Country music, the whole popular roots music arena, in fact, has demanded give-and-take self-negotiations about what to hold onto, what to let go, how to find a balance between them and how to present the result, from its beginnings to this day. This summer seems to me to be proving a heady time for shows, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
One lesser-mentioned Ray Price life and career accomplishment to celebrate and remember now is that he came to be able to say “yes.” There are fans, to this day, who will go to great lengths to tell you how much they honor shuffle king Ray’s driving 1950s hits, the likes of “My Shoes Keep Walking […]
You’ve probably seen, hanging in some dive bar or hardware store or rec room, one of those signs that reads “There’s no other place exactly like this place anywhere near this place, so this must be the place.” Well, place matters in roots music—and not just by that process of elimination. Recent events, talks and […]
All things considered (and with Merle there’s a lot to consider) it seems to me that there’s no one in the long, wide story of country music who’s proved to have been more gifted or contributed more to it over time than Merle Haggard—as songwriter, singer, bandleader, record maker, and champion of musical heroes. For […]
- luckyoldsun: And sometimes she breaks into "I Fought the Law and the Law Won."
- bob: @Leeann - Don Schlitz's wife Stacy is also a good singer. At some of his shows, she'll sing a song …
- Leeann: It's hardly on topic, but Don Schlitz's wife is an actual lawyer.
- Erik North: I like that list of country songs that Laura Cantrell drew up for people who are suspicious of the genre. …
- Leeann: Thank you for linking to my discussion. To clarify, they're not so much my favorite Dad songs, but rather, songs …
- Jack: "I got turned off a not so new guy’s music after he started recording songs like “Get Drunk and Be …
- A.B.: I think I understand why the eating disorder facility wants to be located there besides it being the former Cash …
- 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 …