“I don’t want no headstone on my grave,” Jerry Lee Lewis informed us from his undisturbed piano bench on stage at the Ryman, October 4th. “I deserve a monument!” He was still toying with the keys, and had just finished wailing the bluesy Charlie Rich song “Don’t Put No Headstone on My Grave,” as he’s […]
Americana music organized itself as this millennium approached. Over fourteen years later, the general sense of where its musical core lies (even with living, evolving outer borders), is better understood than ever before by anyone who cares to understand. Partly a format (see: Chart), nearly a genre, certainly a lively arena, maybe it’s not yet […]
The cliché about musical sons of the Deep South (believed in most fervently of all by some sons of the place themselves) is that the true Southern Man, a child of nature with peat moss and mustard greens between his toes, does not and will not discombobulate himself with such encumbrances as complicated philosophical thought […]
Anyone interested in the breadth of the country music tradition can these days get their hands on more of that history than ever before. Much of the genre’s back catalogue, whether of the absolutely essential or the just fun or revealing variety, is increasingly available on compact discs (well, for the time being it is…) […]
Country music, the whole popular roots music arena, in fact, has demanded give-and-take self-negotiations about what to hold onto, what to let go, how to find a balance between them and how to present the result, from its beginnings to this day. This summer seems to me to be proving a heady time for shows, […]
It’s easy, with the perpetual slow-trickle arrival of new country songs, singles and stars, to become fixated on the brand new and of-the-moment—as some publications, writers and fans do. Yet some level of recognizable continuity has been a basic element of the music from its beginnings. In country music, themes and sounds and performers are […]
One of my favorite reissues so far this year is Where’s Your Love Been, an album by Sandra Rhodes that the Fantasy label put out in 1972, that had basically been out of print ever since, and that Omnivore Recordings rereleased in March. I suspect most people, even serious music fans, have never heard of […]
Spring a year ago I was talking here about the impressive, risk-taking country releases coming from some (then) lesser-known female sources—Ashley Monroe, Kacey Musgraves, and the as-yet nearly unheard Brandy Clark, for three—while wondering in public whether there were guys lurking out there somewhere with the motivation and talent to take some similar sorts of […]
Events and releases have conspired to put the Carter Family front and center for me through this past month. It’s not the iconic, commonly sentimentalized version of them that’s been brought into fresh focus, though—the domesticated diamonds in the rough, forever simple, down home in their Clinch Mountain “fold”— but the sometimes complicated, breathing, talented […]
Merle Haggard marked a birthday Sunday, his 77th. He celebrated the occasion with an appearance on CBS’s Academy of Country Music awards show, where George Strait and Miranda Lambert performed a medley of his hits and where Haggard was presented with something called the Crystal Milestone Award by Garth Brooks, one of its former honorees. […]
- Ken Morton, Jr.: The inferiority complex of the CMA never ceases to amaze me.
- Barry Mazor: Thanks for explaining that to me, Luckyol.
- luckyoldsun: Barry, I think you're taking it a bit too seriously. CMT has to keep coming up with new lists to make. …
- Barry Mazor: Thi is a world in which the "top 40 most influential country artists of all time" do not include, for …
- luckyoldsun: I just noticed that Garth and King George are still to come. So unless I'm missing something else, the remaining seven …
- Leeann Ward: I hate it when people pronounce the days of the week with a "dy" ending instead of "day." It's like …
- luckyoldsun: Looking at that bizarre CMT Artists' list with Johnny Cash coming in at #8, it raises the question--Who are the …
- Leeann Ward: I'd have to agree with LOS here. The song was fair game to be released. It's no surprised that it …
- luckyoldsun: "'Brotherly Love,' IS a Keith Whitley song. Trying to take advantage of the impact sales, and the tragedy of Keith’s …
- Leeann Ward: Yes, we know that it's technically a Keith Whitley song, as Juli noted above.