Country music will not be saved by just one soul, even though this is a thought process many fans and much of the media tend to buy into, often putting an unfair burden on the careers and purpose of certain artists, and placing them at odds with what they should be focused on, which is the creative process.
The last few years have been a somewhat down era for excellent, legacy-caliber releases in country music and independent roots,. But 2017 was a different story, especially the first half, leaving us with difficult choices of what to consider to be the best of the year. As always, your feedback is requested, and will be included in the final calculus.
For the last two years, it’s felt like a lull for projects that really set themselves apart and set the pace for creativity and cultural importance. 2017 is a different story. It feels like this has been a banner year already, with some of the year’s biggest projects still in the offing.
2017 is turning out to be a banner year for country and roots music, and we still have some of the most highly-anticipated titles still yet to be released. In an attempt to keep up and help you sift through the musical selection process, Saving Country Music has just juiced its Top 25 Current Spotify Playlist with some new selections.
Old, forgotten memories get stirred to the forefront. Theories on life are recalled and reflected upon. And you don’t end up more happy like music is supposed to do, you end up a little sad and nostalgic, but in a way that’s strangely comforting in a manner simple happiness is incapable of delivering.
Saving Country Music’s official Top 25 Current Playlist has just been juiced with reinforcements and fresh horses to spirit listeners into the heart of spring with some of the best country music selections overlooked by most of popular media, but holding an appeal that is deemed worthy enough to be heard worldwide.
Joseph Huber now readies his fourth release overall ‘The Suffering Stage’ being self-released on April 21st, and has shared a new song “You Showed Me” that already has folks buzzing. Featuring steel guitar, which is a new sound for Huber, the new song and new album promise to expand the songwriter’s already devout following.
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
2014 so far has been an interesting year for album releases for sure. Some names we were hoping big things from like Sturgill Simpson and Jason Eady delivered in big ways. Other dark horse names we’d never heard of like Karen Jonas came out of the woodwork to stun. Some names like Don Williams and Charlie Parr put out surprising albums that have to be considered high water marks of their career.
Best Albums So Far, Charlie Parr, Dalight & Dark, Don Williams, First Aid Kit, Hollandale, Jason Eady, John Fullbright, Joseph Huber, Karen Jonas, Matt Woods, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, Oklahoma Lottery, Reflections, Songs, Stay Gold, Sturgill Simpson, With Love From Brushy Mountain, World of Strangers, Zoe Muth
Joseph Huber is one of those country roots gems with potent tunes that impact the open heart with such resonance and penetration, it remains with the listener much after the music stops. The Hanging Road is an exposition of Huber’s multi-talented musical skill set, engaging and vibrant, yet humble and rootsy as he takes his country, folk, bluegrass and blues influences into heavy account.
There are songwriters, and then there are songwriters; those folks that so effortlessly set words to the moods and moments of life and that can make you weep like a baby or wildly happy to be alive. These songwriters are there for us, creating a soundtrack for our most enduring memories, making the most of the life experience by enhancing it with music.
Austin Lucas, Bonnie Price Billy, Charlie Parr, Chris Knight, Corb Lund, Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit, Johnny Cash, Joseph Huber, McDougall, Micah Schnabel, Possessed by Paul James, Tom VandenAvond, Two Cow Garage, Will Oldham, Willy Tea Taylor
The Farmageddon Records family suffered a grave loss last week when Richard Laferte II unexpectedly passed away Saturday, January 5th while visiting family and friends in Maine. Following a formal time of remembrance, the gathering turned to celebrating Richard’s life through music. The celebration included the reunification of 3 original members of the .357 String Band, Jayke Orvis, Derek Dunn, and Joseph Huber.
Here is the list of 25 albums Saving Country Music deems essential for 2012 listening, and then I added an extra one I couldn’t leave off. Please note this list only includes albums that have been reviewed so far. There are a few more good and important albums in 2012 that have yet to be reviewed. The first 7 albums on the list (from Little Victories to Lee Bains) were all serious considerations for SCM’s Album of the Year.
Billy Don BUrns, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Chris Knight, Davy Jay Sparrow, Don Williams, essential albums, Foghorn Stringband, Jackson Taylor, James Leg, Joe Buck, Joseph Huber, JP Harris & The Tough Choices, Justin Townes Earle, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Left Lane Cruiser, Lone Wolf, Marty Stuart, McDougall, Paige Anderson, Rachel Brooke, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Restavrant, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Sara Watkins, The Alabama Shakes, The Calamity Cubes, Tom VandenAvond, Willie Nelson
the loss of .357 String Band may go down as underground country’s greatest tragedy. I can think of no other project that was so ripe for becoming a success story of authentic American underground roots. They were brilliant, but accessible at the same time. It is a great sin of American music. They have re-issued their landmark 2008 album “Fire & Hail” on vinyl.
It is difficult to describe Tongues of Fire without comparing it to Joseph’s first solo album Bury Me Where I Fall which in contrast was very dark from deep and intelligent songwriting and eery chord structures. Tongues of Fire takes almost an exact opposite approach, with a lighter feel to virtually all these songs even when the lyrics deal with dark subject matter.
Joseph Huber, the former banjo player and songwriter for the explosive (and now defunct) .357 String Band has a new album on the way called Tongues of Fire, and you can listen to the song “Iron Rail” from the album below, and help Joe get the album to print by pre-ordering the vinyl version. As Joe explains, Tongues of Fire will be a different approach, and includes some songs originally written for .357.
I know I didn’t make a list of candidates for some stupid “Artist of the Year” like I did for Album of the Year or Song of the Year for 2010. I know I didn’t even announce that there would be an Artist of the year for 2010, and up until a few days ago, the idea of doing it didn’t even cross my mind. But that is what is great about having your own website, you can do whatever the hell you want.
As with the Albums of the Year, 2010 will go down as a high water mark for the amount of top quality songs released.
A Song of the Year can’t just be good, it has to touch you. You have to be a different person, in whatever small way, after listening to it. Points are rewarded for things like catchiness and accessibility, but you’ll have to get at least a little bit deep to makes this year’s list. Great songs speak to many people, but to each individual in different ways. We also saw a lot of songs this year with an epic approach, whose sheer vision and grand design deserves to be highlighted.
.357 String Band, Hank III, Hellbound Glory, Hillstomp, Jayke Orvis, Joseph Huber, Lucky Tubb, Possessed by Paul James, Reverend Deadeye, Roger Alan Wade, The Boomswagglers, Trampled by Turtles, Wayne Hancock
Following is my list for the essential albums for 2010, broken down into a few of categories.This is meant to compliment the Album of the Year candidates in this super-packed year for stellar music. Hopefully next year, Saving Country Music can branch out a bit and cover the more traditional mainstream acts, but it will always be on top of the smaller acts trying to get their music out there, not instead of them.
.357 String Band, Brigitte London, Dale Watson, Farmageddon Records, Hank III, Hillstomp, Jayke Orvis, Joseph Huber, Legendary Shack Shakers, Lucky Tubb, Peewee Moore, Pete Berwick, Reverend Deadeye, Shelli Coe, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, The Shivering Denizens, Those Poor bastards, Tom VandenAvond, Trampled by Turtles, Wayne Hancock, Whitey Morgan & The 78's