One of the reasons the the Country Music Hall of Fame is one of the most revered and respected Halls in all the land and specifically in music is because it is so hard to get into. It is always better that you look at a list of Hall inductees and wonder why certain names are not in, instead of looking and wondering why certain names are.
Saving Country Music is very sad to report that Bee Spears, the perennial bassist for Willie Nelson, who played in Willie Nelson’s “Family Band” for 40 years, died on Thursday, 12/8/2011 after falling outside of his home in Nashville and being exposed to the elements overnight.
With Working in Tennessee, Merle Haggard adds yet another solid volume to his already legendary arsenal of albums. Mainstream radio’s love affair with Merle may be over, but it doesn’t mean the fountain isn’t still flowing. When that vintage voice comes cracking out of that sideways cowboy smile, it still hits you like a precious memory.
Wow. I’m not exactly sure where this came from, and I don’t care who it came from. The simple fact is that it came, and country music is better off for it. Ahead of Shooter Jennings’ January release of his new album Family Man, he has released the song an accompanying video for the composition “Outlaw You”. Simply put, this is a shot right to the gut of Music Row, and specifically, this crop of “New Outlaws”.
The Rolling Stone has just reported that a long-rumored project pairing Bob Dylan and Jack White together to oversee the recording of an album of Hank Williams songs that were found without music in a briefcase will be released on October 4th. The title is The Lost Notebook of Hank Williams . It is being released on Dylan’s Egyptian Records imprint…
Alan Jackson, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Holly Williams, Jack White, Jakob Dylan, Levon Helm, Lucinda Williams, Merle Haggard, Norah Jones, Patty Loveless, Rodney Crowell, Sheryl Crow, The Lost Notebook of Hank Williams, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson
One of the standouts in 2011 so far has been Bloomington, Indiana-based singer/songwriter Austin Lucas, and his album A New Home in the Old World. He sat down with me for about a hour to discuss his experience on the Country Throwdown and touring with Willie Nelson, how he got into country, and how his goals are measured and focused on the art of songwriting first, above his own popularity.
On July 26th, the always polarizing “new Outlaw” Eric Church will be releasing his latest album entitled Chief, which includes a song called “Country Music Jesus”. Saving Country Music has learned that the idea behind Eric Church’s “Country Music Jesus” very well might have come from none other than your humble, lovable Triggerman.
Townes Van Zandt’s story is one of hope, for all of music and musicians, and artists of all kinds. As much as he struggled commercially, socially, and with his own demons, somehow over time the cream still found a way to rise to the top. It is a shame that some of the greatest have such a hard time relating to life, and that Townes Van Zandt found his greatest success after death. But he found it.
Ralph Mooney was the best steel guitar player ever. Period. End of story. And anybody who disagrees with me, I will come to where you are and personally kick your ass. And beyond the steel guitar, he was one of the most important and most influential musicians in country music history. Top 5. Maybe even top 3. Hell, right now I can’t even think of one I would put above him. Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs? Yeah, I would include him in that company.
I feel the need to iterate to you some observations for last night’s 2011 Grammy Awards, if only to get them off my chest. This is not entirely going to be a bitch fest. Every year they air the Grammy’s, and every year people are left scratching their heads and feeling hopelessness for music, and so it was to be expected that this year would be no different…
Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, Charlie Louvin, Eminem, Esperanza Spalding, Garth Brooks, Grammy, Justin Bieber, Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, Martina McBride, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Mumford and Sons, Randy Travis, Rihanna, Stevie Nicks, Taylor Swift, The Avett Brothers, The Black Crowes, The Suburbs
A while back it was brought to my attention that industrial rocker Shooter Jennings, along with No Depression blogger Adam Sheets had crafted the idea of starting a new genre of music, or more specifically, a radio format, called “XXX” after the nomenclature found on the front of moonshine bottles. The idea is to give a home to music that “is too rock for country, and too country for rock.”
.357 String Band, Adam Sheets, Arson Anthem, Avett Brothers, Black Joe Lewis, Black Ribbons, BR549, Dale Watson, David Allan Coe, Hank III, James McMurtry, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Pantera, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rebel Meets Rebel, Reverend Horton Heat, Shooter Jennings, Whitey Morgan & The 78's, XXX
Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson were part of the recent Kennedy Center Honors festivities honoring Merle Haggard in Washington, and during the numerous functions, the three country music legends apparently had some time to discuss the possibility of a supergroup. Previously Merle had discussed plans of doing an album with Willie . . .
Please indulge me for a minute here because I need to blow off some steam. Yes I’m glad that The Kennedy Center honored Merle Haggard and I guess you should be grateful for what you are given and not look a gift horse in the mouth. But in my opinion, the Kennedy Center’s presentation to Merle was horrifically mild and uninspired. Merle Haggard is an American treasure and deserves better.
Tonight the Poet of the Common Man, Merle Haggard will be honored with a Kennedy Center Honors award for his contributions to American music. Well, actually he received the award on December 5th, but the ceremony itself from December 5th in Washington DC will air tonight on CBS (as they say, check local listings for times).
When Amazon.com offered up 50 country MP3 albums for only $5 in August, September, and October I was hoping that was a promotion that would continue on a monthly basis, but unfortunately November came with no new set. We are in luck now though, because Amazon has just put up 75 country albums that will be available for $5 all the way till the end of January, and there’s some real gooduns.
George Strait might have put out an album called Twang, but Ghost Train is the one that delivers it. This album is heavily guitar-driven from the start, turning the twang on the Telecasters to 10 and leaving it loud in the mix. Its the kind of twang that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Then add some Ralph Mooney pedal steel on top and Ghost Train might be the freshest, funnest and truest traditional country album to come out of Nashville in years.
Clarence White, Connie Smith, Dale Watson, George Strait, Ghost Train, Hank III, Johnny Cash, Lester Flatt, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Rainy Day Woman, Ralph Mooney, Studio B, The Byrds, The Quebe Sisters, Waylon Jennings
Amazon.com has made available 50 country albums for only $5, and once again, they’ve put titles from independent artists and legends right next to the more popular artists. Of course your average consumer will take whatever they can get for however cheap or free they can get it, but the conscientious music consumer wants to make sure that their favorite artists get paid, and that the most music dollars possible get directly into the artists’ hands.
There’s been lots of talk lately here and other places about what makes an Outlaw, who are the real Outlaws, who are the fake ones. Well Nancy Dunham from The Boot had Merle Haggard cornered and answering questions, and was bold enough to ask him some smart ones, and Merle replied with some bold, smart answers.
The standout in this album is Dale’s voice. He exhibits superlative control and wide wisdom singing his parts that come across confidently, without any sign of weakness or chipped paint even after years of honky tonkin’ and road doggin’. If Nashville had tried to strap an Auto-tuner to him, he would have fried the machine from the complexity of runs, and the diversity of volume and note changes just in a simple, short phrase. Nashville younguns take note of a master…
Last week it was announced that Charlie Louvin who just turned 83, has been diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer. Charlie has a six hour surgery scheduled at the Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville on July 22nd, two days after his new album Hickory Wind : Live at the Gram Parsons Guitar Pull, Waycross GA is […]
They say war makes strange bedfellows. I guess this is a good example. In a recent Edmonton Journal article, country music legend Merle Haggard held little back when sharing his thoughts on “Auto Tune”: “They fix a person’s voice when it’s out of tune, and then they have to do it live when they can’t […]
That’s right, don’t rub your eyes or go hunting for your glasses. The one and only Merle Haggard is going to be on Outlaw Radio Chicago this Wednesday night (2-17-10) at 8 PM CENTRAL. It can be heard on scrubradio.com live, and if you miss it, the episode will be posted right here at savingcountrymusic.com/outlaw-radio. […]
Just a couple of quick things: Tonight (11-24) Outlaw Radio Chicago will have the greatness of the .357 String Band on the show. You can listen LIVE at 9 PM Central at punkandbeansradio.com, and as always if you miss it you can listen or download it the next day at savingcountrymusic.com/outlaw-radio. There are so many […]
On March 3rd, Merle Haggard was receiving a career achievement award from “Country Radio Broadcasters.” At the ceremony the beautiful and talented Emmylou Harris performed a Haggard tune from 1985 called “Kern River,” which ignited Haggard’s memory and his contempt for the corrupt ways of corporate Nashville, and specifically a feud Haggard had over the […]