The biggest takeaway from SXSW 2017 will be that for the first time since the very inception of the idea over 30 years ago, the annual music gathering experienced a palpable draw down in attendance and industry participation to a degree that it fundamentally changed many of the dynamics and rigors one must endure to attend.
Ray Wylie Hubbard
If you’re going to make a movie based in West Texas about the destruction of the agrarian economy and the way the banks rape the poor and why so much of the American heartland has turned into a ghost town husk of what it once was, what better way to embellish the moments than to include the songs of artists like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Scott H. Biram, & Colter Wall?
There may be no openers on Eric Church’s current tour, but that doesn’t mean you may not see some worthy artists take the stage. On Friday evening (2-3) in Dallas, TX at the American Airlines Center, Eric Church shocked the crowd by inviting Texas songwriting legend and general music guru Ray Wylie Hubbard on stage.
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
From the beginning, there has always been a dark, Gothic side to American country and roots music. From murder ballads to ghost stories, to tales of struggle and lunacy, Gothic country never gets its due credit, nor do the dozens of artists and bands who keep these traditions alive with new music bathed in the darkness and depression…
The reason much of country music, bluegrass, blues, folk, and other older genres are referred to as “roots” is because these vital influences to American music are the building blocks for most or all of the music people enjoy today. Before there was rock and roll, and before there was hip-hop, roots music paved the way for all popular music genres.
‘Hell or High Water’ selected some really worthy roots artists to feature in the movie soundtrack, including country legends Waylon Jennings and Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Chris Stapleton, Scott H. Biram, and even up-and-comer Colter Wall.
Dolly Shine is a young, hungry, and adept Texas country band in the truest sense, shifting between bluesy rock and traditional country, and calling regularly on the fiddle to carry songs with the strong influences of Texas music right out front for listeners to latch onto.
This year the event will be held for the second year in a row at the Austin 360 Amphitheater on the grounds of the Circuit of the America’s Formula 1 raceway just outside of Austin, and will feature an impressive list of talent, from Picnic mainstays like Johnny Bush, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and David Allan Coe, to newcomers such as Margo Price and Shakey Graves.
2016, Amber Digby, Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver, Brantley Gilbert, Cody Johnson, Dallas Wayne, David Allan Coe, Folk Uke, Jamestown Revival, Jamey Johnson featuring special guest Alison Krauss, Johnny Bush, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Ann Womack, Leon Russell, Margo Price, Paula Nelson, Raelyn Nelson Band, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shakey Graves, Willie Nelson, Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic
Corporate sponsorship is the grease for the wheels that makes country music turn. What is new about corporate truck sponsors in country over the last couple of years is how deep they have embedded into the country music culture, to the point where now smaller, independent artists can be seen out there participating in helping to promote full sized trucks.
It took the death of four people and dozens of others injured after a drunken madman ran his car through a crowded downtown Austin street in 2014, as well as a completely clusterfucked permitting system by the City of Austin so mired in red tape it takes months of dedicated manpower to actually put on a show, but it appears that SXSW has finally reached a point where the annual event has stopped growing uncontrollably.
Aaron Lee Tasjan, Al Scorch, Andrew Combs, Daniel Antopolsky, Heartworn Highways Revisited, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jonny Fritz, Luck TX, Luke Winslow-King, Margo Price, Michaela Anne, Parker Millsap, Possessed by Paul James, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robbie Fulks, Robert Ellis, Sam Outlaw, Sam Quinn, SXSW, The Black Lillies, The Wild Reeds, The Yawpers, Townes Van Zandt
Saving Country Music reached out to the respective estates and managers of the artists affected to confirm use of the likeness was unauthorized, and that the artists were receiving no money. “This product is not authorized at all,” says Kirk West, the Business Manager for the George Jones Estate. “They need to remove this product and never use George Jones name again or I will sue them.”
With Letterman’s retirement, the concern was this once important roots music outlet on television would dry up. But since Stephen Colbert has taken the reigns at The Late Show, quite the opposite has happened. Monday night (2-1), critically-acclaimed songwriter John Moreland will be making his network television debut from the Ed Sullivan Theater courtesy of Stephen Colbert.
A bunch of lucky bastards will be congregating in southern Florida on Saturday, February 6th at the Magic City Casino in Miami for the Shore Leave Showdown, which dubs itself as a one-day “Southern Outlaw” festival, and includes one beefy lineup, not limited to The Mavericks, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Dale Watson, Robbie Fulks, Sarah Gayle Meech, The Kentucky Headhunters, and many more.
Dale Watson, Eddie Spaghetti, Jesse Dayton, Outlaw Country Cruise, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robbie Fulks, Rosie Flores, Sarah Gayle Meech, Shore Leave Showdown, Steve Earle, The Kentucky Headhunters, The Mavericks, The Supersuckers, The Surreal McCoys, Willie Nelson, X
Being willing to go where a song takes you is the challenge in the heart of every music lover. Hopefully one of these songs released in 2015 will take you some place you want to be, or somewhere you’ve never been before. These songs were selected on their own merit, not from the strength of the artist or album from where they came.
Brennen Leigh, Cody Jinks, Dawes, Eric Church, Eric Paslay, Evan Felker, James McMurtry, JB Beverley, John Moreland, Justin Townes Earle, Kacey Musgraves, Love and Theft, Mo Pitney, Randy Rogers, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sunny Sweeney, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen
Saving Country Music has a rich, storied history when it comes to sharing opinions about Eric Church. Forget that just as much of the ink spilled for Church has been praising as it has been critical, when you’re dealing with an artist who enjoys a strong, grassroots fan base, you’re almost never going to win when you have something less than favorable to say.
Andrea Davidson, Eric Church, Jay Joyce, Jeff Hyde, Jeff Tweedy, Jeremy Spillman, Luke Dick, Mr. Misunderstood, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Review, Rhiannon Giddens, Susan Tedeschi, Travis Meadows, Valerie June
The Muddy Roots Festival is gearing up for its 5th annual event in the rolling hills just outside of Cookeville, TN, about an hour or so from Nashville to the east for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, and boasts an impressive lineup of many country and bluegrass legends, including Del McCoury, Bobby Bare, Ricky Skaggs, Ralph Stanley, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Peter Rowan, and an impressive under card of insurgent roots artists…
Bobby Bare, Del McCoury, Jason Galaz, Muddy Roots Festival, Muddy Roots lineup, Muddy Roots schedule, Peter Rowan, Possessed by Paul James, Ralph Stanley, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ricky Skaggs, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Southern Culture on the Skids, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers
I know you probably receive dozens of these types of letters, and they all make strong cases for who the author wishes you select for the next season. But in the case of Ray Wylie Hubbard, I really think it would not only mean a tremendous amount to Ray, but it would mean a tremendous amount to Austin City Limits to finally and formally recognize one of Austin’s most important performers, and help preserve his place in Austin music.
This song is so good—whether it’s the album version, just Hubbard with his guitar, or with a four-piece band like he played it on Conan—at first I truly believed it had to be a cover of a hit from a previous era that had been forgotten about. The song feels so classic, yet remains fiercely original, it’s a wonder how it was never written before.
Randy Howard was killed on June 9th, 2015 in his log cabin home in Lynchburg, TN in a shootout with bounty hunters. They were serving a bench warrant stemming from a DUI Howard had been charged with that was likely going to be dismissed after the blood test came back proving he was below the legal limit. Randy Howard is gone but his music lives on for eternity, especially “All-American Redneck.”