20 years in the business now, Dierks Bentley should be at the point where he can call his own shots. And seeing him paling around with Charlie Worsham lately, and hanging out in the rain to watch Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway play their set at Telluride last summer are all good signs.
How much does the listening public care about a batch of ol’ stuffy bluegrass cover songs? Apparently quite a bit when they’re coming from Billy Strings. His recent collaboration with his dad Terry Barber has brought in career-record numbers for the bluegrass phenom, and put him at or near the top of charts.
If there was an ideal time for Billy Strings to hop off the bluegrass train, it would be right now. So what does he do to codify his dominance of the live music space? He goes off and records the most straightforward album of bluegrass and country standards as possible, and invites his father.
We knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. Though we all have fallen in love with bluegrass phenom Billy Strings as he’s taken the roots music world by storm to the point where his popularity has spilled out into the greater music landscape, you knew that sooner or later he would jump the bluegrass tracks…
Certain events and venues take on an exceptional status in music, simply from the moments that happened there, the memories made, and the artists discovered. Such is the case for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, which celebrated its 49th Anniversary in 2022.
Bela Fleck, Big Richard, Bryan Sutton, Chris Thile, Edger Meyer, Grateful Dead, Greensky Bluegrass, Infamous Stringdusters, Jack Black, Jerry Douglas, Joy Adams, Leah Song, Leonard Podolak, Michael Cleveland, Molly Tuttle, Paul Hoffman, Phil Lesh, Rhiannon Giddens, Rising Appalachia, Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Tenacious D, The Duhks, The Lil Smokies, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers
Sunday night (5-29), Tyler Childers returned to the main stage of DelFest. But unlike in 2019 when he played a straightforward, daytime supporting set, this time Childers was the headliner backed by the festival’s namesake backing band, The Travelin’ McCourys.
Beginning in the 00’s, songwriting in country music began to change, and by the early 2010’s, the population of country music songwriters had contracted by as much as 90% by some estimates, as the royalties that helped sustain these writers also began to dry up.
Alison Krauss, Buddy Cannon, Don Williams, Garth Fundis, Hugh Prestwood, Jerry Douglas, Jimmy Buffett, John Conlee, Josh Kear, Josh Osborne, Luke Laird, Michael Johnson, Randy Travis, Rumer, Shenandoah, Tanya Tucker, The Judds
Keith Whitley. Ricky Skaggs. Tony Rice and Larry Rice. Doyle Lawson. Jerry Douglas for crying out loud. Phil Ledbetter. These are just some of the many names that studied under bluegrass legend and banjo God J.D. Crowe, and did service time in his transformative band The New South.
Make no mistake though, if you want to hear the absolute pinnacle of bluegrass in 2021 when it comes to just sheer blazing imagination and artistry, then accept no substitutes. Béla Fleck and ‘My Bluegrass Heart’ are it, period. ‘My Bluegrass Heart’ is a masterwork
Bela Fleck, Billy Strings, Brian Sutton, Chris Thile, David Grisman, Edgar Meyer, Jerry Douglas, Michael Cleveland, Molly Tuttle, My Bluegrass Heart, Noam Pikelny, Review, Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, Tony Trischka
I know what some will say: Bluegrass has always been here. And that’s most certainly true. But for these subgenres of country music to sustain, they need fresh blood every few years, both in the form of exciting new performers, and new fans. And in 2021, bluegrass is enjoying both.
All this talk of the superpowers of Billy Strings lately, one can foolishly shoot their gaze over the other superpicker of our generation, who came up trading flatpicking licks with Billy, and competing for the IBMA’s Guitarist of the Year—and honor Molly beat out Billy for twice.
‘An Old Time Christmas’ has always been considered one of the better bets for Christmas albums from country legends. That is how it achieved its Certified Gold status by the RIAA—something many of Randy’s 90’s and early 2000’s studio albums didn’t achieve.
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.
Many folks have been feverishly awaiting news on when the debut album from gypsy jazz Appalachian folk phenom Sierra Ferrell would finally emerge after signing to Rounder Records in 2019. Well now we’ve been made aware the album is coming, and it’s appropriately titled “Long Time Coming.”
From the hills and hollers of Kentucky as a strict traditionalist, to some of the most enterprising and innovative interpretations of the bluegrass form, from beside artists as far ranging as Ricky Skaggs and Jerry Garcia, Tony Rice was American string music incarnate.
Alison Brown, Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck, Chris Hillman, Clarence White, David Grisman, Doyle Lawson, JD Crowe, Jerry Douglas, Jerry Garcia, Keith Whitley, Peter Rowan, Ricky Skaggs, Ry Cooder, The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, The Kentucky Colonels, THe New South, Tony Rice
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.
Alison Krauss, Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters, Amos Lee, Brenda Lee, Buddy Miller, Charlie Marie, Christmas, Cody Canada, Darryl Worley, Dave Cobb, Dualtone Records, Dusty Winds, Gabe Lee, Gene Autry, George Ducas, JD McPherson, Jenny Tolman, Jerry Douglas, Kacey Musgraves, Kathleen Edwards, Keb Mo, Langhorne Slim, Lockwood Barr, Maddie & Tae, Mike Aiken, Phoebe Hunt, Phoebe Hunt and the Gatherers, Randall King, Richard Lynch, Saw Black, Scott Southworth, Sean McConnell, Shut-Ins, Sofia Talvik, Stephanie Urbina Jones, Steve Idlett, Steven James and the Jaded, Tara Thompson, The Briars, The Delta Spirit, The Imaginaries, The Lone Bellow, The McCrary Sisters, The Oak Ridge Boys, Wade Bowen, Warren Haynes, Will Carter
If you’re eyes are solely affixed to Texas and Kentucky, and the Outlaw and underground scenes for who may rise up among the ranks of musicians and help save country music, you’re gaze is overshooting one of the most impressive classes of young bluegrass musicians the subgenre has birthed in history. Right at the top is Billy Strings.
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
The 2015 installment of the International Bluegrass Music Awards transpired Thursday night (10-1) at the Duke Energy Center in Raleigh, NC as part of the organization’s annual conference, and the Jerry Douglas-anchored bluegrass supergroup The Earls of Leicester seized the night, taking six of the 17 major trophies, including Entertainer of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year, and Album of the Year.
The truth is, Garth was never going to live up to the lofty expectations many were foisting upon his re-entry into the country fold. Forget the naysayers who still can’t get over his high wire act at Texas Stadium or the Chris Gaines gimmick, there was some thought that Garth may be the only one left with the star power to reignite the spark of true country music in the mainstream once again.
On Thursday night October 2nd, the International Bluegrass Music Association held their 25th Annual Awards ceremony in Raleigh, NC at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Big winners included Noam Pikelny who won both Album of the Year, Special Consensus who won for Recorded Event of the Year, and Balsam Range who took home Entertainer of the Year.
Balsam Range, Blue Highway, Claire Lynch, Della Mae, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, IBMA, INternational Bluegrass Music Awards, Jerry Douglas, Lee Ann Womack, Noam Pikelny, The Boxcars, The Del McCoury Band, The Gibson Brothers, The Seldom Scene
Willie Nelson might be about to turn 81-years-old and be regarded as one of the world’s most famous living pacifists, but apparently hiding behind his friend-to-all disposition and grandfatherly sweetness is a mean roundhouse kick and lethal karate chop. Willie has been training in Martial Arts so long he will be awarded his 5th degree black belt in the discipline on April 28th in Austin.
Johnny Cash is once again the big man in music as his recently-released “lost” album Out Among The Stars has come in at #1 on the Country Albums chart, and #3 on the all-encompassing album sales chart according to Mediabase, with a total of 54,000 copies sold. The sales success will likely result in Cash also cresting Billboard’s country chart…
Ahead of the release of Johnny Cash’s lost album Out Among The Stars due on March 25th, the Johnny Cash Official website has made available the opportunity for you to listen to the title track of the album by signing in either through Facebook or email. And then if you wish, you can make a birthday wish to Johnny Cash and light up a star on the background of the website.