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 […]
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 […]
- Janice Brooks: Hopes somebody gets those memos about drinking songs. Meanwhile I'm feeling a lot of slots with Bluegrass.
- Leeann: Great news about Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White's duet album! Absolutely appalling about the Keith Urban concert!! Both the rape and …
- bob: I found the Billboard article about country music radio needing an alcohol intervention interesting. Songwriter Adam Wright is quoted as …
- Matt: Definitely agree with C.M. about Maddie & Tae. Certainly not the tidal wave of change some claimed it is or …
- Dave D.: Good stuff, as always. My copy of Producing Country arrived yesterday, and it looks to be as good as …
- Scooter: I agree Holly Williams can do no wrong in my eyes. Such a good album and great to see live …
- Carrie Mclaughlin: Your my Hero Mr. Jim Lauderdale!!! Come to Alaska Please? hehehehe
- Jeremy Dylan: You should check it out Dave D. It's from the first (and strongest) season.
- Leeann: Wow! I love that Holly William's cover of "No Surrender"! She's gotten to be so good.
- luckyoldsun: I made it through a minute of that "Girl In a Country Song Video." Man, that sucks.