Preserving the roots of country is not always just about paying homage. Sometimes it is about sowing disharmony or speaking out in protest to help force country music back on the right path. Music Row and the country music industry will always be about money first. The artists are the ones who must take the lead and reign the business in.
The Carter Family
If you’re into country music and the history of it, you’re probably used to hearing about the “King” of this, or the “Father” of that. Since the history of country music is so important to keeping the lineage of the music alive, country pays special homage to the people who helped form or popularize the genre.
Bill Monroe, Bob Wills, Carl Perkins, George Strait, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Jimmy Martin, Kitty Wells, Lena Hughes, Loretta Lynn, Mary Padgett, Maybelle Carter, Reverend Horton Heat, Rhonda Vincent, Rose Maddox, Roy Acuff, Slim Dusty, Spade Cooley, The Carter Family, unknown hinson, Wanda Jackson, Wayne Hancock
As an offering for Record Store Day’s upcoming Black Friday releases, Johanna and Klara Söderberg have covered Simon & Garfunkel’s iconic tune “America,” written by Paul Simon. A master work of the American songbook, the song peerlessly encapsulates the forlorn beauty of youthful restlessness and underlying abject fear that are an indelible part of the American experience.
Less country music Christmas albums, and more country music Halloween albums I say. And if a cottage industry happened to crop up for spooky country music every October, it would stand to reason Madison, Wisconsin’s Those Poor Bastards would have the market cornered. Beware interlopers and carpetbaggers, these bastards have been purveyors of their self-described “Country Doom” for a decade.
Acting as a guide through both the explanation of the roots of country music and the streets of Nashville, Justin Townes Earle and many others try best to define “country” for a foreign audience in the film. The Country Roads DVD also includes an entire Justin Townes Earle concert performed at Pace University on October 26th and 27th of 2012 called “The Spirit of Woody Guthrie.”
Amanda Shires, Angaleena Presley, Artic Monkeys, Ashley Monroe, Brazilbilly, Caitlin Rose, Country Roads The Heartbeat of America, George Hamilton IV, John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Justin Townes Earle, Kevin Costner, Lisa Marie Presley, Liz Rose, Marieke Schroeder, Miranda Lambert, Norah Guthrie, RCA Studio B, Review, Robert's Western World, The Carter Family, The Carter Family Fold, The Pistol Annies, The Ryman Auditorium, Woody Guthrie
Nashville will always be the home of country music, but Bristol, TN/VA was where the big bang of country music occurred. In 1927, recording pioneer Ralph Peer from the Victor Talking Machine Company set up his equipment in the Taylor-Christian Hat Company in downtown Bristol and started recording acts that would become the very foundation of what we know as country music today.
Ashley Monroe, Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol, Carlene Carter, Dolly Parton, Doyle Lawson, Emmylou Harris, Jim Lauderdale, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Marty Stuart, Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited, Ralph Peer, Ralph Stanley, The Bristol Sessions, The Carter Family, The Church Sisters, The Stoneman Family, The Whistles & The Bells, Vince Gill
In the mid 2000’s, Tommy Ramone formed an old-time band with Claudia Tienan of the band The Simplistics called Uncle Monk. They released a self-titled album in March of 2006, and did numerous shows and tours around the country. Tommy played mandolin and some banjo, and in the old-school style, would lean into the microphone for solos instead of playing through a pickup.
The bayou cries out in mourning, but the music will live on. Jimmy C. Newman, the ‘C’ standing for “Cajun,” known as one of country music’s most passionate champions of the Cajun influence and nicknamed “The Alligator Man,” passed away on Saturday, June 21st due to Cancer. He was 86-years-old. Jimmy C. Newman, “The Alligator Man”, is now sitting on the banks of the great bayou in the sky.
Bill Monroe, Cajun, dead, Dolly Parton, Fred Rose, Gene Autry, Jimmie Rodgers, Jimmy C. Newman, obituary, passed away, Ricky Skaggs, The Alligator Man, The Carter Family, The Grand Ole Opry, Tom T. Hall
Like the moan of the steel guitar or the cut of the banjo tone, there is just something about the precision and flow of sister harmonies that awaken something in the human spirit that is uncanny, and characteristic of the highest reaches of audio diversion. Considering the long and noble lineage of close sister harmonies, marked on its path by such noteworthy names…
Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys lost their long-time lead guitarist and Ralph’s right hand man James Alan Shelton Tuesday night (6-3) due to Cancer. He was 53-years-old. James Alan Shelton played lead guitar for Ralph Stanley for 20 years, first joining the Clinch Mountain Boys in 1994. But Shelton he also did so much more.
Though The Kossoy Sisters were surrounded by the folk revival, much of the inspiration and compositions for their music originated farther south in the Southern Appalachians. Their focus was gospel and primitive country murder ballads. Most importantly, that innocence and purity that the world had scarcely heard since those original Ralph Peer Bristol Sessions was present in their music.
Mid January is the season that most of the big mainstream country music acts unveil their touring plans for the year. Country music critical favorite Kacey Musgraves announced she would not be touring with one of her country music bunk mates, but of all people, the buxom purple-haired pop star Katy Perry. ome Kacey Musgraves’ supporters were disappointed…
Blake Shelton, Bobby Bones, Brandy Clark, Brantley Gilbert, Florida Georgia Line, Jamey Johnson, Jason Aldean, Kacey Musgraves, Katy Perry, Kenny Chesney, Ralph Peer, The Carter Family, Tour, Tyler Farr
The inaugural inductees to the Outlaw Music Hall of Fame set to open in the Spring of 2014 have been unveiled. In an event carried live during a 3-day concert in Altamont, TN, the 17 initial inductees were announced in two different categories: Pioneers/Innovators (Pre-1970), and Highwaymen (1970-1990). Along with the official inductees, the Outlaw Music Hall of Fame also announced Guardian Award winners.
Announcement, Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Bare, Chris Gantry, Dallas Moore, David Allan Coe, Hank Williams, Hank Williams III, Hank Williams Jr., Inductees, Jamey Johnson, Jessi Colter, Johnny Cash, Johnny Paycheck, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame, Outlaw Music Hall of Fame, Sammi Smith, Steve Young, The Carter Family, Waylon Jennings, Wayne Mills, Whitey Morgan, Willie Nelson
The general consensus amongst country music pundits in 2013 is that we are in the midst of the ‘Year Of The Woman.’ But this isn’t the first year in country when the women deserved the lion’s share of attention. Rose Maddox of The Maddox Brothers & Rose, Goldie Hill, and the woman who would later rise to be known as the Queen of Country Music, Kitty Wells became pioneers for women in country.
Whenever I find myself thirsting for inspiration, I tend to search out the blessed gift that is the harmonies of sister pairings. Any two great singers can harmonize, but few can match the instinct and tone of two blood relatives, making the artform seem as effortless as breath. Following is a list of singing sisters who never cease to inspire.
Anderson Family Bluegrass, Asleep at the Wheel, First Aid Kit, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Paige Anderson, Paige Anderson and the Fearless Kin, Ricky Skaggs, T Bone Burnett, The Carter Family, The Church Sisters, The Louvin Brothers, The Marty Stuart Show, The Quebe Sisters, The Secret Sisters, The Shook Twins, The Staves
Lonesome Wyatt is a pioneer of Gothic country with his band Those Poor Bastards, and one of the originators of underground country whose song “Pills I Took” was covered by Hank Williams III on his landmark album Straight to Hell, he is one of the few artists who will never be forgotten regardless of the long-term fortune of the underground country sub-genre.
“Country must evolve” is the way it is sold to the country music public when pop and hip-hop influences are invited into the country music fold. What these folks fail to point out is that country has been trying to evolve for 30 some odd years right under their noses. Are you looking for true progress and evolution in country music? Look no further than this list of women.
Abigail Washburn, Amanda Shires, Anderson Family Bluegrass, Asleep at the Wheel, Be Good Tanya's, Bela Fleck, Brandi Carlile, Caitlin Rose, Dale Watson, First Aid Kit, Hank Williams, Jolie Holland, Kacey Musgraves, Kasey Chambers, Liz Rose, Neko Case, Paige Anderson, Rachel Brooke, Rounder Records, Ruby Jane, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, The Beach Boys, The Carter Family, The Trishas, Tom Waits, Uncle Earl, Willie Nelson
Being an American-flavored country roots band from the UK is a tough enough proposition. Take two girls whose native tongue isn’t even English, and tackling the task of trying to get the North American continent to pay attention to what they’re trowing down seems even more daunting. But that is exactly what the Sorderberg sisters from Sweden have done.
Somewhere in the last year or so, country music crossed that line from being the last bastion for respect of beautiful women in American popular culture, to hanging out in the gutter with the rest of the vermin, making videos of venereal-infused floozies dry humping flashy vehicles in the classic vein of tasteless, materialistic, shallow-minded rap imagery.
Bucky Covington, Country Girl (Shake It For Me), Dolly Parton, Drinking Side of Country, Dustin Lynch, Loretta Lynn, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Patsy Cline, She Cranks My Tractor, Shooter Jennings, Tammy Wynette, Taylor Swift, The Carter Family
Whether it’s folk, bluegrass, country, or Cajun, Foghorn can play a breakdown, a Celtic jig, a Cajun waltz, and cut a rug to an early country tune in the span of as many songs and sell you quickly on the idea that you don’t need amplification or new school modes to make music that is both memorable and entertaining. Outshine the Sun is an excellent album, and where it makes its mark is in the positivity of its message.