A big battle ground in country music right now is the presence of so many songs about trucks. Though this recent popularity trend seems especially sinister in its simplistic, incessant nature, it is not necessarily unprecedented in country. From the early 60’s into the mid 70’s, songs about semi-trucks and truck drivers were all the rage, with big names like Merle Haggard, Del Reeves, and Buck Owens getting in on the action.
Asleep at the Wheel
Sex has been used to sell music almost since music became a commercial enterprise. From the shaking of Elvis’s hips, to Madonna’s “Sex” book, to Miley Cyrus doing all manner of gratuitous things with a foam finger. but in truth there’s plenty of positive female role models. From huge, internationally-known pop stars, to promising up-and-coming artists, positive female role models in music are out there.
Adele, American Idol, Anderson Family Bluegrass, Asleep at the Wheel, Avril Lavigne, First Aid Kit, Gwen Stephani, Hayley Williams, Kelly Clarkson, Loretta Lynn, Miley Cyrus, Paige Anderson, Paige Anderson and the Fearless Kin, Paramore, Ruby Jane, Sarah Jarosz, Sugar Hill Records, The Church Sisters, VMA's, Willie Nelson
Whenever I find myself thirsting for inspiration, I tend to search out the blessed gift that is the harmonies of sister pairings. Any two great singers can harmonize, but few can match the instinct and tone of two blood relatives, making the artform seem as effortless as breath. Following is a list of singing sisters who never cease to inspire.
Anderson Family Bluegrass, Asleep at the Wheel, First Aid Kit, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Paige Anderson, Paige Anderson and the Fearless Kin, Ricky Skaggs, T Bone Burnett, The Carter Family, The Church Sisters, The Louvin Brothers, The Marty Stuart Show, The Quebe Sisters, The Secret Sisters, The Shook Twins, The Staves
“Country must evolve” is the way it is sold to the country music public when pop and hip-hop influences are invited into the country music fold. What these folks fail to point out is that country has been trying to evolve for 30 some odd years right under their noses. Are you looking for true progress and evolution in country music? Look no further than this list of women.
Abigail Washburn, Amanda Shires, Anderson Family Bluegrass, Asleep at the Wheel, Be Good Tanya's, Bela Fleck, Brandi Carlile, Caitlin Rose, Dale Watson, First Aid Kit, Hank Williams, Jolie Holland, Kacey Musgraves, Kasey Chambers, Liz Rose, Neko Case, Paige Anderson, Rachel Brooke, Rounder Records, Ruby Jane, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, The Beach Boys, The Carter Family, The Trishas, Tom Waits, Uncle Earl, Willie Nelson
Davy Jay Sparrow from Bloomington, Indiana is not a neo-traditionalist, he’s an ultra-traditionalist. If you don’t like the “Olde Fashioned” country sounds, then turn back now. If you do, the tunes that Davy and His Well Known Famous Drovers throw down on this album are good enough to be considered right beside BR549, Wayne Hancock, and the other overlords of country’s old sounds.
James Hand is like James Hand, wholly unique, yet hauntingly familiar in the way his songs seem like they were written just for you and sound like old memories, and how his presence warms the soul. Or you could just listen to Willie Nelson who says it both succinctly and completely, “James Hand is the real deal!”
In a very alarming story, fiddle phenom Ruby Jane and her mom JoBelle Smith were carjacked and held at gunpoint in Houston Thursday night (12-8-11) around midnight after a show at Dosey Doe. The man fled in their 2004 Chevy Trail Blazer, with all of Ruby Jane’s music gear. Below please find a list of the stolen instruments to be on the lookout for.
Now that mainstream country music has been seen as just another version of pop music by so many people for so long, my concern is that talented musicians are being turned off by the mere mention of the term ‘country’, seeing it as a genre without gravitas, obsessed with money and image, making it even more likely for the one-in-a-million music talent to stay away.
Late last week, Willie Nelson released a new song “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die”. It’s a good, catchy song, just like his recent collaboration with Snoop Dogg called “Superman”, that starts out, “Too many pain pills, too much pot. Trying to be something that I’m not.” And we can’t forget (though many of us have tried) the Toby Keith joke song “I’ll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again.”
That’s right folks, THIS SUNDAY, 2-20-2011, none other than Wayne “The Train” Hancock will be on Saving Country Music’s live streaming channel, aka SCM LIVE, for a streaming video concert, with his full touring band at 6 PM Central! This is a special edition of Jashie P’s Outlaw Radio, and it will be coming LIVE from Chicago, IL.
Yesterday I was sorting through all the amazing pictures on Ruby Jane’s new website, having my mind blown apart by all the big names that she has shared the stage with at one time or another (see some examples below) when lo and behold, a new video came down the pike from CBS News, featuring her sharing a stage with of all people, CBS’s main man in Washington, Bob Schieffer.
For the last 6 years, Wayne “The Train” Hancock playing Austin, TX’s legendary Continental Club on Thanksgiving Night has slowly morphed into a full blown tradition. Though Wayne is based out of Austin, he plays in town maybe twice a year, keeping his A-Town appearances exclusive, and special. Opening this year was the greatness of Lucky Tubb with His Modern Day Troubadours.
Yesterday, fiddle phenom, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and singer Ruby Jane turned 16. Less and less it feels right to call her a “prodigy” as she grows older and her skins on the wall continue to grow as well, surpassing the accolades many musicians twice her age have amassed. Ruby Jane has deserved to be judged against musicians of any age for years, but as she reaches 16, her songwriting and singing have become even more refined.
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.
When Amazon announced 50 $5 albums for August I thought it was a one off deal, but September has dawned with 50 new ones, and just like last time, there are killer names right beside the mainstream ones.
On Friday night I was treated to Western swing heaven as Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel brought his Bob Wills musical A Ride With Bob to my neck of the woods. (You can read my review of the show on the 9513.) The show featured a couple of guest artists, one being Ruby […]
Country music is a funny thing. While on the outside it seems like a pretty “Hee-Yaw!” simple, straightforward artform, country music boasts some of the best maestros that American music has ever seen. Right now there may be half a hundred fiddle players with half their teeth missing, living in the bowls of a Prevost […]
Asleep at the Wheel, Austin City Limits, Hank Williams, John Hiatt, Johnny Cash, Kessler Theater, Marty Stuart, Ray Benson, Rhonda Vincent, Ruby Jane, South by Southwest, The Grand Ole Opry, Willie Nelson