Kentucky has always been the fertile crescent of country music. It just happens to be that lately it has kicked its output into overdrive, and more than any other state at the moment, it’s Kentucky’s sons and daughters fueling the country music insurgency turning the mainstream on its head.
Country music will not be saved by just one soul, even though this is a thought process many fans and much of the media tend to buy into, often putting an unfair burden on the careers and purpose of certain artists, and placing them at odds with what they should be focused on, which is the creative process.
The last few years have been a somewhat down era for excellent, legacy-caliber releases in country music and independent roots,. But 2017 was a different story, especially the first half, leaving us with difficult choices of what to consider to be the best of the year. As always, your feedback is requested, and will be included in the final calculus.
As the CMA Awards were transpiring Wednesday (11-8) night inside the Bridgestone Arena, Sturgill Simpson decided to take his guitar, his Grammy for Album of the Year from 2016, and do a busking set in front of the arena as local journalist Adam Gold broadcast the whole thing via Facebook Live.
Over the last year or so, Sturgill Simpson has certainly earned that distinction of a “badass” as he’s gone from an independent underdog to receiving some of the top recognition in the entire music industry, and stood up to the Music Row establishment in both words and deeds.
What is going on with Sturgill Simpson these days? That answer just became a lot harder to come by after the Grammy-winning singer and performer wiped his social media feeds somewhere around Tuesday, October 24th. Not only is all his Twitter and Instagram content completely gone, so are the accounts themselves.
Each year the release of the Stagecoach Festival lineup is a point of intrigue as people sift though the names and remark on the font sizes, and see who has been tapped to play the 3-day event in Indio, CA in April. As arguably one of the biggest country music festivals all year, the artists booked say a lot about who is rising in country music.
Kentucky songwriter and performer Tyler Childers has just released what might as well be considered his debut album ‘Purgatory’ via Thirty Tigers, and for an independent artist with virtually no radio play and no national television exposure, ‘Purgatory’ has sold through surprisingly well.
Just like Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers was playing and writing music for many years before he was ready to become a part of the national country music conversation. It was only after years of failure, perseverance, tempering in the fires of everyday life and dues paid on small stages that Tyler was ready.
Not caring whether his music earns him any notoriety or financial gain is what gives an artist like Justin Dean Payne the power and latitude to explore the inner depths of his own soul like the deepest regions of a coal vein until a mother lode of the purest, most lucrative strains of human expression are discovered, and unearthed for the world’s benefit.
As Uncle Ned prepares to blow his hand off with a concoction of semi-illegal fireworks, get yourself prepared for the extended 4th of July weekend by listening to Saving Country Music’s top recommended songs via the official Spotify playlist. It’s a repository for the top recommended songs, albums, and artists at any given time.
Sturgill Simpson is such an enigma, to see his name crop up as the producer on the album from someone else is shocking and intriguing. Stugill has made a career out of saying “no” to reporters, industry professionals, and opportunities some artists would kill for. So how and why did he say “yes” to Tyler Childers?
Over the decade of conducting business under the heading of “Saving Country Music,” no artist has created more anticipation and intrigue into what their future prospects may be, yet with so few national accomplishments and recognition than Tyler Childers.