In 2022, something happened at the Grand Ole Opry that is only fair to label as historic. More so than any other year in its nearly 100-year existence, the coveted Grand Ole Opry debut was doled out to deserving artists from across the panorama, checking off bucket list items, populating glowing resume points…
MIke and the Moonpies
Memphis Kee out of Austin is looking to revitalize that approach of taking the robust songwriting of guys like Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, and applying it to music that’s just as much akin to grunge as country. Memphis Kee calls it “Shred Dirt” in tribute to the Red Dirt sound of the Texoma region.
Let’s highlight some of the bands on the brink, that probably should be headlining festivals and big events themselves, and very well may be in the coming years. These are the artists and bands you better get out to see before like many of your favorite headliners, they end up only playing arenas.
American Aquarium, Big Richard, Billy Strings, BJ Barham, Charles Wesley Godwin, Charley Crockett, Cody Jinks, Hogslp String Band, MIke and the Moonpies, Molly Tuttle, Sierra Ferrell, Sierra Hull, The Vandoliers, Them Dirty Roses, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers, Zach Bryan
Mike and the Moonpies have just released a slew of new tour dates, and in areas that have been salivating for these dudes to tour through. Like a bunch of stickup bandits on a meth binge, they’ll be flying up and down the east coast in January and February like crazy, playing some markets they rarely or ever hit.
The amount of country/roots/Americana releases coming at you each week has officially reached critical mass. And it will spill over like a school bus taking a dive into an above ground pool on Friday, October 28th. Luckily, you know about lil’ ol’ Saving Country Music, so at least you have a head start.
Adam Odor, Andy Leftwich, Angela Esterling, Ashley Monroe, Brandy Zdan, Cleto Cordero, Cody Braun, Comanche Moon, Dustbowl Revival, Emily Scott Robinson, Evan Felker, Flatland Cavalry, Gabe Lee, Honey Harper, Joseph Shipp, Julie Roberts, June Star, Kaitlin Butts, Lainey Wilson, LOng Mama, Luke LeBlanc, Memphis Kee, MIke and the Moonpies, MIke McClure, Mike Ryan, Native Harrow, Shooter Jennings, Teague Brothers Band, The Great Divide, The Matchsellers, Tommy Alexander, Trampled by Turtles, Trent Summar
Zach Bryan is arguably the 2nd biggest thing going in all of country music at the moment behind Mullett Boy, but of course you couldn’t tell that by piping up your country radio, unless you have one of those cool radio stations in your area that actually play what they want. But all of that might be changing.
Held on the same grounds as the massive Rocklahoma gathering, Born & Raised boasted one of the best lineups all year on an incredibly crowded weekend. Just the Friday night lineup alone was worth the effort, with some of the best songwriters and performers in all of country music booked one after another.
American Aquarium, BJ Barham, Born and Raised Fest, Brothers Osborne, Charles Wesley Godwin, Cleto Cordero, Cody Jinks, Cory Kent, Courtney Patton, Dalton Domino, David Abeyta, Drew Harakal, Flatland Cavalry, Gary Rossington, Graycie York, Hank Early, Hold My Beer and Watch This, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Boland, Joey Spina, Josh Abbott Band, Josh Meloy, Joshua Ray Walker, Kat Hasty, Kendall Marvell, Kendell Marvell, Kody West, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Margo Price, MIke and the Moonpies, Muskrat Jones, Natalie Hemby, Nick Shoulders, Omar Oyoque, Randy Rogers Band, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Reid Dillon, Rickey Medlocke, Rocklahoma, Summer Dean, Tanner Usrey, Tanya Tucker, Taylor Englert, Tennessee Jet, Them Dirty Roses, Tim Montana, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen, Wesley Hall, Whitey Morgan, William Beckmann, Zach Bryan
Things in country music are changing, and across the board, even at an old relic like the Grand Ole Opry. Of course, it’s days of launching stars overnight are long gone. But you ask any artist in country music, and they’ll tell you that making their Grand Ole Opry debut is a lifetime bucket list achievement.
He was one of the most authentic and magnetizing artists to grace the country music art form in the modern era. And those who knew Luke Bell, they know this assessment is in no way hyperbole or flattery. Even though he released only one album, in that single volume, Luke Bell captured a bygone era, aura, and mood.
Ameripolitan, Dale Watson, Dwight Yoakam, Erin Rae, Hank Williams Jr., Hole in The Wall, Kristina Murray, Leo Rondeau, Logan Ledger, Luke Bell, Martha Spencer, Matt Kinman, MIke and the Moonpies, Pat Reedy, Pickathon, Ramsey Midwood, The White Horse, Thirty Tigers, Willie Nelson
When Jamey Johnson stood on the stage Friday, August 12th in Lincoln, Nebraska, and barked profanities at the local radio station KX 96.9, he wasn’t just angry they had used “his” stage to promote their station, he was venting the pent up frustration many independent, Red Dirt, and Texas music artists feel.
Jamey Johnson kicked some dust up and had quite a few of his fans fist pumping Friday night, August 12th when he took the stage in Lincoln, Nebraska as part of the Lincoln on the Street event, and berated the local radio station, New Country KX 96.9. The radio station brought out three of their on-air personalities.
Aaron Watson, American Aquarium, Bailey Zimmerman, Blackberry Smoke, Bourbon Theater, Ernest, Jamey Johnson, KX 96.9, MIke and the Moonpies, Nick Gareth, Randall King, Rob Kelley, Wade Bowen, Zach Bryan
One of the very first festivals that saw the value and rising swell in independent country and roots was Pickathon just outside of Portland, Oregon. This was the place where the very careers of landmark artists such as Sturgill Simpson, The Avett Brothers, Lake Street Dive, and many more were launched.
Bella White, Catlin Rutherford, Cedric Burnside, Frank Farifield, Gabe Lee, Kassi Valazza, Lake Street Dive, Margo Cilker, Meredith Axelrod, MIke and the Moonpies, Mike Harmeier, Omar Oyoque, Pickathon, Riley Dowling, Sturgill Simpson, The Avett Brothers, The Deslondes, The Onlies, Tobacco City, Tyler Childers, Valerie June, Vivian Leva, Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno, Zachary Moulton
There are now two consecutive country music festivals planned for Key West, Florida for the Winter of 2023: The 6th Annual Mile 0 Fest featuring Red Dirt, Texas, and Americana, and the 90s-centric Key Western Festival, happening the very next week.
Adam Hood, Clint Black, Cody Jinks, Courtney Patton, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Eady, Jesse Daniel, John Fullbright, Kaitlin Butts, Key Western Fest, Mark Chesnutt, MIke and the Moonpies, Mile 0 Fest, Pam Tillis, Randy Rogers Band, Sammy Kershaw, Shane Smith and the Saints, Sunny Sweeney, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Red Clay Strays, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen
It’s not exactly the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but down in Texas, it might as well be. Whenever a band becomes a regular at the “World’s Largest Honky Tonk” Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth, it’s customary for them to be added to the venue’s legendary Wall of Fame with the hand prints of the artists…
Well, we certainly didn’t see this coming, but it’s very hard to argue with. In the midst of the Grand Ole Opry’s ongoing effort to finally induct worthy artists as official members after having been passed over for many years, Charlie McCoy and Don Schlitz have both been invited.
Allison Russell, American Aquarium, Carley Pearce, Charlie McCoy, Dan Rogers, Don Schlitz, Flatland Cavalry, Grand Ole Opry, Jamey Johnson, Jason Boland, Joshua Ray Walker, MIke and the Moonpies, The Isaacs, Vince Gill
f there’s any band that is well past due for finally getting theirs, it’s Mike and the Moonpies. And even though we’re well past the era that making your debut on the Grand Ole Opry would guarantee you a powder blue Cadillac and a guitar-shaped swimming pool…
Even if you have to sell an internal organ to swing it, you still may want to consider how to get your ass to the Born & Raised Festival on September 16th, 17th, and 18th in Pryor, Oklahoma, just east of Tulsa in 2022. After experiencing the festival in 2021 on the Rocklahoma site…
Born and Raised Fest, Charles Wesley Godwin, Cody Jinks, Jamie Lin Wilson, Josh Abbott Band, Joshua Ray Walker, Kendell Marvel, Lynyrd Skynyrd, MIke and the Moonpies, Nick Shoulders, Randy Rogers Band, Riddy Arman, Wade Bowen, Whitey Morgan, Zach Bryan
So who is the newest Moonpie on the backline? His name is Taylor Englert, the band has announced. “Can’t say enough good things about this dude. Happy to have him tearing it up on the drums for us. Y’all help us welcome him to the Mike and the Moonpies family.”
“Took me about 15 years to write this song,” Brent Cobb says. “Finally finished it up a few days ago. Next time you’re trying to tell your friends about all the cool country artists you listen to just send them to this song. I got as many as I could in there. Proud to know these folks.”
Aaron Watson, Blackberry Smoke, Brandi Carlile, Brent Cobb, Charley Crockett, Cody Jinks, Jason Isbell, MIke and the Moonpies, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Sturgill Simpson, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers
If you’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to catch the Turnpike Troubadours on their reunion tour and got locked out of the first round of shows due to the crazy run on tickets, the opportunities to see them live just got a lot more lucrative.
Aaron Lewis, Chris Colston, Darci Carlson, Ella, Flatland Cavalry, Gordys Hwy 30 Music Fest, Granger Smith, Jackalope Jamboree, Jesse Daniel, Koe Wetzel, Kolby Cooper, Lainey Wilson, MIke and the Moonpies, Miranda Lambert, Mitchell Tenpenny, Morgan Wade, Pecos and the Rooftops, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rob Leines, Sam Hunt, Sam Riggs, Shane Smith and the Saints, Tim McGraw, Turnpike Troubadours, Under The Big Sky Festival, Willie Nelson, Windy City Smokeout, Zach Bryan
Live music in 2021 saw its return after the worst moments of the pandemic, but only in fits and starts, with multiple postponements and cancellations wrecking many plans, yet a few important moments still going off in the windows when they could.
Billy Strings, Blackberry Smoke, Born & Raised Festival, Cedric Burnside, Cody Jinks, Courtney Patton, Drew Kennedy, Dwight Yoakam, Hogslop String Band, Jade Bird, James McMurtry, Jamie Lin Wilson, Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs, MIke and the Moonpies, Mike Harmeier, Mile 0 Fest, Old Settler's Fest, Shane Smith and the Saints, Sierra Ferrell, Steve Poltz, Tyler Childers, Under The Big Sky Fest, Zach Bryan
This isn’t just about choosing the best album of a given year. This is about choosing the album whose impact will be felt for many years to come; that will sound just as good, if not better in subsequent years than it does now, even to future generations who may not even born yet.