Welcome to Saving Country Music’s most comprehensive guide to music in a given year: The Essential Albums List. It’s a resource not just for 2023, but for future generations who may want to reflect back on this year in country music.
If this dark little corner of the internet never did anything else worth a damn, at least it introduced The Wilder Blue to country music megastar Luke Combs. The Wilder Blue have a new album coming out on November 21st.
AmericanaFest occurred last week in Nashville. And despite the continued debates on “What is Americana?” the event is an excellent place for discovery. These will be the biggest names in country in coming years.
Luke Combs may be the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, but you get the distinct impression that he’s barely aware of it. There’s no cocksure attitude as he stands up there on stage in his Bass Pro fishing shirt with the flap across the back. He’s just a grown up pudgy choir kid from North Carolina.
Reaching for Channing Wilson is reaching for the hardest stuff possible in the realm of country music. If this music was alcohol, it’d be the kind of spirits that are illegal in some parts of Alabama—the stuff that dubs as turpentine in a pinch. You want country damn music, straight with no chaser.
There have been busier release days in the past year or so with 20+ albums on the Saving Country Music radar hitting the shelves all at once. But it’s who is releasing albums, and what those albums are that makes Friday, February 24th feel like an especially important release day that is worth highlighting.
In 2022, something happened at the Grand Ole Opry that is only fair to label as historic. More so than any other year in its nearly 100-year existence, the coveted Grand Ole Opry debut was doled out to deserving artists from across the panorama, checking off bucket list items, populating glowing resume points…
The Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist is built to keep you informed on all the best songs and albums coming out right here, right now in country and roots music. It’s available on most all streaming formats, or you can just use the song, artist, and album recommendations.
There are few places more synonymous with country music in Texas than Luckenbach, and there are few places more synonymous with an individual artist than Luckenbach is with Jerry Jeff Walker. When Walker recorded his album Viva Terlingua! in Luckenbach’s legendary dance hall.
The final months of 2022 are here, and just like the first portion of the year, it is jam packed in an increasingly cluttered environment for new releases. Instead of being overwhelmed, use this guide to help you navigate through the crush of titles, with the first 20 albums listed considered some of the top releases.
There are only a few women out there in country music that you would ever dare considering using the exemplifying qualifier of “Outlaw” with, but Sunny Sweeney sure fits the bill. She’s a full-blown independent music maverick these days.
You can find a detailed list of all the confirmed album releases for the 2nd half of 2022 below, some specific albums from each release week that you should make sure to not overlook, and the always-exciting ‘Rumor Mill’ where intelligence is gathered on upcoming releases.
Luke Combs didn’t just put Zach Bryan, Morgan Wade, and Cody Johnson on a poster. He put out a whole promotional video featuring these artists as part of the announcement, and splattering it all over social media. Even if people don’t attend these events, the damage is done.
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?
Even in this confounding day and age in country music, it all still starts with a song. Not a beat, not a riff, but a song. Words, music, and melody. Story and inspiration. It’s what separates country music from certain other musical art forms, no matter how much it may get boiled down.
“Set In Stone” feels like a really solid and inspired mid career selection from Tritt, well-produced by Cobb, with some great instrumental performances, and no signs of rust or heavy wear from the time away. Undoubtedly though, this is a Boomer record, and in more ways than one.
Along with picking one of the hottest and most well-respected producers from the independent side of country for his comeback record, Tritt has also called on some of the best songwriters and performers at the moment. Don’t expect a dated retrospective from Tritt.
Jason Eady can do what they can do, but they can’t do what Jason Eady does, which is strip it all back and have the appeal for the music rest entirely on the written composition of a song. Even the most minimalist of performers have to rely a little bit on style, groove, or some sort of window dressing. But for Jason Eady, it’s like a type of Zen.
The brain child of songwriter Rob Snyder, The Revival is celebrating its two year anniversary next Tuesday, May 19th. A songwriter in-the-round setup with just acoustic guitars, The Revival is a place to not just be seen, but heard, and one of the few places you’ll find true songwriters still playing inspired songs mere steps from Music Row proper.