2018 has been incredibly busy with new albums in the country and roots realm, and the 2nd half of the year looks to be just as busy. So to help you keep track of it all and perhaps help separate the wheat from thew chaff, here is a handy guide to some of the top releases to anticipate, a more expansive list of confirmed releases, and a rumor mill.
The 16th Annual Americana Music Awards will transpire on Wednesday, September 13th at the Mother Church of Country Music, The Ryman Auditorium, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Central as part of the week-long AmericanaFest in Nashville, and they have just announced the performers for the presentation, and how folks can tune in.
Aaron Lee Tasjan, Amanda Shires, Americana, Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, Brent Cobb, Buddy Miller, Chris Wood, Graham Nash, How to watch the Americana Music Awards, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Iris Dement, Jason Isbell, Jerry Pentecost, Jim Hoke, Jim Lauderdale, John Prine, Larry Campbell, Margo Price, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Old Crow Medicine Show and Lori McKenna along with The Lumineers, Rhiannon Giddens, Robbie Crowell, Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm, Rodney Crowell, Sam Outlaw, The Drive-By Truckers, The McCrary Sisters, Van Morrison
On Saturday, 12-17, Music City Roots, Yee-Haw Brewing Co., and Ole Smoky Moonshine are organizing a benefit for the fire victims called Mountain Tough that will include performances by Jim Lauderdale, Mo Pitney, The Secret Sisters, Sam Bush, Chuck Mead, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, and headliners the Zac Brown Band.
Jim Lauderdale decided that since he’d never made a Texas country record, he’d head down to Austin and assembled a hot shit band of Texas pickers and players, and record himself a Texas country project in one day at Arlyn Studios. Lauderdale wrote or co-wrote every song on the record, and each one has a Texas flavor of some sort.
AmericanaFest is one of the biggest annual gathering of the tribes on the roots music calendar, and the crown jewel is the Americana Awards on the Wednesday of the festival week. This year Saving Country Music showed up early to take in the rehearsal for the festivities taking place at the Mother Church of Country Music, the Ryman Auditorium.
Just in time for throngs of Americana fans to flock to the city for the annual AmericanaFest the third week of September, a new radio station has launched just south of the city in Murfreesboro, and the signal and talent is strong enough that it may ultimately become the flagship for the still small, but quickly-rising Americana format.
It has been announced that “King” George Strait will make a rare public appearance after his official touring retirement to present Jim Lauderdale with the Wagonmaster Award named for country music icon Porter Wagoner during the September 21st awards at the Ryman Auditorium.
Bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley, who passed away on June 23rd, was laid to rest Tuesday evening (6-28) after a public service that included words and performances from Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Jim Lauderdale, Ricky Skaggs, and other close friends and well-known performers in front of the crowd assembled at the Hills of Home Park in Coeburn, VA.
Bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley will be laid to rest Tuesday evening (6-28), and a public service has been announced that fans are encouraged to attend. But if you cannot make it, the funeral service will also be streamed online. The service will be held at the Hills of Home Park in Coeburn, VA.
A big issue with the Grand Ole Opry in recent years has been trying to get standing members to meet their performance obligations. Though the Opry loves to add high-profile names from country’s current radio stars, these performers tend to sign on to receive the distinction of being Opry members, but don’t actually want to play the appointed number of slots for membership.
"Cousin" Kenny Vaughan, Brandy Clark, Carrie Underwood, Chris Janson, Chris Scruggs, Chris Stapleton, Daryle Singletary, Elizabeth Cook, EmiSunshine, Gene Watson, Grand Ole Opry, Holly Williams, Jamey Johnson, Jim Lauderdale, Kacey Musgraves, Kellie Pickler, Mark Chesnutt, Miranda Lambert, Mo Pitney, Radney Foster, Rhonda Vincent, Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash, Sam Bush, William Michael Morgan
Jason James isn’t afraid to to pen a song in a traditional style and then challenge himself to sing it with the same heart and passion as one of the old greats. Nobody will ever replace George Jones or ‘Ol Hank, but that doesn’t mean others can’t try to reach for that same level of excellence, and pay forward the traditions of country to a new era of listeners who still find value in the classic modes.
Around the passing of The Possum in 2013, I remember the news of his widow Nancy setting up an endowment and scholarship fund for MTSU in the name of George Jones. What I didn’t know, and what has gone somewhat under-reported, is that the passing of George and the endowment encouraged the faculty of MTSU to enter a class on the life of George Jones into the school’s curriculum.
Beverley Keel, Bobby Braddock, Dwight Yoakam, George Jones, George Strait, Harlan Howard, Jim Lauderdale, Lee Ann Womack, MTSU, Odie Blackmon, The Desert Rose Band, The Grand Ole Opry, The Louisiana Hayride
In 2014, you had two previously-unknown women release towers of country music brilliance in Tami Nelison’s Dynamite! and Karen Jonas’s Oklahoma Lottery. You had folk blues songwriter Charlie Parr deliver a masterpiece in his instrumental triumph in Hollandale. You had the Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit feature what very well would had been considered an Album of the Year on any other year…
It was all doom and gloom and teary-eyed salutations when Dr. Ralph Stanley announced in June of 2013 that he would be embarking on his farewell tour in late 2013 into 2014. Since then Stanley has continued to tour with no signs of slowing down, despite now being 87-years-old. Now Dr. Stanley has a new album in the works.
Buddy Miller, David Rawlings, Del McCoury, Dierks Bentley, Elvis Costello, Gillian Welch, Jim Lauderdale, Josh Turner, Lee Ann Womack, Man of Constant Sorrow, Nathan Stanley, Old Crow Medicine Show, Ralph Stanley, Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow, Retirement, Ricky Skaggs, Robert Plant
The Americana Music Association has just unveiled their list for the most played albums in 2014, and there’s quite a few surprises, and quite a few names traditionally considered country filling out the ranks. Though 2014 still has another month to go, the end of November traditionally marks the end of the radio calendar in music, allowing us to look back and see who had the greatest impact on the format.
Americana, Americana Music Association, Billy Joe Shaver, Dolly Parton, Jim Lauderdale, Johnny Cash, Lake Street Dive, Marty Stuart, NIckel Creek, Nikki Lane, Ray Benson, Rosanne Cash, Shovels & Rope, Sturgill Simpson
Each year when Saving Country Music sits down to compile the best songs, it’s done so with a solemn reverence and understanding that the idea embedded in a song has the power to change a life, and change the world. There are many songs out there that are a joy to listen to, but a Song of the Year must say something that can evoke shivers, and do so in a way nobody else has done before.
Don Williams, Everything's Gone, First Aid Kit, Garry Nicholson, Hellbound Glory, Hurray For The Riff Raff, I Lost You, Jim Lauderdale, Joseph Huber, Leon Virgil Bowers, Lloyd Maines, Lydia Loveless, Parker Milsap, Ray Benson, Streets of Aberdeen, Sturgill Simpson, Tami Neilson, The Body Electric, The Lonely Island, The Secret Sisters, Truck Stop Gospel, Turtles All the Way Down, Waitress Song, Wanchese & Manteo, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Willie Watson
2014 has revealed itself as the “Year of the Dark Horse” when it comes to compiling the greatest albums released in the last 12-month span. Tami Neilson, Karen Jonas, Charlie Parr, Matt Woods? Who’s heard of these people outside of their respective fan bases? And meanwhile the realm of mainstream music can’t field one candidate, unless you want to count First Aid Kit.
2014 Album of the Year, Charlie Parr, Don Williams, Doug Seegers, Dynamite!, First Aid Kit, Hollandale, I'm A Song, Jason Eady, Jim Lauderdale, John Fullbright, Joseph Huber, Karen Jonas, Kelsey Waldon, Matt Woods, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, Oklahoma Lottery, Reflections, Stay Gold, Sturgill Simpson, Tami Neilson, With Love From Brushy Mountain, Zoe Muth
Nashville will always be the home of country music, but Bristol, TN/VA was where the big bang of country music occurred. In 1927, recording pioneer Ralph Peer from the Victor Talking Machine Company set up his equipment in the Taylor-Christian Hat Company in downtown Bristol and started recording acts that would become the very foundation of what we know as country music today.
Ashley Monroe, Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol, Carlene Carter, Dolly Parton, Doyle Lawson, Emmylou Harris, Jim Lauderdale, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Marty Stuart, Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited, Ralph Peer, Ralph Stanley, The Bristol Sessions, The Carter Family, The Church Sisters, The Stoneman Family, The Whistles & The Bells, Vince Gill
Look, with all due respect to my great friends over in the Americana world, I want to annex Jim Lauderdale back to the cause of country music. By the (self-imposed) power vested in me, I plant a flag in his graying, shoulder-length hair and hereby decree he is country music’s property, only graciously on loan to Americana as an estranged and exiled refugee…
Al Perkins, Bobby Bare, Buddy Miller, Dennis Crouch, Elvis Costello, George Strait, I'm A Song, Jim Lauderdale, John Oates, Kenny Vaughan, Lee Ann Womack, Mark Chesnutt, Patty Loveless, Review, Robert Hunter, Stuart Duncan, The Grateful Dead
When it comes to the preservation of the history and sound of country music, you can make the case there is nobody who does it better and with more passion and dedication than Marty Stuart. Tireless and true to his convictions, from his music, to his archive of memorabilia, to his presence on television and the Grand Ole Opry stage, and to some of the thankless things he does well out of the public eye…
B-Bender, Badlands Ballads of the Lakota, Brandy Clark, Clarence White, Connie Smith, Corb Lund, Del McCoury, Don Maddox, Gene Parson, Hummingbyrd, Jim Lauderdale, Johnny Cash, Justin Townes Earle, Lester Flatt, Let There Be Country, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Old Crow Medicine Show, Porter Wagoner, Roland White, Stonewall Jackson, Sturgill Simpson, The Byrds, The Grand Ole Opry, The Kentucky Colonels, The Marty Stuart Show