Each year the release of the Stagecoach Festival lineup is a point of intrigue as people sift though the names and remark on the font sizes, and see who has been tapped to play the 3-day event in Indio, CA in April. As arguably one of the biggest country music festivals all year, the artists booked say a lot about who is rising in country music.
Part rockabilly maven, part honky tonk shit kicker, part heroin-era Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers revivalist, for going on 16 years now the moniker ‘Moot Davis’ has been synonymous with the top shelf of cool in the underground country and roots scene with those smart enough to know where to look to find the best stuff.
On October 23, 1988, Austin City Limits went Bakersfield for one legendary night when an upcoming hot shot California country throwback traditionalist with jellyspine hips named Dwight Yoakam took the stage, and so did the man that he saw as his primary influence, the legendary Buck Owens.
Dwight Yoakam will headline the 17th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival presented by the Birthplace of Country Music. Famous for straddling the two state lines of Tennessee and Virginia, and being the location where Ralph Peer’s Bristol Sessions gave birth to the recorded legacy of country and roots music.
The amount of older talent announced on the presentation so far is quite unprecedented. According to Saving Country Music’s calculations, of the announced performers so far, 16 performers who could be considered either country legends or artists whose careers started before or during the “Class of ’89.”
Just the idea of Dwight Yoakam making a bluegrass album is like some sort of gift from the country music Gods. Before a lick of music was heard, the news of Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars was its own viral event. The primary issue with this album is that none of these songs were written to be bluegrass songs.
Though Carolyn’s impact on country music was brief, her story exemplifies how every soul lost on 9/11 was an important one, and how the tragedy left not one segment of American life untouched. It’s the type of loss that leaves you alone and longing, like the lonesome melody of a country song.
Country fans who know what’s up lost their minds on August 2nd when it was revealed that Dwight Yoakam would be releasing a bluegrass album called Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars via well-known bluegrass label Sugar Hill September 23rd. Now we have more details on the record, including the track list and cover art.
Dwight Yoakam’s secret is out. Though he may be most associated with West Coast country, early cowpunk, and the Bakersfield Sound, and he may have spent much of his career rubbing elbows with actors in Hollywood, but he’s originally from Pikeville, Kentucky, and those who listen intently to his sound understand that the bluegrass influences […]
We used to complain that most all country songs these days were about beer and trucks. The point was to hopefully expand mainstream country’s thematic subjects. Bo in concession they cut most of the references to trucks out, leaving only one piece of subject matter on the table. There’s only one little Indian left, and it’s amber and comes in a bottle or can.
Their new album Wrongheaded is a garage rocking groove-laded damn good time with bits of twang peaking out between rock and roll runs and rambunctious jam outs. The record is kind of all over the place in a good way. If something doesn’t suit your fancy, skip the track and the next one probably will.
It’s a little hard to fathom that Chris Issak has never made a country record before. He combines the caramel singing and cool factor of Dwight Yoakam, the crooning capability of Raul Malo, and the lounge-like timelessness of Lyle Lovett into one smooth package that makes the felines swoon and the men hopping jealous. He’s a crooner whose styling cuts across all kinds of borders of taste and influence.
“18,700”: This is the number of albums Toby Keith sold upon the debut of his new record 35 MPH Town, and it got me to thinking, which artists and bands have beat that number in a year of unprecedented ascent in independent country music? 2015 is the year it became common to see one of your favorite independent acts and aging legends compete at the top of the album charts.
Details are limited, but Belles & Whistles is said to be a “single camera” comedy with strong musical elements. It will be based in Nashville, with the plot centered around a bored man from Silicon Valley who uproots his family to Nashville to chase his dreams of country music stardom. Alex McAuley from the series Eastbound & Down is said to be on board as a writer and executive producer.
“Head Over Boots” is not a great song, but it’s country, and it’s Jon Pardi, and it suits the ears just fine. The key for Pardi and Laird was to put something together that was positive in nature, but still native to Pardi’s sound, and something still traditional enough to delineate Pardi from radio peers. So they headed to the dance halls of Texas for inspiration.
Jason James isn’t afraid to to pen a song in a traditional style and then challenge himself to sing it with the same heart and passion as one of the old greats. Nobody will ever replace George Jones or ‘Ol Hank, but that doesn’t mean others can’t try to reach for that same level of excellence, and pay forward the traditions of country to a new era of listeners who still find value in the classic modes.
There’s been much ado about country artists of the fairer sex over the last couple of weeks. For Logan Brill, whose Carnival Records album Shuteye came out on June 2, that debate is all just noise. Sure, she’ll righteously stand up for women artists and songwriters. But for Brill, music is pursued for the passion of good quality songwriting and the artistry of storytelling—everything else comes secondary.
A collective rolling of eyes ensued when the ACM’s announced earlier this month they would pair some of today’s country music spares with legends from the past as part of their “Party For a Cause” concert centered around the ACM’s 50th Anniversary. Punctuating the ridiculousness of the duet roster was the unfortunate marriage of country legend Dwight Yoakam and country/EDM star Sam Hunt.
There’s just a cool factor about Dwight that appears will never wear off, regardless if the hips don’t shake and the knees don’t knock as much as they used to, or even if he’s the perfect specimen for male pattern baldness under the low brim of that cowboy hat. He’s still Dwight, and that caramel voice and cutting yodel will never be deprecated.
The calamitous and disturbing plan of the Academy of Country Music to pair up some of country music’s worst stars of today with country music heroes of the past just keeps getting worse. Though a few of the collaboration ideas seem kind of cool, some of them are downright sinister to the hearts of traditional country fans who revere the past greats, and revile the new artists who are stomping on the traditions of the genre.