For many years there has been the need for a festival to cover the music that sits on the fringes of commercial country, yet serves a very dedicated and surprisingly large audience of country music fans. This is what Borda Productions saw when they decided to transition from a more mainstream-oriented country festival for 2017.
Part rockabilly maven, part honky tonk shit kicker, part heroin-era Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers revivalist, for going on 16 years now the moniker ‘Moot Davis’ has been synonymous with the top shelf of cool in the underground country and roots scene with those smart enough to know where to look to find the best stuff.
What sucks about “Doing It To Country Songs” is that there’s actually a lot of positives going on here, and it could have turned out to be something decent. But the innuendo here is worn out in the first 30 seconds, and the double entendres just don’t have the potency or levity to land a punch or crack a smile.
Not caring whether his music earns him any notoriety or financial gain is what gives an artist like Justin Dean Payne the power and latitude to explore the inner depths of his own soul like the deepest regions of a coal vein until a mother lode of the purest, most lucrative strains of human expression are discovered, and unearthed for the world’s benefit.
‘American Grandstand’ finds the current Queen of Bluegrass, and one of the greatest traditional country voices still around remaking classic old country music duets with their incredible collaborative beauty, taking you back to a time when the stars of country music were required to have voices that stirred the spirit instead of requiring technological enhancement.
There is a myth out there in the country music industry that only old people like old country music. And since old people are already stocked with their cadre of outdated CD’s, there’s no reason to court them with new music. Of course, this isn’t true on a number of levels.
Slaid Cleaves is one of those central Texas troubadours whose words and modes can be heard embedded in the music of some of the biggest acts in Texas music, Americana, and beyond due to the sheer potency of his craft. Slaid’s pen strokes are just too mighty for the mainstream; his stories too intimate and impactful for the widest ear…
“I’d Sing About You” is all steel guitar and fiddle set to a country shuffle to move your boots across the dance floor. And though the premise is a little silly, and maybe even a little list-like in its approach, it’s also very sweet and witty in that warm, folksy manner that you want from a good country song.
Hot damn if Lee Bains isn’t like a factory for punchy melodies served with angry, yet insightful expressionism that is strikingly relevant, resists the temptation to become invective, with the ultimate goal just as much to build up individuals as it is to tear down the institutions that inhibit them.
If you’re doggedly on the search for music that hearkens back to the Golden Age of country, and the songs and sounds of folks such as Hank Williams, Lefty Frizell, and Webb Pierce, The Country Side of Harmonica Sam is where your search parameters should begin and end.
Toby Keith has made a career out of being uncool, and making cool things uncool by his mere presence. And now he’s done it with marijuana. “Wacky Tobaccy” as a song has got nothing. The fact that it’s supposed to be a stupid song doesn’t let it off the hook for being a stupid song.
Sarah Jane Scouten, from British Columbia’s Bowen Island, was born into a household where she was exposed to the music of Hank Williams and Canadian folk singers such as Stan Rogers from an early age, and those influences have gone on to infer her strong roots-based style.
When it comes to neotraditional singing duos, The Secret Sisters are regarded at the very top of the discipline. However that hasn’t exactly won them the fame and comfort that is usually reserved for the esteemed and elite of a medium.
Both sides of Texas country are well-represented in upcoming artist John Baumann’s third official release, Proving Grounds. You don’t have to go digging for a bio on Baumann to find out what he’s all about, it’s all articulated right there in his songs.
Steve Earle isn’t just your average aging thinning-hair post-mainstream relevancy Americana dude who was kind of big in the 80’s. At 62-years-old, he’s probably the youngest guy who can legitimately claim honest ties to the original country music Outlaw movement of the 70’s.
It’s not just talent that sifts certain artists to the top of the heap of their discipline, it is timing. And Jason Isbell is one of the defining artists of our era because he is Southern, and enlightened, and can understand the perspective of the poor Southern man, as well as the faraway intellectual.
My life took a devastating and decidedly palpable turn for the worse when I cued up Shania Twain’s long-awaited new single, “Life’s About To Get Good.” Somewhere Robert “Mutt” Lange is cackling like the Wicked Witch of the West. Did someone pull a practical joke on Shania in the studio? Because this thing’s a stinker, and it’s all the fault of the production.
Apologies if you came here looking to replenish your 3rd generation iPod with a fresh platoon of booty shakers. That’s not what this practice is all about. Feel good songs are just fine and help fleet us through the tiresome days, but when we talk about the “Best Songs,” were talking about songs that deliver moments that can change entire lives.
For the last two years, it’s felt like a lull for projects that really set themselves apart and set the pace for creativity and cultural importance. 2017 is a different story. It feels like this has been a banner year already, with some of the year’s biggest projects still in the offing.
Those who’ve been waiting impatiently for a new Taylor Swift single finally have their wish. It just happens to be coming from Kelsea Ballerini. Many have considered Kelsea as the most obvious choice to replace Swift in country music since similarly to Taylor, there’s really nothing country about Kelsea.