Last week the current King of Americana Music Jason Isbell got fans jazzed by releasing a 30-second teaser video (see below) for his upcoming, but still-unannounced Dave Cobb-produced album that promises to feature a bit more of a rock vibe than previous efforts. Though we have no hard release date or title yet, we have both for a live studio album.
The tables have been flipped and the tide has turned. Sturgill Simpson—the consummate underdog and viciously independent country songwriter and performer whose helped lead the way and kicked down doors for a country music insurgency was awarded the Grammy for Best Country Album Sunday night (2-12) during the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.
An all-star cast will come together to celebrate the life and music of country music icon and Hall of Famer Don Williams in a new tribute album with the proceeds going to a good cause. ‘Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams’ will be released on May 26th via Slate Creek Records.
Alison Krauss, Amanda Shires, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Don Williams, Garth Brooks, Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams, Jason Isbell, John Prine, Keb Mo, Lady Antebellum, Morgane Stapleton, Pistol Annies, Trisha Yearwood
Zac Brown promised last September that the band would be bringing the music back to its roots, and he certainly delivers on that promise with Zac Brown Band’s latest single called “My Old Man.” But how we got here and why such a return to the roots is even possible or necessary is important context.
Not only is Faith Hill and Notorious B.I.G and incredibly awkward musical pairing on the surface, it’s also a strange headline because Notorious B.I.G. has been dead for some 20 years. He was gunned down in 1997 in a still unsolved murder. Nonetheless, it’s coming from CNN, right? President Trump may accuse them of “fake news,” but this isn’t the onion.
This year many of the artists, labels, managers, fans, and even many of the individuals involved in the Grammy nomination process are feeling let down like many years, and are scratching their heads on how certain efforts got overlooked, while others got pushed to the forefront.
Just what 2017 has in store for us in the country music department remains to be seen. But we do know about what to expect in the release department for at least the first quarter of the year, while rumors abound about the big projects that could come to light later in 2017. Here’s a run down of what we know, what we think we know, and what we would like to believe.
Aaron Watson, Ags Connolly, Alison Krauss, Casey James Prestwood, Charlie Worsham, Chris Knight, Chris Stapleton, Colter Wall, Curtis McMurtry, Dale Watson, Dan Auerbach, Dave Cobb, George Jones, Guy Clark, Holly Williams, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jaime Wyatt, Jason Isbell, JB Beverley, Justin Townes Earle, Marty Stuart, MOderna Mal, Nikki Lane, Old Crow Medicine Show, Otis Gibbs, Phoebe Hunt, Ray Benson, Ray Scott, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Rhiannon Giddens, Robbie Fulks, Scott H. Biram, Shinyribs, Son Volt, Steve Earle, Sunny Sweeney, The Gibson Brothers, The Sadies, The Secret Sisters, Tift Merritt, Valerie June, Whitney Rose
When Saving Country Music started in 2009, the biggest artist in country music was Taylor Swift. Now, it’s arguably Chris Stapleton. Independent artists are finding support like never before, allowing them to be able to completely sidestep the pitfalls of the mainstream industry and still have sustainable, and in many cases, very successful careers.
Reviews and opinions on the Netflix original series The Ranch starring Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Debra Winger, and Sam Elliot continue to be mixed, but the country music tie-ins—whether in the soundtrack, the set, or the dialogue—continue to make it a point of intrigue for many country fans.
One of the reasons we feel so surprised at Americana’s success and so many have been so slow to recognize it is because it has been a slow and steady process. Because of Americana’s model of sustainability, the revolution has been plodding, yet purposeful. And now it’s success is palpable, and measurable by industry-standard metrics.
With absolutely no hyperbole intended, William Michael Morgan earning a #1 on country radio for his debut single “I Met A Girl” is a historic moment in country music. It’s a point in time when an undeniably traditional country song from an undeniably traditional country artist has topped the chart after a long vacancy for a traditionalist at the top spot.
After the awards, Jason Isbell did like so many artists of country music’s storied past once did after playing at the Country Music Mother Church. He ambled out of the backstage exit into the famous alley that separates the Ryman and the bars of Lower Broadway, and took the stage with his wife Amanda Shires at Robert’s Western World.
Adam Meisterhaus, Amanda Shires, Americana, Americana Music Awards, Cary Ann Hearst, Dave Cobb, Jack Ingram, Jason Isbell, Jeremy Pentacost, Josh Hedley, Robert's Western World, Ryman Auditorium, Sam Outlaw, Sam Palladio, Shovels and Rope, Steve Earle
The reigning king of Americana music at the moment is arguably songwriter and performer Jason Isbell. But Jason Isbell will not be performing at Americana’s annual premier event every year—The Americana Music Conference, or AmericanaFest, that transpires September 20th through 25th in downtown Nashville.
Now that some of the dust has settled since Sturgill Simpson made his inflammatory comments about the mistreatment of Merle Haggard on Monday (8-29), many others have taken the opportunity to weigh in on the matters on both sides of the country music cultural divide.
If nothing else, The Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim continues to show their great taste in music. As Squidbillies fans can attest, Jason Isbell is far from the first cool musical artist to make an appearance on the show. The animated series’ main character is voiced by none other than Unknown Hinson (aka Stuart Baker), and Billy Joe Shaver sang the original theme song.
If anyone could get away with walking right up to a happily married woman, planting one right on her lips right in front of her husband, and all the associated parties would walk away with a humors story to tell instead of an account of a fist fight, it would be Willie Nelson. And that’s exactly what happened a while back.
On Friday (5-13), it was announced that Billboard would finally be adding an Americana chart to their weekly albums chart roster. This is 10 years after the Grammy Awards began to recognize Americana, nearly 17 years after the Americana Music Association formed.
Sturgill Simpson sat down with Marc Maron of the WTF podcast recently, and the hour or so interview was released on Thursday (5-12). If you’re a diehard Sturgill Simpson fan, it would be strongly encouraged that you listen. Here are some of the more interesting tidbits from the conversation.
Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth is officially the #1 record in country music, and is also the highest-charting debut of the week at #3 on the all genre Billboard 200 chart. The only thing keeping Sturgill from the top of the Billboard 200 were two surging titles from Price that sold like crazy in the hours after the superstar’s death.
Iconic American songwriter Bob Dylan will be celebrating his 75th birthday on May 24th, and country and roots artist, including many songwriters who cite Dylan as a primary influence on their music, will be coming together to pay tribute to the man in numerous events across the country.
Bob Dylan, Cain's Ballroom, Elizabeth Cook, Emmylou Harris, Holly Williams, J.D. McPherson, Jason Isbell, Jimmy LaFave, John Fullbright, John Moreland, John Paul White, Kacey Musgraves, Nikki Lane, Steve Ripley