Naming the best live performances of a given year is not the same exercise as naming the best songs, albums, or artists, because it is specifically dependent on the experiences of the individual making the list. But it’s still an important exercise.
Whitey Morgan and the 78’s
In the humble estimation of Saving Country Music, 2018 has been the second bumper crop year in a row for excellent, top shelf efforts in country music. To reflect that, the number of nominees for Saving Country Music’s vaunted Album of the Year recognition has been pushed to its capacity of 10 once again.
American Aquarium, Blackberry Smoke, Caitlyn Smith, Cody Jinks, Colter Wall, Courtney Marie Andrews, Dillon Carmichael, El Coyote, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Eady, John Prine, Kacey Musgraves, Lori McKenna, MIke and the Moonpies, Pistol Annies, Randall King, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Tom Buller, Whitey Morgan and the 78's
The crush of new releases of cool country and roots music has been pretty incredible over the past couple of weeks, and to help keep you up-to-date, the Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist has been freshly provisioned. You can also find a supplemental list of all the records you should probably be aware of.
The summer is winding down, but the fall and winter release cycle in country and roots music is heating up, with some of the most anticipated projects of the entire year to be released between now and when the hammer falls on 2018. To help you keep up, here’s a list of Saving Country Music’s most anticipated releases for the final portion of 2018.
Adam Hood, Blackberry Smoke, Bri Bagwell, Colter Wall, Dillon Carmichael, James Carothers, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Isbell, John Howie Jr., JP Harris, Kristina Murray, Loretta Lynn, The Black Lillies, Whitey Morgan and the 78's, William Elliott Whitmore, Willie Nelson
Tasked with keeping you up-to-date, informed, and entertained with the best new country music coming down the pike, a new set of songs has just been added to the Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist. This includes Whitey Morgan and the 78’s brand new hard charging song “Honky Honk Hell.”
As the first song off the just-announced fourth studio album Hard Times and White Lines, “Honky Tonk Hell” finds Whitey Morgan and the 78’s singing about what they know best. Slow and plodding like a drunk whose trying to amble off a bar stool towards the set of swinging doors, but is stuck perpetually ordering one more round…
Mark it down on your calendar, then underline it, circle it, hang pulsating string lights around it, train a spotlight on that son-of-a-bitch, tell your boss it’s a national country music holiday and you’ll quit without a second though if you don’t get it off, ’cause that’s the day Whitey Morgan will be releasing his latest album.
Paramount Network’s original series ‘Yellowstone’ starring Kevin Costner has lots of folks talking with its rough and tumble drama, and panoramic vistas shot on location in the American West. But one interesting wrinkle for fans of independent country music has been the inclusion of multiple artists.
Joining artists such as Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, Margo Price, and Cody Jinks, now Michigan native, California convert, and hard-charging traditional country artist Whitey Morgan and his backing band The 78’s have been bestowed the opportunity to play the Mother Church this summer.
After spending years playing over 200 shows annually and pounding the pavement harder than most any band or artist, Whitey Morgan and the 78’s have been taking some well-deserved time off from the road to rest up, and to write and record some new songs for an upcoming album. But now it’s finally time to get back after it.
According to NASCAR, “A big part of every Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is driver intros, where each driver gets to pick a song of his or her choice to walk out to. It gives drivers a chance to show off their musical tastes, flex their comedic muscle and, yes, sometimes even send a message.”
To be a Saving Country Music Artist of the Year, you can’t just be “good.” It’s not about releasing some great songs or a significant album in a given calendar year. You have to be committed to the cause, both on and off the stage. You have to care about country music, even when you’re not playing it, even when it doesn’t affect you specifically, and even when it’s not politically expedient . . .
2015’s Album of the Year candidates might constitute the most wide open field of contenders since this exercise has been in practice. There’s no clear front runners, anyone could win, and each candidate has pluses and minuses. Like every year, your opinion counts, and may even count more this year with no clear front runner.
Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Don Henley, James McMurtry, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Jason Isbell, Jason James, John Moreland, Kacey Musgraves, Lindi Ortega, Lonesome Wyatt, MIke and the Moonpies, Rachel Brooke, Randy Rogers, Roo Arcus, Ryan Bingham, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen, Ward Thomas, Whitey Morgan, Whitey Morgan and the 78's, Yelawolf
Like a slow moving thunder roll, Whitey Morgan continues to tour, night in and night out, delivering crisp, throbbing performances every time that leave crowds embedded with Whitey passion in every town they tackle until the crowds are swelling, and the word is spreading about this bearded guy from Flint who refuses to compromise, who has his heart in the right place, and who puts on amazing shows.
Like rolling Buick sedans off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan one after another, day after day, year after year, not stopping to take breaks or reveling in little victories, but winning fans over one at a time, night after night, tour after tour in America’s derelict honky tonks until the word of mouth grew into a rumble, the crowds went from nearly empty to nut to butt, Whitey Morgan is now like a locomotive.
From Nashville to New York , from Detroit to Seattle, fans will be getting together to raise funds for diabetes research and to pay tribute to one of country music’s biggest Outlaws. From Whitey Morgan & The 78’s to Shooter Jennings, from Rachel Brooke to Jackson Taylor, bands and artists will be giving of their time to help out a good cause.
Whitey Morgan and his bass player Jeremy Mackinder have a very similar symbiotic relationship that made the pairings of Waylon Jennings and his drummer Ritchie Albright, Willie Nelson and his drummer Paul English, into such successful, productive duos: a working relationship that just works, where creativity can flourish while nuts and bolts tasks still get done. During SXSW I sat down with the pair for a chat.
Bloodshot Records, Dale Watson, Deadstring Brothers, Jeremy Mackinder, Joe Satriani, Keith Richards, Levon Helm, Pickathon, Pokey LaFarge, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sunday Valley, SXSW, Waylon Jennings, Wayne Hancock, Whitey Morgan and the 78's
I am happy, proud, and humbled to announced that two of the best podcasts out there, Outlaw Radio Chicago hosted by Jashie P, and The Reverend Nix shows of Stink Finger Radio and the Mojo Medicine Show are now permanent fixtures (till I figure out how to screw it up) of the SCM LIVE media channel. Outlaw Radio has been archiving their show on the site for a while, but now it will be broadcast here LIVE!
Whitey Morgan & The 78’s self-entitled album through Bloodshot Records will not be out until October 12th, but you can get a first listen to the album next Tuesday, Oct. 5th on SCM LIVE at 8 PM Eastern!
This first listen isn’t gonna be some uber-compressed Mp3 type stuff. Oh no. This bad boy is gonna be done by the magic of needle on VINYL for that true, warm, analog sound!
Rachel Brooke isn’t just a musician, she’s a muse. If she was an illustration, it would be an old one, from the 1920’s with tattered edges. Rachel would be sitting on a high cliff overlooking the sea like a Greek Siren, and ships full of suitors would be trying unsuccessfully to approach her position. The […]
As I first reported here, Michigan-based honky tonk band Whitey Morgan & The 78’s have signed with Chicago-based independent label Bloodshot Records. Both times I saw them at South by Southwest, their live show did not disappoint. Whitey might be the closest thing to Waylon you can see these days. There’s a lot of bands […]
Billy Joe Shaver, Bloodshot Records, Dale Watson, Deadstring Brothers, Jeremy Mackinder, Levon Helm, Levon Helm Studios, Michigan, New Album, Rachel Brooke, South by Southwest, SXSW, Waylon Jennings, Wayne Hancock, Where to you want it, Whitey Morgan and the 78's
It will probably be easier to name of the bands and artists that WON’T be at South by Southwest in Austin, TX this week than to even begin trying to make a list of the ones I’m hoping to see. In fact I’m learning before I even get there that the most maddening thing about […]
Flint, Michigan’s Whitey Morgan and the 78’s have just signed with the the label that is the home of Insurgent Country, Bloodshot Records. Whitey and the boys join the ranks of people like Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Justin Townes Earle, and Scott H. Biram, all signed to the Chicago-based label. The announcement comes just days […]
(This is the second article of two in the “REAL Music from Michigan” series) In some ways Michigan can’t win for losing. Yes the auto industry is shutting down, but they also get yoked for being “Yankees” when really a lot of Michigan and Michiganders have a lot more in common with Southerners and the […]