You certainly can find better bluegrass albums released in 2016, but it might be hard to find one more remarkable or historically significant. For generations now, the true devotees of the Grateful Dead have known that Jerry Garcia’s passion for bluegrass, old time, and country music was much more than some simple lark or a passing era in the legendary jam band’s lineage.
The Grateful Dead
Forget what you should call this music, if it fits in Americana, or if a country website should even be talking about it. The songs themselves are excellent, and truthfully, shoving the music and arrangements to the side for a moment, if you would call the songs of “Workingman’s Bellfuries” anything, you might have to call them country.
Over the 4th of July weekend at Chicago’s Soldier Field, the four surviving original members of the Grateful Dead, Phish frontman Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby, and Jeff Chimenti will be marking the band’s 50th Anniversary by playing a series of shows in the last setting Jerry Garcia ever performed in before passing away in 1995.
This isn’t an album of truckin’ songs that you sit back and listen to nostalgically, this thing takes a big arm cocked at a 90-degree angle like it’s about to give a hearty yank of the air horn, and instead grabs you by the gruff of your neck and pulls you right up into the cab of a serious diesel machine for one sensational ride. It might be one of the best Dale Watson albums to date.
Look, with all due respect to my great friends over in the Americana world, I want to annex Jim Lauderdale back to the cause of country music. By the (self-imposed) power vested in me, I plant a flag in his graying, shoulder-length hair and hereby decree he is country music’s property, only graciously on loan to Americana as an estranged and exiled refugee…
Al Perkins, Bobby Bare, Buddy Miller, Dennis Crouch, Elvis Costello, George Strait, I'm A Song, Jim Lauderdale, John Oates, Kenny Vaughan, Lee Ann Womack, Mark Chesnutt, Patty Loveless, Review, Robert Hunter, Stuart Duncan, The Grateful Dead
Of all the country music greats, Merle’s story might be the most symbolic of the American experience: from growing up in California as the son of Okie parents during The Depression, to spending time in prison, to becoming a rags to riches story. When it comes to influencing country music itself, few this side of Hank Williams can say they’ve left a bigger footprint.
#1 hits, Bob Wills, cancer, CBS Records, Escaping from jail, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Me and Crippled Soldiers Give A Damn, Merle Haggard, Pancho & Lefty, Rick Blackburn, San Quentin, The Bakersfield Sound, The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, Willie Nelson
Few things get people talking in the independent channels of country music like a Hank3 release. From his neotraditional days in the early 2000’s when he had traditionalists singing his praises, to his magnum opus Straight to Hell from 2006 that saw his punk and metal influences bleed over into a hard country approach, to his last few releases that have become a polarizing subject with many fans….
Larry & His Flask is an interesting music specimen. The biggest advice I could give to an underground roots band right now would be, “Get away from underground roots if you want to grow,” and Larry & His Flask’s success is the perfect example why. Their 2011 stint on the Warped Tour and taking the time to do things right on the business side….
If it seems like Saving Country Music is running a story every other day about an artist speaking out on the state of country music, it is because we are, and it’s because they are more and more frequently as modern pop country strives to set a lower standard for itself seemingly every day. Tom Petty is the latest. Following up on an anti modern country rant Petty delivered from the stage of the Beacon Theater in New York City…
The irony of Bieber’s situation is that many music entertainers do the opposite of what he’s done, purposely using marijuana in their public image and music for marketing purposes. Artists who want to appeal to certain demographics or want to portray themselves in a certain way will many times integrate marijuana into their lyrics or logos of their public brand.
So Al Jourgensen, the Cuban-born front man and founder of the Industrial band Ministry has made himself a country album under the pseudonym “Buck Satan & The 666 Shooters”. An overall take on this album would be that it is a rushed, tracked-out, wank-off, studio vanity electronico side-project with little heart.
We all like free stuff, right? Beats paying for it. Unless taking something for free is silently eroding something we’re perfectly willing to pay for. The amount of music out there right now that’s being either given away, or offered for unlimited free listens, is astonishing when you consider what normal was only a few years ago. If it is not expected of artists to at some point make their albums or songs completely available to fans for free, then it will be within months, if not days.
By his own account, pop country’s so called ‘New Outlaw’ Eric Church doesn’t mind ruffling feathers. With his new pot anthem “Smoke A Little Smoke,” he’s doing that very thing, and not just with the morality police. Of course Eric Church fans are eating this song up like a bowl of Count Chocula in a […]
When it boils right down to it, what is it going to take to Save Country Music? Hard work, education, and grass roots efforts are one way, but the magic bullet would be an artist that could rise above all the arguments dividing country music, and offer widespread appeal through a new approach while also […]
Those that have been around here for a while know that I like to come out of left field with my vintage album suggestions. You already have a big stack of records, no need for me to rehash through them. Still I know some of you are rolling up to this thinking, “What kind of […]
Album Review, American Beauty, Crosby Still Nash Young, Europe 72, Gram Parsons, Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia, John Hartford, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Pedal Steel Guitar, Red Headed Stranger, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, Teach Your Children, The Grateful Dead, Vasser Clements, Willie Nelson, Workingmans Dead
Death has been busy lately in the world of country music. When Vern Gosdin passed away, I hated to admit that for all my country music geekness, I had never heard of the man. But I can’t say the same about Poodie Locke, who passed away last Wednesday (5-6-09). I knew exactly who he was, […]
More Mudding/Long Hauls Videos Coming Soon !!! Just wanted to let you guys know, it has come to the attention of the Outlaw Country Blog that there will be a different edit of the Long Hauls & Close Calls video DONE BY HANK III himself that will be made available in about 10 days or […]