The album ‘Purgatory’ by Tyler Childers will go down in history as one of the most important and successful releases by any country music artist in the last ten years, and perhaps in history. But now it’s time for Tyler’s ‘Can I Take My Hounds To Heaven?’ to attempt to grip our attention.
It’s a remarkable achievement that an album like this was even made under the otherwise repressive jurisdiction of the Music Row system in Nashville. No, you should not consider this like a conventional album release by Ashley McBryde, meaning a succession of potential radio singles and album cuts.
Aaron Raitiere, Ashley McBryde, Benjy Davis, Brandy Clark, Brothers Osborne, Caylee Hammack, Connie Harrington, Dennis Linde, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Hot Country Knights, John Osborne, Kacey Musgraves, Nicolette Hayford, Pillbox Patti, Pistol Annies, TJ Osborne
It’s an indelible part of country music mythology. Right beside the stories of the country hayseeds rising out of the rural landscape to become superstars, there are parallel stories of the singers and songwriters that had the stuff to be nationally-recognized names, but are sitting in half empty barrooms somewhere.
The amount of album releases these days can be dizzying. And it can be even more daunting when you have a release day with some super big titles that suck up all the attention when some of the other releases from smaller and more independent artists are just as important or enjoyable.
Aaron Raitiere, Ashley McBryde, Benjy Davis, Brandy Clark, Brothers Osborne, Caylee Hammack, Connie Harrington, David Adam Byrnes, Dom Flemons, Dropkick Murphy's, Evan Felker, Hellbound Glory, John Fullbright, John Osborne, Leroy Virgil, Mary Bragg, Mayeux and Broussard, Nora Guthrie, Pillbox Patti, Shooter Jennings, Taylor Englert, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers
Coinciding with the announcement of Shania Twain’s signing with Republic Nashville was the release of the most terrible single called “Waking Up Dreaming” that dashes any hopes for a resurgence of Shania country, and picks up where her paltry 2017 comeback record Now left off, namely pop music.
The title of this Benjamin Tod solo project called Songs I Swore I’d Never Sing is to be taken literally. Comprised of 10 songs recorded in only six hours, some of the tracks were written as long as 10 years ago, while others are more recent. What binds them all together is how Tod shelved them all.
Sunny Sweeney is her own woman. It’s her approach and songs that make this album the standout that it is. It’s her honesty, and the way the sentiments marry perfectly with the music that make “Married Alone” a pretty excellent example of everything country music is supposed to be.
Held on the same grounds as the massive Rocklahoma gathering, Born & Raised boasted one of the best lineups all year on an incredibly crowded weekend. Just the Friday night lineup alone was worth the effort, with some of the best songwriters and performers in all of country music booked one after another.
American Aquarium, BJ Barham, Born and Raised Fest, Brothers Osborne, Charles Wesley Godwin, Cleto Cordero, Cody Jinks, Cory Kent, Courtney Patton, Dalton Domino, David Abeyta, Drew Harakal, Flatland Cavalry, Gary Rossington, Graycie York, Hank Early, Hold My Beer and Watch This, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Boland, Joey Spina, Josh Abbott Band, Josh Meloy, Joshua Ray Walker, Kat Hasty, Kendall Marvell, Kendell Marvell, Kody West, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Margo Price, MIke and the Moonpies, Muskrat Jones, Natalie Hemby, Nick Shoulders, Omar Oyoque, Randy Rogers Band, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Reid Dillon, Rickey Medlocke, Rocklahoma, Summer Dean, Tanner Usrey, Tanya Tucker, Taylor Englert, Tennessee Jet, Them Dirty Roses, Tim Montana, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen, Wesley Hall, Whitey Morgan, William Beckmann, Zach Bryan
Adam Hood is a songwriter’s songwriter, doing it for the love of the craft as opposed to the commercial application of whatever he comes up with. Similar accusations can be made of his buddy Brent Cobb who came on as a producer. Add Blackberry Smoke to the cast as the album’s backing band.
Tanya Tucker is nothing short of a modern living Queen of Country Country Music, who deserves all the rights and privileges that such a designation bestows. She proved this in Pryor, Oklahoma on the grounds of the famous Rocklahoma festival where Born & Raised is held.
Well damn. Drake Milligan did not win America’s Got Talent. The consolation prize for Drake Milligan fans is a good one. It’s an excellent new 14 song album that dropped the day after the AGT finale called Dallas/Fort Worth, and it’s way better and more meaningful then any silly trophy.
Like ferreting through your grandfather’s old belongings, and unearthing a rare collection of 78s representing a sumptuous cross-section of bygone American music that despite the dated verbiage and vintage styles, feels vibrant and fresh as ever as it hits your ears that have been rendered voracious.
I hope someone out there appreciates the rigors one has to go through to cover the full breadth of what falls in the “country music” beat. Lucky for you, I watched the debut episode of FOX’s new country music drama ‘Monarch’ starring Trace Adkins and Susan Sarandon so you didn’t have to, and I just want to say, you’re welcome.
At 26-years-old, Tommy Prine is the youngest son of John Prine. He learned how to fingerpick from his father, first picking up a guitar at the age of 10. But interestingly, it wasn’t his father’s music that first inspired Tommy to get into singer/songwriter material at the ago of 17. It was Jason Isbell’s opus ‘Southeastern.’
Not entirely country, but country enough, with interesting and curious textures throughout, unique and unexpected approaches to songs, and inspired songwriting graced by soaring performances, King Margo’s new album ‘Waters Rise’ begs to be remarked upon, and heard by a wider audience.
They love to say that in Texas, the women are more beautiful, and the beer is colder. I’m not sure that can be scientifically proven. But there is something that is most certainly palpable—though in many ways indefinable—that does make the musical moments down in Texas feel significantly more meaningful.
American Aquarium, Bill Whitbeck, Brendon Anthony, Brian Beken, Cody Canada, Cody Canada and The Departed, Cross Canadian Ragweed, David B=ecks Tejano Weekend, Eric Church, Floore's Country Store, George Jones, James McMurtry, Jerry Jeff Walker, Noah Jeffries, Robert Earl Keen, Texas Music Office
This Jon Pardi guy must’ve taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque or something. He’s all wrong side up. Doesn’t he understand that the arc of a country music star is to start off real twangy so you get support from the grassroots, and then as soon as you start to blow up a little bit, switch to pop or rock to cash in.
No ladies and gentlemen, the Panhandlers weren’t just a lark. The supergroup of Texans consisting of Josh Abbott, William Clark Green, songwriter John Baumann, and Cleto Cordero of Flatland Cavalry has just released a boot-stomping, hard country tune called “Where Cotton Is King.”
Those knuckleheads out in Nashville might not even recognize the name, but down in Texas, the New Braunfels-based Bri Bagwell is nothing short of a Texas country superstar, minting #1’s on Texas country’s radio network, winning multiple Texas Radio awards, and doing it all in a region that’s tough for women.
At their last possible breaking point before absolute annihilation and the resignation to go get regular jobs, BJ Barham and American Aquarium pushed all their chips to the center of the table, bet hard in a last dying gasp, and won in their 2012 album “Burn. Flicker. Die” released 10 years ago today.
It’s going to be hard for some distinguishing music fans to acknowledge that the paradigm in mainstream country is shifting. At this point, lashing out at any artist on corporate radio is an act of muscle memory, and often unlearning those motions is harder than learning them. This most certainly doesn’t mean there still isn’t […]
When you’re looking for the most potent and gifted of today’s songwriters, Portland, Oregon’s Anna Tivel deserves inclusion in that camp right beside the James McMurtry’s and John Moreland’s of the music world. Though not as well-known or venerated as others—at least not yet…
Combining songs of heartbreak with a little extra steel guitar on this one, it makes Somewhere Between The Secret and the Truth just as much “country music” as it is “Texas music,” while not forgoing the type of songs that are easy to love, and have earned Wade Bowen a wide and omnivorous audience.
So now here comes Blake Shelton with a photoshopped mullet, releasing what he’s marketing as a 90s-style country single called “No Body.” But unlike some of these other artists professing their proficiency with 90s country, ol’ Blake Shelton was actually around and playing music at the tail end of the era.