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.
Country throwback traditionalist and east Nashville music organizer/rebel rouser J.P. Harris has announced a unique duets project with Nikki Lane, Kelsey Waldon, Leigh Nash, and Kristina Murray called ‘Why Don’t We Duet in the Road.’ This vinyl-only gatefold double 7″ 4-song project will consist of classic country duets.
Recycled clothing fashionista and country music neotraditionalist Nikki Lane has a new record coming out February 17th, 2017 called ‘Highway Queen,’ and when it hits the streets she will be heading out on tour with some other cool names on her way to a performance at Southern California’s Stagecoach Festival.
Superstar pop R&B artist and producer Pharrell Williams spent the better part of last week in Nashville performing with the vocal troupe Little Big Town, and the entire time he’s been repping for an unlikely band: alt-country/Americana outfit American Aquarium.
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
Whether you have already purchased your tickets or are planning to soon, or you’re sitting back and laughing at the idea of a bunch of “Outlaws” setting sail in a luxury liner outbound for the Cayman Islands, don’t lie to yourself and say that this isn’t something that you wouldn’t love to participate in if you could swing it. Out at sea with some of your favorite country artists surrounded by the beauty of the Caribbean?
Blackberry Smoke, Bobby Bare, Bobby Bare Jr., Elizabeth Cook, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Lukas Nelson, Mojo Nixon, Nikki Lane, Shooter Jennings, Steve Earle, The Band of Heathens, The Mavericks, Willie Nelson
“Just Me and These Ponies” is a Christmas song for people who do not like Christmas songs, but still like country music and Corb Lund. And if you do happen to dig on a little ring ting tingling, you might find something to appreciate here too, even if the mood and perspective Corb works in is a dour one. And like all great Christmas songs, it may do so for years to come.
The Americana Music Association has just unveiled their list for the most played albums in 2014, and there’s quite a few surprises, and quite a few names traditionally considered country filling out the ranks. Though 2014 still has another month to go, the end of November traditionally marks the end of the radio calendar in music, allowing us to look back and see who had the greatest impact on the format.
Americana, Americana Music Association, Billy Joe Shaver, Dolly Parton, Jim Lauderdale, Johnny Cash, Lake Street Dive, Marty Stuart, NIckel Creek, Nikki Lane, Ray Benson, Rosanne Cash, Shovels & Rope, Sturgill Simpson
Indio, California’s country version of the massive Coachella Festival bucks the trend of most corporate country music festivals by casting independent artists and legacy acts in their lineup right beside some of the biggest current names in the country music industry as well as major label up-and-comers. This is the environment that cultivates cross-pollination between independent artists and a wider fan base.
Daniel Romano, Della Mae, Gregg Allman, John Moreland, Kacey Musgraves, Lineup, Lydia Loveless, Merle Haggard, Nikki Lane, Parker Milsap, Stagecoach, Stagecoach Festival, Stagecoach lineup, Steve Earle, Sturgill Simpson, The Devil Makes Three, The Quebe Sisters, The Time Jumpers, Vince Gill
If you’re looking for a brand of country music that is country and country only, not country rock, country punk, “evolved” country, alt-country or Americana, then J.P. Harris & The Tough Choices just might be right in your wheelhouse. J.P. lets it be known he’d rather you leave your hyphenated country labels and long-winded qualifiers clear of what he does.
Ameripolitan, Bandit Brand, Bandit Town, Buck Owens, Chance McCoy, Dale Watson, Home Is Where The Hurt Is, Joe Fletcher, Junior Brown, Keep It Country Festival, Merle Haggard, Miss Lonely Hearts, Nikki Lane, Old Crow Medicine Show, Red Simpson, Sam Outlaw, Whitey Morgan & The 78's
Willie Nelson’s private town called Luck, TX that sits on the edge of his ranch just west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country was heavily damaged in storms that moved through the area late last week. “Our beautiful Luck wasn’t so Lucky recently,” the Willie Nelson camp said in a statement, “Last week’s tornado force winds ripped several buildings apart…”
American Aquarium, Band of Brothers, Damaged, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Luck, Luck TX, Lukas Nelson, Nikki Lane, Shakey Graves, Shovels & Rope, Storm, SXSW, Willie Nelson, Willie Watson, World Headquarters
Nikki Lane’s sound has always been somewhat hard to define. Her first album, 2011’s Walk of Shame was a rocking little number, just as much B-52’s as Buck Owens, and was country in the same way Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walking” is, with a dollish, throwback saunter to her style.
I’ve been wanting to tug on the sainted Saving Country Music reader’s ear about Moot Davis for years, and who knows what all kinds of dumb excuses have conspired up to this point to not allow that to happen. But the release of his latest “Goin’ In Hot” is just about the perfect damn opportunity if there ever was one to stop everything else down and sing the praises of this man’s contributions.
Saving Country Music was out and about Austin, TX and its outskirts over the past week or so as part of the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) gathering, pounding the pavement and looking for the next country music artist worthy of your ears that you may never otherwise hear about. In the coming months I look forward to taking some of these discoveries and sharing them with you.
American Aquarium, Brooklyn Country Cantina, Hurray For The Riff Raff, J.D. Wilkes, Legendary Shack Shakers, Lukas Nelson, Mickey Raphael, Nikki Lane, Old Crow Medicine Show, Sam Doores, Shovels & Rope, South by Southwest, Sturgill Simpson, SXSW, The Cactus Blossoms, The Defibulators, The Deslondes, The Dirt Daubers, Tim Easton, Willie Nelson, Willie Watson
Forget all your stuffy old outmoded notions of what Nashville is. Right now Nashville is the center of the music universe in so many more ways than what is represented by the few city blocks of old houses and mini-rise office buildings on Music Row. Right here, right now, Nashville is the place to be for independent music. It’s Haight Ashbury circa 1965. It’s Guy Clark’s kitchen in the movie Heartworn Highways.
Amanda Isbell, Amanda Shires, ATO Records, Austin Lucas, Bloodshot Records, Caitlin Rose, Drive By Truckers, Escondido, Guy Clark, Heartworn Highways, Jash Hedley, Jason Isbell, Jonny Fritz, Justin Townes Earle, Nikki Lane, Rayland Baxter, Roger Miller, Shonna Tucker, Skylar Wilson, Spencer Cullum, Sturgill Simpson, Texas Playboys, Thrift Store Cowboys, Tristen