To be country again, you had to have been country in the first place, at least at some point. And country is as country does. You want to be country? Then be country. Don’t tell us about being country. Chances are if you’re telling us how country you are, it’s because it’s not self-evident you’re country.
We’ve run down the Album of the Year Nominees for 2020, as well as the Song of the Year nominees, and an Essential Albums list is also coming together. But since the mainstream of country isn’t always well-represented on these lists, let’s look back on some of those best albums.
Another quality lineup will grace the Grand Ole Opry stage Saturday night, August 22nd as mainstream traditionalist Jon Pardi, upstart singing trio Runaway June, and Grand Ole Opry member Pam Tillis will help keep the circle unbroken by performing and streaming live from the Opry House in Nashville.
We shouldn’t be surprised that Jon Pardi is one of the few new mainstream stars who can rattle off a handful of country classics at a moments notice. He’s about as traditional as mainstream country gets. Hell most of today’s radio stars have little to no idea who Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam, or the late great Joe Diffie even are.
The amount of cancellations tied to the Coronavius outbreak can be dizzying to keep up with, even within the confines of independent country and roots. But a few important cancellations are worthy of note, including two dates on the Sturgill Simpson / Tyler Childers tour, and the Mike & The Moonpies Europe tour.
Brad Paisley, Chris Stapleton, Cody Johnson, Coronavirus, Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, Kane Brown, Keith Urban, Luck Reunion, Luke Bryan, MIke and the Moonpies, Old Settler's Music Festival, Rodeo Houston, Sturgill Simpson, SXSW, Tyler Childers, Zac Brown Band
We’ve already run down the Greatest Country Albums of the Decade, and in there, albums in the mainstream were given fair competition to be included, and some made the cut. But in the spirit of inclusiveness and impartiality, let’s make sure the great records from the mainstream get their due as well.
Alan Jackson, Ashley McBryde, Brandy Clark, Caitlyn Smith, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Jon Pardi, Kacey Musgraves, Kalie Shorr, Kellie Pickler, Kip Moore, Miranda Lambert, Mo Pitney, Pistol Annies, Randy Houser, Reba McEntire, William Michael Morgan
Jon Pardi continues to show leadership in helping to return an element of twang and substance to country radio. After the debut single and title track from his latest record Heartache Medication went #1, making it the first mainstream country radio song in nearly eight years. Now he’s going to release “Ain’t Always The Cowboy.”
It has been a long, slow, steady climb for mainstream country traditionalist Jon Pardi’s current single “Heartache Medication,” but it finally hit #1 this week on country radio according to MediaBase. Released to the country format all the way back on May 20th, 2019 as the title track to Pardi’s most recent record, it reached […]
“I think that they’re completely losing it. And I think that’s a sad situation because we should never let country music die. I think that every type of music should be saved, and country is one of the greatest. It’s been around, as far as I’m concerned, longer than any of it,” says Loretta Lynn.
You’ve already been warned that Dierks Bentley’s side project “Hot Country Nights” is getting real in its effort to return actual country music to country music, and after one week it has already had an impact in a tangible way. Travis Tritt has returned to the country radio charts for the first time in 13 years.
It’s been 10 years since Country Music Hall of Famers Brooks & Dunn hit the road for a proper national tour. That will all change this summer and fall when the duo hits the road on the REBOOT 2020 Tour. Who will the opening acts be? According to the duo, there won’t be any. But there will be “special guests.”
“We feel like it is beginning to turn back to the traditional,” says Mary, the wife of Randy Travis. “It’s almost like fashion and everything else, there is an ebb and a flow. There are so many young artists that study Randy, and study some of the traditional [style], and they’re singing it.”
We keep talking about how one of the hottest trends currently in mainstream country music is actual country music, and listening to Scotty McCreery, he concurs, and wants to help to keep things trending in that direction. And with undeniable appeal of his deep, twangy voice, it would be more than welcome if he does.
All country albums, regardless if they emanate from a major label or receive radio play, are considered for Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year nominations. But not every year does a mainstream album make it. Even though one didn’t make it to the top of the heap in 2019, we had a bumper crop of quality mainstream country releases.
Luke Combs is not the William Faulkner of country music. He’s the Grisham, or the Clancy. Ripe for mass consumption, easy to get into, riveting in moments, it’s a much more healthier alternative to a People Magazine or some trashy romance novel for a long flight, but it’s not exactly material for the Pulitzer Prize.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have another name you should make sure to include in the mix whenever speaking about the wild resurgence of independent music shaking up mainstream country, and it’s the Southern rock and country band out of east Texas known as Whiskey Myers. Releasing their fifth record on September 27th…
Add Sturgill Simpson to the list of things in society that are extremely polarizing, right up there with politics, religion, LeBron James, pumpkin spice, and whatever else people get worked up about, with half the world professing something or someone is utter and unequivocal garbage, while the other half can’t contain their enthusiasm.
It’s not that that the previous works by Jon Pardi haven’t helped define that hard country edge of the mainstream, because they have. But on his new record Heartache Medication, this is not country music by close approximation, or considering it on a sliding scale based off the output from peers on Music Row. It’s By God country.
If you’re wondering what you might look forward to listening to in the final portions of 2019 in country and Americana music, let this be your guide. Here’s all the information Saving Country Music has been able to compile on the most anticipated upcoming releases, along with a more extensive catalog of releases to have on your radar.
Ags Connolly, Billy Strings, Chris Knight, Cody Jinks, Dallas Moore, Dori Freeman, Jason James, Jon Pardi, Kelsey Waldon, Kendell Marvel, Logan Ledger, Marty Stuart, Michaela Anne, Miranda Lambert, Stoney LaRue, Sturgill Simpson, Whiskey Myers
Even ceding the argument that the album concept is dead for many listeners these days (which is not true at all for core, grassroots fans), there still doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of reason to release a large handful of your songs before an album’s street date, aside from that just seems to be what everyone does these days.
Mainstream traditionalist Jon Pardi’s third album Heartache Medication isn’t out for another two months yet (September 27th), but the California native continues to not just say, but do all the right things to get you excited for what he has in store. “There’s a big void to fill in country music, to be more country, or traditional.”
Jon Pardi continues to prove himself as one of the most staunch traditionalists in the country mainstream, and though you can be assured that his upcoming record ‘Heartache Medication’ will have a handful of songs that will pander to radio play, his latest release from the album “Ain’t Always The Cowboy” will not be one of them.
You’ll have to wait all the way until September 27th to hear Jon Pardi’s new record “Heartache Medication” in its entirety. But we now have the track list, cover art, and songwriting contributors for the new record, and there’s a lot of interesting stuff to unpack.
It’s honky tonk and heartbreakers coming at you hard and heavy in the latest additions to the Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist. Charlie Marie and “Rodeo” don’t relinquish the top spot, but nipping at her heels is Tyler Childers with his much-anticipated lead single off his upcoming new album.