The second night of a two-night residency at the The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville—a.k.a the “Mother Church of Country Music”—Waylon Jennings held court with a now legendary band, and numerous special guests. It did constitute a proper final bow.
Beloved and influential country music songwriter Phil Thomas passed away Saturday, January 5th. With prominent songs recorded by artists such as Johnny Paycheck, George Strait, Randy Travis, Alabama, Barbara Mandrell, and more, his fingerprints are all over the sound and style of country from the late 70’s into the early 2000’s.
Today, September 8th, 2017, would have been the 85th birthday of Patsy Cline—one of the most iconic, influential, and immediately recognizable voices in the history of country music. But she died tragically in a 1963 plane crash near Camden, Tennessee that also killed country starts Cowboy Copas, and Hankshaw Hawkins.
On Sunday, September 27th, tragedy struck the family of country music performer Eddie Montgomery—one half of the popular country duo Montgomery Gentry. Eddie Montgomery’s 19-year-old son Hunter was taken off of life support at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital in Lexington Sunday morning after what was described as an “accident” left Hunter clinging to life. At the time, further details were not disclosed.
So here you go ladies and gentlemen, the worst of the worst that 2013 had to offer in country music. As you might suspect, a list of mainstream country’s worst misdeeds in 2013 is mostly populated by an ear-serrating cacophony of country rap songs. With only a couple of exceptions, country rap has replaced what last year at this time was a parade of laundry list-themed songs.
1994, Accidental Racist, Big Machine Records, Blake Shelton, Boys 'Round Here, Brad Paisley, Colt Ford, Cruise, Darius Rucker, Drink To That All NIght, Florida Georgia Line, Girl Ridin' Shotgun, I'd Want It To Be Yours, It'z Just What We Do, Jason Aldean, Jawga Boyz, Jerrod Niemann, Joe Diffie, Justin Moore, Luke Bryan, Montgomery Gentry, Redneck Crazy, Scott Borchetta, Shine On, That's My Kind Of Night, Titty's Beer, Tyler Farr, Wagon Wheel
If a truly good country song is represented by a delicate pair of supple female breasts, then Montgomery Gentry’s “Titty’s Beer” would be a rack of cellulose-addled man boobs replete with coarse and graying disheveled chest hair, pock marked with skin Cancer and bisected by a grizzly double bypass scar. This isn’t a cry for relevancy folks, this is a blood-curdling scream.
This is the exact album that the United States of America needs right here, right now, at this very moment in time. Finally, someone has the courage and the wisdom to use music to reassure people of the power of individual will, and the beauty of the rising action embedded in every human soul instead of as a vehicle to lay blame on everyone else for the problems the individual faces.
Now Saving Country Music has learned from a reliable source close to Waylon Jennings’ estate that the estate has “distanced” from the choosing of some of the artists on the tribute, especially on the second disc. The Waylon Estate says the family still supports the release of these volumes, but if it was left to them, a different set of contributors would have been chosen.
Wow. My little country music heart was sent reeling this morning when I rolled up to the track list and list of contributors for the new Waylon â€“ The Music Inside, Vol. 2 compilation due out January 24th. The thing read like my lampoon of the unfinished Hank Williams songs, but unfortunately it is all too real folks.
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.
If you want to listen to a true, creative meld of hip hop and country, go listen to some Beck or some Paul’s Boutique-era Beastie Boys. But this Colt Ford stuff is garbage, despite a few catchy lines, and as far as I’m concerned, lending your name to a Colt Ford project lands you a card carrying membership to the “Colt Ford Collaboration Blacklist”. Here’s the names I’ve amassed so far…
Beastie Boys, Beck, Charlie Daniels, Colt Ford, Eric Church, Gretchen Wilson, Hank Jr., James Otto, Jamey Johnson, Jason Aldean, Josh Thompson, Kevin Fowler, Luke Bryan, Montgomery Gentry, Randy Houser, Rhett Akins, Tim McGraw