Call it cautious or guarded optimism, but after the abomination that was the 2016 Houston Rodeo musical lineup led by folks such as Luke Bryan, Pitbull, and Florida Georgia Line, and where only one artist with Texas ties and only one female performer were booked (and both were Miranda Lambert), they couldn’t go any lower, that’s for sure.
It was bound to happen at some point. It’s almost strange it took so long. Two guys who have long called Austin, TX their main haunt, and who have made careers out of steadfastly sticking to their guns in their particular styles of country music, be damned of the financial ramifications, what fleeting trends come and go, or what Nashville thinks of it all, joining forces on a duets record.
Merchandise sales are the manna of the independent music world. With no disrespect to the musical efforts of your favorite artist, you can boil them down to glorified T-shirt salespeople in the way the lion’s share of their profits come from the merch table. It’s what puts gas in their tank and food on their table, and allows them to make a respectable living.
Willie Nelson will be one of the principle actors in what is being dubbed as the first “live movie” ever, orchestrated by Willie Nelson friend and fellow celebrity stoner Woody Harrelson. The idea is to shoot a feature-length film from multiple locations, and beam it directly into theaters through the miracle of technology.
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.
On Tuesday morning (12-6) the nominees for the 2017 Grammy Awards were announced, and Sturgill Simpson’s ‘A Sailors Guide to Earth’ is right up there with Adele, Beyonce, Drake, and Justin Bieber competing for the Album of the Year. And he just might win it. The album is also up for Best Country Album
In the country music department, the amount of emphasis on Christmas releases in 2016 has been nothing short of astounding, and maybe even historic. And I’m not just talking about “Rascal Flatts Sing The Chipmunks” or whatever crap that’s out there. Even independent artists and country legends have showered the country music listening public…
If Willie Nelson and Arlo Guthrie are remembered for nothing else in music, perhaps they’ll be notable as the sires of the musical progeny Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie, known collectively as Folk Uke. A unique project to say the least, you might be surprised to hear that the 2nd generation musicians have been making music together for nearly 20 years now.
Any time health news comes down for an 83-year-old country performer, concern goes up. For most 83-year-olds, Willie Nelson is the picture of health. But an undisclosed illness has sidelined him for some recent shows, leaving many concerned for the country legend.
From country to rock, from the studio to the stage, from collaborations with Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, and Frank Sinatra, Leon Russell was popular music’s piano man for a generation. And now he has joined the list of music legends who took their final breath in 2016.
So many of country music’s legendary artists also spent time earlier in their lives serving the country in one capacity or another. And on Veteran’s Day as we pay tribute to ALL the men and women who served in the military and put themselves in harm’s way, let’s have some fun by looking back to see how many of these country legends we can pick out by their pictures.
Well now, perhaps there is a reason for old school traditional country fans to tune into the CMA Awards in 2016. Celebrating their 50th Anniversary, the Country Music Association has promised to honor country music’s past in the presentation, and they have put their money where their mouth is.
Screw me, but I just don’t have a strong opinion about this thing one way or the other. Sometimes that happens. If you think this song and video is amazing, then awesome. If you think it’s stupid, I can see that perspective too. In the end it’s kind of a wash for me.
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.
Once comprising one half of the ravishing country singing duo Copper and Coal, Mamma Coal, a.k.a. singer and songwriter Carra Stasney, has re-imagined Willie Nelson’s country music epic ‘Red Headed Stranger’ into an epic of her own. This may be a story about a mother and her child, but just like Willie’s original, ‘Raven Haired Vixen’ is a Western.
If anyone could get away with walking right up to a happily married woman, planting one right on her lips right in front of her husband, and all the associated parties would walk away with a humors story to tell instead of an account of a fist fight, it would be Willie Nelson. And that’s exactly what happened a while back.
Scranton, Pennsylvania will be the host of the inaugural Outlaw Music Festival to be held at the Pavilion on Montage Mountain on Sunday, September 18th, with headliners Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and Willie’s son Lukas Nelson’s band Promise of the Real backing up Neil Young on stage.
If you’re looking for more Willie Nelson and Ray Price in your life, you can knock out two birds with one stone, and get a heaping helping of The Time Jumpers at the same time on a new tribute album on the way. For The Good Times: A Tribute To Ray Price is set for release via Legacy Recordings on September 16th.
The next trend in country may not be defined by a style or a sound, but who is involved in it. But if collaborations will be the next big trend, how about putting out just a little bit of effort to make sure that the great talent that is going unrecognized in country music itself gets some love?
Ashley Monroe, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Demi Lovato, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Elle King, Gwen Stefani, Johnny Bush, Kenny Chesney, Kenny Rogers, Little Big Town, Lori McKenna, Miranda Lambert, Pharrell, Pink, Pitbull, Steve Fromholz, The Pistol Annies, Tim McGraw, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson
With the recent loss of bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, country superstar Merle Haggard, songwriting great Freddy Powers, and Bakersfield’s Red Simpson, the amount of artists who are still around that can truly say they were there at the very start of the formation of country and bluegrass is getting anemically slim.