So here it is January 3rd, the day that we were promised that everything would be revealed of why a month ago today, Eric Church’s marketing arm decided to post a psychotic and irresponsible “teaser” video for his upcoming The Outsiders album that depicted a shadowy figure in gloves obsessively watching a video of Taylor Swift explaining on the CMA Awards how it was Eric Church’s….
Chris Ferrell, the owner of the Pit & Barrel Bar in Nashville, and the man accused of 2nd degree murder in the shooting death of Outlaw country musician Wayne Mills, was in court for the first time today. The judge eventually reduced the bond to $150,000, and later Chris Ferrell was released with tight restrictions on his movements. More details also emerged about the case.
Sturgill Simpson’s “High Top Mountain.” Jason Isbell’s “Southeastern.” Lindi Ortega’s “Tin Star.” Though these artists are from different locales, and the genres they represent are varied shades of the country music theme, they all have one thing in common: a virtually unnoticed and rarely heralded behind-the-scenes producer named Dave Cobb.
“Songs About Trucks” performed by Wade Bowen and written by hot songwriting commodities Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally has become one of 2013’s big anti-hits with its off message take on truck songs and their daisy chains of clichÃ©s. It is only appropriate that Bowen’s anti-hit should be accompanied by an anti-video.
The last few weeks might go down in history as one of country music’s most feud-laden moments. Though country music feuding may be on a sharp rise here recently, it is not an uncommon or recent occurrence in country music by any stretch. Nothing gets folks talking like a good old artist on artist donnybrook. Here are some of the most infamous over the years.
Billy Ray Cyrus, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Charlie Rich, country music feuds, Curb Records, Dierks Bentley, Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, Ethan Hawke, feud, Garth Brooks, Gary Allan, Grand Ole Opry, Hank Williams III, Hank3, In A Razor Town, Jason Isbell, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Kelly Clarkson, Kid Rock, Kris Kristofferson, LeAnn Rimes, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Maines, Porter Wagoner, Rascal Flatts, Ray Price, Scott Borchetta, Shooter Jennings, Stonewall Jason, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Tompall Glaser, Travis Tritt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown
On August 15th, the plans for the upcoming Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame and an accompanying Outlaw Music Association were made public. The announcement stimulated a lot of speculation about what direction the upcoming Hall of Fame would take, but not many serious answers. So Saving Country Music reached out to Gary “Sarge” Sargeant, the spearhead of the Outlaw Country Hall of Fame.
Ameripolitan, CMA, Dale Watson, David Allan Coe, Eric Church, Gary Sargeant, George Jones, Gurf Morlix, Hank3, Hellbound Glory, Jamey Johnson, John Denver, Justin Moore, Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame, Pete Berwick, Shooter Jennings, Tammy Wynette, Tompall Glaser
Announced a few days ago, “VIP meet & greet packages” are being offered at many of Shooter’s upcoming appearances, including at the Muddy Roots Festival this late August. What do you get for your $85? A T-shirt, a tote bag, 5 guitar picks (that all grand total will cost Shooter less than $12-$15 wholesale), and this is my favorite one, an “Invitation to pre-show private shopping experience.”
The rapping grandson of Waylon Jennings, one Will “Young Struggle” Harness, or “Struggle” as he prefers to go by now has a new album out called I Am Struggle, that doesn’t just borrow heavily from Waylon’s catalog, it is downright built from it. 7 of the 9 tracks on the country rap record directly incorporate samples and structures of Waylon tunes in an unprecedented intrusion of rap into the country music format.
On Saturday, Shooter Jennings released a statement through his official Facebook page that accused I, Trigger of Saving Country Music, of participating in the hacking of one of his websites. This is Saving Country Music’s official response.
As evidenced by Ashes & Angels, Fifth on the Floor doesn’t need to piggy back off of any name. They are a tight knit group of musician friends with formidable musical skills and a top notch ear for arrangement and composition. Despite the average songwriting effort– an effort that still boast some elevated moments–the appeal for this band rests in their ability to get you to lose yourself in the music.
I want to publicly and vehemently renounce violence, and threats of violence, to anyone, or from anyone, for any reason, and specifically relating to any reason involving music. This includes threats toward Shooter Jennings or his fans, towards pop country personalities and their fans, or for any disagreements or misunderstandings or different interpretations of what music is good, and what music is not good.
With the appeal for roots music on the rise throughout the music landscape, it’s no wonder Southern rock is making a resurgence. Where a few years ago Southern rock seemed to be all about nostalgia and/or rehashing the same old tired twangy rock guitar riffs, the sub-genre now finds itself flush with a new crop of talent bringing creativity and a fresh, more progressive approach to the format.
Alabama Shakes, American Aquarium, Austin Lucas, Blackberry Smoke, Bottle Rockets, Dexateens, Drive By Truckers, Fifth on the Floor, Glossary, Jason Isbell, Jimbo Mathus, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, Leroy Powell, new Southern rock, North Mississippi All Stars, Old 97's, Shooter Jennings, Sons of Bill, Southern rock, Truth & Salvage, Wrinkle Neck Mules, Zac Brown Band
The pop country megastar that never was, but still may be someday named Michael Jackson Montgomery is finally releasing an album called The Bleeding Cowboy on April 9th. He has also just released the second single from The Bleeding Cowboy called “I Support The Troops More Than You.” Michael Jackson Montgomery spoke to Saving Country Music in this exclusive interview.
“Wild and Lonesome” from Shooter’s upcoming album The Other Life is a sparse, fiercely classic country tune with great country instincts and arrangement. It’s not great because of its classic country flavor, it’s great because Shooter had the wisdom to get out of the song’s way an allow it to pick its own path and tell its own story, and that happened to lead it down the classic country road.
The White Trash Song” reveals that it wants to be considered one of these up-tempo, extended country jams. The problem is there’s positively no space on this track for any individual performance to breathe. Meanwhile the rhythm sways to and fro and never finds the groove from the delay on Shooter’s voice and the phasing of the rhythm guitar, combining to make a wonky, muddy audio blob.
Every day hundreds of people wake up, put their pants on, and head to Music Row in Nashville to try to find “the next one.” They cull through reams of new material being produced by big songwriting operations, when right under their noses are battle tested songs with proven appeal waiting to be cherry picked from the independent and underground music world. Here are just a few.
Adam Hood, Alabama Pines, Brian Keane, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Elanor Whitmore, Every Girl, Good Lord Lorrie, Hellbound Glory, I'll Sing About Mine, Jason Isbell, Josh Abbott Band, Kacey Musgraves, Old Crown Medicine Show, Shooter Jennings, The Long Road Ahead, Tom Morello, Turnpike Troubadours
Dale Watson has been throwing around his “Ameripolitan” term for years, but Dale is now working to organize behind the name. The main idea behind Dale’s Ameripolitan at the moment is the formation of an Ameripolitan awards show that would transpire in February 2014 in Austin, TX. The awards would be voted on by three divisions: 1) Fans. 2) Industry. 3) 100 Ameripolitan “captains.”
Ameripolitan, Ameripolitan Music Awards, Charley Pride, Charlie Rich, countrypolitan, Dale Watson, Kris Kristofferson, Shooter Jennings, The Baksersfield Sound, The Nashviile Sound, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, XXX
Leroy Virgil is country music’s best kept secret, but the cat may soon be out of the bag as none other than Kid Rock has tapped Hellbound Glory as the opener on his 29-date arena tour. With Kid Rock’s place as a polarizing figure to some of the same country fans that Hellbound Glory appeals to, the association has drawn some ire. At the same time, it’s hard to not credit Kid Rock for stepping up.
Bare midriffs, buxom gyrations, and badass cars are no match for the curves and character of a real country face served cold. Neither is the caricaturish, shallow, and materialistic portrayal of rural life in pop country compared to the sense of family and community, and the fulfillment of hard work that accompanies true country living. Now that is something to be envious of.
This year in popular country music, there were some glimmers of hope. Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go ‘Round” found some surprising traction and success, and Kellie Pickler’s 100 Proof may go down as one of the best mainstream country albums in years. But of course this was all counter-balanced by a gaggle of the worst songs “country” music has ever seen.
Beer With Jesus, Big Machine Records, Bucky Covington, Corn Star, Craig Morgan, Crusie, Drinking Side of Country, Florida Georgia Line, Kip Moore, Little Big Town, Mike Curb, Pontoon, Scott Borchetta, Shooter Jennings, Somethin' 'Bout A Truck, Taylor Swift, Thomas Rhett, Tim McGraw Truck Yeah, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Every year this list stirs a little controversy because people misunderstand that these are not supposed to be the songs you “like” the best, but instead is supposed to be compositions in a given year that have the most impact. They’re songs that make you change the way you see the world, or change the way you see yourself. It is reserved for those few compositions that have the ability to change lives and to change the world.
Bigsky/Flatland, Billy Don BUrns, Chris Knight, Corb Lund, Drinking Whiskey, Eric Strickland, Good Lord Lorrie, Justin Twones Earle, Kacey Musgraves, Life Ain't Fair and the World Is Mean, Man In Gray, McDougall, Merry Go Round, New Year's Eve At The Gates Of Hell, Olds Sleeper, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sara Watkins, Shooter Jennings, Song of the Year, Stranger, Sturgill Simpson, T Junior, Tom VandenAvond, Turnpike Troubadours, Unfortunately Anna, Wreck of a Fine Man
I have been struggling to write this article for almost two years, but have been putting it off because there’s some hard things to say, and I didn’t want to “talk down” a movement that was already trying to deal with pretty alarming trends. But I think that especially now, zooming out and trying to be honest and critical in a constructive way is important, because there is positively no doubt that underground country is dying.
.357 String Band, Bob Wayne, Dale Watson, Hank3, Hellbound Glory, Larry & His Flask, Leroy Virgil, Muddy Roots, Pickathon, Rachel Brooke, Reinstate Hank, Reverend Horton Heat, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Shooter Jennings, Sturgill Simpson, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Goddamn Gallows, Those Poor bastards, Underground country, unknown hinson
Somewhere in the last year or so, country music crossed that line from being the last bastion for respect of beautiful women in American popular culture, to hanging out in the gutter with the rest of the vermin, making videos of venereal-infused floozies dry humping flashy vehicles in the classic vein of tasteless, materialistic, shallow-minded rap imagery.
Bucky Covington, Country Girl (Shake It For Me), Dolly Parton, Drinking Side of Country, Dustin Lynch, Loretta Lynn, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Patsy Cline, She Cranks My Tractor, Shooter Jennings, Tammy Wynette, Taylor Swift, The Carter Family
Just when you thought you’d seen it all, a feminine products company out of North Carolina called “Ocean Breeze” announced Thursday they are launching a new line of products pandering to the country world. Yes, country music is officially going….there. “This ain’t your grandmother’s douche, so to speak. Put the fiddles, steel guitars, vinegar and water mixes, and bulky, awkward applicators away.”