If you’re going to make a movie based in West Texas about the destruction of the agrarian economy and the way the banks rape the poor and why so much of the American heartland has turned into a ghost town husk of what it once was, what better way to embellish the moments than to include the songs of artists like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Scott H. Biram, & Colter Wall?
The story has been told for many years that The Allman Brothers initially didn’t want to record “Ramblin’ Man” or release it as a single because they were afraid it was too country. Today people take for granted that The Allman Brothers fit squarely in the Southern rock genre, but to start, they were very much a blues and jazz-based jam band.
Legendary rockabilly and Western swing guitarist Tommy Allsup passed away on Wednesday, January 11th according to his son Austin Allsup. The 85-year-old had been placed in Intensive Care earlier this month. No funeral arrangements have been made at the moment, but the family is asking for continued prayers.
Country music is not just a commodity or even a form artistic expression. It is an integral part of people’s lives and has been the foundation for their cultural identities for generations. It’s what binds them to their homes and ancestry, and is interwoven into the very fabric of who they are as people.
Yesterday amid many calls for my opinion and participation, I finally tuned into The Voice finale to see what all the hubbub was about … just in time to see Sundance Head performing with KISS. I promptly returned to the Dolly Parton telethon.
For those who can’t get enough info about legendary country music Outlaw Waylon Jennings and the wild and influential life he lived, you’re about to get one of the most up close and personal accounts of Hoss that’s possible to put in print, while also getting to know the lady who stood by his side in sickness and health.
For those fed up with the political system, scared to vote either way for two of the most unlikable Presidential candidates in recent memory, voting with trepidation, not voting in spite, or just plain wanting this whole election thing to end and hoping that somehow the United States can find a modicum of healing after it is all over…
Brennen Leigh, Canned Heat, Hayes Carll, Hellbound Glory, Jackson Taylor and the Sinners, Kinky Friedman, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, Leroy Virgil, Merle Haggard, Peter Dawson, Ronnie Dunn, Sunny Sweeney, Tom Waits, Waylon Jennings
Preserving the roots of country is not always just about paying homage. Sometimes it is about sowing disharmony or speaking out in protest to help force country music back on the right path. Music Row and the country music industry will always be about money first. The artists are the ones who must take the lead and reign the business in.
‘Hell or High Water’ selected some really worthy roots artists to feature in the movie soundtrack, including country legends Waylon Jennings and Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Chris Stapleton, Scott H. Biram, and even up-and-comer Colter Wall.
For those who can’t get enough Waylon Jennings, or make a habit of buying anything that involves the Outlaw country music legend, there is a new collection of rare, never-released recordings on the way from Country Rewind Records called “The Lost Nashville Sessions.”
One of the most influential, prolific, diverse, and long lasting producers, songwriters, and guitar players in American music has passed away. Chips Moman, the writer of Waylon Jennings’ #1 “Luckenbach, TX,” the producer for Elvis Presley’s hit “Suspicious Minds,” a seminal figure in the formation of the Stax record label, died in a hospice facility in LaGrange, Georgia on Monday, June 13th.
Muhammad Ali, who passed away on June 3rd, is known for many things, though music is not the first worldly pursuit you would associate with the World Champion boxer and humanitarian. But he was close friends with people all over the music world, including in country music, and especially with the four men that some consider the Mount Rushmore of country music.
If your real, legal name is Willie Nelson Waylon Jennings, the good news is you’re named after two of the most badass country music artists to ever suck air. The bad news if your Willie Nelson Waylon Jennings is that you were just arrested in Carroll County, Georgia on burglary charges after your getaway car ran out of gas.
“He’s mad as hell. And there’s a bunch of hangers on and groupies and people like that all up and down the hall. It was a long hall and it was almost like a gunfight deal. He comes out of there and he’s got two bikers on each side, and he says, ‘Hoss, what do you want?’ And I says, ‘I’ll tell you what I want … If you don’t listen to these songs, at least listen to them, I’m going to whip your ass right here in front of God and everybody.”
Hypothetically, whether a given song is released to mainstream country radio as a single or not shouldn’t affect the listener’s judgement upon the song itself. And in many cases, it doesn’t. A song is a song, and it should be considered on its own merits. There are exceptions however, like when a song is exceptionally bad, like many of the country radio singles over the years from Luke Bryan.
Over the last few days, an especially effective fake news story about Metallica’s James Hetfield quitting the heavy metal band to make a country record called “Hetfield Road” has been making the rounds. Saving Country Music headquarters has been bombarded with emails about the article, and according to the stats, it’s been viewed over 223,000 times since being posted on March 8th.
Time is the ultimate judge and critic of music. 10 year anniversaries don’t always fall favorably for legendary records. They’re still too young to be considered vintage or retro, but are just old enough to be out of style. But unfolding the flaps of “Straight to Hell” today, re-living the music, it’s hard to not feel the same magic you heard when you listened to the record for the first time.
Waylon Jennings was just 19-years-ol when Terry was born, and by the age of 15, Terry had dropped out of school and was a regular roadie working for his father. During that time, Terry not only got to witness the rise of his father to the status of a country legend and a Hall of Famer, but he got to see performers like Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon’s final wife Jessi Colter do the same.
Love them, hate them, evoke the strong opinions of the Coen Brothers’ fictional character Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski all you want, but Glen Frey and The Eagles turned millions of music fans from all around the world into country music listeners through the evocative power of simple, universal sentiments bathed in twangy tones, however filed off the edges may have been, or however commercially successful the pursuit ultimately was.
There’s a ton of great records from Hank starting the the late 70’s all the way up to the early 90’s that country fans will be pulling off of shelves for years to come when they’re looking for some good country music with a rock and roll kick, and if I had a vote I would induct Hank Williams Jr. into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the Modern Era category yesterday. But It’s About Time adds nothing to Hank Jr.’s legacy.