Since many of your favorite independent country and roots artists get little to no love from mainstream radio, other outlets have opened up to help feature their music to wider audiences. ‘Damnation’ has been sliding in cool songs from some of the finest artists from the roots world, while mixing in many of roots music’s forgotten greats.
When we broach the exercise of whittling down the field of songs of a given year to a list of a chosen few to be considered Song of the Year, we’re not looking for booty shakers or boot scooters. We’re looking for those songs that through the power of words and music, hit you so deeply, you’re a different person after you’re done listening.
The last few years have been a somewhat down era for excellent, legacy-caliber releases in country music and independent roots,. But 2017 was a different story, especially the first half, leaving us with difficult choices of what to consider to be the best of the year. As always, your feedback is requested, and will be included in the final calculus.
You’ve never heard of the Mile 0 Festival in Key West, Florida before, but you have now. And it will be hard to forget about it once you feast your eyes on the pretty ridiculous lineup they’ve assembled for their inaugural run. It’s scheduled for February 7th – 11th 2018 at the new Truman Waterfront Park Amphitheatre in Key West.
For twenty years and for two separate hosts, senior music producer for The Late Show Sheryl Zelikson has been a key behind-the-scenes champion for under-the-radar country and roots music performers who otherwise may never have been afforded an opportunity for a national television debut.
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.
Folks who just hopped on the country insurgency train when they heard about Chris Stapleton or Sturgill Simpson may wonder what the deal is with a guy like Justin Townes Earle. Maybe they recognize the name and draw the connection to his famous father, but is he something special, or just another name in “Americana,” whatever that means?
2017 is turning out to be a banner year for country and roots music, and we still have some of the most highly-anticipated titles still yet to be released. In an attempt to keep up and help you sift through the musical selection process, Saving Country Music has just juiced its Top 25 Current Spotify Playlist with some new selections.
‘Big Bad Luv’ is exactly the type of album that John Moreland needed to make, where his songcraft suffers none, but is bolstered by the virtue of a more compositional approach to the music itself. And this is the only place he could improve or “evolve,” because the songwriting was already at the pinnacle.
2017 is shaping up to be a stellar year for new music, with some highly-anticipated new albums from Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell already on the way. It’s also shaping up for a good year for singles ahead of some of the year’s most anticipated album releases, and this week some great premier tracks make it into Saving Country Music’s Top 25 Current Playlist.
‘Big Bad Luv’ promises to be a shift in John Moreland’s focus. Where before you could expect some of the most tear-soaked material you could hear in all of roots music, the new album is said to be more sentimental. This should not come as a shock to Moreland fans since he was recently married, and has seen a shift in his personal life.
You want to like Luke Combs. He one of us, not one of them. At least that’s what you think, or that’s what you thought, or that’s what you want to think. Let’s face it, he’s no matinee idol. He’s a big ol’ corn fed boy from North Carolina with a scruffy Amish beard and a cheap haircut tucked under a properly-aligned baseball cap.
Well-known, and well-loved throughout the Austin music scene and beyond, the death of Chris Porter sent shockwaves throughout the independent roots music community, and now that same community is coming together to raise funds for the posthumous release of Chris Porter’s final record.
Aaron Lee Tasjan, Alejandro Escovedo, Bonnie Whitmore, Calvin Abney, Chris Porter, Drew Carman, John Moreland, Porter and the Bluebonnet Rattlesnakes, Sarah Green, Shonna Tucker, The Mastersons, Will Johnson
John Moreland has already received the praise of the likes of Jason Isbell who he’s toured with before and dozens of others, but an endorsement from one of the biggest females in country music at the moment is a pretty big deal. Apparently during AmericanaFest a couple of weeks ago, Miranda Lambert took time out of her busy schedule to take in a set by Moreland.
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
If you’ve been hearing about this heartbreaking songwriter named John Moreland for the last few years and been waiting for the right time to check him out, this would be the perfect opportunity—if you have a Spotify account that is.
Nobody knows the formula, or how to navigate the whims of music to steady and sustainable employment, or God-forbid a modicum of stardom. But what we do know is Austin Lucas is an artist worthy of being heard, whether the music industry agrees or not.
Believe it or not, you can draw a straight line between underground roots music, and Chris Stapleton becoming the most successful country music artist in the last two years in regards to awards and album sales. Let me explain how:
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