I’m sometimes asked —sympathetically or suspiciously—why I don’t write more negative reviews than I do. It’s not some physical disability that prevents me from turning my thumb down; there are simply so many projects (all media included) being released now, more than I could ever discuss, and life’s too short to spend much time or [...]
It’s been a long time since a genre’s experienced a shift like country did at this year’s Country Music Association Awards. With no Garth-like mandate, no behemoth sales figures a la Kenny Chesney’s ticket sales or Taylor Swift’s album numbers, the advent of a whole new guard descended in one three-hour primetime special. Suddenly, outliers [...]
He doesn’t sing about much. Not really. Back water towns with water towers, driving with no place to go, working with one’s hands, no real arc for what the future holds, needing to believe and finding little to put one’s faith in. An American Dream that’s faded, now torn and shrinking. The will to survive [...]
September’s the month country and its cousins honor music and music makers that the Media Barons-That-Be don’t consider ripe for prime time—anything more than five minutes old, anything with specialized appeal, artists who don’t universally look like aspiring starlets or teen idols (sorry, Junior Sisk, Richard Thompson, and Billy Sherrill) and anybody at all besides [...]
It’d be too easy to be cynical given the way legendary country acts of the last 30 years – see the Judds eternal farewell tour or Alabama’s three trips through many markets final trek – have cried wolf about “last” tours. But something about iconic Hall of Famer George Strait – known to many as “King [...]
In the biting album track “The Long Run,” the title track, but never single from the Eagles’ follow-up to Hotel California, Don Henley practically spits out the rejoinder, “Did you do it for love? Did you do for money? Did you do it for fame? Think you had to, honey?” with all the churlish invective you’d expect [...]
In a world where faster, better, louder and especially newer matters, the 46th Annual Country Music Association Awards nominations speak eloquently to that truth. But as the dust from the nominations settles, the realization that it’s not just that truth, but the notion that many of the genre’s bedrock acts for more than two decades [...]
At the height of the alternative country scare in the mid- to late- nineties, Iris DeMent became one the most revered singers claimed by the field—although you would most likely find her CDs for sale in the folk bins (they had bins in those days), and since she regularly stunned audiences live and on [...]
There comes a time when the success one has is heavier than the reality of being suspended where one is. For Taylor Swift, with her catching-on-the-notes little girl voice, the break-out at 15 meant speaking truth to reality for a world of girls who’d been marginalized for their wide eyes, Hello Kitty backpacks and youth. [...]
A half-year in which such major contributors, true giants, as Kitty Wells, Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson are suddenly no longer with us (among too many others, it sure seems, lately), could produce a major case of seasonal distress disorder in itself for a lot of us, Meanwhile, so many have been taking to [...]
- Barry Mazor: The assumption that everybody would be signed if only they could be no longer is necessarily so..Given the relatively much ...
- Luckyoldsun: Can't say I necessarily know who is or isn't signed, but I have no knowledge that any of the following ...
- Occasional Hope: Is Patty Loveless free now, since she's implied she doesn't seem to have any plans to record again, but perhaps ...
- Arlene: Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison's current terrific album, Cheater's Game, was financed via Kickstarter. If they are still unsigned, they'd ...
- KC: My picks seem to be doing ok without a label, but I would sign them even if it was just ...
- SCOOTER: Sturgill Simpson - fantastic artist Ashton Shepherd - I know she was recently dropped and a lot of people complain ...
- Daniel Mullins: Lee Ann Womack is a must. I would also sign Wyatt McCubbin. He was featured on The Music Inside: A Tribute ...
- Ken Morton, Jr.: BTW- Julie's been in the recording studio all this past week and will be unveiling something new soon.
- Ken Morton, Jr.: Jonathan, I actually had this exact conversation with Julie Roberts a couple weeks ago. She came out with Emily West, ...
- Jack Williams: The first name that came to my mind was electic bluesman Alvin Youngblood Hart. He hasn't released a proper ...