Just like Dave Cobb, and just like Chris Stapleton before him, Robby Turner has been working for years behind-the-scenes, at the side of the stage, or in the studio, while others soaked up the spotlight. But the power of his efforts, and the success of the projects that he’s been a part of, has slowly but surely revealed Robby as one of those behind-the-scenes legends whose contributions should be left a secret no more.
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.
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
Beyond what Darius Rucker is saying, it’s unfortunate that it’s coming from him specifically—someone who has worked in multiple genres, and someone who I would have assumed is a little more informed on these subjects, and would be a little more salient with his points. And let’s just all appreciate that Rucker is a country music carpetbagger himself.
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
His first album in nearly four years, the Nashville resident is looking to make a statement with Love Story, and just like Saving Country Music hypothesized in the review of the album, Yelawolf wants to do battle with the terrible rap-infused country that has made it to the very top levels of the mainstream. Or at least offer a better alternative.
Yelawolf has just released one of the biggest albums in American music at the moment. Love Story came in at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 last week, and where Radioactive flopped, Love Story has bounced. Love Story has some serious ties to country music that can’t go overlooked.
One of the last remaining bands that still holds onto that spirit that revitalized Lower Broadway and still plays there on a regular basis is Hillbilly Casino. Nearing their 10-year anniversary, the band that can regularly be seen playing Layla’s Bluegrass Inn has released a live album recorded at the Exit Inn called “Live in the USA.” I spoke to the Hillbilly Casino bass player Geoff Firebaugh about the album and Lower Broadway.
BR549, Brent Mason, Dan Huff, Don Kelley, Greg Garing, Harry Fontana, Hillbilly Casino, Jay McDowell, JD Wilkes, Johnny Hiland, Layla's, lower broadway, Nic Roulette, NIck Curran, Paul Birch, Redd Volkaert, Robert's Western World, Sarah Gayle Meech, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Bluegrass Inn, The Don Kelley Band, The Eskimo Brothers, Yelawolf
Have you ever wondered who actually listens to those songs they play on pop country radio? Here are the six primary Archetypes, or as Music Row refers to them, “target demographics”, that make up the audience of the pop country world: The “Affliction T-Shirt “New Outlaw” Doucher”, “Bored Suburban Soccer Mom”, “Glitter-Faced Pop Country Girl”…
Aaron Lewis, Blackberry Smoke, Brantley Gilbert, Carrie Underwood, Colt Ford, Gary Levox, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Thompson Square, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Yelawolf
Remember the viral song “Friday” by Rebecca Black? When that song blew up, some were saying this symbolized a historic shift in the good music/bad music paradigm, where the song wasn’t popular despite being bad, it was popular because it was bad. we might have the first song taking this paradigm-shifting concept and applying it to a song.
Here at Saving Country Music, we have put ourselves squarely on the front lines of opposing the infiltration of hip hop into the country genre, or possibly, the takeover of country by hip-hop, that seems to be pervading the current mainstream country music landscape. Unlike many others that flee from this fight, I am willing to take the charges of racism and closed-mindedness…
Since the beginning of Saving Country Music over 3 1/2 years ago, nothing but respect has been shown to The Country Music Hall of Fame. It is the last major country music institution that considers the preservation and promotion of the traditions and history of country music above commercial concerns, as other institutions bend and sway with the current popular trends in country music.
Country and folk music have a long history of joining forces to create infrastructure to help support music, principally in festival gatherings. And as the corporate music world continues to crumble and is able to support fewer artists, while capital and infrastructure to develop upcoming acts continues to contract, hip-hop and indie rock bands have been flocking to traditional roots festivals for support.