Once or twice a year, you have one of these mega release days in country music where the albums are so important, and the amount of releases so daunting, you need a field guide, or a Sherpa to help shepherd you through it all. Luckily you have little ol’ Saving Country Music.
As we head into the Memorial Day weekend when many will be letting loose, taking it easy, and remembering our fallen heroes, what better time to juice up the Top 25 playlist, especially with the round of great new songs that have just come down the pike.
Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry member Connie Smith is getting ready to release her first new record in a decade, and one thing is for sure, it’ll be country. Called The Cry of the Heart, once again her husband Marty Stuart will be the producer.
After staring long in the mirror, meditating on the subject, counseling with mentors, and rewatching the introduction to The Muppet Movie from 1979, I have resolved in my heart that yes, this a hill I am willing to die on.
The Grand Ole Opry is celebrating its 95th Anniversary with a big primetime special on Sunday, February 14th on NBC. Called ‘Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music,’ it comes as the Opry is enjoying arguably one of its biggest resurgences in interest in the institution’s history.
Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Carly Pearce, Carrie Underwood, Charles Esten, Connie Smith, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Grand Ole Opry, Jeannie Seely, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady A, Little Big Town, Marty Stuart, Old Crow Medicine Show, Riders In The Sky, Trisha Yearwood
Unless you were there in person, you missed it. But now we’ll all get the opportunity to see the tribute concert that transpired on April 6th, 2017, when a hefty list of musical talent all assembled at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to pay tribute to the legendary Merle Haggard.
Aaron Lewis, Ben Haggard, Billy Gibbons, Blackbird Presents, Bobby Bare, Buddy Miller, Chris Janson, Connie Smith, Dierks Bentley, Hank Williams Jr., Jake Owen, Jamey Johnson, John Anderson, John Mellencamp, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Richards, Kenny Chesney, Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Rodney Crowell, Ronnie Dunn, Sheryl Crow, Sing Me Back Home The Music of Merle Haggard, Tanya Tucker, The Avett Brothers, Toby Keith, Warren Haynes, Willie Nelson
When the COVID-19 shutdowns began in mid March, the Grand Ole Opry was one of the only live music institutions that endured, with the first non-audience show transpiring on March 14th with the evening’s regular scheduled slate of performers.
Nobody does more to preserve the history and pay forward the legacy of country music than Marty Stuart, musician or otherwise. And now that boy from Philadelphia, Mississippi who gave himself completely to the music at the tender age of 12 is officially a Hall of Famer.
Jan Howard’s death was marked with obituaries enumerating her many accomplishments in country music, including her hits, her collaborations with John Anderson, and her long tenure at the Grand Ole Opry. But when it comes to Jan Howard, it was just as much about the work she did off the stage, and out of the spotlight.
Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Connie Smith, George Strait, Grand Ole Opry, Hal Ketchum, Jan Howard, Jean Shepard, Jimmy C. Newmann, Keith Urban, Little Jimmy Dickens, Mack McKenzie, Marty Stuart, Patty Loveless, Stonewall Jackson, Terri Clark
Country music legend and long-time Grand Ole Opry star Jan Howard has passed away at the age of 91. Howard died on Saturday, March 28th peacefully in her sleep in Gallatin, Tennessee near Nashville. A Grand Ole Opry member for nearly 50 years, news broke of her passing as the storied country music institution was broadcasting.
The fifth installment of the Ken Burns country music documentary zeroed in on the time period between 1964 and 1968, when the United States at large began to be embroiled in tumultuous times, and two separate epicenters in country music began to emerge. Arguably the most egalitarian of the episodes so far, it covered a lot of performers.
Bobbie Gentry, Buck Owens, Charley Pride, Connie Smith, Dolly Parton, Don Rich, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Faron Young, Jeannie C. Riley, Johnny Cash, Ken Burns, Lloyd Green, Loretta Lynn, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Ralph Emery, Roger Miller, Ronnie Milsap, Wynton Marsalis
As first announced by Saving Country Music earlier this summer, Marty Stuart’s Magum Opus The Pilgrim is being reissued and for the first time on vinyl, along with an accompanying CD with 10 bonus tracks taken from the project and other recorded material Marty has amassed over the years. The 20th Anniversary Edition of The […]
A legend of country music songwriting, and one that put the painful experience of divorce into words and song like none other has gone to the great honky tonk in the sky. Sanger D. Shafer, known popularly as Whitey Shafer, passed away on Saturday, January 12th according to reports.
Connie Smith, Dallas Frazier, George Strait, Jack Greene, John Michael Montgomery, Johnny Russell, Keith Whitley, Kenny Chesney, Lee Ann Womack, Lefty Frizzell, Merle Haggard, Mo Bandy, Shawn Colvin, Whitey Shafer
Joshua Hedley’s just-released record Mr. Jukebox is just about the most accurate portrayal of the Countrypolitan era we’ve heard from a modern artist in quite some time. And though many traditional country fans are singing Hedley’s praises, some have been skeptical of just how sincere his reverence for the music can be.
‘The Marty Stuart Show’ has logged a total of 174 episodes, but not a single new episode has aired since 2014. It’s been three years now, and fans of the RFD-TV program are getting restless for some fresh shows. So has the show been cancelled, put on indefinite hiatus? When can fans expect new episodes?
A tribute is finally planned for The Hag, and it promises to be a star-studded event. ‘Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard’ will take place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, April 6th to honor what would have been Merle Haggard’s 80th birthday, and to mark the one year anniversary of his passing.
Alison Krauss, Ben Haggard, Bobby Bare, Buddy Cannon, Connie Smith, Dierks Bentley, Don Was, Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, John Anderson, John Mellencamp, Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Chesney, Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Ronnie Dunn, Sing Me Back Home The Music of Merle Haggard, The Avett Brothers, Theresa Haggard, Warren Haynes, Willie Nelson
The duo played a special half hour extended set Friday night, and were joined on stage by Marty Stuart and Connie Smith, as well as John Carter Cash and his wife Ana Cristina, Dailey’s father JB Dailey and Vincent’s mother Carolyn Vincent. Near the end of the set, Marty Stuart shocked everyone by asking the duo to become official Opry members.
Though Merle Haggard is no longer around to record and release new music, that doesn’t mean there isn’t unheard, unreleased recordings waiting to be unearthed for the public in the future. As is often the case with music artists who pass away, unreleased Merle Haggard music remains vaulted away, either as leftovers and outtakes from previous recording sessions, or in Merle’s case, purposely stashed away…
You would think there would be much more important business to attend to in the lives of country music fans than to worry about what clothing accessories Marty Stuart chooses to adorn his wardrobe with, but you may not find a another topic of more intrigue or discussion amongst some country listeners than why Marty decides to indulge in neck finery as part of his public fashion.
But what “Something In The Water” had that no other song that could offer battle to Bro-Country had previously was substance, and one of the most powerful performances we’ve heard from a country artist in the last few years. This is what was needed to defeat Bro-Country. It wasn’t going to take pandering. Leadership is what was needed, and an exhibition of raw talent that could not be denied.
Out of the 67 current members of the Opry, only 25 of them fulfilled their 10 appearance obligation, and three of those died during the year. 11 members didn’t make any appearances at all. But what may be more interesting is who is appearing on the Opry to take up the slack. Of the Top 11 performing members at the Grand Ole Opry in 2014, the average age was 79-years-old.
Bill Anderson, Blake Shelton, Bobby Osborne, Brad Paisley, Byron Fay, Carrie Underwood, Chris Jansen, Connie Smith, Craig Morgan, Darius Rucker, Elizabeth Cook, George Hamilton IV, Jean Shepard, Jeannie Seely, Jesse McReynolds, Jim Ed Brown, Jimmy C. Newman, John Conley, Little Big Town, Little Jimmy Dickens, Lorrie Morgan, Mike Snider, Old Crow Medicine Show, Pete Fisher, Rascal Flatts, Riders In The Sky, Sarah Darling, The Grand Ole Opry, The Henningsens, The Whites, Vince Gill, WSM
When it comes to the preservation of the history and sound of country music, you can make the case there is nobody who does it better and with more passion and dedication than Marty Stuart. Tireless and true to his convictions, from his music, to his archive of memorabilia, to his presence on television and the Grand Ole Opry stage, and to some of the thankless things he does well out of the public eye…
B-Bender, Badlands Ballads of the Lakota, Brandy Clark, Clarence White, Connie Smith, Corb Lund, Del McCoury, Don Maddox, Gene Parson, Hummingbyrd, Jim Lauderdale, Johnny Cash, Justin Townes Earle, Lester Flatt, Let There Be Country, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Old Crow Medicine Show, Porter Wagoner, Roland White, Stonewall Jackson, Sturgill Simpson, The Byrds, The Grand Ole Opry, The Kentucky Colonels, The Marty Stuart Show
Amber Digby’s gift is being able to hand select classic country songs from the past that never became full-on classics, but should have. And then with her band Midnight Flyer, Amber makes these songs classics by the power of her pure country voice. It’s part album making, part archeology dig, and then she adds a few newer offerings and self-penned songs to the mix for good measure.
Amber Digby, Connie Smith, Hargus "Pig" Robbins, Jerry Reed, Johnny Paycheck, Justin Trevino, Lloyd Green, Lynn Anderson, The Grand Ole Opry, The Warren Brothers, The World You're Living In, Vince Gill
Legendary country music songwriter Billy Don Burns, who over his 40 year career has written songs for Willie Nelson, Connie Smith, Sammy Kershaw, and many others has partnered up with Rusty Knuckles Records and will be releasing a new album this summer, Nights When I’m Sober (The Portrait of a Honky Tonk Singer).