The impossible to miss excitement this spring, within country music and in the wider pop music world, too, around the strong, risk-taking, breath-of-fresh-air releases from Kacey Musgraves and Ashley Monroe raises anew some longstanding questions about the relative effects on music makers of being relatively unnoticed. Okay; neither of them were in fact music business […]
I’ve been traveling through the intersection of Roots and Pop for, well, a long time now, but the artists who speed right through the yellow and red lights have never stopped grabbing my attention. Are they doing that on purpose? By accident? Unaware there’s an intersection–even if it’s a backed-up, jammed up intersection? Or maybe […]
Engine 145.com is an American roots music blog, and for all of our regular emphasis on country, Americana, bluegrass and occasional roots rock, it’s impossible to cover this arena without bringing up the blues. Without blues, all of those genres would have developed along a whole lot more one-note and delicate lines, if they’d been […]
Back a lifetime or two ago when I was an undergraduate at George Washington University in DC, I was a regular deejay on the campus radio station, with a show called “Heartbreak Hotel” that featured roots rock, country music and what would have been called “Americana” if there’d been a term for it; this was […]
Year’s end is all at once “make a list” time, “last chance to bring it up” time and “turn the page” time, so I thought I’d keep all of that in mind this column and point you towards some recent roots and country releases, reissues and re-visits in particular, that strike me as worthy of […]
Making year-end lists of best books is an exercise at once exciting and frustrating. Listing the best books of the year helps recall fondly those great books that revealed new information about an artist or his or her music or drives you to pick a again a book that you didn’t want to end the […]
It happens every week. Every Wednesday, when I post my variation of “Gone Fishing” on my Facebook page, announcing I am M-I-A because I will be facedown in ABC’s primetime drama, Nashville, the comments start piling up. About how the writing sucks, the plot blows, but especially, how dreadful the music is. I laugh. I’m not watching the […]
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 […]
- Barry Mazor: I'll have to see if Dr. Green's ever read 3 Lives; it's a good book.
- Juli Thanki: Rose is a rose is a rose is a yellow rose of Texas. I smell a terrible concept album!
- Barry Mazor: Pigeons on the grass, alas.. Come-a kai-yai yippy, yippy ay.
- Ken Morton, Jr.: Barry, thanks for the great sentimental look at Winchester. I will admit that he is an artist that was largely …
- Arlene: Thanks for this article, Barry. It's not often that an artist brings another performer to tears during a guitar pull. …
- Leeann: At any rate, I'll still look forward to his next album, because I'm a fan of his music.
- Leeann: Yes, if he had said that, I'd be with him, but e lumped all of country music, including the Grand …
- mrsandy: My understanding is Emmylou's concert was cancelled was because her 92-y.o. mother passed away.
- Erik North: I would have to say that, even though I agree that JTE does generalize about country music excessively, I also …
- Leeann: I think he generalized way too much, too black and white. He reminded me too much of Ryan Adams, who …