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.
Actor, music lover, and armchair musician Johnny Depp, sporting a vest, round shades, a ripped canvas wide-brimmed hat, and his Danelectro guitar, sat in with Willie’s family band for the set Sunday night. He was simply introduced as “John,” and traded licks with Willie Nelson’s son Lukas Nelson who was also sitting in with the band. Johnny played songs like “Good Hearted Woman”…
This album is good both because it is Willie, and because it is good. After years of navigating through a gray area in his career and having to dabble with some record labels probably less able to do a Willie release justice, he’s back with the same company who released Red Headed Stranger, and back to making albums worthy of the world stopping down to pay attention to.
It might be true that we would never know Lukas Nelson from Adam if his pops wasn’t the almighty braided one, but this might be more of a commentary on the parody and glut of music the American consumer must sift through to satiate their music wants rather than a commentary on Lukas’s talents. Because as far as talent goes, Lukas got an unfair share of the heavy persuasion for any family.
When I sat down to name the top 10 live performances of 2011 as seen through my eyes, I didn’t know what a mess I was making for myself, and it wasn’t until then that I realized what a power packed year for live music it has been. My 10 stretched to 15 fast, and I’m still leaving many live acts out.
Austin Lucas, Bloodshot Records, Charlie Parr, Hank3, Hellbound Glory, James Hunnicutt, Jayke Orvis, Justin Townes Earle, Lukas Nelson, Marty Stuart, Micah Schnabel, Pickathon, Possessed by Paul James, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ruby Jane, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Sunday Valley, SXSW, The Goddamn Gallows, The Muddy Roots Festival, Two Cow Garage, Wayne Hancock, Whitey Morgan & The 78's, Willie Nelson
Yesterday I was fortunate enough to attend the most talent-rich event I have ever been to, as the convergence of Willie Nelson’s 38th Annual 4th of July Picnic met up with the finale of this year’s Willie Nelson Country Throwdown tour at the largest honky tonk in the world, Billy Bob’s Texas, in the historic Ft. Worth stockyards.
Amy Nelson, Arlo Guthrie, Austin Lucas, Billy Bob's Texas, Billy Joe Shaver, Brantley Gilbert, Caitlyn Smith, Cathie Guthrie, Folk Uke, George Reiff, Jamey Johnson, Jason Aldean, Lee Brice, Lucas Hubbard, Lukas Nelson, Ray Benson, Ray Price, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rick Richards, Willie Nelson
Alright look. I know that some of you have already grown tired of the back and forths talking about what to call music and how to manage it, and rather we all spend more time focusing on the actual music itself. I agree, and that will continue to be the main focus of Saving Country Music. But right now, I do not think there is a bigger issue facing the music we all love than this proposed XXX genre. I have already made my initial thoughts known, and had many critical things to say . . .
Dash Rip Rock, Drive By Truckers, Hank III, Jason Isbell, John Carter Cash, Lukas Nelson, Mojo Nixon, North Mississippi All Stars, Old 97's, Rhett Miller, Scott H. Biram, Shooter Jennings, Tommy Townsend, Whitey Morgan & The 78's