When the topic of discussion turns to legacy alt-country bands, it’s easy for the Old 97’s to get left out of the mix, and unfairly so. Since their epicenter revolves around Dallas, and not Austin, Nashville, or Los Angeles, it seems like they’re always a little more out-of-sight, out-of-mind than their mammoth output and legacy deserves.
Alt-country perennials The Old 97’s have been making the late night rounds to promote the release of their latest record Graveyard Whistling, and have been sharing that opportunity with some worthy east Nashville artists. Tuesday evening, The Old 97’s will be enjoying the company of Caitlin Rose on stage when they make an appearance on Conan O’Brien.
Ryan Adams was one of the unquestionable leaders of this punk-infused country music conquest, and that is why it was so disconcerting to read recently that apparently he not only does not like country music, but he apparently never has, never really cared about it even when he was playing it, and certainly doesn’t want anything to do with it now.
Moving in to fill the space once carved out between country and alternative rock by alt-country pioneers such as Uncle Tupelo and the Old 97’s, three sons of University of Virginia Southern Literature professor Bill Wilson and two other willing accomplices come together to form the Charlottesville-based Sons of Bill under the charge to help revitalize alt-country.
Originally cut in Nashville in 1996 and sitting on the shelf ever since, Old 97’s & Waylon Jennings is a remarkable little gem unearthed these many years later, offering a window into a time right before Waylon’s health began to fail him, and right as the Old 97’s were rising in the alt-country tide alongside bands like Wilco and Whiskeytown.
This Saturday, April 20th is the 2013 installment of Record Store Day. 2013 has some juicy releases, including some super rare Willie Nelson demo sessions, a split with Waylon Jennings and the Old 97’s, some cool live albums from Gram Parsons and Sarah Jarosz, and a re-issue of Justin Townes Earle’s first album, the Yuma EP.
2013, Aljeandro Escovedo, Avett Brothers, Blitzen Trapper, Calexico, Charlie Poole, Chet Atkins, Chris Scruggs, Dale Watson, Elizabeth Cook, Gram Parsons, Jason Isbell, JD McPherson, Justin Townes Earle, Kacey Chambers, Mike Cooley, Mumford & Sons, Old 97's, Patty Griffin, Randy Travis, Record Store Day, Richard Thompson, Sarah Jarosz, Shane Nicholson, The Band, Tift Merritt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Yoner Mountain String Band
With the appeal for roots music on the rise throughout the music landscape, it’s no wonder Southern rock is making a resurgence. Where a few years ago Southern rock seemed to be all about nostalgia and/or rehashing the same old tired twangy rock guitar riffs, the sub-genre now finds itself flush with a new crop of talent bringing creativity and a fresh, more progressive approach to the format.
Alabama Shakes, American Aquarium, Austin Lucas, Blackberry Smoke, Bottle Rockets, Dexateens, Drive By Truckers, Fifth on the Floor, Glossary, Jason Isbell, Jimbo Mathus, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, Leroy Powell, new Southern rock, North Mississippi All Stars, Old 97's, Shooter Jennings, Sons of Bill, Southern rock, Truth & Salvage, Wrinkle Neck Mules, Zac Brown Band
Alright look. I know that some of you have already grown tired of the back and forths talking about what to call music and how to manage it, and rather we all spend more time focusing on the actual music itself. I agree, and that will continue to be the main focus of Saving Country Music. But right now, I do not think there is a bigger issue facing the music we all love than this proposed XXX genre. I have already made my initial thoughts known, and had many critical things to say . . .
Dash Rip Rock, Drive By Truckers, Hank III, Jason Isbell, John Carter Cash, Lukas Nelson, Mojo Nixon, North Mississippi All Stars, Old 97's, Rhett Miller, Scott H. Biram, Shooter Jennings, Tommy Townsend, Whitey Morgan & The 78's