Without anyone left to please but himself, Pat Green is free to exorcise his demons, get some stuff off his chest, make the album he wants to, and hopefully reconnect with those grassroots in Texas country that once helped carry him to the top, and he once turned his back on. To some his name will continue to be mud, but that doesn’t mean his musical output will be.
Though it would be unfair to lump Kip Moore in with the inner sanctum of the Bro-Country sect, the biggest song of his career so far has been the decidedly Bro mega hit “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck.” Kip was already veering somewhat in the direction of the style we see reveal itself in full force on Wild Ones before the release, so we can’t be wholeheartedly surprised by the overall style of this album.
Jason James isn’t afraid to to pen a song in a traditional style and then challenge himself to sing it with the same heart and passion as one of the old greats. Nobody will ever replace George Jones or ‘Ol Hank, but that doesn’t mean others can’t try to reach for that same level of excellence, and pay forward the traditions of country to a new era of listeners who still find value in the classic modes.
A new song or video from Mo Pitney these days is becoming grounds for an immediate stop down, and the only drawback to be concerned about is if the new car smell on all the songs will be gone once his debut major label album is released. It’s not just the songs, it’s the care with which Mo Pitney delivers them. Each performance feels custom made and ornamented with such purity and heart.
Langhorne Slim isn’t just looking to entertain you with The Spirit Moves. This isn’t just music in the sense that you listen to it, bob your head and tap your toes, and then go about your business. Langhorne is aiming to stir something up deep inside of you that awakens an inner yearning which in many cases the rest of the world is attempting to suppress, and in turn, maybe inspire to you help aid a similar awakening in others.
Luke Bryan did not get here by happenstance, and he’s not going to blow his opportunity to remain on top by making poor decisions. Tell yourself his music won’t last through the cruel inquisition of time. Tell yourself he has no talent, and that he’s an idiot on and off the stage. Reassure yourself that eventually he will be relegated to a laughing stock of history with his shallow songs and shortsighted goals.
The most defining element to any great song or album is when the writer or singer is captured sharing something very personal with the audience. It could be something heart-wrenching, or it could be something happy. It could be a story, or a message, or something learned or realized. But either way, it has to be one human conveying something very personal to another.
Out there on the club and honky-tonk circuit are women with skins on the wall, proven talent, and built-in fan bases that go regularly overlooked as options to bring compelling female voices to the big leagues of country. One such artist is the Canadian-born Lindi Ortega, who has just released her latest album through Last Gang Records called ‘Faded Gloryville.’
Beset on all sides, lampooned regularly by popular media, bastardized by its own sons and daughters in the mainstream, sold out by corporations and their governmental cronies, America’s rural culture is under siege by the heartless and misguided march of time like never before. But traditional country artist Daryle Singletary is here to remind you there’s still a little country left…
Just like classic old country songs from the 60’s that still hold up today, Daniel has the insight to pinpoint a very specific emotional defect embedded in the human condition, and then create the favorable environment for that emotional frailty to be called to the forefront through poetic insight set to precisely-appropriate music.
In some respects, broaching a discussion on this album seems nearly futile. Or maybe not futile, but at least frustrating. It’s almost fait accompli that it will fail to achieve the commercial feats and radio success the quality of the material warrants, but that’s just the way it is for women in this particular era of country music. We should be basking in the enjoyment of a new generation of inspiring country music females…
As long as Alan Jackson is around and relevant and releasing records, then country music still has a fighting chance. They may squeeze country music through the sausage press and stamp the country label on all manner of crazy-ass hip-wiggling pseudo-rapping modern techno EDM mumbo jumbo in a desperate attempting to sell the audio equivalent of pet rocks to the prattling, gullible public.
In the natural world they’re referred to as apex predators and alpha males. They’re the ones that rule the roost and crest the food chain. They’re the specimens of natural design that exhibit the ideal mix of physical abilities and/or favorable disposition to become the creatures all others are measured by.
In 2013, one of the biggest and most unlikely musical takeaways for this particular music junkie was a breakneck, high-octane bluegrass band from Germany called the Dinosaur Truckers. Yes, Germany is not necessarily what most would consider a hotbed of American string band music, but however unlikely the story, the music of the Dinosaur Truckers spoke for itself.
Operating a site called “Saving Country Music” for the last eight years, I’ve learned the patient art of losing every single day with grace. It is the ever-present conceit of the living to believe that the present times are the worst there’s ever been, and country music is no exception. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that people weren’t yelling that the sky was falling when John Denver was winning the CMA Entertainer of the Year…
This isn’t any slick and polished nouveau bluegrass with lilting runs and brazen compositional poise, this is Stringbean and Grandpa Jones slapping away at strings while sucking on corn pipes trying to entertain folks on back porches and beyond. Unpretentious and fun, and fairly authentic to the Appalachian traditions, The Urban Pioneers will make you chuckle and strut, and see the timeless value in the old traditions of primitive country.
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.
Tyler Farr has morphed into the hardcore emo post grunge “my dad hated me so I’m angry at the World” guy of country music, and it’s not pretty. What a bizzaro world we live in where Aaron Lewis of Stand is sitting on stools and singing fairly straight laced country songs, and Farr is all bent over like he’s taking a BM, and clasping the mic like it was his bag of jewels after getting kicked in it.
Upon first listen, this new Jake Owen single is a superior candidate for an unabashedly scathing review. What, is he trying to rap again for goodness sakes? And though there may be a message, there’s really no story. At it’s heart, “Real Life” is yet another example of replacing rhythm for melody, and lists for story. So much for all of Jake Owen’s rhetoric about bringing more substance to country music.
The Deslondes is not a songwriters project per se. This is not a superpicking troupe or a project that’s all about exuding a bunch of punk energy through unplugged instruments. On paper, this band doesn’t work at all. It’s too busy, there’s no discernible frontman, and there’s nothing fashionable or cutting edge about their approach or style. But The Deslones have something that every band wants but few have…