Unless you were stuck on an island recently, I’m sure the article called “10 Lamest Americana Acts” by the once prestigious, and now click-hungry newsweekly alternative known as L.A. Weekly passed under your nose. Here are the 10 artists presented by L.A. Weekly and in the same order, but filling in the positives and counterpoints left out of their piece.
So apparently Americana and some of its top artists aren’t above criticism by a major media outlet. This is what the independent country and Americana communities had to face down on Friday (3-31) when an author by the name of Jonny Whiteside writing for L.A. Weekly published an article slamming some of Americana’s elite.
10 Lamest Americana Acts, Devil Makes Three, Don Maddox, Gillian Welch, Jack Grelle, James Intveld, Jason Boland, Jason Isbell, Jonny Whiteside, LA Weekly, Lucinda Williams, Maddox Brothers and Rose, Red Simpson, Robert Ellis, Rose Maddox, Sam Outlaw, Shovels & Rope, Wayne 'The Train' Hancock
Forget all the sappy relationship stuff, and how it happened and where it might lead. Miranda Lambert ditching Blake Shelton and ending up with Anderson East might be the perfect illustration of the drastic role reversal 2015 has ushered in throughout the greater country music realm, and how 2016 could be poised to completely turn everything upside down.
Aaron Watson, Adam Hood, Anderson East, Ashley Monroe, Blackberry Smoke, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb, David Rawlings, Fred Eaglesmith, Gillian Welch, Holly Williams, Jason Isbell, John Prine, Miranda Lambert, Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, Sturgill Simpson, Zac Brown
It was all doom and gloom and teary-eyed salutations when Dr. Ralph Stanley announced in June of 2013 that he would be embarking on his farewell tour in late 2013 into 2014. Since then Stanley has continued to tour with no signs of slowing down, despite now being 87-years-old. Now Dr. Stanley has a new album in the works.
Buddy Miller, David Rawlings, Del McCoury, Dierks Bentley, Elvis Costello, Gillian Welch, Jim Lauderdale, Josh Turner, Lee Ann Womack, Man of Constant Sorrow, Nathan Stanley, Old Crow Medicine Show, Ralph Stanley, Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow, Retirement, Ricky Skaggs, Robert Plant
Every Justin Townes Earle album cover has featured Earle himself and a pretty woman somewhere in close vicinity to him, and just exactly who these pretty women are is part of the fun and mystery. But Justin Townes Earle broke from this tradition on his latest record “Single Mothers” and put someone else on the cover instead of himself. Or did he?
Amanda Isbell, Amanda Shires, Asleep at the Wheel, Bob Wills, Gillian Welch, Hayes Carll, Jason Isbell, John Moreland, Joshua Black Wilkins, Justin Townes Earle, Lukas Nelson, Sammy Brue, Single Mothers, Steve Earle, the cover of Justin Townes Earle's Single Mothers
On paper, nothing about this album should work. You can’t take one guy, and one guy only, no overdubs or band, just acoustic instruments and a cued mic and call it good. Not to mention that this is an album entirely consisting of covers and traditionals. So yeah, this isn’t Billy Bragg or Charlie Parr. I’m sorry, but that’s just not enough to hold the listener’s ear for an entire album. Or is it?
In February it was announced that the the era-defining album “Wrecking Ball” released in 1995 by Emmylou Harris was getting the reissue treatment, with a remastering of the original album, a new disc of demos and outtakes, and a DVD delving into the making of the album, all set to be released on April 8th. You may wonder why this was the album picked out of the choir for a reissue, and why now.
Oh you poor little non-SXSW goers, you’re social network feeds are about to get positively inundated with South By Southwest information, riddling your psyche with scores of free music events you’re unfortunately missing out on, resulting in an experience for you somewhere between the teasings of a cruel temptress, and Chinese water torture. Here’s a list of artists that all happen to be attending SXSW…
Andrew Combs, Caitlin Rose, David Rawlings, Gillian Welch, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jeremy Fetzer, John Fullbright, Lydia Loveless, Old Crow Medicine Show, Possessed by Paul James, Robbie Fulks, Robert Ellis, Shakey Graves, South by Southwest, Spencer Cullum, Steelism, Sturgill Simpson, SXSW, Townes Van Zandt, Turnpike Troubadours, Willie Watson
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
Though Americana may be a less-institutionalized and much smaller genre that tends to have better music and promote artists that are easier to respect, sometimes it can seem almost as exclusive as Music Row. So here is a list of artists that even considering Americana’s heavy requirements, could make it big and improve the Americana world if only given a chance.
So here it is, the list of albums Saving Country Music deems essential for 2011 listening. Please note this list only includes albums that have been reviewed so far. And as always, your feedback is encouraged. What are your essential albums? What did we miss? What was released in 2011 that deserves a review?
Bob Wayne, Coday Canada, Eilen Jewell, Gillian Welch, Hank3, Husky Burnette, Jason Boland, Jimbo Mathus, Larry & His Flask, Little Lisa Dixie, Lone Wolf, Lonesome Wyatt, Lucky Tubb, Lydia Loveless, Nick 13, Olds Sleeper, Rachel Brooke, Scott H. Biram, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Sunday Valley, The Damn Quails, The Dirt Daubers, The Goddamn Gallows, Tom Waits, Ugly Valley Boys, William Elliot Whitmore, Willy Tea Taylor
Once again I sit down to review an album originating on Music Row, which means some will have an immediate negative reactionary response about why their little Saving Country Music is selling out for a pop country star, while others will come to sing the praises of how Miranda Lambert is the one to save country music.
As the name implies, Field Songs evokes the rhythms and weary textures of labor. He trances you into feeling the theme of the music by employing the chants, the rhythms men have hummed as they toiled away since the invention of work to ease the burden and boredom. That rhythm is what ties this album to an inherent, universal language of the human condition and prickles the soul.
One of the standouts in 2011 so far has been Bloomington, Indiana-based singer/songwriter Austin Lucas, and his album A New Home in the Old World. He sat down with me for about a hour to discuss his experience on the Country Throwdown and touring with Willie Nelson, how he got into country, and how his goals are measured and focused on the art of songwriting first, above his own popularity.
I firmly believe that one of the problems with modern music is that there’s too much of it. So to see Gillian Welch wait 7 years to put out an album, is refreshing, and wise. But time and patience don’t guarantee a good album. What does is excellent songwriting, and that is exactly what Gillian delivers in The Harrow & The Harvest.
Well, we’ve just about reached the half way point of 2011, and let me level with you folks, so far this has been a down year for music. Yes, there’s been a few good projects and some surprises as well, but generally speaking it’s been pretty bleak compared to 2010, which was such a bumper year for music.
Austin Lucas, Caitlin Rose, Gillian Welch, Hellbound Glory, Jimbo Mathus, Left Lane Cruiser, Little Lisa Dixie, Lone Wolf, Pokey LaFarge, Rachel Brooke, Scott H. Biram, Shooter Jennings, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Ted Russell Kamp, Wanda Jackson, William Elliot Whitmore
On Oct. 20th, Hank III granted a rare interview with Outlaw Radio Chicago and let slide quite a few tidbits of interesting information, including that he wants to tour Canada and Japan again soon, and he talked at length about his upcoming album, which we now know is going to be entitled The Rebel Within, […]