Leroy Virgil has the tragic grandeur that many songwriters only wish they could capture, and some attempt to emulate, but few have the authenticity to truly live down. Virgil has no need to cut an ear off for inspiration. Whatever troubled demons that get stirred up when the most brilliant wordsmiths go searching their innermost depths for inspiration, they are alive and well in the Hellbound Glory frontman.
There’s not a single song on Old Dominion’s new album Meat and Candy that shouldn’t have been aborted in the womb. This is the type of material professional songwriters throw together to crack themselves up in writing sessions to lighten the mood. But in an utter breakdown in the system, it somehow found its way completely unabridged onto a record.
Born and raised in Austin, refined in Massachusetts, and currently emanating from Nashville, singer / songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Suzy Oleson has released her debut self-titled album which includes 10 country rock tracks that hope to find a favorable audience with your ears.
When former “country” artist Taylor Swift sold 1.287 million copies of her record 1989 on its debut week, it was a feat not matched since 2002. With streaming, the disillusion with the album concept, and the general implosion of the music industry, we all thought we would never see a similar feat ever again. And Adele right now is on pace to sell over double the first week sales of Taylor Swift’s 1989, or roughly 2.5 million copies.
Their new album Wrongheaded is a garage rocking groove-laded damn good time with bits of twang peaking out between rock and roll runs and rambunctious jam outs. The record is kind of all over the place in a good way. If something doesn’t suit your fancy, skip the track and the next one probably will.
Look, Chris Young has a tremendous head of hair, seems like a super swell guy, and heretofore has never done anything to run afoul of Saving Country Music. But man, listening to this record was like the most non-listening experience ever. That’s about the only way I know how to put it. It’s not that this album is bad necessarily, or wrong. Those things would still be senses one feels and would raise the pulse.
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.
One of the big story lines in country music over the past few years has been the rehabilitation of country music from a quarter century ago that emerged during the period known colloquially as the “Class of ’89.” Despite the commercial rise of country during the era, it’s also the period people love to point […]
Whenever you’re out in front of a release apologizing for it, it’s never a good sign. “This is probably about as far left as we’ll go,” McCreery announced ahead of “Southern Belle,” tipping listeners off that this was going to be the moment the 22-year-old tried to make a big splash on radio in lieu of sticking to sometimes more traditional-leaning material that compliments his deep country tone.
There’s something about being a Texan that makes you regard what happens in Texas as being the most important thing in the world. It’s the center of the universe, so to speak. For Texans at least. So when Josh Abbott felt the need to pronounce his infidelity to the world in February of 2014, the little hamlets that harbor the support network for Texas music were sent reeling.
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
Tribute records, just like compilations and live recordings, can be a tough sell and a tedious listen. However, by smartly selecting songs that are worthy of being heard again, but are not the obvious “Greatest Hits” of Lefty’s legacy, Brennen avoids the common pitfall of tribute records. And making her renditions that much more compelling and unique is the fact that she’s a woman singing these songs.
Brennen Leigh, Brennen Leigh Sings Lefty Frizzell, Brian Kremer, Cris Burns, Jenn Miori, Lee Ann Womack, Lefty Frizzell, Lisa Pankratz, Noel McKay, Review, Roger Wallace, Rosie and the Ramblers, Selena Rosenblam, Sunny Sweeney, T Jerrod Bonta, The Carper Family
“Sidelong” may find itself in a dark and troubled place much of the time, but it’s good old country music at its heart. You know, country music? That stuff they used to make before Music Row lost its everloving mind? Music that said something, and conveyed a feeling that bred a sense of commiseration and shared grief with the audience resulting in a strange healing? Yeah, that stuff.
What bothers me the most about this song is how so commonplace it has become to see a song like this become a big success on country radio without any measurable clamor or concern about where this might be leading country music in the long-term. Kelsea Ballerini has no idea what country music is. At 22-years-old, she’s lived her entire life likely without hearing one authentic country song on the radio.
I am absolutely shocked, and this is from someone who had sniffed out Kyle Park as a phony many moons ago. This album doesn’t just make me scared for the future of country music, it makes me just plain scared for the future. I never want to leave my house again.
Music, just like sports, is mostly a young man’s game. Most certainly there are wily veterans out there taking the field and taking the stage, but many of them made their name when they were young. It’s hard to hold onto the dream of making the big time the older you get, whether you’re trying to strike out opposing batters, or sing on the stage to strangers.
Taking that musicianship, and the sense of groove and dynamics of jazz, and bringing it into the roots music space with adeptness, knowledge, and respect, The Wood Brothers have carved out their own unique discipline in the music spectrum that creates multiple avenues of appeal for a wide chunk of enlightened listeners.
Maddie & Tae have become the perfect foil to today’s male country stars. They’re like the Minnie Pearl of country music’s Millennial generation. Staunch traditionalists are never going to give Maddie & Tae a serious chance, but that doesn’t mean their music (and “Shut Up and Fish”) doesn’t symbolize a wholesale reversal of course for what we’re used to the mainstream serving.
Going back to what the Supersuckers do best, which is come out kicking with a shit eating grin, and then hitting you in between the eyes with something meaningful when you least expect it, this raucous group sets you right about what is real and raw about country punk roots. In a rather pedestrian year for music that has included some high-profile letdowns, Holdin’ The Bag holds up to the legacy they started nearly 20 years ago.
At this point, Toby Keith is a relic. What talent he had was questionable to begin with, and he hasn’t ever really evolved for there. Time has passed Toby Keith by, and he doesn’t have the fluidity or desire to change with the times, or the quality it takes to be considered classic. But this album is far from the problem.