Country & Roots Music’s Best Live Performers of 2019
Naming the best live performances of a given year is not the same as naming the best songs, albums, or artists, because it is dependent on the experiences of the individual making the list. Where we all have access to the inventory of albums and songs released in country music in a given year thanks to streaming, the live experience is all about your own personal memories. So it goes without saying this list is simply one perspective, and there are plenty others out there. For example, yours truly did not get to see Cody Jinks perform this year. So he is not included on the list, not as a slight, but for logistical reasons.
Your opinions are more than likely to be different. So please, for the benefit of everyone, feel free to share your opinions below in the comments section and let the rest of us know who we should make sure not to miss when they come rolling through our town.
Honorable mentions are due to Bri Bagwell, Shane Smith and the Saints, The Brother Brothers, Logan Ledger, Charles Wesley Godwin, and Austin’s The Tender Things who played great sets this year. Also must mention Amanda Shires, and her performances of her song “Parking Lot Pirouette” this year, including at the Americana Music Awards, which shook rafters.
This was supposed to be a list of the top 10 performances. But due to such a crowded field, things boiled over. And yes, there are three #1 acts. All should be considered equals at the very top level of live performance. They were all so great, it seemed unfair to put one over the other.
11. Whitey Morgan
(Appearing at: Wild Hare Countryfest)
Whitey Morgan and the 78’s are always great live, but when they were scheduled to play one of the headlining sets at the Wild Hare Country Fest in Canby, Oregon this summer, they ended up playing two. Someone told Whitey there was no sound curfew, probably expecting him to play two or three songs over his set time. Instead the son-of-a-bitch started running through every classic country drinking song he knew until they had to wrestle the mic from him. Mammoth set.
10. Kaitlin Butts
(Appearing at: Wild Hare Countryfest)
No hyperbole folks, Kaitlin Butts stole the show at Wild Hare Country Fest in Canby, Oregon this summer with a full band behind her. Her set was the one everybody was raving about for the rest of the weekend. Often seen singing with fiance Cleto Cordero of the band Flatland Cavalry, Kaitlin has proved she’s most certainly worthy of her own sets on big stages in front of capacity crowd. Such a great combination of poise and attitude. This is the future Queen of Texas/Red Dirt. “This next song’s about the time I dated a trucker who left me for a stripper. It’s called ‘Same Hell, Different Devil.’”
9. Courtney Marie Andrews
(Appearing at: Pickathon)
The mighty Douglas Firs of the Pacific Northwest shuddered in awe as Courtney Marie Andrews took the Pickathon stage, stirring some human emotions some had forgotten they could even feel. Her songcraft and fearlessness in delivering powerful stories with an even more powerful voice is something that inspires you to change yourself. She is a gift to the music universe we’re not making nearly enough of a fuss about.
8. Lukas Nelson
(Appearing at: Luck Reunion)
Hopefully Willie Nelson outlives us all. But if not, this man has proven that he’s more than capable of carrying on the Nelson legacy into the future. His 2019 record Turn Off The News (Build a Garden) received mixed reception (this set of ears enjoyed it), but his live show remains one of the marvels of roots music to behold.
7. Tyler Childers
(Appearing at: Mile 0 Fest & Pickathon)
Only a select few times every generation does the right mix of talent, skill, upbringing, influence, and opportunity conspire to create an artist like Tyler Childers. Whether singing to friends and family in a Kentucky holler, or to a capacity crowd in Key West FL, his songs reverberate beyond the present moment.
6. Jack Ingram
(Appearing at: Mile 0 Fest)
You’ll be hard pressed to find a more passionate musician willing to give himself so completely to the songs and the stories behind them than the incomparable Jack Ingram. He’s a walking one-man party who often feels a step away from landing in the local drunk tank, yet is always a full step into attaining the musical divine.
Jack Ingram flies criminally under-the-radar, even in his home environs in Texas these days. You may consider his records hit and miss. But when standing in front of a stage where Jack Ingram is holding court, there is now denying the power and infectiousness he brings to live performance.
5. Sierra Ferrell
(Appearing at: AmericanaFest)
Recently signed to Rounder Records, Sierra Ferrell’s magical Appalachian country/ragtime swing/gypsy jazz style is something to behold live. There are such amazing layers and textures in her voice and style, and it’s all conveyed with such confidence and grace. She’s both an amalgam of American roots, yet distinctly all her own. Playing just by herself, a simple fiddle accompaniment, or a full band, it doesn’t matter. It’s all rendered mesmerizing by the raw, yet refined talent of this young woman.
There are artists to watch out for, and then there are artists who everything seems to align for on their way to making music the right way. Sierra Ferrell certainly fits in that second category, and roots fans should be paying rapt attention.
(Appearing at: Luck Reunion, AmericanaFest)
There’s country soul, and then there’s Yola. She has one of those voices where the goosebumps affirm you’re hearing something that’s one in a million. You can preach about diversity all you want, and attempt to instill it through nominations, awards, and fawning features on entertainment websites. But if diversity doesn’t come with undeniable talent that emphasizes why it can be so important, it will never do the important work of breaking down the hardened perspectives that keep prejudices alive.
At the 2019 Americana Music Awards in September, John Prine won for Album and Song of the Year, and Brandi Carlile won for Artist of the Year. But it was Yola who turned in the performance of the night with “Faraway Look.” Yola isn’t one of the most promising and inspiring talents in all of country and roots in 2019 because of who she is. It’s because of the incredible talent she possesses, and how she showcases it. Who she is just happens to make her ascent that much more important. In a word, “Incredible.”
3. Cedric Burnside
(Appearing at: Pickathon)
The son of blues legend R.L. Burnside has been well-known to the deep blues world for many years, but what he’s been doing over the last few is something other worldly. He begins on guitar and singing, he then converts to playing drums, which is his natural instrument. “Soul” is usually not a word reserved for drummers, but Cedric Burnside embodies it behind the skins like no other. If you see him touring through your town or on a festival lineup, do not pass up the opportunity to see him perform.
2. The Mavericks
(Appearing at: Mile 0 Fest)
Whether you’re a fan of The Mavericks from the days of old when they were winning CMAs and ACMs back in the mid 90’s and launching radio hits like “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,” or their newer era with albums like their return record In Time from 2013 that won Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year, whenever they’re rolling through your town, The Mavericks are a sure bet for one hell of a show to see. Even if you’ve never heard a lick of their music whatsoever, don’t be afraid as a country music fan to mix your twang with a little Latin influence. Celebrating the 30th Anniversary on the road in 2019, The Mavericks still brought the party, and proved they continue to be one of the best live acts in all of music led by one of our generation’s most gifted singers and frontmen, Raul Malo.
1. Tami Neilson
(Appearing at: AmericanaFest)
The only people who believe you’re prone to hyperbole when you declare Tami Neilson as one of the greatest singers alive are people who have never seen her live themselves. She’s like a tornado—a force of nature you can’t help stand back and be awed by. “Mama’s got to play two shows, ‘cause they don’t play country on country radio,” she sang at AmericanaFest. Superlative in country, rockabilly and soul, she’s one of those artist’s worth labeling as “must see” before you leave this Earth.
New album CHICKABOOM! due out Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2020.
1. Mike and the Moonpies
(Appearing at: Mile 0 Fest, Wild Hare Countryfest, Pickathon, AmericanaFest)
Mike and the Moonpies not only have one of the most critically-acclaimed records in country music in 2019 with Cheap Silver & Solid Country Gold, for the second year in a row, it is fair to regard them as the greatest country act to see live. There’s just nobody else around that can match their energy and infectiusness. And it’s country to the core, with twang and steel guitar. They’re the desert island live country band. Combined with their recorded output, it’s not ridiculous to consider Mike and the Moonpies as the greatest band in all of country music at the moment.
1. Billy Strings
(Appearing at: AmericanaFest)
It’s like this asshole isn’t even from this planet. Billy Strings does things on the guitar that aren’t possible from a physical or theoretical standpoint. He’s like the psilocybin of music, taking you places you thought weren’t accessible in the conscious world, and all while making it look so effortless. Billy Strings is best musician you will witness live in our generation. All of this, and he stays true to his bluegrass roots. What a gift of life getting to watch him perform is.
Also much respect to his band members Billy Failing, Royal Masat, and Jarrod Walker, not just for keeping up with this maestro, but embellishing his music with their own, top-shelf bluegrass talents. You think everything’s been done in country and roots music? Then you’ve never seen Billy Strings.
Cool Lester Smooth
December 17, 2019 @ 10:54 am
Jade Bird’s on the line of country, rock, roots, and pop, and the production on her first full-length trended towards the latter…but she’s unreal live – her shows are up there with Courtney’s and Margo Price’s, and she blew Colter Wall off the stage, when she opened for him.
December 17, 2019 @ 11:37 am
I saw Jade Bird sit in with Brent Cobb at AmericanFest to sing their duet together, and she also performed on the Americana Awards show, but haven’t seen her perform solo. Lots of folks have requested I review her record, but I concur that it’s so much more pop than anything, I just don’t know what to do with it. It’s not that it’s bad, but I honestly struggle to put her even in something like “pop Americana.” I hope to see her live soon, and hopefully that helps me “get it.”
December 17, 2019 @ 12:14 pm
I think it will. I liked her album before I saw her at hinterland but once seeing her live it’s a whole new ballgame. I was there for Kacey Musgraves but left raving about Jade Bird
Cool Lester Smooth
December 17, 2019 @ 12:44 pm
Yeah, I had the same experience when she opened for Colter, to the point where I was legitimately disappointed with the latter’s show.
Did she do any covers at Hinterland? She always knocks them out of the park – the kid’s just crazy talented.
December 17, 2019 @ 12:56 pm
Yes she covered walk like an Egyptian. It was legit
December 17, 2019 @ 2:19 pm
Yeah, bad move putting any high energy act before Colter. Nothing against him live, but he needs another sedated songwriter buttering up a crowd for him.
December 17, 2019 @ 2:55 pm
That’s my one concern about NYE at Cain’s.
How are they going to go from Moonpies to Colter…
Cool Lester Smooth
December 17, 2019 @ 4:25 pm
Yeah, her version of that is fantastic – last show I saw, she and her guitarist covered Black Star, by Radiohead.
It felt like the audience was interrupting something.
Cool Lester Smooth
December 17, 2019 @ 12:35 pm
I’ve seen her live four times in the last 20 months, and can be accurately described as a super-fan…but I really fucking hated the production on Jade Bird – does less justice to her talent than Margo’s albums, even.
I do still like the album, because she’s a phenomenal songwriter and I don’t mind pop as such, but I’m really hoping that the duet with Brent means that she’ll work with Dave on the next one.
Her EP, Something American (released when she was 19!!!), does a much better job capturing the energy of her live show…although her live cover of “I’ve Been Everywhere” is even better than the recorded version.
December 17, 2019 @ 11:22 am
The infamous Mile 0, Mike & the Moonpies set. I would have bet the farm that would have been #1.
I still got one concert to go this year — Chris Knight 12/29 (full band)!!!
However, to date I’ll have to give it to the Avett Brothers for their set on the Outlaw Fest stop outside of Pittsburgh. I’ve always ran hot and cold with the Avett Bros., but this set made me fall back in love with them. They were lit. The climax was a riotous, unhinged version of John Denver’s, “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” with Ketch Secor on fiddle.
One guy I will not add to my list this year is Tyler Childers. Two weeks ago we drove up to Detroit to see him and it was the first time in 5 concerts that I felt unsatisfied (or unfulfilled) by a Childers’ show. His set was 1hr an 22 min short … 19 songs. I checked on setlist.fm and that’s just a little under the norm for him these days. How is he not playing 2 hours? To make matters worse, 3 unnecessary covers – “Trudy,” “Tulsa Turnaround,” “Long Long Time to Get Old’ – at the expense of concert favorites like “Charleston Girl.” I got to hear “Take My Hounds to Heaven,” ‘Shake the Frost” and “Whitehouse Road,” so all was not lost. And I do like that he changes the setlist every show, so if you wanted to go back to back, the experience will be different, but it wasn’t worth driving 600 miles and a $200 hotel. This will factor into me traveling to see Tyler in the future.
December 17, 2019 @ 11:41 am
I saw Tyler Childers perform 2 1/2 times in 2019, and enjoyed it every time. However I will say that there’s something slightly missing from his live show that keeps him from the top level of live performers. He doesn’t let loose like the top performers mention here do, or like Sturgill Simpson did when he was coming up. He sort of relies on his intimate moments to carry a live set, but that’s not always why people are there. He’s great live because his music is great. But live doesn’t add an extra layer to those up-tempo songs.
December 17, 2019 @ 6:51 pm
It really shows during his performances on the talk show circuit. He just looks like he couldn’t be assed all of a sudden.
December 17, 2019 @ 7:23 pm
Saw Childers in St. Pete this year and I was really unimpressed. I like him a lot but I actually got bored during the show – I don’t believe that has ever happened to me before. Just felt like he had zero energy.
December 17, 2019 @ 11:38 am
Saw Billy Strings in Atlanta back in September, and it was everything I hoped it would be. Long instrumental jams, some spacey effects, cool light show, and a few awesome covers.
I also got to see the Marcus King Band twice in the last year (if you count last December), once opening for the Tedeschi Trucks Band. For my money, they put on one of the best live shows around, typically for a decent price, and like Billy, could be in the conversation for best musicians of this generation.
December 17, 2019 @ 7:25 pm
Agreed….Marcus King Band was probably my favorite show this year. Absolutely incredible!
December 17, 2019 @ 7:36 pm
…with Whiskey Myers coming in a close second!
December 17, 2019 @ 11:56 am
Where to start? Mike and The Moonpies are indeed as good as Trig advertises. Yes indeedy, saw it for myself. Lukas , saw him this year as well, is certainly good, but he feels more jam-band than country when playing live. Tami Neilson, oh my, she’s ridiculously , epic in every way. Cedric Burnside is great, seen him with Malcolm Lightning, but he’s a blues artist, not country music at all.
Last year I saw a lot of great shows but Johnny Bush and The Bandeleros were my lockdown favorite by far. He is the very definition of Honky Tonk and live is where he and his band excel.
This year, I saw many great shows but nothing beat The Time Jumpers last month in Nashville. 3 champion , legendary fiddlers, the most recorded steel player in modern times, newly added vocalist Wendy Moten who killed it and oh yeah, some guitar picker named Vince Gill! Seeing Mo Pitney thst night was a bonus.
December 17, 2019 @ 1:04 pm
I wanna add one other to my list of great shows this year- Jamey Johnson.
Yes, I know, he needs new music, I get it, but man is his current touring band red smoking hot! Pedal steel, a couple of guitars, and horns! Yes, Horns. Think about it this way. Hag loved horns and featured them in his band, Bocephus has used em, Asleep at The Wheel has always had em, so I’m very onboard with what Jameys doing. And on this particular night he had Rowdy Cope of The Steel Woods sitting in and adding more great guitar to the band! ( Rowdy used to be Jamey’s lead player) Say what you want about Johnsons lack of output but live, he is pretty strong.
December 17, 2019 @ 12:42 pm
I’ve been waiting for this thread if only to chronicle my year
of live shows that runs at this time at about 50 or 60 give or
take. Here are my highlights……………..
1. I had the absolute pleasure of seeing Sarah Shook & The Disarmers 5 times including 50 of us at a small venue in Bumblefuck, ILL (LaSalle) only to be outdone by the 4th of
July namesake Whiskey release party to 30 of us in an alley behind the FEW distillery where upon the band trotted through 10 tunes and drank whiskey with everyone. Every show was great and meeting Sarah was a heart warming experience I’ll never forget.
2. I’d never seen Cody Jinks until the 3 times I saw him this year
and he was consistently awesome throughout. There’s nothing like a crowd sing along with Cody I learned. A true celebration!
3. Mike and The Moonpies twice in a week. Had a cigarette with Mike before the first show and told him I loved Steak Night and without this site and I wouldn’t even know and he shoots back with “gettin ready to drop another one”…….wait huh??? One of
the best live bands around for sure. Album he dropped gets an A+
4. John Prine with Tyler Childers at Ravinia. A friend of mine ran
front of house sound for Tyler and I sat at the board as he mixed
a great opening set for a crowd in awe. Tyler recieved a stand ovation for the short set. Prine sounded great as well.
5. Last but not least…..I drove an hour south to see The Steel Blossoms play a benefit for Special Olympics. They played the entire album note for note flawlessly as well as walking around thanking and chatting with everyone there. My Top 5 for sure. These girls are true Country.
Whitey was great both times as always, Sunny Sweeney, Ward
Davis, and The Steelwoods were all spectacular too. Before finding this site I was disillusioned with radio wallowing in mainstream mediocrity and rarely attended any shows. My life is forever changed now.
December 17, 2019 @ 12:52 pm
Your very last comment really resonates with me. My ears and back aren’t good enough to go to many shows these days, but this site has changed my life by pointing out artists and albums I never would have discovered. Billy Strings’ recent album, for example, blows me away as much as Trig says the live show knocked his socks off.
December 17, 2019 @ 5:29 pm
The double set in LaSalle was something special.
The dude in front who brought his kid, I hope he cherishes it for a long time
December 17, 2019 @ 12:47 pm
Although he and his band may not fit this category and that is probably why he wasn’t listed, no one can touch Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives. I have read many of his contemporaries say the same thing, even in other genres of music. He has been honored in the “whatever-Americana-is” before so that is why I mention him.
For a 4-piece band, they are other-world talent. Good list here though. Yola, to me, is a softcore blues singer. I do not consider her country. But I consider her GREAT!
December 17, 2019 @ 1:18 pm
I’ve seen Whitey Morgan and the 78’s every year, five years in a row now. It’s amazing every time, but I really miss having Tony Martinez in the band this year. I know he’s been touring on his own, but I would love to see him back with the band.
December 17, 2019 @ 1:55 pm
That Kaitlin Butts set at Wild Hare was something else. It really was the one set everyone was talking about all weekend. Moonpies also kill it every time.
The one other band that really brings it live, every time, is Shane Smith and the Saints. They were awesome at both Jackalope Jamboree and Back Country Bash this year.
December 17, 2019 @ 2:21 pm
So many good bands this year.
Billy Strings blew everyone I went with away. In fact, we just got tickets again to confirm what we saw the first time. LOL
Tyler always good, just seen him again last week and he was stellar. Going places
Mike and the Moonpies
Cody, Ward Davis, and Josh
Ian Noe (May have been biggest surprise. He was intense)
Ward Davis solo
All great show’s I saw..
Just saw Martina McBride 2019 XMas show and that was outstanding..
December 17, 2019 @ 2:31 pm
I did see Charles Wesley Godwin. Just him an guitar. Was OK. I wasn’t moved though, wanted to be.
December 17, 2019 @ 2:43 pm
I saw Charles Wesley Godwin open for Sarah Shook (just guitar too) before his album released and was very impressed. Sadly, that did not translate to the album for me.
December 18, 2019 @ 7:46 am
Ian Noe opened for Son Volt in Kansas City this past spring…wow, was I blown away. Ian has a bright future.
December 17, 2019 @ 2:39 pm
I have a general concert question in the mobile ticket age that maybe someone here can answer. Usually, it’s just my partner and I going to concerts and we go get beers together or go to the bathroom together throughout the concerts. But for Tyler 2 weeks ago, there were 4 of us and I purchased all the tickets and had them on my phone. After we entered the general admission area, I texted a picture of the mobile tickets to the two other concert goers in case they wanted to leave the GA area to go to bathroom or get a drink and get re-admittance to the floor. However, when they came back on time the guy checking the tickets gave them a hard time, but eventually let them telling them they couldn’t use a picture of the ticket on their phone. The policy makes sense because one could easily text a picture of ticket to a friend in the seated areas and to get him/her admittance to the floor. So how do you split mobil tickets up between multiple people.
My friend must have pulled up the text conversation up and clicked the picture right in front of the guy checking tickets, because I used 4 pictures (but in my photo gallery) to gain admittance for all of us at the front door in case the signal was bad (they weren’t original scans from the internet page or app).
Cool Lester Smooth
December 17, 2019 @ 3:20 pm
There’s often a way to share tickets, although some venues make everyone enter together.
That said…each ticket’s QR code is unique, and can only be used once for entry.
December 17, 2019 @ 4:03 pm
They don’t scan the tickets when you enter and re-enter the GA section or floor, just make sure you are in the correct section. It’s the same at the those outside pavilion venues with lawn seats (they want to make sure no one upgrades themselves from the lawn). There’s probably something in the Ticketmaster app which I never downloaded. It probably would require everyone in one’s group to download the app too.
Cool Lester Smooth
December 17, 2019 @ 4:35 pm
Yeah, not sure how that would work. Probably a weird Ticketmaster app thing, haha.
December 17, 2019 @ 10:11 pm
I thought when You enter the pit (ga) the first time wristbands are issued that allow you in and out.
December 18, 2019 @ 9:12 am
I think every time I’ve been to a show with a designated area that you had to pay extra for, I’ve been given a wristband.
December 17, 2019 @ 3:50 pm
I know I’m old and old school, I’m very paranoid these days. When I buy a ticket (1 or 2) in advance if given the option I always have hard tickets mailed to me even though it’s a little extra or I print my separate tickets. Smaller venues that are just will call it’s not that big a deal you show your ID and walk in etc… No matter what I still keep a receipt on my phone just in case. I’ve also heard of StubHub nightmare stories where people drove a long distance only to not be able to get in….etc because tickets were already scanned? The whole mobile/electronic ticketing thing leaves too much room for error for me. How venues handle the floor area vs seated area is probably different everywhere. Here at Joe’s Live you need a wristband to go upstairs so it can’t transferred to someone without breaking it. I’m pretty sure you buy 4 balcony mobile tickets you show your phone at the door and get 4 wristbands etc…. Every place has to have a system otherwise there’d be chaos. I’d always ask someone at the place how it works.
December 17, 2019 @ 4:06 pm
And I too mostly go to the smaller venues where this isn’t an issue. But the bigger venues are all mostly mobile now.
December 17, 2019 @ 2:44 pm
I’ve never seen an audience enjoy a concert more than Robert Earl Keen’s…..on a Tuesday night.
December 17, 2019 @ 2:49 pm
This is a difficult one, as like everyone else my choices are limited to who I have seen this year. Of those on the list, I have only seen Tyler Childers this year but lots of them seem good so in 2020 they may make my list. My own nominations for my top 5 are as follows:
1. Dirty River Boys
2. Bruce Robison
3. Ray Wylie Hubbard
4. Chris Knight
5. Micky & The Motorcars
There are of course, many more who also deserve a place on my list, but I don’t know which of the above I would leave out!
December 17, 2019 @ 2:52 pm
Country Side of Harmonica Sam is the best live show I’ve ever seen not just in 2019. I drove 4 hours to see the show in Indy.
December 17, 2019 @ 2:52 pm
I usually go to a few shows a year but didn’t have the money for it this year. I did get to See Marcus King Band, Margo Price & Chris Stapleton. That was a field of heavy hitters, Marcus King Band was an awesome surprise never heard of them until that show and I was pleasantly surprised and in awe of his talent with a guitar. The band behind him is awesome as well.
December 17, 2019 @ 3:20 pm
Maybe they’re not in the category of Country/rRoots, but Andy Frasco and the UN just take the cake for live shows, if anybody else like me is into some bluesy funk. I have to admit I was disappointed by two of the live shows I most anticipated over this last year or so. Mike and the Moonpies were as stiff as bluegrass banjo players (except for the bass player) — maybe because it was a small crowd outside their home turf, and the singing was a bit off-key I thought; and Tyler Childers brings a wild & rowdy audience but doesn’t really come across as connecting with them directly, or with his band for that matter. I am looking forward to seeing Billy Strings, Larkin Poe and Samantha Fish live, hopefully soon. They hold great promise of delivering amazing live performances.
December 18, 2019 @ 7:49 am
Samantha Fish is a BEAST!! She’s awesome!!
She’s a KC girl:) and she puts on a great show.
December 17, 2019 @ 3:32 pm
I didn’t get out much this year but I was blown away by Mike and Moonpies.
December 17, 2019 @ 3:45 pm
Saw a few US artists this year that are great.
4.The Steel Woods
December 17, 2019 @ 7:14 pm
Lucky you saw the Delines. It looks like they hardly tour anywhere in the US. Been dying to see them, just love their albums as well as Richmond Fontaine. Agree with you 1000% about Hayes Carll, saw him three times this year and he is fantastic.
December 17, 2019 @ 3:46 pm
Joseph Huber. I won’t miss a show with him anywhere near me. Missed Jason Loveall but Billy did well on mandolin. Eston’s always great.
Wasn’t a fan going in but Brent Cobb converted me opening for Whiskey Myers.
December 17, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Didn’t get out as much this year, but I did manage to go to 10 shows. Best was Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives. Hadn’t seem him and boys headline a show in at least a couple years (saw them back McGuinn and Hillman on the SOTR anniversary tour last year). They’re just a great fun show. Think I might go see them again in February.
Saw McMurtry solo earlier in the year. I just love going to see him. Those songs, his competent six and twelve string playing, and that “less is more” dry wit of his. He’s coming through town in late March and I’m pretty sure I’ll be there.
Saw Sarah Shook and The Disarmers for the first time and they did a very strong but kind or short set at the Hill Center in DC. Kind of a small lawn concert on a Sunday afternoon. Probably a lot more fun at Pearl Street Warehouse, which I haven’t made it to yet.
December 17, 2019 @ 5:35 pm
Saw Cody Jinks at Red Rocks this year. Incredible show. Looked like he had his family there and brought his mom out to sing a song. You could tell he was humbled by the experience. It was really cool to see.
December 17, 2019 @ 10:51 pm
Rob and Trey is all I have to say
December 18, 2019 @ 5:47 am
Dwight yoakum at the majestic theater in San Antonio. He had half of the crowd out of their seats, dancing in aisles, giving the theater security officers fits. Never seen such an electric show.
December 18, 2019 @ 5:56 am
Cody Jinks at Red Rocks was the best show of my year. Fantastic crowd fantastic venue great show
December 18, 2019 @ 6:05 am
Jack Ingram and the beat up ford band with brother Pete Coatney on drums. Is nothing short of amazing. Still one of the best live acts in music. Pure energy that gives life to the songs.
December 18, 2019 @ 8:41 am
My favorite shows this year in no particular order or genre
J P Harris
WAR – the real band w Lee and Howard
Tower of Power..best horns in the business
KWS w Buddy Guy
John Strawser Jr.
December 18, 2019 @ 9:05 am
Paul Cauthen? Dude is awesome.
December 18, 2019 @ 11:32 am
I didn’t get to see a lot this year but JP Harris was my live show of the year.
December 19, 2019 @ 4:03 pm
I wonder if Tyler Childers overextended himself this year – his show last week in Boston seemed a bit rushed, and he called the crown “Indianapolis” where he had played a few nights prior.
I still enjoyed the show and am going to see him in early 2020 with Sturgill.
December 20, 2019 @ 5:15 am
Best shows in ’19…
Pat Reedy & the long time goners
(and of course the Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
December 20, 2019 @ 9:39 am
Paul Cauthen – Duisburg (germany)
Orville Peck – Dublin and Take Root fest
Willie Watson – Oldenzaal and Take Root Fest
Colter Wall – Amsterdam and Nijmegen
James Steinle – Assen and Take Root Fest
Lilly Hiatt – Take Root Fest
These were all amazing. Looking forward to January with gigs by Tyler Childers and Sturgill Simpson.