In a teary-eyed address on Instagram Wednesday night (3-18), Zac Brown explained that after 15 years of touring, he was having to let go of 90% of his full time employees as part of his road crew due and support staff due to the Coronavirus cancellations. Though there is no doubt this was a tough decision for Zac Brown, some are questioning if it was necessary.
The amount of cancellations tied to the Coronavius outbreak can be dizzying to keep up with, even within the confines of independent country and roots. But a few important cancellations are worthy of note, including two dates on the Sturgill Simpson / Tyler Childers tour, and the Mike & The Moonpies Europe tour.
Brad Paisley, Chris Stapleton, Cody Johnson, Coronavirus, Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, Kane Brown, Keith Urban, Luck Reunion, Luke Bryan, MIke and the Moonpies, Old Settler's Music Festival, Rodeo Houston, Sturgill Simpson, SXSW, Tyler Childers, Zac Brown Band
A new original studio album is on the way from Travis Tritt, finally. Announced Wednesday morning (3/11), the 90’s country legend who’s sold more than 30 million records worldwide has signed with the Los Angeles-based record label Big Loud Noise, and will be releasing a Dave Cobb produced record in 2020.
When Dierks Bentley announced that his next album cycle would surround his screw off side project with his road band called Hot Country Knights and that they’d actually signed to UMG Nashville, we really didn’t know what to expect. We knew he was getting silly, but we had no idea he’d be getting funny too.
We’ve already run down the Greatest Country Albums of the Decade, and in there, albums in the mainstream were given fair competition to be included, and some made the cut. But in the spirit of inclusiveness and impartiality, let’s make sure the great records from the mainstream get their due as well.
Alan Jackson, Ashley McBryde, Brandy Clark, Caitlyn Smith, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Jon Pardi, Kacey Musgraves, Kalie Shorr, Kellie Pickler, Kip Moore, Miranda Lambert, Mo Pitney, Pistol Annies, Randy Houser, Reba McEntire, William Michael Morgan
From the realm of news to get your country music pants going crazy, Travis Tritt just “Travis T guarantee’d!” that he will have a new album later this year. A new album from a beloved artist is exciting enough. But from Travis Tritt, it’s exceptional, especially if it’s a studio album. It’s been since 2007 and Tritt’s album ‘The Storm.’
“It has been four years since we’ve released an album,” says Maddie Marlow. “For us, this is a lot more than just an album release. This sophomore album will always be a reminder that no matter the setbacks and struggles, we will come out stronger and better. We are so proud of this 15-song story.”
You’ve already been warned that Dierks Bentley’s side project “Hot Country Nights” is getting real in its effort to return actual country music to country music, and after one week it has already had an impact in a tangible way. Travis Tritt has returned to the country radio charts for the first time in 13 years.
Hot Country Knights have released their first song called “Pick Her Up” with Travis Tritt guesting on the track, and granted, it’s a little silly and will have some mistaking it as some twangy version of Bro-Country because a pickup truck is mentioned. But taking the song in stride with the spirit behind Hot Country Knights, it’s kind of badass.
The alter ego of Dierks Bentley and his touring band have signed a label deal. “The Knights are promising to bring real ’90s country music back to a format that’s been drowning in male sensitivity, cashmere cardigan sweaters and programmed drum loops,” reads a portion of the press release—funny because it’s also patently true.
That’s right. The 83-year-old is blowing off the 2019 CMA’s and won’t be in attendance to receive is CMA Lifetime Achievement trophy. Instead of walking out on the stage at the Bridgestone Arena, Kris Kristofferson has elected to honor his contract to play the Adler Theater and Apartment Complex that night in beautiful downtown Davenport, Iowa.
“Hayden [Nicholas] and I originally wrote this song for ‘Killin’ Time.’ 30 years & 8 special guests later, I am so proud of what we created to honor the Grand Ole Opry, and some of the proceeds will go to the Opry Trust Fund!” says Clint Black. The song is part of an upcoming live album from Clint called “Still Killin’ Time.”
Clint Black, Cody Jinks, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Grand Ole Opry, Hayden Nicholas, Killin' Time, Michael Ray, Sara Evans, Steve Wariner, Still Killin' Time, This Old House, Trace Adkins, Travis Tritt
If you’re a country music fan and are disappointed that your favorite artist didn’t get enough screen time in the Ken Burns film on country music, well guess what, your favorite genre did, and by the most revered documentary filmmaker of our time, and before rock n’ roll, pop, the blues, soul music, or hip-hop.
Alan Jackson, Allen Reynolds, Bill Monroe, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bluebird Cafe, Brooks & Dunn, Chris Stapleton, Clint Black, Conway Twitty, Dayton Duncan, Dierks Bentley, Dixie Chicks, Don Williams, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, George Jones, George Strait, Glen Campbell, Jamey Johnson, Johnny Cash, Kathy Mattea, Keith Whitley, Ken Burns, Lil Nas X, Little Big Town, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Miranda Lambert, Nanci Griffith, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Rick Rubin, Ricky Skaggs, Rosanne Cash, Ryman Auditorium, Steve Earle, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, The Judds, Toby Keith, Travis Tritt, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill
Dear NFL Fans, As the true disciples and aficionados of actual country music, we want to formally apologize to you all for the bad country music and doltish characters you will be forced to endure during this week’s NFL Draft coverage. Please accept our deepest apologies.
Saving Country Music unapologetically leans towards the independent and traditional side of country music. But that doesn’t mean the mainstream of country doesn’t get it right every so often. It’s important that we highlight those positive albums and artists too.
Bentley’s new record The Mountain is not some dramatic return to his bluegrass roots, and it’s probably not even fair to call it rootsy aside from a few songs. But it is a return to Dierks Bentley doing what he does best, which is putting out good, quality, often inspiring songs that are raised in importance since they’re something you enjoy with others.
“Woman, Amen” is the first complete song to grace our ears since Dierks experienced his vision quest whilst among the mountains of Telluride, CO—rekindling his bluegrass roots, communing with nature, sprinkling fresh blueberries and certified non GMO rolled granola over a bed of Greek yogurt for breakfast every morning.
Though we don’t have a proper release date yet or a full song to digest, the prospects for The Mountain at this point are very promising. Dierks wrote and recorded the record in Telluride, Colorado, which is the Rocky Mountain State’s bluegrass haven. He was inspired to make the record there when performing at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
Music can teach us that we all love, we all face fears, and we all can overcome whatever inward or outward oppression that may be dogging us to flourish and prosper. If a music artist chooses to broach political subjects or to speak out against injustices in their music, them more power to them. But don’t hold silence accountable as complicity.
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
An all-star cast will come together to celebrate the life and music of country music icon and Hall of Famer Don Williams in a new tribute album with the proceeds going to a good cause. ‘Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams’ will be released on May 26th via Slate Creek Records.
Alison Krauss, Amanda Shires, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Don Williams, Garth Brooks, Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams, Jason Isbell, John Prine, Keb Mo, Lady Antebellum, Morgane Stapleton, Pistol Annies, Trisha Yearwood
Everywhere we turn, there are signs that the tide is turning in country music for the better. Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson are turning the tables on the awards shows, a new generation of traditionalists like William Michael Morgan and Margo Price are finding surprising traction. But it’s not all rosy.
Blake Shelton, Brantley Gilbert, Brett Young, Calre Dunn, Chase Rice, Chris Lane, Dallas Davidson, Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch, Florida Georgia Line, Jana Kramer, Jason Aldean, Jerrod Niemann, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan, Steven Tyler, Thomas Rhett
The next trend in country may not be defined by a style or a sound, but who is involved in it. But if collaborations will be the next big trend, how about putting out just a little bit of effort to make sure that the great talent that is going unrecognized in country music itself gets some love?
Ashley Monroe, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Demi Lovato, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Elle King, Gwen Stefani, Johnny Bush, Kenny Chesney, Kenny Rogers, Little Big Town, Lori McKenna, Miranda Lambert, Pharrell, Pink, Pitbull, Steve Fromholz, The Pistol Annies, Tim McGraw, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson
Every year we wonder if it can get any worse, and while there are positive signs for country music’s future all over the place, the bad stuff somehow continues to only get worse. The only saving grace is that many of the songs highlighted below have become commercial flops, whereas in previous years it would be a virtual Top 10 on the country charts.