All the stupid name-calling and sarcasm aside, these opinions and fun poking are based on my specific musical tastes, but I always believe artists should be measured against themselves first, and what The Moonshine Bandits do in “My Kinda Country” is sell themselves out by seeking mainstream acceptance in such an overt attempt that flies in the face of their self-constructed image as country rap “Outlawz”.
As first reported here on Saving Country Music, Curb Records is releasing a new album from Hank Williams III that includes outtakes from his first two solo albums, Risin’ Outlaw from 1999, and Lovesick, Broke & Driftin’ from 2002. The album has now been made available for pre-order through Amazon and is entitled Long Gone Daddy. It will be released on April 17th, 2012.
Possibly better known to you as the cowpunk pioneer and legendary frontman of Jason & The Scorchers, Ringenberg’s alter ego “Farmer Jason” brings some serious passion to his new release Farmer Jason and Buddies: Nature Jams. Hank Williams III, Todd Snider, Brandi Carlisle, Tommy Ramone, Iris Dement, and Mike Mills from REM are just some of the names that stop by to help.
For those fans of Hank Williams III that wished he’d stayed or go back to his early 2000’s neo-traditionalist country style and release more material reminiscent of that era, you may have just received your wish. And for the Hank3 fans that are worried that his post-Curb career will be marred by incessant album releases of rehashed material, your concerns have just been validated.
Hank Williams III might be known best for his hellraising attitude on and off the stage, but he’s not afraid to show his sweet side when it comes to Tennessee’s furry friends. As part of his continued support for the Happy Tails Humane, a no kill animal shelter located in Franklin, TN, they have released a new video showing Hank3 spending some down time with his semi-famous pets
Whether it is punk bands that simply interchange their electric instruments for acoustic ones, or bands that have a more traditional country sound, but overload it with “whiskey, devil, and drug” references, parody in the “punk gone country” movement has become a problem primarily by the way these artists can typecast other country punk bands, fans, and entities.
It may be years before something impresses us like this again. I’ve given many albums two guns up, and have and will hand out many Albums of the Year. But there’s only two albums I’ve reviewed that I’ve ever felt confident enough to refer to as masterpieces, and Slackeye Slim’s El Santo Grial, La Pistola Piadosa is one.
Well here it is, the end of December. The last few moments of 2011 are counting down, and yet completely unbeknown to us, right under our noses, one of the most expansive, imaginative, engaging, and inspiring projects all year is finally coming into full bloom. It is called Year of the Horse by the Cold Spring, KY-based Kentucky Struts.
This is some of the best true country songwriting I have heard all year. I am floored folks. I’ll be honest with you, knowing the context of this album going in, I didn’t think it had much chance to charm my little music heart, but that is exactly what it did. Ray’s songs are just so true, honest, well-written, and authentic, it makes his adeptness at song craft absolutely undeniable.
So here it is, the list of albums Saving Country Music deems essential for 2011 listening. Please note this list only includes albums that have been reviewed so far. And as always, your feedback is encouraged. What are your essential albums? What did we miss? What was released in 2011 that deserves a review?
Bob Wayne, Coday Canada, Eilen Jewell, Gillian Welch, Hank3, Husky Burnette, Jason Boland, Jimbo Mathus, Larry & His Flask, Little Lisa Dixie, Lone Wolf, Lonesome Wyatt, Lucky Tubb, Lydia Loveless, Nick 13, Olds Sleeper, Rachel Brooke, Scott H. Biram, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Sunday Valley, The Damn Quails, The Dirt Daubers, The Goddamn Gallows, Tom Waits, Ugly Valley Boys, William Elliot Whitmore, Willy Tea Taylor
As Nashville and Nashville-based entities are erecting what will be landmarks, before taking money from Mike Curb, maybe they should take to heart the headlines that have hounded the Mike Curb name over the last few years, and ask themselves if that name is a legacy their building, their institution, or the City of Nashville wants to tie their future to.
When I sat down to name the top 10 live performances of 2011 as seen through my eyes, I didn’t know what a mess I was making for myself, and it wasn’t until then that I realized what a power packed year for live music it has been. My 10 stretched to 15 fast, and I’m still leaving many live acts out.
Austin Lucas, Bloodshot Records, Charlie Parr, Hank3, Hellbound Glory, James Hunnicutt, Jayke Orvis, Justin Townes Earle, Lukas Nelson, Marty Stuart, Micah Schnabel, Pickathon, Possessed by Paul James, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ruby Jane, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Sunday Valley, SXSW, The Goddamn Gallows, The Muddy Roots Festival, Two Cow Garage, Wayne Hancock, Whitey Morgan & The 78's, Willie Nelson
Whatever Curb’s motivations or plans, it looks like the tide has turned for Tim McGraw. However the battle is far from over, and fans should not be happy about the single release, they should be wary of its motivations. Mike Curb is shrewd if he is anything, and no doubt this move was pre-calculated to coincide with the court order.
On Tuesday, Tim McGraw will be in a Tennessee courtroom as part of the opening salvo in his bid to leave his contract with Curb Records. I’m no Perry Mason, but I thought I would offer the Tim McGraw defense team a little pro bono research work on how Curb Records itself has set a legal precedence that disproves it’s own case.
Two of country music’s most famous sons have apparently buried the hatchet on a long, 6 year feud that in many ways was one-sided, and was fueled by misunderstanding. “Got an amazing care package from Hank III with all 3 new records on vinyl & CD + a sweet rebel flag lighter,” Shooter fired off on his Twitter Feed over the weekend.
The first song on the “Ray Lawrence Jr.” track from Hank3’s Ghost to a Ghost is “When You Lose All You Have.” They say to write it, you have to live it, and Ray wrote the song while living in a Phoenix homeless shelter. A truck driver and a divorcee, Ray had reached the end of his rope in 2008, and penned the song as a self-portrait.
Since the beginning of Saving Country Music over 3 1/2 years ago, nothing but respect has been shown to The Country Music Hall of Fame. It is the last major country music institution that considers the preservation and promotion of the traditions and history of country music above commercial concerns, as other institutions bend and sway with the current popular trends in country music.
So I guess the founder of Apple Steve Jobs died or something? I don’t know. But it reminded me of a very strange but interesting piece of Hank3 T-shirt art that he debuted sometime in 2009, an all black shirt that simply showed the well-recognized Apple symbol with the bite out of the right side, an equals sign, and then a pentagram.
This is music to get you moving. I can’t listen to this album at home. I’ll get flying around and break things. I can only listen while driving, with a foot pumping on the gas pedal to the groove. If somebody was listening to this album and wasn’t at least bobbing their head or tapping their foot, the next thing I’d do is put a mirror in front if their mouth.
Next Tuesday, the ‘Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams’ will be released to the public. Completely putting aside the ethics questions for the project itself, I have drafted a list of 10 simple questions about the specifics of the Lost Notebooks that I think country music consumers have a right to be answered before they decide to purchase it.
From Columbus, OH, the lovely and talented 21-year-old Lydia Loveless offers up her first album with international aspirations in Indestructable Machine, through the Bloodshot Records imprint. Rest assured, I like this album more than I don’t. But as legendary football coach Bill Parcells once said after one decent game by a young, promising quarterback, “Put the anointing oil away.”
Some will always question, or maybe even feel threatened by the diversity that seems to be attracted by underground country shows. I for one have always been amazed, mesmerized, proud, and humbled by that same diversity. That diversity, in the crowds, in the music, in ourselves, is the true strength of the insurgent roots movement, it it our ace in the hole. It is the badge of our open-mindedness. And it is beautiful.
This is a questions I get here at Saving Country Music quite often. The mythology and legacy of the Hank Williams name is so robust, some folks just can’t imagine it ever coming to an end. The requirement is simple though. For someone to be a true Hank Williams, they would need to be a son of Hank Williams III, and that son would need to be named Hank, at least in some way.
I love this album. You may look at the track listing and ask yourself why we need yet another version of “Wayfaring Stranger”. The answer is because the great Col. JD Wilkes has never done one before. A perfect mix of classics and originals, don’t just pigeon hole this project as just another rag tag bluegrass bit, there a lot of hot jazz, rockabilly and blues mixed in with the old time string band approach.