It’s not very common that you can preface a 70-year-old folk country songwriter that never had a big hit and the 14-year-olds in your family have probably never heard of as a “hot commodity,” but that’s exactly what John Prine feels like these days. “Beyond Words” is a songbook combined with a photo anthology in big, coffee-table form.
The 2017 Outlaw Music Festival will actually be a series of events, or a tour if you will, consisting of six total stops throughout July hitting up New Orleans, Dallas, Detroit, Milwaukee, Syracuse, NY, and Rogers, AR. Willie Nelson and his Family Band, Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, The Avett Brothers, and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real play most events.
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.
Dave Rawlings, Devil Makes Three, Gillian Welch, Jack Grelle, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Jason Isbell, L.A. Weekly, Lucinda Williams, Robert Ellis, Sam Outlaw, Shovels & Rope, Wayne 'The Train' Hancock
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
Saving Country Music has just added some fresh horses to its recently-launched Top 25 Current Spotify Playlist meant to be a centralized destination for top recommended songs and artists currently setting the pace in country, Americana, and the greater roots realm.
One of the things that has made Jason Isbell such an enlightening songwriter over the years is his distinctly worldly view panned to a Southern perspective. As a son of the deep South himself, he is incapable of trivializing the nuances of the culture war, deliberately speaking to both sides, and the flaws and virtues of each.
We love to speak long and loudly about the virtues of younger, upsurging artists such as Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Cody Jinks, Margo Price, and others, and how they’re turning the country industry upside down with their successes. But why is Marty Stuart’s efforts going systematically overlooked?
Jason Isbell has officially announced his sixth solo studio album called ‘The Nashville Sound.’ Produced by long-time collaborator Dave Cobb, recorded at the historic Studio ‘A’ in Nashville, and to be released by Thirty Tigers via Isbell’s own Southeastern Records, the album is highly-anticipated by many country and Americana fans.
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