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.
Extremely timely, the mid-tempo song delves head first into the unusual moments we’re all living through that have left many of us with unsettled feelings. Lines within the song such as, “Urban feels suburban, Main Street ain’t Main” and “Couple hundred dollars feels more like change” will immediately resonate.
It’s called ‘Palomino,’ and it’s a Miranda Lambert record. That means it includes some up-tempo sassy songs, and some slow and meaningful singer/songwriter songs. It means it’s more country than most of the mainstream, but not country enough for the country snobs.
Genre is not really the big issue with “Humble Quest.” It’s the energy, or lack thereof, and the generally uninspired matter-of-fact approach to the lyrics and really the music too that make Humble Quest just kind of pedestrian, especially for pop country.
Yola’s 2021 album ‘Stand For Myself’ leans much heavier into the vintage soul space, and further away from country roots of her previous projects. ‘Stand For Myself’ also happens to be a very enjoyable listen, and a really inspiring work.
Chris Stapleton fans were disappointed on Friday (9-4) when hours before he was supposed to take the stage as the Friday night headliner at the three-day BottleRock Festival in Napa Valley, California, he canceled due to an undisclosed illness.
“If ‘Pawn Shop’ was our introduction, and ‘Port Saint Joe’ was like the first conversation we had with someone over a beer, then ‘Skeletons’ is the moment where you start getting down to the real stuff and showing who you really are,” says John Osborne. “If you really want to get to know us, this is the record to do it.”
Neither Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, nor The Highwomen collectively have addressed the issue publicly, or directly. We still don’t know why Mickey Guyton felt she was “disinvited” from the shoot, whether it was the fault of “a giant miscommunication” or otherwise.
In a recent op/ed, Guyton spelled out numerous frustrations she’s experienced, but one of the most shocking revelations of the article was not on the systemic racism she’s suffered from in the country music industry, it was how she was snubbed by her fellow women in the genre.
It’s been a long road for Tanya Tucker, but she has finally received distinction from the Recording Academy. In fact, she received a few of them during the 2020 Grammy Awards Premier Ceremony Sunday (1-26) afternoon before the televised portion of the program for Best Country Song and Best Country Album.
When you want to record one of those absolutely devastating country music tearjerkers that holds back nothing and mercilessly goes to work on the audience’s emotional receptors, the songbook of Erin Enderlin is where you turn. Now she’s more posed than ever to emerge from the songwriting shadows.
Strong songwriting underpins inspired performances delivered by four women with passion for this project and its material in this initial effort by The Highwomen. Instead of writing it all themselves, they took the Nashville approach of utilizing co-writers to refine each effort that began with their original ideas, and it shows in the results.
Miranda Lambert’s latest album will be called “Wildcard.” Along with the album release date and artwork, we also get to see track list and songwriting collaborators Miranda Lambert worked with on the album. A regular champion of quality songwriters, ‘Wildcard’ will be no different, even if the sound and approach is.
As if answering a distress call sent out over the airwaves or via a spotlight beamed over Music City, the Highwomen have assembled in the form of the Grammy-winning Brandi Carlile, fiddlemaster Amanda Shires, songwriting markswoman Natalie Hemby, and superstar Maren Morris. “Redesigning Women” is their first taste.
Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Cam, Dave Cobb, Erin Rae, Hailey Whitters, Jason Isbell, Jimmy Webb, Lily Hiatt, Lori McKenna, Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Hemby, Natalie Stovall, Raelynn, Ray LaMontagne, Tanya Tucker, The Highwomen, Wynonna Judd
You’ll have to wait all the way until September 27th to hear Jon Pardi’s new record “Heartache Medication” in its entirety. But we now have the track list, cover art, and songwriting contributors for the new record, and there’s a lot of interesting stuff to unpack.
New music is coming from traditional-leaning mainstream country artist Jon Pardi, and he promises it will be loaded with fiddles and steel guitar, and exactly what country music’s twang lovers crave. “When I wrote that song, I knew the fiddle was going to count it off and we’re going to have a fiddle intro…”
How many times can you remake the same movie and it still be good? If it’s a classic story told with passion, is well-acted and directed, and expertly updated for the modern context, the answer would be at least four. “A Star Is Born” is a big moment for Americana music.
A new version of the feature film A Star Is Born is on the way starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, and a host of notable names from the the cool side of country music are included in the movie and soundtrack. But the most surprising takeaway from the track list is the very active participation of Lukas Nelson.
If there’s any hope for the future of mainstream country music, it lies in songwriters like Lori McKenna. Whenever you see a quality song from a major label country artist, it’s uncanny how often Lori McKenna’s name comes up in the songwriting credits. True country fans know that if you want to find the best music, you have to go straight to the source.
Miranda Lambert will release her latest single, and the 4th from her current album The Weight of These Wings when “Keeper of the Flame” gets shipped to radio April 11th. Likely targeted for a single from the album originally, it first appeared a few weeks ahead of The Weight of These Wings as a teaser track.
You may not be into attending big arena shows, but it’s hard to not be happy for the big opportunity being bestowed to the Turnpike Troubadours, Southern rock revivalists The Steel Woods, high caliber songwriter Natalie Hemby, and Tenille Townes who have all been tapped as openers on Miranda Lambert’s “Bandwagon Tour.”
Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, and Jason Isbell comprise the current Mt. Rushmore of independent country and roots music, and that is unquestionable, regardless of how you may feel about any one of them specifically, or even as a group. But what is the fourth mug we can put on top of that mountain?
When you think of the modern country music landscape, you think of a clear delineation line between the independent and mainstream. However the songwriting credits for Miranda Lambert are the one clear exception. Looking through her list of collaborators, it’s pretty incredible.
Adam Hood, Allison Moorer, Anderson East, Angaleena Presley, Ashley Monroe, Audra Mae, Brandy Clark, Carlene Carter, Chris Stapleton, David Rawlings, Fred Eaglesmith, Gillian Welch, Jack Ingram, John Prine, Julie Miller, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Hemby, Patty Griffin, Priscilla Renea, Shake Russell, Steve Earle, Susanna Clark, The Pistol Annies, Tom T. Hall, Traivs Howard, Waylon Payne
When we broach the exercise of whittling down the field of songs of a given year to a list of a chosen few to be considered Song of the Year, we’re not looking for booty shakers or boot scooters. We’re looking for those songs that through the power of words and music, hit you so deeply, you’re a different person after you’re done listening.