Nearly everything about “Better Boat” is right. The songwriters Travis Meadows and Liz Rose are right. The entirety of the instrumentation being performed by Mac McAnally on an acoustic guitar is right. Kenny choosing songwriter Mindy Smith to perform the song with instead of some pop star is right.
Originally appearing on John Baumann’s 2014 record ‘High Plains Alchemy,’ the song has the nautical references common to a Kenny Chesney tune, but is much more poetic and deep than a beach bum ditty—more indicative of a song you may have heard from Guy Clark back in the day, or perhaps James McMurtry.
The original concept of South By Southwest was not to be a funnel for corporate brand recognition through music, or as a springboard for superstars to increase their street cred on social media. It was a place for artists and industry to come together in the discovery process so worthy talent could find support for their music.
Aaron Lee Tasjan, Alice Wallace, Billy Strings, Caroline Rose, Colter Wall, Elijah Ocean, Emily Herring, John Baumann, Joshua Hedley, Luck Reunion, Lukas Nelson, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Nikki Lane, Ruby Boots, Sarah Shook, The Brother Brothers, Tyler Childers, Willie Nelson, Wood and Wire
Man do we have a few doozies to add to the Saving Country Music Top 25 Current Playlist, amplifying an already jam packed lineup that’s hard to know what to let go of just to add the best of what’s new. But somehow, someway, space must be made for a few stellar new song releases.
When we broach the exercise of whittling down the field of songs of a given year to a list of a chosen few to be considered Song of the Year, we’re not looking for booty shakers or boot scooters. We’re looking for those songs that through the power of words and music, hit you so deeply, you’re a different person after you’re done listening.
When you come across someone making traditional country music for a living, you know they’re not focused on fame and treasure. If anything they must be a glutton for punishment. But when you have a passion that can’t be quenched by compromise, it’s better to scrape by doing what you love than succeeding at what you hate.
As times get lean for alternative newsweeklys, their penchant to dispose of any and all journalistic class, fact-based reporting, or positive counterpoints to their dubious assertions goes out the window in lieu of mercilessly ripping into entire segments of artists without a single word of objectivity or credit where credit is due.
Both sides of Texas country are well-represented in upcoming artist John Baumann’s third official release, Proving Grounds. You don’t have to go digging for a bio on Baumann to find out what he’s all about, it’s all articulated right there in his songs.
Zephaniah Ohora is quickly revealing himself as one of the greatest country music discoveries in 2017, and so there’s no better place for him at the moment than leading a collection of the Top 25 Current Songs for Saving Country Music’s official Spotify playlist.
Apologies if you came here looking to replenish your 3rd generation iPod with a fresh platoon of booty shakers. That’s not what this practice is all about. Feel good songs are just fine and help fleet us through the tiresome days, but when we talk about the “Best Songs,” were talking about songs that deliver moments that can change entire lives.
Ben Dorcy is the nearly 92-year-old original roadie who started in 1950 and worked with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and June Carter, Jerry Jeff Walker, and even more modern artists like Randy Rogers and Jack Ingram. Though he may not be as well known as the artists themselves, Ben Dorcy is one of the most beloved individuals in all of Texas music.
Call it cautious or guarded optimism, but after the abomination that was the 2016 Houston Rodeo musical lineup led by folks such as Luke Bryan, Pitbull, and Florida Georgia Line, and where only one artist with Texas ties and only one female performer were booked (and both were Miranda Lambert), they couldn’t go any lower, that’s for sure.
Aaron Watson, Bri Bagwell, Cameran Nelson, Chris Stapleton, Conno, Curtis Grimes, Darrin Morris Band, Flatland Cavalry, Hoss Mayfield, Houston Rodeo, Jason James, John Baumann, Josh Ward, Max Stalling, MIke and the Moonpies, No Dry County, Randy Brown, Texas Renegade, The Strayhearts, Wade Andrew Smith, Willie Nelson, ZZ Top