Without an ounce of hyperbole, one can decree Colter Wall’s voice as a one-in-a-million phenomenon among humankind, and find very little resistance to that pronouncement. Yet the most remarkable thing about his voice is that he’s chosen to employ it in the service of keeping the most primitive forms of roots music alive.
Enough trying to settle for the latest Eric Church record simply because it’s better than most of the stuff in the mainstream, or squinting at Luke Combs and trying to make him the second coming of Waylon. You’re in the mood for a honky tonk fix? Quit throwing darts at the Billboard charts, and pick up the latest from JP Harris.
There is a war going on for control of Eric Church’s soul. It’s similar to the war that persists in the hearts and minds of most every mainstream country music artist. But for Eric Church, the war is different. It’s more pronounced, and has been playing out through the span of his career.
The name Dustin Lynch is quickly becoming a direct match synonym for derivative bottom shelf white boy culturally appropriating pseudo rap R&B bullshit. Don’t let the cowboy hat and rugged jawline fool you. This guy’s like the Wyle E. Coyote from Looney Tunes, dressed to blend in with the rest of country music….
Whether it’s crying over bills at the kitchen table, pondering the impact of an absent father, or fearing that life itself is nothing more than a slow process of death, Murray at times is merciless in her effort to make you feel the pain of personal and fictional stories that feel all too patently real to yourself as they hit the ear.
James Steinle’s debut album ‘South Texas Homecoming’ is a songwriter’s record driven home at times with a hard country backbone. Finely-crafted, erudite, and thought-provoking in moments, and then bouncy and playful when it needs to be, it touches plenty of erogenous zones on the country music palette.
Who are the mysterious Stryker Brothers? And are we to believe the elaborate back story about a couple of singing brothers named Coal and Flynt from the 70’s who hobnobbed with the Texas Outlaws of the era & other country music royalty, only to die in a prison fire & have tapes of their music discovered after all of these years?
As real as the sharp curves of mountain roads and the abandoned shucks of coal towns, John R. Miller weaves his stories of struggle and survival with a poetic wit, honesty and abandon, and a palpable authenticity. These are songs so tucked away up a holler, to find them you have to creep past No Trespassing signs.
Just the name “Shooter” elicits strong opinions from people in country music. This is the result of being the son of a country hero whose legacy looms so large, the history of the man himself could never match the mythos. Hank Williams Jr. was saddled with such burdens. He’s also the primary inspiration behind “Shooter.”
It seems like just a few short years ago we were thinking about William Clark Green as the “Next Big Thing.” Now all the young frat bros in Lubbock have moved on to Koe Wetzel, and William Clark Green has graduated to headliner status. His new album ‘Hebert Island’ finds the songwriter settling into his established career.
Let’s be honest, pairing up Robbie Fulks with the sister of Jerry Lee Lewis and having Fulks write songs from her perspective seems like such a strange concept for an album, it’s hard to conceive of releasing such as thing beyond maybe some quirky passion project with a pressing of 250 units for Record Store Day.
How to resolve adding a little bit of enthusiasm to the music, but still adhering to Jason Eady’s acoustic-only proclamation was a tough riddle to solve. But adding a couple of hot shot bluegrass ringers was the exact injection Jason Eady’s music needed to not just coast, but soar, and the results speak for themselves.
If you want to listen to a fine example of a record and an artist who embodies this Texas spirit in sound, song, and substance, Drew Moreland and his self-titled debut with his backing band The Neon Hustle is a great place to start. The solo-penned nine songs announce the up-and-comer as someone worth paying attention to.
If Kenny Chesney hadn’t spent the last 20-something years of his career beating down the country music listening public with his barrage of island and beach songs, we probably would be talking about how his latest record ‘Songs For The Saints’ is a striking piece of conceptualized album making/
True country fans don’t need to be told that trying to hold onto the roots of the music has been a war of attrition over the last 20 years or so. As more legends and oldtimers pass away or get put out to pasture each season, you search for stability and glimmers of promise as the heap of shoes to fill of the artists gone by grows.
AHI’s In Our Time is the album you never knew you wanted, but once you listen, you feel you absolutely needed. The underlying messages of uplifting perseverance, the poetry set in fiercely personal narratives, and a genuine soulful voice and perspective is all so powerfully compelling…
The Mason Ramsey EP is three classic Hank Williams songs done in tasty renditions that are respectful to the original compositions and Ramsey’s original appeal, with three non sequitur Bro Country orphans rescued from a Music Row dumpster by a night janitor and included under the misguided notion of commercial appeal.
Mother of five Lori McKenna from Stoughton, Massachusetts is saving country music. You no longer have any legitimate license to say, “Oh, I’ve heard the name. Isn’t she a songwriter or something?” and consider yourself and enlightened music fan. Brushing Lori McKenna off is brushing off one of the greatest living songwriters of our generation.
Nearly everything about “Better Boat” is right. The songwriters Travis Meadows and Liz Rose are right. The entirety of the instrumentation being performed by Mac McAnally on an acoustic guitar is right. Kenny choosing songwriter Mindy Smith to perform the song with instead of some pop star is right.
Hot damn. I don’t know who the hell Cliff Westfall is or where he’s been hiding out for so many years, but he just released a hot shit country record that will whip the pants off of most others released this year and many from years prior, and get you making room on your list of favorite artists.
“Desperate Man” is a song you give a weird look the first time, tolerate the 2nd, and can’t stop listening to after the 3rd. Shake your little fists at the music industry all you want, but the way of things is for the pure, unadulterated songwriters to revel in obscurity for most of their careers, while the adored superstars rake in all the fame and cash.
Playing original songs directly inspired by the classic recordings of country music with a little Western Swing, jazz, and rockabilly mixed in, Blue Yonder has become a beloved local fixture, with music worthy of consideration from an international audience. Their new album Rough and Ready Heart includes 12 originals….