After numerous false starts and postponements due to the pandemic, the 34th Annual Old Settler’s Festival finally got underway on Thursday, October 21st for early revelers in the campground, and on the main stages on Friday the 22nd, with Sarah Shook opening, and Jade Bird headlining.
So here Zac Brown goes again, making ‘The Comeback’ to his roots. You know, just like he did on ‘Welcome Home.’ At this point, you have every right to be sporting a neck brace and calling up a shady ambulance-chasing lawyer from the whiplash Zac Brown has given you.
The Royal Hounds are one of the bands who still embody that original Lower Broadway revivalist attitude. Playing standing residencies at Layla’s every Sunday night, and Robert’s Western World on Tuesdays, they’re rockabilly, they’re country, they’re wild and funny.
A Whole Lot of Nothin, Aaron Till, BR-549, Eddie Lange, Hank Williams III, Hillbilly Casino, Jason and the Scorchers, Kris Kristofferson, Layla's, Legendary Shack Shakers, lower broadway, Mathheus Canteri, Nathan Place, Review, Robert's Western World, Sarah Gayle Meech, Scott Hinds, Sierra Ferrell, The Royal Hounds
Any time Miranda Lambert releases the lead single to what is (presumably) an upcoming album, it’s worth stopping down and discussing, because it’s commonly a leading indicator as to what direction this modern queen of country music will point the brim of her Stetson.
The songs of Noel McKay, they’re like those one of a kind items, carefully crafted with their dovetailed joints and beveled edges, and proudly engraved with a maker’s mark. They’re well-loved, and presented to the world without commercial concern, and more for the memories they hold.
Cody Johnson is what mainstream country music in 2021 should be: country, but widely appealing and pragmatic, while being unafraid to make you think and feel a little too. Perhaps more than any other Cody Johnson record, Human: The Double Album feels organic.
What makes ‘Blue’ so cool is not just that it found success with old songs from such a young singer. It’s that old songs were made cool to a younger audience, while the older audience who felt abandoned by country music of the era found someone they could root for as well.
As soon as the fiddle melody hits your ears on the very first song “Dallas Lights,” you feel as at home as Joshua Ray Walker does under Big D’s truly splendid urban skyline. The next two songs “Three Strikes” and the well-written “Cowboy” are exactly what you want and expect…
Whether it’s from nature or nurture, to people predisposed to moody dispositions, the music of H. Self is like medicine, either from the way embracing the emotional pain is a way to feel alive in a numbing world, or by offering camaraderie through the shared commiseration.
It takes seconds, not minutes into this new album for the brilliance of writing and the power of performance that Brandi Carlile boasts to be self-evident. Immediately an internal dialog commences in the listener on if Carlile is one of the best singers in the roots realm.
Embracing and the cliché nature of what is otherwise an excellent country song, switching out some honky tonk piano at the start and then revisiting the fiddle start off later in the song allows Tyler Childers to smear his own DNA on the track, while still being respectful to the original composition.
In 2015, when Mickey Guyton released her debut single “Better Than You Left Me,” she symbolized hope in the mainstream of country music for a host of reasons. Similar to how we regard artists such as Lainey Wilson and Carly Pearce today, Mickey Guyton was a bright spot.
You know going into a new Billy Strings album that whatever it is you experience live will never be captured at the same caliber in a studio. But instead of trying to ensnare those surreal moments on a disc, Billy Strings and his cohorts must embrace the studio time as a separate medium.
the wild success Taylor Sheridan has enjoyed recently has somewhat overshadowed what was the third film in the screenwriter’s neo-Western trilogy about “the modern-day American frontier,” which also included ‘Sicario’ and ‘Hell or High Water.’ Called ‘Wind River’ …
Colter Wall, Elizabeth Olsen, Gabby Petito, Graham Greene, Hell or High Water, Jeremy Renner, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Scott H. Biram, Sicario, Taylor Sheridan, Townes Van Zandt, Waylon Jennings, Whiskey Myers, Wind River, Yellowstone
Apparently, Carly Pearce did not get the memo. The script says that if you’re a mainstream country starlet that shows early promise in maintaining a little bit of country roots in your sound, as soon as you see some initial success, you’re supposed careen straight into full blown pop.
“This is the best festival I’ve ever been a part of,” Cody Jinks said as he took the stage Sunday night (9-19) in Pryor, Oklahoma. Not faint praise from Cody, who’s played some big fests over the years, including his own personally curated one. And the praise was deserved.
AEG, American Aquarium, Blackberry Smoke, Born and Raised Fest, Bri Bagwell, Chloe-Beth, Cody Canada, Cody Jinks, Flatland Cavalry, Holly Beth, Jamie Lin Wilson, Kaitlin Butts, Kolby Cooper, Kyle Carter, Kylie Frey, Parker McCollum, Randy Rogers, Rocklahoma, Stoney LaRue, Wade Bowen, Zach Bryan, ZZ Top
Watching Zach Bryan perform was like watching a local coffee house show with 5,000 people losing their everloving minds. When singing some of his biggest like “Godspeed” and “Condemned,” the crowd was singing along to every single word, and I mean Every. Single. Word.
While others were thinking and scheming, Charley Crockett was out there doing. While some were complaining about closed doors and walled gardens, Charley Crockett was making his way over, under, and through. When people said it couldn’t be done, Charley Crockett did it.
‘Bad Romantic’ is the kind of country record you wished some of your favorite women of country would cut, but never do. It’s got that denim and bell-bottom 70’s honky tonk country vibe going on strong, unabashedly twangy and country, with a dash of funky energy and attitude.
‘Star-Crossed’ comes from the aftermath of Kacey’s marriage to fellow performer and songwriter Ruston Kelly. Said to be fashioned to unfold similar to a Greek tragedy in three acts, the album is tragic for sure, but strains to convey any entertainment value or valuable insight.
With great recording quality, excellent vocals and instrument separation, and just enough crowd noise to help put you in the room, “Ramble in Music City: The Lost Concert” is yet another excellent live addition to the already stellar lineup of live albums from Emmylou Harris.
“Signs and Wonders” is country, and old school rock ‘n roll. It’s music from a time when folks didn’t get hung up on labels, only if something was good or not. The challenge for a record like this is making it all feel seamless, and that’s what The Burner Band accomplishes.
It’s pretty rare that seven albums and 17 years into a career that an artist finds their stride, but that’s the determination many are coming to with Jon Wolfe’s ‘Dos Corazones,’ and for fair reasons. Inspired, passionate, well-written, and consistently enjoyable throughout.
It all begins with the voices of Chapel Hart. When they’re at their best, any song could be stripped back to an a capella arrangement and still shine. But it’s the diverse expressions they explore within the country genre that makes this record entertaining, with unexpected turns .