The experience of attending the annual Folk Alliance International music festival and conference in Kansas City, MO is not one that could ever be compartmentalized in written form, or in any other form of media for that matter. It’s simply something you dive into and try to take away as much as you can.
The songs and Brandi Carlile’s voice is what you come here for, and she delivers her fair share and more of moments that you cherish, remember, and repeat on your listening device as soon as they’re over because they’re just so damn good.
When you think Hall & Oates, you think of albums like Private Eyes, which nearly defined schlocky 80s studio pop rock that wasn’t ballsy enough for hair metal, or refined enough for Yacht Rock. But like most all artists, early influences and overall acumen are rarely represented by what makes it onto the Billboard Hot 100.
Delightfully sloppy and disconnected, good to listen to during a drunk or hangover, and hard not to love, “And Gold” and Yellow Feather are a good little regional project that should be drawing ears from across a wider cross section of the country and roots world, and very well may if they can keep what’s cool at the heart of this music in tact
Last summer when Mile 0 Fest announced its intentions to hold a Texas music festival in Key West, Florida, and then announced a lineup that seemed almost too good to be true, there was an awful lot of concern and trepidation about what could happen.
Perhaps Mike and the Moonpies are the greatest true country band out there right now. They at least deserve to be in that discussion. But what is hard to argue is that Mike and the Moonpies are the band out there right now where the attention their music deserves is woefully out-of-whack with how many people know about them.
Sometimes the best way to illustrate absurdity is by being absurd. Sometimes the best way to protest something is through parody. Songwriter, producer, singer, and performer Dustin Christensen does both in a new song he’s released randomly under the pseudonym Dean Summerwind called “Parked By The Lake.”
So what happened? It’s less likely that Justin Timberlake and Timbaland were lying, and more likely that the country record Justin Timberlake envisioned never got made. At some point in the process, Timberlake must have had a change of heart. The entire pursuit was scrapped for what became “Man of the Woods.”
Mike and the Moonpies’ “Steak Night at the Prairie Rose” has the Sizzle Country Music’s Salivating For
It’s the local flavor, the authenticity, the dedication to themselves, their fans, the music, and the true-to-life dues paid by Mike and the Moonpies that make them darn near the perfect embodiment of the Austin, TX dance hall and dive bar band so many want to emulate, but so few want to put in the sweat or make the sacrifices to actually become.
I’m sorry, but Luke Bryan’s “Most People Are Good” is a good song. It’s a really good song. And we’re all just going to have to deal with that in whatever way we individually see fit, however painful it might be. The biggest problem with “Most People Are Good” is that Luke Bryan sings it.
From the lowly and remote outpost for underground country that is Salt Lake City, amid the spires of Latter Day Saints churches and the shimmering mountains cutting into the sky, you will find two old souls by the name of Ryan Eastlyn and Braxton Brandenburg, known collectively as the Ugly Valley Boys.
At 12:01 last night (or this morning), after all the hands had been shaken, and all the hugs exchanged on the Saturday Night Live set in New York’s Rockefeller Center, you didn’t know what to do with yourself. Okay, now you’re supposed to just nestle into bed and act like that didn’t just happen?
What happened to Justin Timberlake making a country record, or at least including some country or “earthy” Americana on it? I can’t tell you. However “Say Something”—the studio track that is—delivers somewhat on Timberlake’s more updated promise of Man of the Woods being “Americana with 808’s.”
Journeywoman songwriter and closet singer/performer Caitlyn Smith just released perhaps the best country pop record to grace the roster of Music Row projects in a half a decade or more, and we should all be embarrassed and inconsolably incredulous it took so damn long for this voice and these songs to get their proper due.
The Söderberg sisters don’t just sing, they soar. Their harmonies are so angelic and adept, the siblings come across more like deities than entertainers, untouchable and ethereal, blessed with immortal capacities, and brought to the Earth only to convey their wisdom in sonnet and rhyme.
“Parallel Line” could have been cut by Ed Sheeran, Keith Urban, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, or whomever. It doesn’t really matter who sung it; it would have sounded almost exactly the same. That’s why so many immediately identified this as an Ed Sheeran song. Popular music is just numerous pop franchises with many different faces.
“Woman, Amen” is the first complete song to grace our ears since Dierks experienced his vision quest whilst among the mountains of Telluride, CO—rekindling his bluegrass roots, communing with nature, sprinkling fresh blueberries and certified non GMO rolled granola over a bed of Greek yogurt for breakfast every morning.
Nobody really wants to be an Outlaw. They just think they do. All that black leather and badass attitude, booze and women, it looks like the essence of cool from afar. But it’s a lot easier to admire the Outlaw life from a distance than it is to actually live it yourself.
Context is everything here, and it’s critically-important we regard what the end game with this song is. The impetus for Carrie Underwood’s “The Champion” is to be a TV theme song for the Super Bowl on NBC. But I don’t know folks. As was expressed recently, we need Carrie Underwood in country right now, but not necessarily this version.
What’s the value in late career success when you sell out to attain it like David Lee Murphy has done here? You can forgive the lightness in the writing. You can even excuse the cavorting with Kenny Chesney. But that stupid electronic drum beat is the type of thing David Lee Murphy should be railing against.