Each year when Saving Country Music sits down to compile the best songs, it’s done so with a solemn reverence and understanding that the idea embedded in a song has the power to change a life, and change the world. There are many songs out there that are a joy to listen to, but a Song of the Year must say something that can evoke shivers, and do so in a way nobody else has done before.
In September of 2012, Blake Judd of JuddFilms brought a camera crew to the famous Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, TN to shoot a pilot episode for a television series that has never been aired. The idea was to take well-known established artists, worthy undiscovered musicians and songwriters, and stick them all in Johnny Cash’s legendary cabin with an open bar, and set the camera’s rolling.
Amanda Isbell Shires, Col, Hellbound Glory, Jason Isbell, JD Wilkes, Jessica Wilkes, Joey Allcorn, John Anderson, John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Judd Films, Kellie Pickler, Leon Virgil Bowers, Leroy Powell, Leroy Virgil, Rico, Scott Icenogle, Shooter Jennings, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Cash Cabin Studio, The Midnight Special
Hellbound Glory, the raucous Reno, Nevada-based country band is no more, and the band’s long-time frontman and songwriter has taken on a new moniker. The band had the internet buzzing on October 1st when they announced that Hellbound Glory would be killed off. “31 more nights… till the death of Hellbound Glory” the band stated, leaving fans of the resurgent country outfit wondering what the hell would be happening next.
Ever since October 1st when Reno, Nevada-based country outfit Hellbound Glory posted on their Facebook page “31 more nights… till the death of Hellbound Glory…” speculation has run rampant about what might befall the band on All Hallows’ Eve as it fastly approaches. Subsequently Hellbound Glory has booked a concert they’re advertising by saying “Witness The Death of Hellbound Glory.”
Compared to albums, making picks of songs is such a tough, arbitrary business. This year seems especially tough, not because the field isn’t strong, but because many of the best moments are coming from unlikely sources, including a cadre of cover songs that despite the spirit of the “Best Songs” approach being about original compositions, seem almost criminal to omit.
Bob Wayne, Dierks Bentley, Don Williams, Eric Church, First Aid Kit, Hellbound Glory, I'll Be Here In The Morning, Jason Eady, John Fullbright, Karen Jonas, Kirsty Lee Akers, Leroy Virgil, Liberty Bell, Lonely Island, Matt Woods, Melody Williamson, Miranda Lambert, Parker Milsap, Red Eye Gravy, Streets of Aberdeen, Sturgill Simpson, Take Me Back, The Promise, The Secret Sisters, The Wall, There's No Country Here, Turtles All the Way Down, Willie Nelson, Willie Watson, Zoe Muth
As for the music, the Red Fest lineup was built on good intentions. Big names like Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw, Kellie Pickler, and Lynyrd Skynyrd were billed alongside lesser-known bands from the local and national landscape like Hellbound Glory, The Whiskey Sisters, and Bri Bagwell. Instead of segregating independent and mainstream music, integrating it.
Bri Bagwell, Colt Ford, Earl Dibbles Jr., Florida Georgia Line, Granger Smith, Hellbound Glory, Imagine Dragons, Jeff Foxworthy, Kellie Pickler, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Parmalee, Red Fest, Review, Sundy Best, The Derailers, The Whiskey Sisters, Tim McGraw
Sturgill Simpson has arrived ladies & gentlemen, thanks to the resounding critical success of his new album Metamodern Sounds of Country Music that has permeated just about every corner of the independent roots music culture. From NPR, to The New York Times, to important periodicals in Europe, wherever you turn, someone is singing the praises of the Kentucky native.
Reno’s Hellbound Glory has just released a new 5-song EP called LV, named for the initials of lead singer and songwriter Leroy Virgil. The album was recorded in and partially inspired by Leroy’s hometown of Aberdeen, Washington, and marks the first new music from Leroy and Hellbound Glory in nearly three years. On the occasion of the new release I gave Leroy a call…
Brand new, long-anticipated music from Reno, Nevada’s Hellbound Glory is finally on its way in the form of a brand new EP scheduled for release on May 13th called LV. It is exclusively a digital release, and is the first new music aside from a few individual singles since the band released its last full-length Damaged Goods in November of 2011.
The greatest album, and the greatest recorded song will never be able to trump the truly live musical experience where music is shared in real time with both the artist and listeners. It is in this spirit that each year I assemble a list of the Best Live Performances to reinforce that as technology and the busying of life incrementally encroach upon us, we must remember that the live music show deserves its own attention and reverence.
.357 String Band, 2013, American Aquarium, Andrew Bird, Austin City Limits, Best Live Performances, Bob Wayne, Dirty River Boys, Eric Church, Gruene Hall, Hellbound Glory, James Hunnicutt, Jared McGovern, Jason Eady, Jason Isbell, Jayke Orvis, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Lincoln Durham, Liz Sloan, Patsy Cline, Pickathon, Punch Brothers, Red 11, The Crooks, The Mavericks, The White Horse, Tift Merritt, Turnpike Troubadours, Valerie June, XSXSW
You won’t see Reno, Nevada’s Hellbound Glory at the top of anyone’s ‘Best Of’ lists this year, unless it relates to touring or live performances. Leroy Virgil & the boys didn’t leave much time for recording and releasing albums in 2013; they were too busy ripping off one of the toughest, busiest, and arguably the most notable touring schedules in 2013 from an independent country act.
I then thought about how he had left me in stewardship of his old guitar, an instrument that, from my perspective, already has provenance and should rightly wind up in a museum one day. I decided that, to honor that trust he had in me, I would continue to add to the instrument’s already storied life by doing a running portrait series of every musician that plays his old guitar.
Billy Don BUrns, Django Reinhardt, Filthy Still, Hellbound Glory, Husky Burnette, James Hunnicutt, Jared McGovern, JB Beverley, Leroy Virgil, Leroy Virgil's guitar, Liz Sloan, Lone Wolf, Mike Fiedler, Olds Sleeper, Phillip Roebuck, Shore Road Tavern, Stevie Tombstone, Ten Foot Polecats, The Calamity Cubes
On March 21st, Hellbound Glory descended up on the city of Memphis, Tennessee and the renown FexEx Forum in support of Kid Rock and the Rebel Soul tour. With much respect to the city’s musical heritage (and a visit the day before), the band laid into a blistering 30 minute set, putting into motion a series of events that only time a whiskey will ultimately divulge.
On August 15th, the plans for the upcoming Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame and an accompanying Outlaw Music Association were made public. The announcement stimulated a lot of speculation about what direction the upcoming Hall of Fame would take, but not many serious answers. So Saving Country Music reached out to Gary “Sarge” Sargeant, the spearhead of the Outlaw Country Hall of Fame.
Ameripolitan, CMA, Dale Watson, David Allan Coe, Eric Church, Gary Sargeant, George Jones, Gurf Morlix, Hank3, Hellbound Glory, Jamey Johnson, John Denver, Justin Moore, Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame, Pete Berwick, Shooter Jennings, Tammy Wynette, Tompall Glaser
Country music in 2013 feels like the best of times, and the worst of times. While a few top male performers perpetrate untold atrocities on the integrity of the genre, the rise of independent music and infrastructure in the marketplace is now almost to the point where it equals its corporate counterpart. Quality songs and worthy artists are beginning to see more and more support…
Ashley Monroe, Austin Lucas, Avett Brothers, Blake Shelton, Bobb Bare, Caitlin Rose, CMA Awards, Cory Branan, Country Music Hall of Fame, Dale Watson, Darius Rucker, David Letterman, East Nashville, Gary Allan, Grand Ole Opry, Guy Clark, Hellbound Glory, Jack Clement, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kid Rock, Lindi Ortega, Mumford and Sons, Nashville, Old Crow Medicine Show, Old Farts and Jackasses, Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame, Pokey LaFarge, Rascal Flatts, Ray Price, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shovels and Rope, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, The Lumineers, Tom Petty, Twones Van Zandt, Valerie June, Zac Brown
the image of the angry face and the raised middle finger has become an iconic symbol of defiance against the direction of country music. As indecent as a raised middle finger happens to be in the first place, and the propensity for some seedy country fans and artists to have it make an appearance in every single photo of them, it has come to mean more than its vulgar connotation in the fight to save country music.
Bob Wayne, Country Music, country music flipping the bird, country music middle finger, Dale Watson, David Allan Coe, flipping the bird, Hank3, Hellbound Glory, Jeff Austin, Jim Marshall, Johnny Cash, Jonny Fritz, Keith Richards, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Leroy Virgil, middle finger, Rick Rubin, story of willie nelson middle finger, Willie Nelson, Yonder Mountain String Band
You may have been a little shocked to read the above title in reference to the wild-assed, ribald-laced, gonzo front man of the legendary West Coast punk rock band The Supersuckers, but die hard fans of Eddie Spaghetti don’t need to be sold on the idea that when Eddie wants to wipe the smirk off of his face, he can pen (or sing) a pretty heartfelt composition.
You know how you may root for a hometown sports team for years even though they’re terrible, and then out of the blue when they start to get good you don’t know how to behave because you’ve identified with losing for so long? Well that is what is happening in 2013 with many of the artists Saving Country Music and so many loyal fans have been following for years.
Eric Strickland is Country with a capital ‘C’ and couldn’t make a bad album if he tried. He may be more locally-oriented than the other big names in honky tonk music, but gives up nothing to his more well-known comrades when it comes to cutting songs and records. Eric Strickland and The ‘B’ Sides are doing their part to save country music. Now it’s time to do your part by giving them your ear and attention.
If you’re looking for an act that is still virtually unknown, one that is buried deep in the underground and that embodies the raw energy of the roots movement and not just a commercially-viable watered-down derivative, one whose active ingredient still works on even the most hardened of roots addicts, then Jayke Orvis and The Broken Band might be your drug.
.357 String Band, Alabama Shakes, Bless This Mess, Bob Wayne, Farmageddon Records, Hank Williams, Hellbound Glory, James Hunnicutt, Jared McGovern, Jayke Orvis, Jayke Orvis & The Broken Band, Jello Biafra, Joe Perreze, Liz Sloan, Punch Brothers, Ralph Stanley, Shovels & Rope, Sturgill Simpson, Weary Boys