Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Saving Country Music’s 2017 Americana Music Awards LIVE blog. As the festivities stream live from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville (link below), we’ll tag along to leave observations, keep up with the winners, discuss the performances, and share what happened for those folks who missed it.
It has come to the point in country music history where we are giving certain songs, artists, and albums a pass, or even extra points, simply because they are more country than things that are not country at all. This is one of the unfortunate symptoms of the stretching of boundaries that has occurred through artists like Sam Hunt.
For those who thought that the news of long-time American Aquarium members Bill Corbin and Kevin McClain leaving the clan in April meant the end of American Aquarium, they don’t know the indomitable spirit of the founder, frontman, and principal songwriter of American Aquarium, BJ Barham.
Playing music isn’t always the glamours or adventurous profession it appears to be to many fans and observers on the outside, especially within the lean, meager levels of underground and independent realm. Some play music to fulfill their lifelong dreams, while others do it out of a necessity.
Where Chris Young once was one of the few remaining firewalls of true country influences in the mainstream, now he’s one of the catalysts for non country influences taking full control. As an R&B song I guess “Losing Sleep” works pretty well. But as a country song, it utterly fails—and from someone who you expect better from.
You may not know them personally, or maybe you do. Or maybe you even count yourself as one of them. But somewhere out there are swaths of country fans who swear off all that effeminate country crap from from folks like Sam Hunt and Luke Bryan, and swear they only like the real stuff. You know … like The Cadillac Three.
Yodeling is one of the great lost arts in modern country music. As much as country elements like the steel guitar and fiddle are under siege, yodeling is something even more endangered of going extinct if for no other reason than most modern country singers are just not skilled enough to do it.
For those who’ve been to a Turnpike Troubadours show over the last year or two, or were somehow otherwise tuned into the throwback country soul of Charley Crockett through his first few self-released records, they need not be assuaged to the idea that he could be the next big thing in roots music.
In simple musical skills, the talent of Lukas might even surpass that of his famous sire. Of course songwriting and style are a bit harder to tabulate, but Lukas is no slouch in these departments either. Yet nearly 10 years into the performing game now, and Lukas Nelson still feels like he’s attempting to find his footing.
I like the idea of Lindsay Ell. A badass guitar-slinging chick that can play her own leads and write her own songs is something that could really spice up the boring mainstream country music scene, and add a shot of adrenaline into the effort to give more women artists attention in the top reaches of the industry.
This troubling turn, which takes the concerning trend of the rabid consumerism embedded into the lyrics of today’s popular songs, and brings it to a point that can only be described as Objectophilia, which by definition, is a form of sexuality focused on inanimate objects as opposed to human beings.
70-year-old guys without super hits on their resume are not supposed to be as revered as Ray Wylie Hubbard is by his musical peers, or just hitting their stride creatively. But that is the strange, inverted, winding road Ray Wylie Hubbard has taken to christening himself a living legend in almost universal acceptance.
With headliners Eilen Jewell, Caleb Klauder Country Band, and Petunia and The Vipers, the event boasted their biggest attendance numbers to date, and proved that independent country and roots music is most certainly still alive on the West Coast.
33 String Drive, Bekkah McAlvage, Caleb Klauder, Creekside String Fiddlers, Eilen Jewell, Halden Wofford and the Hi Beams, Honey Don't, Jef Fretwell, Jimmy Pinwheel Band, Joy Mills Band, Miss Lonely Hearts, Petunia and The Vipers, Rainy and the Rattlesnakes, Reeb Willms, The Maybe Sometimes, The New Autonomous Folksingers
There is no need to mince words here or parse expectations. Alex Williams debut record Better Than Myself is traditional country music. And if it needs any qualifiers, it would be that it leans more toward the Outlaw style. There’s no compromise, no songs getting intro’d with a drum machine beat. It is true country music in every sense.
Like so many institutions of country music, the duo has been run asunder, bastardized, co-opted for corrupt corporate purposes, and the true nature of the art form virtually forgotten. But Porter Union is doing their best to resurrect the approach, in a sector of country music often overlooked, and arguably in the most need for rehabilitation.
The small yet mighty, meticulously-curated, and expertly-planned festival just outside of Portland, OR known as Pickathon continues to be the local festival with international implications in how talent presented at the festival is given the possibility to break out onto the national stage.
Billy Strings, Brent Cobb, Brett Resnick, Courtney Marie Andrews, Dori Freeman, Drive By Truckers, Hiss Golden Messenger, Kaia Kater, Kelsey Waldon, Luke Bell, Mandolin Orange, Matt Kinman, Patterson Hood, Pickathon, Sturgill Simpson
Just like Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers was playing and writing music for many years before he was ready to become a part of the national country music conversation. It was only after years of failure, perseverance, tempering in the fires of everyday life and dues paid on small stages that Tyler was ready.
“Nice Things” delves into the possessive nature of love in a bold effort that accentuates Guyton’s vocal strengths, and is stirred with Jerry Douglas-sounding rootsy dobro. Mickey Guyton resists the temptation to inflect her voice with urban annunciations and R&B styling that is all the rage in the mainstream country today.
Man did we need a good album from Joe Nichols. Mainstream country has been on a losing streak something fierce for 2017—barring a few exceptions—and when you have an artist like Joe Nichols, you need them to act like a bulkhead against adverse trends. It sucks when later in an artist’s career and after a […]
Koe Wetzel from Stephenville, TX has certainly been stirring up the chatter of both the positive and negative persuasion over the last few months after the release of the record Noise Complaint. A veritable young pup of the Texas music scene, he’s been vilified by some for immature lyrics, while being celebrated by the younger set.