Not exactly sure what has gotten into 2018, but all of a sudden we’re finding ourselves in the midst of one hell of a twangy, honky-tonkin’, 90’s-style resurgence in country music. Add Jay Bragg and his new album Honky Tonk Dream to the list of names and projects you need to check out.
Apparently there is a hard and fast proviso in the mainstream country music bylaws stating that artists signed to major labels must release a torpid, moronic ode to coincide with the official observance of summer each calendar year. Over the years Luke Bryan has been one of the most steadfast observers of this natural summer phenomenon.
The music of Pharis and Jason Romero is stripped-down and rootsy, born from the traditions of country and folk similarly, and steeped in songwriting customs and the interplay of harmony. If you’re looking for an entry point into what Pharis and Jason Romero are capable of as a steadfast country fan or otherwise, ‘Sweet Old Religion’ is it.
Ahead of the July 27th release of Cody’s new album Lifers comes the debut track “Must Be The Whiskey” written by underground country artist Josh Morningstar. A bit more than just your average drinking ode, the song delves into the revolving door that hard alcohol can be—drinking to numb the pain of a broken heart…
There’s no mistaking Josh Ward as anything but country. We’re not talking about close approximations or the blending of styles in some way. When you think traditional country in the style of classic George Strait, this is Josh Ward. It’s steel guitar, it’s fiddle, it’s twangy lead guitar overlapping lyrics of heartache, sin, and redemption.
See, this is what they should have been doing with the Wal-Mart Yodeling Boy from the start, not sticking him in some studio with Joey Moi of Nickelback fame to record a song left on the cutting house floor after a Florida Georgia Line session. Mason Ramsey doesn’t even need to be singing original songs at this point.
Bentley’s new record The Mountain is not some dramatic return to his bluegrass roots, and it’s probably not even fair to call it rootsy aside from a few songs. But it is a return to Dierks Bentley doing what he does best, which is putting out good, quality, often inspiring songs that are raised in importance since they’re something you enjoy with others.
Amid the rubble of what Nashville once was, lurking in the shadows of the condominium high rises and prefabricated mixed use block developments spanning across the city like a contagion, there is a thriving and vibrant honky tonk movement doing what it can to keep the old style of country music alive.
American Legion Post 82, Brendan Malone, Cheryl Desere'e, Cory Younts, Jesse Lee Jones, Kevin Martin, Kristina Murray, Michaela Anne, Old Crow Medicine Show, Robert's Western World, Ronnie Dale, Santa's Pub, The Three Country Tenors, Tommy Ash
Now that we’re starting to see a lot of the 80’s and 90’s era traditional-style country starting to make a comeback, an artist like Tim Culpepper all of a sudden comes across as pretty damn cool, even though it’s more the listening trends shifting towards him, instead of vice versa.
Pound for pound, if you’re looking the most enjoyable record of Willie Nelson’s career, the one that captures him at his creative apex the most, the one that birthed some of his most lasting contributions to recorded music, it’s not a studio record of his at all. It’s a double live album he recorded in April of 1978 at Harrah’s Casino in Lake Tahoe.
These six songs are admittedly sad bastard fare if there ever was any, but that’s the way it goes when you’re looking for songs that don’t just entertain, but fulfill, or illuminate something important in life most catchy tunes fall short of.
Just like Lady Antebellum, Sugarland should have been relegated to the graveyard of failed country music franchises, if for no other reason than the respective members were actually much better in their off season solo projects than the sum of their parts ever were together. But in an industry that is empty of new ideas and interested in squeezing money from whatever crevice possible, no franchise is off the table for resurrection.
For so many artists and fans, country music is their compass in life. It conveys a sense of home and comfort like nothing else can. No matter how crazy the world gets, no matter how far one strays from their roots—musically or otherwise—country music is always there to welcome them back with open arms.
As we move past the musical halfway pole for 2018, it’s time once again to look back in the rear-view mirror and see what has wowed us the most so far. Along with some excellent albums that will go on to be considered for some of the best all year, the spring of 2018 has also revealed itself as one of the busiest release periods for in years.
American Aquarium should no longer be around. It was a marginal name to begin with, and for a band that was tough to define or find a home for, and that was built upon the concept of drugs, drinking, and the implosion of life before you’re 30. But frontman and songwriter BJ Barham was too stupid to quit.
Ragingly relevant to 2012, the latest Florida Georgia Line reboot goes full-blown Mumford & Sons on our asses as part of their big, multi-year rehabilitation campaign to save their skins from certain doom as a laughing stock of country music history. And when I say Mumford and Sons, I’m talking about the whole damn motif.
Benefiting The Young Texans Against Cancer, the 10th Annual Lone Star Jam held forth at the rodeo grounds in Austin, TX over Memorial Day weekend, May 26th and 27th. Saving Country Music braved the heat to take in the festivities and snap a few photos.
Bri Bagwell, Cleto Cordero, Dalton Domino, Drugstore Gypsies, Flatland Cavalry, Gary Allan, Jaime Wyatt, Kody West, Laura Jane, Lone Star Jam, MIke and the Moonpies, Parker McCollum, Randall King, Randy Rogers, Read Southall, Reckless Kelly, Stoney LaRue, The Randy Rogers Band, Troy Cartwright, William Clark Green
Since the tender age of 11, fraternal twins Sarah and Savannah Church from the coal mining region of Dickerson County, Virginia have been spellbinding listeners with their close sister harmonies evoked in classic bluegrass and gospel arrangements worthy of consideration right beside the all-time greats of the discipline.
Classic country fans and throwback rockabilly cats descended in throngs upon Nashville’s Opryland Resort and The Nashville Palace on Memorial Day weekend to participate in the annual Nashville Boogie presented by Muddy Roots. Dubbed a celebration of mid-century American culture, the event included five stages over four days.
"Cousin" Kenny Vaughan, Celine Lee, Chris Scruggs, Dallas Moore, Deke Dickerson, John Shannon, Muddy Roots, Narvel Felts, Nashville Boogie, Tammi Savoy, The Nashville Palace, The Rimshots, Tommy Ash, Zephania Ohora