Every year, Saving Country Music goes through the exercise of choosing the “best” song in its humble estimation. In 2016, this winner happens to be a song about losing and defeat. A song like this is only made possible from the total collapse and unrelenting broken heart of a musician at the end of their rope.
A song can change a life, and a song can change the world. And if you’re a real music fan, you know this to be true because you’ve felt it, and seen it yourself. We’re not looking for fanciful ditties that get stuck in your head here. There is a time and a place for those, but that’s not here. We’re looking for songs that barrel you over.
It has once again come that time of year for reflecting back on some of the best albums released in the last 12 months or so, not to treat country music as competition per se, but as an exercise undertaken with the intent of expanding your musical knowledge in hopes the gaps that formed due to the busy lives we all live get filled in with joyous little music projects.
Austin Lucas, Blackberry Smoke, Brandy Clark, Cody Jinks, Courtney Marie Andrews, Dori Freeman, Doug Bruce, Honest Life, I'm Not The Devil, I've Got a Way, Jack Ingram, Justin Wells, Kelsey Waldon, Like An Arrow, Lori McKenna, Luke Bell, Mark Chesnutt, Midnight Motel, Nick Dittmeier, Nick Dittmeier and the Sawdusters, Sturgill Simpson, The Bird & The Rifle, The Cactus Blossoms, Tradition Lives, Unsung, You're Dreaming
With over 200 artists playing AmericanaFest this third week of September, it can be a little bit intimidating for the folks either looking to attend in person, or experience the gathering vicariously through various social channels and video streams. So here is a curated list of artists battle tested and approved by Saving Country Music.
AmericanaFest, Austin Lucas, Brent Cobb, Caitlyn Smith, Dori Freeman, Jason Eady, John Moreland, Lori McKenna, Luke Bell, Parker Millsap, Sammy Brue, Sarah Shook, Tami Neilson, The Secret Sisters, William Clark Green, Willie Watson
As was said in reference to the Best Albums of 2016 So Far, it has been fairly slim pickings for the first part of the year for finding music that really touches the heart, and has the fortitude to last beyond the calendar year. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions, and 2016 already boasts a number of serious, gut-punching songs.
Austin Lucas, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Dori Freeman, Dry Up or Drown, Evan Webb and the Rural Ramblers, Heaven Sent, Jeff Shepherd, Lew Card, Lydia Loveless, Parker Millsap, Ryan Scott Travis, Since You've Gone to Heaven, Someday, The Cactus Blossoms, Wrong Side of the Dream
With no disrespect meant to the albums highlighted here, which represent the exception and not the rule, 2016 has begun where the second half of 2015 left off, where it feels like country and roots music across the board is out of ideas, and the search for music that truly enlivens the spirit is becoming harder. Nonetheless, there are still some excellent albums out there worth highlighting.
Nobody knows the formula, or how to navigate the whims of music to steady and sustainable employment, or God-forbid a modicum of stardom. But what we do know is Austin Lucas is an artist worthy of being heard, whether the music industry agrees or not.
Who will be releasing new albums in 2016? What are some of the most-anticipated projects? What are the rumors swirling out there about new albums that may be released in the coming year? Here’s a rundown of upcoming projects from artists recommended by Saving Country Music that you can look forward to in 2016.
Aubrie Sellers, Austin Lucas, Brandy Clark, Brothers Osborne, Buddy Miller, Caleb Caudle, Dave Cobb, Don Maddox, Hank Williams Jr., Hayes Carll, Holly Williams, Jack Ingram, Justin Timberlake, Loretta Lynn, Lorrie Morgan, Lucinda Williams, Marty Stuart, Rachel Brooke, Randy Rogers Band, Sturgill Simpson, The Cactus Blossoms, The Infamous Stringdusters, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Waco Brothers
New West recording artist Austin Lucas has just announced a string of new tour dates across the United States and a few stops in Canada, but this won’t be your garden variety Austin Lucas tour. Joining him on stage in acoustic collaborations will be mandolin extraordinaire Jayke Orvis, Jon Snodgrass, Canadian singer/songwriter Northcote, and Caleb Caudle for select dates.
“The No-Hit Wonder” is old school country rock at its finest, with exquisitely-crafted, cunning lyrical runs that make you laugh, amazing insight enhanced by brilliant timing and pentameter, and musical clothing that enhance each song’s strengths and endear them to the audience, pointing them the way to the album’s enjoyment. This is the album Cory Branan needed to release.
So here we are. It’s the summer of 2014, and the headlines that dominate the country music world have to do with mounds of trash and numerous arrests in Pittsburgh, a man found dead in a dumpster in Cleveland, a “mass casualty” event called by the local fire chief in Mansfield, Mass. at a Keith Urban concert, and then an alleged rape. Where exactly did mainstream country music go so wrong?
Austin Lucas, Brantley Gilbert, bro-country, Country Checklist, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Maddie & Tae, Mansfield, Michael Skehill, Playboy, Tim McGraw
This is where Garth Brooks could shake up the country music industry beyond simply packing sold-out stadiums. There are reams of amazing songs out there going unheard, and Garth is one of the very few people with the star power to take these songs and make them hits. And this rising tide could raise all boats, taking an artist like Caitlyn Smith to the greater notoriety her talents deserve.
Ashley Monroe, Austin Lucas, Bob DiPiero, Brandy Clark, Brantley Gilbert, Caitlyn Smith, Cassadee Pope, Country Throwdown, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Kenny Regers, Lady Antebellum, Lee Brice, Nashville, T Bone Burnett, Tacoma, Willie Nelson
“Deadman’s Blues” went on to be named Saving Country Music’s Song of the Year in 2013, and received similar praise from other attentive periodicals. Matt Woods did what every songwriter yearns to do whenever they put pen to paper: make a deep, emotional connection with the rest of the world. But “Deadman’s Blues” was just one song. Would he, could he match it in a full album?
The first issue of “Country Music Magazine” did not disappoint, and made good on their promise to deliver high quality content to the scores of country music fans who want to read about past greats and future hopefuls while not completely ignoring the mainstream names worth a listen. Now they have released their second issue, and the 2nd verse is as sweet as the 1st.
Austin Lucas, Buck Owens, BUddy Emmons, Country Music Magazine, Dolly Parton, Jason Eady, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Webb, Johnny Cash, Lindi Ortega, Marty Sturat, Possessed by Paul James, Reverend Horton Heat, Ricky Skaggs, Rosanne Cash, Samantha Crain, Shovels & Rope, Slaid Cleaves, Spade Cooley, Sturgill Simpson, Turnpike Troubadours, UK
When you sit down to assemble a list of candidates for Song of the Year, you almost start to tremble in the face of so much creativity, inspiration, and insight, and grow humbled by how fortunate we are to live in such a bountiful time for music. Candidates for Song of the Year can’t just be songs we enjoy, they are songs that make you change the way you see the world, or change the way you see yourself.
2013, Adam Hood, Alone In Memphis, Ashley Monroe, Austin Lucas, best songs, Brandy Clark, Brennen Leigh, Brian Keane, Caitlin Rose, Charlie Robison, Deadman's Blues, Disappear On Down The Line, Drinkin', El Camino, Elephant, Hank3, Holly Williams, I'll Sing About Mine, Jason Isbell, JB Beverley, John Moreland, Josh Abbott Band, Lindi Ortega, Matt Woods, Noel McKay, Shane McAnally, Song of the Year, Stripes, Sturgill Simpson, Tin Star, Valerie June, Wade Bowen Songs About Trucks
2013 has been self-proclaimed by Saving Country Music as the “Year of the Songwriter,” and this list of candidates for SCM’s Album of the Year reflect that dynamic of an elevated bar of songwriting excellence that these 8 artists have set. There is no arbitrary number of slots for candidates for this award. Nominees are chosen only if they have a legitimate chance of winning…
12 Stories, 2013, album of the year, Austin Lucas, best albums, Brandy Clark, Brent Amaker & The Rodeo, Caitlin Rose The Stand-In, Eric Strickland, Gone Away Backward, High Top Mountain, In The Throes, In Time, Jason Isbell, Jayke Orvis, John Moreland, Lindi Ortega, Possessed by Paul James, Robbie Fulks, Southeastern, Sturgill Simpson, The Mavericks, The White Buffalo, Year of the Dragon
Once again the Europeans out class their cross Atlantic counterparts with the newly-launched Country Music Magazine from Team Rock—the same people who’ve brought the UK the long-running and widely-distributed Classic Rock Magazine. Despite the generic name, this magazine is anything but, with 132 extra wide glossy full-color pages, accompanied by a free, 15-track CD with music from Sturgill Simpson and Guy Clark.
Austin Lucas, Bill Kirchen, Blake Shelton, Country Music Magazine, Deniel Romano, Ed Mitchell, Fifth on the Floor, Florida Georgia Line, Guy Clark, Jack Clement, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, Kris Kristofferson, Laura Cantrell, LeAnn Rimes, Patty Griffin, steel guitar player Buddy Emmons, Steve Martin, Sturgill Simpson, Team Rock, Tony Joe White, UK, Wanda Jackson
Country music in 2013 feels like the best of times, and the worst of times. While a few top male performers perpetrate untold atrocities on the integrity of the genre, the rise of independent music and infrastructure in the marketplace is now almost to the point where it equals its corporate counterpart. Quality songs and worthy artists are beginning to see more and more support…
Ashley Monroe, Austin Lucas, Avett Brothers, Blake Shelton, Bobb Bare, Caitlin Rose, CMA Awards, Cory Branan, Country Music Hall of Fame, Dale Watson, Darius Rucker, David Letterman, East Nashville, Gary Allan, Grand Ole Opry, Guy Clark, Hellbound Glory, Jack Clement, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kid Rock, Lindi Ortega, Mumford and Sons, Nashville, Old Crow Medicine Show, Old Farts and Jackasses, Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame, Pokey LaFarge, Rascal Flatts, Ray Price, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shovels and Rope, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, The Lumineers, Tom Petty, Twones Van Zandt, Valerie June, Zac Brown
If you’ve been wishing for a print magazine that would cover cool up-and-coming country artists right beside the big names, and not just focus on the here and now but take the time to look back on the past greats of the genre, well you may just have received your wish. The inaugural issue of “Country Music Magazine presented by Classic Rock” is being released September 11th.
Austin Lucas, BUddy Emmons, Carrie Rodriguez, Case Hardin, Classic Rock Magazine, Country Music Magazine, Edie Brickell, England, Fifth on the Floor, Guy Clark, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, LeAnn Rimes, My Darling Clementine, Steve Martin, Sturgill Simpson, Tony Joe White, UK, Wanda Jackson
The dream of most every musician who has severed all ties to the civilian day job world and made that scarey plunge of becoming a professional artist is to eventually be discovered by someone who can help them make their dream into at least a stable, sustainable reality. The fairy-tale story of some unsigned, but unquestionably deserving artist getting discovered at a random show rarely comes true, but it did for Austin Lucas.