The numbers for the song, and for Tyler Childers in general are incredible. But looking bigger picture at the accomplishment, this will be about the opening of a new era in music where non-radio, independently-minded musicians with creative control of their music began to compete with their mainstream counterparts in sales.
I hate predictability. I hate predictability in music, and I hate it in human activity. And so here we are. Trace Adkins has put out yet another dumb gimmick song. I guess then it is my job as a country music hardliner to harumpf and huff over how bad it is, but in the back of my mind I know that is what everyone is expecting, and what Trace & Co. are banking on. Stir the pot. Get people talking.
George Strait might have put out an album called Twang, but Ghost Train is the one that delivers it. This album is heavily guitar-driven from the start, turning the twang on the Telecasters to 10 and leaving it loud in the mix. Its the kind of twang that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Then add some Ralph Mooney pedal steel on top and Ghost Train might be the freshest, funnest and truest traditional country album to come out of Nashville in years.
In the first part of my interview with Texas songwriting legend Ray Wylie Hubbard, we talked about how he wasn’t proud of the end result of the movie Last Rites of Ransom Pride of which he co-wrote. In the second part we turned out attention to more positive things, namely his latest album A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is no C) that is up for Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year.
On February 22, 1956, Elvis Presley played a concert at the City Auditorium in Waycross, GA. Opening for Elvis that night were two brothers, Charlie and Ira, a gospel duo called The Louvin Brothers. In the crowd was a 9-year-old boy, a native of Georgia, born and raised in Waycross. How that boy felt about Elvis that night is uncertain, but The Louvin Brothers left an indelible mark on him that he would carry for the rest of his life.
In 2004, a legendary underground punk band called The Murder Junkies made a whistle stop in Austin, TX at a venue called Emo’s. The Murder Junkies became the backing band for the most infamous man in rock n roll ever, Mr. GG Allin. GG died shortly after, and at the time of the Murder Junkies 2004 stop in Austin, filling in as frontman for GG was a man named JB Beverley. It was the first time The Murder Junkies had played Austin in 12 years.
As with the Albums of the Year, 2010 will go down as a high water mark for the amount of top quality songs released.
A Song of the Year can’t just be good, it has to touch you. You have to be a different person, in whatever small way, after listening to it. Points are rewarded for things like catchiness and accessibility, but you’ll have to get at least a little bit deep to makes this year’s list. Great songs speak to many people, but to each individual in different ways. We also saw a lot of songs this year with an epic approach, whose sheer vision and grand design deserves to be highlighted.
Indulge me here ladies and gentlemen, because I need to get something off my chest. I can’t in good conscience sit around tight lipped anymore as the youth of America are stultified and our young women exploited by these assholes over at The Disney Company.
Today is Hank Williams III’s birthday, but I’m sure it won’t be nearly as special as New Years, when he will finally be contractually free from Curb Records. In a few recent interviews, Hank III has been dropping hints of what’s to come, and the phrase he continues to utter is “The New Beginning,” like there is a concerted effort to wipe the slate clean and put a period after the long-winded, turbulent, run-on sentence that was the Curb Records era.
When I first caught wind that a movie written by legendary Texas songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard was in the works, and that it starred Kris Kristofferson and Dwight Yoakam, my ears perked to say the least. But as the movie neared release, it was clear something about Last Rites of Ransom Pride was off. Information about the film was sketchy at best, and despite my best efforts to obtain more, emails and phone calls weren’t returned.
Jayke Orvis isn’t just a songwriter and mandolin player, he is a composer. When I first heard the song “Raise the Moon” on .357 String Band’s first album, I knew this was more than mere throwing words and chords together. “Dreadful Sinner” from his new album Its All Been Said is in the same vein, with tight arrangements in a composition-based approach that is more like classical music than anything.
When “Dandy” Don Meredith died on Sunday, he was remembered as many things: Dallas Cowboys football player, commentator for Monday Night Football, actor in dozens of movies and TV shows. But one element you may not hear much about is his involvement with country music, and specifically, good Texas Outlaw country.
It would make life much easier for me if on Saturday night, Justin Townes Earle put on the performance of a lifetime. With all the negative publicity he has received here and other places, but especially here, it has characterized me as a madman on a mission to destroy him. From NPR stuff, to more NPR stuff, to breaking the story on his arrest, it has branded me a Justin Townes Earle adversary in a way that has adversely effected my standing with many people I respect.