Don’t expect this to be just another Marty Stuart release simply because it’s been two years or so since his last record. This could be his most expansive work since his concept record The Pilgrim. To record Way Out West, Marty Stuart employed Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers fame for the 15 tracks that include many originals…
Below you will find Saving Country Music’s 2016 Essential Albums List—this site’s most inclusive and complete list of recommended albums released in 2016. This year the list has been expanded to 60 albums, along with additional lists of positively-reviewed albums, and other albums that are currently on Saving Country Music’s radar.
2016 was a difficult year to be a traditional country music fan in many respects, and not just from the death of so many legends. In independent circles, it was a year of having to settle for albums prefaced with explanations of why the artist decided to move away from their country influences, even if it was just slightly, or just on a temporary basis.
For those who profess that it takes an army of songwriters, producers, programmers, and samples to make a hit record, let’s hold up George Michael’s ‘Faith’ as a prime example of why that mentality is folly, and the downfall of modern American anticlimactic pop music.
You certainly can find better bluegrass albums released in 2016, but it might be hard to find one more remarkable or historically significant. For generations now, the true devotees of the Grateful Dead have known that Jerry Garcia’s passion for bluegrass, old time, and country music was much more than some simple lark or a passing era in the legendary jam band’s lineage.
‘Twas the party before Christmas, when all through the home
One creature was dancing, on a truck covered with chrome;
The beer cans were stacked on the chimney with care,
In hopes that Luke Bryan soon would be there;
Merchandise sales are the manna of the independent music world. With no disrespect to the musical efforts of your favorite artist, you can boil them down to glorified T-shirt salespeople in the way the lion’s share of their profits come from the merch table. It’s what puts gas in their tank and food on their table, and allows them to make a respectable living.
You can put any concerns away that the historic Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, TX will either be razed or turned into a Karaoke Bar anytime soon. Randy Rogers of The Randy Rogers Band has purchased the property from the heirs of the founder and owner of the building, Kent Finlay, who passed away in 2015.
Deep breaths everybody, deep breaths. You can put your pitchforks away. Yes, The Randy Rogers Band will be playing in Washington D.C. for a function that runs parallel with the Presidential inauguration in February, but it is a long-running event that’s been held since 1953 by the Texas State Society.
It was either feast or famine for country singles in 2016. As the rigged singles system that almost guarantees #1 songs for any releases from big-named artists metastasized at radio—creating an incredible volume of singles hitting #1 for a solitary week before immediately falling off a precipice—if a song happened to not fit into that rigged system…
Andrew Dorff was the kind of mainstream country music songwriter Nashville needed more of—someone who wrote the sleeper hits of surprising depth and humanity compared to most radio singles, and the solid album cuts from mainstream artists you may otherwise write off.
New details have emerged in the bizarre scene that resulted in the husband of the late Jean Shepard being taken to the hospital with a stab wound, and two people found dead in the home he shared with the country music legend.
West Virginia is as good a place as any to find huddled masses of hard working folks who are constantly facing down hard times, or having to work jobs many of us would not wish on our worst enemies. Union Sound Treaty from Morgantown speaks to those burdens and fears better than most in their debut album called ‘Next Year.’