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.
Vince Gill has been one of the regulars during these quarantine Opry performances, appearing more than any other artist. Adding Emmylou Harris along with Rodney Crowell is just about the perfect combination, not just for the history the duo has together, but due to the history they both have with Vince Gill.
The 2020 IBMA Awards will go forward as scheduled, sans audience of course, but with an exceptional list of nominees for 2020. Leading all nominees is fiddle player Michael Cleveland with seven nominations total, and entirely worthy after releasing the weal-received album Tall Fiddler. He’s followed by the wondrous Billy Strings.
Those who’ve been paying attention knew this was coming. It’s not just Tyler Childers, Cody Jinks, and other hot shot country artists turning the tables on Music Row. Billy Strings from the bluegrass realm is doing the same thing, and we’re seeing it reflected in the amount of sold out shows he’s posting for his upcoming winter/spring tour.
Shaky Boots is returning as a replacement for the EDM/hip-hop festival, Shaky Beats. The rock fest Shaky Knees will still be held in 2020 the week before in Atlanta’s Central Park. Also as part of the return is more of an emphasis on independent country and Americana artists, as can be seen in the lineup.
2019 was a stacked year for top live performances. This was supposed to be a list of the top 10 live performances, but due to such a crowded field, things boiled over. And yes, there are three #1 acts. All should be considered equals at the very top level of live performance. They were all so great, it seemed unfair to put one over the other.
Amanda Shires, Billy Strings, Bri Bagwell, Cedric Burnside, Charles Wesley Godwin, Courtney Marie Andrews, Jack Ingram, Kaitlin Butts, Logan Ledger, Lukas Nelson, MIke and the Moonpies, Raul Malo, Shane Smith and the Saints, Sierra Ferrell, Tami Neilson, The Brother Brothers, The Mavericks, The Tender Things, Tyler Childers, Whitey Morgan and the 78's, Yola
In 2019, an interesting new destination festival popped up just outside of Whitefish, Montana called Under The Big Sky. With acts such as Dwight Yoakam, Cody Jinks, Whitey Morgan, and Amanda Shires on the bill, it got the attention of true country fans, but the question was if it would be worth the trek.
20 Grand, Archertown, Badger Hound, Billy Strings, Brothers Osborne, Charley Crockett, Colter Wall, Corb Lund, Emmylou Harris, Jason Isbell, Johnny Shockey, Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs, Lukas Nelson, Nick Spear, Snowghost, Swagar and Company, The Lil Smokies, Tyler Childers, Under The Big Sky Festival, Whitney Rose
Add Sturgill Simpson to the list of things in society that are extremely polarizing, right up there with politics, religion, LeBron James, pumpkin spice, and whatever else people get worked up about, with half the world professing something or someone is utter and unequivocal garbage, while the other half can’t contain their enthusiasm.
If you’re overlooking the world of bluegrass and what Billy Strings is accomplishing, a malevolent blind spot has infiltrated your point of view. After all, bluegrass is the vessel for the oldest forms of country, and Billy Strings is adhering to it, while somehow pushing it forward like never before in its nearly 80 years of existence.
If you’re wondering what you might look forward to listening to in the final portions of 2019 in country and Americana music, let this be your guide. Here’s all the information Saving Country Music has been able to compile on the most anticipated upcoming releases, along with a more extensive catalog of releases to have on your radar.
Ags Connolly, Billy Strings, Chris Knight, Cody Jinks, Dallas Moore, Dori Freeman, Jason James, Jon Pardi, Kelsey Waldon, Kendell Marvel, Logan Ledger, Marty Stuart, Michaela Anne, Miranda Lambert, Stoney LaRue, Sturgill Simpson, Whiskey Myers
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.
When bandying around the biggest names coming up in independent country and roots music, you can’t forget about Billy Strings. Billy is the bluegrass representative of this movement that spans from honky tonk to Americana, and just like his counterparts, we’re seeing that same pattern where Billy’s having to double up on show dates.
When we look back at the first week of August 2019, we might count it as a week for the ages in country music. Not only did we have Tyler Childers drop a new landmark album, Mike and the Moonpies came out of left field with their own. We’ve also had a bunch of new announcements for highly-anticipated records recently.
Independent country is getting a huge boost in 2019, and sometimes from some unlikely places. Not only are worthy artists who’ve been working hard for years for recognition finally receiving their due from important independent record labels, even the major labels are getting into the game.
If you’re eyes are solely affixed to Texas and Kentucky, and the Outlaw and underground scenes for who may rise up among the ranks of musicians and help save country music, you’re gaze is overshooting one of the most impressive classes of young bluegrass musicians the subgenre has birthed in history. Right at the top is Billy Strings.
The amount of premium festivals with stacked lineups for you to salivate over as the target for your discretionary music budget are starting to get downright overwhelming, and a new festival set to take place August 10th and 11th in Lexington, Kentucky will only add to your dilemma.
Naming the best live performances of a given year is not the same exercise as naming the best songs, albums, or artists, because it is specifically dependent on the experiences of the individual making the list. But it’s still an important exercise.
Billy Strings, Brandi Carlile, Charley Crockett, Cody Jinks, Colter Wall, Courtney Marie Andrews, I'm With Her, Jaime Wyatt, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Jesse Daniel, Joshua Hedley, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, MIke and the Moonpies, Molly Tuttle, Randall King, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers, Whitey Morgan and the 78's
If you’re wondering where bluegrass is headed in 2018, and where it could go in a world where music is constantly being tasked to evolve and engage with younger people, following the career track of Molly Tuttle is a good place to start.
The Old Settler’s Music Festival is not just an enjoyable time for the patrons who frequent the fest each year. With its youth programs, and the opportunities it provides for up-and-coming acts along with established names, it’s an important part of the roots music ecosystem.
Aiofe O’Donovan, Balsam Range, Billy Strings, Colter Wall, I'm With Her, JD McPherson, Jimmy Sutton, Michael Trotter Jr., Old Settler's Music Festival, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, Sean McConnell, The War and Treaty, Wade Bowen, Will Hoge
The original concept of South By Southwest was not to be a funnel for corporate brand recognition through music, or as a springboard for superstars to increase their street cred on social media. It was a place for artists and industry to come together in the discovery process so worthy talent could find support for their music.
Aaron Lee Tasjan, Alice Wallace, Billy Strings, Caroline Rose, Colter Wall, Elijah Ocean, Emily Herring, John Baumann, Joshua Hedley, Luck Reunion, Lukas Nelson, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Nikki Lane, Ruby Boots, Sarah Shook, The Brother Brothers, Tyler Childers, Willie Nelson, Wood and Wire