2014 promises to be another great year for music, and the first part of the year might just be one of the busiest seasons for anticipated releases we have seen in quite a while. From a lost Johnny Cash album, to a new one from his daughter Rosanne, to Jason Eady, a big re-issue from Lucina Williams, and releases from Scott H. Biram and Robert Ellis, there’s enough here to get your music taste buds salivating.
The underground country movement initially formed around the mid 90’s not because somebody launched a website or a record label. It wasn’t because of a festival or because someone came up with a special name for a new genre. It came from the songs artists were writing, recording, and performing; songs that spoke very deep to the hearts of hungry listeners.
Authenticity and dysfunction are regularly celebrated in country music, and what better way to celebrate that than to look back in time a some of the most notable mugshots and arrests of country music’s most notable stars: Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Glen Campbell, Rodney Atkins, Wynonna Judd, Kid Rock, David Allan Coe, Johnny Paycheck, and many more.
By request, here is my list of the greatest underground country albums of all time. The underground country movement started roughly in the mid 90’s on lower Broadway in Nashville that at the time was a run down part of town. Young musicians from around the country, some from punk backgrounds, came together from their mutual love of authentic country music.
The original Boomswagglers album has become an underground classic, and Hillgrass Bluebilly has finally decided to give it a proper physical and digital release, with a brand new version completely remastered from the original studio sessions. It will be a collector’s edition that will include a handmade emergency fishing kit attached to the CD.
The two common threads that run through most of the candidates this year, is a progressive approach to the music, and poignancy in the message. These are changing and troubled times, and the songs that speak to us the deepest will act as the soundtrack for our 2011 memories for years to come.
“Life Is Beautiful” is a laundry list song; a laundry list song that schools all of it’s counterparts by simply being honest, and thankful. It is one of the best songs of the year, and not a better, more necessary year could it have been presented to us. It is a masterpiece, and if it doesn’t move you, then well, I just give up. So give up 4 minutes of your time, and change your life.
Listen to me and listen good. This new Boomswagglers lineup, with Steven Bracamontez on guitar, and Natalie McDougall on drums has it. And when I say ‘it’, I’m not just saying it’s good, I mean it has that undefinable thing that when you watch it live, it makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck, the kind of ‘it’ that overrides appeal based simply on taste.
The one-of-a-kind two-piece country bluesy duo from Austin, TX known as The Boomswagglers’ freshman release has been like the Chinese Democracy of the country music underground for some time now, with delays and rumors of an impending release leaving fans on the edge of their seat, salivating at getting their hands on their raucous and authentic music. Well now the wait is over…
For those that have never been to SXSW, the whole thing is broken down into showcases. A showcase can be put on by a record label, a booking agency, a publicity agency, a radio station, a blog, it doesn’t matter. And where doesn’t matter either. Wherever there is space in or near downtown Austin, there’s a band playing. Find yourself a space and make it happen!
As the name implies, Hillgrass Bluebilly Records defines the nexus of where hillbilly, country, bluegrass, and blues meet. This rich and diverse environment that has been created in the independent/underground music world embodies all roots music as unified expressions of purity and soul, regardless of the origins. Keith Mallette and co-founder Ryan Tackett have created a burgeoning homespun record label that is getting…
I saw both of these acts recently at the Hillgrass Bluebilly Lunch Party, but because I was too busy managing the live internet audio stream during the Boomswaggler’s set, and the stage was so surrounded by teeming “dirtyfoots” for Possessed’s nightcap performance that I couldn’t steal even a peep, I headed down to Beerland in Austin, TX Friday night to take in the double bill of Hillgrass artists.
As with the Albums of the Year, 2010 will go down as a high water mark for the amount of top quality songs released.
A Song of the Year can’t just be good, it has to touch you. You have to be a different person, in whatever small way, after listening to it. Points are rewarded for things like catchiness and accessibility, but you’ll have to get at least a little bit deep to makes this year’s list. Great songs speak to many people, but to each individual in different ways. We also saw a lot of songs this year with an epic approach, whose sheer vision and grand design deserves to be highlighted.
On Saturday night the Hole in the Wall in Austin, TX was transformed into “Dirtyfoot” headquarters for fans, bands and extended family of Hillgrass Bluebilly Records for their Launch Party. Folks from as far as Canada, Seattle, Minnesota, and Boston flew in exclusively for the event and helped pack the walls of the Hole to near capacity, while over 150 people from around the world tuned in through SCM Live to share the experience.
7 bands and 5 hours of music meant both Hole in the Wall’s stages were pressed into service….
On Saturday the mother of all SCM Live events will be going down, as we will be broadcasting Hillgrass Bluebilly’s Launch Party, featuring 7 bands, 2 stages, and 6+ hours of music, all LIVE to anywhere in the world from the Hole in the Wall in Austin, TX!
2010 is turning out to be a bumper crop year for REAL country music, and no, I’m not just saying that to be a cheerleader for the “scene.” I’ll be the first to admit that last year was a terrible year for new releases, save for a few great ones from the Bloodshot Record’s gang […]
I picture a post-Apolcolyptic scene: ghost towns full of crumbling buildings and rubble, smoke filling the sky and blocking out the sun, the result of a society that gave no value to art, heritage, and truth; a vast wasteland of grayness. Then all of a sudden in the midst of all the death and decay, […]
Man. If you like REAL/Underground country music, than this upcoming compilation from the Outlaw Radio Chicago podcast should get you pitching a tent in your music pants. This compilation is going to include ALL PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED MATERIAL. And the names are a who’s who of the underground movement. Check out this laundry list of contributors: […]