If you’re looking for further evidence that the tide may be turning more in the direction of a deeper appreciation of traditional country, we just received quite a significant sign. Yes, the sympathy vote most certainly factored into this, but the achievement and its symbolic and subsnative importance shouldn’t be understated.
The Turnpike Troubadours have just crashed the mainstream party at the top of the Billboard Country Albums chart with the release of their latest record, ‘A Long Way From Your Heart.’ Signed to Thirty Tigers, and with little help from radio beyond regional play, they continue to show what quality music and grassroots efforts can result in.
We’re plenty well satiated on new music from Willie Nelson after the release of his latest album God’s Problem Child in May. In fact it might be one of Willie’s best recordings in many years, and certainly one of the better selections since signing with Sony’s Legacy imprint some years back. But there’s no rest for the wicked.
In simple musical skills, the talent of Lukas might even surpass that of his famous sire. Of course songwriting and style are a bit harder to tabulate, but Lukas is no slouch in these departments either. Yet nearly 10 years into the performing game now, and Lukas Nelson still feels like he’s attempting to find his footing.
Willie Nelson had to cut his Sunday night (8-13) concert at the USANA Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City short due to shortness of breath the country legend suffered during the performance. The 84-year-old was still in the early part of his set when he had to leave the stage and never returned. Willie was rushed to the Intermountain Medical Center.
How should a country purist regard the legacy of Glen Campbell? That should be a really easy question to answer: with class, respect, and appreciation for a man that was an incredible ambassador for the genre through multiple avenues, and a timeless contributor to the country music canon.
In the process of criticizing modern country music, sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture, or fall into “old man’s syndrome” where the past of the genre seems pristine and idyllic in our mind’s eye, and today’s smutty music perpetrated by sellout stars is an abomination to our beloved genre.
Blake Shelton, Conway Twitty, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Pizza Hut, Roy Acuff, Sylvia, T. Graham Brown, Taco Bell, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Even people who despise country music see Willie Nelson as a beacon of light in the world, as a guidepost of infinite wisdom, and as an irreplaceable soul on this mortal coil. For decades now, music has simply been the excuse to pay attention to what a gift it is to have Willie Nelson inhabit planet Earth.
When Steve Earle threw Hayes Carll under the bus in mid June by calling Hayes a “younger, skinnier, less talented singer-songwriter” than himself, it set up a potential showdown at Willie Nelson’s annual 4th of July Picnic where both men were scheduled to play this year.
Toby Keith has made a career out of being uncool, and making cool things uncool by his mere presence. And now he’s done it with marijuana. “Wacky Tobaccy” as a song has got nothing. The fact that it’s supposed to be a stupid song doesn’t let it off the hook for being a stupid song.
Steve Earle isn’t just your average aging thinning-hair post-mainstream relevancy Americana dude who was kind of big in the 80’s. At 62-years-old, he’s probably the youngest guy who can legitimately claim honest ties to the original country music Outlaw movement of the 70’s.
For the last two years, it’s felt like a lull for projects that really set themselves apart and set the pace for creativity and cultural importance. 2017 is a different story. It feels like this has been a banner year already, with some of the year’s biggest projects still in the offing.
There have been many true country music “Outlaws” over the years, and many more that claim to be. But there can be only one original Outlaw, and that is Bobby Bare. Without Bobby Bare, there may be no Waylon Jennings. When Bare discovered Waylon in Phoenix, AZ in 1964, Waylon was still very much a regional act.
Chris Stapleton’s sophomore album ‘From A Room: Vol. 1’ is the #1 selling record this week in pure album sales across all genres, beating out rapper Logic’s new album ‘Everybody.’ However due to new chart rules that consider streaming data, Stapleton will come in #2 in the major charts.
Though publicity has been somewhat light for the record, Stapleton did sit down with Charlie Rose on Thursday (5/12) for a lengthy discussion, and to perform the acoustic “Either Way.” In the interview, Charlie Rose tried to portray Chris Stapleton as “Country’s Reigning Outlaw.”
Notch yet another #1 for Willie. 84 years of age, and Billboard’s new rules that register streaming data in the album tabulations can’t keep Willie Nelson from topping the charts this week with his first record of original material in three years, God’s Problem Child. Willie also notches another Top 10 on the all-genre Billboard 200.
One day, and maybe not too far off in the distant future, you will be bragging about how you lived in the time of Willie Nelson. Whether you’re an oldtimer and remember buying his records new on vinyl, or you discovered Willie in your college years as a back catalog artist, you lived on Planet Earth at the same time as Willie Nelson.
As first reported by Saving Country Music in January, Steve Earle’s newest album will be called So You Wanna Be An Outlaw, and feature an appearance by Willie Nelson on the title track. The album is said to be unabashedly inspired by Waylon Jennings and the other original country music Outlaws.
Willie Nelson played the second night of a two-night stint at the Whitewater Amphitheater just outside of New Braunfels, TX on Saturday night (4-22), and left many fans concerned after he had to leave the stage for an extended period, and also appeared disoriented at times during the set.
A traditional like few others will transpire once again this summer when Willie Nelson celebrates the 4th of July by gathering together friends and family for his annual 4th of July Picnic. For the third year in a row, the event will be held at the Circuit of the Americas speedway just south of Austin, TX, and will include many long-standing invitees.
Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver, David Allan Coe, Folk Uke, Insects vs. Robots, Jamey Johnson, Johnny Bush, Kacey Musgraves, Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real, Margo Price, Raelyn Nelson Band, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle, Turnpike Troubadours, Willie Nelson, Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic