This is one of those moments when it all gets real. All the touring, all the stellar performances, all the live streams, all the great songs and the sowing of grassroots with blood and sweat from a prodigy musician to now a 29-year-old modern musical marvel…
Not every season of Austin City Limits these days is worth stopping down for, or has such close ties to the country and roots scene like it did back in the program’s heyday. But the first portion of Season 47 sure does. Set to premier on Saturday, October 2nd.
You know going into a new Billy Strings album that whatever it is you experience live will never be captured at the same caliber in a studio. But instead of trying to ensnare those surreal moments on a disc, Billy Strings and his cohorts must embrace the studio time as a separate medium.
Well damn, the summer of 2021 didn’t exactly turn out like we all had planned. But country music is the crutch we all lean on when times get tough, or heartbreak and disappointment creeps into our lives. So here’s a newly-freshened selection of some the best country stuff.
Well ladies and gentlemen, all the down time of the quarantine is catching up with us with an extra busy final portion of 2021 when it comes to the release of new albums. So to help you stay on top of it all, find this handy dandy guide to the albums you should be on top of.
Alison Krauss, Billy Strings, Carly Pearce, Charley Crockett, Cody Jinks, Dori Freeman, Emily Scott Robinson, Hayes Carll, Johnny Cash, Joshua Ray Walker, Legendary Shack Shakers, Randy Travis, RC and the Ambers, RC Edwards, Robert Plant, Side Pony, Turnpike Troubadours
Everyone recognizes what Sierra Ferrel has, and wants to be a part of it. It’s like Janis Joplin in the 60’s. A lioness. Sierra isn’t just a singer and songwriter. She’s a force of nature who melds gypsy jazz and mountain music into an alluring and intoxicating concoction.
What’s for certain is that we’re living in the era of Billy Strings. What this young man and his band are doing right now when they step up to the microphones in municipalities all across the country is other-worldly. Of course capturing that electric magic in the studio is another matter.
It’s not that Luke Combs is ideal, because he isn’t. Hell, who is? And for many independent fans, he will never compete with the likes of Cody Jinks or Tyler Childers in their hearts. But who would you rather have being the face of mainstream country at the moment?
Sierra Hull leads the 2021 nominations for the International Bluegrass Music Awards with 5, tying her with the retiring Doyle Lawson who picks up 5 himself, while Balsam Range, Justin Moses, and Billy Strings also pick up multiple big nominations, and Molly Tuttle comes in with 2.
Alison Krauss, Billy Strings, Del McCoury, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Gary Brewer, Gary Brewer and the Kentucky Ramblers, IBMA, Lynn Morris, Molly Tuttle, Po' Ramblin' Boys, Sierra Hull, Sturgill Simpson, The Stoneman Family
One thing was clearly evident after traveling to Whitefish, Montana to experience the massive Under The Big Sky Festival with its incredible lineup and expansive grounds: the independent country and roots music we all enjoy has officially arrived. This is no longer a boutique subgenre.
Badger Hound, Billy Strings, Brothers Osborne, Charley Crockett, Colter Wall, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Evan Felker, Hannah King, Hogslop String Band, Jade Bird, James Hand, Jason Isbell, Jesse Daniel, Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs, Lilly Hiatt, Mary Meyer, Michelle Rivers, Nikki Lane, Orville Peck, Paul Cauthen, Ryan Bingham, The White Buffalo, Tyler Childers, Under The Big Sky Fest, Whitney Rose, Yellowstone
In what’s always a promising sign for an artist and often results in extra revenue streams, there has been some big signings recently to publishing deals in the independent country and roots world, with Billy Strings, Wade Bowen, and Morgan Wade all inking new contracts.
Now the ball is in Post Malone’s court to wear a bootleg T-shirt of Tyler Childers wearing a Post Malone T-shirt of Post Malone wearing a bootleg Tyler Childers T-shirt, and soon we’ll be starring into infinity like when you stand between two mirrors on opposing walls.
Many folks have been feverishly awaiting news on when the debut album from gypsy jazz Appalachian folk phenom Sierra Ferrell would finally emerge after signing to Rounder Records in 2019. Well now we’ve been made aware the album is coming, and it’s appropriately titled “Long Time Coming.”
After blowing minds all across the country and world, becoming one of the big winners of the last year with his frequent live stream performances, and earning a Grammy for Best Bluegrass album a few months ago, Billy Strings is being tapped to make his debut on Austin City Limits.
A week ago, the international television audience tuning into see the 2021 Grammy Awards got to see a little slice of country music history when the presentation cut to the acoustic room in Nashville, Tennessee known as The Station Inn, and its owner JT Gray.
ohn Prine was the big winner posthumously from the 2021 Grammy Awards and the Premier Ceremony that takes place before the proper telecast. Taking home two Grammy Awards, both for his final recorded song, “I Remember Everything,” he became the most awarded artist from the roots.
Billy Strings, Bobby Rush, Brittany Howard, Dan+Shay, Dolly Parton, Fantastic Negrito, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, I Remember Everything, John Prine, Linda Ronstadt, Sarah Jarosz, Sturgill Simpson, The Highwomen, Vince Gill, Wilco
The majority of the high-profile bellyaching about the Grammys is coming from self-absorbed millionaire entertainers whose livelihoods and legacies are secured. It’s selfish and shortsighted of them to criticize an organization that gives the majority of its awards to deserving artists.
Billy Strings, Brandy Clark, Courtney Marie Andrews, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Grammy Awards, John Prine, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Lucinda Williams, Mavis Staples, Sarah Jarosz, Sierra Hull, The Secret Sisters, The Weeknd, Vince Gill, Zayn Malik
Every year the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville seats a variety of names from throughout the country and roots world in what they call their American Currents exhibit. This is the opportunity for artists that you may not normally see an exhibit for get an opportunity to be featured.
Ashley McBryde, Billy Strings, Casey Beathard, Charley Crockett, Country Music Hall of Fame, Darius Rucker, Eddie Stubbs, Eric Church, Faith Hill, Freddy Fender, Hot Country Knights, Jimmie Allen, John Prine, Luke Combs, Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, Rissi Palmer, Sister Sadie
It is very important to contextualize that Luke Combs has completely scrubbed Confederate flags from his image, and for many years now—a critically important point not relayed by Margo Price’s tweet. If nothing else, this should exonerate Billy Strings from having to answer for anything.
It turns out this isn’t just a one-off situation, but part of a much bigger bluegrass project Luke Combs has been working on during quarantine. That’s right, arguably the biggest artist in mainstream country at the moment has a bluegrass album in the works.
The 2020 pandemic has exposed how essential many country music institutions are to society. The Grand Ole Opry beamed its signal into households to the tune of becoming the most successful streaming concern in music during the entirety of 2020.
Yes, Post Malone. The rapper guy and pop star with all those tattoos on his face. He’s one of the biggest artists in all of popular music at the moment. And apparently, he’s a big fan of independent country music. Over the last few weeks he’s been caught repping guys you could list off as your 1A, 1B, and 1C.
When making the case for the character of someone, it’s not just about how they rise to the top, but what they do when they get there. In the case of Luke Combs, he’s been using his platform and his time off of the road during the pandemic to promote and collaborate with some of the best artists in independent country.
There are Grand Ole Opry shows, and then there will be the Grand Ole Opry show on Saturday, August 8th that will assemble some of the best talent of the string disciplines of this generation all in one place. The must-see lineup includes Billy Strings, Molly Tuttle, Dom Flemons, and Old Crow Medicine Show.