Even in this confounding day and age in country music, it all still starts with a song. Not a beat, not a riff, but a song. Words, music, and melody. Story and inspiration. It’s what separates country music from certain other musical art forms, no matter how much it may get boiled down.
Deluxe editions of albums are often repositories for whatever might have been left on the cutting house floor after the original track list was finalized. But with Hailey Whitters’ ‘Living The Dream (Deluxe Edition),’ it’s so much more.
An Album of the Year winner doesn’t just have to be the best title of a given year. It has to be the best effort of an artist’s career. It has to be a career record where there’s confidence we’ll all be listening to it for years to come, and the title will act like a catalyst to catapult said artist into a new stratosphere.
American Aquarium, Arlo McKinley, Black Cats and Crows, Cahalen Morrison, Die Midwestern, Jesse Daniel, Juliet McConkey, Lauren Mascitti, Lori McKenna, Sturgill Simpson, Tessy Lou Williams, Ward Davis, Zerphaniah OHora
2020 has been a bad year for many things, but a good year for country music albums. Accordingly, the nominees for Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year have been expanded to an unprecedented 12 entries to represent the best releases the year has to offer.
The 2021 Grammy Award nominees were announced on Tuesday (11/24), and as can be expected, there is some good, some bad, many worthy nominations, a few probably born of virtue signaling as you can expect. But overall, it’s about par for the course.
Ashley McBryde, Black Pumas, Brandi Carlile, Brandy Clark, Brittany Howard, Brothers Osborne, Charley Crockett, Dan Auerbach, Dave Cobb, Grammy Awards, Ingrid Andress, John Anderson, John Prine, Linda Ronstadt, Lori McKenna, Lucinda Williams, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, Sarah Jarosz, Sierra Hull, Sturgill Simpson, The Highwomen
Through the Bro-Country era, Tim McGraw became one of the surprising saving graces in mainstream country music by entering his late career stage doubling back to his roots and releasing quality songs that were surprisingly more country than even some of his earlier stuff, and even finding success with them on the radio.
The Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist is built to keep you informed on all the best songs and albums coming out right here, right now in country and roots music. It’s available on most all streaming formats. New songs have just been added.
If anything, The Balladeer takes lofty expectations already reaching towards the unattainable, and still impresses with what might be the high water mark of Lori McKenna’s career so far. The wisdom and calming attitude flowing from these works is as potent as Asian proverbs.
Her name is Ashley Ray. And it’s a name that has ended up in the liner notes of the records of some of country music’s most revered performers like Lori McKenna and Wade Bowen. It’s a name that has been featured in opening slots for Miranda Lambert and Eric Church.
Keeping up with all the releases in the country and roots realm is hard enough. COVID-19 has made it even more difficult with numerous delays and postponements on big titles, along with many artists waiting to announce their new records with all the uncertainty in the marketplace. But there are still many important records coming up in 2020.
Hold My Beer Vol. 2 is like a love letter to classic country from a Texas perspective. In many respects, it’s a country music album about country music. Along the way though, Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen don’t forget to have some fun. After all, that’s the underlying reason for this project.
Lori McKenna is a hit country songwriter and a heralded Americana performer, and whenever a new song emerges with her name on it, you’re smart to take a pause from whatever trifle you’re busy with, and listen. This will be music for adults, by adults.
Beware of the women who write songs for the mainstream of country. To make it in that evil world often dominated by men, you’ve got to be a real tough mother cut from a different cloth, capable of being told “no” over and over again and still continue on, and agile enough to deliver songs that can succeed.
For many in the Texas and Red Dirt realm, Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen are their #1 and #1A favorite performers. And when they combine their efforts, that appeal is amplified. Though neither imbibes in really strong traditional country in their respective primary projects, when they get together, the fiddle and steel guitar comes to the top.
It’s never too late to revitalize your career, or to train wreck it. Tim McGraw saw all the hubbub being made over “Old Town Road” and decided he could mumble rap about pure nonsense and call it country too. Bad for him though, none of the Gen Z’ers with their Tik-Tok apps know or care who Tim McGraw is.
When you want to record one of those absolutely devastating country music tearjerkers that holds back nothing and mercilessly goes to work on the audience’s emotional receptors, the songbook of Erin Enderlin is where you turn. Now she’s more posed than ever to emerge from the songwriting shadows.
‘Wildcard’ is just that—a spin of the wheel and a roll of the dice, because you just don’t know what you’re gonna get dealt when you cue up the next track. But there’s too much good stuff here to cast it off as just another mainstream country pop record. You have to be willing to dig a little. But it’s ultimately worth the patience and effort.
Miranda Lambert’s latest album will be called “Wildcard.” Along with the album release date and artwork, we also get to see track list and songwriting collaborators Miranda Lambert worked with on the album. A regular champion of quality songwriters, ‘Wildcard’ will be no different, even if the sound and approach is.
Miranda Lambert is back with a big new single called “It All Comes Out in the Wash” ahead of a new album out this fall, and the big question on a lot of people’s minds once the single was released was if radio would play it. But “It All Comes Out in the Wash” makes its entrance with its first week on radio like it was shot out of a canon.
As if answering a distress call sent out over the airwaves or via a spotlight beamed over Music City, the Highwomen have assembled in the form of the Grammy-winning Brandi Carlile, fiddlemaster Amanda Shires, songwriting markswoman Natalie Hemby, and superstar Maren Morris. “Redesigning Women” is their first taste.
Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Cam, Dave Cobb, Erin Rae, Hailey Whitters, Jason Isbell, Jimmy Webb, Lily Hiatt, Lori McKenna, Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Hemby, Natalie Stovall, Raelynn, Ray LaMontagne, Tanya Tucker, The Highwomen, Wynonna Judd
The Americana Music Association has announced the 2019 nominees for their annual Americana Music Awards to be held this September at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. In a video hosted by The Milk Carton Kids taped at Soundcheck Nashville on Tuesday, May 14th, four nominees in six categories were unveiled.
American Aquarium, Americana, Americana Music Awards, Brandi Carlile, Brent Cobb, Colter Wall, Dave Cobb, John Prine, Kacey Musgraves, Lori McKenna, Mark Erelli, Our Native Daughters, Pistol Annies, Rhiannon Giddens, The Milk Carton Kids, Yola
Usually the themes of heartbreak in country music revolve around relationships, death, or perhaps the erosion of small town life or the family farm. But in the current environment in country, another type of heartbreak has emerged that is more intimately tied to the music itself.
With little prospect for radio play, George Strait appears to just be doing what he wants to do on Honky Tonk Time Machine, which is traveling back in time to when country was country. “I’m really excited to have some new music coming out,” shares Strait. “It’s been about two years since I’ve released a record.”
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.