Along with recognizing some of the best live performances that happened before the lockdowns, it also feels important to recognize the top achievers in the medium of film, video, instrumentality, and production in 2020, since there were some stellar efforts in that direction in 2020.
Though it may be daunting to navigate with so many releases, Saving Country Music is here for you, and with so many releases, 2020 is also the first year you can compile a full-fledged Christmas playlist entirely of newly-released songs from the country world.
Alex Maxwell, Ana Cristina Cash, Andrew Bird, Ashley Ray, Ben Danaher, Bobby Cool, Bryan Frazier, Buck Owens, Chandler Holt, Chevel Shepherd, Cory Marks, Dallas Moore, Dani Taylor, Dawson Edwards, Dolly Parton, Dustin Herring, Frank Solivan, Grant-Lee Phillips, Hailey Whitters, Ingrid Andress, Kinny Hubby, Lauren Calve, Lauren Stovall, Los Straightjackets, Murder By Death, Nick Lowe, Randall King, Scarlett Burke, Sierra Ferrell, Tami Neilson, The Northern Belle, The Petersens, The Shootouts, Tommy Emmanuel, Tyller Gummersall, Voctoria Bailey, Willie Nelson
A Saving Country Music ‘Song of the Year’ nominee is not just your favorite ditty that gets stuck in your head. These are songs that have the power to change hearts and change lives, open you up new ideas or ways of thinking, or unlock memories or emotions you haven’t felt in years.
Arlo McKinley, Bloody Jug Band, Brennen Leigh, Brent Cobb, Cahalen Morrison, Charlie Stout, Cleto Cordero, Dalton Domino, Emily Scott Robinson, Gabe Lee, Jason Isbell, John Anderson, John Baumann, John Prine, Jordan Allen and the Bellwethers, Josh Abbott, Josh Grider, Josha Ray Walker, Juliet McConkey, McKay & Leigh, Mo Pitney, Rattlesnake Milk, S.G. Goodman, Tami Neilson, The Panhandlers, The Piedmont Boys, The Tender Things, Ward Davis, William Clark Green, Zach Bryan
This year the Luck Reunion had an incredible lineup. But like everything else, it has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. Nonetheless, they will be celebrating Thursday (3-19) with a live streaming event showcasing many of the artists originally scheduled to perform, and a few surprises.
David Ramirez, Devon Gilfillian, Early James, Edie Brickell, Ian Ferguson, Ida Mae, Jeremy Ivey, Jewel, Katie Pruitt, Lucinda Williams, Luck Reunion, Lukas Nelson, Margo Price, Matt Bizer, Micah Nelson, Nathaniel Rateliff, Nikki Lane, Paul Cauthen, Paul Simon, Randy Houser, Sunny War, SXSW, Tami Neilson, Thomas Csobra, Tre Burt, Willie Nelson
If word comes down that Tami Neilson is making her way to your town, pitch the tent, prop up the podium, assemble the pews, pass out handbills and burn up the telephones lines to put everyone on alert that the new queen of rockabilly herself is coming to testify and save souls with her earth-shattering shouts and dulcet coos.
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
If you’re wondering what to look forward to hearing in country and Americana music in early 2020, let this be your guide. Here’s all the information Saving Country Music has been able to compile on the most anticipated upcoming releases, along with a more extensive catalog of releases to have on your radar & the always fun “rumor mill.”
2019 was a stacked year for top live performances. This was supposed to be a list of the top 10 live performances, but due to such a crowded field, things boiled over. And yes, there are three #1 acts. All should be considered equals at the very top level of live performance. They were all so great, it seemed unfair to put one over the other.
Amanda Shires, Billy Strings, Bri Bagwell, Cedric Burnside, Charles Wesley Godwin, Courtney Marie Andrews, Jack Ingram, Kaitlin Butts, Logan Ledger, Lukas Nelson, MIke and the Moonpies, Raul Malo, Shane Smith and the Saints, Sierra Ferrell, Tami Neilson, The Brother Brothers, The Mavericks, The Tender Things, Tyler Childers, Whitey Morgan and the 78's, Yola
It’s can be dizzying trying to keep up with all the great releases in country and roots music. The Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist is built to keep you informed of all the best songs and albums coming out right here, right now, and you get to listen to cool music while doing it. New songs just added.
Tami Neilson is one of the greatest singers on this entire planet, irrespective of genre or geographic region. Those who have never her seen her perform may fancy this notion as a serious infraction of embellishment. Those who have seen her perform will corroborate this and proceed to lump their own embellishments on top.
The one thing you can point to that makes a song decidedly not country is the presence of electronic drums. The human operated element of country music is one of the last great differences between country and the rest of popular music, and more frequently electronic beats have been creeping into the pop country soundscape.
There are big changes in the latest update to Saving Country Music’s Top 25 playlist. They start with four new songs added from four stellar new releases. It’s also worth noting that two songs that have appeared on the playlist for the longest have been replaced, while the songs from two other artists have been refreshed.
2018 has been incredibly busy with new albums in the country and roots realm, and the 2nd half of the year looks to be just as busy. So to help you keep track of it all and perhaps help separate the wheat from thew chaff, here is a handy guide to some of the top releases to anticipate, a more expansive list of confirmed releases, and a rumor mill.
AHI, American Aquarium, Coco O'Connor, Cody Canada and The Departed, Cody Jinks, DeviDriver, Dillon Carmichael, Hank3, Jim Lauderdale, Karen Jonas, Kinky Friedman, Lori McKenna, Lucero, mmhmm, Rhyan Sinclair, Shooter Jennings, Tami Neilson, Tyler Childers, William Clark Green
Tami Neilson is a full tilt badass monster of music, and I will puff my chest out and challenge any man, woman, or beast who dares questions the full-throated pronouncement that she is the one of the best living singers in all of roots music and beyond. Now she is back with a new selection of songs compiled under the name “SASSAFRASS!”
Tami Neilson is the greatest singer of any genre I have ever witnessed, and if there’s any justice in this crooked world, soon the rest of humanity will at least be given a chance to behold this for themselves. But just like it took Sturgill Simpson many years before his talents were recognized beyond a few dedicated fans and studious bloggers, it may still take a while.
List making either before or after events has become a dubious enterprise of mainstream outlets just looking to troll the fan bases of independent performers to get these performers to dutifully post the coverage to their social network feeds and drive unique views to the outlets while little if any true discovery for said artists by new fans actually occurs.
Americana, AmericanaFest, Angaleena Presley, Beverly Keel, Bluebird Cafe, Change The Conversation, Dori Freeman, Jack Ingram, Leslie Fram, Luke Bell, Matt Haeck, Sarah Shook, Tami Neilson, The Accidentals, Tommy Ash, Wanda Jackson
With over 200 artists playing AmericanaFest this third week of September, it can be a little bit intimidating for the folks either looking to attend in person, or experience the gathering vicariously through various social channels and video streams. So here is a curated list of artists battle tested and approved by Saving Country Music.
AmericanaFest, Austin Lucas, Brent Cobb, Caitlyn Smith, Dori Freeman, Jason Eady, John Moreland, Lori McKenna, Luke Bell, Parker Millsap, Sammy Brue, Sarah Shook, Tami Neilson, The Secret Sisters, William Clark Green, Willie Watson
Think of this album like a time capsule that has been unearthed with some of the best music written during the golden age of country that never saw the light of day, so it’s still fresh and new to your ears. And by going through his uncle’s entire song catalog to find the best selections, it’s like a Greatest Hits collection from some long lost legend at the same time.
“Lonely” is no ordinary song. In February of 2015, Tami’s father, Ron Neilson, passed away. Tami grew up performing in a family band with her father and the rest of her family, touring throughout Canada and the United States, even opening for Johnny Cash and other notable country stars along the way. Ron Neilson began writing “Lonely” in 1972, and recorded a demo for it outside a hotel room.
I don’t know what they’re lacing the Canadian municipal water supplies with these days that allows the great frozen north to churn out authentic country and roots artists worthy of ears in bumper crop fashion, but they better import some of that concoction down here to the States post haste because Canada is kicking our ass in cool new country artists per capita.
“Moving to New Zealand is career suicide!” was one of the responses country music singer/songwriter Tami Neilson received when she announced she was leaving her native Canada to live in a place where country music was generally synonymous with two words: achy and breaky. But after 5 years of being in a long-distance relationship with her Kiwi boyfriend (now husband) it was time for them to finally live in the same hemisphere.
In 2014, you had two previously-unknown women release towers of country music brilliance in Tami Nelison’s Dynamite! and Karen Jonas’s Oklahoma Lottery. You had folk blues songwriter Charlie Parr deliver a masterpiece in his instrumental triumph in Hollandale. You had the Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit feature what very well would had been considered an Album of the Year on any other year…
Each year when Saving Country Music sits down to compile the best songs, it’s done so with a solemn reverence and understanding that the idea embedded in a song has the power to change a life, and change the world. There are many songs out there that are a joy to listen to, but a Song of the Year must say something that can evoke shivers, and do so in a way nobody else has done before.
Don Williams, Everything's Gone, First Aid Kit, Garry Nicholson, Hellbound Glory, Hurray For The Riff Raff, I Lost You, Jim Lauderdale, Joseph Huber, Leon Virgil Bowers, Lloyd Maines, Lydia Loveless, Parker Milsap, Ray Benson, Streets of Aberdeen, Sturgill Simpson, Tami Neilson, The Body Electric, The Lonely Island, The Secret Sisters, Truck Stop Gospel, Turtles All the Way Down, Waitress Song, Wanchese & Manteo, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Willie Watson
2014 has revealed itself as the “Year of the Dark Horse” when it comes to compiling the greatest albums released in the last 12-month span. Tami Neilson, Karen Jonas, Charlie Parr, Matt Woods? Who’s heard of these people outside of their respective fan bases? And meanwhile the realm of mainstream music can’t field one candidate, unless you want to count First Aid Kit.
2014 Album of the Year, Charlie Parr, Don Williams, Doug Seegers, Dynamite!, First Aid Kit, Hollandale, I'm A Song, Jason Eady, Jim Lauderdale, John Fullbright, Joseph Huber, Karen Jonas, Kelsey Waldon, Matt Woods, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, Oklahoma Lottery, Reflections, Stay Gold, Sturgill Simpson, Tami Neilson, With Love From Brushy Mountain, Zoe Muth