If you’re a traditional country fan, you’re already used to feeling like a foreigner in your own time and place; an oddball, an outcast, forgotten, a freak. Who would want to listen to those old, outmoded songs, or even new ones that emulate them? The new movie called ‘Yellow Rose’ delves into this.
‘Yellow Rose’ follows Rose Garcia as she takes her feelings of formlessness and not fitting in, and puts them into country songs. One evening when sneaking into the famous Broken Spoke honky tonk in Austin, Texas with her friend Elliot who works at a local music store, Rose makes the acquaintance of Dale Watson
With little room for noodling or improvisation, and not a ton of conversation or rehearsal before heading into the studio, Cuttin’ Grass is still finely crafted and deftly executed by all involved, offering good to excellent bluegrass renditions of Sturgill Simpson songs.
From the way he expertly plys his passion for country music, to the trueness he shows to himself, Roo Arcus is one of the best places to turn for more of that straight-laced and squared away version of country music indicative of George Strait, yet it’s still country that cuts to the bone with ruggedness and authenticity.
‘Co-Starring’ is a spirited, ambitious, well-written and performed late career effort by Ray Wylie Hubbard that makes a strong case why he deserves major label backing, why all the praise and opportunities he’s been receiving lately (however late) are warranted, while also making a worthy introduction into why so many revere this man.
Here comes the Brothers Osborne’s new record ‘Skeletons,’ which most certainly has it’s moments. But where Port Saint Joe surprised us for all the right reasons, Skeletons is decidedly much more rock than country, more boisterous than understated, and more riff-driven than lyric-driven.
There is an entire world of old-time music out there just waiting to be discovered. As The Onlies attest, this is not just an old man’s game either. With all the members in their 20’s, these wickedly proficient players bring a power, potency, and a cool factor to the oldest incarnation of country.
It’s easy to soliloquize the expansive mountains or the rolling sea. It’s another to find inspiration in the expansive stillness of America’s midriff. But as Brennen Leigh can attest from her intimate acquaintance, you’ll never believe the brilliance of it unless you’ve beheld them with your own eyes.
Slapping you square across the face with steel, fiddle, and Telecaster guitar, David Adam Byrnes is here to answer where all the country in country music has gone. And no, it didn’t take flight to “Americana.” You want country damn music? Well here you go. So quit complaining about the latest Sam Hunt single.
Commonly we see mainstream country stars bring in a pop star or hip-hop artist for a timely remix. Cody Johnson has chosen to go the star duet path with “Dear Rodeo,” but instead of selecting someone outside the genre, they’ve gone with a country legend in Reba McEntire.
If you’re looking for an opportune auditory retreat from the utter madness that is 2020, then Brent Cobb has just dropped one right in your lap, and not a moment too soon. Like taking a slow drive through the countryside, or sitting on the back porch on a Sunday afternoon with a jar of tea, he’ll get you to feeling right.
2020 is not done just yet offering up country and roots music worthy of listening to, and perhaps some of the projects we’ll regard as the best all year once late December rolls around. So just to make sure you don’t miss anything, here are some of Saving Country Music’s top recommendations for the final portion of 2020.
Brent Cobb, Brett Resnick, Brothers Osborne, Chris Stapleton, Dale Watson, David Quinn, Josh Abbott Band, Laur Joamets, Rachel Brooke, Sunny Sweeney, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, William Elliot Whitmore, Yellow Rose
Don’t think of Tennessee Jet as your typical country music performer. Consider him more like a character from a Beat-era novel, hitchhiking from California and back, hanging out with a motorcycle gang for a week in the desert, camping out under the stars on the side of the road, all with a guitar slung on his back.
Of all the implausibles of 2020, who would have thunk that Travis Tritt would be the one to release one of the most topically-relevant songs of the time? In his first new taste of original music in 13 years, he puts some “drive” in his country as he once famously compelled us all to do in 1990.
When you find a performer this young and talented, it’s not just the entertainment value they posses at that moment, but the possibility of what they could develop into as time goes on that compels you. But Jake Blocker is already writing his own songs in his debut album.
No matter the attitude one brings to this unusual, and unexpected work by Tyler Childers, it’s undeniable that when his biography is penned, a dedicated portion will be transfixed on remembering that time during the crazy pandemic of 2020 that he released a surprise record full of old-time fiddle tunes
If you’re looking for a honky tonk sweetheart, then you’ve found one in native Californian Victoria Bailey, who comes sauntering out of the painted desert on a Palomino like a singin’ cowgirl from the days of old, seducing you with eyes the size of flying saucers and a sweet soprano with the most perfect country warble.
He is one of these artists that’s too rough-and-tumble for the Nashville scene, and not polished enough for Texas/Red Dirt. But McWade has garnered a following all his own between the margins, just like fellow songwriter Cody Jinks, who recorded one of McWade’s songs on his recent album ‘The Wanting.’
Through the Bro-Country era, Tim McGraw became one of the surprising saving graces in mainstream country music by entering his late career stage doubling back to his roots and releasing quality songs that were surprisingly more country than even some of his earlier stuff, and even finding success with them on the radio.
Juliet McConkey’s debut album Disappearing Girl leaves one touched in a way that is lasting, and reminds you why music holds such a dedicated and reverent place in your life in the first place. You’re left spent, and eternally grateful. Hurt never sounded so sweet.
With stellar frontman Raul Malo, The Mavericks have dabbled in Spanish language music before. But En Español is the first time the outfit delves into Spanish language material exclusively, both in the form of some new, original compositions, as well as some tasteful covers.
Perhaps now they’ve figured out where Carly Pearce’s place is, which is not trying to keep up with the Maren Morris’s of the world, but to be the more traditional-leaning lady of today’s popular country. That’s what you hear from her new single, released somewhat unexpectedly, called “Next Girl.”
Those who know, know. Those who don’t should work to remedy that, and post haste. We’re talking about whether your musical universe includes any knowledge of New Mexico native Cahalen Morrison, or not. He recently released a new solo record called “Wealth of Sorrow.”
Straight out of the Texas music heartland where they’ve sold who knows how much Lone Star and Shiner while holding court on the stage of the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, the Shaker Hymns want to see if they can launch the next Texas music legacy.