The power of music (and the secondary power of repeatedly talking and teaching a particular narrative about it), are such that for many, the Dust Bowl, some eighty years later, survives in memory mainly or solely as “the horrible experience Woody Guthrie sang about.” (For others, it’s what they saw or read in The Grapes […]
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. […]
- Daniel Mullins: Mr. Mazor- In your opinion, who do you think will be/should be inducted into the Hall on April 22nd?
- Barry Mazor: My own suggestion would be that it probably wouldn't pay off to read those sorts of things into Kyle Young's …
- A.B.: Barry's article was good. The quote from Mr Young mentioning Ralph Stanley is making me speculate though. He was probably …
- Janice Brooks: got this album early this morning and added Frankie Please for now.
- Daniel Mullins: I agree 100%. This is definitely one of Croweel's strongest albums. You can't help but feel more confident about yourself …
- Juli Thanki: David, yep, I'd say it's his best since The Houston Kid; though I think I like the songwriting on here …
- henry: He has a great story about "Fever on the Bayou," which I'm sure he told you about how long the …
- Jonathan Pappalardo: Incredible album, exceptional review. Totally agree that this is his finest work in more than a decade.
- David Cantwell: I can't wait to hear this, Juli. Just curious... When you say his best in more than a decade, I'm …
- Joe Mekler: Not only is this a fun tune with an unusual form but it is politically appropriate for the present times!