70-year-old guys without super hits on their resume are not supposed to be as revered as Ray Wylie Hubbard is by his musical peers, or just hitting their stride creatively. But that is the strange, inverted, winding road Ray Wylie Hubbard has taken to christening himself a living legend in almost universal acceptance.
With headliners Eilen Jewell, Caleb Klauder Country Band, and Petunia and The Vipers, the event boasted their biggest attendance numbers to date, and proved that independent country and roots music is most certainly still alive on the West Coast.
33 String Drive, Bekkah McAlvage, Caleb Klauder, Creekside String Fiddlers, Eilen Jewell, Halden Wofford and the Hi Beams, Honey Don't, Jef Fretwell, Jimmy Pinwheel Band, Joy Mills Band, Miss Lonely Hearts, Petunia and The Vipers, Rainy and the Rattlesnakes, Reeb Willms, The Maybe Sometimes, The New Autonomous Folksingers
There is no need to mince words here or parse expectations. Alex Williams debut record Better Than Myself is traditional country music. And if it needs any qualifiers, it would be that it leans more toward the Outlaw style. There’s no compromise, no songs getting intro’d with a drum machine beat. It is true country music in every sense.
Like so many institutions of country music, the duo has been run asunder, bastardized, co-opted for corrupt corporate purposes, and the true nature of the art form virtually forgotten. But Porter Union is doing their best to resurrect the approach, in a sector of country music often overlooked, and arguably in the most need for rehabilitation.
The small yet mighty, meticulously-curated, and expertly-planned festival just outside of Portland, OR known as Pickathon continues to be the local festival with international implications in how talent presented at the festival is given the possibility to break out onto the national stage.
Billy Strings, Brent Cobb, Brett Resnick, Courtney Marie Andrews, Dori Freeman, Drive By Truckers, Hiss Golden Messenger, Kaia Kater, Kelsey Waldon, Luke Bell, Mandolin Orange, Matt Kinman, Patterson Hood, Pickathon, Sturgill Simpson
Just like Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers was playing and writing music for many years before he was ready to become a part of the national country music conversation. It was only after years of failure, perseverance, tempering in the fires of everyday life and dues paid on small stages that Tyler was ready.
“Nice Things” delves into the possessive nature of love in a bold effort that accentuates Guyton’s vocal strengths, and is stirred with Jerry Douglas-sounding rootsy dobro. Mickey Guyton resists the temptation to inflect her voice with urban annunciations and R&B styling that is all the rage in the mainstream country today.
Man did we need a good album from Joe Nichols. Mainstream country has been on a losing streak something fierce for 2017—barring a few exceptions—and when you have an artist like Joe Nichols, you need them to act like a bulkhead against adverse trends. It sucks when later in an artist’s career and after a […]
Koe Wetzel from Stephenville, TX has certainly been stirring up the chatter of both the positive and negative persuasion over the last few months after the release of the record Noise Complaint. A veritable young pup of the Texas music scene, he’s been vilified by some for immature lyrics, while being celebrated by the younger set.
For many years there has been the need for a festival to cover the music that sits on the fringes of commercial country, yet serves a very dedicated and surprisingly large audience of country music fans. This is what Borda Productions saw when they decided to transition from a more mainstream-oriented country festival for 2017.
Billy Joe Shaver, Cody Jinks, Colter Wall, Courtney Patton, Greg Payne and the Piedmont Boys, Jaime Wyatt, Jamey Johnson, Jason Eady, Mickey Lamatia, Porter Union, Robby Turner, Roger Creager, Sunny Sweeney, Tumbleweed, Tumbleweed Festival, Ward Davis, Whitey Morgan
Part rockabilly maven, part honky tonk shit kicker, part heroin-era Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers revivalist, for going on 16 years now the moniker ‘Moot Davis’ has been synonymous with the top shelf of cool in the underground country and roots scene with those smart enough to know where to look to find the best stuff.
What sucks about “Doing It To Country Songs” is that there’s actually a lot of positives going on here, and it could have turned out to be something decent. But the innuendo here is worn out in the first 30 seconds, and the double entendres just don’t have the potency or levity to land a punch or crack a smile.
Not caring whether his music earns him any notoriety or financial gain is what gives an artist like Justin Dean Payne the power and latitude to explore the inner depths of his own soul like the deepest regions of a coal vein until a mother lode of the purest, most lucrative strains of human expression are discovered, and unearthed for the world’s benefit.
‘American Grandstand’ finds the current Queen of Bluegrass, and one of the greatest traditional country voices still around remaking classic old country music duets with their incredible collaborative beauty, taking you back to a time when the stars of country music were required to have voices that stirred the spirit instead of requiring technological enhancement.
There is a myth out there in the country music industry that only old people like old country music. And since old people are already stocked with their cadre of outdated CD’s, there’s no reason to court them with new music. Of course, this isn’t true on a number of levels.
Slaid Cleaves is one of those central Texas troubadours whose words and modes can be heard embedded in the music of some of the biggest acts in Texas music, Americana, and beyond due to the sheer potency of his craft. Slaid’s pen strokes are just too mighty for the mainstream; his stories too intimate and impactful for the widest ear…
“I’d Sing About You” is all steel guitar and fiddle set to a country shuffle to move your boots across the dance floor. And though the premise is a little silly, and maybe even a little list-like in its approach, it’s also very sweet and witty in that warm, folksy manner that you want from a good country song.
Hot damn if Lee Bains isn’t like a factory for punchy melodies served with angry, yet insightful expressionism that is strikingly relevant, resists the temptation to become invective, with the ultimate goal just as much to build up individuals as it is to tear down the institutions that inhibit them.
If you’re doggedly on the search for music that hearkens back to the Golden Age of country, and the songs and sounds of folks such as Hank Williams, Lefty Frizell, and Webb Pierce, The Country Side of Harmonica Sam is where your search parameters should begin and end.
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.