This week, Maddie & Tae’s “Die From A Broken Heart” finally made it to #1 on the country radio charts. It is a major accomplishment, and a long-fought battle for a song that was originally revealed to fans all the way back in the fall of 2018, and not released as a proper single to radio until May 6th, 2019.
Margo Price’s new album That’s How Rumors Get Started was described by American Songwriter as “very un-country.” Talking with The Nashville Scene, Price herself foretells how people will still try to sell her new album as country by trying to use “fancy words.” But she states decisively, “Nope, I made a rock ’n’ roll record.”
Lo and behold, Brett Eldredge delivers a record in Sunday Drive worthy of all the promises in the run up. It’s is more adult. It does feel fairly Americana. He doesn’t fall back on drum loops or snap tracks, and many of the songs are really well-written. In short, Sunday Drive feels decidedly non mainstream.
A virtual celebration of Prine’s life and legacy has been planned for Thursday, June 11th called Picture Show: A Tribute Celebrating John Prine to be streamed online. Also after the presentation will be the revealing of a new John Prine song, with more unheard music on the way.
Beyond making a really bad amalgam of derivative and formulaic rap pop by ripping off the styles of Drake and trap beat artists to only then turn around and sell it as country to the gullible masses, Sam Hunt is also superlative at turning hip-hop, pop, and indie rock writers into certified country music experts.
Songwriting legend John Prine’s wife, Fiona Whelan Prine, has tested positive for the Coronavirus. Diagnosed late last week, she hasn’t been running a fever, but has been suffering from a cough and some breathlessness, and general fatigue. “I just don’t feel great at all, to put it mildly.”
“Your Life is a Record” is a little bit of a different approach for Brandy. Where usually her songs follow more of a proven methodology in the use of double entendres and witty turns of phrase and perspective to render themselves enjoyable, this record strikes a more personal chord.
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
Here are the greatest country and roots albums of the last decade in Saving Country Music’s estimation. Albums were regarded primarily on quality, and how they held up over the decade, as well as the influence they had on country music, and music at large. These are the albums that should not be overlooked over the last 10 years of music.
Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Caitlin Rose, Chris Stapleton, Cody Jinks, Emily Scott Robinson, First Aid Kit, Hellbound Glory, Jack Ingram, James McMurtry, Jason Eady, Jason Isbell, John Moreland, Joseph Huber, Kacey Musgraves, Kellie Pickler, Lindi Ortega, MIke and the Moonpies, Miranda Lambert, Olds Sleeper, Roger Alan Wade, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Slackeye Slim, Sturgill Simpson, Sunny Sweeney, Tami Neilson, The Mavericks, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers, Zephaniah OHora
It seems few if anyone is thinking about the music itself amid the Grammy Awards drama, or the artists who on Sunday will get the opportunity to experience something they’ve dreamed of happening from the first time they chose to pursue music, which is hearing their name called to receive a Grammy Award.
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.”
Grammy nominated, CMA-winning, well-respected and admired singer and songwriter Brandy Clark is prepping the release of a new album in the new year called ‘Your Life Is A Record.’ Though details on the new record are still a little light, Brandy did preview the new record recently during a promotional event.
Adam Wright, Barry Dean, Brandy Clark, Chase McGill, Clint Daniels, Hailey Whitters, Jay Joyce, Jesse Frasure, Jessie Jo Dillon, Jonathan Singleton, Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Shane McAnally, Sunny Sweeney, Wade Bowen, Your Life Is A Record
In the immortal words of Tom Petty, it’s Christmas … again. That’s means we have a bunch of seasonal releases from a slew of your favorite country and roots artists to round up just in case Christmas music is your thing. Here’s a run down of all the best releases, as well as a playlist to listen to the best selections.
Alison Krauss, Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters, Amos Lee, Brenda Lee, Buddy Miller, Charlie Marie, Christmas, Cody Canada, Darryl Worley, Dave Cobb, Dualtone Records, Dusty Winds, Gabe Lee, Gene Autry, George Ducas, JD McPherson, Jenny Tolman, Jerry Douglas, Kacey Musgraves, Kathleen Edwards, Keb Mo, Langhorne Slim, Lockwood Barr, Maddie & Tae, Mike Aiken, Phoebe Hunt, Phoebe Hunt and the Gatherers, Randall King, Richard Lynch, Saw Black, Scott Southworth, Sean McConnell, Shut-Ins, Sofia Talvik, Stephanie Urbina Jones, Steve Idlett, Steven James and the Jaded, Tara Thompson, The Briars, The Delta Spirit, The Imaginaries, The Lone Bellow, The McCrary Sisters, The Oak Ridge Boys, Wade Bowen, Warren Haynes, Will Carter
Ashley McBryde has taken her quality songs and almost universal favorability that crosses the line between mainstream and independent, and turned it into awards show nominations and hardware that has side stepped the radio paradigm and put her straight in front of listeners.
On the day after the CMA Awards, it’s always important to take a deep breath, and remind yourself, “It’s just the CMA’s.” But it does feel important to address what turned out to be the biggest controversy Wednesday night, which was Garth Brooks winning Entertainer of the Year over Carrie Underwood.
Amanda Shires, Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Carrie Underwood, Charley Pride, CMA Awards, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Hootie and the Blowfish, Jenee Fleenor, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire
Fans of true country music were very happy to hear that Willie Nelson was tapped to perform at the CMA Awards in 2019. However it was fair to say that happiness and appreciation for Willie Nelson’s presence on the usually contemporary-minded and pop-oriented CMA Awards turned to concern when Willie Nelson started attempting to sing.
As easily predicted, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus won the 2019 CMA Award for Musical Event of the Year for their collaboration on the genre-bending summer smash “Old Town Road.” In a strange plot twist to “Old Town Road” winning a CMA Award, so does industrial artist Trent Reznor. He now has a CMA Awards, while many country legends don’t.
Eric Church’s latest album Desperate Man will win the CMA Album of the Year in 2019, beating out Thomas Rhett’s Center Point Road, Dan + Shay’s self-titled release, Girl by Maren Morris, and Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty. This is the bold prediction Saving Country Music is putting out there right here and now.
British-born country soul singer Yola didn’t win anything she was nominated for at the 2019 Americana Music Awards last week. But a consensus emerged throughout the 2019 AmericanaFest event that this was the moment Yola had arrived. Along with multiple opening opportunities, she has announced her “Walk Through The Fire World Tour.”
Strong songwriting underpins inspired performances delivered by four women with passion for this project and its material in this initial effort by The Highwomen. Instead of writing it all themselves, they took the Nashville approach of utilizing co-writers to refine each effort that began with their original ideas, and it shows in the results.
“Yellowstone” provided a ton of music and artists for fans of the show to explore, especially throughout the country and roots realm, and especially artists that the mainstream often ignores. And the success of the show has also resulted in deserved attention for the songs and artists featured.
Call me sexist, I don’t care. And on paper, a supposed “purist” such as myself (ha!) would much prefer Brad Paisley being swapped out for a couple of country music broads of such legendary status as Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire to host the 2019 CMA Awards. But this was a bad move to pull Brad Paisley from hosting the 2019 CMAs.
Country radio is in a ratings slump. And no, not just due to streaming. “When it becomes harder to distinguish who’s who and there’s an increase of pop sounds in the music, this tends to be the result … We need balance. That’s the key, and hard to do if so much of the music has that pop sound,” one expert says.
A new album by the Dixie Chicks is on the way, and it’s no longer a matter of “if,” but “when.” Recent social media posts confirm the trio is working in the studio with super producer Jack Antonoff, and that a new record is coming “someday.” If they’re teasing us on social media already, that “someday” is more likely to be counted in months.