Looking through the 2021 Grammy nominations released on November 24th, one of the big points of intrigue for the country and roots world won’t be found in the major country categories of the awards, or even the American Roots categories that cover Americana, bluegrass, folk, and blues. It will be found in the all-encompassing “Producer […]
Jessica Lea Mayfield
With his aching, painful delivery of poetically elegant songs ripped straight out of his own biography and smeared with tears and the residues of addiction, Justin Townes Earle embodied everything you wanted from the tragic troubadour holding on just enough to perform for you.
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
David Letterman whose locked in a ratings tussle with Leno and the recently-rescheduled Jimmy Kimmel decides to supplant booking a musical guest the American public already knows for one they damn well should. “Mother Blues” is about the perfect song for Hubbard to play on Letterman because it is both specifically autobiographical and generally badass.
Yes, there’s always been stupid songs, but I fail to find the historical precedence of when they have been celebrated to this extent. Did Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue” or Roger Miller’s “Chug-a-Lug” walk away with hardware on awards night? What the hell is wrong with me not wanting to be embarrassed by country music?
Country and folk music have a long history of joining forces to create infrastructure to help support music, principally in festival gatherings. And as the corporate music world continues to crumble and is able to support fewer artists, while capital and infrastructure to develop upcoming acts continues to contract, hip-hop and indie rock bands have been flocking to traditional roots festivals for support.
South by Southwest last year was my first full on experience with the event that brings over 8,000 bands from all over the world to Austin for 5 days of musical mayhem, and it went great. With proper pacing and maybe a little luck, I got everything out of the experience I could ever want. 2011 was one of those experiences you hear many people talk about that is proceeded by “…and I will never go back.”
Amanda Shires, Apache Relay, Bloodshot Records, Caitlin Rose, Drag The River, Eddie Spaghetti, Ha Ha Tonka, Hayes Carll, Hellbound Glory, Jason Isbell, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Leroy Virgil, Muddy Roots Festival, Otis Gibbs, Possessed by Paul James, Robin Wiley, Ruby Jane, Shake It Like A Caveman, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Soda, Ted Russel Kamp, The Civil Wars, The Harmed Brothers, The Waco Brothers, Trampled by Turtles, Two Cow Garage, Whitey Morgan & The 78's