When you hear an artist like Charles Wesley Godwin sing, there is no need to power cycle your sense of disbelief. The sinewy roots of West Virginia’s hardscrabble existence seem to be intertwined with Godwin’s synapses and muscle tissue, almost as if he’s a construct of the land itself, like a scrub tree clinging to life.
Regularly playing shows at places like The Broken Spoke, Luckenbach, and The White Horse, Weldon Henson is Texas country honky tonk served straight no chaser, meant to send two-steppers twirling and to pull the slow dancers closer. Weldon Henson and the Honky Tonk Frontier Band are Texas country front to back.
It will never be the easiest festival to get to for anyone. It’s certainly not the cheapest when it comes to ticket prices, accommodations, or incidentals. But what’s for certain after the second year of Mile 0 Fest in Key West, Florida, is that this is Texas and Red Dirt’s premier musical event each year.
Adam Hood, Adam Kurtz, American Aquarium, Bonnie Bishop, Carter Sampson, Charlie Robison, Cody Canada, Corb Lund, Courtney Patton, Garrett Bryan, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Eady, John Fullbright, Ken Pomeroy, Kevin Fowler, Kylie Ray Harris, MIke and the Moonpies, Mile 0 Fest, The Band of Heathens, The Mavericks, Trampled by Turtles, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers, Wade Bowen
30 minutes before Texas music legend Charlie Robison was scheduled to be paid tribute by his fellow Texas and Red Dirt artists, a line 400 deep snaked around the block of the 200-capacity Key West Theater as part of the 2019 Mile 0 Fest. Some folks had shown up hours before.
Adam Hood, Bri Bagewell, Bruce Robison, Charlie Robison, Jack Ingram, Jamie Lin Wilson, Keith Gattis, Kelley Mickwee, Micky and the Motorcars, Micky Braun, Mile 0 Fest, Randy Rogers, Shane Smith and the Saints, The Cole Trains
Who would have thought that Clint Eastwood would still be directing and starring in movies at the age of 88? Who would have thought that Toby Keith would write and perform a song as good as “Don’t Let The Old Man In”? Who would have thought that a site like Saving Country Music would be praising a Toby Keith song?
His name is Joshua Ray Walker, and he’s from Dallas, TX. And with his debut album he’s slinging out the deep and ugly gut bucket country blues with enough brokenhearted bad times and broke bad regrets to get you curled up in a fetal position and sobbing like a little girl on the cold, hard, sawdust floor.
‘Into The Blue’ is a worthy and compelling showcase of Alice Wallace’s stellar voice and refined songwriting skills, all steeped deeply and proudly in Southern California textures and lore. Though more classic in style, the work is fiercely relevant in moments, almost eerily so.
It’s one incredible testament to the vitality of the Texas music scene that a young troupe of musicians from Lubbock playing short-run tours in between college semesters can do so well for themselves that they’re headlining festivals and receiving millions of plays on their songs, and all without a legitimate record label.
Legend will be told for years henceforth about the time that Mike and the Moonpies joined with Jamie Lin Wilson for a select group of shows in Texas called the January Jamboree. Nobody expected this: a rare Texas tornado in January that left the crowds raving about how these shows were some for the history books.
For how many years have country fans from all across the world looked towards the two parallel one-way streets just east of downtown Nashville called “Music Row” with frustration, bewilderment, and even outright disgust, and then dreamed of a scenario where the whole mess could be switched out like a reversible sweater for what’s happening […]
The Steel Woods have arrived ladies and gentlemen, and with them a whole new legacy of Southern rock to enjoy in the present tense, and look forward to for the foreseeable future. With ‘Old News’ they lay it all to bear, leave nothing to chance, throw out their best shots, and scream for rightful consideration.
Tag Randy Houser’s Magnolia as yet another entry into the evidence file that the era of Bro-Country continues to wane, and it’s slow but steady expiration has allowed the latitude of some established artists to return, giving them the ability to select and record the material of their choosing, and reuniting them with their more […]
Josh Turner does a great job on I Serve a Savior to make Gospel music that is accessible, not just from the passion that you can feel coming through his performances, or his voice that puts signature touches on old standards such as “I Saw The Light,” and the super low tones he perfects on “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a split decision. In a year when it feels like a criminal act to choose the best song over so many worthy contenders, even whittling it down to just two feels like a grave offense. But it is two songs that just can’t be denied this year, and it would be a discredit to the process chooing one over the other.
2019 is here ladies and gentlemen, and soon your ears will have a fresh new bounty of new releases in the country, roots, and Americana world to feast upon. In such a crowded landscape and with so many releases to choose from, having a road map certainly helps. So in that spirit, here are Saving Country Music’s top picks.
Aaron Watson, Alice Wallace, Charles Wesley Godwin, Cody Johnson, Dale Watson, Flatland Cavalry, George Strait, Hayes Carll, Joshua Ray Walker, Randy Houser, Ray Charles, Ryan Bingham, The Cactus Blossoms, The Steel Woods, Yola
2018 was another stellar year for great country and roots records, and this is reflected in Saving Country Music’s 2018 Essential Albums List, which has expanded once again to include a total of 78 albums, each of which was reviewed in-depth during the year.
Saving Country Music unapologetically leans towards the independent and traditional side of country music. But that doesn’t mean the mainstream of country doesn’t get it right every so often. It’s important that we highlight those positive albums and artists too.
It should be the imperative in every sector of society that the most skilled, the most resonant, and the most inspiring works are hoisted to the forefront, not to turn society into some sort of endless skills competition, including between creative types, but to celebrate examples of human achievement to motivate us all.
Music is just one of the many factors to weigh when naming the Artist of the Year. Unlike Album of the Year nominees, and Song of the Year nominees, this is not a distinction that is put up for a vote to the public, and it’s not just about the appeal any particular artist might garner for their yearly musical output, live or recorded.
Most will recognize Ted Russell Kamp as the long-time bass player for Shooter Jennings, starting off with Shooter way back in the .357 days with Leroy Powell and Bryan Keeling in what many consider as one of the best backing bands of the era. But Ted Russell Kamp is so much more than just someone’s bass player.
Naming the best live performances of a given year is not the same exercise as naming the best songs, albums, or artists, because it is specifically dependent on the experiences of the individual making the list. But it’s still an important exercise.
Billy Strings, Brandi Carlile, Charley Crockett, Cody Jinks, Colter Wall, Courtney Marie Andrews, I'm With Her, Jaime Wyatt, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Jesse Daniel, Joshua Hedley, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, MIke and the Moonpies, Molly Tuttle, Randall King, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers, Whitey Morgan and the 78's
Christmas is officially cool again after years of American popular culture being too cool for Christmas. But there was never a time when Christmas and music was cooler in America than in the 1950’s. JD McPherson proves himself uniquely qualified to tackle the difficult task of recording a Christmas record.
I get it, you take to the internet to read insightful and incisive reviews on records you may or may not purchase or stream. But on this particular project, I really don’t know what to think about it, or what to tell you to think about it. More specifically, I can see it both ways, and think that both sides of the argument are right.