A strong case can be made without any hyperbole that Daniel Donato is the best young guitarist in country music, and maybe one of the best young guitarists, period. With twang taking such a strong position in his repertoire, country music community should be proud and Donato’s chosen to make his home in country’s confines. But there is no confining Daniel Donato.
Charley Crockett is the man for the here and now, pushing all those traditional country sounds forward, presenting them fresh for a new generation, and making sure they’re preserved forevermore in their authentic and timeless modes. As Charley Crockett himself says, “Real country music is for everyone.” And Charley Crockett is real country.
If anything, The Balladeer takes lofty expectations already reaching towards the unattainable, and still impresses with what might be the high water mark of Lori McKenna’s career so far. The wisdom and calming attitude flowing from these works is as potent as Asian proverbs.
Sometimes you just have to set everything else aside and find a bona fide veteran of country music that never swayed from that timeless, classic sound, never played a role or chased a trend, and delivers country songs with no affectations or irony. That’s where the music of Scott Southworth comes into play.
We knew Courtney Marie Andrews and producer Andrew Sarlo’s vision was to take a sedate and simple approach to this record, only utilizing two other musicians. But what we didn’t know is that ‘Old Flowers’ would present itself as such a devastating breakup record.
Finding new ways to present old themes, submitting timeless modes with fresh perspectives, and offering it all up in a way that is compelling, original, and sonorous enough to rise through the grey din of modern music noise and strike a unique chord is what S.G. Goodman labored to put forth and rightly accomplishes.
Lo and behold, Brett Eldredge delivers a record in Sunday Drive worthy of all the promises in the run up. It’s is more adult. It does feel fairly Americana. He doesn’t fall back on drum loops or snap tracks, and many of the songs are really well-written. In short, Sunday Drive feels decidedly non mainstream.
Eschewing the hipness of east Nashville and Austin to instead walk the culture hungry streets of Dallas, Texas, Joshua Ray Walker is a big man with a high lonesome voice and heartfelt songs who is quickly rising up the independent country music depth charts. A songwriter and honky-tonker with a head full of words and […]
Whether it’s tried-and-true traditional country, more modern Texas-style country with a little rock ‘n roll swagger, singer-songwriter stuff, or something in between, Laredo, TX-native Bo DePeña has you covered in this new self-titled record, and in only nine songs. Bo DePeña is a name on the rise.
On his newest album ‘New York,’ Rich O’Toole took the extra effort to make a record he could be proud of, not just for where he is now, but many years down the road, eschewing the effort to find that big hit that may launch him into the mainstream consciousness, and instead focused on making the best record he could.
Taking time between cattle ranching and hanging out in the Canadian Rockies to write songs and perform them for folks when he can, over the last few years Alberta native Corb Lund has gone from the best kept secret of cowboy music to a living legend of it.
Envisioned as a concept record with interludes and elements inspired by the Spaghetti Western sounds of Ennio Morricone, ‘Lightning On The Mountain’ and Other Short Stories is an ambitious, adventurous, varied, and diverse effort that keeps you on your toes for 17 tracks.
Similar to the recent move by Lady Antebellum to change their name to Lady A, the concern with The Chicks is not the name change specifically, but the slippery slope it presents toward what language can and will be deemed as problematic.
With “Stick That In Your Country Song,” Eric Church has once again proven himself to be one of the most bold and ballsy members of the mainstream country class, emboldened by the artistic freedom he’s earned, and willing to do something with it as a platform, and a podium.
The Southern accent is thick, many of the songs are gruff, attitudinal, and unapologetic, and the music is stone cold country. But if all the bluster from these modern day country music Outlaws really isn’t your thing, you might be surprised at just how much quality songwriting is showcased on this record.
In many respects, it’s never been a better time to be an aging mainstream artist in country music. Where before once your career lost radio relevance, you were relegated to the pasture pretty quickly, perhaps performing at theaters in Branson, or on the county fair circuit if you could, now Americana has become a second home.
Lilly Hiatt is the sage of the apartment dwellers, the bad planners, the people with big hearts, bigger dreams, but bad execution. She’s the siren for those who eat candy for lunch in their early 30’s. But hey, don’t judge. She’s doing the best she can. And behind this sweet little mess is a strong perseverance.
Take yourself on a little trip to the dark side of country—the underground as it’s sometimes called—where the ambition is low, any plan completely absent, but the music is powerful and invigorating, uninhibited by style or scene or trend, true to itself, and tremendously potent. This is the world of Austin, TX’s Rattlesnake Milk.
‘Northstar’ is one of those records that a first or even second pass doesn’t reveal the full magic of, yet all of a sudden if you listen long enough, you’ll find yourself in a continuous play loop you don’t want to escape from. And whether you’re an alt-country nut or a dedicated twanger, there’s something to love here.
‘Pure Scum’ is like a seedy travelogue down the sticky streets of one of the armpits of America. Instead of trying to apologize or rehabilitate Reno’s poor reputation, Leroy Virgil embraces the stereotypical and derogatory notions of the town, and parades them around as a point of pride.
With his new album ‘Country Shade,’ John Baumann fortifies his spot in Texas music and beyond as a songwriter. Sure, there’s a lot of artists who write songs in Texas music. But with John Baumann, writing songs is the singular and pure pursuit—to find the perfect sentiment, to put a notion to rhyme.
Texas country singer and songwriter Zane Williams already had a steady gig as a revered and supported artist in the scene for years, releasing seven records, touring extensively throughout the region. So why go off and start a band with as ambiguous of a name as “Hill Country” to hide yourself in?
This time around Steve Earle’s charge is somewhat unusual. Instead of simply putting together a new album of original songs or re-recording someone else’s, Earle was conscripted to assemble the soundtrack for a play called Coal Country that ran at New York’s Public Theater earlier this year.
“Neon Cross” once again captures Jaime Wyatt leaning on honesty, and exhibiting a fearlessness of expression despite her shy disposition to reveal her most bruised emotions and recollections in song as an enraptured audience soaks it all in.