In the immortal words of Tom Petty, it’s Christmas … again. That’s means we have a bunch of seasonal releases from a slew of your favorite country and roots artists to round up just in case Christmas music is your thing. Here’s a run down of all the best releases, as well as a playlist to listen to the best selections.
When you want to record one of those absolutely devastating country music tearjerkers that holds back nothing and mercilessly goes to work on the audience’s emotional receptors, the songbook of Erin Enderlin is where you turn. Now she’s more posed than ever to emerge from the songwriting shadows.
Not as a rebuke of the work of the documentary, but as an addendum for those who watched and might want to dig deeper into the history of country through some of its more important personalities not represented well in the film, here are some of the Country Music film’s biggest oversights.
Alison Krauss, Billie Jean Horton, Conway Twitty, David Allan Coe, Dayton Duncan, Don Williams, Doug Sahm, Eddie Rabbitt, Emmloyou Harris, George Strait, Glen Campbell, Hank Snow, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jim Reeves, Jimmy Martin, John Hartford, Johnny Horton, Johnny Paycheck, Keith Whitley, Ken Burns, Linda Ronstadt, Michael Martin Murphy, Patsy Cline, Sam Bush, Tanya Tucker, The Maddox Brothers & Rose, Vern Gosdin
Willie Nelson has canceled his current tour due to breathing problems. This was the news coming out of the Willie Nelson camp late Wednesday evening (8-7) after he performed a show Wednesday at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio and experienced breathing issues. “To my fans, I’m sorry to cancel my tour,” Willie said in a statement.
Completely unexpected, but absolutely welcome, Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson is the beneficiary of a brand new documentary called Small Town Southern Man that has just been released via multiple streaming services (iTunes, Amazon Prime, etc.), and will receive a DVD release on June 28th.
Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss, Barry Coburn, Bruce Rutherford, Carrie Underwood, Cindy Mabe, Cody Deal, Danny Groah, Denise Jackson, Easton Corbin, Gary Overton, Keith Stegall, Lee Ann Womack, Mike Dugan, Peter Cooper, Small Town Southern Man, Tim Dubois
For the fifth year in a row, Willie Nelson’s annual 4th of July Picnic will be held at the Circuit of the Americas speedway just south of Austin, TX, and will include many long-standing invitees and Nelson family members in the lineup, as well as other special guests. The initial lineup for the nearly 50-year-old event has just been announced.
Alison Krauss, Billy Joe Shaver, Casey Kristofferson, Casey Kristofferson Band, Colter Wall, Folk Uke, Gene Watson, Hayes Carll, Jamey Johnson, Johnny Bush, Luke Combs, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Raelyn Nelson Band, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Steve Earle, Willie Nelson, willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic
Blackbird Presents is at it again planning another huge tribute for a country legend, and this one might be the biggest of them all. Often working with Willie Nelson via tributes to others, as well as his multi-city “Outlaw Fest” tours each summer, now Blackbird Presents is putting together a tribute for Willie himself.
Alison Krauss, Blackbird Presents, Derek Trucks, George Strait, Jack Johnson, John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Ann Womack, Lyle Lovett, Norah Jones and The Little Willies, Sheryl Crow, Susan Tedeschi, The Avett Brothers, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson
It was a night to honor the women of country music, rally support behind them, and remember the legacy of many of the women who have come before. The problem is, very few people witnessed it. Ratings for the 2018 CMT Artists of the Year were poor to put it mildly.
Alison Krauss, Carrie Underwood, CMT Artists of the Year, Hillary Scott, Karen Fairchild, Kelsea Ballerini, Kimberly Schlapman, Lady Antebellum, Leslie Fram, Little Big Town, Loretta Lynn, Maren Morris, Margo Price, Miranda Lambert, Pistol Annies
‘Ramble’ is just how damn enjoyable it is to listen to. So many songwriters these days get too swept up in one-upping the competition with their compositions. This approach has resulted in some great songs, but we sometimes forget that music is there to be heard and enjoyed. A record like ‘Ramble’ reminds you of that.
Legendary bluegrass fiddle player and singer Alison Krauss and country legend Willie Nelson have just announced a co-headlining tour for 2018 to go along with Willie’s already announced Outlaw Fest dates and annual 4th of July Picnic this summer, while a much more extensive touring schedule has been announced for Alison Krauss.
The Outlaw Fest Tour curated by Blackbird Presents has announced its 2018 dates, locations, and participants. The nine separate dates this summer will include stops in Dallas, Detroit, Bristow, Cincinnati, Noblesville in Indiana, the Woodlands, TX just outside of Houston, and two shows in North Carolina.
Alison Krauss, Brandi Carlile, Delta Rae, Edie Brickell, Elvis Costello and the Imposters, JD McPherson, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Old Crow Medicine Show, Outlaw Fest, Ryan Bingham, Sturgill Simpson, The Head and The Heart, Willie Nelson
Since 1974, the Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam concert has been a mainstay on the country music calendar, and a worthy fundraiser for veterans. Now in 2018, the event will hold special importance as it also acts as a tribute to Charlie Daniels himself, as he partners with tribute concert promoter Blackbird Presents for this year’s presentation.
Alison Krauss, Billy Gibbons, Blackberry Smoke, Blackbird Presents, Bobby Bare, Chris Janson, Chuck Leavell, Eddie Montgomery, Jamey Johnson, Justin Moore, Ricky Skaggs, The Oak Ridge Boys, Volunteer Jam
You may have never heard of Carly Pearce or her debut single “Every Little Thing,” but you soon will. As the latest benefactor of iHeartMedia’s “On The Verge” radio program that puts a shot of adrenaline behind the single from an emerging star, it’s virtually guaranteed to rocket to the top of the charts.
Contributing essays to the book will be numerous classic and contemporary country artists, including Rosanne Cash, Loretta Lynn, The Judds, Alison Krauss, Bobbie Gentry, Tammy Wynette, and Taylor Swift. Woman Walk the Line is country women writing about other women who’ve inspired them.
Alison Krauss, Aubrie Sellers, Bobbie Gentry, Brenda Lee, Grace Potter, Holly Gleason, June Carter Cash, Linda Ronstadt, Loretta Lynn, Rosanne Cash, Tammy Wynette, The Judds, Woman Walk The Line, Woman Walk the Line: Women Writers on the Female Country Artists Who Marked Their Soul
Windy City from Alison Krauss comes in at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart for the week ending February 23rd, and also comes in at #1 on the Bluegrass Album Chart, #2 on the Americana chart right behind Ryan Adams’ Prisoner, and #5 on the all-genre Billboard 200.
A tribute is finally planned for The Hag, and it promises to be a star-studded event. ‘Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard’ will take place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, April 6th to honor what would have been Merle Haggard’s 80th birthday, and to mark the one year anniversary of his passing.
Alison Krauss, Ben Haggard, Bobby Bare, Buddy Cannon, Connie Smith, Dierks Bentley, Don Was, Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, John Anderson, John Mellencamp, Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Chesney, Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Ronnie Dunn, Sing Me Back Home The Music of Merle Haggard, The Avett Brothers, Theresa Haggard, Warren Haynes, Willie Nelson
An all-star cast will come together to celebrate the life and music of country music icon and Hall of Famer Don Williams in a new tribute album with the proceeds going to a good cause. ‘Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams’ will be released on May 26th via Slate Creek Records.
Alison Krauss, Amanda Shires, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Don Williams, Garth Brooks, Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams, Jason Isbell, John Prine, Keb Mo, Lady Antebellum, Morgane Stapleton, Pistol Annies, Trisha Yearwood
Just what 2017 has in store for us in the country music department remains to be seen. But we do know about what to expect in the release department for at least the first quarter of the year, while rumors abound about the big projects that could come to light later in 2017. Here’s a run down of what we know, what we think we know, and what we would like to believe.
Aaron Watson, Ags Connolly, Alison Krauss, Casey James Prestwood, Charlie Worsham, Chris Knight, Chris Stapleton, Colter Wall, Curtis McMurtry, Dale Watson, Dan Auerbach, Dave Cobb, George Jones, Guy Clark, Holly Williams, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jaime Wyatt, Jason Isbell, JB Beverley, Justin Townes Earle, Marty Stuart, MOderna Mal, Nikki Lane, Old Crow Medicine Show, Otis Gibbs, Phoebe Hunt, Ray Benson, Ray Scott, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Rhiannon Giddens, Robbie Fulks, Scott H. Biram, Shinyribs, Son Volt, Steve Earle, Sunny Sweeney, The Gibson Brothers, The Sadies, The Secret Sisters, Tift Merritt, Valerie June, Whitney Rose
Yeah yeah, it’s awesome that Sturgill Simpson received an Album of the Year nomination from the Grammy Awards for A Sailor’s Guide to Earth and everything, and just the nomination itself feels like an awesome victory overcoming insurmountable odds for an underdog record and artist. But what are the prospects that Sturgill Simpson could actually win this thing?
A Sailor's Guide to Earth, Adele, Alabama Shakes, Alison Krauss, Arcade Fire, Beck, Chris Stapleton, Grammy Awards, Herbie Hancock, Norah Jones, O Brother Where Art Thou, Ray Charles, Robert Plant, Steely Dan, Sturgill Simpson
The ripe age of 70 is one hell of a time to experience a resurgence of interest in your music career, and that’s exactly what’s happening for country songwriting legend John Prine. Celebrating his seventh decade on planet Earth on Monday (8-10), Tuesday found confirmation that his most recent album ‘For Better, Or Worse’ has come in at #2…
Willie Nelson is set to be honored by The Library of Congress and the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song on Wednesday, November 18th at Constitution Hall in Washington. The concert will be recorded and broadcast nationwide through PBS on Friday, January 16th, 2016. “It is an honor to be the next recipient of the Gershwin Prize. I appreciate it greatly,” Nelson says.
Alison Krauss, Billy Joel, Buckwheat Zydeco, Carole King, Edie Brickell, Gershwin Prize, Jamey Johnson, Lukas Nelson, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Raul Malo, Rosanne Cash, Stevie Wonder, The Mavericks, Willie Nelson
The 2015 installment of the International Bluegrass Music Awards transpired Thursday night (10-1) at the Duke Energy Center in Raleigh, NC as part of the organization’s annual conference, and the Jerry Douglas-anchored bluegrass supergroup The Earls of Leicester seized the night, taking six of the 17 major trophies, including Entertainer of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year, and Album of the Year.
A common criticism of Texas country is that it has become a kissing cousin to Nashville’s Music Row over the last few years, especially with so many of the region’s top acts, including the Randy Rogers Band, signing with Nashville-based outfits. But the band returning to their independent roots is a good sign they will make whatever album they wish, without the influence of Music Row’s commercial interests.
Whatever you could want or hope from Don Henley’s “Cass County” as a country music fan, this album delivers it and in ample quantities. I don’t know that any country fan’s expectations can meet the actual enjoyment this music deals out. And this is a traditional country record.
Alison Krauss, Ashley Monroe, Cass County, Dolly Parton, Don Henley, Jesse Winchester, Lucinda Williams, Merle Haggard, Mick Jagger, Review, The Eagles, The Louvin Brothers, Tift Merritt, Trisha Yearwood