We’ve known for years that per capita, Europe is a better support center for independent country and roots music compared to the United States. But something is brewing in Sweden specifically that is helping to give rise to one of the strongest, most vibrant enclaves for country music outside of North America.
The 2016 MerleFest lineup just keeps getting beefier. On Tuesday (12-8), the fest announced it was adding Old Crow Medicine Show, Alison Brown, Peter Rowan, and Doug Seegers to the 97 other names already announced for the 2016 installement, scheduled to transpire April 28th through May 1st at Wilkes Community College in North Carolina.
2014 has revealed itself as the “Year of the Dark Horse” when it comes to compiling the greatest albums released in the last 12-month span. Tami Neilson, Karen Jonas, Charlie Parr, Matt Woods? Who’s heard of these people outside of their respective fan bases? And meanwhile the realm of mainstream music can’t field one candidate, unless you want to count First Aid Kit.
2014 Album of the Year, Charlie Parr, Don Williams, Doug Seegers, Dynamite!, First Aid Kit, Hollandale, I'm A Song, Jason Eady, Jim Lauderdale, John Fullbright, Joseph Huber, Karen Jonas, Kelsey Waldon, Matt Woods, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, Oklahoma Lottery, Reflections, Stay Gold, Sturgill Simpson, Tami Neilson, With Love From Brushy Mountain, Zoe Muth
The story of the homeless Nashville singer-songwriter done good named Doug Seegers crossed the Saving Country Music news desk early on in the story’s cycle, before big outlets like NPR and the Wall St. Journal were running big features on the heartwarming tale, but for whatever reason, a story that seemed like it was fit for telling filled me with a bit of trepidation.