It’s uncanny how Chris Knight takes such simple notions, and turns them into exaltations for the common man, their common struggles, and imparts solutions to everyday dilemmas. He’s the headwaters of erudite knowledge served in plainspoken terms that all other country songwriters seek.
Where Cody’s last album ‘Lifers’ seemed to focus more on his dedicated fans and the hardscrabble, blue collar lives they lead, ‘After The Fire’ is much more introspective and inward-looking. It’s about Cody’s struggle to balance music and life, trying to be a good husband first before becoming the big star some would love to see him become.
“Kinfolks” is Sam Hunt thinking you’ll consider this a country song just because the lyrical hook is a rural colloquialism. This is what passes for “country” in Sam Hunt’s book, while we’re supposed to ignore the clap track and hip-pop phrasing. Sam Hunt left a huge mess behind in country music when he disappeared a few years ago.
When frontman Cody Cannon takes the stage, he struts around like a cock of the walk, more resembling his hard rock heroes than a down home, humble country boy. But when he sits down in front of a legal pad or starts scribbling songs ideas on a fast food napkin, something resembling country is just as likely to emerge.
The pedigree that runs curiously through country music did not pass Georgette Jones up, and her talent for singing and finding songs that embody all that’s great about the country genre is on full display on her latest record, Skin. This album has not scored the insatiable buzz some other records from women in country have this year.
Boy howdy. It takes all of 12 seconds to fly by in this new Jason James record before you decisively know that you made the smartest of all country music decisions by giving this young man your time and attention. Where have all those true sounds of country music gone? Straight into the lungs of Texas City’s Jason James.
Add Sturgill Simpson to the list of things in society that are extremely polarizing, right up there with politics, religion, LeBron James, pumpkin spice, and whatever else people get worked up about, with half the world professing something or someone is utter and unequivocal garbage, while the other half can’t contain their enthusiasm.
Recorded in San Clemente, California where the desert meets the sea, Michaela Anne’s Desert Dove looks to capture the majesty and wonder many feel while in the midst of these arid landscapes, and instill it into songs about life and love. Produced by contemporary California country artist Sam Outlaw (now in Nashville), and Kelly Winrich…
The worst part about Zac Brown’s The Controversy is that it was released on September 27th—one of these “Super Release Days” that we’ve been getting more and more of recently, where there are quite literally a dozen marquee albums being released simultaneously, and ones that are much more worthy of people’s attention than this.
It’s not that that the previous works by Jon Pardi haven’t helped define that hard country edge of the mainstream, because they have. But on his new record Heartache Medication, this is not country music by close approximation, or considering it on a sliding scale based off the output from peers on Music Row. It’s By God country.
If you’re overlooking the world of bluegrass and what Billy Strings is accomplishing, a malevolent blind spot has infiltrated your point of view. After all, bluegrass is the vessel for the oldest forms of country, and Billy Strings is adhering to it, while somehow pushing it forward like never before in its nearly 80 years of existence.
The music of Charley Crockett takes you back to a time and place when country rubbed up against other genres in a good way, and no matter what type of music you ran across, it included that touch of human emotion that didn’t get hung up in the cogs of the machines stamping out music as commercial product.
This new Zac Brown Band record is so bad, the label BMG appears to have pulled any and all promo behind it.The lead single from the record called “Someone I Used To Know” flunked out of the country radio charts. In short, with his new record, The Zac Brown Band appears to have just offed their mainstream career.
For those who want something well-written and performed, offbeat, wildly-entertaining and adventurous, while still sticking strictly to country music’s roots, a swim through this debut record by Jimbo Pap will be a hoot, and right down your alley. Jimbo Pap and It Can Always Get Worse came about almost by accident.
Good ol’ vintage Texas country music bliss is what greets your happy ears when you pipe up Vincent Neil Emerson’s “Fried Chicken and Evil Women.” It’s a little bit of Western Swing flavor added to Texas Troubadour Ernest Tubb styling that nestles right in your sensibilities as an old soul, filling you with fuzzy feelings.
If it was the early 90s, and Jason Aldean was opening for AC/DC or a born again Ozzy Osbourne, perhaps this mess would fly. But this is 2019, and supposed to be country music. Where is the Prince of Darkness to bite the head off a Jason Aldean when you need him?
Strong songwriting underpins inspired performances delivered by four women with passion for this project and its material in this initial effort by The Highwomen. Instead of writing it all themselves, they took the Nashville approach of utilizing co-writers to refine each effort that began with their original ideas, and it shows in the results.
If you’re married fast to the notion that country music can’t evolve while remaining tethered to it’s roots, then you better not go near Jason Hawk Harris’s Bloodshot Records debut Love & the Dark and risk having your little theory thrown back in your face. Fueled by the challenge, and armed with his classical training as a musician…
Croy and the Boys are the true sound of Austin, TX paid forward over the decades, with the permanent stench of the honky tonks soiling their pearl snap shirts, and the 10,000 hours spent twirling the shit kickers of central Texas around dance floors logged and certified, thank you very much.
It’s been just over three years since Craig Morgan released any new music, and just over three years since his son, 19-year-old Jerry Greer, went missing on Kentucky Lake near the Kentucky and Tennessee border on a Sunday afternoon. The teen had been tubing on the lake with friends, and after hitting a big wave, failed to surface.
Drawing from both the bleeding edge of authenticity that has made the performers of Kentucky like Tyler Childers and others define the current country music insurgency, and the spellbinding songwriting magic of Oklahoma’s preeminent writers like Evan Felker, John Moreland, & John Fullbright, Zach Bryan stuns in one song after another in ‘DeAnn.’
Vince Gill and ‘Okie’ come completely out of left field in both the power and scope this project contains. His faith is at the forefront, his concern about the tempest-tossed nature of today’s societal upheaval is sincere, and his wisdom is sharp and biting in a record that speaks to our time poignantly and surprisingly free of judgement.
From numerous underlying familial issues and the death of loved ones, to odes of heartbreak and misfortune, ‘Songs From The Exile’ is like a document dump from Dalton Domino’s suppressed memory cache of the highest order. Dalton isn’t just facing down the demons staring him down everyday, he’s on a quest to delve into the deepest recesses…
It’s the voice of Tanya Tucker that compels the country listener to seek her records out. It’s always been a mixture of worn leather and honky tonk smoke, even at a tender age. Some may call it husky, including those who mean that in a demeaning manner. But it’s hard not to fall prey to the “lived it” notions the tone of Tanya Tucker conveys, and how it cracks in all the right places to punctuate emotions in the most important moments.