The new Urban Pioneers album ‘Hillbilly Swing Music’ is true to the title, filled with fun ditties and infectious reels that reawaken the simple joy of primitive American string music in a way that is invigorating and fun, yet still enriching with intelligent turns and deceptively-smart songwriting.
Hellbound Glory’s latest record Pinball comes across as brash and unapologetic, and it’s underpinned by one of the highlights of the project, the song “Hellbound Blues.” But at the heart of the song is how the scourge of addiction can rule and ruin one’s life, especially in the throes of the dark hours.
The 4th Annual Westport Roots Festival occurred this Memorial Day weekend in Kansas City’s Westport District, with over 80 bands participating on six separate stages. One of the most anticipated and talked about moments of the festival was the reunification of Jayke Orvis and The Broken Band.
Devastating news out of Bakersfield, California Friday night that country legend Red Simpson has passed away. According to the performer’s family, Red died today, January 8th. Simpson was just getting ready to release his first official record since 1973 in February with his best friend Mario Carboni. He was 81-years-old.
Comprised of two very astute and formally educated musicians, Stump Tail Dolly is not necessarily the screaming bloody mess some might expect when scrunching the terms “country” and “metal” together, especially considering the lineage of the discipline. There’s plenty of blood and guts mind you, but there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface than just Cookie Monster vocals and braying power riffs.
This isn’t any slick and polished nouveau bluegrass with lilting runs and brazen compositional poise, this is Stringbean and Grandpa Jones slapping away at strings while sucking on corn pipes trying to entertain folks on back porches and beyond. Unpretentious and fun, and fairly authentic to the Appalachian traditions, The Urban Pioneers will make you chuckle and strut, and see the timeless value in the old traditions of primitive country.
Written solely by Carlson, the 5-song Release Me EP is a throwback, honky-tonkin, foot-stompin’ true country affair that lays full throttle on the twang and layers in the steel guitar hard and heavy. But this isn’t just all about styling and posturing to prove how country it is. Darci crafts some really smart songs and has an understanding of chords and arrangement and songwriting that separates her from the crowd.
Five beautiful and multi-talented women banding together to break down gender barriers in bluegrass, country, and beyond; that’s the story of the newly-formed female supergroup in Nashville called The Local Memories. It’s all the brain child of fiddle player, Berklee College of Music alumni, and former Outlaw Carnie Lucy B. Cochran.
Lexington, Kentucky-based Southern rock / sometimes country band Fifth on the Floor is breaking up, according to a missive sent out by the band today (1-6-15). Led by songwriter and lead singer Justin Wells, Fifth on the Floor was seen by many as one of the most promising upstart Southern rock bands of the last decade, releasing three albums over the eight year span of the project.
Compared to albums, making picks of songs is such a tough, arbitrary business. This year seems especially tough, not because the field isn’t strong, but because many of the best moments are coming from unlikely sources, including a cadre of cover songs that despite the spirit of the “Best Songs” approach being about original compositions, seem almost criminal to omit.
Bob Wayne, Dierks Bentley, Don Williams, Eric Church, First Aid Kit, Hellbound Glory, I'll Be Here In The Morning, Jason Eady, John Fullbright, Karen Jonas, Kirsty Lee Akers, Leroy Virgil, Liberty Bell, Lonely Island, Matt Woods, Melody Williamson, Miranda Lambert, Parker Milsap, Red Eye Gravy, Streets of Aberdeen, Sturgill Simpson, Take Me Back, The Promise, The Secret Sisters, The Wall, There's No Country Here, Turtles All the Way Down, Willie Nelson, Willie Watson, Zoe Muth
On Monday (4-21), The Outlaw Carnie Bob Wayne will be releasing his latest album called Back To The Camper. It will be his first independent release in the United States after releasing two album with the heavy metal label Century Media. Before a show at Austin, TX’s White Horse honky tonk, I sat down with Bob to talk Back To The Camper and catch up with his other doings.
The Outlaw Carnie Bob Wayne is set to release his latest record Back To The Camper on April 21st, and in anticipation of the release, he’s unleashed the album’s first single, a duet with Outlaw girl and general badass Elizabeth Cook called “20 Miles to Juarez”, a excellent twin-fiddle storyteller country song. “I actually wrote the song a couple of years ago and I’ve been looking for the right girl to sing it,”
Call them the underground roots house band or the underground roots All-Star Band, either way the super couple of fiddle player Liz Sloan, and upright bass player (and banjo player, apparently) Jared McGovern have comprised, and do comprise the backbone of so many hard-working, road-weary roots bands, it’s a wonder they have any time to breathe, let alone record their own album.
2014 promises to be another great year for music, and the first part of the year might just be one of the busiest seasons for anticipated releases we have seen in quite a while. From a lost Johnny Cash album, to a new one from his daughter Rosanne, to Jason Eady, a big re-issue from Lucina Williams, and releases from Scott H. Biram and Robert Ellis, there’s enough here to get your music taste buds salivating.
Beck, Bob Wayne, Charlie Parr, Dolly Parton, Doug Paisley, Goddamn Gallows, Hank3, Hard Working Americans, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jason Eady, Jimbo Mathus, Johnny Cash, Justin Townes Earle, Lake Street Dive, Lucinda Williams, Lydia Loveless, Ray Benson, Reverend Horton Heat, Robert Ellis, Rosanne Cash, Scott H. Biram, Slackeye Slim, Suzy Bogguss, The Boomswagglers, The Whiskey Shivers, Todd Snider, Whiskey Myers
The greatest album, and the greatest recorded song will never be able to trump the truly live musical experience where music is shared in real time with both the artist and listeners. It is in this spirit that each year I assemble a list of the Best Live Performances to reinforce that as technology and the busying of life incrementally encroach upon us, we must remember that the live music show deserves its own attention and reverence.
.357 String Band, 2013, American Aquarium, Andrew Bird, Austin City Limits, Best Live Performances, Bob Wayne, Dirty River Boys, Eric Church, Gruene Hall, Hellbound Glory, James Hunnicutt, Jared McGovern, Jason Eady, Jason Isbell, Jayke Orvis, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Lincoln Durham, Liz Sloan, Patsy Cline, Pickathon, Punch Brothers, Red 11, The Crooks, The Mavericks, The White Horse, Tift Merritt, Turnpike Troubadours, Valerie June, XSXSW
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.
Aaron Tippin, Asleep at the Wheel, Bob Wayne, Buck Owens, C.W. McCall, Commander Cody, Dale Watson, Dave Dudley, Del Reeves, Dick Curless, Jerry Reed, Junior Brown, Merle Haggard, Red Simpson, Red Sovine, Tom T. Hall, truck driving songs, trucker songs, Webb Pierce
the image of the angry face and the raised middle finger has become an iconic symbol of defiance against the direction of country music. As indecent as a raised middle finger happens to be in the first place, and the propensity for some seedy country fans and artists to have it make an appearance in every single photo of them, it has come to mean more than its vulgar connotation in the fight to save country music.
Bob Wayne, Country Music, country music flipping the bird, country music middle finger, Dale Watson, David Allan Coe, flipping the bird, Hank3, Hellbound Glory, Jeff Austin, Jim Marshall, Johnny Cash, Jonny Fritz, Keith Richards, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Leroy Virgil, middle finger, Rick Rubin, story of willie nelson middle finger, Willie Nelson, Yonder Mountain String Band
If you would’ve told The Avett Brothers back in 2007 when they released their album Emotionalism that in five years, the best-selling album in all of music would be from a roots band playing acoustic instruments and featuring emotional, singer/songwriter material, they’d probably call you crazy. But that is the power one album can have to launch a formidable music career…
If you’re looking for an act that is still virtually unknown, one that is buried deep in the underground and that embodies the raw energy of the roots movement and not just a commercially-viable watered-down derivative, one whose active ingredient still works on even the most hardened of roots addicts, then Jayke Orvis and The Broken Band might be your drug.
.357 String Band, Alabama Shakes, Bless This Mess, Bob Wayne, Farmageddon Records, Hank Williams, Hellbound Glory, James Hunnicutt, Jared McGovern, Jayke Orvis, Jayke Orvis & The Broken Band, Jello Biafra, Joe Perreze, Liz Sloan, Punch Brothers, Ralph Stanley, Shovels & Rope, Sturgill Simpson, Weary Boys
Reno, Nevada’s Hellbound Glory has just come off two legs of arena shows opening for Kid Rock on his nationwide Rebel Soul tour, and are recovering now to get ready for their own tour in early summer. Saving Country Music talks with Hellbound front man Leroy Virgil about the tour, the potential for new music, and about the new single “The Feud.” Leroy releases an alternative version of the song through SCM.
With all the junkets underground country bands have logged to and from Europe over the years, it was only a matter of time before the sprouts of the seeds they planted began to spring from the fertile Euro dirt. A fresh new crop of bands are joining some of Europe’s already established independent roots acts, and this includes the UK’s Rattleshack who’ve just released their debut, self-titled album.
The annual Muddy Roots Festival held over Labor Day weekend announced their initial lineup last week (see below) and at the top of the list was the name of legendary Bakersfield Sound songwriter Red Simpson. In a strange turn of events, Bob Wayne found himself sitting in Red Simpson’s trailer at 6 AM, swapping songs and stories with a man he considered a hero.
Where 2011 felt like a high water mark year for live performances and an average year for recorded projects, 2012 feels vice versa. When I look back on 2011, it seemed like there were moments I experienced that I will never top the rest of my life. 2012 is the year that some albums and songs were released that may never be topped. Still there were a quite a few memorable performances worth noting.
.357 String Band, Anderson Family Bluegrass, Austin Lucas, Bob Wayne, Don Maddox, Glossary, Goddamn Gallows, Jayke Orvis, JB Beverley, Joe Buck, Lake Street Dive, LC Ulmer, Lucky Tubb, Muddy Roots, Pickathon, Rachel Brooke, Ralph Stanley, Restavrant, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Robert Belfour, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Sturgill Simpson, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Calamity Cubes, Thee Oh Sees, XSXSW
By request, here is my list of the greatest underground country albums of all time. The underground country movement started roughly in the mid 90’s on lower Broadway in Nashville that at the time was a run down part of town. Young musicians from around the country, some from punk backgrounds, came together from their mutual love of authentic country music.
.357 String Band, Andy Gibson, Bob Wayne, BR549, Dale Watson, Donnie Herron, Hank Williams, Hank3, Hellbound Glory, Jayke Orvis, JB Beverley, Joe Buck, Justin Townes Earle, Legendary Shack Shakers, Leroy Virgil, Lonesome Wyatt, Lucky Tubb, Rachel Brooke, Slackeye Slim, The Boomswagglers, Those Poor bastards, Wayne Hancock