When it comes to neotraditional singing duos, The Secret Sisters are regarded at the very top of the discipline. However that hasn’t exactly won them the fame and comfort that is usually reserved for the esteemed and elite of a medium.
T Bone Burnett
We just didn’t have this kind of verification of the strength of Rhiannon Giddens’ vocal abilities until this project. Sometimes it takes someone else’s songs to really challenge a singer to where their limits are tested, and their utmost talents are expended trying to do a classic composition justice. That’s what makes Tomorrow Is My Turn such a worthy effort.
Fear and Saturday Night might be Bingham’s best album yet. This is an album of all peaks and no valleys. As the perfect experience for the classic rock buff hiding in every country and Americana fan, Bingham scrapes the grime off the sweaty denim of 70’s Stones and douses it with a little Dylan poetry set to grooves left in the residue of a Faces studio session and articulated with riffs that awaken the spirit of a freer time.
So who could step up of in the country music vocal duo space who could duel with the heavyweights of the mainstream, and offer more substance to that category like The Civil Wars did? Of course there will only be one Civil Wars and nobody will be able to replace them completely, but here are some ideas who could have a similar impact.
Bruce & Kelly Show, Bruce Robison, Carolina Story, Dave Rawlings, First Aid Kit, Gillian Werlch, Jayke Orvis, Kacey Musgraves, Kellie Willie, Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison, Mandolin Orange, Shovels & Rope, Simon & Garfunkel, T Bone Burnett, Taylor Swift, The Cactus Blossoms, The Church Sisters, The Everly Brothers, The Lovin Brothers, The Milk Carton Kids, The Secret Sisters, The Urban Pioneers
This is where Garth Brooks could shake up the country music industry beyond simply packing sold-out stadiums. There are reams of amazing songs out there going unheard, and Garth is one of the very few people with the star power to take these songs and make them hits. And this rising tide could raise all boats, taking an artist like Caitlyn Smith to the greater notoriety her talents deserve.
Ashley Monroe, Austin Lucas, Bob DiPiero, Brandy Clark, Brantley Gilbert, Caitlyn Smith, Cassadee Pope, Country Throwdown, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Kenny Regers, Lady Antebellum, Lee Brice, Nashville, T Bone Burnett, Tacoma, Willie Nelson
Nikki Lane’s sound has always been somewhat hard to define. Her first album, 2011’s Walk of Shame was a rocking little number, just as much B-52’s as Buck Owens, and was country in the same way Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walking” is, with a dollish, throwback saunter to her style.
Produced by T Bone Burnett, the new Secret Sisters album called Put Your Needle Down—the sister duo’s first record in nearly four years—was produced by T Bone Burnett. T Bone Burnett produced this sophomore effort, and lending his efforts in a production role was T Bone Burnett. T Bone Burnett, T Bone Burnett, T Bone Burnett.
Sturgill Simpson’s “High Top Mountain.” Jason Isbell’s “Southeastern.” Lindi Ortega’s “Tin Star.” Though these artists are from different locales, and the genres they represent are varied shades of the country music theme, they all have one thing in common: a virtually unnoticed and rarely heralded behind-the-scenes producer named Dave Cobb.
ABC’s Wednesday night drama Nashville just entered its second season, and though like many network television dramas, the drama can feel over-the-top and contrived, the show’s impact on a wide range of issues that fall under the charge of Saving Country Music is undeniable, if not unprecedented. Though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the show, it’s still important to understand Nashville’s impact.
Whenever I find myself thirsting for inspiration, I tend to search out the blessed gift that is the harmonies of sister pairings. Any two great singers can harmonize, but few can match the instinct and tone of two blood relatives, making the artform seem as effortless as breath. Following is a list of singing sisters who never cease to inspire.
Anderson Family Bluegrass, Asleep at the Wheel, First Aid Kit, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Paige Anderson, Paige Anderson and the Fearless Kin, Ricky Skaggs, T Bone Burnett, The Carter Family, The Church Sisters, The Louvin Brothers, The Marty Stuart Show, The Quebe Sisters, The Secret Sisters, The Shook Twins, The Staves
Same Trailer, Different Park is the loss of corporate country’s innocence. It is a total flip of perspective from the fare the mainstream country public is used to. It’s an awakening, an awareness of an alternative set of ideas that dash the mores that keep radio country and its listeners locked in suffocating patterns that don’t allow the soul the space for self-exploration and growth.
One of the most remarkable music events of 2012 must be how Nashville and some of its biggest, most bloated and notorious corporate citizens did the inexplicable: they began to tackle the issue of the massive talent glut in American roots music. All of a sudden the big boys in the media business are playing a part in re-populating the country and roots music farm system that for years has been anemic and ignored.
So what positives could come from the show? If you take away all the drama between the characters that’s really the central focus of the series, what you have is the biggest inside look into the business of country music ever released to the public through popular media and a vehicle for presenting new music to millions of folks. The ugly trappings of Nashville go with out saying. Here are some of the positives.
Is it compelling? Sure. Is it right? Of course not. Will it result in either the increased exposure of good music, or the greater awareness of the issues plaguing mainstream country? Well have to see. But I remain skeptical. I would rather see Nashville attempt to fix their problems as opposed to try and make money off the drama they create. But of course, that doesn’t make for compelling television.
ABC, Big Machine Records, Callie Khouri, Del McCoury, Hayden Panettiere, Nashville, Nashville Television Show, Nashville TV Show, Ryman Auditorium, Scott Borchetta, T Bone Burnett, Tammy Wynette, The Grand Ole Opry
Big shot producer T Bone Burnett whose in charge of the music for the new ABC drama Nashville premiering tonight (10-10) had some pretty scathing words about the state of music in Music City when talking to The New Orleans Times-Picayune about the upcoming television series. “These days, (country) radio is essentially a guy in his room with a computer,” T Bone told the paper.
Yeah, that’s right. I said it. I don’t care if T-Bone Burnett, or anybody else with a famous name produced your album. What I am concerned with is if it is good. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying T Bone Burnett is a bad producer. It’s just at some point hype far exceeds substance, and I think we have passed that point with the “T-Bone Burnett” name.
On paper, this movie had so much promise: an all-star country cast, a critically-acclaimed novel Provinces of Night to cull a screenplay from, and the omnipresent T Bone Burnett presiding over the music presentation. However Bloodworth falls into the classic dilemma of the movie adapted from a novel trying to develop characters and deep, intertwined story lines in the time it takes to munch down a jumbo tub of pop corn.
May 20th will be the release of the movie Bloodworth, starring Kris Kristofferson, Dwight Yoakam, Hilary Duff, and Val Kilmer. The movie is based off the novel Provinces of Night by William Gay, and originally the movie was going to have the same name. The movie also contains some contributions from some lesser-known country artists.