Most certainly, country music has always been a bastion for more conservative and traditional viewpoints, for the most part. But there has always been exceptions and counter-balances within that narrative, expressing a lot more open-mindedness in the industry.
In 2015, when Mickey Guyton released her debut single “Better Than You Left Me,” she symbolized hope in the mainstream of country music for a host of reasons. Similar to how we regard artists such as Lainey Wilson and Carly Pearce today, Mickey Guyton was a bright spot.
Apparently, Carly Pearce did not get the memo. The script says that if you’re a mainstream country starlet that shows early promise in maintaining a little bit of country roots in your sound, as soon as you see some initial success, you’re supposed careen straight into full blown pop.
Not all playlist updates are built the same. Sometimes you’re hunting and pecking for new songs that are worthy to add, and sometimes you can wait to share a stacked draft class of some of the finest country music you can find in the modern era. This particular update is the latter kind.
Carly Pearce just continues to prove that she’s a bright spot in the mainstream of country, and is making us proud once again. The only problem with the EP she released earlier this year entitled 29 was just that: it was only an EP. Well now she’s doubling down on that approach.
American Aquarium and frontman BJ Barham have never been true country. But now they’re not just dipping their toes in the country water, their taking a full on plunge into the genre with the surprise release of a slew of country music covers.
Let’s be honest. Do we really need yet even more new versions of old country songs? But the wildcard here, and what makes this record worth turning your attention to is that you have the once-in-a-lifetime voice of the great Josh Turner gracing these classic songs.
Allison Moorer, Bruce Robison, Chris Janson, Country State of Mind, George Jones, Hank Williams, John Anderson, Josh Turner, Keith Whitley, Kris Kirstofferson, Maddie & Tae, Patty Loveless, Review, Runaway June, Vern Gosdin, Waylon Jennings
Jan Howard’s death was marked with obituaries enumerating her many accomplishments in country music, including her hits, her collaborations with John Anderson, and her long tenure at the Grand Ole Opry. But when it comes to Jan Howard, it was just as much about the work she did off the stage, and out of the spotlight.
Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Connie Smith, George Strait, Grand Ole Opry, Hal Ketchum, Jan Howard, Jean Shepard, Jimmy C. Newmann, Keith Urban, Little Jimmy Dickens, Mack McKenzie, Marty Stuart, Patty Loveless, Stonewall Jackson, Terri Clark
As tax season approaches and we get the opportunity to tie a bow around the doings of 2019, it’s always interesting to look back on the year at the Grand Ole Opry to see which performing members are paying their proper dues to country music’s most historic institution, and which one’s aren’t.
Alan Jackson, Barbara Mandrell, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Chris Janson, Dan Rogers, Dustin Lynch, Gene Watson, Grand Ole Opry, Hal Ketchum, Kelsea Ballerini, Loretta Lynn, Lorrie Morgan, Luke Combs, Patty Loveless, Reba McEntire, Rhonda Vincent, Ronnie Milsap, Stonewall Jackson, Tom T. Hall
Any frustration you might have experienced with The Mavericks for not releasing an original album this year is chased pretty quickly when they light into their version of “Swingin'” made popular by John Anderson, and then “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” written and recorded by Waylon Waymore Watasha Jennings.
Bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley, who passed away on June 23rd, was laid to rest Tuesday evening (6-28) after a public service that included words and performances from Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Jim Lauderdale, Ricky Skaggs, and other close friends and well-known performers in front of the crowd assembled at the Hills of Home Park in Coeburn, VA.
Brandy Clark is one of the revered and decorated ringleaders of the new school songwriting-by-committee process. Though the results may always be more appealing than the next tractor rap the “Peach Pickers” pull out of a corn field bro off, it sometimes can still smack more of product than the raw inspiration set to words country music used to be known for.
“White Mansions” couldn’t be made today. That’s one of many reasons it’s so remarkable and such a country music treasure. It’s not that the production costs would be too high or the talent couldn’t be assembled. But you couldn’t put present day top-tier music talent on an album that someone might construe as harboring sympathies for the Civil War South without creating an uproar.
Dave Cobb, Eric Clapton, Glyn Johns, Jessi Colter, John Dillon, Marty Stuart, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Patty Loveless, Paul Kennerley, Review, Southern Family, Steve Cash, Tanya Tucker, The Judds, Waylon Jennings, White Mansions
I’m sure Danielle is a super sweet girl and that her hair smells ravishing, but her latest single “Friend Zone” is a techno-loaded disaster that takes the worst attributes from Iggy Azalea’s id and shoehorns them into a meager, non-country composition, stinging the ear drums like flying battery acid.
A collective rolling of eyes ensued when the ACM’s announced earlier this month they would pair some of today’s country music spares with legends from the past as part of their “Party For a Cause” concert centered around the ACM’s 50th Anniversary. Punctuating the ridiculousness of the duet roster was the unfortunate marriage of country legend Dwight Yoakam and country/EDM star Sam Hunt.
In the latest sign that a godless Apocalypse is nigh upon us and will reduce the entire effort of humankind from the beginning of time to an infinitesimal blip of virtual nothingness perpetuated in a faraway corner of the universe, Dwight Yoakam has agreed to pair up with country music sham artist Sam Hunt for a duet as part of an ACM Awards television special.
Astounding and acclaimed country music vocalist Dawn Sears, known for being one of the members of the Western Swing outfit The Time Jumpers, a frequent collaborator and backup singer for fellow Time Jumper Vince Gill, and a noted solo artist releasing multiple albums on her own, died of lung Cancer on Thursday, December 11th. She was 53-years-old.
Look, with all due respect to my great friends over in the Americana world, I want to annex Jim Lauderdale back to the cause of country music. By the (self-imposed) power vested in me, I plant a flag in his graying, shoulder-length hair and hereby decree he is country music’s property, only graciously on loan to Americana as an estranged and exiled refugee…
Al Perkins, Bobby Bare, Buddy Miller, Dennis Crouch, Elvis Costello, George Strait, I'm A Song, Jim Lauderdale, John Oates, Kenny Vaughan, Lee Ann Womack, Mark Chesnutt, Patty Loveless, Review, Robert Hunter, Stuart Duncan, The Grateful Dead
The dream of most every musician who has severed all ties to the civilian day job world and made that scarey plunge of becoming a professional artist is to eventually be discovered by someone who can help them make their dream into at least a stable, sustainable reality. The fairy-tale story of some unsigned, but unquestionably deserving artist getting discovered at a random show rarely comes true, but it did for Austin Lucas.
What do we mean when we say “country” music? Well take a listen to Mississippi native and Texas transplant Jason Eady’s new album AM Country Heaven, and that should give you the strongest of all possible clues. And what do people mean when they say “Texas” country? This album isn’t a bad example of that either. Where I distance from a lot of other music writers is in the project’s originality.
Country music songwriting legend and original Outlaw Billy Joe Shaver will be releasing a loaded 20-song CD package with companion DVD called Live at Billy Bob’s Texas on July 17th, recorded in the “World’s Largest Honky Tonk”. This will be Shaver’s first album in five years. Billy Joe Shaver will be the 42nd artist to release a “Live at Billy Bob’s” album.
Billy Bob's Texas, Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Bare, BR549, David Allan Coe, Elvis Presley, George Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Anderson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Live at Billy Bob's, Merle Haggard, Patty Loveless, Tex Ritter, The Allman Brothers, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
The Rolling Stone has just reported that a long-rumored project pairing Bob Dylan and Jack White together to oversee the recording of an album of Hank Williams songs that were found without music in a briefcase will be released on October 4th. The title is The Lost Notebook of Hank Williams . It is being released on Dylan’s Egyptian Records imprint…
Alan Jackson, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Holly Williams, Jack White, Jakob Dylan, Levon Helm, Lucinda Williams, Merle Haggard, Norah Jones, Patty Loveless, Rodney Crowell, Sheryl Crow, The Lost Notebook of Hank Williams, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson