Jason Isbell is still riding high after hitting career marks for his recent album The Nashville Sound, which topped the Country Albums charts. But if you expect the mainstream level of success of his career to change the songwriter, or his penchant to speak out, you’re sadly mistaken.
For twenty years and for two separate hosts, senior music producer for The Late Show Sheryl Zelikson has been a key behind-the-scenes champion for under-the-radar country and roots music performers who otherwise may never have been afforded an opportunity for a national television debut.
Americana songwriter and performer Jason Isbell is now an honorary Texan according to the office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Isbell received the distinction on Sunday night (7-16) during the 3rd night of a sold-out run at Austin’s Moody Theater, also known as the home of Austin City Limits.
“Alan Jackson. Wholeheartedly. Alan Jackson. All day. Everyday,” is what the former fiddle player for The Band Perry Jason Fitz said when asked who was the person in country music you most want to punch in the face. Jason Fitz now works for ESPN where the segment occurred.
This week, Florida Georgia Line’s collaboration with the Backstreet Boys called “God, Your Mama, and Me” hit #1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart, meaning The Backstreet Boys—a washed-up boy bad who otherwise had not received a #1 distinction for over 18 years—is now the owner of a country music #1.
Ashley Monroe, Backstreet Boys, Brandy Clark, Cam, Chris Stapleton, David Allan Coe, Florida Georgia Line, God Your Mama and Me, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Marty Stuart, Sturgill Simpson
Jason Isbell and his band The 400 Unit have just notched their best-charting, and best-selling record of Jason Isbell’s career with The Nashville Sound. Selling a total of 54,000 units, including 51,000 in pure album sales, it puts Isbell #1 in country, and #4 overall for this week on the album charts.
It’s not just talent that sifts certain artists to the top of the heap of their discipline, it is timing. And Jason Isbell is one of the defining artists of our era because he is Southern, and enlightened, and can understand the perspective of the poor Southern man, as well as the faraway intellectual.
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.
Folks who just hopped on the country insurgency train when they heard about Chris Stapleton or Sturgill Simpson may wonder what the deal is with a guy like Justin Townes Earle. Maybe they recognize the name and draw the connection to his famous father, but is he something special, or just another name in “Americana,” whatever that means?
2017 is turning out to be a banner year for country and roots music, and we still have some of the most highly-anticipated titles still yet to be released. In an attempt to keep up and help you sift through the musical selection process, Saving Country Music has just juiced its Top 25 Current Spotify Playlist with some new selections.
A love song with avid participation from his wife and singing partner Amanda Shires, the song delves into the sad perspective that forever in a marriage or a relationship is ultimately a relative term. But Isbell doesn’t point these things out just as a lament or a sharp lesson of reality.
The Americana Music Association announced the nominees for their 2017 awards on Tuesday afternoon (5-9) via a live press conference from the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Ford Theater. Along with announcing the nominees, the presentation included performances from multiple Americana artists.
Amanda Shires, Billy Bragg, Brent Cobb, Caitlin Canty, Charlie Sexton, Courtney Hartman, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jason Isbell, Jen Gunderman, Jerry Douglas, Joe Henry, John Prine, Lori McKenna, Margo Price, Marty Stuart, Milk Carton Kids, Rodney Crowell, Ryan Adams, Spencer Cullum Jr., Sturgill Simpson, The Drive-By Truckers, The Lumineers
‘Big Bad Luv’ is exactly the type of album that John Moreland needed to make, where his songcraft suffers none, but is bolstered by the virtue of a more compositional approach to the music itself. And this is the only place he could improve or “evolve,” because the songwriting was already at the pinnacle.
“Body Like a Backroad.” It looks to shatter even the incredible and previously-thought insurmountable records of Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise.” Right now we sit in an eerily-similar position as we did in May of 2013. “Body Like A Backroad” is absolutely dominating every single song chart that country music has.
Jason Isbell and his band The 400 Unit are readying the release of his latest record The Nashville Sound on June 16th, and his live calendar has just been bolstered with a bunch of new tour dates in support of the new album. Amanda Shires and Frank Turner support the new tour dates.
The second song from Jason Isbell’s impending album ‘The Nashville Sound’ all but certifies what we had suspicions of before and what Isbell has been saying in the media previously, which is the June 16th release will be a much more rock ‘n roll affair than some of his recent efforts, and the title is more tongue-in-cheek
It’s not very common that you can preface a 70-year-old folk country songwriter that never had a big hit and the 14-year-olds in your family have probably never heard of as a “hot commodity,” but that’s exactly what John Prine feels like these days. “Beyond Words” is a songbook combined with a photo anthology in big, coffee-table form.
The 2017 Outlaw Music Festival will actually be a series of events, or a tour if you will, consisting of six total stops throughout July hitting up New Orleans, Dallas, Detroit, Milwaukee, Syracuse, NY, and Rogers, AR. Willie Nelson and his Family Band, Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, The Avett Brothers, and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real play most events.
Unless you were stuck on an island recently, I’m sure the article called “10 Lamest Americana Acts” by the once prestigious, and now click-hungry newsweekly alternative known as L.A. Weekly passed under your nose. Here are the 10 artists presented by L.A. Weekly and in the same order, but filling in the positives and counterpoints left out of their piece.
Dave Rawlings, Devil Makes Three, Gillian Welch, Jack Grelle, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Jason Isbell, L.A. Weekly, Lucinda Williams, Robert Ellis, Sam Outlaw, Shovels & Rope, Wayne 'The Train' Hancock
So apparently Americana and some of its top artists aren’t above criticism by a major media outlet. This is what the independent country and Americana communities had to face down on Friday (3-31) when an author by the name of Jonny Whiteside writing for L.A. Weekly published an article slamming some of Americana’s elite.
10 Lamest Americana Acts, Devil Makes Three, Don Maddox, Gillian Welch, Jack Grelle, James Intveld, Jason Boland, Jason Isbell, Jonny Whiteside, LA Weekly, Lucinda Williams, Maddox Brothers and Rose, Red Simpson, Robert Ellis, Rose Maddox, Sam Outlaw, Shovels & Rope, Wayne 'The Train' Hancock