In country music, one way to consider the quality of a song or album is to ask yourself what a country legend might feel about it. In the case of Jesse Daniel’s Beyond The Walls, I feel confident Tom T. Hall and Don Williams would approve of the way it helps reset your perspective …
What a great little record to lounge around the house or on the back porch with, or listen to while scuttlebutting around knocking out chores, or when rolling down the highway pretending it’s 1940 and you’re cruising on Route 66. But it’s also a resounding introduction to two titan women.
With a great voice, this 23-year-old injects new vigor and a youthful point of view into timeless country themes while avoiding list-y or whiskey cliches for the most part, backed by flawless and twangy music. The dude’s got the disposition of George Strait, with the smoothness of Chris Isaak.
One thing was clearly evident after traveling to Whitefish, Montana to experience the massive Under The Big Sky Festival with its incredible lineup and expansive grounds: the independent country and roots music we all enjoy has officially arrived. This is no longer a boutique subgenre.
Badger Hound, Billy Strings, Brothers Osborne, Charley Crockett, Colter Wall, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Evan Felker, Hannah King, Hogslop String Band, Jade Bird, James Hand, Jason Isbell, Jesse Daniel, Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs, Lilly Hiatt, Mary Meyer, Michelle Rivers, Nikki Lane, Orville Peck, Paul Cauthen, Ryan Bingham, The White Buffalo, Tyler Childers, Under The Big Sky Fest, Whitney Rose, Yellowstone
John R. Miller’s music, used cars, and auto repair is officially open for business coast to coast, specializing in swapping out starters and alternators, rebuilding carburetors, selling used tour vans, and peddling songs about hard-hearted women, and a hand-to-mouth subsistence.
When Childers rolled up to the Under The Big Sky Fest in Whitefish, Montana Sunday night (7-19) to play his first show in some 16 months, it wasn’t to warm the stage up for the big mainstream band that had blown in from Nashville in the Brothers Osborne, it was vice versa.
There are just some places where its better to see certain artists, where they are truly in their element. For Colter Wall, that ideal location would be out on the plains, or in the valley, with the mountains looming in the distance, where the cattle graze and the cowboy roams free.
Even at 64-years-old now, Dwight is still squeezing into tight jeans, and moving around on stage like he’s 17, swinging hips, thrusting his haunches behind his guitar, and spinning around on his boot heels. Dwight Yoakam doesn’t play music, he makes sweet love to it, and his voice is still caramel.
The fundamental reason “Am I the Only One” is resonating so widely is because it’s tapping into an unfulfilled and voraciously hungry desire for counterpoints in popular American culture. In a very granular and passionate manner, Aaron Lewis captures this fomenting frustration.
Great songwriters know how be both a reflector of our current times, and a beacon to our better angels. Tylor takes a keen awareness to the challenges this past year has presented, and instead of adding to the noise, attempts to offer a roadmap through it, or antidotes to it all.
“Patterns” is a patently traditional country record that immediately impresses with the first few songs that rear back and try to knock the wind out of you with an emotional wallop, and then shows off its depth of knowledge and acumen with a quality run through some country classics.
Starting with his hit “I Wish Grandpas Never Died,” Riley Green has delivered one song after another that labors and often achieves to touch something deeper in the listener than just their vapid, passive-listening pleasure zone placed in the bullseye of the likes of 101.1 FM.
With his place secured as a Telecaster-slinging and leathery kicker of the country music haunts, and just like so many musicians last summer sequestered from the rest of the world, it was the perfect opportunity for J. P. Harris to reconnect with his deep history in old-time.
Welcome to Countryland is a worthy introduction and a resounding pronouncement for an important band coming into their own. It’s a step up, a stepping out, and an effort worthy of the buzz and adulation Flatland has been garnering for five years now. Well-written and executed, heartfelt…
It’s not that ‘Ruthless’ is terrible or anything. And if you’re a hardcore Gary Allan fan—of which there are a few—you will probably find enough to enjoy to think of the effort as satisfactory. Still, ‘Ruthless’ is full of compromises and half measures, and it’s only country in spurts.
Out of nowhere, Mike and the Moonpies have unleashed a new single called “Paycheck to Paycheck,” and hold onto your hats fellas. It finds those boys from Texas in top form, and kicking country music ass as is their predilection, all while paying homage to their blue collar roots
Since 1990, fans of country music legend Keith Whitley have marked the time near the singer’s July 1st birthday with the Keith Whitley Memorial Ride. Also part of the event over the last few years has been a tribute show, this year taking place at The Nashville Palace.
Bradley Buller, Buddy Hyatt, Caleb Daugherty, Chris Keefe, Cory Keefe, David Frizzell, Deborah Allen, Irlene Mandrell, Jesse Keith Whitley, John Berry, Johnny Lee, Keith Whitley, Keith Whitley Memoria Ride, Ken Mellons, Lee Greenwood, Lorrie Morgan, Pam Tillis, Paul Overstreet, Rockland Road, Tanya Tucker, The Bellamy Brothers, The Nashville Palace, Timothy Baker, Tom Buller, Wesley Dennis
Normally a new single from a mainstream dude who hasn’t landed a Top 10 hit in over a decade wouldn’t necessarily be worth discussing, at least around this water cooler. But Toby Keith’s new song “Old School” is a very interesting case for a host of reasons.
This new album is a combination of simple compositions that convey sweet little vignettes from Texas life, and deep reverberative works and leave one shaken to the core from the impact of their stories. This combination makes Vincent Neil Emerson easy to warm to, but lasting in effect.
The places a song can take you, the realizations a song can impart, this is the reason we cherish music so much, and we cherish songs specifically as the kernel root of all musical experiences that we remember forever. These are the best country and roots songs of 2021 so far.
Alan Jackson, Alice Gerrard, Blackberry Smoke, Charlie Starr, Cole Chaney, Drew Kennedy, Francesco Turrisi, George Jones, Hope Dunbar, Jamey Johnson, Jason Cope, Jason Eady, Katie Jo, Mac Leaphart, Morgan Wade, Pony Bradshaw, Red Shahan, Rhiannon Giddens, The Steel Woods, Vincent Neil Emerson, Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno
If there was a songwriter out there with the acumen and muster to bust through all the bleeding-heart platitudes and overwrought sentimentally that makes so many of these songs immediately disposable, it would be Jason Eady. That’s what he does with “French Summer Sun.”
Throwing it all the way back to the era when you had no choice but to be good if you wanted to make country music, Hannah Juanita turns in this classic country record of eleven original songs backed by some superior musicianship that works like manna for those old souls out there.
It’s the utilization of space that has worked to Lord Huron’s advantage over the last nearly 10 years. But on Long Lost, they also add the much deeper dimension of time, sending you not just up, but also away, facilitating that fully immersive experience only the best of music can.
As we near the halfway pole in the musical year, it’s time to suss out the best albums that have been released in 2021 so far. There’s already some very strong contenders for Album of the Year, and the first albums highlighted should be considered early candidates for Album of the Year.