Tis’ the season, and the opportunity as the COVID-19 pandemic era comes to a close to start thinking about music festivals once again, and one of the biggest in the roots community has just announced its full 2021 lineup, and it’s a doozy.
On Friday evening, October 16th, PBS will air the presentation of the Grammy’s special merit awards for the year’s Lifetime Achievement recipients. The event is capped off with a tribute to John Prine, whose segment runs almost twice as long as any other tribute.
Re-integrating important black voices into that living tapestry should be a priority for the genre moving forward. But performing this important re-integration as either a commercial enterprise, or via hip-hop appropriations will only be effective at eroding what makes country music so vital.
Neither Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, nor The Highwomen collectively have addressed the issue publicly, or directly. We still don’t know why Mickey Guyton felt she was “disinvited” from the shoot, whether it was the fault of “a giant miscommunication” or otherwise.
In a recent op/ed, Guyton spelled out numerous frustrations she’s experienced, but one of the most shocking revelations of the article was not on the systemic racism she’s suffered from in the country music industry, it was how she was snubbed by her fellow women in the genre.
One of the greatest individual country music tickets that you could find in 2020 was Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson and Family, Jamey Johnson, and British country soul sensation Yola all playing on the same bill. The occasion was the grand opening of the new Globe Life Park.
This is bound to create a problem in the already-crowded festival and touring space. Even before Coronavirus, we saw many festivals cancelling or postponing 2020 plans due to the inability to secure talent or due to competing festivals moving into their markets. Now you will have spring festivals competing with fall ones.
ACL Fest, AmericanaFest, Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, Chris Stapleton, Coachella, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Hangout Fest, Jamey Johnson, Larry Joe Taylor Festival, Luck Reunion, MerleFest, Old Settler's Fest, Stagecoach, SXSW, Tortuga Fest, Ultra Fest, Willie Nelson, Yola
The big concert set to officially open the brand new Globe Life Park stadium in Arlington, TX on Saturday, March 14th has been postponed due to Coronaviurs concerns, as well as the show in Austin. Cody Jinks flew into New York, only to find his shows in the area postponed.
Chris Stapleton has just dumped a bunch of new tour dates for his 2020 All-American Roadshow Tour to go along with some previously-announced appearances and events, and they include an extensive list of openers for the respective dates. After a few years of struggling to write new songs, Chris Stapleton is coming out of his writers block.
It seems few if anyone is thinking about the music itself amid the Grammy Awards drama, or the artists who on Sunday will get the opportunity to experience something they’ve dreamed of happening from the first time they chose to pursue music, which is hearing their name called to receive a Grammy Award.
2019 was a stacked year for top live performances. This was supposed to be a list of the top 10 live performances, but due to such a crowded field, things boiled over. And yes, there are three #1 acts. All should be considered equals at the very top level of live performance. They were all so great, it seemed unfair to put one over the other.
Amanda Shires, Billy Strings, Bri Bagwell, Cedric Burnside, Charles Wesley Godwin, Courtney Marie Andrews, Jack Ingram, Kaitlin Butts, Logan Ledger, Lukas Nelson, MIke and the Moonpies, Raul Malo, Shane Smith and the Saints, Sierra Ferrell, Tami Neilson, The Brother Brothers, The Mavericks, The Tender Things, Tyler Childers, Whitey Morgan and the 78's, Yola
A Saving Country Music Song of the Year candidate is not just your favorite ditty that gets stuck in your head. These are songs that change hearts, change lives, rest in your head for years to come, open up new ideas, or unlock memories or emotions you haven’t felt in years. Song of the Year nominees are the reason you’re a music fan.
Chris Stapleton has just announced a slew of new tour dates on the 2020 leg of his ongoing All-American Road Show Tour, along with the openers for each date. Though this isn’t the big dump of dates we’re used to seeing from Stapleton, presales and tickets for these select dates are coming up shortly, so folks should be aware.
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.
Ashley McBryde, Brooks & Dunn, Dan Auerbach, Dee White, Eric Church, I'm With Her, J.S. Ondara, Keb Mo, Kendell Marvel, Lil Nas X, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, The Pistol Annies, Tyler Childers, Willie Nelson, Yola
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