Bill Keith many be known by just as many people by the name “Brad” Keith because of the nine months he spent as a member of Bill Monroe’s illustrious Bluegrass Boys in 1963. Though it was a very short stint in Bill Monroe history, the result was some of the most iconic, groundbreaking, and beloved bluegrass banjo recordings ever captured, regularly prefaced by Bill Monroe introducing “Mr. Brad Keith” on the banjo.
Lost among country music’s great concept albums was the 1999 offering from Marty called “The Pilgrim” released 15 years ago today. A commercial flop that was poorly-promoted but well-received by all the critics who happened to receive a copy, The Pilgrim produced no singles and no awards, but it wasn’t meant to. This was Marty Stuart flexing his creative muscles…
Barry Beckett, Earl Scruggs, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Hank Williams III, Johnny Cash, Marty Stuart, Mike Campbell, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Pam Tillis, Ralph Stanley, Review, Stuart Duncan, Sturgill Simpson, the Pilgrim, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson
The fight for the purity of country music is almost as old as the genre itself. The conflict between pop and traditionalism, and the fight for creative control for artists runs like a thread throughout country music’s history, defining it as much as the twang of a Telecaster, or the moan of a steel guitar. Here are some of the most iconic images of country music revolution, and the stories behind them.
Andy Gibson, Bill Monroe, Billy Joe Shaver, Buck Owens, burning envelope, Charlie Rich, Dripping Springs Reunion, Earl Scruggs, flipping the bird, Hank3, Hillbilly Central, Joe Buck, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, middle finger, Reinstate Hank, Roger Miller, The Grand Ole Opry, Tompall Glaser, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Wednesday night (9-12-2012) country music’s mother church The Ryman Auditorium was alive with the sounds of The 2012 Americana Music Awards that saw an always talented, eclectic (and sometimes confusing) flock of musicians, songwriters, and performers amass to give credit to the best and brightest of the year.
Alabama Pines, Alabama Shakes, Bonnie Raitt, Booker T Jones, Buddy Miller, Cary Ann Hearst, David Hood, David Rawlings, Deep Dark Woods, Doc Watson, Don Was, Drive By Truckers, Earl Scruggs, Gillian Welch, Hayes Carll, Jason Isbell, Jim Lauderdale, John Hiatt, Levon Helm, Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Patterson Hood, Richard Thompson, Scott Borchetta, Shovels and Rope, The Band, The Civil Wars, Traci Thomas
Country music’s complicit and overly submissive posture towards Lionel Ritchie has been nothing short of miraculous. But the truth of the matter is that Lionel Ritchie isn’t using country music, country music is using Lionel Ritchie. Just like Jason Aldean said to CMT, country music needs to erase “negative stereotypes” that country music is, well, indeed country.
Ralph Mooney was the best steel guitar player ever. Period. End of story. And anybody who disagrees with me, I will come to where you are and personally kick your ass. And beyond the steel guitar, he was one of the most important and most influential musicians in country music history. Top 5. Maybe even top 3. Hell, right now I can’t even think of one I would put above him. Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs? Yeah, I would include him in that company.