Apparently not enough hearts have been broken, not enough tears cried, not enough minds sent swooning, and not enough sorrow sown. If you want something done right, you often have to do it yourself, and the Queen of Underground Country is back to show all you whipper snappers how it’s done.
With the embarrassment of riches independent country music fans enjoy these days amid countless options of where and who they can get their country fix from beyond corporate radio, you can make the mistake of overlooking Midwest-based country singer and performer David Quinn.
‘Yellow Rose’ follows Rose Garcia as she takes her feelings of formlessness and not fitting in, and puts them into country songs. One evening when sneaking into the famous Broken Spoke honky tonk in Austin, Texas with her friend Elliot who works at a local music store, Rose makes the acquaintance of Dale Watson
With little room for noodling or improvisation, and not a ton of conversation or rehearsal before heading into the studio, Cuttin’ Grass is still finely crafted and deftly executed by all involved, offering good to excellent bluegrass renditions of Sturgill Simpson songs.
From the way he expertly plys his passion for country music, to the trueness he shows to himself, Roo Arcus is one of the best places to turn for more of that straight-laced and squared away version of country music indicative of George Strait, yet it’s still country that cuts to the bone with ruggedness and authenticity.
‘Co-Starring’ is a spirited, ambitious, well-written and performed late career effort by Ray Wylie Hubbard that makes a strong case why he deserves major label backing, why all the praise and opportunities he’s been receiving lately (however late) are warranted, while also making a worthy introduction into why so many revere this man.
Here comes the Brothers Osborne’s new record ‘Skeletons,’ which most certainly has it’s moments. But where Port Saint Joe surprised us for all the right reasons, Skeletons is decidedly much more rock than country, more boisterous than understated, and more riff-driven than lyric-driven.
It’s easy to soliloquize the expansive mountains or the rolling sea. It’s another to find inspiration in the expansive stillness of America’s midriff. But as Brennen Leigh can attest from her intimate acquaintance, you’ll never believe the brilliance of it unless you’ve beheld them with your own eyes.
Slapping you square across the face with steel, fiddle, and Telecaster guitar, David Adam Byrnes is here to answer where all the country in country music has gone. And no, it didn’t take flight to “Americana.” You want country damn music? Well here you go. So quit complaining about the latest Sam Hunt single.
If you’re looking for an opportune auditory retreat from the utter madness that is 2020, then Brent Cobb has just dropped one right in your lap, and not a moment too soon. Like taking a slow drive through the countryside, or sitting on the back porch on a Sunday afternoon with a jar of tea, he’ll get you to feeling right.
Don’t think of Tennessee Jet as your typical country music performer. Consider him more like a character from a Beat-era novel, hitchhiking from California and back, hanging out with a motorcycle gang for a week in the desert, camping out under the stars on the side of the road, all with a guitar slung on his back.
When you find a performer this young and talented, it’s not just the entertainment value they posses at that moment, but the possibility of what they could develop into as time goes on that compels you. But Jake Blocker is already writing his own songs in his debut album.
No matter the attitude one brings to this unusual, and unexpected work by Tyler Childers, it’s undeniable that when his biography is penned, a dedicated portion will be transfixed on remembering that time during the crazy pandemic of 2020 that he released a surprise record full of old-time fiddle tunes
If you’re looking for a honky tonk sweetheart, then you’ve found one in native Californian Victoria Bailey, who comes sauntering out of the painted desert on a Palomino like a singin’ cowgirl from the days of old, seducing you with eyes the size of flying saucers and a sweet soprano with the most perfect country warble.
He is one of these artists that’s too rough-and-tumble for the Nashville scene, and not polished enough for Texas/Red Dirt. But McWade has garnered a following all his own between the margins, just like fellow songwriter Cody Jinks, who recorded one of McWade’s songs on his recent album ‘The Wanting.’
Through the Bro-Country era, Tim McGraw became one of the surprising saving graces in mainstream country music by entering his late career stage doubling back to his roots and releasing quality songs that were surprisingly more country than even some of his earlier stuff, and even finding success with them on the radio.
Juliet McConkey’s debut album Disappearing Girl leaves one touched in a way that is lasting, and reminds you why music holds such a dedicated and reverent place in your life in the first place. You’re left spent, and eternally grateful. Hurt never sounded so sweet.
With stellar frontman Raul Malo, The Mavericks have dabbled in Spanish language music before. But En Español is the first time the outfit delves into Spanish language material exclusively, both in the form of some new, original compositions, as well as some tasteful covers.
Those who know, know. Those who don’t should work to remedy that, and post haste. We’re talking about whether your musical universe includes any knowledge of New Mexico native Cahalen Morrison, or not. He recently released a new solo record called “Wealth of Sorrow.”
Straight out of the Texas music heartland where they’ve sold who knows how much Lone Star and Shiner while holding court on the stage of the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, the Shaker Hymns want to see if they can launch the next Texas music legacy.
Her latest album The Southwest Sky and Other Dreams is an imaginative and inspired work of involved stories and finely-woven songwriting, with intermissions of enjoyable romps through country and roots escapism, influenced from treks through desert California and West Texas.
Cowboy and Western artist Colter Wall from Saskatchewan, Canada is not cutting or diluting his music to conform to anything. His songs don’t just veer toward the most authentic and unfettered versions of Western’s music’s legacy, it’s the very embodiment of them. Often, they’re the very legacy songs themselves.
Let’s be honest. Do we really need yet even more new versions of old country songs? But the wildcard here, and what makes this record worth turning your attention to is that you have the once-in-a-lifetime voice of the great Josh Turner gracing these classic songs.
Allison Moorer, Bruce Robison, Chris Janson, Country State of Mind, George Jones, Hank Williams, John Anderson, Josh Turner, Keith Whitley, Kris Kirstofferson, Maddie & Tae, Patty Loveless, Review, Runaway June, Vern Gosdin, Waylon Jennings
We shouldn’t be surprised that Jon Pardi is one of the few new mainstream stars who can rattle off a handful of country classics at a moments notice. He’s about as traditional as mainstream country gets. Hell most of today’s radio stars have little to no idea who Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam, or the late great Joe Diffie even are.