If you know anything about Texas country songwriters, then you know about Courtney Patton. And if you don’t know about Courtney Patton, then you better get wise. Fortunate for you, she’ll make it easy on you by releasing a new album on February 16th, 2018 called What It’s Like to Fly Alone. “The title sounds […]
Isn’t it strange how in the real world, we shy away instinctively from things that cause us pain, but when it comes to music and art, we seek pain out as one of the primary markers of the most potent and exceptional expressions of the artistic realm. Somehow, drawing that pain out through music makes us feel better.
When we broach the exercise of whittling down the field of songs of a given year to a list of a chosen few to be considered Song of the Year, we’re not looking for booty shakers or boot scooters. We’re looking for those songs that through the power of words and music, hit you so deeply, you’re a different person after you’re done listening.
The last few years have been a somewhat down era for excellent, legacy-caliber releases in country music and independent roots,. But 2017 was a different story, especially the first half, leaving us with difficult choices of what to consider to be the best of the year. As always, your feedback is requested, and will be included in the final calculus.
In recent years, concerts at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville have become an important bellwether for just how well a band or artist is doing in the grander scheme. Trying to fill the 125-year-old landmark with its 2,362-seat capacity is one of the biggest tests a country music artist can take.
Get your hemp necklaces and nag champa ready, because Miranda Lambert is about to embark on the “Livin’ Like Hippies” tour come January, and even if you’re fair to partly cloudy on Ran Ran herself, she’s assembled a pretty badass lineup of openers that represent a who’s who of cool independent acts that may coax you off your couch.
It’s hot as butt outside right now, but in a few short months there will be a nip to the air and a yuletide feeling as December descends upon us. After the successful run of the Hard Candy Christmas tour in 2016 pairing four of the most talented songwriters from Texas together for a frigid tour of the Midwest, they’ve decided to do it once again.
For many years there has been the need for a festival to cover the music that sits on the fringes of commercial country, yet serves a very dedicated and surprisingly large audience of country music fans. This is what Borda Productions saw when they decided to transition from a more mainstream-oriented country festival for 2017.
Billy Joe Shaver, Cody Jinks, Colter Wall, Courtney Patton, Greg Payne and the Piedmont Boys, Jaime Wyatt, Jamey Johnson, Jason Eady, Mickey Lamatia, Porter Union, Robby Turner, Roger Creager, Sunny Sweeney, Tumbleweed, Tumbleweed Festival, Ward Davis, Whitey Morgan
Apologies if you came here looking to replenish your 3rd generation iPod with a fresh platoon of booty shakers. That’s not what this practice is all about. Feel good songs are just fine and help fleet us through the tiresome days, but when we talk about the “Best Songs,” were talking about songs that deliver moments that can change entire lives.
For the last two years, it’s felt like a lull for projects that really set themselves apart and set the pace for creativity and cultural importance. 2017 is a different story. It feels like this has been a banner year already, with some of the year’s biggest projects still in the offing.
The 5th Annual Medicine Stone Music Festival focusing on the best of Red Dirt music and sponsored by the Turnpike Troubadours, and Jason Boland & The Stragglers will once again commence at the Diamondhead Resort in Talequah, Oklahoma. This year the event will be held on September 21st-23rd, and they have just revealed the fest’s initial lineup.
Bri Bagwell, Charley Crockett, Dalton Domino, Dave Kay, Flatland Cavalry, Jacob Tovar, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Jonny Burke, Kaitlin Butts, Lucero, Medicine Stone, MIke McClure, Randy Crouch & Flying Horse, Red Shahan, Shane Smith and the Saints, Shinyribs, Sunny Sweeney, the Red Dirt Rangers, The Washitas, Thomas Trapp, Turnpike Troubadours
The 2nd Annual Tumbleweed Festival set to transpire on the Missouri River in Sugar Creek, MO on July 28th and 29th, 2017 has just added to their already-impressive lineup. And the festival is not done there. Soon they will announce a contest to fill a final after hours performance slot for the fans of emerging Outlaw country artists to vote on.
Billy Joe Shaver, Cody Jinks, Colter Wall, Courtney Patton, Damien Gunn, Jaime Wyatt, Jamey Johnson, Jason Eady, Mickey Lamantia, Paul Cauthen, Roger Creager, Sunny Sweeney, Tumbleweed Festival, Ward Davis, Whitey Morgan, William Clark Green
The biggest takeaway from SXSW 2017 will be that for the first time since the very inception of the idea over 30 years ago, the annual music gathering experienced a palpable draw down in attendance and industry participation to a degree that it fundamentally changed many of the dynamics and rigors one must endure to attend.
A. Michael Uhlmann, Alice Wallace, All My Exes Live in Texas, Beth Lee and The Breakups, Billy Joe Shaver, Brennen Leigh, Brent Cobb, Brooklyn Country Cantina, Cale Tyson, Cary Baker, Croy and the Boys, Elle King, G&S Lounge, Giddy Ups, High Plaines Jamboree, Jenni Finlay, Jimmy Samon, John Conquest, Kelsey Waldon, Kem Watts, Leo Rondeau, Luck Reunion, Lukas Nelson, Lustre Pearl, Margo Price, Nate Boff, Noel McKay, Not SXSW, Parker Millsap, Paul Cauthen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sarah Shook, Shinyribs, Simon Flory, Spring Fling, Sunny Sweeney, SXSW, Teri Joyce, The Defibulators, The Wild Reeds, Threadgill's, Whitney Rose, Wide Open Country, Willie Nelson
For most artists, their careers start off by driving around in vans to club shows across the country, and if they’re lucky perhaps they graduate to a bus sometime down the road. Most artists start by making some noise in their home state, and then maybe hope to garner the attention of a national audience. For Sunny Sweeney, the arc has been nearly the opposite.
“I don’t even know you yet, but I know I love you,” Sweeney sings in such a specified honesty that its hard to handle, and hard to not believe. It’s lines like this that even if you do have kids, or find yourself on the opposite side of the gene pool from being able to bear children, you can still put yourself in those shoes.
She didn’t choose the title Puxico for the way it popped for focus group audiences. It’s the name of her less than 1,000 population hometown in southeastern Missouri that sets the scene for an album that feels devoutly personal, humble in approach, and eager to express things a professional songwriter just can’t with total fulfillment through the voices of others.
Just what 2017 has in store for us in the country music department remains to be seen. But we do know about what to expect in the release department for at least the first quarter of the year, while rumors abound about the big projects that could come to light later in 2017. Here’s a run down of what we know, what we think we know, and what we would like to believe.
Aaron Watson, Ags Connolly, Alison Krauss, Casey James Prestwood, Charlie Worsham, Chris Knight, Chris Stapleton, Colter Wall, Curtis McMurtry, Dale Watson, Dan Auerbach, Dave Cobb, George Jones, Guy Clark, Holly Williams, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jaime Wyatt, Jason Isbell, JB Beverley, Justin Townes Earle, Marty Stuart, MOderna Mal, Nikki Lane, Old Crow Medicine Show, Otis Gibbs, Phoebe Hunt, Ray Benson, Ray Scott, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Rhiannon Giddens, Robbie Fulks, Scott H. Biram, Shinyribs, Son Volt, Steve Earle, Sunny Sweeney, The Gibson Brothers, The Sadies, The Secret Sisters, Tift Merritt, Valerie June, Whitney Rose
You only have to pay mild attention to Miranda Lambert’s music career to know her support of true American songwriters is far from skin deep. Her latest record The Weight of These Wings has a monster list of contributing songwriters, and she’s been known to get a wild hair and drive for miles to see someone like John Moreland play a dive bar.
For those fed up with the political system, scared to vote either way for two of the most unlikable Presidential candidates in recent memory, voting with trepidation, not voting in spite, or just plain wanting this whole election thing to end and hoping that somehow the United States can find a modicum of healing after it is all over…
Brennen Leigh, Canned Heat, Hayes Carll, Hellbound Glory, Jackson Taylor and the Sinners, Kinky Friedman, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, Leroy Virgil, Merle Haggard, Peter Dawson, Ronnie Dunn, Sunny Sweeney, Tom Waits, Waylon Jennings
Right now, Texas and Oklahoma is being robbed of its female talent from Nashville and the two coasts. And these women are regularly sucked up into a system that absconds with their creative freedom, sexualizes their image, and drops them unceremoniously whenever their commercial viability is perceived to be spent.
American Aquarium, Aubrie Sellers, Billy Joe Shaver, Brennen Leigh, Bri Bagwell, Courtney Patton, Hot Club of Cowtown, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Kacey Musgraves, Lee Ann Womack, Maren Morris, Medicine Stone, Miranda Lambert, Randy Rogers Band, Ryan Engleman, Samantha Crain, Shane Smith and the Saints, Sister C, Stoney LaRue, Sunny Sweeney, The Quebe Sisters, Turnpike Troubadours