The places a song can take you, the realizations a song can impart, this is the reason we cherish music so much, and we cherish songs specifically as the kernel root of all musical experiences that we remember forever. These are the best country and roots songs of 2021 so far.
The Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist is built to keep you informed on all the best songs and albums coming out right here, right now in country and roots music. It’s available on most all streaming formats. New songs have just been added.
Once again partnering with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi in Ireland, Rhiannon Giddens looks to take compositions such as “O Death” and “Amazing Grace” and give them new life, and to do the same to the classic Alice Gerrard song this new album is titled for.
Country music is usually left off the lineup when it comes Super Bowl time. But there will be at least a sliver of representation in 2021 though as Eric Church has been tapped to perform the National Anthem with Jazmine Sullivan before the game.
Clint Black, Eric Church, Jazmine Sullivan, Kelleigh Bannen, Rhiannon Giddens, Shania Twain, Super Bowl, Tanya Tucker, The Judds, Travis Tritt, Valerie June, Who is singing National Anthem with Eric Church
Over the last few years we’ve something completely unexpected from Eric Church, and unprecedented from many mainstream country stars. Whether it was a natural maturation, becoming a father, or actually listening to his critics, Eric Church changed, and in a meaningful way.
Re-integrating important black voices into that living tapestry should be a priority for the genre moving forward. But performing this important re-integration as either a commercial enterprise, or via hip-hop appropriations will only be effective at eroding what makes country music so vital.
Over seven years of full-time labor on the part of numerous people, over 101 interviews conducted, countless hours of archival work digging up old photographs, audio, video, and other vintage material, and an elongated year-long promotional effort finally culminated in the broadcast of the debut episode for the Ken Burns Country Music epic.
DeFord Bailey, Dolly Parton, Fiddlin' John Carson, Grand Ole Opry, Holly Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Kathy Mattea, Ken Burns, Ketch Secor, Marty Stuart, Mel Tillis, Merle Haggard, Old Crow Medicine Show, Rhiannon Giddens, Rosanne Cash, The Carter Family, Uncle Dave Macon, WSM
The broadcast of the Ken Burns-produced 8-part, 16-hour documentary on country music could very well be the most significant event to happen in country music in 2019, if not in the next few years. For country music to receive the expansive documentary treatment for America’s preeminent filmmaking archivist could have significant implications.
The 18th Annual Americana Music Awards transpired Wednesday night (9-11) at the Country Music Mother Church, the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, with lots of love spread out among a diverse list of winners, but John Prine emerging as the biggest winner walking away with both Album of the Year for ‘Tree of Forgiveness,’ and Song of the Year
Americana, Americana Music Awards, Brandi Carlile, Delbert McClinton, Frank Johnson, I'm With Her, Jack Ingram, Jim Lauderdale, John Prine, Maria Muldaur, Mavis Staples, Milk Carton Kids, Our Native Daughters, Rhiannon Giddens, The War and Treaty, Yola
Before the controversy over the removal of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” from the Billboard country charts would roil the country music world with accusations of racism and “black erasure,” it was Beyonce and her song “Daddy Lessons” from 2016 that had many outside of country hot and bothered.
Hank Williams III once said, “The older you sound, the more punk you’re being.” If that’s the case, then Rhiannon Giddens is the Johnny Rotten of folk music. The purpose of her latest record is to trace the lineage of traditional music back so far, the differences in expressions, vocal cadence, rhythm, and mood are almost imperceptible.
The Americana Music Association has announced the 2019 nominees for their annual Americana Music Awards to be held this September at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. In a video hosted by The Milk Carton Kids taped at Soundcheck Nashville on Tuesday, May 14th, four nominees in six categories were unveiled.
American Aquarium, Americana, Americana Music Awards, Brandi Carlile, Brent Cobb, Colter Wall, Dave Cobb, John Prine, Kacey Musgraves, Lori McKenna, Mark Erelli, Our Native Daughters, Pistol Annies, Rhiannon Giddens, The Milk Carton Kids, Yola
Revered and prolific Americana performer and producer Joe Henry has Stage IV prostate Cancer. This was the revelation of the 58-year-old at a solo performance Saturday night (5-11) at Largo’s Coronet Theater in Los Angeles presented as “Singing new songs and old, casting as cold eye on life, on death.”
Oh the irony of so many people demanding all music sound the same in the name of “diversity.” The only reason we’re even having a discussion of where Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” should be placed on the charts is because you can’t tell the difference between most any given piece of popular music anymore.
Aaron Vance, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah, Ben Hunter, Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Cleve Francis, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Jerry Pentacost, Kaia Kater, Leyla McCalla, Linda Martell, Mavis Staples, Michael “Scooter” McDonald, Mickey Guyton, Milton Patton, OB McClinton, Our Native Daughters, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Priscilla Renea, Ray Charles, Rhiannon Giddens, Stoney Edwards, Sunny War, Tammi Savoy, The McCrary Sisters, The Pointer Sisters, The War & Treaty, Tina Turner, Tony Jackson, Valerie June, Yola
For many years, the influence and contributions of African American musicians in country music went mostly overlooked, or overshadowed by their Caucasian counterparts. However there has been a recent trend by media and even some artists to overstate the influence of African Americans.
Aaron Vance, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Hank Williams, Jimmie Allen, Jimmie Rodgers, Kane Brown, Leyla McCalla, Mickey Guyton, Ray Charles, Rhiannon Giddens, Rufus Payne, Valerie June
It’s almost becoming an annual tradition for Eric Church: Show up to a country music awards show, and share the mic and the moment with a woman that the rest of us need to know about. In 2018 at the 52nd Annual CMA Awards, it was a familiar face to many of Eric Church’s most devoted fans, but a new face to much of America.
Of the many traditions of country music that have been trounced upon and forgotten in recent history, the culture of male country artists being complimented by women on stage is one of the most regrettable. Whether it was Dolly playing with Porter, Emmylou singing with Gram, or scores of other examples…
AmericanaFest, Ashley McBryde, Elizabeth Cook, Eric Church, Erin Rae, JP Harris, Kristina Murray, Michaela Anne, Rhiannon Giddens, Sam Outlaw, Sunny War, The Secret Sisters, The Watson Twins, Valerie June
There would be no mainstream country music career for Ashley McBryde if it weren’t for the help of Eric Church. Eric Church isn’t a guy you would expect to be a big champion of country music’s women on the surface. But quietly, Church has become a champion of many of country music’s most deserving women.
Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Eleanor Whitmore, Eric Church, Jaime Wyatt, Lzze Hale, Michaela Anne, Molly Jensen, Molly Parden, Patty Griffin, Rhiannon Giddens, Sam Outlaw, Shooter Jennings, Valerie June
Let’s face it. For a host of reasons, it’s pretty rare to see African Americans making country and roots music. But when they do, more often that not, they’re doing it the right way, pushing the music forward creatively while fiercely helping to preserving the past, becoming part of the solution instead of prolonging the problem.
Aaron Vance, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Cleve Davis, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Jerry Pentacost, Kaia Kater, Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton, Milton Patton, Rhiannon Giddens, Rufus Payne, Tony Jackson, Valerie June
One year ago, I posted the same picture of Rhiannon Giddens, with her fingers touching and her eyes shifted to the side like she’s about to hatch some devilish plan, and I told you, the sainted Saving Country Music reader, to watch out for what she had in store. “We’re not screwing around anymore here folks,” I said.
In wanton disrespect of the Labor Day holiday (aren’t journalists laborers too?), the Country Music Association announced their nominations for the 2017 CMA Awards on Monday (9-4) morning, with Miranda Lambert leading all nominees with five total nominations.
The 16th Annual Americana Music Awards will transpire on Wednesday, September 13th at the Mother Church of Country Music, The Ryman Auditorium, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Central as part of the week-long AmericanaFest in Nashville, and they have just announced the performers for the presentation, and how folks can tune in.
Aaron Lee Tasjan, Amanda Shires, Americana, Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, Brent Cobb, Buddy Miller, Chris Wood, Graham Nash, How to watch the Americana Music Awards, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Iris Dement, Jason Isbell, Jerry Pentecost, Jim Hoke, Jim Lauderdale, John Prine, Larry Campbell, Margo Price, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Old Crow Medicine Show and Lori McKenna along with The Lumineers, Rhiannon Giddens, Robbie Crowell, Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm, Rodney Crowell, Sam Outlaw, The Drive-By Truckers, The McCrary Sisters, Van Morrison
Eric Church has always said the right things. Or, he’s said the right things most of the time at least. The question with Church has always been where the marketing ends, and where the real Eric Church begins. Really, where Eric Church is at his best is when he doesn’t say anything, and lets his music and his actions speak for him.
The Academy of Country Music has just announced its 2017 batch of award nominees, and as you can imagine, it is the same usual suspects of superstar names receiving circumspect recognition in an event that is not much more than an infomercial for the industry, and fails to recognize the impact many of country’s independent artists.