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.
Twitty Burger was first launched in 1968, and included some pretty high-profile investors from country music, including Merle Haggard, Harlan Howard, and Sonny James. What separated the Twitty Burger from other burgers was Conway’s signature burger ingredient: the gram cracker-encrusted pineapple ring that was included on each sandwich.
2017 is shaping up to be a stellar year for new music, with some highly-anticipated new albums from Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell already on the way. It’s also shaping up for a good year for singles ahead of some of the year’s most anticipated album releases, and this week some great premier tracks make it into Saving Country Music’s Top 25 Current Playlist.
Thursday, April 6th, 2017 marks the one year anniversary of country music legend Merle Haggard passing away on his 79th birthday. Today would have been his 80th. To mark his passing, and his birthday, here are 11 “Fightin’ Side” quotes from Merle.
One year ago Thursday (4-6), on Merle Haggard’s 79th birthday, the country music legend passed away surrounded by close family on his ranch in California. Merle Haggard left a mark on country music that was unparalleled, and his death still leaves a gaping hole in the hearts of many country music fans.
Adam Lee, Alaska & Madi, Ben Haggard, Big Little Lions, Billie Gant, Blake Turner, Bo Phillips, Chris Acker and the Growing Boys, Don White, Hagfest, Haggard Boxcar Festival, Harley Hamm, Heath Wright and The Hangmen, James Carothers, Jim Paul Blair, Joe's Truck Stop, Johnny Owens & The Buck Fever Band, Josh Morningstar, Maria Carrelli, Merle Haggard, Monica Taylor, Noel Haggard, Pat Hu & The Kentucky River Ramblers, Southgate House Revival, straw boss, The Harold Kennedy Trio, The Strangers, Thorn County
They say you have your life to write your first album, and there is a lifetime’s worth of stories and experiences in the very personal ‘Too Much Is Never Enough.’ AJ isn’t just channel surfing through soap operas looking for inspiration, it’s born from his own foggy recollections of what the hell went wrong in well-written songs.
A tribute is finally planned for The Hag, and it promises to be a star-studded event. ‘Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard’ will take place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, April 6th to honor what would have been Merle Haggard’s 80th birthday, and to mark the one year anniversary of his passing.
Alison Krauss, Ben Haggard, Bobby Bare, Buddy Cannon, Connie Smith, Dierks Bentley, Don Was, Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, John Anderson, John Mellencamp, Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Chesney, Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Ronnie Dunn, Sing Me Back Home The Music of Merle Haggard, The Avett Brothers, Theresa Haggard, Warren Haynes, Willie Nelson
After Sturgill Simpson and his recent album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth took home the trophy for Best Country Album at the 2017 Grammy Awards and was in contention for Album of the Year, some wondered if the ACM Awards would finally wise up and offer Sturgill Simpson a nomination.
The 83-year-old Willie Nelson certainly isn’t slowing down for anything. In fact he’s been been releasing records a a pace quicker than one per year since signing with Sony’s Legacy Recordings, but those are not always recordings of original music. That will not be the case with his newest project called ‘God’s Problem Child.’
The story has been told for many years that The Allman Brothers initially didn’t want to record “Ramblin’ Man” or release it as a single because they were afraid it was too country. Today people take for granted that The Allman Brothers fit squarely in the Southern rock genre, but to start, they were very much a blues and jazz-based jam band.
It was bound to happen at some point. It’s almost strange it took so long. Two guys who have long called Austin, TX their main haunt, and who have made careers out of steadfastly sticking to their guns in their particular styles of country music, be damned of the financial ramifications, what fleeting trends come and go, or what Nashville thinks of it all, joining forces on a duets record.
Country music is not just a commodity or even a form artistic expression. It is an integral part of people’s lives and has been the foundation for their cultural identities for generations. It’s what binds them to their homes and ancestry, and is interwoven into the very fabric of who they are as people.
The Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame in cultural-rich Bakersfield, California has announced their inaugural class of inductees to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame in correlation with the one year anniversary of opening its doors to the multi-use facility. Not your average Hall of Fame, it includes two professional recording studios, and a 250-seat performance hall.
Merchandise sales are the manna of the independent music world. With no disrespect to the musical efforts of your favorite artist, you can boil them down to glorified T-shirt salespeople in the way the lion’s share of their profits come from the merch table. It’s what puts gas in their tank and food on their table, and allows them to make a respectable living.
he Grammy Awards have selected 25 songs to be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in their latest class, and this year’s inductees are offered with a heavy heart since it includes selections from many notable artists who have passed away in 2016, including Prince’s “Sign ‘O’ The Times,” David Bowie’s “Changes,” and Merle Haggard’s “Okie From Muskogee.”
For those fed up with the political system, scared to vote either way for two of the most unlikable Presidential candidates in recent memory, voting with trepidation, not voting in spite, or just plain wanting this whole election thing to end and hoping that somehow the United States can find a modicum of healing after it is all over…
Brennen Leigh, Canned Heat, Hayes Carll, Hellbound Glory, Jackson Taylor and the Sinners, Kinky Friedman, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, Leroy Virgil, Merle Haggard, Peter Dawson, Ronnie Dunn, Sunny Sweeney, Tom Waits, Waylon Jennings
Giving the Nobel Prize in Literature to a musician is no different than giving an actor a Grammy or a musician an Oscar or a pop star a CMA Award. Or I don’t know, maybe electing a reality TV star President. And as is being reported, Dylan has yet to acknowledge the accolade, and isn’t even returning the Nobel committee’s phone calls.
Just as Bill Kirchen was the country twang compass for country rock’s Commander Cody, Austin De Lone was the keyboard-playing rock maestro for the country rock outfit Eggs Over Easy. Both their sensibilities and respective expertise make them a complimentary pairing that just downright works, and that is evidenced in their new album together.
Ben Haggard has long been seen as a promising future talent in country music himself, regularly posting videos online and garnering a significant following. And now he has taken one of the first steps towards launching his own career. Announced this week, Ben Haggard has signed to performing rights organization BMI.
Preserving the roots of country is not always just about paying homage. Sometimes it is about sowing disharmony or speaking out in protest to help force country music back on the right path. Music Row and the country music industry will always be about money first. The artists are the ones who must take the lead and reign the business in.
The Garden & Gun ‘New Outlaws’ issue seemed to illustrate the problem with many of today’s music periodicals that see the expanding interest in independent country music, but rely mostly on journalists and editors who only know country music from the outside looking in.