The distaste the CMA Awards experience can leave in the mouth of actual country music fans is chased early this year by the announcement of the 2020 Grammy Award nominees in the Country and American Roots categories. Though no set of ears will find the nominees list ideal, those with distinguishing tastes will be much more rewarded.
Getting to see Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson, or Jamey Johnson individually is probably worth your country music time. Put them all together on one bill and it’s a no brainer if you’re within driving distance or otherwise. Throw in upsurging country-soul queen Yola from the U.K. whose having a breakout year in 2019, and it’s a bill for the ages.
British-born country soul singer Yola didn’t win anything she was nominated for at the 2019 Americana Music Awards last week. But a consensus emerged throughout the 2019 AmericanaFest event that this was the moment Yola had arrived. Along with multiple opening opportunities, she has announced her “Walk Through The Fire World Tour.”
The 18th Annual Americana Music Awards transpired Wednesday night (9-11) at the Country Music Mother Church, the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, with lots of love spread out among a diverse list of winners, but John Prine emerging as the biggest winner walking away with both Album of the Year for ‘Tree of Forgiveness,’ and Song of the Year
Americana, Americana Music Awards, Brandi Carlile, Delbert McClinton, Frank Johnson, I'm With Her, Jack Ingram, Jim Lauderdale, John Prine, Maria Muldaur, Mavis Staples, Milk Carton Kids, Our Native Daughters, Rhiannon Giddens, The War and Treaty, Yola
Strong songwriting underpins inspired performances delivered by four women with passion for this project and its material in this initial effort by The Highwomen. Instead of writing it all themselves, they took the Nashville approach of utilizing co-writers to refine each effort that began with their original ideas, and it shows in the results.
Willie Nelson and the usual suspects, along with some fresh talent will once again reunite for the plight of the American farmer as part of the 2019 installment of Farm Aid, which this year will focus its attention on the land of dairy. The location was chosen specifically due to the crisis affecting many of America’s dairy farmers.
Bonnie Raitt, Brothers Osborne, Dave Matthews, Farm Aid, Jamey Johnson, John Mellencamp, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Neal Young, Particle Kid, Tanya Tucker, Willie Nelson, Yola
The Americana Music Association has announced the 2019 nominees for their annual Americana Music Awards to be held this September at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. In a video hosted by The Milk Carton Kids taped at Soundcheck Nashville on Tuesday, May 14th, four nominees in six categories were unveiled.
American Aquarium, Americana, Americana Music Awards, Brandi Carlile, Brent Cobb, Colter Wall, Dave Cobb, John Prine, Kacey Musgraves, Lori McKenna, Mark Erelli, Our Native Daughters, Pistol Annies, Rhiannon Giddens, The Milk Carton Kids, Yola
Oh the irony of so many people demanding all music sound the same in the name of “diversity.” The only reason we’re even having a discussion of where Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” should be placed on the charts is because you can’t tell the difference between most any given piece of popular music anymore.
Aaron Vance, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah, Ben Hunter, Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Cleve Francis, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Jerry Pentacost, Kaia Kater, Leyla McCalla, Linda Martell, Mavis Staples, Michael “Scooter” McDonald, Mickey Guyton, Milton Patton, OB McClinton, Our Native Daughters, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Priscilla Renea, Ray Charles, Rhiannon Giddens, Stoney Edwards, Sunny War, Tammi Savoy, The McCrary Sisters, The Pointer Sisters, The War & Treaty, Tina Turner, Tony Jackson, Valerie June, Yola
What started out to be a small and intimate alternative to Austin’s sprawling SXSW gathering every March, and that was only known initially through invite or word of mouth, has now become arguably the most important and exclusive gatherings in all of American roots music every year.
Amy Winehouse, Angie McMahon, Bonnie Bishop, Chris Masterson, Chris Shiflett, Courtney Marie Andrews, Elanore Whitmore, Haley Heynderickx, Hayes Carll, Logan Ledger, Luck Reunion, Lukas Nelson, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Mavis Staples, Miss Tess, Mountain Main, Nikki Lane, Paul Cauthen, Randy Houser, Ray Charles, Steve Earle, Sunny War, The Mastersons, Townes Van Zandt, Tyler Childers, Willie Nelson, Yola
An artist like Yola is the antidote to such a prognosis; a firewall against the free-range onslaught of cultural sameness pervading popular music. She represents a lushness of perspective, and a re-invigoration of musical diversity, beyond any shallow observances simply based upon skin pigmentation.
2019 is here ladies and gentlemen, and soon your ears will have a fresh new bounty of new releases in the country, roots, and Americana world to feast upon. In such a crowded landscape and with so many releases to choose from, having a road map certainly helps. So in that spirit, here are Saving Country Music’s top picks.
Aaron Watson, Alice Wallace, Charles Wesley Godwin, Cody Johnson, Dale Watson, Flatland Cavalry, George Strait, Hayes Carll, Joshua Ray Walker, Randy Houser, Ray Charles, Ryan Bingham, The Cactus Blossoms, The Steel Woods, Yola