Yes, there was actually a country music awards show on Thursday night (9-28). But unless you are a massive Dan + Shay fan or just a glutton for punishment, you probably didn’t even notice or know about it.
It feels very strange to even talk about the CMA Awards at this moment in country music when everything else is centered around the wild success of wild-assed and under-produced guys like Zach Bryan and Oliver Anthony.
The Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist is built to keep you informed on all the best songs and albums coming out right now in country music.
For 20 years now (with a short hiatus during the pandemic) Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam at the Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday during CMA Fest has been the crown jewel of the event for those who can secure a ticket to the Country Music Mother Church. What started as a more healthy alternative.
Billy Strings, Chapel Hart, Chris Stapleton, Congress of Country Music, Connie Smith, Dolly Parton, Gary Mule Deer, Grand Ole Opry Square Dancers, Jake Worthington, Joe Walsh, John Oates, John Prine Emmylou Harris, Lainey Wilson, Marty Stuart, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Sierra Ferrell, Tanya Tucker, The Del McCoury Band, Tyler Childers
This weekend, Police and Fire personnel had large swaths of downtown Austin cordoned off due to a mass casualty/hazardous exposure event, also known as the CMT Awards. The barriers and checkpoints weren’t there to keep freeloaders out, it was to keep the grotesque infection of pop country quarantined.
Alanis Morissette, Ashley McBryde, Billy Gibbons, Carly Pearce, Carrie Underwood, Chapel Hart, CMT, CMT Awards, Gary Clark Jr., Hardy, Jelly Roll, Jennifer Nettles, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Lainey Wilson, Lily Rose, Megan Thee Stallion, Parker McCollum, Shania Twain, Slash, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Black Crowes, Tyler Hubbard, Wynonna
For the last dozen years or so, one of the most contentious battles within the realm of commercial country music has centered around the incursion of hip-hop influences into the genre, and specifically the use of verses that are rapped as opposed to sung, and electronic beats replacing organic drums.
Ashley McBryde, Bailey Zimmerman, Carly Pearce, Chapel Hart, Charley Crockett, Chris Stapleton, Cody Johnson, Ernest, Jason Aldean, Jason Isbell, Jelly Roll, Jesse Daniel, Jon Pardi, Justin Timberlake, Lainey Wilson, Luke Combs, Sturgill Simpson, The War and Treaty, Tyler Childers, Zach Bryan
While on the Red Carper at the 2023 Grammy Awards if February, someone from CBS shoved a microphone into the face of Luke Combs, and asked him “What song can you not stop listening to?” Luke’s answer? “John Prine’s son, Tommy Prine, wrote a song when his dad passed called ‘Ships in the Harbor.'”
Flatland Cavalry have their work cut out for them in the coming weeks and months. They’ve already been announced as one of the big beneficiaries of the massive stadium tour Luke Combs is throwing this year. But they won’t be sitting on their laurels in between.
Eric Church is a fan of country music’s “Outsiders” if you will. That is why for his “Outsiders Revival” tour, Church will be reviving the practice of featuring some of the cooler folks in country music as opposed to whatever boilerplate star the industry is trying to shove down the public’s throats at the moment.
Ashley McBryde, Cody Jinks, Elle King, Eric Church, Hailey Whitters, Jackson Dean, Jelly Roll, Koe Wetzel, Lainey Wilson, Midland, Morgan Wade, Muscadine Bloodline, Parker McCollum, Paul Cauthen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shane Smith & the Saints, The Red Clay Strays, Travis Tritt, Whiskey Myers
Marcus King, Lainey Wilson, Charley Crockett, Charles Wesley Godwin, Ashland Craft, Chris Stapleton, The Black Pumas, The Steel Woods, Brit Taylor, Midland, Nikki Lane, Jake Worthington, Quaker City Nighthawks, Casey Donahew, and Jaime Wyatt are some of the cool names that have appeared in the Tulsa King soundtrack.
Andrea von Foester, Ashland Craft, Brit Taylor, Casey Donahew, Charles Wesley Godwin, Charley Crockett, Chris Stapleton, Jaime Wyatt, Jake Worthington, Lainey Wilson, Marcus King, Midland, Nikki Lane, Quaker City Nighthawks, Sylvester Stallone, Taylor Sheridan, The Black Pumas, The Steel Woods, Tulsa King
Over the Christmas/New Year holiday, Morgan Wallen’s “You Proof” set a rather landmark achievement by becoming the first radio single in country music history to spend 10 weeks at #1—a record that despite the song’s country lyricism as a heartbreak drinking song, can only be regarded as dubious.
Zach Bryan and the Paramount TV show Yellowstone rekindled their affinity for each other and in a big way on Sunday night, December 18th. The 7th episode of Season 5 included not one, not two, but three Zach Bryan songs via the official soundtrack, and not through a superimposed backing track.
We’ve seen the hit TV show series Yellowstone help wing a dozen or so worthy independent country artists into the stratosphere through the show’s soundtrack. Now we’re seeing a reversal of roles as one of the primary cast members of Yellowstone has just signed a major label record deal.
Brent Cobb, Dave Cobb, Hillary Lindsey, Jamey Johnson, Jessi Alexander, Jon Randall, Josh Osborn, Kayce Dutton, Kevin Costner, Lainey Wilson, Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, Luke Grimes, Ryan Bingham, Under The Big Sky Fest, Whiskey Myers, Yellowstone, Zach Bryan
Every year to make sure the best titles in mainstream country don’t get overlooked, and to encourage the quality in the mainstream to rise to the top, we run down the best mainstream country albums to compliment the Album of the Year nominees. Some years there is overlap.
Now in its 5th season, few need to be told just how important the soundtrack is to the blockbuster series ‘Yellowstone’, and few need to be told just how important getting a song on the soundtrack is to the artists and bands that are featured. ‘Yellowstone’ has quite literally made careers.
Luke Combs said it best while accepting the trophy for Entertainer of the Year Wednesday night (11-9) at the 2022 CMA Awards: “This is my fifth or sixth year being at this awards show, and country sounded more country than it has in a long time tonight.” In truth, the CMA Awards righting the ship goes back even further.
Ashley McBryde, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, CMA Awards, Cody Johnson, Darrell Scott, Elle King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Justin Timberlake, Lainey Wilson, Linda Ronstadt, Loretta Lynn, Luke Combs, Marcus King, Maren Morris, Mickey Gilley, Morgan Wallen, Naomi Judd, Olivia Newton John, Patty Loveless, Pillbox Patti, Ricky Skaggs, Sonya Isaacs, Taylor Swift, The War and Treaty, Zach Bryan
Not since the emergence of Miranda Lambert have we seen a woman surface in mainstream country music with such promise and passion that carries a wide appeal through an infectious personality, and at an advantageous time when everything is aligning to allow her to be utterly successful.
Alan Jackson is being honored as the 2022 recipient of the Country Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. One of the top honors in country music, the Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2012 with Willie Nelson as the inaugural recipient. Alan Jackson will be on hand at the CMA Awards.
The amount of country/roots/Americana releases coming at you each week has officially reached critical mass. And it will spill over like a school bus taking a dive into an above ground pool on Friday, October 28th. Luckily, you know about lil’ ol’ Saving Country Music, so at least you have a head start.
Adam Odor, Andy Leftwich, Angela Esterling, Ashley Monroe, Brandy Zdan, Cleto Cordero, Cody Braun, Comanche Moon, Dustbowl Revival, Emily Scott Robinson, Evan Felker, Flatland Cavalry, Gabe Lee, Honey Harper, Joseph Shipp, Julie Roberts, June Star, Kaitlin Butts, Lainey Wilson, LOng Mama, Luke LeBlanc, Memphis Kee, MIke and the Moonpies, MIke McClure, Mike Ryan, Native Harrow, Shooter Jennings, Teague Brothers Band, The Great Divide, The Matchsellers, Tommy Alexander, Trampled by Turtles, Trent Summar
A couple of weeks ago, HARDY announced a new album called ‘The Mockingbird and THE CROW’ to be released on January 20th, 2023, and released three preview songs with it. One of them is called “here lies country music,” and similar to ERNEST’s “Flower Shops,” it’s a straight ahead traditional country song.
The band is most certainly due for a new album, and anyone who’s seen them live will confidently attest they’re one of the most spirited live bands to see at the moment as they’ve been steadily climbing the ladder of recognition toward top headliner status. But all of this might be in store for a massive jolt sooner than later.
“Not a lot moves the needle these days. But this show moves the needle.” That was Hayes Carll, putting it out there as succinctly as possible about the impact the Paramount TV series Yellowstone has had on independent country music now for four seasons, with the fifth set to commence.