With all of the concern over the swell of violence against Asian Americans lately, the question has come up in certain circles, “Are there any Asian Americans making country music?” Well I’m glad you asked, and hell yeah there are. In fact 2020 was actually a banner year for Asian Americans.
Triston Marez has been a traditional country guy bubbling up in both Texas and Nashville for a good while now. And now he’s about ready to burst into the country music world proper with his debut record, and is getting a boost from a Country Music Hall of Famer to boot.
A Saving Country Music ‘Song of the Year’ nominee is not just your favorite ditty that gets stuck in your head. These are songs that have the power to change hearts and change lives, open you up new ideas or ways of thinking, or unlock memories or emotions you haven’t felt in years.
Arlo McKinley, Bloody Jug Band, Brennen Leigh, Brent Cobb, Cahalen Morrison, Charlie Stout, Cleto Cordero, Dalton Domino, Emily Scott Robinson, Gabe Lee, Jason Isbell, John Anderson, John Baumann, John Prine, Jordan Allen and the Bellwethers, Josh Abbott, Josh Grider, Josha Ray Walker, Juliet McConkey, McKay & Leigh, Mo Pitney, Rattlesnake Milk, S.G. Goodman, Tami Neilson, The Panhandlers, The Piedmont Boys, The Tender Things, Ward Davis, William Clark Green, Zach Bryan
If you’re worried about the future of country music, just take a spin through the gaggle of singles and EPs the stunning 22-year-old Triston Marez has assembled, and be assured the genre is in good hands moving forward. It’s the kind of shot of youth traditional country needs, while for once, not compromising on the country side of the equation.
As we get to the halfway pole in the musical year, it’s time to look back and asses the best albums that have been released in 2020 so far. At the moment, we are very top loaded with stellar releases, with many albums already feeling like strong contenders for Album of the Year.
‘Honky Tonk Hell’ isn’t just a great record. It verifies that Gabe Lee will be one of the next great artists in country and roots music that we’ll hopefully be hearing plenty from and enjoying for years to come. Gabe Lee will continue to fly under-the-radar for many because he’s just too damn good, but it should win him the bigger audience he deserves.
The Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist is built to keep you informed on all the best songs and albums coming out right here, right now in country and roots music. It’s available on most all streaming formats (see below), or you can just use the song, artist, and album recommendations to find something new to listen to. New songs just added.
There’s no pulling of punches or production elements here. Co-written with Marcus King about the wild circus that is lower Broadway in Nashville, and employing a Southern rock band behind him in the studio, “Honky Tonk Hell” opens up and entirely new audience for Gabe. But the new record isn’t all fire and brimstone.
In the immortal words of Tom Petty, it’s Christmas … again. That’s means we have a bunch of seasonal releases from a slew of your favorite country and roots artists to round up just in case Christmas music is your thing. Here’s a run down of all the best releases, as well as a playlist to listen to the best selections.
Alison Krauss, Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters, Amos Lee, Brenda Lee, Buddy Miller, Charlie Marie, Christmas, Cody Canada, Darryl Worley, Dave Cobb, Dualtone Records, Dusty Winds, Gabe Lee, Gene Autry, George Ducas, JD McPherson, Jenny Tolman, Jerry Douglas, Kacey Musgraves, Kathleen Edwards, Keb Mo, Langhorne Slim, Lockwood Barr, Maddie & Tae, Mike Aiken, Phoebe Hunt, Phoebe Hunt and the Gatherers, Randall King, Richard Lynch, Saw Black, Scott Southworth, Sean McConnell, Shut-Ins, Sofia Talvik, Stephanie Urbina Jones, Steve Idlett, Steven James and the Jaded, Tara Thompson, The Briars, The Delta Spirit, The Imaginaries, The Lone Bellow, The McCrary Sisters, The Oak Ridge Boys, Wade Bowen, Warren Haynes, Will Carter
A Saving Country Music Song of the Year candidate is not just your favorite ditty that gets stuck in your head. These are songs that change hearts, change lives, rest in your head for years to come, open up new ideas, or unlock memories or emotions you haven’t felt in years. Song of the Year nominees are the reason you’re a music fan.
An album is something you listen to. A song is something that can change a life. The places a song can take you, the realizations and perspectives it can impart, the way it can touch something inside of you to make you feel something you never have before, or haven’t felt for a long time is the reason we cherish music so much.
It’s time once again to juice the Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist with some new selections, and it starts with a couple of songs from some recent albums receiving positive reviews here at SCM. We begin with the title track of Taylor Alexander‘s new album Good Old Fashioned Pain, which is yet another 2019 […]
More folk than country, but more country than most of what you hear on the radio, ‘Farmland’ is a bold stroke of confident and articulate songwriting prowess filled with stories of broken heats, failures and frailty, and cutting insight into the trappings of American life. It’s not unfair to draw comparisons to Dylan and Prine when listening to ‘Farmland.’