It’s a shame that at a time when Randy Howard was renewing his faith through Gospel music that his life was taken from him in a senseless act over an incidental issue. But it’s also fortunate that his final breaths in music were captured in moments of faith and servitude before he passed on.
“Diane” is said to be sort of an answer song, or a continuation of the story of Dolly Parton’s iconic country music classic “Jolene.” Of course “Jolene” is about the Dolly worrying that another woman is going to steal her man. “Diane” is presumably about that other woman, recounting a remorseful tale.
Hellbound Glory’s latest record Pinball comes across as brash and unapologetic, and it’s underpinned by one of the highlights of the project, the song “Hellbound Blues.” But at the heart of the song is how the scourge of addiction can rule and ruin one’s life, especially in the throes of the dark hours.
It’s funny. You mention Lee Ann Womack to certain segments of traditional country music fans, and you’re liable to get a sideways glance, or downright gruff. Little do they know the leadership Lee Ann has exhibited over the last decade plus in keeping the roots of country music alive.
What’s great about Dillon Carmichael’s “Old Songs Like That” is it doesn’t focus on the negative, it accentuates what is positive about all those old country songs. It preaches their virtues, attempts to explain their importance, and pays homage to them not just in name, but in style.
Though there are an incredible amount of songs about wanderlust and road life in the annals of country and classic rock, a true travel album articulated just as much as a journal as a work of fiction is hard to come by. That’s what you get with singer and songwriter Ira Wolf’s “The Closest Thing to Home.”
We have failed at even making a dent in this female dilemma. So why not think outside of the box? Why not throw out all the old notions that to break down the gender barrier we should just start serving up eye candy singing bubblegum pop? Besides, that’s not the trend we’ve been seeing take hold recently.
Dori Freeman is separating herself from the gaggle of country’s most encouraging prospects by mining the simple beauty from Appalachian dialect, taking deprecated compositions in outmoded tongues and making them feel more relevant than the most modernized hip-hop beats, and then contribution her own original expressions.
Before the accolades start to feel like platitudes, and the reasons become excuses, the Turnpike Troubadours should find their place in the national narrative. Because country music needs them. The Turnpike Troubadours are the band for right here, right now, delivering everything you want, saddled by nothing you don’t need.
Make no mistake about it, the reason a song like this came about is because of the continued criticism coming at artists like Luke Bryan that question their legitimacy as country performers. This means the spirited dissent being logged by literally millions of country fans at this point is being heard, and making an impact.
With only two people and one mic, Mapache can fill up a room with more soul soaring harmony than most symphonic assemblies, carried to great heights by melodies that are incredibly supple and bursting with delight, timeless in their textures and delivery, yet with subtle new turns that give Mapache the benefit of originality.
From the very beginning, there has always been a Gothic side to country and roots music. From the murder ballads and ghost stories of the Ralph Peer-era pioneers of country, to tales of struggle and lunacy from more modern underground artists attempting to keep those haunting spirits alive, Gothic country never gets its due credit.
If tasked to do so, I will unflinchingly and wholeheartedly endorse that Leroy Virgil of Hellbound Glory is one of the greatest songwriters of our generation—up there with Jason Isbell, Cody Jinks, John Moreland et al, even if it’s of a different breed—puffing my chest out and challenging any man willing to assert otherwise.
What Jon Pardi has done over the last year is prove that an artist can stick to a more traditional style, and not only sustain, but turn in career marks, even in this difficult environment for traditional artists in the mainstream, and a stacked field for artists looking to be launched. “She Ain’t In It” is a classic country crooning heartbreak song…
Kellie Pickler is at her best when she writes her own material, and when she makes it personal. That was at the heart of 100 Proof’s critical success. Pickler’s shattered upbringing have made for some excellent country music over the years, and her personal history is what inspires her latest song “If It Wasn’t For a Woman.”
This is a record you use to get lost in the sonic beauty, with groove and soul setting the foundation. As Sturgill Simpson says, all good music is soul music. And since it’s still cast in those sepia hues of classic songs, even a country audience in favor of neotraditional styles will be able to relate. Bravo, Mr. McPherson. Bravo.
Whitney Rose’s “Rule 62″ (which by the way is “Don’t Take Yourself Too Damn Seriously”), is fun and fashionable in that throwback sort of way that’s the rage of independent roots circles at the moment, while also being bolstered by quality songwriting framed within a vintage era that still appeals to the modern perspective.
Music is the way we get through these moments. And though others have tried valiantly, Eric Church is the one so far, verified by the viral reaction, that has stepped out of the shadows of grief to deliver the light and the message we’ve all been waiting to hear, and put words to the emotions we all feel.
The Lost Bayou Ramblers—a very traditional Cajun-style band from Louisiana—has been both helping to keep the Cajun traditions alive in the ears of modern audiences, and trying to find new sonic frontiers for an almost ancient art form for going on some 15 years now.
Sorry to disrupt any Shania Twain fans out there enjoying their Tim Horton’s Canadian bacon breakfast, but this new album is complete junk. Yet the least worthy of blame might be the one whose name and visage grace the cover, trying uselessly to revitalize the 90’s relevancy of leopard print.