Heretofore, the greatest asset of the Brothers Osborne has been that they’re not Florida Georgia Line. This is how the singing and guitar playing brother duo hopscotched Beavis and Butthead to become the shoo-in duo for all of mainstream country’s industry awards, despite having not nearly the commercial prowess, or frankly, the influence.
Rarely, if ever before have we seen an artist who illustrates both the complexity of American roots music, yet ratifies their striking similarity as Charley Crockett. He possesses the ability to intuitively blend various roots forms together naturally because he holds by God authenticity in multiple cultures where specific strains of roots music originated.
Just like country and Americana bands from places outside of the United States, local and regional bands can be an excellent hiding place for some of the best music being released in a given year that is going regularly overlooked by the rest of media. Left Arm Tan from Ft. Worth, TX fits right into that mold.
We’re blessed to live in a time period when there are plenty of woman-led singing duos, trios, and quartets to peruse for your listening pleasure. But the one issue a lover of female harmonies who also happens to be a lover of country music will find is they often veer way more folk than what you’re hoping for. Enter the band El Coyote …
Life is a strange thing. Most of John Prine’s songs are about that very topic. It’s been a weird, winding road for the legendary songwriter following the winding narratives of often weird songs from open mics in Chicago in the late 60’s, to now being considered one of the current living patron saints of Americana music.
Carrie Underwood and songs like “Cry Pretty” will never be the cup of tea of many of country music’s more traditional fans. But it’s a far cry from the terrible pursuits of the Bro-Country era that now feel far in the past, and are quickly being replaced by a regime of more expressive, heartfelt, and enriching songs closer akin to country’s roots.
Can you call it a supergroup if the principal parties aren’t widely known coast to coast? You can if it’s Western Centuries. Songs From The Deluge gets right what so many throwback country outfits get wrong. In their rush to prove how country they are, so many artists and bands fail to imprint each song with a distinct dialect.
Screw talk of saving country music, or even notions of “Southern rock.” With their latest album Find A Light, Blackberry Smoke prove they’re singlehandedly saving rock and roll and everything that stands for—Southern, countrified, and everything in between.
Songs like “Get Along” may not go far in solving society’s problems or to helping to save country music. But they also are not working against these goals. They’re a step in the right direction, and just like the songs say, we shouldn’t let our differences get the better of us, or allow us to not see the bigger picture.
What ‘Years’ has that so many albums fail to capture is a trump card that supersedes all other concerns, benchmarks, and gradients. It’s the part of music you can never learn, never practice up, never teach or toil to capture. Either you have it, or you don’t. And Sarah Shook has it. She has it in spades.
There is no more ambitious undertaking in the world of country music than to attempt to write and record the conceptualized Western murder album. This is what Canadian country songwriter and performer Lindi Ortega did when she chose to undertake her newest record, ‘Liberty.’
Who the hell is Jordan Davis you say? Well he’s that pop country guy; you know, the one with the beard. Because how the hell else would you tell him apart for the reams and reams of these generic pop country bros stacked up so thick up and down Music Row you need a cattle guard to get through them?
We’re at war for the soul of country music ladies and gentlemen, and recruiting cute little pop stars from affluent Southern suburbs, and then attempting to refine their sugary styles to be even more pop, and more cute under the misguided notion that this is how to tap into the passion of the masses has only resulted in continuing losses.
There’s a reason why so many novels and movies in the last 20 years have chosen the vast desolation of West Texas as the venue to backdrop their stories and imperil their characters. West Texas is perfect for getting lost in, or for finding yourself. The expansiveness inspires a feeling of smallness and self-reflection.
Golden Hour is definitely a move to a more pop, and less country approach to the music by Kacey Musgraves. But it’s far from the rebuke of country some are salivating to characterize it as for their ulterior purposes. Instead, Golden Hour is a mild-mannered, mid tempo and dreamy collection of Kacey Musgraves musings.
It was only a few short months ago that we were completely ignorant of the name Dillon Carmichael. Now he is quickly ascending the ladder for artists to watch who could have a big impact in the traditional country space for years to come. With a Dave Cobb-produced record in the offing and an incredible voice and style, there’s not much to hate.
Jeff Hyde is one of Eric Church’s primary songwriting collaborators, and a member of his touring band playing mostly mandolin, banjo, and acoustic guitar. Or at least that’s how he’s being presented to you since that it gives you some context of why you should pay attention to his new album.
This is not music that is meant for fans of cross-dressing drag queens. There’s no political messaging here. This music is strikingly universal, and not just respectful to the traditional country audience, it is meant for them, and meant to grow the appreciation for true country music in whomever listens.
Mississippi Nights is a fun record, really easy to get into, hard to let go of, and giving of musical enjoyment regardless of your roots music preferences. Sometimes an album, artist, or song speaks to you, and you’re not exactly sure why. There’s just something about it that makes it “cool.”
For some songwriters, it’s not just the songs they write, it’s how they make the labor of putting emotions and sentiments to words and music seem so effortless that leaves the listener spellbound. The imagery of the average Courtney Marie Andrews song is so vibrant, it sucks you straight into the story.