Unless you were there in person, you missed it. But now we’ll all get the opportunity to see the tribute concert that transpired on April 6th, 2017, when a hefty list of musical talent all assembled at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to pay tribute to the legendary Merle Haggard.
Willie Nelson and the usual suspects, along with some fresh talent will once again reunite for the plight of the American farmer as part of the 2019 installment of Farm Aid, which this year will focus its attention on the land of dairy. The location was chosen specifically due to the crisis affecting many of America’s dairy farmers.
Blackbird Presents is at it again planning another huge tribute for a country legend, and this one might be the biggest of them all. Often working with Willie Nelson via tributes to others, as well as his multi-city “Outlaw Fest” tours each summer, now Blackbird Presents is putting together a tribute for Willie himself.
The Willie Nelson camp has released the particulars for the 33rd Annual Farm Aid benefit concert, this year taking place September 22nd in Connecticut at the Xfinity Arena in Hartford. This will be the first time the longest-running concert for a cause in America will be held in Connecticut, which is home to 6,000 farms.
Jake Owen ain’t Jack. And he ain’t no Mellencamp either. It appears the years of prolonged exposure to radioactive bronzer treatments have finally all but officially fried his brain. Yes this song makes me nostalgic. It makes me nostalgic for a time in music when new songs from country artists weren’t complete and utter shite.
A tribute is finally planned for The Hag, and it promises to be a star-studded event. ‘Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard’ will take place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, April 6th to honor what would have been Merle Haggard’s 80th birthday, and to mark the one year anniversary of his passing.
Willie Nelson, along with Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews are the board members for the Farm Aid organization first launched in 1985, and all four will be performing at this year’s event being held in Bristow, Virginia at Jiffy Lube Live on September 17th. Along with the four headliners, this year’s Farm Aid features an impressive list of country music talent.
Despite an incredible amount of publicity for the CMA Awards through ABC, including high-profile appearances all week on the network’s morning show Good Morning America, television ratings for the show took a tumble in 2015. High profile appearances by non country stars such as John Mellencamp, Fall Out Boy, and even the current king of pop Justin Timberlake, could not salvage a night of growth in viewership.
Fans of elite folk/Americana songwriter James McMurtry have been waiting a long time for new music from the famous son and fixture of Austin’s Continental Club. McMurtry released his last studio record Just Us Kids in April of 2008. Soon fan’s patience will be rewarded. James McMurtry has partnered with the label Complicated Game out of Los Angeles to release a new record in February of 2015.
Prefacing “American Kids”, Kenny Chesney says all of the right things. “There is so much more to being alive than partying, tailgates and bonfires.” Okay, that all sounds good …. And then here comes the song. It still relies heavily on the listing off of artifactual staples daisy chained by buzzwords, while favoring a rhythmic delivery instead of a melodic one.
Willie Nelson is in many ways a microcosm of the American experience. He grew up during The Depression, had a rough and tumble youth, battled through familial and financial problems for years, struck it rich, and reformed himself from his violent past to become one of the world’s most well-known and greatest pacifists and advocates for the poor and social justice.
Will Hoge in so many ways is sitting in the enviable catbird seat of music crossroads right now. As country music continuously favors a more rock than country sound, Will Hoge, without having to make any stretches or augmentations of his sonic palette, finds himself in the sweet spot of the relevancy arch, reaping the rewards of a renewed interest in a style he’s been perfecting in one capacity or another since the mid-90’s.
Will Hoge’s latest release is a song called “Strong,” and like so many of Will’s compositions, it demonstrates heart, depth, soul, and taste. There’s a lot of emotion in this song. It’s weighty. But just like Bob Seger’s “Like A Rock,” and John Mellencamp’s “Our Country,” it has been tapped to become the official song of the Chevy Silverado—destined to be played half a dozen times during every single football game.