Saving Country Music headquarters received a call Tuesday afternoon (7-19), and was informed that Wade Bowen and Granger Smith had just engaged in a good, healthy phone conversation, and that Wade Bowen wanted to clear the air on the matter. Here’s the transcript.
The comment from Granger Smith came in a recent interview involving multiple reporters that was posted on The Boot Wednesday (7-13). Granger’s words were smoldering for numerous days until it spilled over Saturday, with Texas artist Wade Bowen and others taking exception to Granger’s comments publicly.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a better example of the wisdom and glow of womanhood than in a song by Jamie Lin Wilson. Whatever it is that possesses certain people to be able to encapsulate those most potent of sentiments and emotions of life into song in a way that renders itself as timeless, Jamie Lin has it.
Scheduled to take place this year between April 18th to the 23rd, the Larry Joe Taylor Festival will welcome an estimated 50,000 people through the gates over 6 days, and feature music on three stages from over 50 bands at the Melody Mountain Ranch in Stephenville, TX. One of the biggest and oldest music festivals in the country, Larry Joe Taylor Fest has been going on for over a quarter century.
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.
Nothing Shines Like Neon has all the liquor, beer, bar scenes, and sultry interactions with lovers you might hear on some mainstream country record, except it tells the story from the opposite perspective—the more realistic perspective. It’s where libations aren’t just flowing to party hearty, but to help douse heartbreak.
On Monday, the official lineup for the 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was “announced” by astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station. Perhaps the aeronautical histrionics were a bid to distract everyone back on Earth from the fact that this year’s lineup is the most mundane, most mainstream-centric and generic pop tart Kellogg’s cereal assemblage of plastic talent ever accrued on this beautiful blue planet.
Abbi Walker, Billy Currington, Bri Bagwell, Cole Swindell, Cooper Wade, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston Rodeo, Jamie Richards, Jason James, JB and the Moonshine Band, Josh Ward, Justin van Sant, Little Big Town, Max Stalling, MIke and the Moonpies, Miranda Lambert, Randy Rogers, Sam Riggs, The Band Perry, Trent Willmon, Wade Bowen, Zane Williams
Too often in music we tend to focus on the here and now, the young and the new. Who are the hot names that are rising up in the ranks? Who’s going to make a big splash in music in the coming months and years? All this talk is understandable. It’s fun. But this is not always the best exercise for fleshing out who actually has the music most worthy of being recognized.
Being willing to go where a song takes you is the challenge in the heart of every music lover. Hopefully one of these songs released in 2015 will take you some place you want to be, or somewhere you’ve never been before. These songs were selected on their own merit, not from the strength of the artist or album from where they came.
Brennen Leigh, Cody Jinks, Dawes, Eric Church, Eric Paslay, Evan Felker, James McMurtry, JB Beverley, John Moreland, Justin Townes Earle, Kacey Musgraves, Love and Theft, Mo Pitney, Randy Rogers, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sunny Sweeney, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen
2015’s Album of the Year candidates might constitute the most wide open field of contenders since this exercise has been in practice. There’s no clear front runners, anyone could win, and each candidate has pluses and minuses. Like every year, your opinion counts, and may even count more this year with no clear front runner.
Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Don Henley, James McMurtry, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Jason Isbell, Jason James, John Moreland, Kacey Musgraves, Lindi Ortega, Lonesome Wyatt, MIke and the Moonpies, Rachel Brooke, Randy Rogers, Roo Arcus, Ryan Bingham, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen, Ward Thomas, Whitey Morgan, Whitey Morgan and the 78's, Yelawolf
A common criticism of Texas country is that it has become a kissing cousin to Nashville’s Music Row over the last few years, especially with so many of the region’s top acts, including the Randy Rogers Band, signing with Nashville-based outfits. But the band returning to their independent roots is a good sign they will make whatever album they wish, without the influence of Music Row’s commercial interests.
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.
Thoughts and prayers continue to pour in for Randy Rogers, his wife Chelsea Rogers, and the entire Rogers family after the Texas country star revealed that his recently-born daughter Rumer passed away Tuesday night (6-9) after battling a rare brain condition. A memorial for the newborn is being planned. “She died in our arms and in no pain. She was absolutely beautiful in every way,” Randy said in a statement.
Being willing to see where a song takes you is at the heart of every music lover, and in this spirit I present eleven hand selected songs released in the first half of 2015 that will hopefully take you someplace you want to be, or somewhere you’ve never been before. This is the cream of the crop in my opinion; the gut punchers not for the faint of heart.
Charlie Parr, Chris Knight, Cody Jinks, Eric Paslay, James McMurtry, John Moreland, Justin Townes Earle, Lee Ann Womack, Love & Theft, Miranda Lambert, Randy Rogers, Townes Van Zandt, Wade Bowen, Whitey Morgan
So we’re close enough to the half way pole in 2015 to start thinking about what the best has been so far, and to get ready for what is sure to be a pretty exciting second half of 2015 for album releases. There’s been some big surprises, a few letdowns, but overall 2015 so far has been a pretty varied season for releases.
Bad Omen, Best albums of 2015, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Complicated Game, Cowboys & Sunsets, Fear & Saturday Night, Hold My Beer, James McMurtry, Lonesome Wyatt, Love Story, Rachel Brooke, Randy Rogers, Roo Arcus, Ryan Bingham, Sonic Ranch, The FIrewatcher's Daughter, Traveller, Wade Bowen, Whitey Morgan, Yelawolf
A hiatus in The Trishas project presented a window for Jamie to spread her wings, and that’s what she does in Holidays & Wedding Rings. Far from a songwriter who has spent her best material on past projects, or is too burdened with home and family to find time for the guitar and notepad, Wilson taps into the keenest observations and inspirations of her career.
Country music celebrities will be coming out swinging in the coming weeks at a couple of annual charitable golf tournaments who just announced their lineups. Whether you’re a golfer or not, you can participate in the music portion of these events and help out a good cause in the process. The 17th Annual Wade Bowen Classic and the 8th Annual Golf & Guitars have just announced their lineups.
Boy howdy did Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers absolutely clobber the ball out of the park with this one. When I first heard they were making this album, I thought we’d something more for the serious Red Dirt fan. Instead we get a completely fleshed out album full of original songs that rival or potentially surpass the work either of these Texas country stalwarts have done on their primary projects.
Not your run-of-the-mill country protest song, “Standards” makes use of sharp wit and country stylings to land a poignant and cutting point about the plight many musicians face when they interface with the music industry. Though protest songs droning on and on about how Nashville is no longer country are just as clichÃ© as the songs they’re criticizing, “Standards” has an appeal beyond…
It’s the ACL Fest, Lollapalooza Bonnaroo, and Coachella, of Texas music all wrapped into one, but without the complex maze of performance areas and wristband access, legions of hipsters, and hackneyed joining of disparate music acts that scream of the monogenre forming in American music. Instead most, if not all of the performers at Larry Joe Taylor Fest know each other.
Gary P. Nunn, Hayes Carll, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Josh Abbott Band, Larry Joe Taylor, Larry Joe Taylor Texas Music Festival, Radney Foster, Randy Rogers Band, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Stoney LaRue, The Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen