You won’t find many country music fans who have a discouraging word to share about “King” George Strait. But the one point of contention some have brought up in rebuttal of Strait’s greatness over the years has been that he doesn’t write his own songs. This opinion deserves a little context of course.
It seems strange to characterize George Strait’s latest record Honky Tonk Time Machine as a return to his roots. After all, this is George Strait. But nonetheless, it’s a fair accreditation to make, and a welcome conclusion to settle upon when you appreciate the authority with which George Strait can deliver a honky tonk heartbreaker.
As a country music fan, you just want to proudly be able to profess to people your appreciation for this music that you hold such a passion for. You want to believe in its institutions, and that the best and the brightest of a generation are foisted forward and given the greatest opportunities.
Carly Pearce, Charles Esten, Chris Janson, Elizabeth Cook, Grand Ole Opry, Holly Williams, Jim Lauderdale, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, William Michael Morgan
Folk Alliance International is the annual gathering of the tribes for those individuals too stubborn-headed to worry about the major commercial applications of performed music, and instead do it for the spirit of the art, the community it creates, and/or to preserve primitive musical art forms in their most pure state.
Alex Cuba, Anna Tivel, Birds of Chicago, Cecile Doo-Kingue, David Wax Museum, Dawn Landes, El Coyote, Folk Alliance, Gangstagrass, Hoot and Holler, Ian Noe, Jim Lauderdale, Kim Taylor, Los Texmaniacs, Lula Wiles, Mipso, Parsonsfield, Raye Zaragoza, Rising Appalachia, Rosie and the Riveters, Sarah Jane Scouten, Shakura S'Aida, Smokey and the Mirror, The Brother Brothers, The Damn Tall Buildings, The Dimpker Brothers, The Lasses, The Sentimentals, The Slocan Ramblers, Willi Carlisle
With little prospect for radio play, George Strait appears to just be doing what he wants to do on Honky Tonk Time Machine, which is traveling back in time to when country was country. “I’m really excited to have some new music coming out,” shares Strait. “It’s been about two years since I’ve released a record.”
A new country music supergroup is on the way that will combine the talents of Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, and Margo Price. Called the Highwomen, it will take inspiration from legendary country music supergroup The Highwaymen. Jim Lauderdale is also involved in the project as a co-writer.
The 17th Annual Americana Music Awards held at the Ryman Auditorium Wednesday night (9/12) found the organization addressing the social tensions boiling in America, the call for more diversity throughout culture, and facing it’s own transitionary period for the awards themselves.
The simplest way to describe Frank Newsome’s Gone Away with a Friend is to imagine Ralph Stanley’s rendition of “O Death,” amplified by two, and multiplied by twelve. On the surface, this may seem like a listening experience that would ultimately become tedious, but the exact opposite is true.
Perfection is certainly not at the heart of the appeal or staying power for Car Wheel on a Gravel Road. Instead it’s the sloppy, sticky, loose feel of it all, carried upon the words of Lucinda’s candid and real character recitations that make the record feel like the ultimate insight into the disheveled mind of the broken hearted.
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.
AHI, American Aquarium, Coco O'Connor, Cody Canada and The Departed, Cody Jinks, DeviDriver, Dillon Carmichael, Hank3, Jim Lauderdale, Karen Jonas, Kinky Friedman, Lori McKenna, Lucero, mmhmm, Rhyan Sinclair, Shooter Jennings, Tami Neilson, Tyler Childers, William Clark Green
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