When Steve Earle threw Hayes Carll under the bus in mid June by calling Hayes a “younger, skinnier, less talented singer-songwriter” than himself, it set up a potential showdown at Willie Nelson’s annual 4th of July Picnic where both men were scheduled to play this year.
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.
Let’s call it what it is at this point: Steve Earle is going scorched earth. Ahead of the release of his latest album So You Wanna Be An Outlaw, the 62-year-old alt-country songwriter isn’t just refusing to pull punches, he’s looking for targets. His latest are modern country, Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher, and the new partner of his former wife, Hayes Carll.
In what starts off to be a rather innocuous local interview with a reporter in in Canada after a show in Toronto, Steve Earle begins by highly praising Canada’s own Colter Wall. Then when reporter Brad Wheeler question’s Colter’s legitimacy, sparks fly, and poor Richard Buckner gets pulled into the melee.
As first reported by Saving Country Music in January, Steve Earle’s newest album will be called So You Wanna Be An Outlaw, and feature an appearance by Willie Nelson on the title track. The album is said to be unabashedly inspired by Waylon Jennings and the other original country music Outlaws.
A traditional like few others will transpire once again this summer when Willie Nelson celebrates the 4th of July by gathering together friends and family for his annual 4th of July Picnic. For the third year in a row, the event will be held at the Circuit of the Americas speedway just south of Austin, TX, and will include many long-standing invitees.
Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver, David Allan Coe, Folk Uke, Insects vs. Robots, Jamey Johnson, Johnny Bush, Kacey Musgraves, Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real, Margo Price, Raelyn Nelson Band, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle, Turnpike Troubadours, Willie Nelson, Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic
Not since Jimmy Martin was alive and kicking, or the heyday of Hank Williams III have we seen quotes so unabashed, vulgar-ridden, and pointed about modern country music as the comments that Justin Townes Earle delivered. When the interviewer asked Earle about Bro-Country, that is where things really got heated.
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
Not known by every country, blues, and Americana fan, but cherished deeply by the ones who did, songwriter and performer Bap Kennedy took his cross-Atlantic enthusiasm for roots music and became one of the most well-respected musicians and songwriters by his peers ranging from Nashville to Belfast during his nearly 40-year career.
After the awards, Jason Isbell did like so many artists of country music’s storied past once did after playing at the Country Music Mother Church. He ambled out of the backstage exit into the famous alley that separates the Ryman and the bars of Lower Broadway, and took the stage with his wife Amanda Shires at Robert’s Western World.
Adam Meisterhaus, Amanda Shires, Americana, Americana Music Awards, Cary Ann Hearst, Dave Cobb, Jack Ingram, Jason Isbell, Jeremy Pentacost, Josh Hedley, Robert's Western World, Ryman Auditorium, Sam Outlaw, Sam Palladio, Shovels and Rope, Steve Earle
The AmericanaFest keeps piling on names for their annual gathering, causing you to seriously question your September plans if they don’t involve trekking to Nashville to take in this years festivities. After announcing the first 68 names in early May, another batch of performers has just been released, swelling the participants to a solid 121.
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
The original lineup of the once massive (and soon to be again) hard rock band Guns N’ Roses is apparently back on speaking terms, and has just been announced as one of the headliners of California’s Coachella Festival in April, with a potential stadium tour brewing according to sources sleeping with the band.
Forget all the sappy relationship stuff, and how it happened and where it might lead. Miranda Lambert ditching Blake Shelton and ending up with Anderson East might be the perfect illustration of the drastic role reversal 2015 has ushered in throughout the greater country music realm, and how 2016 could be poised to completely turn everything upside down.
Aaron Watson, Adam Hood, Anderson East, Ashley Monroe, Blackberry Smoke, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb, David Rawlings, Fred Eaglesmith, Gillian Welch, Holly Williams, Jason Isbell, John Prine, Miranda Lambert, Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, Sturgill Simpson, Zac Brown
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.
Whether you have already purchased your tickets or are planning to soon, or you’re sitting back and laughing at the idea of a bunch of “Outlaws” setting sail in a luxury liner outbound for the Cayman Islands, don’t lie to yourself and say that this isn’t something that you wouldn’t love to participate in if you could swing it. Out at sea with some of your favorite country artists surrounded by the beauty of the Caribbean?
Blackberry Smoke, Bobby Bare, Bobby Bare Jr., Elizabeth Cook, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Lukas Nelson, Mojo Nixon, Nikki Lane, Shooter Jennings, Steve Earle, The Band of Heathens, The Mavericks, Willie Nelson
Down to Believing nestles right down in that classic alt-country approach of building up from a country foundation, but then striking out with a decidedly rock and roll sound. It’s a bold, full experience that in some ways reminds one of the nascent alt-country period when the sounds were still fresh and renewed, yet still had the essence of what made you a country fan to begin with.
Almost a month removed now from Sony Nashville CEO Gary Overton declaring to The Tennessean of “If you’re not on country radio, you don’t exist,” and the shock waves are still resonating on Music Row and beyond. Taking the point, or becoming the rally cry for the opposition to Gary’s comments was Texas country artist Charlie Robison. Now that Gary Overton is gone, I asked Charlie Robison, is the result is satisfying?
So the elder Earle wanted to make himself a traditional blues record, huh? Well, not that I don’t defend his right to do whatever he wants as a music artist, but it doesn’t make it smart or sensible or gainful or right. It’s a little self-indulgent, frankly, don’t you think? At least on the surface that is. What do we need Steve Earle making blues records for? Are there not enough of them?
Steve Earle says it wasn’t his politics that held him back from greater mainstream country success. It was more the oligarchy who was afraid of artists who call their own shots. Steve Earle is not the only one talking about saving country music lately. Brandy Clark amidst her Grammy Awards success said recently, “My name is said in the same breath as people like Kacey [Musgraves] and Sturgill Simpson, Ashley Monroe…