As we look back on 2021 and before we look forward to 2022, it’s important we take the time to pay tribute to these individuals who left a mark on the country and roots music world that will never fade. Here are the performers, players, songwriters, and others we lost in 2021.
There were few that could tap into the cosmic side of country music better, and nobody that could sail as deep into the ozone as Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. And now, the band’s illustrious pilot, the Captain, keyboard player and singer Commander Cody himself, has died.
The Country Music Hall of Fame has partnered with Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings to release a 36-song companion double album to coincide with what the public can expect to see and hear as part of the upcoming Outlaws & Armadillos exhibit. The track list of the album reveals just how deep the exhibit will go.
Amanda Shires, Ashley Monroe, Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Bare, Chris Gantry, Colter Wall, Commander Cody, Country Music Hall of Fame, Dave Cobb, Doug Sahm, Gary P. Nunn, Jack Ingram, Jamey Johnson, Jason Boland, Jason Isbell, Jessi Colter, Joe Ely, John Hartford, Kimmie Rhodes, Kinky Friedman, Michael Martin Murphey, Mickey Newbury, Outlaws & Armadillos, Shooter Jennings, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Terry Allen, Townes Van Zandt, Willis Alan Ramsey
Just as Bill Kirchen was the country twang compass for country rock’s Commander Cody, Austin De Lone was the keyboard-playing rock maestro for the country rock outfit Eggs Over Easy. Both their sensibilities and respective expertise make them a complimentary pairing that just downright works, and that is evidenced in their new album together.
Waylon fans and collectible enthusiasts from around the country and world made their way to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ or tuned in online to a 2,000-item estate liquidation from the Arizona homestead of the late Waylon Jennings. The auction was conducted by Guernsey’s of New York who compiled over 500 lots of Waylon’s personal effects.
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 Carper Family is at it again with a brand new album called Old-Fashioned Gal, and it’s a family affair featuring The Carper Family troika of Melissa Carper, Beth Crisman, and Jenn Miori, right beside some of the brightest talents of Austin, TX’s old-school country scene. The Carper Family girls can shift from Western Swing, old-school country, folk, covers and originals, embellishing it all with exquisite three-part harmony.