In the immortal words of Tom Petty, it’s Christmas … again. That’s means we have a bunch of seasonal releases from a slew of your favorite country and roots artists to round up just in case Christmas music is your thing. Here’s a run down of all the best releases, as well as a playlist to listen to the best selections.
Christmas is officially cool again after years of American popular culture being too cool for Christmas. But there was never a time when Christmas and music was cooler in America than in the 1950’s. JD McPherson proves himself uniquely qualified to tackle the difficult task of recording a Christmas record.
Usually Christmas music gets shoved to the back burner around these parts, but this year there is such a surprising amount of quality selections of Holiday music being released, it’s worth a dedicated roundup. So if Christmas music is your thing—especially with a country or roots kick—give a gander to what 2018’s got in store.
Aaron Watson, Ana Christina Cash, Brennen Leigh, Chris Janson, Christmas, Dailey & Vincent, Emi Sunshine, Grant Maloy Smith, JD McPherson, Jeff Clayborn, Jerico Woods, Kacey Musgraves, Lera Lynn, Lonestar, Mary Karr, Otis Gibbs, Paul Bogart, Phil Vasser, Raul Malo, Rhyan Sinclair, Rodney Crowell, Shane Owens, The Mavericks, The McCrary Sisters
The Old Settler’s Music Festival is not just an enjoyable time for the patrons who frequent the fest each year. With its youth programs, and the opportunities it provides for up-and-coming acts along with established names, it’s an important part of the roots music ecosystem.
Aiofe O’Donovan, Balsam Range, Billy Strings, Colter Wall, I'm With Her, JD McPherson, Jimmy Sutton, Michael Trotter Jr., Old Settler's Music Festival, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, Sean McConnell, The War and Treaty, Wade Bowen, Will Hoge
Want to see Tyler Childers, Sturgill Simpson, Colter Wall, and Jason Isbell all on the same bill? Perhaps add Charlie Parr, Courtney Barnett, and JD McPherson on top of that? Well you’ll get your chance this summer at one of America’s longest-running live institutions, The Newport Folk Festival this summer.
The Outlaw Fest Tour curated by Blackbird Presents has announced its 2018 dates, locations, and participants. The nine separate dates this summer will include stops in Dallas, Detroit, Bristow, Cincinnati, Noblesville in Indiana, the Woodlands, TX just outside of Houston, and two shows in North Carolina.
Alison Krauss, Brandi Carlile, Delta Rae, Edie Brickell, Elvis Costello and the Imposters, JD McPherson, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Old Crow Medicine Show, Outlaw Fest, Ryan Bingham, Sturgill Simpson, The Head and The Heart, Willie Nelson
On Tuesday, January 16th, The Americana Music Association launched its brand new charting system with the help of technology company CDX. The new system will more easily and more accurately report the activity on Americana’s radio stations and shows across the Americana reporting network.
The playlist is the most current and up-to-date resource of Saving Country Music’s top recommendations of songs, albums and artists. Jon Pardi has just released the song “She Ain’t In It” as the latest single from his album California Sunrise, and it leads the newest editions to Saving Country Music’s Top 25 Streaming Playlist.
This is a record you use to get lost in the sonic beauty, with groove and soul setting the foundation. As Sturgill Simpson says, all good music is soul music. And since it’s still cast in those sepia hues of classic songs, even a country audience in favor of neotraditional styles will be able to relate. Bravo, Mr. McPherson. Bravo.
If there’s any knock on their sophomore release Your Dreaming, it’s that it’s almost too similar to the Everly Brothers, resulting in a mark against them on the originality scale. But even though this may sound like sacrilege to some, I’m not sure even The Everly Brothers ever put out an album this oceanic in depth and reach cover to cover.
Forget what you should call this music, if it fits in Americana, or if a country website should even be talking about it. The songs themselves are excellent, and truthfully, shoving the music and arrangements to the side for a moment, if you would call the songs of “Workingman’s Bellfuries” anything, you might have to call them country.
How cool is it to have a father and a son in the same band? There’s a beer league factor to the Electric Rag Band, and not in a bad way. They make music when they can, how they can, and for the right reasons. And they’ve been doing it for quite a while now. Formed in 1994, their new record My Side accounts for their sixth release.
You’re Dreaming will be blood brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum’s third album, complimenting their self-titled debut release from 2011, and Live at the Turb Club from 2013. The new record will include ten original compositions, and will be produced by JD McPherson—an old-school throwback rock and roll-inspired artist himself.
Barrence Whitfield is not a name you’re going to see praised to the rafters or land on every end-of-year “best of” list, but his influence and the power of his music is unwavering, and Under The Savage Sky is as good of a place to start discovering his genius as any. The way he’s able to sing with a sincerity to his soul tones, and then rear back into a wild scream is the stuff a totally immersive musical experience is made of.
Some 70 years behind the times and yet still cooler than the rest of us, Pokey LaFarge is like the musical equivalent of the Austin Powers character brought out of cryogenic freeze to do battle with the forces of bad music by reminding the world of a time when popular songs still embodied taste, composition, and a timeless charisma instead of the diarrhetic pap dictated by the fickle tastes of 15-year-olds.
Country folky throwback Pokey LaFarge has announced the release of his latest album and his first with Rounder Records called “Something In The Water.” The old-school throwback St. Louis singing and strumming song man signed with Rounder in November of 2014 after releasing six albums since his self-released debut in 2006.
Say what you want about Eric Church’s music, and though he’s sporting one of the most loyal fan bases in popular music these days, he’s also revealed himself as one of the most polarizing figures in country music in the last few years. But you can’t fault the man for thinking outside the box, and scouring the hungry, unwashed faces of independent music when looking for openers.
Michael Goodman smoothly takes you on a musical time warp to the roiling 50’s to both cut a rug and cry in your beer in a time when music was much better across the board and became immediately timeless. Like walking into Sun Studios circa 1956, he takes you back to a time when the music of American was uncorrupted, the sentiments were sincere, and the promise was unending.
Brian Setzer, Carl Perkins, David Allan Coe, Elvis Presley, Everly Brothers, JD McPherson, Jerry Reed, Johnny Cash, Maddox Brothers & Rose, Michael Goodman, Million Dollar Quartet, NIck Curran, Reverend Horton Heat, Review, The Michael Goodman Experience, Unbreakable Heart, Waylon Jennings
The 2013 Americana Music Awards once again transpired in Nashville at the historic Ryman Auditorium as part of the week-long Americana Music Conference. Delbert McClinton lead off with Hank Williams’ “Hey, Good Lookin,'” leading into MC Jim Lauderdale giving a poignant introduction that included the line, “The past matters, traditions matter, even when we explore ways to have those traditions extended and expanded.”
2013, Alejandro Escovedo, Americana Music Awards, Americana Music Awards Winners, Billy Bragg, Bruce Robison, Dan Auerbach, Delbert McClinton, Dr. John, Duane Eddy, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams, Holly Williams, JD McPherson, John Fullbright, Kelly Willis, Ken Burns, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Milk Carton Kids, Nicki Bluhm, Richard Thompson, Robert Hunter. Jim Lauderdale, Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash, Sam Bush, Shovels and Rope, Stephen Stills, Tift Merritt, Wilco
High Cotton: A Tribute To Alabama gets right what so many cover and tribute albums get wrong, including its 2013 counterpart Alabama & Friends. A good tribute album doesn’t just pay tribute to the band or artist. It should be a 50/50 proposition, with the contributing artists also benefiting from the name recognition the tributee affords.
Alabama, Blind Boys of Alabama, Bob Schneider, Drive By Truckers, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Jason Isbell, JD McPherson, Jessica Lea Mayfield, John Paul White, Luke Bryan, Shonna Tucker, The Civil Wars, Turnpike Troubadours
Welcome to Saving Country Music’s 2013 Pickathon LIVE blog! We will out at Pickathon all weekend, leaving our thoughts, posting pics, and other bits of information from the fest all weekend. Below you can watch a LIVE stream from the festival’s primary stages, but at any given time, multiple performances might be going on, so check below that in the live blog section for other activities transpiring at Pickathon.
Andrew Bird, blog, Caleb Klauder, Cedric Watson, Dale Watson, Devil Makes Three, Foghorn Stringband, JD McPherson, Kev Russell, Pickathon, Review, Shinyribs, Sturgill Simpson, Tift Merritt, Wayne 'The Train' Hancock
The Americana Music Awards just announced their 2013 nominees. On September 18th, the awards will once again be held at the prestigious Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and once again the nominations show a very narrow focus on the dramatically broadening world of Americana music. Aside from the Instrumentalists, only 11 names of artists or groups compile the entire field of 2013 Americana nominees.
Brucke Robison, Buddy Miller, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, JD McPherson, Jim Lauderdale, John Fullbright, Kelly Willis, Mumford & Sons, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Richard Thompson, Rodney Crowell, Shovels & Rope, The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers, The Milk Carton Kids
This Saturday, April 20th is the 2013 installment of Record Store Day. 2013 has some juicy releases, including some super rare Willie Nelson demo sessions, a split with Waylon Jennings and the Old 97’s, some cool live albums from Gram Parsons and Sarah Jarosz, and a re-issue of Justin Townes Earle’s first album, the Yuma EP.
2013, Aljeandro Escovedo, Avett Brothers, Blitzen Trapper, Calexico, Charlie Poole, Chet Atkins, Chris Scruggs, Dale Watson, Elizabeth Cook, Gram Parsons, Jason Isbell, JD McPherson, Justin Townes Earle, Kacey Chambers, Mike Cooley, Mumford & Sons, Old 97's, Patty Griffin, Randy Travis, Record Store Day, Richard Thompson, Sarah Jarosz, Shane Nicholson, The Band, Tift Merritt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Yoner Mountain String Band
It’s not that JD McPherson does anything different than many other artists have done before him. It’s just that he does it better. Good music will always be relevant, and JD McPherson is living proof of this. A strict revivalist of the 1950’s rock & roll blues, his music has branched out and burrowed into the consciousness of many folks not regularly susceptible to the pull of a straight-laced throwback rock & roll show.