Whitey has been telling fans to not expect the similar Waylon vibe of his last albums on Sonic Ranch, and we see this coming to fruition in this Townes cover. Expansive, epic, dynamic, and moving, Whitey Morgan and the 78’s really delve into the spirit of the song and make it sound new. And most importantly from a lead single, it gets you really excited about what Whitey has in store with the new release.
Whitey Morgan & The 78’s
Fans of Flint, Michigan’s rambunctious throwback wild-eyed honky tonker Whitey Morgan and his backing band The 78’s have been waiting half a decade for a new studio album, and their country music prayers are about to be answered, or at least they will be in May when Whitey Morgan releases his latest record ‘Sonic Ranch.’
This isn’t some beer league bar band made up of 2nd shifters from the machinist union out on a Friday night to give the jukebox a spell, this is Whitey Morgan & the 78’s dammit—the most wild-eyed honky tonk hard-stomping band ever to put their boots through a bass drum head. And to have a high quality rig on site recording it all in their home confines of The Machine Shop of Flint, Michigan…
Fans of the hard driving, honky tonkin’ throwback country band of the new generation known as Whitey Morgan & the 78’s have been waiting a very long time to hear something new since the release of their self-titled Bloodshot Records debut in 2010, and the floodgates are about to open, beginning with the long-awaited release of “Born, Raised & LIVE from Flint.”
If you’re looking for a brand of country music that is country and country only, not country rock, country punk, “evolved” country, alt-country or Americana, then J.P. Harris & The Tough Choices just might be right in your wheelhouse. J.P. lets it be known he’d rather you leave your hyphenated country labels and long-winded qualifiers clear of what he does.
One of the questions that comes up often in country music is “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?” There’s a lot of industry country stars that would love to tell you they’re the ones, and they record songs, print up merch, and proselytize at every turn for their candidacy to fill in for the lost country greats. But beyond the glitz and the market-driven image campaigns …
Separating themselves from those with only a half-sense for the early 70’s vibe and hipsters who see it as trendy, the Deadstring Brothers have been proving they have an unadulterated sense for that coveted heroin sweat sound and how to mix it with their own original expression since their first album on Bloodshot Records in 2003. Simply put, Cannery Row is a pleasure to listen to.
Interstate 35 runs like a zipper down the gut of Texas, and acts like an unofficial border where the American South meets the West. The highway is also a musical corridor, being the main conduit in and out of Austin, TX, aka the “Live Music Capitol of the World.” Up and down that ribbon of I-35 are places that have been regaled in song by the musicians who’ve passed by them or had memorable experiences there.
Bred for dancing, El Rancho Azul is taken straight out of the honky tonks Dale Watson plays 8 nights a week while home in Austin. Drinking and heartache are the prevailing themes, and maybe not just because this is a country album, but because Dale just recently went through a divorce himself. Dale’s supple country drawl delivered with breadth, emotion and control breathe new life into old, familiar narratives.
The thing I am most thankful for when it comes to Pickathon is that in this age of music and cultural mypoia, where technology and media that intuitively should give us access and awareness to so much more seem to instead be fueling the narrowing of the music reality tunnel, Pickathon works to erode music myopia by filtering off the cream of many different scenes and styles of music and offering them all in one place.
Hollywood seems obsessed with finding talent among the masses with their silly reality show contests like American Idol and The Voice, when in reality there’s a boatload of talent just sitting there waiting to be discovered right under their surgically-crafted, cosmetically-sculptured noses. So here’s a list of some bands that are go ready, right now, no excuses.
From the outside looking in, one may look at the lineup of The Muddy Roots Festival for example, and wonder how all these bands could all be booked right beside each other and it work seamlessly. This illustrates the dramatic sonic and geographical diversity that goes into creating what we know now as the underground country roots, or “Muddy Roots” world.
I think at this point it is pretty much a forgone conclusion that in 2012 we’re all going to die of death. You know, that whole Mayan thing. But I thought just to be on the safe side, just in case we all don’t die, we’ll probably want to listen to some music, so wouldn’t it be cool to know what some of your favorite artists have planned for 2012.
When I sat down to name the top 10 live performances of 2011 as seen through my eyes, I didn’t know what a mess I was making for myself, and it wasn’t until then that I realized what a power packed year for live music it has been. My 10 stretched to 15 fast, and I’m still leaving many live acts out.
Certainly Pickathon is an expensive festival in a severe corner of the country (just outside of Portland, OR), and these natural barriers will always keep some from being able to attend. But as far as creating the best environment to allow creativity to happen, and a model for other festivals and public events to learn and be inspired from, Pickathon has no peer…
Country music might ignore Record Store Day (RSD) this Saturday (April 16th), the worldwide event that has become an international holiday for audiofiles, but Saving Country Music won’t. Neither will Bloodshot Records, who has a number of releases and events planned for the day meant to prop up the ailing mom and pop record store.
South by Southwest last year was my first full on experience with the event that brings over 8,000 bands from all over the world to Austin for 5 days of musical mayhem, and it went great. With proper pacing and maybe a little luck, I got everything out of the experience I could ever want. 2011 was one of those experiences you hear many people talk about that is proceeded by “…and I will never go back.”
Despite my SXSW preview blogs being horrifically under-read, and misunderstood as boastful bragging pieces about what others can’t experience instead of creative ways to promote artists I may otherwise not be able to talk about, and despite Saving Country Music being eaten by Facebook, ripped in half by XXX, and the last vestiges of readers descending into pointless polarized rants about Hank III and Jamey Johnson…
For those that have never been to SXSW, the whole thing is broken down into showcases. A showcase can be put on by a record label, a booking agency, a publicity agency, a radio station, a blog, it doesn’t matter. And where doesn’t matter either. Wherever there is space in or near downtown Austin, there’s a band playing. Find yourself a space and make it happen!
I’m not giving any answers here, only questions and concerns. Not criticisms, just observations. I have severe, deep loyalty to Hank III, but I am loyal to the music above any man. As inexplicable as it is to think that Shooter Jennings has now taken the helm from Hank III in the effort to help highly-talented up and coming country bands, it is also undeniable.
Gas prices are expected to reach a national average of $5 per gallon by mid-summer. Even at $3.25 (which is what I paid this morning), it’s still hard. As my band budgeted this last tour we got hit by it. You work out your estimated gas cost, overestimate a bit and hope nothing on the van breaks so you come out a little ahead. Of course, that didn’t happen this time as gas prices shifted throughout the week…
The Pickathon Festival, Aug 5-7 out in Portland, OR boasts of having “The best festival experience in the country.” And having been a participant of it in 2009, I can vouch personally for this bold statement. But Pickathon and others don’t throw this statement out to create a rabid desire for tickets with the idea of shattering previous attendance numbers in a yearly cash grab. . .
Now that the ink has dried on the acquittal of Billy Joe Shaver for shooting Billy Coker with a .22 pistol outside Papa Joe’s Saloon in Lorena, TX, (just outside of Waco) on March, 31st of 2007, he can now have a little fun with the story, and with a little help from old friend Willie Nelson.
Billy and Willie have just released a duet called, “Wacko From Waco” about the incident…
Alright look. I know that some of you have already grown tired of the back and forths talking about what to call music and how to manage it, and rather we all spend more time focusing on the actual music itself. I agree, and that will continue to be the main focus of Saving Country Music. But right now, I do not think there is a bigger issue facing the music we all love than this proposed XXX genre. I have already made my initial thoughts known, and had many critical things to say . . .