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.
Jason Eady can do what they can do, but they can’t do what Jason Eady does, which is strip it all back and have the appeal for the music rest entirely on the written composition of a song. Even the most minimalist of performers have to rely a little bit on style, groove, or some sort of window dressing. But for Jason Eady, it’s like a type of Zen.
The 2nd Annual Tumbleweed Festival set to transpire on the Missouri River in Sugar Creek, MO on July 28th and 29th, 2017 has just added to their already-impressive lineup. And the festival is not done there. Soon they will announce a contest to fill a final after hours performance slot for the fans of emerging Outlaw country artists to vote on.
Billy Joe Shaver, Cody Jinks, Colter Wall, Courtney Patton, Damien Gunn, Jaime Wyatt, Jamey Johnson, Jason Eady, Mickey Lamantia, Paul Cauthen, Roger Creager, Sunny Sweeney, Tumbleweed Festival, Ward Davis, Whitey Morgan, William Clark Green
Not since maybe Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic in 2015 have we seen this beefy of an assemblage of true, hard-driving country music talent compiled in one place for the public’s listening edification. It’s called the Tumbleweed Festival, and with this lineup, they live up to the title of “America’s Outlaw Country Music Festival.”
When you have a good song, most everything else tends to get in the way. That’s the case with “Barabbas.” Wise songwriters know that when you can put the weight of historical moments and important figures behind your song, you’re getting a vastly superior head start on your average, sappy love song.
The 10-track album was produced by longtime collaborator Kevin Welch at Blueroom Studios in Nashville. It will feature backing vocals by Vince Gill on a song called “No Genie in This Bottle,” as well as instrumental contributions from noted musicians Lloyd Maines on steel guitar, and the SteelDrivers’ Tammy Rogers on fiddle.
For years we’ve been waiting for the two Texas country traditionalists, regular tour mates, and fluttering love birds of Jason Eady and Courtney Patton to release a duets album, and very soon we’ll get our wish. Just announced, the duo will be releasing an acoustic album called ‘Something Together.’
With over 200 artists playing AmericanaFest this third week of September, it can be a little bit intimidating for the folks either looking to attend in person, or experience the gathering vicariously through various social channels and video streams. So here is a curated list of artists battle tested and approved by Saving Country Music.
AmericanaFest, Austin Lucas, Brent Cobb, Caitlyn Smith, Dori Freeman, Jason Eady, John Moreland, Lori McKenna, Luke Bell, Parker Millsap, Sammy Brue, Sarah Shook, Tami Neilson, The Secret Sisters, William Clark Green, Willie Watson
The AmericanaFest keeps piling on names for their annual gathering, causing you to seriously question your September plans if they don’t involve trekking to Nashville to take in this years festivities. After announcing the first 68 names in early May, another batch of performers has just been released, swelling the participants to a solid 121.
But like a diamond, true talent has a tendency to shine through the darkness and Patton’s skill as a singer-songwriter has done just that. She is quickly becoming a driving force within the Red Dirt and Texas music scenes. Patton married fellow musician Jason Eady in March of last year and released So This Is Life today (6-9).
What makes the queen bees of the Texas country power quartet The Trishas so special is that if you separate the four ladies out individually, they all still have enough magnanimous sway to amass an impressive listening audience by themselves, and songwriter Jamie Lin Wilson is a perfect example of that. Remaining restless and hungry through a hiatus in The Trishas…
The word from Indio, California is that 2015’s installment of the Stagecoach Festival was a big success, and many of the patrons and artists who attended the gathering raved about their time in the desert. But similar to previous years of Stagecoach, numerous arrests were necessary by local law enforcement. A total of 157 arrests were made by the Indio Police Department according to Sergeant Dan Marshall.
Who would have thought a few years ago that in 2015, Aaron Watson, Aaron Watson, would be releasing one of the most-anticipated, and potentially most impactful albums in all of 2015 in country music? Oh it’s not that Watson hasn’t been setting country music fans in Texas, Oklahoma, and on the rodeo circuit ablaze for many years.
I’ve received more requests to comment on Cody Johnson’s music in 2014 than any other artist. Meanwhile my status of staying mum on him has caused some to question whether I actually care about country music, others to question the legitimacy of of flying the “Saving Country Music” banner, and still others have come out saying point blank Saving Country Music must be a fraud for not discussing the Texas singer.
2014 has revealed itself as the “Year of the Dark Horse” when it comes to compiling the greatest albums released in the last 12-month span. Tami Neilson, Karen Jonas, Charlie Parr, Matt Woods? Who’s heard of these people outside of their respective fan bases? And meanwhile the realm of mainstream music can’t field one candidate, unless you want to count First Aid Kit.
2014 Album of the Year, Charlie Parr, Don Williams, Doug Seegers, Dynamite!, First Aid Kit, Hollandale, I'm A Song, Jason Eady, Jim Lauderdale, John Fullbright, Joseph Huber, Karen Jonas, Kelsey Waldon, Matt Woods, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, Oklahoma Lottery, Reflections, Stay Gold, Sturgill Simpson, Tami Neilson, With Love From Brushy Mountain, Zoe Muth
Adam Hood is not a native of Texas or Oklahoma, but he is an honorary member of the Texas country scene if there ever was one. And now that he’s officially called Frank Liddel’s Carnival Records quits, he’s back releasing his music independently and calling his own shots. Only appropriate then that he would release an album that is strikingly personal in a very palpable and meaningful manner.
Adam Hood, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Frank Liddell, Jason Eady, Lee Ann Womack, Leon Russell, Miranda Lambert, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Review, Roots and Branches, Stoney LaRue, Sunny Sweeney, Tavern In The Gruene, Welcome to the Big World, Will Hoge, Willie Nelson
Ahead of this self-titled release, the buzz was immense. There was a sense this wasn’t going to be simply another Wade Bowen album—that his experiences of the last few years helped Wade see himself for who he really is, instead of who everyone else wants him to be. Two songs in, and this album already delivers on any promises and expectations preceding it.
Aaron Watson, Brandy Clark, Cody Canada, Eli Young Band, Jason Eady, Josh Abbot Band, Randy Rogers, Randy Rogers Band, Rodney Clawson, Sarah Buxton, Sean McConnell, Shane McAnally, Travis Meadows, Vince Gill, Wade Bowen, Waylon Jennings, Will Hoge, Willie Nelson
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
2014 so far has been an interesting year for album releases for sure. Some names we were hoping big things from like Sturgill Simpson and Jason Eady delivered in big ways. Other dark horse names we’d never heard of like Karen Jonas came out of the woodwork to stun. Some names like Don Williams and Charlie Parr put out surprising albums that have to be considered high water marks of their career.
Best Albums So Far, Charlie Parr, Dalight & Dark, Don Williams, First Aid Kit, Hollandale, Jason Eady, John Fullbright, Joseph Huber, Karen Jonas, Matt Woods, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, Oklahoma Lottery, Reflections, Songs, Stay Gold, Sturgill Simpson, With Love From Brushy Mountain, World of Strangers, Zoe Muth