One of the most iconic and longest-lasting traditions in country music will be taking a second year off: Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic. But Willie Nelson has plotted his return to live music with a select run of shows, and the Outlaw Music Festival Tour.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in restricted crowd size and travel, but a strong contingent of Austin, TX musical talent will be coming together for a socially-distanced Billy Joe Shaver tribute concert on Sunday, November 22nd at the city’s Long Center in an outdoor event.
Some great new songs have just been recruited for the Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist meant to keep you up to date with the latest songs and album releases. Starting us off is the First Couple of Texas Country Bruce Robison and Kelly Wills putting their spin on the old country class “One Dime At A Time.”
How hard could songwriting really be? You learned a few chords on the guitar in college, and if you had some more free time you could probably gnaw on rhyming a few lines of verse … or so you tell yourself. Then you hear an album like ‘Beautiful Lie’ from the First Couple of Texas Country, and it’s so enriching, you’re immediately demoralized.
In the fall of 2012 when Ronnie Dunn (of Brooks & Dunn) was looking to write and record material for his upcoming album, he reached out to Texas music songwriting guru Ray Wylie Hubbard after falling in love with the gritty sound Hubbard imbibes on all his records. Dunn flew into Austin as Ray Wylie wrangled up an A-list of Austin musicians to to participate in a recording session.
Bobby Keys, Brooks & Dunn, Bruce Robison, Buddy Holly, Bump Band, Chelle Rose, Faces, George Reiff, Gurf Morlix, Ian McLagan, James McMurtry, Jennifer Nettles, Joe Ely, John Hiatt, Kelly Willis, Lucinda Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mary Gauthier, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Dunn, Small Faces, Sugarland, The Rolling Stones, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Don’t be spooked too much by the Haight-Ashbury circa 1967 album cover on this record. There’s no acid trips or space jams inside, though in its own way the cover conveys the laid back mood that the music of High Life embodies, and the harkening back to the cowboy hippie vibe of Austin in the mid 70’s that this album evokes. What you do get with High Life is some damn fine Texas country.
The 2013 Americana Music Awards once again transpired in Nashville at the historic Ryman Auditorium as part of the week-long Americana Music Conference. Delbert McClinton lead off with Hank Williams’ “Hey, Good Lookin,'” leading into MC Jim Lauderdale giving a poignant introduction that included the line, “The past matters, traditions matter, even when we explore ways to have those traditions extended and expanded.”
2013, Alejandro Escovedo, Americana Music Awards, Americana Music Awards Winners, Billy Bragg, Bruce Robison, Dan Auerbach, Delbert McClinton, Dr. John, Duane Eddy, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams, Holly Williams, JD McPherson, John Fullbright, Kelly Willis, Ken Burns, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Milk Carton Kids, Nicki Bluhm, Richard Thompson, Robert Hunter. Jim Lauderdale, Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash, Sam Bush, Shovels and Rope, Stephen Stills, Tift Merritt, Wilco
The Americana Music Awards just announced their 2013 nominees. On September 18th, the awards will once again be held at the prestigious Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and once again the nominations show a very narrow focus on the dramatically broadening world of Americana music. Aside from the Instrumentalists, only 11 names of artists or groups compile the entire field of 2013 Americana nominees.
Brucke Robison, Buddy Miller, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, JD McPherson, Jim Lauderdale, John Fullbright, Kelly Willis, Mumford & Sons, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Richard Thompson, Rodney Crowell, Shovels & Rope, The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers, The Milk Carton Kids