Italian film composer Ennio Morricone passed away on Monday (7-6) at the age of 91. And though he will will always be remembered as the definitive mastermind behind the sounds and sonic imagination of the Spaghetti Western, it would be criminal to overlook the influence Morricone had on American country music.
Here are the greatest country and roots albums of the last decade in Saving Country Music’s estimation. Albums were regarded primarily on quality, and how they held up over the decade, as well as the influence they had on country music, and music at large. These are the albums that should not be overlooked over the last 10 years of music.
Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Caitlin Rose, Chris Stapleton, Cody Jinks, Emily Scott Robinson, First Aid Kit, Hellbound Glory, Jack Ingram, James McMurtry, Jason Eady, Jason Isbell, John Moreland, Joseph Huber, Kacey Musgraves, Kellie Pickler, Lindi Ortega, MIke and the Moonpies, Miranda Lambert, Olds Sleeper, Roger Alan Wade, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Slackeye Slim, Sturgill Simpson, Sunny Sweeney, Tami Neilson, The Mavericks, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers, Zephaniah OHora
Like many of the leathered-skinned, sand-blasted, sullen and desperate characters which populate his stories, Slackeye Slim seems more apparition than man, shifting in and out of the material consciousness, showing up when you least expect him, and disappearing for years at a time in between. “Giving My Bones to the Western Lands” is delightfully ambiguous, ethereal, and sparse in its articulated concepts.
2014 promises to be another great year for music, and the first part of the year might just be one of the busiest seasons for anticipated releases we have seen in quite a while. From a lost Johnny Cash album, to a new one from his daughter Rosanne, to Jason Eady, a big re-issue from Lucina Williams, and releases from Scott H. Biram and Robert Ellis, there’s enough here to get your music taste buds salivating.
Beck, Bob Wayne, Charlie Parr, Dolly Parton, Doug Paisley, Goddamn Gallows, Hank3, Hard Working Americans, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jason Eady, Jimbo Mathus, Johnny Cash, Justin Townes Earle, Lake Street Dive, Lucinda Williams, Lydia Loveless, Ray Benson, Reverend Horton Heat, Robert Ellis, Rosanne Cash, Scott H. Biram, Slackeye Slim, Suzy Bogguss, The Boomswagglers, The Whiskey Shivers, Todd Snider, Whiskey Myers
One of the great things about roots music is its Gothic legacy of cautionary tales, ghost stories, murder ballads, messages to the infirmed, and other such methods of macabre that allow country and roots artists to paint in dark colors when they so choose. This makes roots music one of the best realms to draw from when putting together your Halloween playlist.
.357 String Band, Black Jake & The Carnies, Creech Holler, Dad Horse Experience, Devil Makes Three, Filthy Still, Goddamn Gallows, Jay Munly, Jayke Orvis, Joe Buck Yourself, Joel Kaiser & The Devil's Own, Larry & His Flask, Lincoln Durham, Lindi Ortega, Lonesome Wyatt, Nick Cave, O' Death, Pine Box Boys, Pinebox Serenade, Rachel Brooke, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Reverend Glasseye, Rodentia, Serial Killer, Shakey Graves, Slackeye Slim, Slaughter Daughters, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Sons of Perdition, Squidbillies, Strawfoot, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Bloody Jug Band, The Dinosaur Truckers, The Haunted Windchines, The Perreze Farm, The Slow Poisoner, Those Poor bastards, Tom Waits, unknown hinson, Viva Le Vox, Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys
By request, here is my list of the greatest underground country albums of all time. The underground country movement started roughly in the mid 90’s on lower Broadway in Nashville that at the time was a run down part of town. Young musicians from around the country, some from punk backgrounds, came together from their mutual love of authentic country music.
.357 String Band, Andy Gibson, Bob Wayne, BR549, Dale Watson, Donnie Herron, Hank Williams, Hank3, Hellbound Glory, Jayke Orvis, JB Beverley, Joe Buck, Justin Townes Earle, Legendary Shack Shakers, Leroy Virgil, Lonesome Wyatt, Lucky Tubb, Rachel Brooke, Slackeye Slim, The Boomswagglers, Those Poor bastards, Wayne Hancock
Not everybody will be able to make the trek to The Farmageddon Music Festival going down on July 20th-22nd in West Yellowstone, Montana at Hebgen Lake. But if you’re sitting on the fence, hemming and hawing, sweating because you only have two days left before you have to ask off for that extra day of work, here’s 12 random reasons to pull the trigger.
Aran Buzzas, Bob Wayne, Dead Tree String Band, Farmageddon Fest, Farmageddon Records, Graham Lindsey, Husky Burnette, McDougall, Slackeye Slim, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Soda Gardocki, Southern Culture on the Skids, Stevie Tombstone, The Calamity Cubes, The Goddamn Gallows, Tom VandenAvond, Ugly Valley Boys
From the outside looking in, one may look at the lineup of The Muddy Roots Festival for example, and wonder how all these bands could all be booked right beside each other and it work seamlessly. This illustrates the dramatic sonic and geographical diversity that goes into creating what we know now as the underground country roots, or “Muddy Roots” world.
.357 String Band, Ben Prestage, Black Diamond Heavies, Bob Wayne, Bobby Bare, BR549, Calamity Cubes, Dale Watson, Deep Blues Festival, Emmylou Harris, Fat Possum Records, Greg Garing, Hank3, JB Beverley, Junior Kimbrough, Justin Townes Earle, Kris Kristofferson, Legendary Shack Shakers, Lone Wolf OMB, Loretta Lynn, Los Duggans, Mike Ness, Muddy Roots Festival, Pickathon, Rachel Brooke, Ramseur Records, Restavrant, Reverend Horton Heat, RL Burnside, Rusty Knuckles, Scott H. Biram, Slackeye Slim, Some Velvet Evening, Split Lip Rayfield, Steve Erale, Supersuckers, t Model Ford, Ten Foot Polecats, The Avett Bros, The Black Keys, The Devil Makes Three, The Everymen, The Goddamn Gallows, The Pine Box Boys, The Ryman, Those Poor bastards, Tompall Glaser, Trampled by Turtles, Waylon Jennings, Wayne Hancock, Whitey Morgan & The 78's, Willie Nelson, Yep Rock
I think at this point it is pretty much a forgone conclusion that in 2012 we’re all going to die of death. You know, that whole Mayan thing. But I thought just to be on the safe side, just in case we all don’t die, we’ll probably want to listen to some music, so wouldn’t it be cool to know what some of your favorite artists have planned for 2012.
Adam Lee, Austin Lucas, Bob Wayne, Derek Dunn, Hellbound Glory, James Hunnicutt, Jayke Orvis, JB Beverly & the Wayward Drifters, Lone Wolf, Lonesome Wyatt, McDougall, Olds Sleeper, Peewee Moore, Possessed by Paul James, Rachel Brooke, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Roger Alan Wade, Ruby Jane, Slackeye Slim, Sunday Valley, Those Poor bastards, Whitey Morgan & The 78's, Willy Tea Taylor
It may be years before something impresses us like this again. I’ve given many albums two guns up, and have and will hand out many Albums of the Year. But there’s only two albums I’ve reviewed that I’ve ever felt confident enough to refer to as masterpieces, and Slackeye Slim’s El Santo Grial, La Pistola Piadosa is one.
There is nothing I take more seriously than naming what I think is the best album of any calendar year. The Album of the Year offers a guidepost for future generations to find the best music that was forgotten by the mainstream, while at the same time being a current ambassador to the mainstream to illustrate what great music they are overlooking.
Every once in a while, an album comes along that changes everything. It’s an album that inspires other albums, and dynamic shifts in tastes and approach throughout a sector of music. Slackeye Slim’s El Santo Grial, La Pistola Piadosa is one of those albums. It is a masterpiece, exquisitely produced, arranged, and performed.
Man. If you like REAL/Underground country music, than this upcoming compilation from the Outlaw Radio Chicago podcast should get you pitching a tent in your music pants. This compilation is going to include ALL PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED MATERIAL. And the names are a who’s who of the underground movement. Check out this laundry list of contributors: […]
.357 String Band, Black Eyed Vermillion, Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies, Compilation, Dave Smith and the Country Rebels, Izzy and the Kesstronics, Joey Allcorn, Last False Hope, Little Lisa Dixie, Lucky Tubb and the Modern Day Troubadours, Ol' Red Shed, Outlaw Radio, Rachel Brooke, Six Gun Britt, Slackeye Slim, Ted Russell Kamp, The Boomswagglers, The Dad Horse Experience, The Fisticuffs
Alright people, I’m not going to lie to you. I’m a little hot right now, even though I’ve tried to give myself a chance to cool off, because I know, justice is better served cold. But someone’s gotten on the fighting side of me, and let me warn you foul language is going to follow. […]