2020 is not done just yet offering up country and roots music worthy of listening to, and perhaps some of the projects we’ll regard as the best all year once late December rolls around. So just to make sure you don’t miss anything, here are some of Saving Country Music’s top recommendations for the final portion of 2020.
Josh Abbott Band
Man, there’s nothing better to get your country music pants going crazy like a good ol’ supergroup, and it appears we got a new one that’s formed right under our noses. Called The Panhandlers, it’s not in reference to vagrants, it pertains to that flat-ass piece of land in West Texas that sticks up like a chimney pipe on the map.
You may have never heard of Carly Pearce or her debut single “Every Little Thing,” but you soon will. As the latest benefactor of iHeartMedia’s “On The Verge” radio program that puts a shot of adrenaline behind the single from an emerging star, it’s virtually guaranteed to rocket to the top of the charts.
There’s something about being a Texan that makes you regard what happens in Texas as being the most important thing in the world. It’s the center of the universe, so to speak. For Texans at least. So when Josh Abbott felt the need to pronounce his infidelity to the world in February of 2014, the little hamlets that harbor the support network for Texas music were sent reeling.
It’s the ACL Fest, Lollapalooza Bonnaroo, and Coachella, of Texas music all wrapped into one, but without the complex maze of performance areas and wristband access, legions of hipsters, and hackneyed joining of disparate music acts that scream of the monogenre forming in American music. Instead most, if not all of the performers at Larry Joe Taylor Fest know each other.
Gary P. Nunn, Hayes Carll, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Josh Abbott Band, Larry Joe Taylor, Larry Joe Taylor Texas Music Festival, Radney Foster, Randy Rogers Band, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Stoney LaRue, The Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen
The dream of many of the aspiring country music artists moving to Nashville in droves every year is to become a big star signed to a major label. Of course the reality is this dream comes true for so few, and even fewer who actually do get signed attain superstar status. However for some artists, as soon as they get that major label deal, their next goal becomes to get out, or to go independent.
Texas country singer Josh Abbott of the Josh Abbott Band took to his Twitter account late Friday afternoon to admit to his fans that he’s been untrue to his wife, Amanda Abbott, and to ask for forgiveness from his fans. Josh said he would write a more lengthy letter to fans in the future, and says that he is 22 days sober. The Josh Abbott Band is one of the biggest-drawing bands in the Texas country scene…
The modern-day music video is a really strange enterprise. Lots of money is spent by artists, and sometimes labels to produce something special; something that really represents the spirit of a song well. But when you look at what people watch, especially when it comes to independent musicians, many times it’s the fan video captured on a consumer-grade piece of technology that draws the most interest.
Caitlin Rose, Elephant, Eric Church, Follow Your Arrow, Fred Eaglesmith, Jason Isbell, Johnny Cash, Josh Abbott Band, Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Chesney, Lindi Ortega, Matt Woods, Only A Clown, Sturgill Simpson
When you sit down to assemble a list of candidates for Song of the Year, you almost start to tremble in the face of so much creativity, inspiration, and insight, and grow humbled by how fortunate we are to live in such a bountiful time for music. Candidates for Song of the Year can’t just be songs we enjoy, they are songs that make you change the way you see the world, or change the way you see yourself.
2013, Adam Hood, Alone In Memphis, Ashley Monroe, Austin Lucas, best songs, Brandy Clark, Brennen Leigh, Brian Keane, Caitlin Rose, Charlie Robison, Deadman's Blues, Disappear On Down The Line, Drinkin', El Camino, Elephant, Hank3, Holly Williams, I'll Sing About Mine, Jason Isbell, JB Beverley, John Moreland, Josh Abbott Band, Lindi Ortega, Matt Woods, Noel McKay, Shane McAnally, Song of the Year, Stripes, Sturgill Simpson, Tin Star, Valerie June, Wade Bowen Songs About Trucks
There’s nothing worse than inadvertently coming within ear shot of one of those songs—the idiotic country music laundry list / checklist ditty, or even worse when the performer is inclined to get all hip-hop on your ass and start rapping the lyrics over a drum machine beat. If you find yourself bent over and fighting back a gag reflex from Class A country checklist exposure, these songs will help cure what ails you.
I’m not sure if how light the selection is for potential Song of the Year candidates at the halfway marker says how anemic 2013 has been so far for top flight songs, or how fortunate we were in 2012 to have such a strong field. I could only find five true candidates. But despite the lack of quantity, quality is certainly represented in these five songs, and 2013 promises to come on strong…
Adam Hood, best country songs 2013, Brian Keane, Caitlin Rose, Drinkin', Holly Williams, I Was Cruel, I'll Sing About Mine, Josh Abbott Band, Leave Everything Behind, Life Ain't Fair and the World Is Mean, Sturgill Simpson, The Dinosaur Truckers
Every day hundreds of people wake up, put their pants on, and head to Music Row in Nashville to try to find “the next one.” They cull through reams of new material being produced by big songwriting operations, when right under their noses are battle tested songs with proven appeal waiting to be cherry picked from the independent and underground music world. Here are just a few.
Adam Hood, Alabama Pines, Brian Keane, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Elanor Whitmore, Every Girl, Good Lord Lorrie, Hellbound Glory, I'll Sing About Mine, Jason Isbell, Josh Abbott Band, Kacey Musgraves, Old Crown Medicine Show, Shooter Jennings, The Long Road Ahead, Tom Morello, Turnpike Troubadours
Bare midriffs, buxom gyrations, and badass cars are no match for the curves and character of a real country face served cold. Neither is the caricaturish, shallow, and materialistic portrayal of rural life in pop country compared to the sense of family and community, and the fulfillment of hard work that accompanies true country living. Now that is something to be envious of.