It’s the charge of country and folk musicians to sing about the struggles of the common people that often go woefully unheralded by the rest of popular culture. But sometimes it’s not just people, but places that deserve the dignity of poetic adulation.
A show that gave a fresh shot in the arm to the legacy of Sun Records and artists like Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis will not be renewed for a second season. CMT’s series ‘Sun Records’ has been canceled after an eight episode run behind the network’s now signature series, ‘Nashville.’
Forget what you should call this music, if it fits in Americana, or if a country website should even be talking about it. The songs themselves are excellent, and truthfully, shoving the music and arrangements to the side for a moment, if you would call the songs of “Workingman’s Bellfuries” anything, you might have to call them country.
Muddy Roots will be taking over the Grand Ole Opry House on May 15th for the finale of their 2016 Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender, and the one and only Chris Isaak will be headlining. The performance will be part of the larger 4-day event being held at the Opryland Hotel and Resort. Other names playing throughout the weekend include The Reverend Horton Heat, The Blasters, Wanda Jackson, Pokey LaFarge, and Dale Watson.
Alton & Jimmy, Billy Harlan, Chris Isaak, Dale Watson, Dave Cobb, Deke Dickerson, Del McCoury, Louise Rowe, Muddy Roots, Nashville, Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender, Pokey LaFarge, Reverend Horton Heat, Riders In The Sky, Rosie Flores, The Blasters, unknown hinson, Wanda Jackson
“Moving to New Zealand is career suicide!” was one of the responses country music singer/songwriter Tami Neilson received when she announced she was leaving her native Canada to live in a place where country music was generally synonymous with two words: achy and breaky. But after 5 years of being in a long-distance relationship with her Kiwi boyfriend (now husband) it was time for them to finally live in the same hemisphere.
Some 70 years behind the times and yet still cooler than the rest of us, Pokey LaFarge is like the musical equivalent of the Austin Powers character brought out of cryogenic freeze to do battle with the forces of bad music by reminding the world of a time when popular songs still embodied taste, composition, and a timeless charisma instead of the diarrhetic pap dictated by the fickle tastes of 15-year-olds.
Country folky throwback Pokey LaFarge has announced the release of his latest album and his first with Rounder Records called “Something In The Water.” The old-school throwback St. Louis singing and strumming song man signed with Rounder in November of 2014 after releasing six albums since his self-released debut in 2006.
Alright, before we get too deep into this matter, just understand that you’re going to want to be purchasing this album. It’s my job to sit here and gab at you for a while about it and explain why, and I’m flattered that you would entertain this notion and read the proceeding words. But you pretty much just need to get this album and thank me later.
The past 24 hours has seen some big signings by some worthy artists to record labels. The old-school throwback St. Louis singing and strumming song man Pokey LaFarge has signed to the prestigious Rounder Records. Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band has signed with Yazoo Records, and the Alabama-bred gritty and greasy Banditos have signed to insurgent country label Bloodshot.
Alison Krauss, Banditos, Bloodshot Records, Charley Patton, Del McCoury, Jack White, Justin Townes Earle, Lydia Loveless, Mississippi John Hurt, Neko Case, Pokey LaFarge, Re. Peyton, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Ricky Skaggs, Robert Plant, Rounder Records, Ryan Adams, Scott H. Biram, So Delicious, SXSW, Wayne 'The Train' Hancock, Willie Nelson, Yazoo Records
The Metamodern rise of Sturgill Simpson could be classified as meteoric, and his dramatic ascent in the last few months is virtually unparalleled in the modern country music world for an independent artist. Amidst the swelling crowds, the high praise, and far flung accolades, let’s look back at Sturgill Simpson, and take a moment to reflect on how he got here.
Charlie Robison, David Letterman, Dwight Yoakam, High Top Mountain, Marty Stuart, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, Pickathon, Pokey LaFarge, Sturgill Simpson, Sunday Valley, The Grand Ole Opry, The Legendary Shack Shakers, Zac Brown, Zac Brown Band
As if we needed any more validation that it is a new day in the realm of independent country roots, darn near a dozen years since The Devil Makes Three first struck a chord, they’re finally getting their due: headlining festivals, playing packed, sold out shows, and recently being signed to the prestigious New West Records, and even wrangling the legendary Buddy Miller of all people to produce their latest album.
Country music in 2013 feels like the best of times, and the worst of times. While a few top male performers perpetrate untold atrocities on the integrity of the genre, the rise of independent music and infrastructure in the marketplace is now almost to the point where it equals its corporate counterpart. Quality songs and worthy artists are beginning to see more and more support…
Ashley Monroe, Austin Lucas, Avett Brothers, Blake Shelton, Bobb Bare, Caitlin Rose, CMA Awards, Cory Branan, Country Music Hall of Fame, Dale Watson, Darius Rucker, David Letterman, East Nashville, Gary Allan, Grand Ole Opry, Guy Clark, Hellbound Glory, Jack Clement, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kid Rock, Lindi Ortega, Mumford and Sons, Nashville, Old Crow Medicine Show, Old Farts and Jackasses, Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame, Pokey LaFarge, Rascal Flatts, Ray Price, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shovels and Rope, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, The Lumineers, Tom Petty, Twones Van Zandt, Valerie June, Zac Brown
Everywhere in the independent music world you’re seeing songwriters who have struggled for years finally starting to get singed to record labels and releasing career-caliber albums. Whereas other sectors of the music industry seem to be gripped by the fear that digitization and streaming may ultimately doom the business of music, talented songwriters are benefiting from the search for the next writer to break out.
Amanda Shires, Ashley Monroe, Austin City Limits, Austin Lucas, Caitlin Rose, Dale Watson, Drive By Truckers, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Pokey LaFarge, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rolling Stones, Shovels & Rope, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Sturgill Simpson, Valerie June
Much ado has been made about Rolling Stone giving accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rock star treatment by putting his mug on their latest issue. Though it’s a free country with free press and I would fight for the right of Rolling Stone to put whatever they want on their cover, here are some simple, friendly, alternative ideas of what could have graced the front of Rolling Stone’s July 2013 issue.
Black Sabbath, Boston, Caitlin Rose, Chet Flippo, Cover, David Bowie, George Jones, Hank Williams, Jason Isbell, Johnny Paycheck, Mavis Staples, Paul McCartney, Pokey LaFarge, Randy Travis, Ray Charles, Rick Rubin, Rolling Stone, Staple Sisters, Taylor Swift, The Band, The Rolling Stone, West TX, Willie Nelson
Certainly Pickathon is an expensive festival in a severe corner of the country (just outside of Portland, OR), and these natural barriers will always keep some from being able to attend. But as far as creating the best environment to allow creativity to happen, and a model for other festivals and public events to learn and be inspired from, Pickathon has no peer…
Well, we’ve just about reached the half way point of 2011, and let me level with you folks, so far this has been a down year for music. Yes, there’s been a few good projects and some surprises as well, but generally speaking it’s been pretty bleak compared to 2010, which was such a bumper year for music.
Austin Lucas, Caitlin Rose, Gillian Welch, Hellbound Glory, Jimbo Mathus, Left Lane Cruiser, Little Lisa Dixie, Lone Wolf, Pokey LaFarge, Rachel Brooke, Scott H. Biram, Shooter Jennings, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Ted Russell Kamp, Wanda Jackson, William Elliot Whitmore
Whitey Morgan and his bass player Jeremy Mackinder have a very similar symbiotic relationship that made the pairings of Waylon Jennings and his drummer Ritchie Albright, Willie Nelson and his drummer Paul English, into such successful, productive duos: a working relationship that just works, where creativity can flourish while nuts and bolts tasks still get done. During SXSW I sat down with the pair for a chat.
Bloodshot Records, Dale Watson, Deadstring Brothers, Jeremy Mackinder, Joe Satriani, Keith Richards, Levon Helm, Pickathon, Pokey LaFarge, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sunday Valley, SXSW, Waylon Jennings, Wayne Hancock, Whitey Morgan and the 78's
Adam Lee likes to drink, and then write songs and sing about it with a voice somewhere near the slickness of Dale Watson, that can also limbo down looowww like Junior Brown, all while holding himself like a slightly plumper version of Pokey LaFarge. You may get pulled in the door with the voice, but you will stick around for the songwriting. Though the theme is one (drinking), the witty lines and turns and stories are many, and the quality stays top shelf throughout the album.
The Pickathon Festival, Aug 5-7 out in Portland, OR boasts of having “The best festival experience in the country.” And having been a participant of it in 2009, I can vouch personally for this bold statement. But Pickathon and others don’t throw this statement out to create a rabid desire for tickets with the idea of shattering previous attendance numbers in a yearly cash grab. . .
…production can only go so far. There’s no meat here, no body. No soul, no blood, no deep roots–just aping and parody that is orchestrated, arranged, and packaged very well. I keep listening, waiting for those one or two songs that will cling to me so I can use them to buoy together an affinity for this project, but they haven’t come.