Written by Johnson and Dan Couch somewhere around 2004 or 2005, “You Can” was kept on the sidelines as Jamey’s major releases The Dollar, That Lonesome Song, and The Guitar Song came out, never making the final cut. But now that Johnson is out from under the thumb of the industry, if he wants to randomly release a single on a cold day in February, he can. Whether it suits his best interests or not.
Blackberry Smoke comes rip rearing out of Atlanta, GA with their asses on fire, delivering this power packed, rockin’, country-fried brand new offering called ‘Holding All The Roses’ that doesn’t let up, doesn’t give in, and keeps spitting out flavorful hooks, delicious riffs, and infectious grooves one after another, all adding up to one hell of a good time worthy of immediate repeat.
The music epicenters of Muscle Shoals, AL and Lubbock, TX find their native son and daughter melding their respective talent offerings into a tempest of love and emotive expressions in this two-song, surprise release called Sea Songs. Maybe as a stop gap from both halves of this super couple as we all endure through the dark moments between proper LP releases, this 2-sided single satiates the belly…
Welcome ladies and gentlemen as we join together as disenfranchised music fans to commiserate, contemplate, and at times downright mock the spectacle that will transpire in front of our very eyes at the 57th Grammy Awards, while not completely dismissing the idea of giving credit when something of merit occurs, or recognizing someone worthy of recognition when they actually get recognized.
Hear ye hear ye all you old farts, all of you jackasses, all of you oldies who fall under Blake Shelton’s ire for only wanting to listen to grandpa’s music. Jim Ed Brown, the country music legend and Grand Ole Opry icon, known fondly for much of his career as a member of the family band The Browns, has released his first solo record in over 40 years, and he beat lung Cancer to do it.
2015 just might be the year of American Aquarium, or that’s at least the popular sentiment being kicked around in certain circles. Written and recorded after a long hiatus between releases, American Aquarium took their time with this one, letting the songs maturate, and allowing a stylistic shift in their sound to emerge, something that would hopefully get them over that hump.
Told from the perspective of a young girl facing the emotional toll rendered from listening to mommy and daddy fighting, “Little Toy Guns” puts the listener in a place most any human from an American family has found themselves in, yet we seem to be unable to extricate ourselves from replicating this same foolish and unfortunate behavior with our own families as adults.
Like many of the leathered-skinned, sand-blasted, sullen and desperate characters which populate his stories, Slackeye Slim seems more apparition than man, shifting in and out of the material consciousness, showing up when you least expect him, and disappearing for years at a time in between. “Giving My Bones to the Western Lands” is delightfully ambiguous, ethereal, and sparse in its articulated concepts.
When Lee Ann Womack set out to construct her 2014 album The Way I’m Livin’, she went looking for songs that weren’t written by committee as is the norm in Nashville these days, but songs that originated from one person going through a human experience who then shared that experience through song. Such a search if it was to be thorough and prudent would almost invariably involve Chris Knight.
Whether you’re looking for some new music involving country music Canadian throwback Daniel Romano since it’s been exactly three years since his last release, or if you’re looking for a new name that embodies that classic country sound and style from the Golden Era that has been so lost and overlooked in the current country music malaise, this little four-song EP from Kay Berkel will be right down your alley.
Fear and Saturday Night might be Bingham’s best album yet. This is an album of all peaks and no valleys. As the perfect experience for the classic rock buff hiding in every country and Americana fan, Bingham scrapes the grime off the sweaty denim of 70’s Stones and douses it with a little Dylan poetry set to grooves left in the residue of a Faces studio session and articulated with riffs that awaken the spirit of a freer time.
Why in the world as the proprietor of a country music outlet am I being tasked once again to talk about this guy? I know what some of you are going to say. “Well Trig, just ignore him!” As if I close my eyes and pretend he’s not there he will magically go away. I only wish. But instead Sam Hunt is not only very much real and in the flesh, and firmly ensconced now as a mainstream country music performer.
Looking like a hippy, writing like an Outlaw, sounding like a Texas country stalwart, and touring like there’s no tomorrow, the name Cody Jinks belongs smack dab in the mix when you’re speculating on who is the best and the brightest in the current crop of insurgent country songwriters. “Adobe Sessions” is a really solid album, and one that some are saying marks an early entry for Album of the Year.
See, this is why we’re fans of music. Because there’s something about the perseverance of the human spirit wrapped in every single piece of audio material, and every single album, regardless of how good it is. We have artists that we follow, that we’re fans of, not just because they do things that seem esoteric, but because they’re human and apt to fail.
“Better Than You Left Me” gets most all of the textures right—the steel guitar, the waltz beat, the swaying back and forth that jars loose the emotions from the heart and sends them racing through the blood stream. It’s pop country, but like Patsy Cline was pop country. Sure I’d love a little bit more dirt thrown on it or for her vocal performance to be a bit more subdued, but it’s more than a start.
What gives Zac Brown Band a lot more creative latitude with their music is the fact that they’re honest about not really being country. We’re all music fans first, and then our loyalties split down the lines of various genres. If only more artists were honest about their intentions, it would give us the opportunity to enjoy the music more. Zac Brown Band is a Southern rock band…
One of the last remaining bands that still holds onto that spirit that revitalized Lower Broadway and still plays there on a regular basis is Hillbilly Casino. Nearing their 10-year anniversary, the band that can regularly be seen playing Layla’s Bluegrass Inn has released a live album recorded at the Exit Inn called “Live in the USA.” I spoke to the Hillbilly Casino bass player Geoff Firebaugh about the album and Lower Broadway.
“Going Out Like That” is not just another single. It symbolizes the very first song from the NASH Icon enterprise pairing Big Machine Records with Cumulus Media in an effort to revitalize overlooked legacy artists, and the first single from Reba McEntire in nearly four years. As the precursor to a planned 2015 album release, the single also may give us a glimpse into what we can expect from a revamped Reba.
This isn’t going to be some long form praising of Sturgill Simpson’s work in 2014, or yet another rundown of his long list of successes last year. There’s already been plenty of that, arguably too much of it, and I am just as tired of writing about it as you are of reading of it. Yeah yeah, Sturgill Simpson’s great, but his name has become the independent country version of click bait.
Boyd’s “My Baby’s Got A Smile On Her Face” became only the second single to debut at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart ever. The other #1 debut was Garth Brooks’ “More Than A Memory” from 2007. This development had the media going crazy, ready to annoint Craig as the genre’s next superstar. this week it has completely dropped out of the Top 25. Poof, it’s gone. Sales of the song dropped a whopping 94%.
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