What started out to be a small and intimate alternative to Austin’s sprawling SXSW gathering every March, and that was only known initially through invite or word of mouth, has now become arguably the most important and exclusive gatherings in all of American roots music every year.
This year’s Oscars will have country music implications. Among the Academy Awards nominees announced Tuesday morning (1-22), David Rawlings and Gillian Welch have been nominated for Best Original Song for their composition “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings,” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”
It’s very early in the process, and we don’t know if it’s just a few songs or an entire album. But the word out of Pittsburgh, PA is that Irish singing/songwriting legend Van Morrison and country music icon Willie Nelson were recently in the studio together collaborating on an upcoming project.
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.
Margo Price held forth for the first night of her 3-night, nearly sold out run at the Mother Church of Country Music on Saturday evening, and had a very special (and familiar) guest show up to support. Kentucky songwriter Tyler Childers opened the show, and fans were surprised when Sturgill Simpson walked out on stage.
The original concept of South By Southwest was not to be a funnel for corporate brand recognition through music, or as a springboard for superstars to increase their street cred on social media. It was a place for artists and industry to come together in the discovery process so worthy talent could find support for their music.
Aaron Lee Tasjan, Alice Wallace, Billy Strings, Caroline Rose, Colter Wall, Elijah Ocean, Emily Herring, John Baumann, Joshua Hedley, Luck Reunion, Lukas Nelson, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Nikki Lane, Ruby Boots, Sarah Shook, The Brother Brothers, Tyler Childers, Willie Nelson, Wood and Wire
When we broach the exercise of whittling down the field of songs of a given year to a list of a chosen few to be considered Song of the Year, we’re not looking for booty shakers or boot scooters. We’re looking for those songs that through the power of words and music, hit you so deeply, you’re a different person after you’re done listening.
We’re plenty well satiated on new music from Willie Nelson after the release of his latest album God’s Problem Child in May. In fact it might be one of Willie’s best recordings in many years, and certainly one of the better selections since signing with Sony’s Legacy imprint some years back. But there’s no rest for the wicked.
The Saving Country Music Official Top 25 Spotify Playlist has been reinforced for your post-Labor Day listening and beyond with a slew of new tracks that deserve to be separated from the herd and have a spotlight shone on them for their songwriting and compositional exceptionalism.
In simple musical skills, the talent of Lukas might even surpass that of his famous sire. Of course songwriting and style are a bit harder to tabulate, but Lukas is no slouch in these departments either. Yet nearly 10 years into the performing game now, and Lukas Nelson still feels like he’s attempting to find his footing.
The biggest takeaway from SXSW 2017 will be that for the first time since the very inception of the idea over 30 years ago, the annual music gathering experienced a palpable draw down in attendance and industry participation to a degree that it fundamentally changed many of the dynamics and rigors one must endure to attend.
A. Michael Uhlmann, Alice Wallace, All My Exes Live in Texas, Beth Lee and The Breakups, Billy Joe Shaver, Brennen Leigh, Brent Cobb, Brooklyn Country Cantina, Cale Tyson, Cary Baker, Croy and the Boys, Elle King, G&S Lounge, Giddy Ups, High Plaines Jamboree, Jenni Finlay, Jimmy Samon, John Conquest, Kelsey Waldon, Kem Watts, Leo Rondeau, Luck Reunion, Lukas Nelson, Lustre Pearl, Margo Price, Nate Boff, Noel McKay, Not SXSW, Parker Millsap, Paul Cauthen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sarah Shook, Shinyribs, Simon Flory, Spring Fling, Sunny Sweeney, SXSW, Teri Joyce, The Defibulators, The Wild Reeds, Threadgill's, Whitney Rose, Wide Open Country, Willie Nelson
Reviews and opinions on the Netflix original series The Ranch starring Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Debra Winger, and Sam Elliot continue to be mixed, but the country music tie-ins—whether in the soundtrack, the set, or the dialogue—continue to make it a point of intrigue for many country fans.
Scranton, Pennsylvania will be the host of the inaugural Outlaw Music Festival to be held at the Pavilion on Montage Mountain on Sunday, September 18th, with headliners Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and Willie’s son Lukas Nelson’s band Promise of the Real backing up Neil Young on stage.
Reviews have been mixed for the show so far, but country music listeners may have an extra incentive to watch the program. Featured on the 10-episode series has been a slew of independent country artists who will hopefully see decent paydays and a bump in exposure. There are also ample country music references and jokes in the series.
American Aquarium, Ashley Monroe, Brandi Carlile, Cam, Corb Lund, Justin Townes Earle, Lukas Nelson, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Netflix, Shooter Jennings, The Ranch, The Turnpike Troubadours
Willie Nelson is set to be honored by The Library of Congress and the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song on Wednesday, November 18th at Constitution Hall in Washington. The concert will be recorded and broadcast nationwide through PBS on Friday, January 16th, 2016. “It is an honor to be the next recipient of the Gershwin Prize. I appreciate it greatly,” Nelson says.
Alison Krauss, Billy Joel, Buckwheat Zydeco, Carole King, Edie Brickell, Gershwin Prize, Jamey Johnson, Lukas Nelson, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Raul Malo, Rosanne Cash, Stevie Wonder, The Mavericks, Willie Nelson
Whether you have already purchased your tickets or are planning to soon, or you’re sitting back and laughing at the idea of a bunch of “Outlaws” setting sail in a luxury liner outbound for the Cayman Islands, don’t lie to yourself and say that this isn’t something that you wouldn’t love to participate in if you could swing it. Out at sea with some of your favorite country artists surrounded by the beauty of the Caribbean?
Blackberry Smoke, Bobby Bare, Bobby Bare Jr., Elizabeth Cook, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Lukas Nelson, Mojo Nixon, Nikki Lane, Shooter Jennings, Steve Earle, The Band of Heathens, The Mavericks, Willie Nelson
Raelyn Nelson and the Raelyn Nelson Band are just too much damn fun. The granddaughter of Willie is like a modern day country music Punky Brewster with a sound and energy reminiscent of the nascent 90’s country punk scene when things were just a little more unhinged and energetic, yet still rooted in the country music spirit more so than what most of what modern country offers today.
Every Justin Townes Earle album cover has featured Earle himself and a pretty woman somewhere in close vicinity to him, and just exactly who these pretty women are is part of the fun and mystery. But Justin Townes Earle broke from this tradition on his latest record “Single Mothers” and put someone else on the cover instead of himself. Or did he?
Amanda Isbell, Amanda Shires, Asleep at the Wheel, Bob Wills, Gillian Welch, Hayes Carll, Jason Isbell, John Moreland, Joshua Black Wilkins, Justin Townes Earle, Lukas Nelson, Sammy Brue, Single Mothers, Steve Earle, the cover of Justin Townes Earle's Single Mothers
That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the Nelson clan can now field three generations of performers on the stage, and the new generation is about as defiant and ass kicking as you might expect. Rearing out of the gates comes the rambunctious and ribald Raelyn Nelson and the Raelyn Nelson Band: a full throttle country rock experience, just as much Loretta Lynn as it is The Ramones.
Tuesday night at Boston’s Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, country music legend Willie Nelson took the stage with his well-known Family Band behind him, sporting one extra member in tow playing incognito. Famous A-list actor Johnny Depp joined Willie for the Boston set, strapped down with a silver-fronted Danelectro guitar and wearing his signature spectacles.
Willie Nelson’s private town called Luck, TX that sits on the edge of his ranch just west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country was heavily damaged in storms that moved through the area late last week. “Our beautiful Luck wasn’t so Lucky recently,” the Willie Nelson camp said in a statement, “Last week’s tornado force winds ripped several buildings apart…”
American Aquarium, Band of Brothers, Damaged, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Luck, Luck TX, Lukas Nelson, Nikki Lane, Shakey Graves, Shovels & Rope, Storm, SXSW, Willie Nelson, Willie Watson, World Headquarters
Country music isn’t just a genre of music, it is a musical religion, a way of life, a cultural lineage passed down from generation to generation and preserved through the blood and bond of its performers and fans. That’s why it seems country music performers so very often tend to turn out to be the parents of country music performers themselves.
Amy Nelson, Ben Haggard, Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Bare, Bobby Bare Jr., Carlene Carter, Cathy Guthrie, Chelsea Crowell, David Allan Coe, Eddie Shaver, Folk Uke, George Jones, Georgette Jones, Hank Williams, Hank Williams III, Hank Williams Jr., Hank3, Holly Williams, Jesse Keith Whitley, Jessi Coulter, Jett Williams, Jody Payne, John Carter Cash, John Hiatt, Jubal Lee Young, June Carter, Justin Townes Earle, Lilly Hiatt, Lucas Hubbard, Lucky Tubb, Lukas Nelson, Merle Haggard, Pam Tillis, Paula Nelson, Rosanne Cash, Roy Nichols, Sammi Smith, Shel Silverstein, Shelli Coe, Shooter Jennings, Steve Earle, Steve Young, Tammy Wynette, Terrye Newkirk, Tyler Mahan Coe, Waylon Jennings, Waylon Payne, Whey Jennings, Willie Nelson
Austin City Limits, the 40-year-old Texas music and public television institution, has announced the formation of a Hall of Fame in conjunction with their 40th Anniversary, with an inaugural induction ceremony to be held on April 26th at the shows original home, KLRU’s legendary Studio 6A on the University of Texas campus. Inaugural inductees to the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame include…
ACL, ACL Hall of Fame, Austin City Limits, Austin City Limits Hall of Fame, Bill Arhos, Buddy Guy, Chris Layton, Darrell Royal, Double Trouble, Doyle Bramhall II, Emmylou Harris, Inductees, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Lukas Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Mike Farris, Reese Wynans, Robert Randolph, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tommy Shannon, Willie Nelson
Saving Country Music was out and about Austin, TX and its outskirts over the past week or so as part of the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) gathering, pounding the pavement and looking for the next country music artist worthy of your ears that you may never otherwise hear about. In the coming months I look forward to taking some of these discoveries and sharing them with you.
American Aquarium, Brooklyn Country Cantina, Hurray For The Riff Raff, J.D. Wilkes, Legendary Shack Shakers, Lukas Nelson, Mickey Raphael, Nikki Lane, Old Crow Medicine Show, Sam Doores, Shovels & Rope, South by Southwest, Sturgill Simpson, SXSW, The Cactus Blossoms, The Defibulators, The Deslondes, The Dirt Daubers, Tim Easton, Willie Nelson, Willie Watson