As the end of the year draws near, it comes time to reflect on all the country music greats big and small, superstars and sidemen, session players and songwriters, who passed away in the past year, and pay our respects to the contributions they made to country music, and to us as fans through the music they shared.
The President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, is furious with the Jason Aldean camp for allegedly turning down the UFC’s offer to sing the National Anthem before UFC 2016 Saturday night in Las Vegas, citing that he was still to shaken up to perform, and may never to perform again, only to show up to unexpectedly on SNL.
According to numerous reports, Tom Petty was rushed to the hospital Sunday (10-1) night when he was found in his Malibu home unconscious, and not breathing, having suffered from cardiac arrest. They were able to get a pulse on Petty as he was rushed to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital where he was placed on life support.
Tom Petty and a host of other cool folks have come together to collaborate on Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers alumnus Chris Hillman’s first record in over a decade called ‘Bidin’ My Time.’ The album includes a collection of songs from in and around Chris Hillman’s career, but many that fell through the cracks in one way or another.
It don’t matter who’s on country radio, Chris Stapleton is still the current king of country music when it comes to recognition and album sales. A solid 16 months since he shocked the world at the 2015 CMA Awards, and he is still the perennial chart topper on the country albums charts with Traveller most every week, and there is no signs of it slowing down soon.
“The Driver” is Charles Kelley’s version of Theodore Roosevelt buying a $700 cowboy shirt and heading for the Dakota badlands, or Rose from Titanic choosing to attend the dance in the boiler room instead of the ballroom because the help knows how to party better. It’s this strange, striving for everything Charles Kelley and Lady Antebellum isn’t that defines this solo album.
While “Red, White & You” makes an ironclad case for itself as the worst “country” song in the history of recorded music, it indisputably takes the top prize for the worst lyrical line the world has ever been forced to behold. What the hell does “yum yum” mean you ask?
Heading into the final couple of months of 2015, there may not be a hotter name in country music among critics and distinguished listeners than Chris Stapleton. The long wait for his often-rumored and much-delayed debut album was finally rewarded on May 5th with the release of the Dave Cobb-produced “Traveller,” and fans were not let down.
Bingham recorded the album with producer Jim Scott, well known for his work with Wilco, Tom Petty, and The Dixie Chicks. The twelve songs of Fear and Saturday Night were written in seclusion. Bingham sequestered himself in an Airstream trailer in the California mountains without electricity or phone service, and drew inspiration from his tale-riddled and troubled life.
Call it Bro-Country, call it just plain bad, but Merle Haggard apparently prefers to call the puss oozing from the open sore that is modern-day radio country “Boogie Boogie Wham-Bam.” And hey, he’s Merle freaking Haggard, so he can call it whatever the hell he wants. “Too much boogie boogie wham-bam and not enough substance. It’s all the same musicians, too,” Merle said.
Oh Jason, this is most unfortunate. Since Jason Aldean has re-entered the single life after getting caught in a douche-soaked nightclub on the Sunset Strip handling up on some American Idol semifinalist castoff, now he thinks he’s Mr. Sexy, taking cues from Jerrod Niemann and entering the EDM space to keep the child support money streaming in.
Tom Petty has been known to speak his mind from time to time, including in August of 2013 when he criticized modern country as “Bad rock with a fiddle.” Now in a new interview with Canada’s CBC news organization, Petty has relayed some pointed opinions about what he characterizes as stars that have “won a game show” and that make “plastic computer music.”
Lost among country music’s great concept albums was the 1999 offering from Marty called “The Pilgrim” released 15 years ago today. A commercial flop that was poorly-promoted but well-received by all the critics who happened to receive a copy, The Pilgrim produced no singles and no awards, but it wasn’t meant to. This was Marty Stuart flexing his creative muscles…
Barry Beckett, Earl Scruggs, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Hank Williams III, Johnny Cash, Marty Stuart, Mike Campbell, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Pam Tillis, Ralph Stanley, Review, Stuart Duncan, Sturgill Simpson, the Pilgrim, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson
It’s been my contention for years that if genre bending pioneer Beck ever made a straight up country record, it could have a similar effect as when The Byrds, heavily influenced by Gram Parsons, released Sweetheart of the Rodeo, allowing young hip listeners outside of country’s borders to realize the virtues of the genre.”I’m hearing the Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, Gram Parsons, Neil Young,” says Beck.
When it comes to mainstream country, there’s not many good guys left. They’ve either been aged out, shuffled along, they sold out to stay hip, or they’ve been otherwise marginalized to where you don’t hear about them anymore. And there doesn’t seem to be very many new good guys in the pipeline to replenish the ones we’ve lost. And then there’s Dierks Bentley.
2013 was a year defined by massive stories in country music. From historic deaths like the passing of country music writer Chet Flippo, artist and producer Tompall Glaser, producer and songwriter “Cowboy” Jack Clement, Willie Nelson guitarist Jody Payne and others, to the feuds that erupted as country music continues to be in the midst of a culture war, 2013 was tumultuous to say the least.
Blake Shelton, CMA Awards, Gary Allan Carrie Underwood, George Jones, Jason Aldean Luke Bryan, Old Farts and Jackasses, Randy Travis, Taylor Swift, That's My Kind Of Night, Tom Petty, Wayne Mills, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown
Country music in the second half of 2013 is going through some of the most historic changes the format has ever seen. The ever-present erosion of what the term “country” defines has never been greater, and the charge of preserving the roots of country music has never been more dire. As a symptom of all the change and upheaval, big-time artists are speaking out about the direction of country music like never before.
Country music in 2013 feels like the best of times, and the worst of times. While a few top male performers perpetrate untold atrocities on the integrity of the genre, the rise of independent music and infrastructure in the marketplace is now almost to the point where it equals its corporate counterpart. Quality songs and worthy artists are beginning to see more and more support…
Ashley Monroe, Austin Lucas, Avett Brothers, Blake Shelton, Bobb Bare, Caitlin Rose, CMA Awards, Cory Branan, Country Music Hall of Fame, Dale Watson, Darius Rucker, David Letterman, East Nashville, Gary Allan, Grand Ole Opry, Guy Clark, Hellbound Glory, Jack Clement, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kid Rock, Lindi Ortega, Mumford and Sons, Nashville, Old Crow Medicine Show, Old Farts and Jackasses, Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame, Pokey LaFarge, Rascal Flatts, Ray Price, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shovels and Rope, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, The Lumineers, Tom Petty, Twones Van Zandt, Valerie June, Zac Brown
Yesterday the big story was that Tom Petty had said some disparaging things about the direction of country music to the Rolling Stone. Though Petty’s comments did not mention pop country band Florida Georgia Line or anyone else specifically, it is probably safe to conclude that the duo was included. earlier today on Twitter, Florida Georgia Line responded with, “U think we care?”
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…