Blackbird Presents is at it again planning another huge tribute for a country legend, and this one might be the biggest of them all. Often working with Willie Nelson via tributes to others, as well as his multi-city “Outlaw Fest” tours each summer, now Blackbird Presents is putting together a tribute for Willie himself.
There have been many true country music “Outlaws” over the years, and many more that claim to be. But there can be only one original Outlaw, and that is Bobby Bare. Without Bobby Bare, there may be no Waylon Jennings. When Bare discovered Waylon in Phoenix, AZ in 1964, Waylon was still very much a regional act.
It’s not very common that you can preface a 70-year-old folk country songwriter that never had a big hit and the 14-year-olds in your family have probably never heard of as a “hot commodity,” but that’s exactly what John Prine feels like these days. “Beyond Words” is a songbook combined with a photo anthology in big, coffee-table form.
So many of country music’s legendary artists also spent time earlier in their lives serving the country in one capacity or another. And on Veteran’s Day as we pay tribute to ALL the men and women who served in the military and put themselves in harm’s way, let’s have some fun by looking back to see how many of these country legends we can pick out by their pictures.
Though nothing to cheer about itself, according to doctor’s for the songwriter, the misdiagnosis, and all the drugs Kristofferson was taking to stave off his memory loss were actually making his condition worse, creating a downward spiral. It is believed that Kristofferson contracted Lyme Disease in Vermont when he was filming the 2006 movie “Disappearances.”
Muhammad Ali, who passed away on June 3rd, is known for many things, though music is not the first worldly pursuit you would associate with the World Champion boxer and humanitarian. But he was close friends with people all over the music world, including in country music, and especially with the four men that some consider the Mount Rushmore of country music.
This year the event will be held for the second year in a row at the Austin 360 Amphitheater on the grounds of the Circuit of the America’s Formula 1 raceway just outside of Austin, and will feature an impressive list of talent, from Picnic mainstays like Johnny Bush, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and David Allan Coe, to newcomers such as Margo Price and Shakey Graves.
2016, Amber Digby, Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver, Brantley Gilbert, Cody Johnson, Dallas Wayne, David Allan Coe, Folk Uke, Jamestown Revival, Jamey Johnson featuring special guest Alison Krauss, Johnny Bush, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Ann Womack, Leon Russell, Margo Price, Paula Nelson, Raelyn Nelson Band, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shakey Graves, Willie Nelson, Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic
Sturgill Simpson sat down with Marc Maron of the WTF podcast recently, and the hour or so interview was released on Thursday (5-12). If you’re a diehard Sturgill Simpson fan, it would be strongly encouraged that you listen. Here are some of the more interesting tidbits from the conversation.
Now that Merle Haggard has passed on, Kris Kristofferson is one of the few remaining links to country music’s most iconic era of classic songwriting. Kristofferson has also been candid about his struggles with deepening memory loss, so any new recordings should be considered a treasure.
Waylon Jennings was just 19-years-ol when Terry was born, and by the age of 15, Terry had dropped out of school and was a regular roadie working for his father. During that time, Terry not only got to witness the rise of his father to the status of a country legend and a Hall of Famer, but he got to see performers like Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon’s final wife Jessi Colter do the same.
The mood has swung from concern, to anger, and back to concern by some fans because dates were canceled last minute, and other dates that were announced as canceled ended up being played. But according to the Merle Haggard camp, everything is okay, the sky isn’t falling, and everything will soon return back to normal.
Later it was announced by Haggard’s publicist that all February dates would be canceled to aid Merle’s continued recovery. The publicist said Merle was “still feeling weak from his recent struggle with double pneumonia and has decided to seek further treatment.” But apparently tour plans have changed yet again.
Merle Haggard was forced to cancel his show Tuesday night (2-2) at the Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside, California last minute after he was too sick to take the stage. The show was a makeup date for a performance originally scheduled for December 3rd that Merle was forced to cancel with all of his December shows due to a double pneumonia.
The country music Outlaw movement didn’t happen overnight either. It took years and years of gnawing away at the obtrusive oligarchy that had set up shop on Music Row to get to the point where many of the genre’s most prominent stars could call their own shots, and the music could finally open up to new ideas and fresh faces.
Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Bare, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb, Florida Georgia Line, Hillbilly Central, Holly Williams, Jason Isbell, Jessi Colter, Jon Pardi, Kris Kristofferson, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Mo Pitney Williams Michael Morgan, Southern Family, Sturgill Simpson, Sugar Hill, Thirty Tigers, Tompall Glaser, Wanted The Outlaws, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown
Friends Till the End will tell the story of The Highwaymen through vintage performances and new interviews about life on the road and in the studio with the supergroup consisting of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson. Originally formed in 1985, The Highwaymen released three albums over a decade span, including their Platinum-selling debut.
So what’s to learn from hitching a ride in Marty McFly’s time machine and traveling back to 1985? That the problems country music is facing today are virtually the same ones that were being faced 30 years ago. It’s all cyclical, as canonized in the old Gospel tune enshrined in the architecture of the Country Music Hall of Fame asking the question, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?”
Alan Jackson, Bill Carter, Bobby Bare, Chris Stapleton, Clint Black, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Jason Isbell, Keith Whitley, Kris Kristofferson, Mo Pitney, Randy Travis, Ray Charles, Ricky Skaggs, Sturgill Simpson, The Highwaymen, Travis Tritt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Prison and country music go together like peanut butter and jelly. No wonder a slew of country music albums have been actually recorded within prison walls—some for convicts, some by convicts, and some using convicts. And we’re not just talking about novelty releases either, but some iconic albums that have helped define country music over the years. Here are some of them.
A Concert Behind Prison Walls, Billy Don BUrns, Charles Lee Guy III, David Allan Coe, Eddy Arnold, Flower Out of Place, Freddy Fender, Glen Sherley, In Prison In Person, Jimmie Davis, Joe Maphis, Johnny Cash, Johnny Paycheck, Kris Kristofferson, Linda Ronstadt, Mack Vickery, Merle Haggard, PÃ¥ Ã–sterÃ¥ker, Recorded Inside Louisiana State Prison, Roy Clark, Shel Silverstein, Sonny James, Spade Cooley, The Prisoner's Dream
The environment in modern country music right now is such that we celebrate anyone with two ‘X’ chromosomes who can crack the Top 20, yet there’s so many of these middle-tier mainstream males crowding the scene that you can barely keep their names straight. You have male performers who’ve received three #1 stamps without releasing their second full-length record…
Kanye West and Taylor Swift as a 2020 Presidential ticket? Screw that. If we’re going to go dipping into the pool of musical performers to field Presidential candidates, then my vote would go for a country music legend rising to the forefront. And not just because I’m a country music fan, but because many of our legendary country artists have the history to connect with hard-working American citizens.
That was the firebrand language coming from country music legend Merle Haggard ahead of an appearance Sunday, September 6th at the Bluestem Center for the Arts in Moorhead, Minnesota. In preparation for the show, In Forum talked to the 78-year-old performer, and he felt no need to be guarded with his feelings of where country music is headed.
The comparisons of Sturgill Simpson to Waylon Jennings never cease, even though in some instances they’re based on pretty shallow and misguided observations. That’s why it’s probably pretty understandable if Sturgill is tired of hearing about them at this point. In a recent interview with Foo Fighters guitarist and Dead Peasants frontman Chris Shiflett (listen in full below), Sturgill once again answered the Waylon comparisons.
The legendary Newport Folk Festival is the new old place to discover the music that is righteous and relevant at this very moment in time, however loosely used the term “folk” has become when perusing the fest’s lineups of recent years. The place where Dylan first went electric, and where Johnny Cash first introduced the world to Kris Kristofferson has been working extra hard over the last few seasons…
A massive Waylon Jennings tribute show in Austin, TX has just been announced, and the lineup is something to salivate over. Set to transpire on July 6th and Austin’s Moody Theater (where Austin City Limits is taped), organizers Blackbird Music Group made use of the fact that many of the big names would already be […]
Austin, Billy Joe Shaver, Buddy Cannon, Chris Stapleton, Don Was, Eric Church, Jamey Johnson, Jessi Colter, Kacey Musgraves, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Ann Womack, Moody Theater, Ryan Bingham, Shooter Jennings, Sturgill Simpson, Toby Keith, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Well that’s it folks. If we weren’t starring at the moment when any and all vestiges of the roots of country music had been completely eradicated from the mainstream before, then we are certainly doing so right now. It’s no longer a narrative about trying to hold onto the last little pieces of what made country music different from other genres.