I have been struggling to write this article for almost two years, but have been putting it off because there’s some hard things to say, and I didn’t want to “talk down” a movement that was already trying to deal with pretty alarming trends. But I think that especially now, zooming out and trying to be honest and critical in a constructive way is important, because there is positively no doubt that underground country is dying.
On Friday August 3rd, 2012, Hank Williams III played a benefit concert for Happy Tails Humane, and Skeleton Crue had a complete film crew on site for the event, and now has put together a DVD of the complete concert that folks can purchase, with the proceeds going to Happy Tails. The event rose a whopping $18,000 for the middle Tennessee no-kill shelter.
Jett Williams, the daughter of Hank Williams and co-executor of his estate was interviewed by Joshua Morningstar. Jett had some interesting things to say about the Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams project that matched unfinished Hank songs with contemporary performers, and also clarified some information about the circumstances surrounding her father’s death.
The most common questions I get at the Saving Country Music help desk are, “Where’s Lucky Tubb?” “How can I find his tour dates?” “What’s he up to?” “Where can I buy his albums?” Like many of the brilliant musicians making a living in the country music underground, communication and self-promotion seem like an afterthought to Lucky. So I sat down with Lucky to let him answer some of our most pressing questions.
Over the last few months, and the last few weeks specifically, we have been going through a country music Cambrian Explosion of sorts, with massive, earth-moving events completely re-shaping the style and infrastructure of a genre that has been around for over 70 years. Arguably there’s been more significant events in a short period than any other time in country’s history.
the loss of .357 String Band may go down as underground country’s greatest tragedy. I can think of no other project that was so ripe for becoming a success story of authentic American underground roots. They were brilliant, but accessible at the same time. It is a great sin of American music. They have re-issued their landmark 2008 album “Fire & Hail” on vinyl.
Lower Broadway in Nashville has a new songstress haunting the streets, and she’s a good one. If you want to know how to put out one badass independent/underground country album in Nashville, you could use One Good Thing as a template. With impeccable country taste and instincts, Sarah assembles 12 original and authentic honky-tonk hard country songs for your listening enjoyment.
I bet when you saw Bob Wayne’s name in the title of this article, you had some sort of immediate emotional reaction, didn’t you? You either thought, “That foul mouthed punk, I can’t even stand to see his ugly face,” and you blame him for perpetuating a perversion of country music. Or you said “Hell yeah.” Like him or not, Bob Wayne has arrived. One way you can tell this is by the polarization that precedes his name.
Old World’s Ocean puts The Calamity Cubes’ bevy of talents on glorious display. Excellent songwriting is conveyed through flawless vocal performances and inventive music. They say to make it in music today you need a distinct voice, and The Calamity Cubes have two of them; the deep, brooding baritone of Brook Blanche, and the whimsical, character-filled sighs of Joey Henry.
On Friday August 3rd Hank3 played his 4th Happy Tails concert benefit at the Marathon Music Works in Nashville, a newer venue who donated the space for the event. Dubbed “One Big Wag,” Hank3 and his fans raised a whopping $18,000 for Happy Tails, the most money Hank3 has pulled in for a Happy Tails event so far.
“People first, then music” is the mantra on this site, and it is such a blessing when you discover people who are just as inspiring as the music they make. Such is the case with the Anderson Family Bluegrass Band from Grass Valley, CA. The music is excellent, but this is just the excuse to get you to pay attention to the profound warmth and by-gone family strength the Anderson Family conveys.
There’s never been a question in anyone’s mind if Johnny Cash actually shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. But that lyric, and Johnny’s song “Folsom Prison Blues” have gone on to become an iconic piece of country music history. This language was nothing new in 1955. Murder ballads and gunslinger tales trace back to the very roots of country music and America’s Gothic, violent identity.
The long-awaited movie about the last days of Hank Williams called The Last Ride has finally been granted a theatrical release. It will begin to be shown in select theaters June 22nd, and in a series of historic theaters starting June 1st. The Last Ride is not meant to be a historic portrayal of Hank’s final days, but focuses on the interaction between Williams and his young driver.
Yesterday Tim McGraw announced in a press conference that he had signed with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records after a 20-year career and protracted legal battle with Curb. The symbolism and significance surrounding the signing was striking, and spoke to the titanic shifts that are rearranging the country music landscape in Nashville at this very moment.
On Tuesday (5-22-12) Bob Wayne will be releasing his brand new album through People Like You Records called Till The Wheels Fall Off, and Saving Country Music is excited to premier for you the EPK introduction video for the album. It was shot at the house of Andy Gibson, Hank Williams III’s steel guitar and dobro player, and the man who recorded Till The Wheels Fall Off and all of Bob Wayne’s albums.
The Turnpike Troubadours make songs about love cool to listen to again. This is also their ace-in-the-hole, what makes them a band that could break out. They were also very patient with this release, waiting well over 2 years since their last album to let the songs come to them and the groove to materialize before heading into the studio.
Amongst all the bustle and big names in 1999, another superlative Austin talent released a debut album a little more quietly. The idea that there’s an amazing, world-class music talent on every corner of Austin, TX is not a myth, and Roger Wallace is a testament to that. But what many of Austin’s legendary local artists don’t have that Roger Wallace does is that one album that withstands the test of time.
The Outlaw Carnie Bob Wayne’s new album Till The Wheels Fall Off will be released May 22nd through Century Media, and Saving Country Music is excited to offer you this exclusive preview of one of the album’s featured tracks, “Get There When I Get There.” On the outside Bob Wayne presents the hellraising, hard charging part of his personality, but inside is a very deep, very poetic songwriter as well.
They say it’s a shame you can’t pick your family like you can pick your friends, but who would have ever picked the hellraising Hank Williams III and the holy cross-clad Marty Stuart to be buddies. But that’s exactly what they have been for years now, and the relationship has resulted in in some great music for the fans of both men.
Marty Stuart is on an amazing roll ladies and gentlemen. What he’s doing right now with lead guitar player “Uncle” Kenny Vaughan and The Fabulous Superlatives is stuff that legends are made of. You know those periods in an artists’ career that you look back on like they can’t do wrong, churning out amazing songs and albums one after another?
Today is the released date of Long Gone Daddy, an album Curb Records is releasing that contains outtakes from early in Hank Williams III’s career when he was under contract with the label. Most of the material on the album has been released previously. according to a press release released today by Allcorn, he had no more consent from Curb to release his song “This Ain’t Montgomery” than Hank3 did.
Slowly over the past few years we’re seeing the re-emergence of both God and Jesus in roots music content, and the popularization of gospel. Why? Possibly for the same reason the devil works so well, because God and Jesus are beginning to re-emerge as “folk” characters too, that even non-religious people can identify with as personifications of good.
From the outside looking in, one may look at the lineup of The Muddy Roots Festival for example, and wonder how all these bands could all be booked right beside each other and it work seamlessly. This illustrates the dramatic sonic and geographical diversity that goes into creating what we know now as the underground country roots, or “Muddy Roots” world.
.357 String Band, Ben Prestage, Black Diamond Heavies, Bob Wayne, Bobby Bare, BR549, Calamity Cubes, Dale Watson, Deep Blues Festival, Emmylou Harris, Fat Possum Records, Greg Garing, Hank3, JB Beverley, Junior Kimbrough, Justin Townes Earle, Kris Kristofferson, Legendary Shack Shakers, Lone Wolf OMB, Loretta Lynn, Los Duggans, Mike Ness, Muddy Roots Festival, Pickathon, Rachel Brooke, Ramseur Records, Restavrant, Reverend Horton Heat, RL Burnside, Rusty Knuckles, Scott H. Biram, Slackeye Slim, Some Velvet Evening, Split Lip Rayfield, Steve Erale, Supersuckers, t Model Ford, Ten Foot Polecats, The Avett Bros, The Black Keys, The Devil Makes Three, The Everymen, The Goddamn Gallows, The Pine Box Boys, The Ryman, Those Poor bastards, Tompall Glaser, Trampled by Turtles, Waylon Jennings, Wayne Hancock, Whitey Morgan & The 78's, Willie Nelson, Yep Rock
Country music madman, the Outlaw Carnie Bob Wayne has just announced he has a new album coming out May 22nd, 2012 (April 9th in Europa) from Century Media called Till The Wheels Fall Off, and that the album will feature a duet with none other than Hank Williams III called “All My Friends” that will be released tomorrow (3-23-12).