As we get to the halfway pole in the musical year, it’s time to look back and asses the best albums that have been released in 2020 so far. At the moment, we are very top loaded with stellar releases, with many albums already feeling like strong contenders for Album of the Year.
Beyond making a really bad amalgam of derivative and formulaic rap pop by ripping off the styles of Drake and trap beat artists to only then turn around and sell it as country to the gullible masses, Sam Hunt is also superlative at turning hip-hop, pop, and indie rock writers into certified country music experts.
Ray Wylie has parleyed his many years of peddling mad influence in country and roots music into a collaborative album hosting a heavy dose of cool names. Called “Co-Starring,” it is preceded by the new song “Bad Trick” that itself sees Ringo Starr, Don Was, Joe Walsh, and Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes all show up to support Hubbard.
Aaron Lee Tasjan, Ashley McBryde, Bad Trick, Big Machine Records, Chris Robinson, Co-Starring, Don Was, Elizabeth Cook, Eric Church, Joe Walsh, Pam Tillis, Paula Nelson, Peter Rowan, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ringo Starr, Ronnie Dunn, Scott Borchetta, The Cadillac Three, Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown
Scheduled to appear on the hallowed Grand Ole Opry stage Saturday night (4-4) will be Ashley McBryde, who just released a critically-acclaimed new album ‘Never Will,’ Canadian country artist and Opry member Terri Clark, as well as former American Idol contestant turned country star Lauren Alaina.
Ashley McBryde was already considered one of the best artists from mainstream label crowd, and a bright spot for country music moving forward. With her new album ‘Never Will,’ she cements her place as one of the best current artists in country music, period. Inspired, inspiring, well-performed and written, make ample room in your listening rotation
It’s hard enough to get the world to pay attention to your record when so many of them are being released every week. Now artists are having to compete with Coronavirus news for the world’s attention, along with the nightly parade of live streaming concerts many artists are offering to help supplement income due to touring losses.
The Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist is built to keep you informed on all the best songs and albums coming out right here, right now in country and roots music. It’s available on most all streaming formats (see below), or you can just use the song, artist, and album recommendations to find something new to listen to. New songs just added.
We’ve already run down the Greatest Country Albums of the Decade, and in there, albums in the mainstream were given fair competition to be included, and some made the cut. But in the spirit of inclusiveness and impartiality, let’s make sure the great records from the mainstream get their due as well.
Alan Jackson, Ashley McBryde, Brandy Clark, Caitlyn Smith, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Jon Pardi, Kacey Musgraves, Kalie Shorr, Kellie Pickler, Kip Moore, Miranda Lambert, Mo Pitney, Pistol Annies, Randy Houser, Reba McEntire, William Michael Morgan
It’s been 10 years since Country Music Hall of Famers Brooks & Dunn hit the road for a proper national tour. That will all change this summer and fall when the duo hits the road on the REBOOT 2020 Tour. Who will the opening acts be? According to the duo, there won’t be any. But there will be “special guests.”
Ashley McBryde is resetting what we’ve come to expect from mainstream country performers, mainly bringing grit, guts, tattoos, honesty, and plenty of rock attitude to her roosty sound that has made her a favorite of many fans and critics, and had her waking away with the CMA for Best New Artist back in November.
Ashley McBryde has taken her quality songs and almost universal favorability that crosses the line between mainstream and independent, and turned it into awards show nominations and hardware that has side stepped the radio paradigm and put her straight in front of listeners.
The distaste the CMA Awards experience can leave in the mouth of actual country music fans is chased early this year by the announcement of the 2020 Grammy Award nominees in the Country and American Roots categories. Though no set of ears will find the nominees list ideal, those with distinguishing tastes will be much more rewarded.
Ashley McBryde, Brooks & Dunn, Dan Auerbach, Dee White, Eric Church, I'm With Her, J.S. Ondara, Keb Mo, Kendell Marvel, Lil Nas X, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, The Pistol Annies, Tyler Childers, Willie Nelson, Yola
On the day after the CMA Awards, it’s always important to take a deep breath, and remind yourself, “It’s just the CMA’s.” But it does feel important to address what turned out to be the biggest controversy Wednesday night, which was Garth Brooks winning Entertainer of the Year over Carrie Underwood.
Amanda Shires, Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Carrie Underwood, Charley Pride, CMA Awards, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Hootie and the Blowfish, Jenee Fleenor, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire
All of a sudden Hootie & the Blowfish—not just Darius Rucker—is signed to Universal Music Group’s country imprint in Nashville, is planning to release a new record on November 1st, and just released a straight up pop rock Hootie & the Blowfish single called “Hold On” that has just become the “most added” song on COUNTRY radio.
Saving Country Music’s Top 25 Playlist is all about trying to keep you up-to-date with the best in the latest songs and albums being released, and we got a few doozies for new additions. Let’s first start off with the earthy new selection from Cody Jinks called “Same Kind of Crazy As Me.” It’s the first taste of new music from him.
The first single from Ashley’s upcoming second major label release is everything you want from an Ashley McBryde song. It’s edgy and gritty, but still country in the way the words and melody tell a true story we all can relate to, and deftly employ the double entendre to give it that classic country feel.
In many respects, the CMAs did that this year with their 2019 nominations, or at least better than many years. But the Album of the Year nominations were especially easy to pick apart in 2019. The biggest reason to second guess these nominations is that this current awards shows cycle has been exceptional for excellent mainstream albums.
Zac Brown brought the class of country music’s “also ran” awards show down yet another notch when he decided to drop an F-bomb on live television, and in a prepared statement, and on a show that was rated by the cable network as family friendly.
One sector of country music’s history woefully under-represented by younger artists looking to preserve a specific discipline is the late 60’s, early 70’s style of folk country. Dee White is just now reaching his 20’s, but an old soul comes welling up through the 10 songs of his debut album, ‘Southern Gentleman.’
Big changes abound in the latest update to the Saving Country Music Top 25 playlist, including the playlist finally coming to YouTube for people who are unable or unwilling to listen on Spotify, Apple Music, or Google Play. A lot of great discoveries have occurred on Saving Country Music in 2019, but none may be as big as Charlie Marie.
This tour will be an all female affair, with Miranda Lambert’s supergroup with Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, a.k.a. The Pistol Annies opening up select tour dates, along with Elle King, Caylee Hammack, Tenille Townes, Maren Morris, and Ashley McBryde. Each date will feature three openers, with a revolving cast for each stop.
It’s cool that the ACM Awards spectrum out their annual “Best New Artist” award to male, female, and duo/group categories to give up-and-comers that much more opportunity for recognition. But it’s also lame how they report who actually won on a random Monday with a quick email.
The heart welled up with excitement in many true country music fans when word came down that Brooks & Dunn had a new title on the way, only to be tempered by the fact that it’s a Reboot (nice double entendre there) of some of their old classics re-recorded with contemporary stars.