It’s a little hard to fathom that Chris Issak has never made a country record before. He combines the caramel singing and cool factor of Dwight Yoakam, the crooning capability of Raul Malo, and the lounge-like timelessness of Lyle Lovett into one smooth package that makes the felines swoon and the men hopping jealous. He’s a crooner whose styling cuts across all kinds of borders of taste and influence.
Willie Nelson is set to be honored by The Library of Congress and the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song on Wednesday, November 18th at Constitution Hall in Washington. The concert will be recorded and broadcast nationwide through PBS on Friday, January 16th, 2016. “It is an honor to be the next recipient of the Gershwin Prize. I appreciate it greatly,” Nelson says.
Alison Krauss, Billy Joel, Buckwheat Zydeco, Carole King, Edie Brickell, Gershwin Prize, Jamey Johnson, Lukas Nelson, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Raul Malo, Rosanne Cash, Stevie Wonder, The Mavericks, Willie Nelson
In San Francisco this weekend, the massive Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival is going on, and The Mavericks took to the Banjo Stage on Friday afternoon for their set. For whatever reason, the security decided to be extra vigilant, and wasn’t allowing folks to dance some ten feet in front of the already apportioned-off area in front of the stage. But frontman Raul Malo was having none of it.
Sturgill rescheduled the dates to make it up to the communities he missed because of the cancellation, including one of the few available dates in Charlottesville at The Jefferson Theater—the same night as 2015’s Americana Music Awards. Sturgill had a choice, and it couldn’t have been an easy one.
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Saving Country Music’s 2015 Americana Music Awards LIVE blog! As the festivities stream live from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, we’ll tag along to leave our observations, keep up with the winners, discuss the performances, and share what happened with the folks who missed it.
I don’t know what they’re lacing the Canadian municipal water supplies with these days that allows the great frozen north to churn out authentic country and roots artists worthy of ears in bumper crop fashion, but they better import some of that concoction down here to the States post haste because Canada is kicking our ass in cool new country artists per capita.
Listening to the first song from the album “All Night Long,” you might be mistaken that Mono starts off right where In Time ends, but in reality if there’s any one most dominant influence on the new effort it would be Jamaican ska. The style that emphasizes the two and four of the beat is called upon in multiple tracks during ‘Mono.’ But this isn’t a ska album, or a Latin album. It’s a Mavericks album.
Saving Country Music’s 2013 Album of the Year was not Jason Isbell’s breathtaking Southeastern, or Sturgill Simpson’s breakout High Top Mountain, but the comeback record from the Latin-inspired Raul Malo and The Mavericks called “In Time.” Now The Mavericks have announced that they’ve been in the studio again and will release the followup to In Time called “Mono.”
In Time is not simply the best album in country music in 2013, it is arguably one of the best, if not the best album in all of American music, and for it not to win the day in it’s home genre of country music would be a silly oversight, and tough to justify as In Time only becomes fortified by the test of time, divested from trend or taste as it is, and embedded with such universal appeal.
Saving Country Music’s Artist of the Year, just like the Song of the Year and Album of the Year, is designed to eventually resolve down to one. But this is not always the case. It seems irresponsible to supplant one for the other because of some silly notion that you can only have one. Such is the case here in 2013 when handing out the honor meant to not just highlight the music, but the man or woman behind it.
Watching The Mavericks take the humble, but prestigious Gruene Hall stage, you have to remind yourself that at one time The Mavericks were the biggest group in country music, taking home the Vocal Group of the Year from both the CMA and ACM in 1995. At the same time, this is in no shape or form a band on the skids, or one riding off of their past glory days. The Mavericks feel as relevant and as fresh as they ever have.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, that is a picture of Hank Williams performing live on The Grand Ole Opry with the word “DUMMY” emboldened in all caps across his chest from the CMT Awards. Later in the week, Lenny Kravitz chided the crowd for “not being able to get with love” before, ironically, exited the stage while flipping double birds with his back turned to the crowd.