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. […]
Last column, I alerted you to the new Shanachie DVD release You Are There, since released, which puts some of the hard-to-find and legitimately collected filmed performances of traditionalist country artists such as the Louvin Brothers and Sam & Kirk McGee on one disc. Those performances were culled from the 92 half hours of what […]
When Loretta Lynn cut the records that transformed her into a first-rank country star, she was still touring as the featured “girl singer” for brother team Teddy and Doyle Wilburn. By late 1966, though, her back-to-back grown-woman hits “You Ain’t Woman Enough” and “Don’t Come Home a-Drinkin’ (with Lovin’ on Your Mind)” put her in […]
I’ve got a slew of very worthwhile new roots music material to bring to your attention in this catch-up column, some recently released and some just about to come out, and I’ll just get right at it, by the batch: African-American women really mixing it up This is one ripe season for provocative, engaging new […]
The idea for “Here You Come Again” came to me late last year as I was completing my ballot for the Nashville Scene’s annual Country Music Critics Poll. One of the categories that poll runner Geoffrey Himes always asks for is the year’s “Top Five Country Reissues,” and as I pulled together my picks, it […]
When you’re in the middle of a lively, exciting music scene, it tends to seem natural, inevitable, and bound to last. And then time happens. The scene and the music it thrived around evolve or fade away; what was exciting about them, how they seemed to matter, and, eventually, what they even were become points […]
- Lynchie from Aberdeen: Delighted to hear that Hot Rize have a new album coming out – and thanks for the link to that …
- luckyoldsun: Nobody can do Karaoke George Jones like Kershaw!
- Bruce: LW, Don't apologize for your Bryant comment. You were more gracious than I would have been.
- Bruce: My vote is for Marty Stuart for his exhaustive body of work that is directional yet diversified.
- Leeann: Dang! Let me write my above sentence again!: Kelley MicKwee’s album is sounding good so far too. I really like “Beautiful …
- paul w dennis: The Kershaw album is really noteworthy for its song selections. Other than "I'll Share My World With You", it omits …
- Leeann: The Sammy Kershaw tribute to George Jones is pretty good on first listen. Of course, Sammy's no George, but their …
- Jeremy Dylan: I did a podcast on Joni Mitchell's BLUE album recently and was wondering if there was a good bio of …
- Leeann Ward: Well, that was a mighty unnecessarily flippant comment I just made there and the better angels of my nature make …
- Leeann Ward: As for me, I'd realize I'd written a crappy song if Luke Bryan ended up being the one who wanted …