The first thing this album does is remind you that Waylon Jennings left us too early. The strength of the compositions validate that sentiment. All artists go though peaks and valleys in their careers, but passing away at 64, Waylon was never afforded the legacy era that his fellow Highwaymen have enjoyed; the “Golden Years” of an iconic country career.
As some of you may already know, I’ve got a good friend named Pointer, and every year we get together for an annual trip to downtown Nashville around Labor Day. Pointer and I are great friends and we both love country music, but we couldn’t be on more opposite sides of the country music spectrum. Pointer loves to have his picture taken in front of things.
I bet when you saw Bob Wayne’s name in the title of this article, you had some sort of immediate emotional reaction, didn’t you? You either thought, “That foul mouthed punk, I can’t even stand to see his ugly face,” and you blame him for perpetuating a perversion of country music. Or you said “Hell yeah.” Like him or not, Bob Wayne has arrived. One way you can tell this is by the polarization that precedes his name.
Old World’s Ocean puts The Calamity Cubes’ bevy of talents on glorious display. Excellent songwriting is conveyed through flawless vocal performances and inventive music. They say to make it in music today you need a distinct voice, and The Calamity Cubes have two of them; the deep, brooding baritone of Brook Blanche, and the whimsical, character-filled sighs of Joey Henry.
What a banner year it has been for bad songs in country music. After 2011’s “Red Solo Cup” by Toby Keith and Jason Aldean’s country/rap “Dirt Road Anthem” the bar has been raised for how low you must go to get attention for your twilighting music career. Put a clothesline clip on your nose, a paper bag on your knee, and dive in…if you dare.
Bucky Covington, Corn Star, Craig Morgan, Drinkin' Side Of Country, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Kip Moore, Little Big Town, Pontoon, Shooter Jennings, Somethin' 'Bout A Truck, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Truck Yeah
This is a classic materialistic, chauvinistic, image driven song and video with positively no soul, relatively no story, and absolutely no attention paid to message or artistic appeal. It’s fluff. The only difference between this song and one from Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, or Brantley Gilbert is … well … nothing.
That’s right ladies and gentlemen, your hero, the lord of underground roots, the savior of independent music, Shooter Jennings, is releasing a duet single and video with the most pop-ity pop of pop country uber doches, the “Nickelback of Country Music”, American Idol’s Bucky Covington. The song is called “Drinking Side of Country” and all indications is that it will suck hard enough to send a golf ball through a garden hose.
For months, Leroy Virgil of the infamous Hellbound Glory has been dropping little tidbits about a potential triple album coming out in the future to be called MericA. For the holiday, Leroy has released the lyrics to the upcoming title track, and in true Virgil fashion, they work just fine without the musical accompaniment.
Some confusion always seems to dog my lists of top songs, because I’m not just looking for that catchy tune you can’t take off of repeat, I’m looking for the song that changes your world. For a song to qualify, it must be original, and barring exceptional circumstances, it must be composed by the performer. These are songs that take you somewhere.
From Nashville to New York , from Detroit to Seattle, fans will be getting together to raise funds for diabetes research and to pay tribute to one of country music’s biggest Outlaws. From Whitey Morgan & The 78’s to Shooter Jennings, from Rachel Brooke to Jackson Taylor, bands and artists will be giving of their time to help out a good cause.
Slowly over the past few years we’re seeing the re-emergence of both God and Jesus in roots music content, and the popularization of gospel. Why? Possibly for the same reason the devil works so well, because God and Jesus are beginning to re-emerge as “folk” characters too, that even non-religious people can identify with as personifications of good.
In the end I’m just surprised at the sheer lack of direction with this album. I guess there’s a “Family Man” concept here, but it almost seems a burden to the music instead of a compliment. However I would be lying if I said Family Man didn’t have any moments. And yes, Shooter is a nice guy, but that is not a sonic element you can measure in music.
Yesterday Hank Williams III whose preparing for an East Coast tour in March participated in a live chat on Yowie.com where he dropped some interesting tidbits about some upcoming plans and projects, including that he’s planning to tour Europe again June 15th through July 15th, and will be releasing an unspecified collaboration with David Allan Coe in a couple of months.
All the stupid name-calling and sarcasm aside, these opinions and fun poking are based on my specific musical tastes, but I always believe artists should be measured against themselves first, and what The Moonshine Bandits do in “My Kinda Country” is sell themselves out by seeking mainstream acceptance in such an overt attempt that flies in the face of their self-constructed image as country rap “Outlawz”.
Waylon Jennings was never awarded a traditional legacy era. Passing 10 years ago from complications with diabetes at 64, Waylon never had a chance to fulfill that elder statesman role in country music in a similar way his fellow Highwayman Johnny Cash did with the re-emergence of his career in the mid-90’s, or as another Highwayman Willie Nelson does today.
I had a dream last night that I woke up from a long sleep and was the only writer left in the country music blogsphere that hadn’t succumbed to the cult of personality of Shooter Jennings and could actually write an objective review. Then I realized that I was wide ass awake. I feel the need to offer some perspective. And my perspective on “The Deed & The Dollar” is that it’s “just okay.”
Farmageddon Records, home to such roots acts as Rachel Brooke, Jayke Orvis, and The Goddamn Gallows, has announced they’re throwing a full-scale, 3 day festival this summer, July 20-22, just outside of scenic West Yellowstone, Montana, behind the Longhorn Saloon on Hebgen Lake.
Now Saving Country Music has learned from a reliable source close to Waylon Jennings’ estate that the estate has “distanced” from the choosing of some of the artists on the tribute, especially on the second disc. The Waylon Estate says the family still supports the release of these volumes, but if it was left to them, a different set of contributors would have been chosen.
On Tuesday night (1-3-12) Jashie P Nutting, podcaster of Outlaw Radio Chicago, and operator of the Outlaw Radio Chicago network on Shooter Jennings’ blackcountryrock.org site, as well as a contributor’s to Shooter’s new “Moonrunners” blog site and an advocate for Shooter’s XXX music movement, threatened assault towards me, The Triggerman.
Following this success and attention to video, many independent artists are making video a bigger priority. And not just one video, but multiple videos, “serial” video releases if you will, of both viral and more conceptualized varieties, to keep their music in the forefront of fan’s minds over a longer period than just an album’s initial release.
Two of country music’s most famous sons have apparently buried the hatchet on a long, 6 year feud that in many ways was one-sided, and was fueled by misunderstanding. “Got an amazing care package from Hank III with all 3 new records on vinyl & CD + a sweet rebel flag lighter,” Shooter fired off on his Twitter Feed over the weekend.
The first song on the “Ray Lawrence Jr.” track from Hank3’s Ghost to a Ghost is “When You Lose All You Have.” They say to write it, you have to live it, and Ray wrote the song while living in a Phoenix homeless shelter. A truck driver and a divorcee, Ray had reached the end of his rope in 2008, and penned the song as a self-portrait.
Since the beginning of Saving Country Music over 3 1/2 years ago, nothing but respect has been shown to The Country Music Hall of Fame. It is the last major country music institution that considers the preservation and promotion of the traditions and history of country music above commercial concerns, as other institutions bend and sway with the current popular trends in country music.
On February 13, 2002, Waylon Jennings, one of the great country music Outlaws, passed away due to complications from diabetes. Now a Phoenix-based organization along with the Waylon Jennings Estate, have partnered to set up The Waylon Fund to support state-of-the-art investigations into the genetic and genomic origins of diabetes.