It’s not often that 71-year-old songwriters enjoy a massive resurgence in their careers, but that is exactly what is going on with John Prine. With so many other legacy songwriters vacating the mortal coil over the last few years, Prine is one of the final living links to a time in music when songwriters were revered universally throughout music.
At 12:01 last night (or this morning), after all the hands had been shaken, and all the hugs exchanged on the Saturday Night Live set in New York’s Rockefeller Center, you didn’t know what to do with yourself. Okay, now you’re supposed to just nestle into bed and act like that didn’t just happen?
“People can tell the difference between (B.S.) and not (B.S.). I’ll second the motion to say there shouldn’t be rap in country music,” Randy Rogers says. “But I will go on the record saying I like Kendrick Lamar. I like my rap. But when I think of country music, I think of Merle Haggard.”
Before Dave Cobb became known as the producer du jour in country and Americana, he was a workaday musician and engineer who was looking to get his name out in the industry. In 2009, The Oak Ridge Boys took a chance on working with Cobb on their release ‘The Boys Are Back,’ and it was the beginning of a revival in their career.
Tis’ the season to officially announce your 2018 record apparently, as Wednesday (1-17) saw the unveiling of two marquee projects of note in the country and roots world. Old Crow Medicine Show will release their latest record “Volunteer,” and Lindi Ortega will release a concept album called “Liberty.” The details:
Kentucky has always been the fertile crescent of country music. It just happens to be that lately it has kicked its output into overdrive, and more than any other state at the moment, it’s Kentucky’s sons and daughters fueling the country music insurgency turning the mainstream on its head.
Will 2018 be yet another banner year for independent country releases like 2017 was? We’ll have to see, but what we do know is what to expect in the release department for at least the first quarter of the year, while rumors abound about other projects that could come to light later in the year. Here’s a detailed run down.
Anderson East, Ashley Campbell, Brandi Carlile, Caitlyn Smith, Caleb Caudle, Courtney Patton, Dallas Moore, Dave Cobb, Dusty Rust, First Aid Kit, JD Wilkes, Laura Benitez, Mary Gauthier, Mike & The Moonpies, Red Shahan, Ruby Boots, Scotty McCreery, Ugly Valley Boys, Vivian Leva, Wade Bowen
You get what you expect from this record, which is good, and bad. If it feels like we were just here a few months ago, it’s because we were. You could call Chris Stapleton’s latest release, and his second one in 2017 “From A Room: Vol. 2,” or perhaps you could call it “Traveller #3.”
What’s great about Dillon Carmichael’s “Old Songs Like That” is it doesn’t focus on the negative, it accentuates what is positive about all those old country songs. It preaches their virtues, attempts to explain their importance, and pays homage to them not just in name, but in style.
The second installment from the Chris Stapleton From ‘A’ Room sessions with producer Dave Cobb at Nashville’s historic Studio ‘A’ will be arriving soon. This is the news coming out of Friday night’s (10-13) show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Stapleton addressed the capacity crowd, making the announcement between songs.
Another glass ceiling has just been shattered in mainstream country music’s monopoly on the independent side of music. Jason Isbell has just been nominated for Album of the Year by the Country Music Association, or CMA’s, for his most recent album The Nashville Sound. This is a virtually unprecedented feat for an independent artist.
When it comes to neotraditional singing duos, The Secret Sisters are regarded at the very top of the discipline. However that hasn’t exactly won them the fame and comfort that is usually reserved for the esteemed and elite of a medium.
It was said by many after the release of Wheeler Walker Jr.’s first album Redneck Shit, “Okay, that was fun. But where do you go next?” Wheeler Walker Jr. has an entirely new album’s worth of songs. That’s what he’s got. And he’s got ’em in a pretty short turnaround, and they’re just as funny and wit-filled as the first, if not more.
For the better part of two years now, country music fans with any sort of taste have been waiting not-so-patiently for the long-awaited arrival of the Dave Cobb-produced fourth album from 3rd generation performer Holly Williams. You can’t blame fans for their impatience after the performance she turned in on her 3rd record, ‘The Highway.’
Give Zac Brown credit. He listened to his fans, as opposed to speaking down to them about how music needs to evolve, or some other line of flawed reasoning where he could justify his actions to himself if nobody else. It’s hard to describe Zac Brown Band’s ‘Welcome Home’ as anything but what it is, which is a complete about-face.
Styles and dialects and phonetics change, but the eternal themes that stir the soul remain, and it’s the seamless tie to what Colter sings about and how he sings it that makes the experience something beyond music. It is the ability to introduce the element of time into the mix, not just as a texture, but as a vehicle for transporting perspective….
Stapleton’s From A Room: Volume #1 will be released on May 5th, and a second installment, and From A Room, Volume #2, will be released later in 2017. This is the news coming out of a mostly private album release party conducted Wednesday evening (4-5) at Nashville’s Studio ‘A’.
Last week the current King of Americana Music Jason Isbell got fans jazzed by releasing a 30-second teaser video (see below) for his upcoming, but still-unannounced Dave Cobb-produced album that promises to feature a bit more of a rock vibe than previous efforts. Though we have no hard release date or title yet, we have both for a live studio album.
Just what 2017 has in store for us in the country music department remains to be seen. But we do know about what to expect in the release department for at least the first quarter of the year, while rumors abound about the big projects that could come to light later in 2017. Here’s a run down of what we know, what we think we know, and what we would like to believe.
Aaron Watson, Ags Connolly, Alison Krauss, Casey James Prestwood, Charlie Worsham, Chris Knight, Chris Stapleton, Colter Wall, Curtis McMurtry, Dale Watson, Dan Auerbach, Dave Cobb, George Jones, Guy Clark, Holly Williams, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jaime Wyatt, Jason Isbell, JB Beverley, Justin Townes Earle, Marty Stuart, MOderna Mal, Nikki Lane, Old Crow Medicine Show, Otis Gibbs, Phoebe Hunt, Ray Benson, Ray Scott, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Rhiannon Giddens, Robbie Fulks, Scott H. Biram, Shinyribs, Son Volt, Steve Earle, Sunny Sweeney, The Gibson Brothers, The Sadies, The Secret Sisters, Tift Merritt, Valerie June, Whitney Rose
Whether one may ultimately settle upon ‘The Weight of These Wings’ with a more positive or negative take, what is next to indisputable is that it is a significant release. ‘The Weight of These Wing’s is the symbolic entry of Miranda Lambert—the biggest female country star for the last six or so years—into the Americana/independent/east Nashville mindset