There is no need to mince words here or parse expectations. Alex Williams debut record Better Than Myself is traditional country music. And if it needs any qualifiers, it would be that it leans more toward the Outlaw style. There’s no compromise, no songs getting intro’d with a drum machine beat. It is true country music in every sense.
Like so many institutions of country music, the duo has been run asunder, bastardized, co-opted for corrupt corporate purposes, and the true nature of the art form virtually forgotten. But Porter Union is doing their best to resurrect the approach, in a sector of country music often overlooked, and arguably in the most need for rehabilitation.
Just like Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers was playing and writing music for many years before he was ready to become a part of the national country music conversation. It was only after years of failure, perseverance, tempering in the fires of everyday life and dues paid on small stages that Tyler was ready.
“Nice Things” delves into the possessive nature of love in a bold effort that accentuates Guyton’s vocal strengths, and is stirred with Jerry Douglas-sounding rootsy dobro. Mickey Guyton resists the temptation to inflect her voice with urban annunciations and R&B styling that is all the rage in the mainstream country today.
Man did we need a good album from Joe Nichols. Mainstream country has been on a losing streak something fierce for 2017—barring a few exceptions—and when you have an artist like Joe Nichols, you need them to act like a bulkhead against adverse trends. It sucks when later in an artist’s career and after a […]
Koe Wetzel from Stephenville, TX has certainly been stirring up the chatter of both the positive and negative persuasion over the last few months after the release of the record Noise Complaint. A veritable young pup of the Texas music scene, he’s been vilified by some for immature lyrics, while being celebrated by the younger set.
What sucks about “Doing It To Country Songs” is that there’s actually a lot of positives going on here, and it could have turned out to be something decent. But the innuendo here is worn out in the first 30 seconds, and the double entendres just don’t have the potency or levity to land a punch or crack a smile.
Not caring whether his music earns him any notoriety or financial gain is what gives an artist like Justin Dean Payne the power and latitude to explore the inner depths of his own soul like the deepest regions of a coal vein until a mother lode of the purest, most lucrative strains of human expression are discovered, and unearthed for the world’s benefit.
This is a formulaic, Mad Lib-style, paint-by-the-numbers, women as a possession truck rap with fake piano imposed on a generic pop song, propped up solely by the perfectitude of Dylan Scott’s pectoral muscles and the come hither sturdiness of his jaw.
‘American Grandstand’ finds the current Queen of Bluegrass, and one of the greatest traditional country voices still around remaking classic old country music duets with their incredible collaborative beauty, taking you back to a time when the stars of country music were required to have voices that stirred the spirit instead of requiring technological enhancement.
Slaid Cleaves is one of those central Texas troubadours whose words and modes can be heard embedded in the music of some of the biggest acts in Texas music, Americana, and beyond due to the sheer potency of his craft. Slaid’s pen strokes are just too mighty for the mainstream; his stories too intimate and impactful for the widest ear…
“I’d Sing About You” is all steel guitar and fiddle set to a country shuffle to move your boots across the dance floor. And though the premise is a little silly, and maybe even a little list-like in its approach, it’s also very sweet and witty in that warm, folksy manner that you want from a good country song.
Hot damn if Lee Bains isn’t like a factory for punchy melodies served with angry, yet insightful expressionism that is strikingly relevant, resists the temptation to become invective, with the ultimate goal just as much to build up individuals as it is to tear down the institutions that inhibit them.
If you’re doggedly on the search for music that hearkens back to the Golden Age of country, and the songs and sounds of folks such as Hank Williams, Lefty Frizell, and Webb Pierce, The Country Side of Harmonica Sam is where your search parameters should begin and end.
Sarah Jane Scouten, from British Columbia’s Bowen Island, was born into a household where she was exposed to the music of Hank Williams and Canadian folk singers such as Stan Rogers from an early age, and those influences have gone on to infer her strong roots-based style.
Both sides of Texas country are well-represented in upcoming artist John Baumann’s third official release, Proving Grounds. You don’t have to go digging for a bio on Baumann to find out what he’s all about, it’s all articulated right there in his songs.
Steve Earle isn’t just your average aging thinning-hair post-mainstream relevancy Americana dude who was kind of big in the 80’s. At 62-years-old, he’s probably the youngest guy who can legitimately claim honest ties to the original country music Outlaw movement of the 70’s.
It’s not just talent that sifts certain artists to the top of the heap of their discipline, it is timing. And Jason Isbell is one of the defining artists of our era because he is Southern, and enlightened, and can understand the perspective of the poor Southern man, as well as the faraway intellectual.
My life took a devastating and decidedly palpable turn for the worse when I cued up Shania Twain’s long-awaited new single, “Life’s About To Get Good.” Somewhere Robert “Mutt” Lange is cackling like the Wicked Witch of the West. Did someone pull a practical joke on Shania in the studio? Because this thing’s a stinker, and it’s all the fault of the production.
Zephanaiah OHora’s This Highway just very well might be a modern classic country masterpiece. It’s flawless for what it is, which is a reawakening of everything brilliant and beautiful about the Countrypolitan era of country music, while leaving all the superfluousness of strings and choruses and other overproduction aside.