We live in an era where a performance on The Tonight Show is not nearly as valuable as the ringing endorsement of an important celebrity on social media, for a musician or anyone else. And with the way radio refuses to support many artists, including some with major label deals, these influencer endorsements can go a long way.
Independent country is getting a huge boost in 2019, and sometimes from some unlikely places. Not only are worthy artists who’ve been working hard for years for recognition finally receiving their due from important independent record labels, even the major labels are getting into the game.
Massive country stars making charitable donations are nothing new. In fact it can feel like a daily occurrence as they work to polish up their public personas while also making their accountants smile with tax deductible write-offs. But it’s very rare that a country artist makes a donation without some big check exchanging hands at a public ceremony.
A few choice cuts have just been added to the Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist meant to keep you up-to-date with latest songs and albums that should be on your listening radar. Leading the pack is the unexpected, yet very welcome return of Sturgill Simpson to the traditional country realm with his song “The Dead Don’t Die.”
“All Your’n” has been a fan favorite live for the last many months. Similar to one of Tyler’s signature songs from his first record, “Feathered Indians,” it’s a sincere love song delivered with soul and conviction to his wife and fellow performer Senora May. It’s the arrangement of the studio version that makes it come across as less than ideal.
An album is something you listen to. A song is something that can change a life. The places a song can take you, the realizations and perspectives it can impart, the way it can touch something inside of you to make you feel something you never have before, or haven’t felt for a long time is the reason we cherish music so much.
For those Sturgill Simpson fans who’ve been hoping and praying for more of that hard country sound like you heard on his debut record ‘High Top Mountain’ or in large portions of his magum opus ‘Metamodern Sounds in Country Music,’ you get what you wish for and then some on the just released song called “The Dead Don’t Die.”
It wasn’t just your average Grand Ole Opry presentation Tuesday night (5-28). When you saw country traditionalist Kelsey Waldon was scheduled to perform in the same segment as John Prine, and that Sturgill Simpson was given his own extended set to close out the show, you had a sense something special was in the air.
If you want to voluntarily succumb to some culture shock and the strange clashing of two worlds, then try on for size pop star Selena Gomez buying a Sturgill Simpson CD from a local store amid an impending zombie invasion. What’s this all about? The scenario comes from the twisted mind of director Jim Jarmusch.
Kentucky-born resurgent country artist and fast-rising star Tyler Childers is now a major label country artist. As first reported by Saving Country Music on Wednesday (5-16), and made official during a video premier Thursday, Tyler Childers is the newest signee to RCA Records, a division of Sony. He will release “Country Squier” through the label.
You gotta love when one of your favorite music artists starts massively screwing with you head with cryptic verbiage and imagery, making you rack your brand about what it might be all about. These days this usually means new music or some other big development is on the way, and that’s what fans of Tyler Childers are hoping for.
It feels like any day now we’ll hear something about a new record coming from Sturgill Simpson. But just in case the country fan in you is hoping it will be a return to Sturgill’s roots, and similar to his earlier records like ‘High Top Mountain’ and ‘Metamodern Sounds in Country Music’, you best steel yourself for something else.
Once again Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Fest sponsored by Blackbird Presents will be rolling down the road, and they have just released the 10 separate lineups, dates, and locations for the 2019 season. Originally started as a one-off event in 2016, for the last two years the Outlaw Music Festival has been a touring affair.
Before Dave Cobb was Dave Cobb, and Sturgill Simpson was Sturgill Simpson, Dave Cobb produced an album for Edmonton, Alberta singer and songwriter Lucette called Black Is The Color, and Sturgill Simpson appeared prominently in the video of the evocative murder ballad and signature song “Bobby Reid.”
When you hear an artist like Charles Wesley Godwin sing, there is no need to power cycle your sense of disbelief. The sinewy roots of West Virginia’s hardscrabble existence seem to be intertwined with Godwin’s synapses and muscle tissue, almost as if he’s a construct of the land itself, like a scrub tree clinging to life.
Sturgill Simpson’s incursion into the acting world continues after it was recently revealed he will be part of an upcoming film called “Queen & Slim.” Starring Daniel Kaluuya as “Slim” and Jodie Turner-Smith as “Queen,” the film was first announced in July of 2018 as a independent romance drama.
“It’s an honor to be here tonight. This is my first time ever playing the inside Bridgestone,” Sturgill Simpson said before launching into the song, making reference to his notorious busking set streamed on the internet during the 2017 CMA Awards. Then he launched into “Red Headed Rounder.”
It’s both weird that fellow Texans and country legends Willie Nelson and George Strait have never collaborated together or even performed side by side in their illustrious careers, and yet it also makes perfect sense. But it was bound to happen eventually that the two would sing together.
Amanda Shires, Bubba Strait, Buddy Cannon, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Lee Ann Womack, Margo Price, Ray Benson, Sing One With Willie, Sturgill Simpson, The Avett Brothers, Willie Nelson
An artist like Ashley McBryde doesn’t need radio. It’s radio that needs an artist like Ashley McBryde. Radio shouldn’t play McBryde just because she’s a woman. They should play her because she’s real. Ultimately, “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” may fail at radio. But Ashley McBryde is going somewhere regardless.
Some benefit concerts are humbled to have whomever they can get to grace their stage and contribute their talents to the cause. When it comes to the over 30-year-old Tibet House US Benefit Concert held annually in New York City, it’s a humbling experience for the artists asked to play due to the prestige of the opportunity.
Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Jason Isbell, Jon Batiste, Laurie Anderson, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff, New Order's Bernard Sumner, Philip Glass, Stephen Colbert, Sturgill Simpson, Tenzin Choegyal, Tibet House Benefit
Kacey Musgraves didn’t fail because country radio ignored her. She succeeded because she ignored country radio. This is the lesson of Kacey Musgraves, ‘Golden Hour,’ and the 2018 CMA Awards. Of course country radio sucks, and is inequitable when it comes to women. But what are you going to do about it?
Live records can often be a wild card when it comes to sales, but Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s “Live From The Ryman” has proven to be a hit. The successful debut also comes as Jason Isbell just wrapped up another sold-out six night run at the Ryman Auditorium October 22nd through the 28th.
Kacey Musgraves cheesed off a few of her straight-laced country fans when she released the disco-infused track “High Horse” off of her recent album ‘Golden Hour.’ But that is not the only reason the song has stirred commentary and controversy since its release. What many people want to know is, who is “High Horse” about?
It’s pretty rare that a piece of an artist’s merchandise accoutrement is worthy of a broad discussion or deep analysis into its intrinsic meaning. But leave it to Sturgill Simpson to stupefy some, intrigue others, and leaving something so open to interpretation as he’s done with a T-Shirt he’s been hawking at recent shows.