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.
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.
They’ve decided to divide opening duties among a total of 26 separate openers across the 65 total tour dates, as opposed to taking the usual stance with openers, which is to drag the same two or three lightweight mainstream up-and-comers around with them for six months. Even more surprising are the names selected to open.
Just what 2017 has in store for us in the country music department remains to be seen. But we do know about what to expect in the release department for at least the first quarter of the year, while rumors abound about the big projects that could come to light later in 2017. Here’s a run down of what we know, what we think we know, and what we would like to believe.
Aaron Watson, Ags Connolly, Alison Krauss, Casey James Prestwood, Charlie Worsham, Chris Knight, Chris Stapleton, Colter Wall, Curtis McMurtry, Dale Watson, Dan Auerbach, Dave Cobb, George Jones, Guy Clark, Holly Williams, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jaime Wyatt, Jason Isbell, JB Beverley, Justin Townes Earle, Marty Stuart, MOderna Mal, Nikki Lane, Old Crow Medicine Show, Otis Gibbs, Phoebe Hunt, Ray Benson, Ray Scott, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Rhiannon Giddens, Robbie Fulks, Scott H. Biram, Shinyribs, Son Volt, Steve Earle, Sunny Sweeney, The Gibson Brothers, The Sadies, The Secret Sisters, Tift Merritt, Valerie June, Whitney Rose
On Tuesday morning (12-6) the nominees for the 2017 Grammy Awards were announced, and Sturgill Simpson’s ‘A Sailors Guide to Earth’ is right up there with Adele, Beyonce, Drake, and Justin Bieber competing for the Album of the Year. And he just might win it. The album is also up for Best Country Album
Nearly a week removed from the 2016 CMA Awards, and what are we still talking about? We’re not talking to each other at all. We’re shouting. We’re yelling. We’re digging into our predisposed positioning stances and blaming the other side. We’re not discussing the music.
I told you booking Beyoncé was a bad idea CMA’s. Now you’re a racist reprobate in the eyes of the politically-charged Millennial entertainment media and sycophantical pop diva worshipers who will nail people to crosses to prove the depth of their fanaticism, and so is all of country music and its bumpkin fans.
She’s not doing it through slithering her way into pop country songwriting circles, or selling out with some big single that may impact country radio. She’s doing it by being her own badass self, and in a way that gives the music and entertainment industry no choice but to pay attention, and figure out how to apply her talents to whatever they’re doing.
New religious freedom laws in North Carolina and Mississippi, and pending legislation in Tennessee, has the South and the United States in an uproar over religious and civil liberties in an already contentious political season. And all of a sudden, music, and country music specifically, is getting caught in the crossfire.
We just didn’t have this kind of verification of the strength of Rhiannon Giddens’ vocal abilities until this project. Sometimes it takes someone else’s songs to really challenge a singer to where their limits are tested, and their utmost talents are expended trying to do a classic composition justice. That’s what makes Tomorrow Is My Turn such a worthy effort.
Saving Country Music has a rich, storied history when it comes to sharing opinions about Eric Church. Forget that just as much of the ink spilled for Church has been praising as it has been critical, when you’re dealing with an artist who enjoys a strong, grassroots fan base, you’re almost never going to win when you have something less than favorable to say.
Andrea Davidson, Eric Church, Jay Joyce, Jeff Hyde, Jeff Tweedy, Jeremy Spillman, Luke Dick, Mr. Misunderstood, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Review, Rhiannon Giddens, Susan Tedeschi, Travis Meadows, Valerie June
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Saving Country Music’s 2015 Americana Music Awards LIVE blog! As the festivities stream live from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, we’ll tag along to leave our observations, keep up with the winners, discuss the performances, and share what happened with the folks who missed it.