Country music will not be saved by just one soul, even though this is a thought process many fans and much of the media tend to buy into, often putting an unfair burden on the careers and purpose of certain artists, and placing them at odds with what they should be focused on, which is the creative process.
When we broach the exercise of whittling down the field of songs of a given year to a list of a chosen few to be considered Song of the Year, we’re not looking for booty shakers or boot scooters. We’re looking for those songs that through the power of words and music, hit you so deeply, you’re a different person after you’re done listening.
The last few years have been a somewhat down era for excellent, legacy-caliber releases in country music and independent roots,. But 2017 was a different story, especially the first half, leaving us with difficult choices of what to consider to be the best of the year. As always, your feedback is requested, and will be included in the final calculus.
The only greater disservice an artist or a label can do to the music they’ve worked so hard on and put so much love into than releasing it on an EP, is to release it on a four-song EP. You want to bury music and relegate it to the also-ran of your discography and have Wikipedia page editors and everyday fans give you quizzical looks? Release an EP.
For many years there has been the need for a festival to cover the music that sits on the fringes of commercial country, yet serves a very dedicated and surprisingly large audience of country music fans. This is what Borda Productions saw when they decided to transition from a more mainstream-oriented country festival for 2017.
Billy Joe Shaver, Cody Jinks, Colter Wall, Courtney Patton, Greg Payne and the Piedmont Boys, Jaime Wyatt, Jamey Johnson, Jason Eady, Mickey Lamatia, Porter Union, Robby Turner, Roger Creager, Sunny Sweeney, Tumbleweed, Tumbleweed Festival, Ward Davis, Whitey Morgan
Apologies if you came here looking to replenish your 3rd generation iPod with a fresh platoon of booty shakers. That’s not what this practice is all about. Feel good songs are just fine and help fleet us through the tiresome days, but when we talk about the “Best Songs,” were talking about songs that deliver moments that can change entire lives.
For the last two years, it’s felt like a lull for projects that really set themselves apart and set the pace for creativity and cultural importance. 2017 is a different story. It feels like this has been a banner year already, with some of the year’s biggest projects still in the offing.
Saving Country Music’s official Top 25 Current Playlist has just been juiced with reinforcements and fresh horses to spirit listeners into the heart of spring with some of the best country music selections overlooked by most of popular media, but holding an appeal that is deemed worthy enough to be heard worldwide.
The 2nd Annual Tumbleweed Festival set to transpire on the Missouri River in Sugar Creek, MO on July 28th and 29th, 2017 has just added to their already-impressive lineup. And the festival is not done there. Soon they will announce a contest to fill a final after hours performance slot for the fans of emerging Outlaw country artists to vote on.
Billy Joe Shaver, Cody Jinks, Colter Wall, Courtney Patton, Damien Gunn, Jaime Wyatt, Jamey Johnson, Jason Eady, Mickey Lamantia, Paul Cauthen, Roger Creager, Sunny Sweeney, Tumbleweed Festival, Ward Davis, Whitey Morgan, William Clark Green
For many of the best practitioners of country music, they don’t choose to pursue country music as a profession, country music chooses them. 2017 is still young, but the effort expended by Jaime Wyatt on ‘Felony Blues’ is impressive enough to be considered the best in the country realm so far.
Just what 2017 has in store for us in the country music department remains to be seen. But we do know about what to expect in the release department for at least the first quarter of the year, while rumors abound about the big projects that could come to light later in 2017. Here’s a run down of what we know, what we think we know, and what we would like to believe.
Aaron Watson, Ags Connolly, Alison Krauss, Casey James Prestwood, Charlie Worsham, Chris Knight, Chris Stapleton, Colter Wall, Curtis McMurtry, Dale Watson, Dan Auerbach, Dave Cobb, George Jones, Guy Clark, Holly Williams, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jaime Wyatt, Jason Isbell, JB Beverley, Justin Townes Earle, Marty Stuart, MOderna Mal, Nikki Lane, Old Crow Medicine Show, Otis Gibbs, Phoebe Hunt, Ray Benson, Ray Scott, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Rhiannon Giddens, Robbie Fulks, Scott H. Biram, Shinyribs, Son Volt, Steve Earle, Sunny Sweeney, The Gibson Brothers, The Sadies, The Secret Sisters, Tift Merritt, Valerie June, Whitney Rose