Country music is country music, and the best definition of what country music is, is that you know it when you hear it. It’s self-evident. But the genre has birthed many subgenres, many stylistic movements over the years, and at times has seen a splintering and Balkanization.
Certain events and venues take on an exceptional status in music, simply from the moments that happened there, the memories made, and the artists discovered. Such is the case for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, which celebrated its 49th Anniversary in 2022.
Bela Fleck, Big Richard, Bryan Sutton, Chris Thile, Edger Meyer, Grateful Dead, Greensky Bluegrass, Infamous Stringdusters, Jack Black, Jerry Douglas, Joy Adams, Leah Song, Leonard Podolak, Michael Cleveland, Molly Tuttle, Paul Hoffman, Phil Lesh, Rhiannon Giddens, Rising Appalachia, Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Tenacious D, The Duhks, The Lil Smokies, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers
Sunday night (5-29), Tyler Childers returned to the main stage of DelFest. But unlike in 2019 when he played a straightforward, daytime supporting set, this time Childers was the headliner backed by the festival’s namesake backing band, The Travelin’ McCourys.
It was 10 years ago last month that Lyle Lovett finally emerged out from under the oppressive thumb of Curb Records who’d he’d labored under for the duration of his career, and finally fulfilled his contract with in the 2012 album “Release Me.”
Make no mistake though, if you want to hear the absolute pinnacle of bluegrass in 2021 when it comes to just sheer blazing imagination and artistry, then accept no substitutes. Béla Fleck and ‘My Bluegrass Heart’ are it, period. ‘My Bluegrass Heart’ is a masterwork
Bela Fleck, Billy Strings, Brian Sutton, Chris Thile, David Grisman, Edgar Meyer, Jerry Douglas, Michael Cleveland, Molly Tuttle, My Bluegrass Heart, Noam Pikelny, Review, Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, Tony Trischka
I know what some will say: Bluegrass has always been here. And that’s most certainly true. But for these subgenres of country music to sustain, they need fresh blood every few years, both in the form of exciting new performers, and new fans. And in 2021, bluegrass is enjoying both.
pound for pound, the 2021 Old Settler’s Fest lineup conveyed as much entertainment value as any other event you’d find out there, with smart and studious curation that resulted in a stellar lineup and experience for 2021 Old Settler’s goers.
Bonnie Bishop, Casey "Pickle" McBride, Cedric Burnside, Della Mae, Elle Townley, Fruition, Grace Rowland, Hogslop String Band, Jade Bird, James McMurtry, Jamestown Revival, Jean Spivey, Jeremie Albino, Kelsey Waldon, Logan Ledger, Old Settler's Fest, Po' Ramblin' Boys, Robert Ellis, Sam Bush, Sarah Jarosz, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Sierra Ferrell, Steve Poltz, The Deer, Tomar and the FCs, Tony Kamel, Wood and Wire
With great recording quality, excellent vocals and instrument separation, and just enough crowd noise to help put you in the room, “Ramble in Music City: The Lost Concert” is yet another excellent live addition to the already stellar lineup of live albums from Emmylou Harris.
Not as a rebuke of the work of the documentary, but as an addendum for those who watched and might want to dig deeper into the history of country through some of its more important personalities not represented well in the film, here are some of the Country Music film’s biggest oversights.
Alison Krauss, Billie Jean Horton, Conway Twitty, David Allan Coe, Dayton Duncan, Don Williams, Doug Sahm, Eddie Rabbitt, Emmloyou Harris, George Strait, Glen Campbell, Hank Snow, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jim Reeves, Jimmy Martin, John Hartford, Johnny Horton, Johnny Paycheck, Keith Whitley, Ken Burns, Linda Ronstadt, Michael Martin Murphy, Patsy Cline, Sam Bush, Tanya Tucker, The Maddox Brothers & Rose, Vern Gosdin
When you think Hall & Oates, you think of albums like Private Eyes, which nearly defined schlocky 80s studio pop rock that wasn’t ballsy enough for hair metal, or refined enough for Yacht Rock. But like most all artists, early influences and overall acumen are rarely represented by what makes it onto the Billboard Hot 100.
On Saturday, 12-17, Music City Roots, Yee-Haw Brewing Co., and Ole Smoky Moonshine are organizing a benefit for the fire victims called Mountain Tough that will include performances by Jim Lauderdale, Mo Pitney, The Secret Sisters, Sam Bush, Chuck Mead, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, and headliners the Zac Brown Band.
Flatt Lonesome, The Earls of Leicester, Balsam Range, The SteelDrivers, and Sam Bush emerged Wednesday (7-27) as the leading nominee getters for the 2016 installment of the International Bluegrass Music Awards, or IBMA’s, while Clarence White was announced as the latest inductee into the Hall of Fame.
A big issue with the Grand Ole Opry in recent years has been trying to get standing members to meet their performance obligations. Though the Opry loves to add high-profile names from country’s current radio stars, these performers tend to sign on to receive the distinction of being Opry members, but don’t actually want to play the appointed number of slots for membership.
"Cousin" Kenny Vaughan, Brandy Clark, Carrie Underwood, Chris Janson, Chris Scruggs, Chris Stapleton, Daryle Singletary, Elizabeth Cook, EmiSunshine, Gene Watson, Grand Ole Opry, Holly Williams, Jamey Johnson, Jim Lauderdale, Kacey Musgraves, Kellie Pickler, Mark Chesnutt, Miranda Lambert, Mo Pitney, Radney Foster, Rhonda Vincent, Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash, Sam Bush, William Michael Morgan
It’s about that time of year again to start considering who the Country Music Hall of Fame will include in their list of 2015 inductees. That said, this announcement seems to inch later, and later (and later) each year. Nonetheless, if you want your opinion to amount to anything, you better get it out there early in the year as the people who make the picks for the final ballots and eventually inductees are doing their homework.
Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Country Music Hall of Fame, David Allan Coe, Don Kelley, Dwight Yoakam, Grady Martin, Gram Parsons, Hank Williams Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Jerry Reed, Jesse McReynolds, John Hartford, Johnny Paycheck, Keith Whitley, Kenney Vaughan, Kenny Chesney, Mac McAnally, Mac Wiseman, Pete Drake, Ralph Mooney, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Redd Volkaert, Ricky Skaggs, Ronnie Milsap, Sam Bush, The Maddox Brothers & Rose, The Oak Ridge Boys
Yes, it was still 2013, and it was still a modern country music awards show, and so traditional and independent-minded country music fans still had plenty to look sideways at if they were brave enough to watch. But that doesn’t mean that the 47th Annual Country Music Association Awards wasn’t a retrenching of the roots and substance in the genre’s most important institution.
47th CMA Awards, Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss, Chris Stapleton, CMA Awards, Dave Grohl, Florida Georgia Line, George Jones, George Strait, Jason Aldean, Kacey Musgraves, Luke Bryan, Robert Deaton, Sam Bush, Taylor Swift, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown Band
ABC’s Wednesday night drama Nashville just entered its second season, and though like many network television dramas, the drama can feel over-the-top and contrived, the show’s impact on a wide range of issues that fall under the charge of Saving Country Music is undeniable, if not unprecedented. Though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the show, it’s still important to understand Nashville’s impact.
The 2013 Americana Music Awards once again transpired in Nashville at the historic Ryman Auditorium as part of the week-long Americana Music Conference. Delbert McClinton lead off with Hank Williams’ “Hey, Good Lookin,'” leading into MC Jim Lauderdale giving a poignant introduction that included the line, “The past matters, traditions matter, even when we explore ways to have those traditions extended and expanded.”
2013, Alejandro Escovedo, Americana Music Awards, Americana Music Awards Winners, Billy Bragg, Bruce Robison, Dan Auerbach, Delbert McClinton, Dr. John, Duane Eddy, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams, Holly Williams, JD McPherson, John Fullbright, Kelly Willis, Ken Burns, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Milk Carton Kids, Nicki Bluhm, Richard Thompson, Robert Hunter. Jim Lauderdale, Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash, Sam Bush, Shovels and Rope, Stephen Stills, Tift Merritt, Wilco
So what positives could come from the show? If you take away all the drama between the characters that’s really the central focus of the series, what you have is the biggest inside look into the business of country music ever released to the public through popular media and a vehicle for presenting new music to millions of folks. The ugly trappings of Nashville go with out saying. Here are some of the positives.
Is this a great bluegrass album? Of course not. But a great bluegrass album would also not be a vehicle to introduce a generation of people to Del McCoury, Kris Kristofferson, and bluegrass music in general. Is it the album that Dierks set out to make without commercial consideration or label meddling? I kind of think it is.
Alison Krauss, Bob Dylan, Chris Thile, Del McCoury, Dierks Bentley, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, Kris Kristofferson, Miranda Lambert, Old Crow Medicine Show, Sam Bush, The Punch Brothers, U2, Up On The Ridge