Rolling Country 2020

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Is it rolling Bob

dow, Thursday, 2 January 2020 02:24 (eight months ago) link

Now then: Chuck Eddy's account is still messed up, despite requests---mods too cool---so here's his Nashville Scene ballot re 2019:

Chuck sez:
Sent in my ballot a few weeks ago, before I heard the album by Mike and the Moonpies, which may well have made my list if I had.


1. Miranda Lambert - Wildcard (Vanner/RCA)
2. Heathen Apostles - Dust To Dust (Ratchet Blade)
3. The Rails - Cancel The Sun (Psychonaut Sounds)
4. Kalie Shorr - Open Book (Kalie Shorr)
5. Tom Russell - October in the Railroad Earth (Frontera)
6. Tara Thompson — Hillbilly Christmas (TDT Enterprises)
7. Granville Automatic - Radio Hymns (Granville Automatic)
8. Reba McEntire - Stronger Than the Truth (Big Machine )
9. Billie Davis - Rosie's Cantina (Market Square)
10. Tone Bringsdal — Prologue (Mother Likes It EP}


1. Blanco Brown - “The Git Up”
2. YelaWolf - “Opie Taylor”
3. Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus - “Old Town Road (Remix)”
4. The Highwomen - “Highwomen”
5. Merle Hazard - “(Gimme Some of That) Ol’ Atonal Music”
6. Michael Salgado - “Honky Tonk Education”
7. Meat Puppets - “Nine Pins”
8. Paul Cauthen - “Cocaine Country Dancing”
9. Dillon Carmichael - “99 Problems (Fish Ain’t One)”
10. RaeLynn - “Bra Off”


Lone Justice - The Western Tapes, 1983 (Omnivore EP)

dow, Thursday, 2 January 2020 02:27 (eight months ago) link

Seems kind of perverse to not rank The Highwomen album (a better LP than Miranda’s, by any measure); and to choose the one song from that album which is essentially a rewritten cover of a “classic” tune... but whatever.

the beer of champagnes (morrisp), Thursday, 2 January 2020 03:05 (eight months ago) link

My ballot, as sent---the blogged version (with comments, although most so far were on RC 2019) will prob have some adds, incl. some from Chuck's list, most likely):

(just in the order they come to mind)
1.Tyler Childers: Country Squire
2.Rodney Crowell: Texas
3. Caroline Spence: Mint Condition
4. Willie Nelson: Ride Me Back Home
5.Kalie Shorr: Open Book
6. Sturgill Simpson: Sound & Fury
7.Kelsey Weldon: White Noise/White Lines
8. Justin Townes Earle: The Saint of Lost Causes
9. Allison Moorer: Blood
10. Patty Griffin: s/t
Hon. Mention: Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis: Beautiful Lie
About Half Good (60-45%), in descending order of Goodness or goodness:
Maren Morris: Girl, Highwomen: s/t, Hayes Carll: What It Is, Tanya Tucker: While I’m Livin’

Trivial Pursuit: Miranda Lambert: Wildcard

Milk Dud: Amanda Ann Platt & The Honeycutters: Live at the Grey Eagle

(in descending order of relevance)
1.Bob Dylan (Featuring Johnny Cash) Travelin Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15
(Cash incl. In credit on listing)
2. Reggie Young: Guitar Session Star
3. Sir Douglas Quintet: The Complete Mercury Masters
(digital-only re-reissue
(scroll waaay down for re-reissue date)
4. Link Wray: Rocks (Bear Family beast).
1.Sheryl Crow: Threads
2.Hot Club of Cowtown: Wild Kingdom
3. Matana Roberts: Coin Coin Dance Chapter Four: Memphis
4.Lillie Mae: Other Girls
5.Arthur Russell: Iowa Dream
6.Lost Bayou Ramblers: Asteur
7. Peter Stampfel & Atomic Mega-Pagans: The Ordivician Era

dow, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 04:01 (eight months ago) link

My take on that Link Wray collection was posted on this redoubtable thread, which I recently discovered:
Rockabilly - essentials?

dow, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 04:05 (eight months ago) link

(a better LP than Miranda’s, by any measure)

you got this backward, hoss

alpine static, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 20:10 (eight months ago) link

or at least put an "imo" somewhere

alpine static, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 20:11 (eight months ago) link

Feel free to mentally place an implied "IMO" into every one of my posts, "hoss" ;)

Don’t yell ‘Judas!’ in a crowded theater (morrisp), Wednesday, 8 January 2020 20:22 (eight months ago) link

I so suck for typo in Kelsey *Waldon*'s listing on sent ballot. My Matana Roberts comments are on Rolling Jazz Thread 2019
My and other comments on, good discussion of AR's latest here: Ok . MORE Arthur Russell (But This Is Great)

dow, Thursday, 9 January 2020 04:41 (eight months ago) link

Post more Top Tens!

dow, Thursday, 9 January 2020 04:44 (eight months ago) link

My most strictly thread-relevant Reggie Young comments are on RC 2019, but these are def. Related---from the Sweet Soul Music thread:

First listen to Reggie Young's Guitar Session Man has my headphones spinning: so much to take in, so much goodness coming at me from all directions, and would be so even if there weren't 24 tracks on one CD. Most thread-relevant elements noticed so far:
The only Muscle Shoals-recorded track is Little Milton's '02 version of Vince Gill's '90s country hit "Whenever You Come Around," here with a questing soul orchestra, layered and strong as the ones released like hounds in '60s Memphis, on the Box Tops' cover of Hank Snow's "I'm Movin' On" and Elvis's run with Percy Mayfield's "Stranger In My Own Hometown."
Most of this is from Memphis, incl. duh Dusty Springfield's performance of Gerry Goffin & Carole King's "Don't Forget About Me," which was on a single w the Fritts-written "Breakfast in Bed."
Fritts' KK bandmate Billy Swan rolls out of Nashville with a fast version of his own "Lover Please," a big late-doo wop hit for Clyde McPhatter :this take is more like what Ringo was doing at his 70s solo peak.
We also get the prime of James Carr, Solomom Burke, Bobby Blue Bland, and many others---my absolute fave rave at the moment is Jackie DeShannon's departure with "I Wanna Roo You," here a fast crashy waltz, mostly (slowing down for the bridge, but it's a set-up, like the mellow verses on "I'm Movin' On), and she's often, though not always, wailing the chorus as "I want to ruin ruin ruin you. Ruin you tonight."

― dow, Monday, October 21, 2019


― Beware of Mr. Blecch, er...what? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, October 21

Yeah! And Ace Records annotator Bob Dunham mentions Young's hot solos on the Swan track as prob not the sort of thing released on Nashville product since Mac Gayden's previous work with Area Code 615, which reminds me that this selection is immediately followed by the Gayden-written "Morning Glory," vigorously presented by James & Bobby Purify---they and the Box Tops also did versions of "I'm Your Puppet," right?

― dow, Monday, October 21,

Yes. They had the hit on that one.

― Beware of Mr. Blecch, er...what? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, October 21,

thanks discogs:

1 –Eddie Bond & His Stompers* Slip, Slip, Slippin' In
2 –Bill Black's Combo Carol
3 –Bobby Bland A Touch Of The Blues
4 –Jerry & Reggie* Dream Baby
5 –The Box Tops* I'm Movin' On
6 –Willie Mitchell The Champion - Part 1
7 –Solomon Burke Meet Me In Church
8 –Joe Tex Chicken Crazy
9 –King Curtis & The King Pins* In The Pocket
10 –James Carr More Love
11 –Dusty Springfield Don't Forget About Me
12 –Elvis Presley Stranger In My Own Home Town
13 –Jackie DeShannon I Wanna Roo You
14 –Dobie Gray Drift Away
15 –Sonny Curtis Rock'N Roll (I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life)
16 –Delbert McClinton Victim Of Life's Circumstances
17 –Billy Swan Lover Please
18 –James & Bobby Purify Morning Glory
19 –J.J. Cale Cocaine
20 –Merle Haggard I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink
21 –Waylon Jennings / Willie Nelson / Johnny Cash / Kris Kristofferson Highwayman
22 –Natalie Merchant Griselda
23 –Little Milton Whenever You Come Around
24 –Waylon Jennings Where Do We Go From Here

― dow, Monday, October 21

The Joe Tex track is not up to several of his hits mentioned in the notes, where Dunham says they would have picked "Skinny Legs and All," but it's already on another Young-inclusive Ace comp, Memphis Boys. Damm it, whiiiine

― dow, Monday, October 21

dow, Thursday, 9 January 2020 18:25 (eight months ago) link

yooo this little big town record

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 17 January 2020 15:37 (eight months ago) link

Big thing on them in yesterday's Wall St Journal, which I haven't read yet.
Here's this:

dow, Friday, 17 January 2020 16:22 (eight months ago) link

"throw your love away" on the little big town record is so fucking good

J0rdan S., Friday, 17 January 2020 17:57 (eight months ago) link

yeah this album is so good

leans hard into the "lost in california" vibes <3

überweiss, Friday, 17 January 2020 23:33 (eight months ago) link

it's produced by the golden hour duo

J0rdan S., Saturday, 18 January 2020 00:03 (eight months ago) link

Weed & Cannabis?

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 18 January 2020 00:44 (eight months ago) link


J0rdan S., Saturday, 18 January 2020 02:10 (eight months ago) link

Merle Hazard - “(Gimme Some of That) Ol’ Atonal Music”

ok, my music geek kids got a huge kick out of this

that's not my post, Saturday, 18 January 2020 05:39 (eight months ago) link

other amazing songs on the little big town record:

next to you
title track
over drinking
the daughters
river of stars
sugar coat
trouble with forever

ok most of 'em

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 20 January 2020 16:09 (seven months ago) link

re: "sugar coat"

and one of these nights i'll meet you in the driveway
and tell you to go to hell
go to hell

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 20 January 2020 16:20 (seven months ago) link

the first 5 songs go so hard i've had trouble getting to the rest of the album

J0rdan S., Monday, 20 January 2020 19:28 (seven months ago) link

the lord did bless us with another wonderful song titled "bluebird" tho

J0rdan S., Monday, 20 January 2020 19:35 (seven months ago) link

'river of stars' is so beautiful

Nourry, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 22:37 (seven months ago) link

Effective immediately all music video hours on CMT and CMT Music channels will have complete parity between male and female artists. That means 50/50. #CMTEqualPlay

— CMT (@CMT) January 21, 2020

dyl, Wednesday, 22 January 2020 15:04 (seven months ago) link

Wonder if that will have any impact on country radio ( where stations can’t even play 2 songs in a row by female acts)

curmudgeon, Thursday, 23 January 2020 16:48 (seven months ago) link

Howdy, Edd Hurt here. Wrote a couple things about Reggie Young, mentioned above, last year: and this (listen to "Mercy," referenced below, good example of Young's tact):

Reggie Young
Session guitar legend

Reggie Young, who died in Leiper’s Fork on Jan. 17 at age 82, played guitar on a huge number of recordings that have become country, pop and soul classics. Young added his fluid licks to Dusty Springfield’s 1969 album Dusty in Memphis, and he played on sessions with Elvis Presley, Joe Tex, James Carr, Billy Swan and Dobie Gray. Many of Young’s best-known recordings feature a lick, invented by Young, that defines the performance. Like his fellow Memphis rhythm-guitar masters Teenie Hodges and Bobby Womack, Young was a structural thinker.

Young was born Dec. 12, 1936, in Caruthersville, Mo. He made his name in pop and country, and he lived and recorded in Nashville for decades. But I like to think of him as a quintessential Memphis musician. Like Hodges, who devised unforgettable licks for records by Al Green and producer Willie Mitchell, Young knew how to lay back in a rhythm section. You can hear his restraint on an obscure 1967 Willie Mitchell record, “Mercy,” in which Young plays strict rhythm guitar behind Memphis ax man Clarence Nelson’s brief, stinging lead.

I saw Young demonstrate some of his signature inventions at a 2008 program at the Country Music Hall of Fame. He played his intro to Swan’s 1974 track “I Can Help,” and he made it look easy. For Young, it was about the total effect — he never showed off, because he didn’t have to. —Edd Hurt

whatstalker, Wednesday, 5 February 2020 21:59 (seven months ago) link

Didn't know he'd died, damn!

From Mary Gauthier's Feb. enewsletter:

David Olney

The world lost a great artist on January 18th. We songwriters lost a dear friend. David Olney was a man with genius and wide-reaching vision. He was the master of perspective. Point of view in his songs was forever original and brilliant. Unparalleled Mastery.

He wrote from the viewpoint of the Iceberg in "Titanic." From the point of view of the huckster ripping people off on the hill next to Jesus in "Jerusalem Tomorrow." From the viewpoint of the dummy, talking to the ventriloquist, in "Who's The Dummy Now?"

I cannot pick a favorite Olney song, but I do come back to this one over and over, written from the viewpoint of a French prostitute, in "1917."
(if this doesn't show up here, it's on youtube)

dow, Friday, 7 February 2020 20:27 (seven months ago) link

Wow to "Throw Your Love Away"! Excited to hear the rest of the album.

Here were my 2019 favorites in roughly the order I'd rank them:

Michaela Anne - Desert Dove*
Miranda Lambert - Wildcard
Ian Noe - Between the Country
Jon Pardi - Heartache Medication
Emily Scott Robinson - Traveling Mercies
The Highwomen - s/t

Emily Scott Robinson - The Dress*
Jon Pardi - Old Hat
Madison Kozak - First Last Name*
Miranda Lambert - Mess With My Head
Jon Pardi - Heartache Medication
Joy Williams - The Trouble with Wanting*
Tyler Childers - All Your'n
Hailey Whitters - Ten Year Town
Mike & The Moonpies - You Look Good in Neon
Maren Morris - The Feels
Ashley McBryde - One Night Standards
Midland - Let It Roll
Luke Combs - Even Though I'm Leaving
Ingrid Andress - More Hearts Than Mine
Joshua Ray Walker - Canyon
Caroline Spence - Mint Condition


Indexed, Friday, 7 February 2020 20:44 (seven months ago) link

Just put on the LBT. Holy hell "Next To You"!

This is p cool:

“I’ve really never seen any four people work as well together as they do,” says singer-songwriter Lori McKenna, a longtime collaborator. “I’ve also never seen four people write songs to the harmonies. When I watch them write a lyric around a note that they all can sing, it’s mind-blowing. It’s almost like a kind of sign language; they use their hands, point to one another. I don’t know if they know all the names of what they’re doing [when they work together]. But together, when they sing, they flow like water, like liquid.”

Indexed, Friday, 7 February 2020 21:17 (seven months ago) link

"next to you" is amazing

J0rdan S., Friday, 7 February 2020 21:53 (seven months ago) link

also i interviewed LBT once for a story that wasn't about them and they were very generous w/ their time even when they didn't need to be, so that makes me like them a little extra

J0rdan S., Friday, 7 February 2020 21:54 (seven months ago) link

LBT is one of the bigger acts not to have their own ILM thread which makes sense bc i think they're underrated round these parts and maybe operating in a style that isn't one to cross over to other audiences. despite them being generally extremely good especially on their past several albums, which i rarely put on but always enjoy listening to.

omar little, Friday, 7 February 2020 22:00 (seven months ago) link

i first was impressed w/their chops on Pain Killer, which was among other things evidence that whatever type of song they wanted to pull off, they could do it. in addition to their way with close harmonies they can really tear shit up when they choose to do so.

omar little, Friday, 7 February 2020 22:02 (seven months ago) link

When my wife and I did our Southern road trip to Nashville, Muscle Shoals, Clarksdale, and Memphis, Little Big Town were on the multi-act bill at the Grand Ol Opry. Impressive harmonies. At times a bit too polished for me, but I generally like their country meets Fleetwood Mac sound.

When we were just up in NYC, they were at the Apollo for a couple of shows! We just noticed it after the gigs had already happened when we were touring the Apollo.

curmudgeon, Friday, 7 February 2020 22:48 (seven months ago) link

Whitney Rose previews her new album 'We Still Go to Rodeos' with a compassionate spin on the cheating song in "Believe Me, Angela"
Cosmic Canadian cowgirl rolls on

dow, Monday, 10 February 2020 21:27 (seven months ago) link

Anyone have a recommendation for a country station, podcast or show worth streaming?

j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Monday, 10 February 2020 21:41 (seven months ago) link

New York's Country, 94.7: Haven't listened a whole lot, but seems okay, am told it's usually pretty good; Maura posted link on a previous RC---and hey, commercial-free Mondays!

dow, Monday, 10 February 2020 23:28 (seven months ago) link


j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:19 (seven months ago) link

Grady Smith's youtube channel is worth keeping an eye on

Indexed, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:36 (seven months ago) link

Maren Morris “The Bones” is the first solo song by a woman to hit #1 since Taylor Swift “You Belong with Me” in 2009, per @chartdata on twitter

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:56 (seven months ago) link

X-post- for a guy with hundreds of thousands of YouTube followers, that Grady Smith guy didn’t seem that smart or charismatic in his episode on country music TikTok. He seemed clueless that young folks would do karaoke like videos there, and he mocked country songs that have rap inspired vocals .

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 18:22 (seven months ago) link

Can't say I've seen that one but I used to read his writing in The Guardian and thought he had a good ear for talent and an unpretentious style. Now primarily follow him on Twitter but occasionally watch his album review videos.

Indexed, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 19:28 (seven months ago) link

He’s unpretentious, which is good, just has those flaws I mentioned.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 20:12 (seven months ago) link

new jason isbell is predictably great

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Sunday, 16 February 2020 04:47 (seven months ago) link

After spending a week with New York 94.7 (thanks, dow!), I wanted less "10,000 Hours" so I looked for local owned stations and came across KBST in Big Spring, Texas. Pretty good station with waaay more character that so far seems to only be about 1/2 current hits. The stream doesn't sound as good, but that seems appropriate. Plus local ads for laundromats and mineral rights consulting!

j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Tuesday, 18 February 2020 18:11 (seven months ago) link

Cool, and speaking of Texas, should have thought of

dow, Tuesday, 18 February 2020 22:39 (seven months ago) link

Maren Morris “The Bones” is the first solo song by a woman to hit #1 since Taylor Swift “You Belong with Me” in 2009, per @chartdata on twitter

― curmudgeon, Tuesday, February 11, 2020 9:56 AM (one week ago)

this is not correct. it's the first solo song by a woman to hit #1 on country airplay AND go top 10 in all-format airplay since "you belong with me"

other songs by any artist to have done the same since "you belong with me":

lady antebellum "need you now" (2010)
florida georgia line (ft. nelly) "cruise" (2013)
sam hunt "body like a back road" (2017)
bebe rexha ft. florida georgia line "meant to be" (2018)
dan + shay "speechless" (2019)
dan + shay & justin beiber "10,000 hours" (2019)

and now "the bones". so this stat is more about crossover than acceptance at country radio alone (which, yes, is paltry for women, but not quite THAT horrendous)

dyl, Wednesday, 19 February 2020 06:24 (seven months ago) link

Thx for sharing. I never read Pitchfork anymore but that review is both intriguing (as you say) and actually gives a pretty good idea of what the record might sound like. Is that how pitchfork works these days??

tobo73, Wednesday, 26 August 2020 15:57 (three weeks ago) link

Not sure about other writers but Sodomsky knows his stuff and is always worth reading in my experience. He's become their go-to folk/country writer in the last few years (along with Stephen Deusner) and is doing a really nice job of filling in some gaps they had. This year alone he's reviewed Katie Pruitt, Brandy Clark, Lucinda Williams, Jaime Wyatt, and Kathleen Edwards, and he's also done the retrospective Sunday Review a few times - for The Dixie Chicks' Home, Elliott Smith's s/t, and Miranda Lambert's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Indexed, Wednesday, 26 August 2020 16:48 (three weeks ago) link

I like how much ink he gives to the ballads in that Crazy Ex Girlfriend review, even if the score is TOO LOW. "Love Letters" and "Desperation" have long been favorites of mine and seem to get forgotten in the typical narrative hubbub around the shotguns and pool hall confrontations.

Indexed, Wednesday, 26 August 2020 16:54 (three weeks ago) link

Good 'un on Gillian's latest installment (16 tracks, streaming on bandcamp):

dow, Wednesday, 26 August 2020 16:56 (three weeks ago) link

August 27, 2020—Starting Over, the highly anticipated new studio album from Chris Stapleton, is out November 13 on Mercury Records Nashville and is now available for pre-order/pre-save. Listen to the title track:

Written by Stapleton and Mike Henderson, “Starting Over” begins an album of startling prescience—completed in late February only days before the shutdown began. Across its fourteen tracks are songs that examine life’s simplest joys and most serious struggles. Alongside eleven written by Stapleton with both longtime friends and new collaborators are three carefully chosen covers: John Fogerty’s “Joy Of My Life” and Guy Clark’s “Worry B Gone” and “Old Friends.” The resulting album—both timely and timeless—speaks to and transcends the current moment in ways unimaginable even while it was being created.
The album finds Stapleton back in his second home, Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A (with additional work done at Muscle Shoals Sound and Compass Sound Studio), surrounded by his trusted collaborators as well as some new faces. Produced by Dave Cobb (who also plays acoustic guitar), the record features his beloved wife, Morgane Stapleton (vocals, tambourine), with longtime bandmates J.T. Cure (bass) and Derek Mixon (drums). Special guests include legendary musicians Mike Campbell (electric guitar), Benmont Tench (Hammond B3 organ) and Paul Franklin (pedal steel) as well as the All Voices Choir who are featured on “Watch You Burn,” written by Stapleton and Campbell.

Stapleton’s “All-American Road Show” tour is planned to resume next year. Highlights include headline shows at Washington State’s Gorge Amphitheatre, Chicago’s Wrigley Field, New York’s Madison Square Garden and “A Concert for Kentucky”—a special performance benefitting his newly created Outlaw State of Kind Hometown Fund to be held at University of Kentucky’s Kroger Field on April 24. Presented by Live Nation, the performance is the first concert ever held at UK’s Kroger Field and will feature very special guests Willie Nelson & Family, Sheryl Crow and Yola. 100% of the concert’s net proceeds will go toward Chris and Morgane Stapleton’s Outlaw State of Kind Hometown Fund. Established in partnership with the Blue Grass Community Foundation, the fund will specifically support local and national organizations directly impacting Kentucky, with initial grant distributions focusing on music and arts education. See below for complete itinerary.
1. Starting Over
2. Devil Always Made Me Think Twice
3. Cold
4. When I’m With You
5. Arkansas
6. Joy Of My Life
7. Hillbilly Blood
8. Maggie’s Song
9. Whiskey Sunrise
10. Worry B Gone
11. Old Friends
12. Watch You Burn
13. You Should Probably Leave
14. Nashville, TN
November 21—Arlington, TX—Globe Life Field*
April 21—Toledo, OH—Huntington Center†
April 22—Columbus, OH—Schottenstein Center†
April 24—Lexington, KY—A Concert for Kentucky – Kroger Field‡
June 5—San Bernardino, CA—Glen Helen Amphitheater§
June 10—Boise, ID—Ford Idaho Center Arena#
June 11—Portland, OR—Sunlight Supply Amphitheater#
June 12—George, WA—The Gorge Amphitheatre#
June 17—Bakersfield, CA—Mechanics Bank Arena#
June 18—Sacramento, CA—Toyota Amphitheatre#
June 19—Mountain View, CA—Shoreline Amphitheatre#
June 24—Salt Lake City, UT—USANA Amphitheatre^
June 25—Denver, CO—Pepsi Center^
June 26—Denver, CO—Pepsi Center^
July 8—Milwaukee, WI—Summerfest at American Family Insurance Amphitheater+
July 10—Camden, NJ—BB&T Pavilion°
July 17—Chicago, IL—Wrigley Field%
July 23—Holmdel, NJ—PNC Bank Arts Center**
July 24—Syracuse, NY—St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview**
July 28—Gilford, NH—Bank NH Pavilion††
July 29—Gilford, NH—Bank NH Pavilion††
July 31—Minneapolis, MN—U.S. Bank Stadium‡‡
August 5—Cuyahoga Falls, OH—Blossom Music Center°
August 7—South Bend, IN—Notre Dame Stadium§§
August 12—Charlotte, NC—PNC Music Pavilion°
August 13—Raleigh, NC—Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek°
August 19—Des Moines, IA—Iowa State Fair^^
August 20—Tulsa, OK—BOK Center##
September 18—Biloxi, MS—Mississippi Coast Coliseum++
September 23—Knoxville, TN—Thompson-Boling Arena++
October 1—Atlantic City, NJ—Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall++
October 2—Mansfield, MA—Xfinity Center++
October 8—New York, NY—Madison Square Garden++
October 14—Columbia, MO—Mizzou Arena++
October 15—Lincoln, NE—Pinnacle Bank Arena++
October 16—Sioux Falls, SD—Denny Sanford PREMIER Center++
October 22—Nashville, TN—Bridgestone Arena++
October 23—Nashville, TN—Bridgestone Arena++
October 28—Lubbock, TX—United Supermarket Arena°°
October 29—Albuquerque, NM—Isleta Amphitheater°°
October 30—Phoenix, AZ—Ak-Chin Pavilion°°
November 4—Austin, TX—Frank Erwin Center°°
November 11—Estero, FL—Hertz Arena**
November 12—Orlando, FL—Amway Center**
*with special guests Willie Nelson & Family, Jamey Johnson and Yola
†with special guests Margo Price and Yola
‡with special guests Willie Nelson & Family, Sheryl Crow and Yola
§with special guests Dwight Yoakam and The Dirty Knobs with Mike Campbell
#with special guests Margo Price and The Dirty Knobs with Mike Campbell
^with special guests Sheryl Crow and The Dirty Knobs with Mike Campbell
+with special guest Sheryl Crow
°with special guests Elle King and Kendell Marvel
%with special guests The Highwomen, Mavis Staples and Mike Campbell
**with special guests Sheryl Crow and Kendell Marvel
††with special guests Elle King and Nikki Lane
‡‡with George Strait and Little Big Town
§§with George Strait and Brothers Osborne
^^with special guest Nikki Lane
##with special guests Willie Nelson & Family and Yola
++with special guests The Marcus King Band and Yola
°°with special guests Jamey Johnson and Yola
For more information please contact
Asha Goodman or Carla Sacks at Sacks & Co., 212.741.1000, asha.goodman at or carla at

dow, Friday, 28 August 2020 01:10 (three weeks ago) link

Did not know he had a new one coming out. Debut is absolutely gorgeous, classic countrypolitan. Excited to hear this.

Today is the day! Heartfelt thanks to all who were involved in making this record. These are unprecedented hard times for so many of us. It’s my hope you’re finding solace in music, and can take some time to enjoy this collection of songs.
Thank you for Listening To The Music

— Zephaniah OHora (@ZephaniahOhora) August 28, 2020

Indexed, Friday, 28 August 2020 19:48 (three weeks ago) link

mega merle haggard vibes on that zephaniah ohora album.

fact checking cuz, Friday, 28 August 2020 20:30 (three weeks ago) link

That's a good album, listening to it now. Serves as a good enough companion to the Tender Things album, which is, still, very very awesome

black dice live ft. jerry garcia (rizzx), Saturday, 29 August 2020 12:56 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah, think the TTs provide little musical jolts in there, while listening to the whole Ohora at once is maybe too snoozy sometimes, despite effective individual tracks, several of which could be good singles. But I'll keep listening. Do especially like the closer, "Time Won't Take Its Time With Me," which ticks along like a Don Williams song, slipping in some well-aware candor, on his way to wherever. The Merle vibe goes good with this too, and the yodel at the end---I like that he doesn't sound bother to sound *so* much like Merle, doesn't depend on that, unlike---well you can think of several examples.

dow, Tuesday, 1 September 2020 22:36 (two weeks ago) link

The little musical jolts is what sets them apart yeah - well put - very relaxed in their playing, amazing guitarist.

black dice live ft. jerry garcia (rizzx), Wednesday, 2 September 2020 06:37 (two weeks ago) link

Just listened again, and the playing is even more intense and detailed than I remembered----"New Mission Bell" is starting to make me think of the Grateful Dead at their very best, the way it just keeps building, without going on too long.

dow, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 15:31 (two weeks ago) link

Maddie & Tae big streaming hit "Die Froma Broken Heart" is formulaic but not in a good, catchy way. Maybe I need to listen to it again and again some more

curmudgeon, Thursday, 3 September 2020 13:23 (two weeks ago) link

Not being sexist, Maddie & Tae have other songs I like better.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 3 September 2020 15:36 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah----I've listened to The Way It Feels several times, seems pretty uneven.

dow, Thursday, 3 September 2020 17:23 (two weeks ago) link

Dammit---what's a good female-sung country pop album this year? A big glitzy production that doesn't suck, or not too much too often?

dow, Thursday, 3 September 2020 17:29 (two weeks ago) link

(Also, I'm wondering whether to check out hat-bro parody act Hot Country Knights, or whether it would just sound like more of the "real" thing)

dow, Thursday, 3 September 2020 17:31 (two weeks ago) link

Carly Pearce - s/t and Caylee Hammack - If It Wasn't for You

I'd be remiss if I didn't rep for the less big and less glitzy:
Katie Pruitt - Expectations
Brandy Clark - Your Life is a Record
The Secret Sisters - Saturn Return (not too poppy, not too country, but still great)

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 3 September 2020 17:34 (two weeks ago) link

Brandy Clark’s is immaculately produced

Heez, Thursday, 3 September 2020 18:08 (two weeks ago) link

for sure but i wouldn't call it "glitzy"

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 3 September 2020 18:22 (two weeks ago) link

Thanks y'all, but I thought after I left my post that I should have ruled out the Carly Pearce s/t, which so far has grown on me a little, but still seems like a disappointing follow-up to Every Little Thing. And yeah, Brandy Clark, Katie Pruitt, Lori McKenna, Shelby Lynne, Gretchen Peters, all well-produced singer-songwriters (well Peters' Mickey Newbury trib can get kinda mumblecore, but it works), but yeah that's not what I'm hankering for. Thanks for reminding me of Caylee Hammack, though (spelling-wise that also reminds me that Cassadee Pope has a quarantine-recorded acoustic EP out now).

dow, Friday, 4 September 2020 01:24 (two weeks ago) link

Not sure how relevant Travis Tritt is in 2020 (or if he ever was relevant since he doesn't even have an ILM thread about him), but he's currently trending on Twitter for ganging up on the libs with his pal James Wood.

Per my friend @RealJamesWoods, type #resist in your Twitter search bar. Block at least twenty of these accounts per day. We will soon make them as irrelevant as they have tried to make the rest of us.

— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) September 5, 2020

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Sunday, 6 September 2020 18:44 (one week ago) link

yeah, just saw that . ugh

curmudgeon, Sunday, 6 September 2020 18:48 (one week ago) link

#resist...make them irrelevant: do they think they're blocking invaders from Twitter itself? Oh well, TT's on yon expost Hot Country Knights parody album too, so maybe he's a full-time parody now (or still? Not that familiar with his work).

dow, Sunday, 6 September 2020 20:16 (one week ago) link

he's suggesting EVERYBODY do this i guess

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 7 September 2020 03:19 (one week ago) link

Anyone familiar with Billy Strings, or Circles Around The Sun? They have a single out covering All the Luck In the World by Neal Casal, which sounds pretty great. Maybe need to investigate Billy Strings further

black dice live ft. jerry garcia (rizzx), Monday, 7 September 2020 08:52 (one week ago) link

Will check that. Thanks again for mentioning Caylee Hammack, FTNRA: If It Wasn't For You is a lot to take in, flying by, but right away, it's obvious that she doesn't need xpost glitzy production of the kind I had in mind: this is is tight, badass country pop, riding with big sister Ashley MacBryde and classmate cousin Kalie Shorr--- wants to know how to get her wings as a phoenix, and she says "shit" a lot, but always to a point: ""'m so tired of the shit I'm talkin', I just wanna be something, mean something," later she "put my plans in a box" to please the man she loved, "but it didn't mean shit, I'm a small town hypocrite," but so is he, and things are outta control, "You said you'd be runnin', runnin', runnin' this town, but you're still runnin', runnin', runnin' around," and now so is she (I think she adds that). Still later, there's a brief solo acid folk lament from the canyon, "Gold," then re-focus, back to the beat, "Spent all that money in the last two weeks, and it don't mean shit": she's "On A New Level of Life," in the sky Lord in the sky, "Champagne on the plane and I don't mind, champagne on the plane and I don't mind."

dow, Monday, 7 September 2020 21:14 (one week ago) link

Hammack's album is a lot of fun when it works and features some good songwriting... "Looking for a Lighter" could have fit in just as well on the Brandy Clark album imo. The duet with Reba brings out the best in both of them and "Small Town Hypocrite" as you note is the definite high point.
She loses me when she goes too heavy into "NEXT ON ABC!" territory, as in "Family Tree" and "Preciatcha" but get that money i guess.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 8 September 2020 00:07 (one week ago) link

I should have mentioned "Looking for a Lighter," and Reba too. As a Southerner, Ah 'preciate "Preciatcha"---never heard that in a song before, and any such fresh turnings in presumably mainstream-aimed usage or topics are always worth a gold star or two in the Country Vacation Bible School crown. But I may get sick of it, sure, while playing this set quite a bit.

dow, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 01:58 (one week ago) link

Swamp Dogg's Sorry You Couldn't Make It is a slightly, yet appropriately weirder return of Memphis-Muscle Shoals country soul, like some of the Stax Country collection. I wasn't expecting his proto-alt.r&b milestoneds like Total Destruction To Your Mind, but at first this seemed like mainly for digging the formal pleasures of vintage style, incl. this version of "Don't Take Her (She's All I Got)," which he co-wrote with Gary US Bonds; it was a Johnny Paycheck hit in the early 70s---main prob on these first tracks is mild-mannered vocals, settling down into the ballads for a snooze (although got some lines, like "Good, Better, Best" keeps sounding like "good, better in bed,"which fits the context better, and might grow on me)---then he picks up the tempo with "Family Pain" ( houseful staying together, "smokin' crack and doin' cocaine"), and when he slow it back down for "I Lie Awake," his voice is still awake and then some: this is true country soul, Doggedly climbing Insomnia Mountain in compulsive country self-torture---Otis Redding and George Jones could sing the shit out of it, but Dogg does it fine.
"Memories," featuring John Prine, is where the appropriate weirdness first appears (I think), with Doggtronics swirling around Prine's jaunty heels (as he repeats the chorus again and again, like old folks sometimes do), even distorting his voice towards the end, like memories sometimes do.
"Billy" I'd seen referred to as a tearjerker, but differently interesting than expected: he's got nice musical flowers, but "The neighbors think I'm crazy," so apparently not a normie gravesite? "You should see Billy, he looks just like you, he doesn't remember you, but I guess that's just as well." Like with Opie's Mom? Memories can be too paniful, I reckon--anyway it leaves a few more little such gaps to fill in, not overselling.
Rude retinue of soundz around the edges of "I'd Rather Be Your Used To Be," which is otherwise vintage Willie-style graceful indignation, but maybe louder.
"A Good Song" ("has universal appeal"), then back to riding the swirl with Prine, for "Please Let Me Go Round Again," where they agree that, "I could build a better mousetrap, from a far mo'better plan." "Hey John, could you build a better mousetrap?" "I gotta better mousetrap right here in my mind!" Also wonders if Somebody might put them on a 2-for-1 plan.

dow, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 21:32 (one week ago) link

i like the new carly pearce single quite a bit.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 8 September 2020 21:49 (one week ago) link

Holy Moly---some ads in here, but worth the scroll (will have to check her EP, comes out Friday):

dow, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 22:42 (one week ago) link

guyton is a solid vocalist and songwriter but "black like me" has entirely too much incremental progressiveness and syrup for my ears... maybe that's the most the contemporary country audience can handle? I'm still hopefully waiting for her breakout moment.
solid AM country in 2020!

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 10 September 2020 14:59 (one week ago) link

that morgan wallen song is great

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 10 September 2020 20:36 (one week ago) link

right? i tend to not be a fan of the sweet nashville sound but somehow dude's growling voice nicely offsets the treacle.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 10 September 2020 22:03 (one week ago) link

The Zephaniah OHora album is really superb. Band is so tight and better singing than the first one.

Indexed, Friday, 11 September 2020 13:15 (one week ago) link

love the metaphor work in these lyrics:

Lauren Alaina - If I Was A Beer

Can Butch Vig not do "dynamimcs"? (morrisp), Friday, 11 September 2020 21:44 (one week ago) link

I like Elizabeth Cook's new one. She finally escaped Nashville gravity, suited up like Bowie in the empty spaces of our great country.

eddhurt, Saturday, 12 September 2020 13:10 (one week ago) link

Guyton's "Bridges" seems pretty solid if entirely too diplofied pop country for my taste. Could see it crossing over though!

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Saturday, 12 September 2020 17:58 (one week ago) link

Hammack's album is a lot of fun when it works and features some good songwriting... "Looking for a Lighter" could have fit in just as well on the Brandy Clark album imo.

Really good song... she reminds me of Amanda Shires a little bit.

Can Butch Vig not do "dynamimcs"? (morrisp), Sunday, 13 September 2020 23:31 (six days ago) link

Btw – per dow’s request above, I’d also appreciate recs of big, glitzy pop-country (assume that Maren Morris’s “80s Mercedes” is my favorite country single of recent years, and go from there). Thx!

Can Butch Vig not do "dynamimcs"? (morrisp), Monday, 14 September 2020 00:13 (five days ago) link

This in today from New West:

Steve Earle & the Dukes announced today that they will be recording an album of songs written by Justin Townes Earle with 100% of artist advances and royalties going to a trust for Justin's daughter, Etta St. James Earle. It is expected that the album will be recorded in October and released in January, 2021, around the time of what would have been Justin's thirty-ninth birthday. More details to be announced shortly.

dow, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 23:25 (three days ago) link

fuck...just, fuck.

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Thursday, 17 September 2020 00:56 (two days ago) link


Spottie, Thursday, 17 September 2020 01:01 (two days ago) link

Sorry to bum yall out---here's something that might reverse the trend temporarily: this morning, Fresh Air is replaying the 2014 interview with Marty Stuart, who sings and tells some great stories---stream/download:

dow, Thursday, 17 September 2020 16:42 (two days ago) link

Which reminds me of this exchange on Rolling Country 2018:

roger mcguinn, chris hillman and marty stuart & his fabulous superlatives, sweetheart of the rodeo full album show, los angeles, tuesday night. opening night of a short-ish tour. it was ragged, loose, occasionally awkward and more than occasionally great. they did one set of truncated versions of hits and deep cuts, and then the sweetheart of the rodeo set, played in full but out of order. i got the sense that stuart and the superlatives rehearsed thoroughly on their own and mcguinn and hillman maybe not so much. they missed cues left and right, were looking down frequently for chords and lyrics, and while hillman's voice was in good form, mcguinn was having a little trouble cutting through. but their instincts for harmony are still dead-on, and stuart fit right into that. i felt like i was watching a band still working out its sound, and as a result, when something gelled, when they hit a sweet spot, it was magical. like watching a band discover itself in real time. and that second set was way better than the first. it felt like having a piece of my own dna read back to me. maybe they felt the same.

encore: two byrds classics and three tom petty classics. i was wondering if maybe they would be able to coax david crosby (who i assume still lives here though i have no idea) onto the stage for a song or two. instead we got mike campbell, who joined for "american girl" -- after which they kicked him off and, strangely, played more petty songs without him. marty stuart did a bluegrassy take on "runnin' down a dream" (thumbs up) and hillman did a fairly faithful "wildflowers," which apparently petty produced for him for an album he put out last year.

they also told some stories. they're not particularly good storytellers. damn those harmonies though.

― fact checking cuz, Wednesday, July 25, 2018 9:08 PM (one month ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Was already hoping for an album from that tour, even more while reading your dispatch. Marty and His FS have the drive and expertise to keep those geezers functioning onstage for as long as possible.
Yeah, Hillman's always seemed better in bands, all the way back to the Hillmen, but the Petty=produced set has keepers; my comments from the most recent Nashville Scene ballot:
"Have not yet made it through Chris Hillman's The Asylum Years---some hideous harmonies get wasted on the way---but will give it another shot. Some nice tracks on the new Bidin’ My Time, especially "Walk Right Back," one of the many under-covered Everly Bros worthies, seeds of West Coast country rock at its best (he credits inclusion of this song to producer Tom Petty, who did what he could all over--Hillman's not the strongest solo artist among his peers, but has his moments, when the setting's just right, or just about). McGuinn and The Croz show up; some Heartbreakers, still radio-ready, also appear."

― dow, Wednesday, July 25, 2018 9:43 PM

dow, Thursday, 17 September 2020 16:46 (two days ago) link

Mickey Guyton did an amazing performance of “What Are You Going To Tell Her” on the ACM Awards last night

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 18 September 2020 04:33 (yesterday) link

Surprise new Tyler Childers album

Indexed, Friday, 18 September 2020 16:41 (yesterday) link

Good on Childers for that. Gonna cost him some fans ... which is fine, of course.

alpine static, Friday, 18 September 2020 19:39 (yesterday) link

that last song is powerful damn

Spottie, Friday, 18 September 2020 20:25 (yesterday) link

Video is great. Song is great. Good on him. Twitter comments are predictably awful.

Indexed, Friday, 18 September 2020 21:19 (yesterday) link

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