Believe it or not, you can draw a straight line between underground roots music, and Chris Stapleton becoming the most successful country music artist in the last two years in regards to awards and album sales. Let me explain how:
Sturgill Simpson sat down with Marc Maron of the WTF podcast recently, and the hour or so interview was released on Thursday (5-12). If you’re a diehard Sturgill Simpson fan, it would be strongly encouraged that you listen. Here are some of the more interesting tidbits from the conversation.
And then here comes this foul-mouthed comedy country artist named Wheeler Walker Jr., and all of a sudden we have a new man taking the point at trashing pop country. None of Wheeler Walker Jr.’s songs are “country protest” songs like we hear dozens and dozens of other traditional country artists perform. It’s the attitude he’s taking that’s slowly making him into a pretty serious gadfly for pop country and its suitors.
Corporate sponsorship is the grease for the wheels that makes country music turn. What is new about corporate truck sponsors in country over the last couple of years is how deep they have embedded into the country music culture, to the point where now smaller, independent artists can be seen out there participating in helping to promote full sized trucks.
Dave Cobb’s win for Producer of the Year speaks to just what kind of inroads more independently-minded and organic country music is making in the industry. Compared to the heavy-handed production practices that prevail throughout the country music industry, Dave Cobb took a very relaxed approach to producing Chris Stapleton’s ‘Traveller,’ and you can’t argue with the results.
“Man, what a great writer,” Dave says about Brent. “His dad gave me his CD, but a lot of my family plays so I just thought ‘Well, it’s just another CD.’ My wife made me put his CD on in the car of songs he’d been writing. We were driving back to the airport from the funeral that time, and he just knocked me out. He’s like Don Williams. So deep. Such a deep, beautiful writer.”
The “South” is the setting for the songs, and where the respective artists hail from, but “Family” is what makes this record universal for all listeners. And unlike many other concept records that may only have one or two songs that can be separated from the material, every song on “Southern Family” can exist independently, and many will go on to mark top-level career contributions to the artist’s musical canon.
During the 48th Annual Grammy Awards pre-telecast Monday afternoon, the rising country star and Kentucky born songwriter walked away with the Grammy for “Best Country Solo Performance” for his fine work on the title track to his debut solo album, Traveller. Stapleton beat out Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Cam, and Lee Ann Womack for the distinction.
Though this is not necessarily reflected in the performances, the general consensus is the Grammy Awards this year could be a big night for country music. With Chris Stapleton up for Album of the Year, Little Big Town up for Song of the Year, and other high-profile and important nominations, this is one of the few years country music could come out on top.
Believe it or not, there’s even a deep history for more lewd comedy that would happen in country music under the covers. Roy Acuff, the “King of Country Music” cut dirty songs when nobody was looking, and so did other early country legends, some under assumed names. These recordings were like the peep shows of music in the early days, passed around at beer parlors or in the back rooms of studios.
Ben Hoffman, Dave Cobb, David Allan Coe, Florida Georgia Line, Folk Uke, Grand Ole Opry, Roy Acuff, Shel Silverstein, Steven Tyler, Sturgill Simpson, The Beaumonts, Vince Gill, Ween, Wheller Walker Jr.
“Working with Dave felt great from the first day of our sessions,” says Carpenter. “He is always willing to try something new, believes that â€˜yes’ is the only answer, and surrounds himself with wonderfully talented and generous musicians; by the end of the project, I felt as if I was a part of a new family.”
If you’re wondering what the Dave Cobb-influenced mainstream country world might sound like after the success of Chris Stapleton, take a good sniff at “My Church.” The arrangement and grainy production quality could very well be that of Lindi Ortega or Nikki Lane, but this is a major label artist looking to gain the attention of the fickle mainstream country music fan.
Camayo, Charles Kelley, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb, Hank Williams, iHeartMedia, Jamie Lin Spears, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, Lindi Ortega, Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton, My Church, Old Dominion, On The Verge, Review, Taylor Swift
Chris Stapleton took the Saturday Night Live stage on January 16th in front of an All-Star band, furthering the off-the-charts momentum the songwriter has been riding since sweeping the three awards he was nominated for at the 2015 CMA Awards, including Male Vocalist of the Year, and Album of the Year. Since early November, Stapleton has been dominating Billboard’s Country Albums charts.
Producer Dave Cobb—known for his work with Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, and so many more—has signed on to be the new caretaker of the historic Studio ‘A’ on Music Row starting April 1st. Performer and pianist Ben Folds has been in charge of the space for the last 14 years, including helping to shepherd Studio ‘A’ through a stretch in 2014 where investors wanted to bulldoze it.
The country music Outlaw movement didn’t happen overnight either. It took years and years of gnawing away at the obtrusive oligarchy that had set up shop on Music Row to get to the point where many of the genre’s most prominent stars could call their own shots, and the music could finally open up to new ideas and fresh faces.
Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Bare, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb, Florida Georgia Line, Hillbilly Central, Holly Williams, Jason Isbell, Jessi Colter, Jon Pardi, Kris Kristofferson, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Mo Pitney Williams Michael Morgan, Southern Family, Sturgill Simpson, Sugar Hill, Thirty Tigers, Tompall Glaser, Wanted The Outlaws, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown
The reason an artist like Anderson East works, similarly to Leon Bridges and many others, is because he’s got a evocative, old-school coolness about him that reminds folks of a time when music and life wasn’t so superficial. So there may be some borrowing of ideas here, but it’s innocent, and better than most of what is influenced by more modern textures.
Sturgill Simpson fans will have to wait patiently for another six months or so for new music for the Kentucky songwriter. But rest assured, new music is on the way. The summer of 2016 seems a long way away when you’re waiting for new music from one of your favorite artists, but it’s also assuring to know new Sturgill Simpson music is on the way nonetheless.
Producer, guitar player, and songwriter Dave Cobb has signed an exclusive worldwide publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music. The deal was announced Monday (1-4), and also includes the formation of Cobb’s own publishing arm, Low Country Sound Publishing. The news comes after an incredible 2015 for Cobb…
A Thousand Horses, Anderson East, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Corb Lund, Dave Cobb, Elektra Records, Holly Williams, HoneyHoney, Jason Isbell, Lindi Ortega, Miranda Lambert, Southern Family, Sturgill Simpson, Warner/Chappell Music
Just like Dave Cobb, and just like Chris Stapleton before him, Robby Turner has been working for years behind-the-scenes, at the side of the stage, or in the studio, while others soaked up the spotlight. But the power of his efforts, and the success of the projects that he’s been a part of, has slowly but surely revealed Robby as one of those behind-the-scenes legends whose contributions should be left a secret no more.
Bernice Turner, Charlie Rich, Chips Moman, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb, Dixie Chicks, Doyle Turner, Hank Williams, Hargus "Pig" Robbins, Robby Turner, Shot Jackson, Sturgill Simpson, The Highwaymen, The Singing Rambos, Traveller, Waylon Jennings, Yelawolf
Forget all the sappy relationship stuff, and how it happened and where it might lead. Miranda Lambert ditching Blake Shelton and ending up with Anderson East might be the perfect illustration of the drastic role reversal 2015 has ushered in throughout the greater country music realm, and how 2016 could be poised to completely turn everything upside down.
Aaron Watson, Adam Hood, Anderson East, Ashley Monroe, Blackberry Smoke, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb, David Rawlings, Fred Eaglesmith, Gillian Welch, Holly Williams, Jason Isbell, John Prine, Miranda Lambert, Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, Sturgill Simpson, Zac Brown
Who will be releasing new albums in 2016? What are some of the most-anticipated projects? What are the rumors swirling out there about new albums that may be released in the coming year? Here’s a rundown of upcoming projects from artists recommended by Saving Country Music that you can look forward to in 2016.
Aubrie Sellers, Austin Lucas, Brandy Clark, Brothers Osborne, Buddy Miller, Caleb Caudle, Dave Cobb, Don Maddox, Hank Williams Jr., Hayes Carll, Holly Williams, Jack Ingram, Justin Timberlake, Loretta Lynn, Lorrie Morgan, Lucinda Williams, Marty Stuart, Rachel Brooke, Randy Rogers Band, Sturgill Simpson, The Cactus Blossoms, The Infamous Stringdusters, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Waco Brothers
Forget what you should call this music, if it fits in Americana, or if a country website should even be talking about it. The songs themselves are excellent, and truthfully, shoving the music and arrangements to the side for a moment, if you would call the songs of “Workingman’s Bellfuries” anything, you might have to call them country.
The Americana Music Association has announced its newest Board of Directors, and signing on for a seat this upcoming year is fast rising producer Dave Cobb. On top of seating a new board, the Americana Music Association recently announced the inaugural UK Americana Awards will be held in London.
“White Mansions” couldn’t be made today. That’s one of many reasons it’s so remarkable and such a country music treasure. It’s not that the production costs would be too high or the talent couldn’t be assembled. But you couldn’t put present day top-tier music talent on an album that someone might construe as harboring sympathies for the Civil War South without creating an uproar.
Dave Cobb, Eric Clapton, Glyn Johns, Jessi Colter, John Dillon, Marty Stuart, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Patty Loveless, Paul Kennerley, Review, Southern Family, Steve Cash, Tanya Tucker, The Judds, Waylon Jennings, White Mansions