One year ago, after receiving numerous tips from readers that in a previously-aired GAC special about country artist Blake Shelton had some disparaging things to say about classic country music fans, Saving Country Music found the quotes, cued up an article and posted Shelton’s comments verbatim. What happened next was one of the biggest awakenings of classic country fans….
Williamson Branch is a bluegrass and country band from Nashville, and their 15-year-old fiddle and guitar player Melody Williamson recently wrote a song called “There’s No Country Here.” Despite her age, Music Row would be wise to remove themselves for their laundry list clatter and listen to what the future of country music has to say about where country music is headed.
Where it once looked bleak for any positive news to come out of country music’s mainstream channels, now there’s hope. Regardless of how awful the trends of country rap and tailgate songs might be, there are little chutes of life and vitality springing through the scorched country music earth. But there is a stodgy contingent unwilling to acknowledge or participate in what could be a potential turning of the tide.
Billy Joe Shaver is getting ready to record and release his first studio album in 7 years, according to the 74-year-old Outlaw country songwriter and performer. “Hopefully getting it out in a couple of months. It’s all new too and different…There are some political things. The songs are so different then what’s on the radio now. It’s either going to change things around or get kicked out. One or the other. ”
The annual dirge of Christmas movie releases is enough to turn your stomach like a glass of expired eggnog. But there is one movie out this year that may be worth your time, if for no other reason than the cast is built around country music royalty, including Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, and appearances by Dale Watson, The Trishas, Ray Benson, & more.
Austin, Christmas Movie, Connie Britton, Dale Watson, Eloise DeJoria, Guy Forsyth, Harry Connick Jr., Joel Guzman, Kat Edmonson, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, Marcia Ball, Miss Lavelle, Ray Benson, Sarah Hickman, SXSW, The Trishas, When Angels Sing, Willie Nelson
Country music in the second half of 2013 is going through some of the most historic changes the format has ever seen. The ever-present erosion of what the term “country” defines has never been greater, and the charge of preserving the roots of country music has never been more dire. As a symptom of all the change and upheaval, big-time artists are speaking out about the direction of country music like never before.
37 years ago, Austin City Limits was founded to be the visual accompaniment to a book called The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock by Texas author Jan Reed. The book set out to chronicle the formation of the Austin, TX music scene that transpired in the late 60’s and into the 70’s, along with its many artists and side characters.
ACL, ACL Fest, Austin City Limits, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Dale Watson, Dave Matthews Band, Gary P. Nunn, Hayes Carll, Jan Reed, Kacey Musgraves, Pearl Jam, Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock
Hank3 is poised to release two new albums next week, and embark on an extended tour of Texas, the West Coast, and upper Midwest. Brothers of the 4X4 and A Fiendish Threat come on the heels of an extended touring hiatus after Hank3’s drummer Shawn McWilliams required shoulder surgery. Hank3 was gracious enough to sit down with us ahead of the tour and releases to talk about what fans can expect…
A Fiendish Threat, Ameripolitan, Brothers of the 4X4, Dale Watson, David Allan Coe, Hank Jr., Hank Williams, Hank Williams III, Hank3, interview, Leroy Troy, Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame, Pink Floyd, Shawn McWilliams, The Melvins
On August 15th, the plans for the upcoming Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame and an accompanying Outlaw Music Association were made public. The announcement stimulated a lot of speculation about what direction the upcoming Hall of Fame would take, but not many serious answers. So Saving Country Music reached out to Gary “Sarge” Sargeant, the spearhead of the Outlaw Country Hall of Fame.
Ameripolitan, CMA, Dale Watson, David Allan Coe, Eric Church, Gary Sargeant, George Jones, Gurf Morlix, Hank3, Hellbound Glory, Jamey Johnson, John Denver, Justin Moore, Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame, Pete Berwick, Shooter Jennings, Tammy Wynette, Tompall Glaser
Country music in 2013 feels like the best of times, and the worst of times. While a few top male performers perpetrate untold atrocities on the integrity of the genre, the rise of independent music and infrastructure in the marketplace is now almost to the point where it equals its corporate counterpart. Quality songs and worthy artists are beginning to see more and more support…
Ashley Monroe, Austin Lucas, Avett Brothers, Blake Shelton, Bobb Bare, Caitlin Rose, CMA Awards, Cory Branan, Country Music Hall of Fame, Dale Watson, Darius Rucker, David Letterman, East Nashville, Gary Allan, Grand Ole Opry, Guy Clark, Hellbound Glory, Jack Clement, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kid Rock, Lindi Ortega, Mumford and Sons, Nashville, Old Crow Medicine Show, Old Farts and Jackasses, Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame, Pokey LaFarge, Rascal Flatts, Ray Price, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shovels and Rope, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, The Lumineers, Tom Petty, Twones Van Zandt, Valerie June, Zac Brown
In 2013, there is only one music artist who can say they’re officially banned for life from country music’s most storied institution: the Grand Ole Opry. No, it’s not David Allan Coe, Hank Williams III, or some other hothead, firebrand artist quick to call out the Opry and other mainstream country music institutions at any perceived slight. No, the offending party is none other than alt-country luminary Neko Case.
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
Everywhere in the independent music world you’re seeing songwriters who have struggled for years finally starting to get singed to record labels and releasing career-caliber albums. Whereas other sectors of the music industry seem to be gripped by the fear that digitization and streaming may ultimately doom the business of music, talented songwriters are benefiting from the search for the next writer to break out.
Amanda Shires, Ashley Monroe, Austin City Limits, Austin Lucas, Caitlin Rose, Dale Watson, Drive By Truckers, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Pokey LaFarge, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rolling Stones, Shovels & Rope, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Sturgill Simpson, Valerie June
Of all the people you could have picked to become an outspoken dissenter to the direction of country music, Rodney Crowell would have been pretty far down the list. Not that he doesn’t have the skins on the wall to say such things and have them carry weight, or that he doesn’t practice what he preaches when it comes to his own approach to music. But he always seemed to be more of a reserved soul.
Welcome to Saving Country Music’s 2013 Pickathon LIVE blog! We will out at Pickathon all weekend, leaving our thoughts, posting pics, and other bits of information from the fest all weekend. Below you can watch a LIVE stream from the festival’s primary stages, but at any given time, multiple performances might be going on, so check below that in the live blog section for other activities transpiring at Pickathon.
Andrew Bird, blog, Caleb Klauder, Cedric Watson, Dale Watson, Devil Makes Three, Foghorn Stringband, JD McPherson, Kev Russell, Pickathon, Review, Shinyribs, Sturgill Simpson, Tift Merritt, Wayne 'The Train' Hancock
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
Announced a few days ago, “VIP meet & greet packages” are being offered at many of Shooter’s upcoming appearances, including at the Muddy Roots Festival this late August. What do you get for your $85? A T-shirt, a tote bag, 5 guitar picks (that all grand total will cost Shooter less than $12-$15 wholesale), and this is my favorite one, an “Invitation to pre-show private shopping experience.”
Letterman’s recent run of supporting independent country and roots artists like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Dale Watson, Shovels & Rope, and many more is not the result of some crack team of publicists and booking agents working together to peddle these artists to the right people, it is coming from David Letterman himself listening to these artists and wanting them to be featured on the show.
Eric Strickland is Country with a capital ‘C’ and couldn’t make a bad album if he tried. He may be more locally-oriented than the other big names in honky tonk music, but gives up nothing to his more well-known comrades when it comes to cutting songs and records. Eric Strickland and The ‘B’ Sides are doing their part to save country music. Now it’s time to do your part by giving them your ear and attention.
This Saturday, April 20th is the 2013 installment of Record Store Day. 2013 has some juicy releases, including some super rare Willie Nelson demo sessions, a split with Waylon Jennings and the Old 97’s, some cool live albums from Gram Parsons and Sarah Jarosz, and a re-issue of Justin Townes Earle’s first album, the Yuma EP.
2013, Aljeandro Escovedo, Avett Brothers, Blitzen Trapper, Calexico, Charlie Poole, Chet Atkins, Chris Scruggs, Dale Watson, Elizabeth Cook, Gram Parsons, Jason Isbell, JD McPherson, Justin Townes Earle, Kacey Chambers, Mike Cooley, Mumford & Sons, Old 97's, Patty Griffin, Randy Travis, Record Store Day, Richard Thompson, Sarah Jarosz, Shane Nicholson, The Band, Tift Merritt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Yoner Mountain String Band
Interstate 35 runs like a zipper down the gut of Texas, and acts like an unofficial border where the American South meets the West. The highway is also a musical corridor, being the main conduit in and out of Austin, TX, aka the “Live Music Capitol of the World.” Up and down that ribbon of I-35 are places that have been regaled in song by the musicians who’ve passed by them or had memorable experiences there.
Dale Watson has been throwing around his “Ameripolitan” term for years, but Dale is now working to organize behind the name. The main idea behind Dale’s Ameripolitan at the moment is the formation of an Ameripolitan awards show that would transpire in February 2014 in Austin, TX. The awards would be voted on by three divisions: 1) Fans. 2) Industry. 3) 100 Ameripolitan “captains.”
Ameripolitan, Ameripolitan Music Awards, Charley Pride, Charlie Rich, countrypolitan, Dale Watson, Kris Kristofferson, Shooter Jennings, The Baksersfield Sound, The Nashviile Sound, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, XXX
“Country must evolve” is the way it is sold to the country music public when pop and hip-hop influences are invited into the country music fold. What these folks fail to point out is that country has been trying to evolve for 30 some odd years right under their noses. Are you looking for true progress and evolution in country music? Look no further than this list of women.
Abigail Washburn, Amanda Shires, Anderson Family Bluegrass, Asleep at the Wheel, Be Good Tanya's, Bela Fleck, Brandi Carlile, Caitlin Rose, Dale Watson, First Aid Kit, Hank Williams, Jolie Holland, Kacey Musgraves, Kasey Chambers, Liz Rose, Neko Case, Paige Anderson, Rachel Brooke, Rounder Records, Ruby Jane, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, The Beach Boys, The Carter Family, The Trishas, Tom Waits, Uncle Earl, Willie Nelson
Bred for dancing, El Rancho Azul is taken straight out of the honky tonks Dale Watson plays 8 nights a week while home in Austin. Drinking and heartache are the prevailing themes, and maybe not just because this is a country album, but because Dale just recently went through a divorce himself. Dale’s supple country drawl delivered with breadth, emotion and control breathe new life into old, familiar narratives.