We could say that it’s a strange time in country music when someone like the front man of the California indie rock band The Mother Hips is releasing a record, and it’s 95% more country, a leagues better than most of what you’ll hear in the mainstream of country today. But in truth this is not a new phenomenon.
When Merle Haggard passed away on his 79th birthday, April 6th, 2016, it left a gaping hole in country music, and a gaping hole in the hearts of his fans. In the years afterwards, fans of the Hag have gathered in bars and clubs on April 6th across the country to pay tribute to the country music legend in song.
Adam Lee, Bill Kirchen, Hagfest, Jaime Wyatt, Joe Macheret, Joe's Truck Stop, Joey Allcorn, Josh Morningstar, Merle Haggard, Nathan Kalish, Otis Williams and the Midnight Cowboys, Southgate House Revival, The Tillers
In October of 2017, traditional country fans were all giddy to read that a proper museum for Merle Haggard was on the way in Nashville’s Lower Broadway district where similar museums for Johnny Cash, George Jones, and Patsy Cline hold court, finally giving fans of the Hag a Mecca to herd to after his death in 2016.
The Steel Woods have arrived ladies and gentlemen, and with them a whole new legacy of Southern rock to enjoy in the present tense, and look forward to for the foreseeable future. With ‘Old News’ they lay it all to bear, leave nothing to chance, throw out their best shots, and scream for rightful consideration.
“It’s an honor to be here tonight. This is my first time ever playing the inside Bridgestone,” Sturgill Simpson said before launching into the song, making reference to his notorious busking set streamed on the internet during the 2017 CMA Awards. Then he launched into “Red Headed Rounder.”
A legend of country music songwriting, and one that put the painful experience of divorce into words and song like none other has gone to the great honky tonk in the sky. Sanger D. Shafer, known popularly as Whitey Shafer, passed away on Saturday, January 12th according to reports.
Connie Smith, Dallas Frazier, George Strait, Jack Greene, John Michael Montgomery, Johnny Russell, Keith Whitley, Kenny Chesney, Lee Ann Womack, Lefty Frizzell, Merle Haggard, Mo Bandy, Shawn Colvin, Whitey Shafer
Netflix has released the 5th Season of their hit original series The Ranch, and as per usual, the episodes are textured with lots of great songs from often overlooked and deserving country music artists, hand selected to help set the mood and theme of each scene.
Amanda Shires, Ashton Kutcher, BoDeans, Cactus Blossoms, Corb Lund, Dolly Parton, Dwight Yoakam, Eilen Jewell, Jeff Hahn, John Moreland, Mandi Collier, Merle Haggard, Ramsay Midwood, Sam Elliott, Sam Outlaw, The Ranch, Whitney Rose
If you’re 17-years-old, can’t wait to get out from under the repressive regime of your parents house, and generally hate country music, Keith Urban’s new album ‘Graffiti U’ is right for you. It’s almost as if in a maniacal obsession, Keith and his legion of SIXTEEN producers set out on a purposeful mission to make the worst country album they could.
Kayla Ray has deep Texas roots and comes by her classic country music sensibilities honestly. On Friday (5-4) she releases her sophomore album entitled ‘Yesterday and Me.’ Jason Eady is back as co-producer with Pat Manske. Kayla was kind enough to spare a little time to talk about her new project.
Brennen Leigh, Colton Hawkins, Courtney Patton, Drew Kennedy, Erin Enderlin, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Eady, Johnny Gimble, Kayla Ray, Keith Whitley, Merle Haggard, Midnight River Choir, Noel McKay, Pat Manske, Yesterday and Me
WARNING: LANGUAGE – Somehow, inexplicably, Keith Urban has figured out how to take the most iconic guitar riff in the entire 70+ year history of country music, and make it sound like the last dying gasps of a faulty smoke detector smacked repeatedly with a sledge hammer, and slowly drowning it in a bucket of 7-year-old used motor oil.
Netflix released the latest season of its comedy drama ‘The Ranch’ on December 15th, and just like the first three seasons, country music plays a big role in both the dialog and the soundtrack. Apparently the creators want to make discovering the songs part of the fun of the series, because they keep their soundtrack close to the vest.
Amanda Shires, Blitzen Trapper, Brenda Lee, Brothers Osborne, Conway Twitty, Eric Church, Jason Isbell, Mandolin Orange, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Netflix, Patsy Cline, Ricky Nelson, Sam Outlaw, Sara Watkins, Sturgill Simpson, The Cactus Blossoms, The Ranch, Thomas Rhett
It’s so rare to find something that truly engages you as a traditional country fan and is being done in the here and now, and that’s exactly what Tyler Mahan Coe is doing with country music history via his Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast. It’s incredible how relevant history can be when looking at it in the modern day perspective.
As the CMA Awards were transpiring Wednesday (11-8) night inside the Bridgestone Arena, Sturgill Simpson decided to take his guitar, his Grammy for Album of the Year from 2016, and do a busking set in front of the arena as local journalist Adam Gold broadcast the whole thing via Facebook Live.
Over the last year or so, Sturgill Simpson has certainly earned that distinction of a “badass” as he’s gone from an independent underdog to receiving some of the top recognition in the entire music industry, and stood up to the Music Row establishment in both words and deeds.
Earlier this week when it was announced that a new Merle Haggard museum and restaurant would be opening up in Nashville next summer, some Merle Haggard fans wondered why Nashville was chosen, and not a location in Northern California. But fans got their wish, and much sooner than they probably anticipated.
I’ve always said, one of the greatest moments to witness in a mainstream artist’s career is when they realize they’ve got nothing left to lose. And after years of playing musical politics, they cut lose and do whatever the hell they want to do, devil may care. Miranda Lambert is going to do whatever the hell it is that she wants to do.
How should a country purist regard the legacy of Glen Campbell? That should be a really easy question to answer: with class, respect, and appreciation for a man that was an incredible ambassador for the genre through multiple avenues, and a timeless contributor to the country music canon.
for years, Broadway was one of the very few personalities in mainstream country radio willing to ask tough questions of artists, willing to broach subjects otherwise thought of as taboo in the mainstream, and overall just show guts and independent thinking in an otherwise stuffy, closed-off world. And he did it all with class and respect.
In the process of criticizing modern country music, sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture, or fall into “old man’s syndrome” where the past of the genre seems pristine and idyllic in our mind’s eye, and today’s smutty music perpetrated by sellout stars is an abomination to our beloved genre.
Blake Shelton, Conway Twitty, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Pizza Hut, Roy Acuff, Sylvia, T. Graham Brown, Taco Bell, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
To put it bluntly, the ability of Blackbird Presents to curate talent for events is pretty terrible, and appears to be done without any true understanding of the layout of the current country music landscape. Some of the invites for these Blackbird Presents events seem so incredibly blind to the realities present in country music fandom, it’s remarkable.
Notch yet another #1 for Willie. 84 years of age, and Billboard’s new rules that register streaming data in the album tabulations can’t keep Willie Nelson from topping the charts this week with his first record of original material in three years, God’s Problem Child. Willie also notches another Top 10 on the all-genre Billboard 200.
One day, and maybe not too far off in the distant future, you will be bragging about how you lived in the time of Willie Nelson. Whether you’re an oldtimer and remember buying his records new on vinyl, or you discovered Willie in your college years as a back catalog artist, you lived on Planet Earth at the same time as Willie Nelson.