Never could I have dreamed when I first decided to channel my passion for music into operating a country music website that I would be asked to comment on a country record released from Queens-born New Wave 80’s sensation Cyndi Lauper. But this is not your average “gone country” project.
We just didn’t have this kind of verification of the strength of Rhiannon Giddens’ vocal abilities until this project. Sometimes it takes someone else’s songs to really challenge a singer to where their limits are tested, and their utmost talents are expended trying to do a classic composition justice. That’s what makes Tomorrow Is My Turn such a worthy effort.
Henley’s been out there outwardly criticizing the state of country music and the state of music in general, though doing so with a lot more of a thoughtful and informed tone than many others, including tracing the problem back to the disappearance of the agrarian way of life that was once prevalent throughout America, and now finds itself quickly receding.
Andrew Combs, Ashley Monroe, Bill Monroe, Cale Tyson, Cass County, Dolly Parton, Don Henley, Dottie West, George Jones, Hank Williams, J.P. Harris & the Tough Choices, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, Jed Hilly, Jeffrey Foucault, Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, Kelsey Waldon, Kitty Wells, Merle Haggard, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Patsy Cline, Shovels & Rope, Striking Matches, Sturgill Simpson, The Eagles, The Milk Carton Kids
The songwriter, singer, guitar player, and frontman for the legendary Western Swing and classic country band Asleep At The Wheel had some harsh things to say about today’s country music in a recent interview, and specifically about the reigning CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year, Luke Bryan.
“Lonely” is no ordinary song. In February of 2015, Tami’s father, Ron Neilson, passed away. Tami grew up performing in a family band with her father and the rest of her family, touring throughout Canada and the United States, even opening for Johnny Cash and other notable country stars along the way. Ron Neilson began writing “Lonely” in 1972, and recorded a demo for it outside a hotel room.
Move over Michael Jackson. Patsy Cline is coming back too, and in the form of a holographic image according to Hologram USA and the singer’s estate. Patsy Cline will be the very first country legend to be revived in hologram form, and will be used in performances, commentary, and even participate in audience interaction.
In the aftermath of #SaladGate—stimulated by country radio consultant Keith Hill’s comments that to increase ratings, radio stations should cut the amount of females they feature in a given hour—Sara Evans has emerged as one of the leading voices sticking up for females receiving their fair share of representation from the genre.
Yelawolf has just released one of the biggest albums in American music at the moment. Love Story came in at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 last week, and where Radioactive flopped, Love Story has bounced. Love Story has some serious ties to country music that can’t go overlooked.
“Better Than You Left Me” gets most all of the textures right—the steel guitar, the waltz beat, the swaying back and forth that jars loose the emotions from the heart and sends them racing through the blood stream. It’s pop country, but like Patsy Cline was pop country. Sure I’d love a little bit more dirt thrown on it or for her vocal performance to be a bit more subdued, but it’s more than a start.
Bob Montgomery, most famous for being the teenage friend, songwriter, and duo partner of Buddy Holly, and for writing iconic country songs like “Back in Baby’s Arms” by Patsy Cline, and “Misty Blue” recorded by Eddy Arnold, Wilma Burgess, and many others, has died according to his son and fellow musician Kevin Montgomery. He was 77-years-old.
Billie Jo Spears, Bob Montgomery, Brenda Lee, Buddy Holly, Charlie Rich, Cliff Richard, dead, Del Reeves, died, Dorothy Moore, Eddy Arnold, Flatt & Scruggs, Kevin Montgomery, obituary, Owen Bradley, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Wilma Burgess
George Riddle, a songwriter and musician whose music and influence can be heard throughout the classic country music world, passed away on Saturday night, July 19th after battling with throat Cancer. he might be best known as the very first and original Jones Boy, backing George Jones up in what would later become George’s legendary band.
dead, Del Reeves, died, Faron Young, George Jones, George Riddle, Johnny Cash, Melba Montgomery, Mickey Gilley, obituary, passed away, Patsy Cline, Ray Charles, Tammy Wynette, The Grand Ole Opry, The Johnny Cash Show
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read that comedian and country music performer Brad Paisley’s new album due out August 26th was called Moonshine in the Truck and “sees Paisley adapting the modern technology of EDM and dubstep to the classic country formula.” “The rulebook’s gone, or was there ever one?” Brad says. “They try, but I don’t play by it.”
Shakira isn’t just releasing this song in her home genre of pop. It has entered the Country Airplay charts this week at #57. “Medicine” is Shakira’s “gone country” moment. All that said, “Medicine” as a song is not all that bad … for a pop song. In fact if you compared it with many of the top songs in country right now it is downright refreshing.
If country music is ever going to be saved, it is going to take people with true passion for the music tugging at the yoke, willing to do whatever it takes on and off the stage in the name of preserving the music and paying it forward. One such passionate young lady doing her part is songwriter and performer Angela Dodson, a performer, who also is the Event Center Manager at the Johnny Cash Museum.
Angela Dodson, Bill Miller, Cash Cabin Studio, Chuck Turner, Hank Williams, Janis Martin, John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Johnny Cash Museum, Johnny Horton, June Carter Cash, Kenny Vaughan, Patsy Cline, Wanda Jackson
Recently when Keith Urban was interviewed by Michigan Live and was asked if definitions like “country,” “rock,” and “pop” are important or meaningless, Urban replied, “Totally meaningless to me. I make music and people decide what it is. That’s it. I don’t think about it any more than that.”
The greatest album, and the greatest recorded song will never be able to trump the truly live musical experience where music is shared in real time with both the artist and listeners. It is in this spirit that each year I assemble a list of the Best Live Performances to reinforce that as technology and the busying of life incrementally encroach upon us, we must remember that the live music show deserves its own attention and reverence.
.357 String Band, 2013, American Aquarium, Andrew Bird, Austin City Limits, Best Live Performances, Bob Wayne, Dirty River Boys, Eric Church, Gruene Hall, Hellbound Glory, James Hunnicutt, Jared McGovern, Jason Eady, Jason Isbell, Jayke Orvis, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Lincoln Durham, Liz Sloan, Patsy Cline, Pickathon, Punch Brothers, Red 11, The Crooks, The Mavericks, The White Horse, Tift Merritt, Turnpike Troubadours, Valerie June, XSXSW
But then here came a Patsy Cline tribute in the last quarter of the show and the whole sad sack theme of the night did a complete 360. There was LeAnn Rimes, singing a medley of Patsy Cline songs, and who better to do it than her? Since the beginning of LeAnn’s career, the Patsy comparisons have come pouring in.
The general consensus amongst country music pundits in 2013 is that we are in the midst of the ‘Year Of The Woman.’ But this isn’t the first year in country when the women deserved the lion’s share of attention. Rose Maddox of The Maddox Brothers & Rose, Goldie Hill, and the woman who would later rise to be known as the Queen of Country Music, Kitty Wells became pioneers for women in country.
Radio station 93.5 KOOK and 1230 KERV in Kerrville, TX, managed by legendary DJ Big ‘G’ Gordon Ames has a radio promo done by Kinky Friedman that simply says, “We play Hank. All of them.” Yes, we all know about country music’s most famous family, but here are the other 5 Hank’s that helped establish the sound of country music (and didn’t actually have “Hank” as their legal first names either).
Conway Twitty, Crazy Heart, Dwight Yoakam, Elvis, Hank Cochran, Hank Garland, Hank Locklin, Hank Snow, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson
No other genre of American music has an ongoing debate about what it is and what it isn’t like country does, because no other genre has such long-established ties to tradition that so many fans and artists feel must be respected. In their time, artists we consider the very definition of country were accused of being pop, artists like Patsy Cline, and yes, even the great Waylon Jennings.