when extraordinarily below average people do things that are horrifically opportunistic. This is what you have with much of today’s popular country music, and specifically with Chris Janson and his stupid new single “Power of Positive Drinkin'”.
Though some may consider Tim McGraw soaring in such high thermals that it’s sacrilege for him to be singing about scraping the bottom and setting out to fulfill your dreams in country music, but that’s exactly what McGraw did on May 10th, 1989 when he boarded a Greyhound bus bound for Nashville—the day after his country music hero Keith Whitley died.
Angry, subversive, pointed, and powerful, the eighth album from one of the few performers left who can call themselves Red Dirt and nobody will cry foul is a lot to digest, and hard to leave behind. Squelch is what Jason Boland and his backing band The Stragglers chose to name this work, which is the same name given to the knob that truckers use to eliminate the static and idle chatter.
Quietly, stealthily, some of country music’s major labels are starting to retool with very young, and very country performing talent. Whether they’re hedging their bets, or hoping for a hard country resurgence, Mo Pitney is not just an anomaly anymore, he is one of a number of traditional-leaning performers being groomed for what may be the next big movement in country after the current R&B disco craze invariably crashes.
‘Things That Can’t Be Undone’ is one of those albums you ultimately enjoy, but you may have initial reservations about, or maybe even concerns over, or downright complaints about for some listeners because it is full of unexpected curve balls. This album is not like anything Corb has ever released before. Pairing up with Corb is producer extraordinaire and the man of the hour in Americana Dave Cobb.
If there’s any silver lining to the dark, ominous clouds hanging like a low ceiling over country music’s female population, it’s that faced with the reality of their songs systematically failing at radio, they’re inadvertently bestowed the freedom to do whatever the hell they want without having to worry about the radio ramifications.
Joe Nichols is fed up with all of the country music that doesn’t sound country and says the same things over and over dammit, and he’s aiming to do something about it. You know . . . like release a song that references the same things all the others songs he’s complaining about do.
Announced today in press release fashion, the 49th Annual, 2015 CMA Awards will be opened by newly-signed NASH Icon recording artist Hank Williams Jr. singing Waylon’s interpretation of Neil Young’s “Are You Ready For the Country?” first released on an album of the same name by Waylon in 1976. Hank Jr. will be joined by Eric Church in the rendition.
Are You Ready for the Country, Chris Stapleton, CMA Awards, Eric Church, Hank Williams Jr., Kacey Musgraves, Lee Ann Womack, Maddie & Tae, Meghan Trainor, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, NASH, NASH Icon, Neil Young, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
The only thing good that could come from Charles Kelley releasing solo material is that it hints that maybe Lady Antebellum is on the rocks. And since the word is that this is not the case and the band is just taking a short hiatus, not even this can be celebrated as a positive development.
Who knows what goes into deciding what bands and artists launch into the stratosphere. and which ones are destined to slag it out on a slow build spending umpteen hours in a smelly tour van. All I know is I’ve seen Mike and the Moonpies get name checked by Sturgill Simpson and open for the Turnpike Troubadours on numerous occasions, and never did their music strike me as second class.
The stereotypical observation about the classic side of the country music divide is that classic fans only like music because it’s old and sounds old, and only hate the new music of today because it sounds new. But the truth of the matter is country music’s past has plenty of bad music, eras marked by disappointment and poor trends, and songs and artists that time has not been very kind to.
“Head Over Boots” is not a great song, but it’s country, and it’s Jon Pardi, and it suits the ears just fine. The key for Pardi and Laird was to put something together that was positive in nature, but still native to Pardi’s sound, and something still traditional enough to delineate Pardi from radio peers. So they headed to the dance halls of Texas for inspiration.
The hubris, the insult of calling Tangled Up “country,” the effrontery to the institution and the brazenness of the act are unparalleled, and start country music down a brambled path towards a terrible demise where it can’t define its own borders or distinguish itself from the rest of American music. For the first time, we ask the question, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” and cannot give ourselves a reassuring answer.
It’s the combination of Strickland’s songwriting, and his amazing North Carolina-bred country voice that give you that tingle only true country music knows how to evoke. His frequent collaborator Gary Braddy also pens some of this album’s best songs, while the ‘B’ Sides continue to be one of the coolest backing bands in country music.