Levon Helm sang them, but Robbie Robertson wrote them. Bob Dylan wrote them, but Robbie Robertson played them. There are few men that had their fingers deeper into the foundations of what we consider Americana, rock, and folk music today.
As we look back on 2022 and before we look forward to 2023, it’s important we take the time to pay tribute to the important individuals in country music who left us over the last year, and who left a mark on the country and roots music world that will never fade. 2022 saw some absolute titans of the music leave us.
Alabama, Anita Kerr, Blake Mevis, Bobbie Nelson, Bobby Flores, Brad Martin, C.W. McCall, Charlie Gracie, Dallas Frazier, Dallas Good, Deborah McCrary, Don Edwards, Eddie Pleasant, Gary Adams, Hargus "Pig" Robbins, Ian Tyson, In Memoriam, Jake Flint, Jeff Carson, Jeff Cook, Jerry Allison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jim Miller, Jimbeau Hinson, Jody Miller, Joe Chambers, Joe Gilchrist, Larry Petree, Lavender Country, Loretta Lynn, Luke Bell, Mary Jane Thomas, McCrary Sisters, Mickey Gilley, Miranda Lambert, Naomi Judd, Olivia Newton John, Patrick Haggerty, Peter Cooper, Ralph Emery, Ray Edenton, Robert Gordon, Roland White, Ronnie Hawkins, Scotty Wray, The Band, The Crickets, The Judds, The Sadies, Thom Bresh, Warner Mack, Western Centuries
From rockabilly to country, to rock and bluegrass, to blues and R&B, Ronnie Hawkins lived one of the most legendary lives in popular music, with an influence that spanned borders, and eventually continents until it went around the world and back again.
From country to Americana, to folk and classic rock, from Canada to the United States and around the world, everybody knows and loves The Band, and their influence and appeal is stratified across genres and continents. But along with Robertson, there is another surviving member.
Slightly off the country music page (though not entirely), yet still pretty damn exciting, it’s been announced that Martin Scorsese’s next film project will be a Grateful Dead biopic with Jonah Hill set to portray Jerry Garcia. Scorsese knows his way around the nexus of film and music
Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir, Grateful Dead, Jason Isbell, Jerry Garcia, Jonah Hill, Killers of the Flower Moon, Martin Scorsese, Mickey Hart, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Old and In The Way, Phil Lesh, Sturgill Simpson, The Band, The Last Waltz
The fear when efforts were undertaken to strike anything that in any way could be construed however indirectly as being sympathetic to the Confederacy out of the public record was the slippery slope presented that may ultimately result in important pieces of art being mischaracterized and ultimately cancelled under false pretenses.
Adult contemporary country trio Lady Antebellum will no longer be known by the name they’ve toured and recorded music under for some 14 years. Announced on Thursday (6-11), they have decided to shorten their name simply to “Lady A.” What it means, and how it should be regarded.
Last week, Riley Green’s song “Bury Me in Dixie” disappeared from streaming services and other music outlets unannounced. Very similar to the situation involving Confederate Railroad, the backlash from the removal of the song has received significantly more attention than any outrage that preceded it.
Brarack Obama, Bury Me in Dixie, Dixie Chicks, I Wish Grandpas Never Died, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Mitchell Tenpenny, Rily Green, Robbie Robertson, Robert E. Lee, The Band, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
The Civil Ware happened, and the South lost. Atrocities occurred on both sides of the battlefield. Atlanta was burned to the ground, and simply from an economic standpoint, one can make the case the South has still yet to recover from the defeat. But it happened, and how are we to learn from the lessons of The Civil War, especially the South’s misnomers on equality, if we eradicate any notions of the Confederacy’s existence?
Almost a month removed now from Sony Nashville CEO Gary Overton declaring to The Tennessean of “If you’re not on country radio, you don’t exist,” and the shock waves are still resonating on Music Row and beyond. Taking the point, or becoming the rally cry for the opposition to Gary’s comments was Texas country artist Charlie Robison. Now that Gary Overton is gone, I asked Charlie Robison, is the result is satisfying?
“Just Me and These Ponies” is a Christmas song for people who do not like Christmas songs, but still like country music and Corb Lund. And if you do happen to dig on a little ring ting tingling, you might find something to appreciate here too, even if the mood and perspective Corb works in is a dour one. And like all great Christmas songs, it may do so for years to come.
Don’t be spooked too much by the Haight-Ashbury circa 1967 album cover on this record. There’s no acid trips or space jams inside, though in its own way the cover conveys the laid back mood that the music of High Life embodies, and the harkening back to the cowboy hippie vibe of Austin in the mid 70’s that this album evokes. What you do get with High Life is some damn fine Texas country.
Much ado has been made about Rolling Stone giving accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rock star treatment by putting his mug on their latest issue. Though it’s a free country with free press and I would fight for the right of Rolling Stone to put whatever they want on their cover, here are some simple, friendly, alternative ideas of what could have graced the front of Rolling Stone’s July 2013 issue.
Black Sabbath, Boston, Caitlin Rose, Chet Flippo, Cover, David Bowie, George Jones, Hank Williams, Jason Isbell, Johnny Paycheck, Mavis Staples, Paul McCartney, Pokey LaFarge, Randy Travis, Ray Charles, Rick Rubin, Rolling Stone, Staple Sisters, Taylor Swift, The Band, The Rolling Stone, West TX, Willie Nelson
This Saturday, April 20th is the 2013 installment of Record Store Day. 2013 has some juicy releases, including some super rare Willie Nelson demo sessions, a split with Waylon Jennings and the Old 97’s, some cool live albums from Gram Parsons and Sarah Jarosz, and a re-issue of Justin Townes Earle’s first album, the Yuma EP.
2013, Aljeandro Escovedo, Avett Brothers, Blitzen Trapper, Calexico, Charlie Poole, Chet Atkins, Chris Scruggs, Dale Watson, Elizabeth Cook, Gram Parsons, Jason Isbell, JD McPherson, Justin Townes Earle, Kacey Chambers, Mike Cooley, Mumford & Sons, Old 97's, Patty Griffin, Randy Travis, Record Store Day, Richard Thompson, Sarah Jarosz, Shane Nicholson, The Band, Tift Merritt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Yoner Mountain String Band
Wednesday night (9-12-2012) country music’s mother church The Ryman Auditorium was alive with the sounds of The 2012 Americana Music Awards that saw an always talented, eclectic (and sometimes confusing) flock of musicians, songwriters, and performers amass to give credit to the best and brightest of the year.
Alabama Pines, Alabama Shakes, Bonnie Raitt, Booker T Jones, Buddy Miller, Cary Ann Hearst, David Hood, David Rawlings, Deep Dark Woods, Doc Watson, Don Was, Drive By Truckers, Earl Scruggs, Gillian Welch, Hayes Carll, Jason Isbell, Jim Lauderdale, John Hiatt, Levon Helm, Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Patterson Hood, Richard Thompson, Scott Borchetta, Shovels and Rope, The Band, The Civil Wars, Traci Thomas