AmericanaFest occurred last week in Nashville. And despite the continued debates on “What is Americana?” the event is an excellent place for discovery. These will be the biggest names in country in coming years.
The Wilder Blue
Luke Combs may be the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, but you get the distinct impression that he’s barely aware of it. There’s no cocksure attitude as he stands up there on stage in his Bass Pro fishing shirt with the flap across the back. He’s just a grown up pudgy choir kid from North Carolina.
While on the Red Carper at the 2023 Grammy Awards if February, someone from CBS shoved a microphone into the face of Luke Combs, and asked him “What song can you not stop listening to?” Luke’s answer? “John Prine’s son, Tommy Prine, wrote a song when his dad passed called ‘Ships in the Harbor.'”
The only thing more cool than your favorite country music performers is when your favorite country music performers come together to collaborate in a supergroup. Some of these collaborations have gone on to become just as legendary as the individual performers themselves.
Black Tie, Brokedown in Bakersfield, Chicks With Hits, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Flying Burrito Brothers, I'm With Her, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Linda Ronstadt, Miranda Lambert, Old Dogs, Pistol Annies, Poco, Rodney Crowell, Run C&W, Sister Sadie, Stregnth in Numbers, supergroup, Texas Hill, The Eagles, The Earls of Leicester, The Flatlanders, The Frontmen, The Highwaymen, The Highwomen, The Knitters, The Local Memories, The Lost Highwamen, The Million Dollar Band, The Notorious Cherry Bombs, The Panhandlers, The Punch Brothers, The Sky Kings, The Wilder Blue, Thexas Tornadoes, Trio, Vince Gill, Waylon Jennings, Western Centuries, Willie Nelson
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Saving Country Music’s most comprehensive guide to music in a given year, known as the Essential Albums List. Starting with the first 20 albums that are deemed the “Most Essential”—meaning they were right on the bubble of being Album of the Year nominees…
49 Winchester, Adam Hood, Alex Williams, Alma Russ, American Aquarium, Benjamin Tod, Brennen Leigh, Courtney Patton, David Quinn, Hellbound Glory, Jenny Tolman, Kelsey Waldon, Kimberly Kelly, Matt Daniel, Stacy Antonel, Sunny Sweeney, Teague Brothers Band, The Wilder Blue, Tony Logue, Willi Carlisle
Here at the halfway pole of the musical year, it’s time to run down the best albums that have been released in 2022 so far. There have already been some excellent releases, and the first albums highlighted should be considered early candidates for Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year.
Sometimes you have to really dig for some new songs worthy of being added on this distinguished playlist. And other times the cup runeth over. The latter is the case this week with multiple songs that will move you, including from artist you won’t hear about anywhere else.
Ever since this Texas music supergroup formed—first under the name Hill Country, and now as The Wilder Blue—they have been spellbinding listeners with the ease in which they meld together country, classic rock, and bluegrass styles.
Luke Combs didn’t just put Zach Bryan, Morgan Wade, and Cody Johnson on a poster. He put out a whole promotional video featuring these artists as part of the announcement, and splattering it all over social media. Even if people don’t attend these events, the damage is done.
It’s not that Luke Combs is ideal, because he isn’t. Hell, who is? And for many independent fans, he will never compete with the likes of Cody Jinks or Tyler Childers in their hearts. But who would you rather have being the face of mainstream country at the moment?
They were previously called Hill Country. Now they’re called The Wilder Blue. But whatever you call them, most folks lending them an ear call them damn good music. They’ve earned many fans since releasing their self-titled album in 2020 from the country.
Ever since releasing their debut self-titled record in late May, the newly-formed Texas music supergroup recording under the name ‘Hill Country’ has been receiving worthy praise for their music. But as some have remarked, the name is just generic enough for it to get buried or confused.