The fourth installment of the eight-part Ken Burns documentary on country music laid out in no uncertain terms how country music became a well-ordered business in the aftermath of the death of Hank Williams, and during the rise of rock n’ roll as the most popular genre in America, putting pressure on country music.
Like JD Wiles of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers said in part 2 of this series, the revitalization of lower Broadway started in the mid 90’s, but it was in the late 90’s when it really became “special.” Part of the reason for that was undoubtedly the presence of hillbilly royalty, from the bloodline of the man who helped build those buildings.
UnIncorporated is a fun album with great songs that is not afraid to get too deep, or at times to be refreshingly immature.
The beauty of this album is it’s roots in truth. When so many Nashville products try to sing about the common man’s common struggles, they have to do it from the outside looking in. What Ronnie is doing is getting what is inside out, to keep his sanity.
Texas country music legend Billy Joe Shaver will receive a lifetime achievement award nicknamed the ‘Rusty’ on November 17th. The award is named for another Texas music legend, Rusty Wier, and is being bestowed by Love & War in Texas. Scheduled to appear and perform at the ceremony are Gary P. Nunn, Tommy Alverson, Mark David Manders, and the Tejas Brothers.
Any review for Those Poor Bastards should probably start off with a disclaimer that gothic country is not for everyone. Nor do I claim to be an expert of the music; I’ve always felt like I’m on the outside looking in. Having said that, I have really become intrigued and entertained with what Those Poor Bastards do, and think of Lonesome Wyatt as virtually peerless in procuring sounds to set the exact mood he envisions for songs.
83-year-old Charlie Louvin, suffering from pancreatic cancer, is heading out on the road to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Louvin Brothers release of the landmark album Satan Is Real. Charlie, Country Music Hall of Famer and member of the Grand Ole Opry for 55 years, is showing no signs of slowing down. And when he leaves on the road, he will not be playing the usual venues Hall of Famer’s play…
This week it was announced that Toby Keith’s Bullets in the Gun album is the new #1 in country. However this is the worst-selling country music #1 album since stats like this have been kept according to Billboard. A sheepish 71,000 copies sold, and even this is addition by subtraction, as the main reason it’s #1 is Kenny Chesney’s Hemingway’s Whiskey went in a 64% tailspin…
The band that has the strongest candidate for Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year so far has officially left their label. Reno, Nevada’s Hellbound Glory has left Gearhead Records after months of minor spats and disagreement between the two sides, and is now working with Rusty Knuckles. “We were afraid that we would get overlooked if we were on a label that wasn’t actively putting out new records,” says lead singer and songwriter Leroy Vrigil.
As lower Broadway became a hoping place in the mid 90’s drawing talent from all around the country, competition for choice time slots at the best bars became fierce, and if you didn’t keep the patrons entertained, there was no money in the tip jar. With so much talent and so few bars and dollars to go around, competition became hyper. In this environment, talent and originality were pushed to their limits and it created some of the most dynamic frontmen in any genre of music at any time.
Amazon.com has made available 50 country albums for only $5, and once again, they’ve put titles from independent artists and legends right next to the more popular artists. Of course your average consumer will take whatever they can get for however cheap or free they can get it, but the conscientious music consumer wants to make sure that their favorite artists get paid, and that the most music dollars possible get directly into the artists’ hands.
Sometimes Nashville’s major labels behave so ridiculously, they do things you thought could only exist in a make-believe world, and this is the case with Curb Records and their incessant, redundant “Greatest Hits” album releases for perfume magnate Tim McGraw.
This is an important album. It is important for the burgeoning country scene in Michigan. It’s important for Bloodshot Records. And it’s important for all REAL country fans. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but in some ways that’s what makes it so important. It is straightforward, honest to goodness, good old fashioned country music delivered with no frills, and it’s about time something like this found its way back into “New Release” listings.
I know some of you think that I’m a little crazy for touting Austin’s 15-year-old fiddling phemon Ruby Jane so highly. That is because you have never seen Ruby Jane live. If you had (or have), then you know that despite all of my ridiculous accolades, nothing I’ve written about her does any justice to how astonishing a Ruby Jane Show is. It is the best music I have ever seen live.