Ladies and gentlemen, we have a split decision. In a year when it feels like a criminal act to choose the best song over so many worthy contenders, even whittling it down to just two feels like a grave offense. But it is two songs that just can’t be denied this year, and it would be a discredit to the process chooing one over the other.
In the humble estimation of Saving Country Music, 2018 has been the second bumper crop year in a row for excellent, top shelf efforts in country music. To reflect that, the number of nominees for Saving Country Music’s vaunted Album of the Year recognition has been pushed to its capacity of 10 once again.
American Aquarium, Blackberry Smoke, Caitlyn Smith, Cody Jinks, Colter Wall, Courtney Marie Andrews, Dillon Carmichael, El Coyote, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Eady, John Prine, Kacey Musgraves, Lori McKenna, MIke and the Moonpies, Pistol Annies, Randall King, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Tom Buller, Whitey Morgan and the 78's
How many times can you remake the same movie and it still be good? If it’s a classic story told with passion, is well-acted and directed, and expertly updated for the modern context, the answer would be at least four. “A Star Is Born” is a big moment for Americana music.
Tim McGraw recently took time from crushing his core-sculpting exercises and scratching items off of Faith Hill’s honey do list to record a new single called “Neon Church.” If someone handed you a lyric sheet for this song, you’d probably nod in approval. It’s the production of “Neon Church” where the battle lines will be drawn.
A new version of the feature film A Star Is Born is on the way starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, and a host of notable names from the the cool side of country music are included in the movie and soundtrack. But the most surprising takeaway from the track list is the very active participation of Lukas Nelson.
Mother of five Lori McKenna from Stoughton, Massachusetts is saving country music. You no longer have any legitimate license to say, “Oh, I’ve heard the name. Isn’t she a songwriter or something?” and consider yourself and enlightened music fan. Brushing Lori McKenna off is brushing off one of the greatest living songwriters of our generation.
Since the tender age of 11, fraternal twins Sarah and Savannah Church from the coal mining region of Dickerson County, Virginia have been spellbinding listeners with their close sister harmonies evoked in classic bluegrass and gospel arrangements worthy of consideration right beside the all-time greats of the discipline.
Memorial Day weekend and a long hot summer is upon us, so what better time to retrofit the Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist with some new tunes for holiday barbecues and long road trips. The Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist primarily lives on Spotify, but is also available for those who use Google Play and Apple Music.
2018 has been incredibly busy with new albums in the country and roots realm, and the 2nd half of the year looks to be just as busy. So to help you keep track of it all and perhaps help separate the wheat from thew chaff, here is a handy guide to some of the top releases to anticipate, a more expansive list of confirmed releases, and a rumor mill.
AHI, American Aquarium, Coco O'Connor, Cody Canada and The Departed, Cody Jinks, DeviDriver, Dillon Carmichael, Hank3, Jim Lauderdale, Karen Jonas, Kinky Friedman, Lori McKenna, Lucero, mmhmm, Rhyan Sinclair, Shooter Jennings, Tami Neilson, Tyler Childers, William Clark Green
If there’s any hope for the future of mainstream country music, it lies in songwriters like Lori McKenna. Whenever you see a quality song from a major label country artist, it’s uncanny how often Lori McKenna’s name comes up in the songwriting credits. True country fans know that if you want to find the best music, you have to go straight to the source.
Carrie Underwood and songs like “Cry Pretty” will never be the cup of tea of many of country music’s more traditional fans. But it’s a far cry from the terrible pursuits of the Bro-Country era that now feel far in the past, and are quickly being replaced by a regime of more expressive, heartfelt, and enriching songs closer akin to country’s roots.
Isn’t it strange how in the real world, we shy away instinctively from things that cause us pain, but when it comes to music and art, we seek pain out as one of the primary markers of the most potent and exceptional expressions of the artistic realm. Somehow, drawing that pain out through music makes us feel better.
You may not know them personally, or maybe you do. Or maybe you even count yourself as one of them. But somewhere out there are swaths of country fans who swear off all that effeminate country crap from from folks like Sam Hunt and Luke Bryan, and swear they only like the real stuff. You know … like The Cadillac Three.
Don’t think of Swimming Alone as a commercial release. Think of it as something Liz Rose made for herself and maybe a few close friends and family that you somehow got a copy of. It’s sweet, quirky, funny at times, delightfully dated, refreshingly honest, and just a simple joy to listen to.
The Americana Music Association announced the nominees for their 2017 awards on Tuesday afternoon (5-9) via a live press conference from the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Ford Theater. Along with announcing the nominees, the presentation included performances from multiple Americana artists.
Amanda Shires, Billy Bragg, Brent Cobb, Caitlin Canty, Charlie Sexton, Courtney Hartman, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jason Isbell, Jen Gunderman, Jerry Douglas, Joe Henry, John Prine, Lori McKenna, Margo Price, Marty Stuart, Milk Carton Kids, Rodney Crowell, Ryan Adams, Spencer Cullum Jr., Sturgill Simpson, The Drive-By Truckers, The Lumineers
Some fans began to smell something fishy when they noticed that “Die a Happy Man” won the ACM Award for Single of the Year at the 2016 ACM Awards. How could the song still be eligible if it was eligible for the 2016 awards as well? The answer is that it either wasn’t, or perhaps the ACM Voting Criteria was changed.
In the entire 52-year history of the Academy of Country Music Awards, there has never been female winner of the organization’s Songwriter of the Year award, until now. Lori McKenna, who has been on one incredible run with her solo-written song “Humble and Kind,” has broken what appears to be a half century-long barrier.
All the information on the 52nd Annual ACM Awards in one place, including the presenters, the performers, the collaborations, the nominees, and other things to watch for. Will Chris Stapleton have another big night? What can traditional country fans have to look forward to? And awards that have already been handed out.
“I don’t even know you yet, but I know I love you,” Sweeney sings in such a specified honesty that its hard to handle, and hard to not believe. It’s lines like this that even if you do have kids, or find yourself on the opposite side of the gene pool from being able to bear children, you can still put yourself in those shoes.
Ahead of the telecast portion of the 59th Annual Grammy Awards Sunday night (2-12), pre-telecast awards were handed out in a host of categories covering country, Americana, bluegrass, and roots, including big awards like Best Country Song, Best Country Album, and Best Americana Album. Sturgill Simpson won Best Country Album.
They’ve decided to divide opening duties among a total of 26 separate openers across the 65 total tour dates, as opposed to taking the usual stance with openers, which is to drag the same two or three lightweight mainstream up-and-comers around with them for six months. Even more surprising are the names selected to open.
She didn’t choose the title Puxico for the way it popped for focus group audiences. It’s the name of her less than 1,000 population hometown in southeastern Missouri that sets the scene for an album that feels devoutly personal, humble in approach, and eager to express things a professional songwriter just can’t with total fulfillment through the voices of others.
On Tuesday morning (12-6) the nominees for the 2017 Grammy Awards were announced, and Sturgill Simpson’s ‘A Sailors Guide to Earth’ is right up there with Adele, Beyonce, Drake, and Justin Bieber competing for the Album of the Year. And he just might win it. The album is also up for Best Country Album
It has once again come that time of year for reflecting back on some of the best albums released in the last 12 months or so, not to treat country music as competition per se, but as an exercise undertaken with the intent of expanding your musical knowledge in hopes the gaps that formed due to the busy lives we all live get filled in with joyous little music projects.
Austin Lucas, Blackberry Smoke, Brandy Clark, Cody Jinks, Courtney Marie Andrews, Dori Freeman, Doug Bruce, Honest Life, I'm Not The Devil, I've Got a Way, Jack Ingram, Justin Wells, Kelsey Waldon, Like An Arrow, Lori McKenna, Luke Bell, Mark Chesnutt, Midnight Motel, Nick Dittmeier, Nick Dittmeier and the Sawdusters, Sturgill Simpson, The Bird & The Rifle, The Cactus Blossoms, Tradition Lives, Unsung, You're Dreaming