When you hear an artist like Charles Wesley Godwin sing, there is no need to power cycle your sense of disbelief. The sinewy roots of West Virginia’s hardscrabble existence seem to be intertwined with Godwin’s synapses and muscle tissue, almost as if he’s a construct of the land itself, like a scrub tree clinging to life.
Regularly playing shows at places like The Broken Spoke, Luckenbach, and The White Horse, Weldon Henson is Texas country honky tonk served straight no chaser, meant to send two-steppers twirling and to pull the slow dancers closer. Weldon Henson and the Honky Tonk Frontier Band are Texas country front to back.
Who would have thought that Clint Eastwood would still be directing and starring in movies at the age of 88? Who would have thought that Toby Keith would write and perform a song as good as “Don’t Let The Old Man In”? Who would have thought that a site like Saving Country Music would be praising a Toby Keith song?
His name is Joshua Ray Walker, and he’s from Dallas, TX. And with his debut album he’s slinging out the deep and ugly gut bucket country blues with enough brokenhearted bad times and broke bad regrets to get you curled up in a fetal position and sobbing like a little girl on the cold, hard, sawdust floor.
‘Into The Blue’ is a worthy and compelling showcase of Alice Wallace’s stellar voice and refined songwriting skills, all steeped deeply and proudly in Southern California textures and lore. Though more classic in style, the work is fiercely relevant in moments, almost eerily so.
For how many years have country fans from all across the world looked towards the two parallel one-way streets just east of downtown Nashville called “Music Row” with frustration, bewilderment, and even outright disgust, and then dreamed of a scenario where the whole mess could be switched out like a reversible sweater for what’s happening […]
The Steel Woods have arrived ladies and gentlemen, and with them a whole new legacy of Southern rock to enjoy in the present tense, and look forward to for the foreseeable future. With ‘Old News’ they lay it all to bear, leave nothing to chance, throw out their best shots, and scream for rightful consideration.
Tag Randy Houser’s Magnolia as yet another entry into the evidence file that the era of Bro-Country continues to wane, and it’s slow but steady expiration has allowed the latitude of some established artists to return, giving them the ability to select and record the material of their choosing, and reuniting them with their more […]
Josh Turner does a great job on I Serve a Savior to make Gospel music that is accessible, not just from the passion that you can feel coming through his performances, or his voice that puts signature touches on old standards such as “I Saw The Light,” and the super low tones he perfects on “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”
Most will recognize Ted Russell Kamp as the long-time bass player for Shooter Jennings, starting off with Shooter way back in the .357 days with Leroy Powell and Bryan Keeling in what many consider as one of the best backing bands of the era. But Ted Russell Kamp is so much more than just someone’s bass player.
Christmas is officially cool again after years of American popular culture being too cool for Christmas. But there was never a time when Christmas and music was cooler in America than in the 1950’s. JD McPherson proves himself uniquely qualified to tackle the difficult task of recording a Christmas record.
I get it, you take to the internet to read insightful and incisive reviews on records you may or may not purchase or stream. But on this particular project, I really don’t know what to think about it, or what to tell you to think about it. More specifically, I can see it both ways, and think that both sides of the argument are right.
Like Ralphie from ‘The Christmas Story’ waiting for his Little Orphan Annie secret decoder pin to arrive in the mailbox, we’ve been dutifully checking our email inboxes and social media feeds for any news on new music coming down the pike from the King of Country Music himself, George Strait.
Thomas Gabriel doesn’t need a history lesson on Johnny Cash; he received one while growing up. In his album ‘Long Way Home,’ Thomas Gabriel takes you through an autobiography of a very turbulent, incarcerated, addiction-riddled life with an eerie connectivity and continuation of the Johnny Cash story.
Kane Brown is not country, and by insisting that he is, unnecessary conflict is created. Understand that many country fans would rather listen to a hip-hop, R&B, or pop record as opposed to Kane Brown, because at least that music will be authentic and honest, and genuine about its nature, as opposed to an aberration of the truth.
Boy, you thought witnessing the never-ending drama and identity crisis roiling The Band Perry was dizzying to the point of hilarity, and then began to feel downright sorry for them as matters got even worse as they grappled for mainstream relevancy. Well now Zac Brown has just said, “Hold my beer and watch this.”
Songwriter Will Hoge has spend his career canonizing the common man and singing about his struggles, becoming sort of a more thoughtful, alt-country version of Mellencamp with music that carries the tone and meter of Heartland rock. But with his most recent album, Will Hoge leaves all nuance and allegory behind.
If artists such as Luke Bell and Pat Reedy suit your fancy, Nick Shoulders will slide right into your wheelhouse. But where these artists perhaps own a deeper arsenal of original songs at the moment, Nick Shoulders distinguishes himself by possessing an incredible, world-class high voice and yodel the likes of which we’ve rarely heard.
Jason Isbell has ascended to being considered the King of Americana by making all of the right moves at the right time. Isbell’s Ryman Auditorium residencies over the last few years have become a thing of legend all to themselves. But the simple truth is that ‘Live From The Ryman’ is a rare misstep by Isbell and his crew.
On the Pistol Annies’ third record and their first in a long while, you will find the songs you would expect from the supertrio. But beneath the Southern female glitz and unruly frivolity on the surface of the Pistol Annies’ persona is perhaps the trio’s most involved work.
How many times can you remake the same movie and it still be good? If it’s a classic story told with passion, is well-acted and directed, and expertly updated for the modern context, the answer would be at least four. “A Star Is Born” is a big moment for Americana music.
It’s not exclusively the music from our favorite artists that inspires us. It’s how they’re gifted with the tenacity to pursue their dreams fearlessly, and with a willingness to sacrifice we all wish we had, or maybe we did have at one time before life got in the way. But they don’t let life get in the way. They get in the way of life.
It’s not just the words, but the music of Carson McHone’s Carousel that help create an audio illustration of this emotional battlefield that it’s haunting at times in how well it mirrors our own experiences. This is her opportunity to slip out of the “velvet handcuffs” of Austin. “Carousel” is worthy of that charge.