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.
In the latest sign that a godless Apocalypse is nigh upon us and will reduce the entire effort of humankind from the beginning of time to an infinitesimal blip of virtual nothingness perpetuated in a faraway corner of the universe, Dwight Yoakam has agreed to pair up with country music sham artist Sam Hunt for a duet as part of an ACM Awards television special.
I don’t need a workup from Dr. Scratch-N-Sniff to know something is seriously ill with country music here in the first quarter of 2015. We’re not talking about the worn-out complaints about how pop country sucks and how Sam Hunt and Florida Georgia Line don’t belong. Take all of those concerns and put them to the side for a second. I’m talking about the once high-flying country genre…
Why do the Grammy Awards matter? Well even if you don’t win anything, the exposure as a performer is just about priceless for those that get the opportunity. Brandy Clark was up for Best Country Album for her ’12 Stories’ release, and Best New Artist, and walked away with neither. But her performance with Dwight Yoakam on her song “Hold My Hand” landed Brandy the largest single percentage gain in song sales.
It’s about that time of year again to start considering who the Country Music Hall of Fame will include in their list of 2015 inductees. That said, this announcement seems to inch later, and later (and later) each year. Nonetheless, if you want your opinion to amount to anything, you better get it out there early in the year as the people who make the picks for the final ballots and eventually inductees are doing their homework.
Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Country Music Hall of Fame, David Allan Coe, Don Kelley, Dwight Yoakam, Grady Martin, Gram Parsons, Hank Williams Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Jerry Reed, Jesse McReynolds, John Hartford, Johnny Paycheck, Keith Whitley, Kenney Vaughan, Kenny Chesney, Mac McAnally, Mac Wiseman, Pete Drake, Ralph Mooney, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Redd Volkaert, Ricky Skaggs, Ronnie Milsap, Sam Bush, The Maddox Brothers & Rose, The Oak Ridge Boys
All you need to know about the 2015 Grammy Awards. Despite the country genre rising to become arguably the biggest genre in popular music right now, there’s just not a whole lot of country to be featured on the show this year. This year’s country performance slots are cut in half, with the only collaboration being between Brandy Clark and Dwight Yoakam.
Rockin’ West Coast country music legend Dwight Yoakam has a fresh new set of tracks ready to be offered to the listening public under the collective title of “Second Hand Heart.” The new album is said to hearken back to Yoakam’s early cowpunk days, when the caramel-voiced singer was coming up in the ranks touring with punk and rock bands as a throwback country music artist.
Say what you want about Eric Church’s music, and though he’s sporting one of the most loyal fan bases in popular music these days, he’s also revealed himself as one of the most polarizing figures in country music in the last few years. But you can’t fault the man for thinking outside the box, and scouring the hungry, unwashed faces of independent music when looking for openers.
Around the passing of The Possum in 2013, I remember the news of his widow Nancy setting up an endowment and scholarship fund for MTSU in the name of George Jones. What I didn’t know, and what has gone somewhat under-reported, is that the passing of George and the endowment encouraged the faculty of MTSU to enter a class on the life of George Jones into the school’s curriculum.
Beverley Keel, Bobby Braddock, Dwight Yoakam, George Jones, George Strait, Harlan Howard, Jim Lauderdale, Lee Ann Womack, MTSU, Odie Blackmon, The Desert Rose Band, The Grand Ole Opry, The Louisiana Hayride
Saving Country Music’s 2013 Album of the Year was not Jason Isbell’s breathtaking Southeastern, or Sturgill Simpson’s breakout High Top Mountain, but the comeback record from the Latin-inspired Raul Malo and The Mavericks called “In Time.” Now The Mavericks have announced that they’ve been in the studio again and will release the followup to In Time called “Mono.”
What do pencils and music have in common? Apparently a lot more than it would appear on the surface. And Palomino, the company responsible for bringing the legendary Blackwing Pencil back from the dead has now launched a music wing and record label, signing Willy “Tea” Taylor, noted songwriter, co-frontman of the Oakdale, CA-based Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit.
Hank Williams was the greatest country music singer and songwriter to ever walk the face of the Earth. And if you don’t believe that, just listen to how his fellow country music performers feel about his contributions to the music. Here is a list of the greatest Hank Williams tribute songs of all time.
Alan Jackson, Ashley Monroe, Darrell Scott, Dave Alvin, David Allan Coe, Dwight Yoakam, Ernest Tubb, Ferlin Husky, Fred Eaglesmith, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Hawkshaw Hawkins, Jack Cardwell, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Joey Allcorn, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Mark Chesnutt, Moe Bandy, Ritchie Albright, Robert Earl Keen, Slaid Cleaves, The Blasters, The Highwaymen, Waylon Jennings
“What will NASH Icon be, and will it make a significant improvement to country radio?” This has been the question on the mind of many country music fans ever since NASH Icon was announced. Now that there are actually radio stations broadcasting the new NASH Icon format, we can listen in and hear just exactly what NASH Icon is.
Alabama, Alan Jackson, Big Machine Records, Chase Rice, Cole Swindell, Cumulus Media, Diamond Rio, Dierks Bentley, Doug Stone, Dwight Yoakam, Florida Georgia Line, Garth Brooks, John Dickey, Kacey Musgraves, Lee Ann Womack, Mark Chesnutt, Merle Haggard, NASH, NASH Icon, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, playlist, Ricochet, Sturgill Simpson, Tracy Byrd, Vince Gill
The Metamodern rise of Sturgill Simpson could be classified as meteoric, and his dramatic ascent in the last few months is virtually unparalleled in the modern country music world for an independent artist. Amidst the swelling crowds, the high praise, and far flung accolades, let’s look back at Sturgill Simpson, and take a moment to reflect on how he got here.
Charlie Robison, David Letterman, Dwight Yoakam, High Top Mountain, Marty Stuart, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, Pickathon, Pokey LaFarge, Sturgill Simpson, Sunday Valley, The Grand Ole Opry, The Legendary Shack Shakers, Zac Brown, Zac Brown Band
So we now know who the big winner was for the Garth sweepstakes. But who was the biggest loser? That is certainly what you could call Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records in the situation. Why? Because they had the biggest stake in the Garth sweepstakes, because of Big Machine’s joint venture with the radio world’s Cumulus Media called NASH Icons.