In 2014 when Saving Country Music received an unsolicited submission from an relatively unknown artist named Luke Bell, it felt like striking gold. It’s so rare, and so welcome and fulfilling when an artist that has been flying so criminally far under the radar shows up and it’s so immediately obvious their music is destined for bigger things.
But what’s the fun of getting to the top when you’ve compromised everything to get there? Despite some declaring the #1 for “Backroad Song” as a victory for Texas country, it is anything but. It was Granger’s abandonment of Texas country and the values of that scene, and walking away from the decent songwriting evidenced earlier in his career that finally got him the commercial success he has clearly craved.
Justice has finally been done, and the current King of Americana finally has his Grammy. Actually, he now has two of them. Alabama-born songwriter Jason Isbell walked away with Best Americana Album honors at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards for his latest record Something More Than Free during the pre-telecast awards Monday afternoon (2-14), as well as Best American Roots song for “24 Frames.”
“Working with Dave felt great from the first day of our sessions,” says Carpenter. “He is always willing to try something new, believes that â€˜yes’ is the only answer, and surrounds himself with wonderfully talented and generous musicians; by the end of the project, I felt as if I was a part of a new family.”
The country music Outlaw movement didn’t happen overnight either. It took years and years of gnawing away at the obtrusive oligarchy that had set up shop on Music Row to get to the point where many of the genre’s most prominent stars could call their own shots, and the music could finally open up to new ideas and fresh faces.
Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Bare, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb, Florida Georgia Line, Hillbilly Central, Holly Williams, Jason Isbell, Jessi Colter, Jon Pardi, Kris Kristofferson, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Mo Pitney Williams Michael Morgan, Southern Family, Sturgill Simpson, Sugar Hill, Thirty Tigers, Tompall Glaser, Wanted The Outlaws, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown
The long, arduous wait for new music from Hayes Carll appears to be coming to a close. After an extended pause between 2011’s ‘KMAG YOYO,’ Carll and Thirty Tigers announced a partnership in May of 2014, with a new album set to be released in “early 2015.” Even at that point, the wait of some eight or nine months seemed like it would take forever. Then early 2015 came and passed, and still no new Hayes.
The allure of ABC’s hour-long drama Nashville lost its luster for yours truly many seasons ago after the drama got so ridiculous you could see the plot twists coming from a mile away. And the music—though still a decent component—got somewhat sidelined in recent seasons in lieu of keeping the sappy and seductive scenes coming to keep eyes glued on the TV screen.
Granted, it is a different day in the music business, and independent country bands are appearing on the country album charts more and more often. But still, to behold the steady rise of the Turnpike Troubadours from a bar band from Oklahoma to the top of the country music charts without ever having to reshape their sound or sign their life away to a major label is an incredible feat.
From the “I have no idea what the hell is going on here” file comes the curious case of Wheeler Walker Jr., an incredibly foul-mouthed country artist who apparently is gearing up to release a Dave Cobb-produced record through Thirty Tigers, and has just released his first single.
Sturgill rescheduled the dates to make it up to the communities he missed because of the cancellation, including one of the few available dates in Charlottesville at The Jefferson Theater—the same night as 2015’s Americana Music Awards. Sturgill had a choice, and it couldn’t have been an easy one.
Beg, borrow, steal, sell a kidney, refinance your student loan, start working a second job if you have to, but either way you’re going to want to have some expendable cash laying around October 7th when Red Dirt legend Jason Boland and his venerable backing band The Stragglers release their eighth studio album Squelch via Proud Souls/Thirty Tigers.
The idea that Jason Isbell saved country music when his latest release Something More Than Free inched out Alan Jackson for the #1 spot on Billboard’s Country Albums chart has been offered as a discussion topic by cosmic songwriter and east Nashville sage Todd Snider. Above all else, how awesome is it to have the old version of Todd Snider back in our midst?
Texas country artist Pat Green recently released a new single called “While I Was Away” ahead of the release of his new record Home on August 14th, and when asked what he thought about the new artists and the new style of country music prevailing in the mainstream today, he not only took the high road, he had some high praise for one of country music’s most notorious repeat offenders.
There’s been a Clint Black sighting! And there’s been a Clint Black signing! And now one of the lost artists of country music’s famed “Class of ’89” is back in the saddle, and one of the most forward-thinking and upwardly-rising record labels in Nashville have landed arguably their biggest fish yet.
Announced Tuesday (6-23), Downtown Music Publishing has signed Sturgill Simpson to a worldwide publishing deal, according to Downtown’s Senior Vice President of Creative Services Jedd Katrancha. It not only includes any music Sturgill Simpson may release in the future, but also his back catalog of songs from his Thirty Tigers releases.
Fans of the hard-charging sound and weighty songwriting of the Oklahoma-based Texas country band The Turnpike Troubadours will have their wishes answered when the band releases their latest, self-titled album. The release follows their highly-acclaimed 2012 offering Goodbye Normal Street, and will surely be one of the most welcomed releases of 2015 in Texas country and beyond.
David Macias is the President of Thirty Tigers: the marketing and distribution company. Jon Hensley, the manager for Shooter Jennings and Wanda Jackson who unexpectedly passed away on Monday June 1st, was a former employee of Thirty Tigers. David reached out to Saving Country Music to post a remembrance of Jon as he travels to Kentucky to attend his funeral.
The highly-anticipated follow up to Jason Isbell’s critically-acclaimed 2013 album Southeastern will be called “Something More Than Free.” The album will be released through Thirty Tigers, and Isbell’s own Southeastern Records. Like his last album, the effort was produced by vaunted producer Dave Cobb.
Sturgill Simpson is now officially a major label artist. The Kentucky native who’s been making waves throughout country music over the last year with his award-winning album Metamodern Sounds In Country Music has signed to Atlantic Records, part of the Warner Music Group, and will release his next album currently being recorded through the major label.
The hope of fans of any independent music artist is that they will be able to achieve a sustainable career, and that their music will find wider appeal amongst the listening public. When an independent artist succeeds, it’s important that we pay attention to what lent to that success so hopefully more worthy artists can achieve similar results, and to ask what that success might mean.