Just in time for throngs of Americana fans to flock to the city for the annual AmericanaFest the third week of September, a new radio station has launched just south of the city in Murfreesboro, and the signal and talent is strong enough that it may ultimately become the flagship for the still small, but quickly-rising Americana format.
“I can’t stand to see outdated rock-and-rollers coming in to play country music. That really pissed me off,” Clay Walker told The Modesto Bee recently. “We have great singers, great country musicians. There’s no reason we have to dilute it by letting people in the format that don’t have any business being in the format.”
With all the hullabaloo surrounding recent radio executive comments about the importance of radio in validating a country artist’s career, Will Hoge stands as a shining star example about how you can carve out a career in music doing it independently. Despite a year-and-a-half stint with Atlantic Records, Hoge has developed a significant following of fans and produced ten albums over the last two decades.
Here we go country music fans, it’s time to usher in the new Metro-Politan era of poorly-conceived country music hyper-trends, so turn your dirt roads and tailgates in for club hookups and cocaine mirrors because it’s Katy bar the door, here come the dance club “country” songs at you hard and fast. Bro-Country who? That was so 2014.
On Thursday (1-22) country music fans were treated to a surprise when Miranda Lambert unexpectedly released a new song totally divested from her recent album Platinum called “Roots and Wings.” The song starts off a little checklist-like, talking about red dirt stains and tall pine trees, but resolves in one deliciously juicy “I got roots, and I got wings” lyrical hook…
Adam Hood is not a native of Texas or Oklahoma, but he is an honorary member of the Texas country scene if there ever was one. And now that he’s officially called Frank Liddel’s Carnival Records quits, he’s back releasing his music independently and calling his own shots. Only appropriate then that he would release an album that is strikingly personal in a very palpable and meaningful manner.
Adam Hood, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Frank Liddell, Jason Eady, Lee Ann Womack, Leon Russell, Miranda Lambert, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Review, Roots and Branches, Stoney LaRue, Sunny Sweeney, Tavern In The Gruene, Welcome to the Big World, Will Hoge, Willie Nelson
Ahead of this self-titled release, the buzz was immense. There was a sense this wasn’t going to be simply another Wade Bowen album—that his experiences of the last few years helped Wade see himself for who he really is, instead of who everyone else wants him to be. Two songs in, and this album already delivers on any promises and expectations preceding it.
Aaron Watson, Brandy Clark, Cody Canada, Eli Young Band, Jason Eady, Josh Abbot Band, Randy Rogers, Randy Rogers Band, Rodney Clawson, Sarah Buxton, Sean McConnell, Shane McAnally, Travis Meadows, Vince Gill, Wade Bowen, Waylon Jennings, Will Hoge, Willie Nelson
Moving in to fill the space once carved out between country and alternative rock by alt-country pioneers such as Uncle Tupelo and the Old 97’s, three sons of University of Virginia Southern Literature professor Bill Wilson and two other willing accomplices come together to form the Charlottesville-based Sons of Bill under the charge to help revitalize alt-country.
Sunny Sweeney is an east Texas girl at her core, and no matter what Nashville does, it’s never possible to completely quiet those jangling spurs or smooth out that accent. She very much fits that mold of the Texas country artist that got big enough to be recognized by Music Row, but always felt just a little too authentic to do much more than experience that world from the outside looking in.
Big Machine Records, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Lucinda Williams, Miranda Lambert, Provoked, Randy Weeks, Review, Scott Borchetta, Sturgill Simpson, Sunny Sweeney, Taylor Swift, Thirty Tigers, Will Hoge
Lone Star Music, the Texas music cornerstone that has such good taste and cool vibes that appreciation for it’s unique approach of putting the music first spreads well past the Texas border, has just announced the nominees for their 6th Annual Lone Star Music Awards, and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t hit the sweet spot in showcasing many of the artists that are helping to save country music.
American Aquarium, Chris King, Cody Canada, Dave Cobb, Guy Clark, Jason Boland, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Lincoln Durham, Lloyd Maines, Lone Star Music, Lone Star Music Awards, Nominees, Patty Griffin, Reckless Kelly, Shinyribs, Slaid Cleaves, Sturgill Simpson, Turnpike Troubadours, Will Hoge, Zane Williams
Will Hoge in so many ways is sitting in the enviable catbird seat of music crossroads right now. As country music continuously favors a more rock than country sound, Will Hoge, without having to make any stretches or augmentations of his sonic palette, finds himself in the sweet spot of the relevancy arch, reaping the rewards of a renewed interest in a style he’s been perfecting in one capacity or another since the mid-90’s.
Will Hoge’s latest release is a song called “Strong,” and like so many of Will’s compositions, it demonstrates heart, depth, soul, and taste. There’s a lot of emotion in this song. It’s weighty. But just like Bob Seger’s “Like A Rock,” and John Mellencamp’s “Our Country,” it has been tapped to become the official song of the Chevy Silverado—destined to be played half a dozen times during every single football game.
There’s been much talk so far this year about how the women of country are outpacing the men when it comes to the quality of music, we’ve talked about possible reasons why that is. But we haven’t talked about some of the men that if simply given a chance, could shoot an immediate injection of substance into the country music format. They just need similar chances to their female counterparts.
Austin Lucas, Corb Lund, Dirty River Boys, Dwight Yoakam, Eli Young Band, Evan Felker, Garth Brooks, Hayes Carll, Hellbound Glory, Jason Boland, John Fullbright, Lady Antebellum, Leroy Virgil, Mumford & Sons, Sturgill Simpson, The Lumineers, Turnpike Troubadours, Whitey Morgan, Will Hoge
Sunday night is the most important night in music of the year as the 55th annual Grammy Awards will be transpiring in Los Angeles. Independent-minded music consumers can go back and forth about just how important Grammy night is, but regardless if you like the winners or even care to pay attention, what transpires Sunday night will have effects on the entire music world.
Alison Krauss, Bonnie Raitt, Carrie Underwood, Don Williams, Eric Church, Hunter Hayes, Jamey Johnson, John Fullbright, Mumford & Sons, Ronnie Dunn, Taylor Swift, The Avett Brothers, The Grammy Awards, The Lumineers, Will Hoge, Zac Brown Band
When Billboard announced new rules on how the songs on their “Hot 100” country chart would be tabulated, it caused a tizzy amongst folks who pay attention to these sorts of things. But the average Joe fans out there may have a little trouble understanding why the issue is something they should care about, and how it could negatively effect the music they enjoy.
Alan Jackson, Babel, Big Machine Records, Billboard, Brantley Gilbert, Charts, Country Charts, Eli Young Band, George Strait, Jason Aldean, Justin Moore, Kanye West, Mumford and Sons, new rules, Red, Rihanna, Scott Borchetta, Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, Will Hoge