It may not be as obvious of an example as the little shop down the street in a strip mall selling handmade scented candles and hippie soap, but your favorite independent music artists are all most certainly small businesses as well. So are many of your favorite locally-owned music venues, local festivals…
The 2022 Americana Music Awards transpired at the Ryman Auditorium Wednesday Night, September 14th, with Billy Strings, Brandi Carlile, Allison Russell, Sierra Ferrell, and The War and Treaty all walking away with big awards. There were also a few surprises.
They love to say that in Texas, the women are more beautiful, and the beer is colder. I’m not sure that can be scientifically proven. But there is something that is most certainly palpable—though in many ways indefinable—that does make the musical moments down in Texas feel significantly more meaningful.
It is a bittersweet time this Labor Day weekend down in Texas, and specifically at the legendary Floore’s Country Store in Helotes where Robert Earl Keen is wrapping up 41 years of touring with three final shows. Eric Church, and rodeo legend Phil Lyne showed up to help.
When you’re looking for the most potent and gifted of today’s songwriters, Portland, Oregon’s Anna Tivel deserves inclusion in that camp right beside the James McMurtry’s and John Moreland’s of the music world. Though not as well-known or venerated as others—at least not yet…
An oral history on the life of songwriting legend Billy Joe Shaver will be released on July 21st. Called ‘Live Forever: The Songwriting Legacy of Billy Joe Shaver,’ it is about Shaver’s life and songs told through his peers, friends, and disciples. Authored by Courtney S. Lennon…
This album will have you blowing speaker cones and doing air guitar poses on coffee tables—sideways looks from your significant other be damned. I don’t know what’s gotten into Ray Wylie Hubbard, but this album is anything but retread. It’s a grizzly ol’ middle finger to bad music.
Well if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it. And with the extended Rolodex of influences and acolytes Ray Wylie Hubbard has assembled, why not release a sequel? That’s what Ray Wylie will do on March 18th, 2022 with another list of excellent collaborators.
Live music in 2021 saw its return after the worst moments of the pandemic, but only in fits and starts, with multiple postponements and cancellations wrecking many plans, yet a few important moments still going off in the windows when they could.
pound for pound, the 2021 Old Settler’s Fest lineup conveyed as much entertainment value as any other event you’d find out there, with smart and studious curation that resulted in a stellar lineup and experience for 2021 Old Settler’s goers.
Like so many other festivals over the last 1 1/2 years, Old Settler’s fest just outside of Lockhart, TX has been attempting to hold what will be its now 34th annual installment. Normally conducted in the spring, and postponed entirely in 2020, they have finally set a date and lineup for 2021.
As you get together with friends, family, and co-workers for the Labor Day holiday, it’s the perfect excuse to aggressively ambush them about their bad choices when it comes to country music. Instruct them to ditch the Dan + Shay, and detox with this playlist.
James McMurtry is old school. He knows how character and nuance is worth so much more than namby pamby bromides. He can evoke the dimension of location in a song like few others, rattling off meticulous observational details of specific towns and cities as good as Google.
Once or twice a year, you have one of these mega release days in country music where the albums are so important, and the amount of releases so daunting, you need a field guide, or a Sherpa to help shepherd you through it all. Luckily you have little ol’ Saving Country Music.
Now that the summer has commenced in earnest and the COVID-19 pandemic is mostly behind us, it’s time to hit the road, and hang out with friends, and listen to the country songs from artists that the mainstream won’t mess with, but that define the best that country music has to offer.
In a brilliant economy of words, James McMurtry can bring alive entire characters and expansive landscapes in songs, revealing details down to the crevices in the dried soil, and the contours of a face in the mind’s eye. He’s compiled a body of work that rivals most any other songwriter.
Here are the greatest country and roots albums of the last decade in Saving Country Music’s estimation. Albums were regarded primarily on quality, and how they held up over the decade, as well as the influence they had on country music, and music at large. These are the albums that should not be overlooked over the last 10 years of music.
An oral history on the life of songwriting legend Billy Joe Shaver is on the way. Called ‘Live Forever: The Songwriting Legacy of Billy Joe Shaver,’ it will be about Shaver’s life and songs told through his peers, friends, and disciples like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Dale Watson, James McMurtry, Scott H. Biram, Dallas Moore, and Jessi Colter.
Jason Isbell has just added a slew of brand new tour dates for the spring to go on top of an already-packed winter touring schedule. The new dates now take Jason Isbell’s touring schedule well into April and May, with marquee performances at the Savannah Music Festival, and the Stagecoach Music Festival.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit just started an incredible six-night sold out stint at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Monday (10-9), and after a tour in Europe this fall, Isbell & Co. will be hitting the road yet again as part of an extended winter tour stretching into 2018, with brand new dates just added.
We’ve all heard of the “Class of ’89” in country music, right? That was the year that Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, Travis Tritt, and others came to power. Well have you ever heard of the “Class of ’87”? That was the year Todd Snider, James McMurtry, Bruce Robison, Hal Ketchum, and Terri Hendrix all played regularly at an old wooden music venue in San Marcos, Texas called the Cheatham Street Warehouse.
Too often in music we tend to focus on the here and now, the young and the new. Who are the hot names that are rising up in the ranks? Who’s going to make a big splash in music in the coming months and years? All this talk is understandable. It’s fun. But this is not always the best exercise for fleshing out who actually has the music most worthy of being recognized.
Being willing to go where a song takes you is the challenge in the heart of every music lover. Hopefully one of these songs released in 2015 will take you some place you want to be, or somewhere you’ve never been before. These songs were selected on their own merit, not from the strength of the artist or album from where they came.
2015’s Album of the Year candidates might constitute the most wide open field of contenders since this exercise has been in practice. There’s no clear front runners, anyone could win, and each candidate has pluses and minuses. Like every year, your opinion counts, and may even count more this year with no clear front runner.