Rolling Country 2022

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With Chuck Eddy's permission, here's Best of 2021, from his blog, Eliminated For Reasons of Space:

Chuck Eddy
December 31, 2021 at 3:15 pm
No Nashville Scene Country Critics Poll in 2021. If there had been one, here’s what I expect I would have voted for (or at least considered):

TOP 10 ALBUMS: Carly Pearce: 29 – Written in Stone (Big Machine); RaeLynn: Baytown (Round Here); Walker Hayes: Country Stuff (Monument EP); Lainey Wilson: Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ (Broken Bow); Mickey Guyton: Remember Her Name (Capitol Nashville); Kalie Shorr: I Got Here By Accident (Tmwrk EP); Side Pony: Lucky Break (Mule Kick); Robyn Ottolini: The But I’m Not Always Sad Either EP (Warner Nashville EP); Ashley Monroe: Rosegold (Mountainrose Sparrow); Gary Allan: Ruthless (EMI Nashville.)

TOP 10 SINGLES (leaving out borderline-country cases): Carly Pearce “Next Girl”; Willie Jones “American Dream”; Parker McCollum “Rest Of My Life”; Walker Hayes feat. Ke$ha “Fancy”; Casi Joy “Namaste”; Brittney Spencer “Sober and Skinny”; Sasha McVeigh “God Bless This Mess”; Olivia Ellen Lloyd “Sorrow”; Shaela Miller “Big Hair Small City”; Breland “Cross Country.”

BORDERLINE-COUNTRY SINGLES (some of which I might have voted for instead): Funky Marys “Königin”; Nathan Evans “Wellerman (Sea Chantey)”; Caramba Express “Ding Ding Bier Pong (Ramba Zamba in Saloon)”; Swabian Beatz “Mississippi (English Version 2021)”; Stan Ridgway “Big Dumb Town.”

10 MORE HONORABLE MENTION SINGLES: Midland “This Town”; Side Pony “Heels”; Carly Pearce “Dear Miss Loretta”; Gary Allan “Sex”; Energía Norteña “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”; Walker County “Bits & Pieces”; Andrew Sevener “2019 BC”; Charlie Worsham “Fist Through This Town”; Legendary Shack Shakers “They Won’t Let Me Forget (All the Things I Can’t Recall)”; Sammy Kershaw “Evangeline.”

All in all, a very good or bad year for TOWNS, depending who you ask.

dow, Sunday, 2 January 2022 00:55 (ten months ago) link

It's at the bottom of this page, where you can comment---scroll way up past 2021 to see his Scene ballots for 2003-2020, via the same link:https://accidentalevolution.wordpress.com/2021/01/23/nashville-scene-country-critics-poll-ballots-2005-2020/#comment-808

dow, Sunday, 2 January 2022 00:59 (ten months ago) link

Posts are still being added to RC 2021. This post is to make baby thread more visible for the moment.

dow, Monday, 3 January 2022 18:05 (ten months ago) link

OK, Rolling Country 2022: Please tell me your favorite country-focused/leaning labels that are on Bandcamp.

All approaches to country (traditional, mainstream, alt-, -rock, ambient, cosmic, Western swing, etc.) are welcome. Americana, bluegrass, folk and other twangy/acoustic/roots music, too. I'm following a bunch, but would like to follow more. Thanks!

alpine static, Monday, 3 January 2022 22:59 (ten months ago) link

My 2021 favs:

CREAM OF THE CROP
James McMurtry - The Horses and the Hounds
Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall - The Marfa Tapes
Carly Pearce - "Next Girl"
Jason Eady - "French Summer Sun"

SECOND TIER
Eric Church - Heart & Soul
Brandi Carlile - In These Silent Days
Sierra Ferrell - Long Time Coming*
Margo Cilker - Pohorylle*

HONORABLE MENTION
Emily Scott Robinson - American Siren
Bobby Dove - Hopeless Romantic
Charlie Marie - Ramble On
Sturgill Simpson - The Ballad of Dood & Juanita
Morgan Wade - "Other Side"
Sarah Jarosz - "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
Scott Hirsch - "Dreamer"
Hiss Golden Messenger - "Sanctuary"
Vincent Neil Emerson - "Learnin to Drown"*

NOT REALLY COUNTRY BUT COUNTRY ADJACENT SHOUTOUTS
Yasmin Williams - Urban Driftwood
Flock of Dimes - "Walking", "Awake for the Sunrise"
Allison Russell - Outside Child*
Adia Victoria - A Southern Gothic*
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raise the Roof
Marisa Anderson & William Tyler - "News About Heaven", "Lost Futures"

*EOY list cycle discoveries

Indexed, Tuesday, 4 January 2022 16:16 (ten months ago) link

Sweet! Good way to organize them too. xpost Any time I hear about an inneresting artist or release, I've gotten to where I always check Bandcamp first---country-oriented label-wise, though, I can't tell you (for jazz etc there are several, like International Anthem and ESP-DISK, although Tompkins Square's Bandcamp does have some folk etc releases that relate to country vibes)

dow, Tuesday, 4 January 2022 18:00 (ten months ago) link

Just checking out some stuff from late last year. Dillon Carmichael, from Burgin, Kentucky, who put out an EP in 2021, Hot Beer, none of whose tracks he wrote, and an album, Son of A. The uptempo jokey ones, like "Hot Beer," are all about how he's too much of a bro to let women bother him--their craziness comes with the territory, but there's never any moment when he makes you wonder if maybe he's partly to blame. Nothing too spectacular. I do like "Son of A," though, which is his reflective, I-cussed-my-daddy-but-that-also-comes-with-territory, side, and good lush chord changes and, you know, a pretty nice vocal. Funny how the Revisionist Schlock of things like "Son of A" can beat the Montgomery Gentry Lite of country tryin' to rock...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6dnQ-6qWuc

Edd Hurt (whatstalker), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 23:00 (ten months ago) link

Also relistening to Gary Allan's Ruthless which is as quietly, ruthlessly, bleedingly ominous as any of his other record's. Concentrated super-formalist country, little swoops of background female vocals that add to the air of something he can't get to, as in "Slide," complete with a 5-second guitar solo. "Do you still want me," even if he wasn't quite what she had in mind. Pretty fucking great. And it ends, suddenly "Slide..." Where's that dress, in his closet behind a box of another woman's clothes? "What I Can't Talk About" rolls around in a sorta Police-like way, somehow, and again, the songwriting teams he got do their job--the release hooks in on a chord change, he repeats a high note, and Allan cuts off his vocals. A great song about songwriting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hei0K3p8Cko

Edd Hurt (whatstalker), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 23:10 (ten months ago) link

Morgan Wallen, Dangerous: now most of the way through Disc 2(finished while writing this), which Spotify has actually not interrupted with ads, not out of deference to somebody Dangerous in tight jeans---no, that song is like all the rest in recalling wild times with a girl and a bottle, but also, for the first time on this album, being in the back of a cop car downtown oops b-b-better not go down thar again while messed up thinging of yew---but never on here has he (yet) blamed the girl for his being hung-up on her and the bottle, nor is he doing music as therapy like some others, just brief views, scenes from a life in passing---there's a reliable continuity of musicality too, although on Disc 1, especially, it can be just okay, as brief highlights sink back into the steady background flow--don't buy the drank as much as rent it, eh podner--happens even to the Isbell cover here, so can be more about habits of delivery than writing, although some of that's pretty pro forma too. Some keepers though, making it all the way through their brief runs, often with a few more distinctive turns than expected--those stand out here among the humdrum for sure, as the mind is trained to be grateful for small favors. Not too small! The feel for fingerpicking as part of his reflective-to-rueful compulsiveness, and antsy squeezing of booze-damp tropes, looking back to last night or year---yeah, that's good, and he can seem like Kenny Chesney with an added sense of moments, drops adding up, tilting that nostalgia, suck it dry one more time, 'til it grows back tomorrow (on both discs. Already, on this Disc, he knows this shit can't go on, that he ain't ever satisfied, not long enough to call it that--just the little bittersweet afterglow coming back as regular as his rituals with new girls x drinks.

Disc 2 is much more often actual fun! At least for a while, getting to capital Country as a shirttail flag, sometimes also with a rolling-to-wavery cadence, like his hat-head is about to hit its face on the barroom floor, but then pops back up for another quip---more wavey than wavery after all, or pert near, like one of those balloon dudes in front of used car lots. Getting to hickhop as a given, or almost subsumed, but you can feel the feels. The yeehaw reaffirmation is always on the way to yet another funtime, and becomes explicitly presented, in at least one song (lotta words always going by in these tracks, people) as alkie pretext or shall we say personal solutionism to class struggle--- while him and his baby may getting sideways and sideeyed, "other people at the bar may have their own opinions, but Beer Don't."
After that, there's one where he finally does blame the girl, though more in fear than anger, sounds like. as he sings, "You like wine, and---me on whiskey." But he doesn't run away from the pile-on.
Album just goes on and on and on, 'til repetitiousness obtrudes even through the attractions of it as background music---although that does add the sense of his finding no way out, just going round and round and round through his behavior---and I *think* I would get that even if I didn't know about his personal history (a lot more than I want to, beyond the headlines, and I'm sure Edd has heard still more in Nville). So---it's expressive, and meaningful enough, even when it's not. Country as hell then, incl. tiresome at times, and I'm inclined to give it (for reasons of being a tad more conceptual, also bro-subgeneric, than consistently-enough enjoyable, also for keeping the sorry backstory so close at hand) a Semi-honorable Mention/B+ on my imaginary Scene ballot.
So, judging by all this, he seems like he never was Dangerous in the sense that some would like him to be, as a redneck Free Speech Jesus or cautionary A Face In The Crowd view of populist fascist media tool---he's a minor artist, strengths and weaknesses closely related, in this bro-unprecedented (far as I've heard) pile-up of tracks, taking scenes and themes to an extreme that I hope his many fans will come to hear as more than servicing, as more than media insulation, but dang this longass winding road does tend to blend like that, pulling at the penny-drop insights.

dow, Thursday, 6 January 2022 23:46 (ten months ago) link

Mind you. speaking of hickhop (to rapneck) feels, I can almost hear "Country A$$ Shit," gettin down "with my country-ass friends, and my country ass band...and if you don't like that, kiss my county ass" blaring from a truck with a rifle rack and rows of MAGA and Rebel flag stickers, front and back, parading past pedestrian me on Main Street---b-b-but listen in context, kids!

dow, Friday, 7 January 2022 00:09 (ten months ago) link

Monday January 10 5 pm et zoom with country book authors ( Eric Weisbard twitter and email has zoom links)

Marissa Moss, Shana Goldin-Perschbacher, and Steacy Easton
Country Reinventions

Marissa Moss, Shana Goldin-Perschbacher, and Steacy Easton will be discussing their upcoming books Her Country: How the Women of Country Music Reinvented Themselves and the Industry to Become the Success Story They Were Never Supposed to Be (Moss, published by Henry Holt and Co in May 2022), Queer Country (Goldin-Perschbacher, University of Illinois Press in March 2022), and Why Tammy Wynette Matters (Easton, the University of Texas Press early in 2023). All three authors are concerned with country music’s problems of racism, homophobia, and misogyny--especially the continued erasure of women, queer folks, and people of colour from the canons of country music

curmudgeon, Friday, 7 January 2022 16:39 (ten months ago) link

As mentioned on RC 2021, was not in a hurry to check Pistol Annies' Hell of a Holiday, having heard every kind Christmas album, good and bad, while working in a CD store for far too long. But now I think it would have improved my holidays, for the most part. They mean to bring the Pistol Annies real talk and fun along with mellower, often bittersweet moments, though the unaccustomed piety (think it's all from Presley, but maybe not). though dignified and not too preachy, drags a little on its reserved (three) tracks. But opening and closing subsets of three work fine, also several others (and those three solemn ones aren't bunched together). Even "Come on Christmas Time," about having a crush on Santa, which seemed like would be too cute, is a discreetly yet seriously prowly shuffle--she means the guy who is playing Santa, like husband is to their kids---maybe---filling up just enough to weigh in between "Harlan County Coal" (better be good for goodness sake mf) and "If We Make It Through December." "Joy" is a PA and this-album microcosm: many shades of blue, incl. luminescent, though going back around a few times cos that's life and Christmas).
Even if I don't want to keep listening to this as an album, can see adding faves to playlist of their other albums; they're not seasonal only.

dow, Tuesday, 11 January 2022 21:54 (ten months ago) link

No Depression – Roots Music Journalism
@nodepression
In the wake of Morgan Wallen's
@opry
appearance, we asked
@BlackOpry
founder
@_love_holly_
if we could share her essay online about building community in the face of country music’s systemic racism.

You can also read this essay in our Winter '21 journal.
https://www.nodepression.com/journal-excerpt-black-opry-and-belonging

dow, Wednesday, 12 January 2022 04:46 (ten months ago) link

xp fell totally flat for me. Very disappointing actually. Favorite track was the only traditional one -- Monroe's take on "Sleigh Ride."

Indexed, Wednesday, 12 January 2022 16:21 (ten months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Really looking forward to the new album from Erin Rae coming out this Friday. I fell in love with "Modern Woman" a few months ago and the other songs I've heard from the album so far are quite good too. It's my first album of 2022 that I'm actually anticipating.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 1 February 2022 00:32 (nine months ago) link

Pre-ordered the new Sarah Shook & The Disarmers record

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKuJHLRx4AY

papal hotwife (milo z), Tuesday, 1 February 2022 00:42 (nine months ago) link

Really looking forward to the new album from Erin Rae coming out this Friday. I fell in love with "Modern Woman" a few months ago and the other songs I've heard from the album so far are quite good too. It's my first album of 2022 that I'm actually anticipating.

― sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, February 1, 2022 bookmarkflaglink

Not sure if this is even the best thread to discuss Erin Rae other than I think she is based in Nashville and her albums do feature a decent amount of pedal steel—though the overall vibe skews a little more indie than country.

In any case this is probably my favorite album of 2022 so far.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Saturday, 5 February 2022 16:15 (nine months ago) link

Lots of ree-markable stuff on and linked from this page---Keep Idaho IDAHO, and so much will follow: https://www.eastidahonews.com/2022/02/he-had-21-top-10-country-hits-now-hell-sing-in-idaho-to-raise-money-for-ammon-bundy/

dow, Thursday, 10 February 2022 02:12 (nine months ago) link

Notes on Morgan Wade's Reckless: Yes, that is the album title, above blonde hair floating in the light a little, suggestion of a halo, face playing peek-a-boo with fingers, not unlike jail bars, if those had tattoos and tiny marks that might add up to coded sentences--and there is a song of that title, obligingly enough, but if this is a country Lolita, as might be, she's far down the path, maybe the self-supporting-by-dishwashing phase (in the novel), while watching and waiting and listening and speaking to all the options, relationship-wise.
Getting "Reckless" again, is one of the things she considers, wishes for sometimes, as the music moves around her---alt rock as the younger sort of potentially tops-of-the-pops country, young enough to take the 90s and early 00s over older artists' fascination with Petty and F.Mac: its an extension and reinforcement of Wade's own electrical tuning systems, under all those tats, flexing, always ready to go, as far as she and the guy she's talking to or around will take things--yes, and frequently it's to the limit, one more time, as stimulating prospect, because usually they have a history, and she certainly does, with and without him, alluded to with a sense of wonder, like can she beleeeve she did and was all whut---at one point recalls, maybe from the night they met, "Ah spoke mah truth, and yew got so upset"(oh the voice keeps it country, like the weight of personal relationship history, one tight-jawed syllable measuring itself out at a time).
Welp--he['s gotta get over it if they do try again---may be the guy she's out on an actual date with, as the music sounds atypically sedate, dinner-y, in the opening track: she's on her best behavior, sweetly murmuring, while observing, describing, thinking, "Ah wish Ah's known you in your wilder days." Probably, undertones of voice and lyrics and accompiment soon suggest, she'd feel like they had more in common back then---but, having heard all the songs and coming back to this one, seems like nostalgia for what might have been, the yen for a safe yet hot fantasy, which is so Morgan now, ditto the way she leans into wondering what his secret is---gotta have one; he's so Normal he must be nuts too, maybe in a program like her---maybe she'll peel back a few layers--
Soon it's "Matches and Metaphors," down the line with this guy or another, a booty call: "It's raining at my house, is it raining at yores?" But then "To hell with metaphors," she requests the comfort of his body, wonders if it will help, thinks it might, mentions a letter he wrote her, starts writing out loud her response, her script for how it might all work out for them after all---then back to the body ask, that's what it all comes back to, 'til she finally starts over, like a recording replayed, low-key intense, not gonna stop (digital not tape).
Of the very solid and vibrant original ten set, number 9, "Northern Air," is just okay, in this context--could be a high point elsewhere---about somebody who's stuck down here, in sordid Southern boredom, while he's up there---but the closer, "Met You"--not "Meet You," o hail naw, gotta be a history---is that comparatively rare kind of sequel that improves: it's her GodFather 2
The Jan. 2022 Deluxe Edition does more of that, takes it all deeper and darker, on a longer, more exciting chain-chain-chain, getting wrapped around and stretched. It's not all together doomie, or not in a depresso sense---also, even visions of flight are never too florid, because she is wised up, she has been down this lane before, in her head and elsewhere. But even the mellowest, "Through Your Eyes," which is where she wishes she could see---said kid, age three, has said "I want to be like you," which doesn't spook her a bit (as it does me, knowing her now as I kinda do), but touches her and makes her even wonder "if I should pray to you," as she moves from physical grace of the child to possible spiritual grace, also conflating "innocence" with "wild thoughts."
Another one has has her on the road from Tombstone, "holdin' hands with the band, six feet under," and something about "like Johnny and June": dead and loving it? Anyway rolling along, at least until "When The Dirt" all settles---meanwhile, there's "The Night," when she's hoping "the pills will work better this time," like the doctor says he thinks---I usually draw back from this kind of song, but she draws me in---eventually, there's the sole cover, providing a second of relief--something from the outside world--but it's "We're caught in a trap/I can't walk out"---yet, as in EP's original, still kind of a sense, in the verses, of feeling around, talking lower, see it feels like this, don't it, is it possible they could, like, work it or something out after all, one more shot---all surging along towards something, of course--so Morgan.

dow, Friday, 11 February 2022 18:58 (nine months ago) link

under all those tats: can't unsee the videos, where she looks concerned, careful, with vines snakes skank jailhouse roadmaps crawling out of the fabrics, arms sometimes seeming to pulse with power and infection. But that's her truth, and I may just have been not around young people in too long (covid alibi in a not very vaxxed red state).

dow, Friday, 11 February 2022 19:03 (nine months ago) link

New Willie, some new originals, covers aren't really oldies either, far as I know---track list, credits incl. here, also an advance track:
https://www.savingcountrymusic.com/willie-nelson-to-release-new-original-album-a-beautiful-time/
Release date April 29, his 89th bday.

dow, Sunday, 13 February 2022 03:05 (nine months ago) link

New Cactus Blossoms is pleasant. They seem to be trying to move further away from the Everly Brothers pastiche but the result is they are sounding a lot like later-period Calexico. Which I guess is fine?

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Sunday, 13 February 2022 04:45 (nine months ago) link

Rodney Crowell, on FB talking about that Willie single:

It was nearly thirty-five years ago that my band and I performed at a Minneapolis rock club called the Cabooze. After the show, I chanced upon a young woman with whom I fell instantly in love. (I mean that sincerely.) We spoke briefly and I invited her on the bus where I learned that she lived somewhere up on the iron range, made jewelry and ran a small catering business. Although, at the time, I was happily married to a well known singer/songwriter, I could clearly imagine spending the rest of my life with this person. But alas the roadies finished packing and it was time to say goodbye. The encounter lasted no more than thirty minutes, but I sensed the experience would last forever . . . or at least until I made it into a song. Even after Claudia Church became my life’s partner, I continued to tinker with the notion that the girl from the iron range deserved a song. Over the years I conjured the title and a couple of verse ideas, but never fully committed to the job of bringing them to life. And then, a couple of years back, Chris Stapleton dropped by the house to see if we could write a song together. He listened patiently as I explained how I’d always wanted to write this one particular song. When I finished telling him the story, he summed the whole thing up in these few words: “so it’s all about thirty minutes thirty years ago.” After that, we had I’ll Love You Till The Day I Die finished in less than an hour. No doubt the song was waiting for Chris to show up. And, of course, for Willie Nelson to sing it.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 13 February 2022 04:54 (nine months ago) link

That is so Rodney, thanks---several more of his songs that I hope Willie gets around to, old and new.

New notes for soon-forthcoming imaginary country ballot & comments, to be blogged (most of it on RC 2021):

The perfect capper, nightcapper, to Joshua Ray Walker’s See You Next Time is its hello-goodbye title, before and after another loop, another spin, in his beeyoutiful music machine—celebrating, while light and bright enough to leave excess me-discover-beer yeeeha self-congratulation in the dust—as for instance “I Feel Sexy After Dark” exchanges and slides through highest frequencies’ goosebump skins of voice x instruments, among many other close encounters, well-timed, even or especially when making close skid mark calls on and in the honky tonk, also closed circuit eeevents on screen, which will dissolve for a while when it should, the better to savor more nocturnal air and midnight electric suns, also sons and daughters, waving—but it’s not all fun and games, though perspective on and refreshed enjoyment of such seems to have something to do with “Flash Paper,” which came from a cigar box left to him by his late father, with items of personal significance to them both, mostly paper, also a flash drive: Walker has since said that he’s still coming to understand the song and its contents, so that’s part of the spin and loop as well, the after-dark brightness that already seemed almost mystical? Like we’re going by the Liminal Lounge a few times—was the impression before I read his bio w comments on all this: turns about to be last installment of a trilogy, following Wish You Were Here and Glad You Made It: all three titles addressed in part to his Dad, maybe? As well as the rest of us, seems like. (His comments here: http://www.joshuaraywalker.com/bio)

10 songs, 33 minutes, and that's all he needs:
https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_lhyY4SX9Sw4QRk-paHHqeQT9h8ww3XPtg

dow, Saturday, 19 February 2022 20:18 (nine months ago) link

More picks from 2021, blog-bound:

Alan Jackson’s mild-mannered, measured vocals are especially appealing in contrast-combo with novelty songs, as I consider the masterfully melancholy, meta-appeal to trad country (please come home, darlin’) title opener of Where Have You Gone, and the boot-scootin', equally historical rallying cry, “Andy on the TeeVee, lovin’ on Aint Bee”--- “Back” also has prayer, prom queens, ice cream, and, I think, blue jeans in there, but also, though, as a listener, I don’t believe he’s ever imbibed anything stronger than a wine cooler, his meta-drinking tropes understand well enough, so the silver plattered “I can be your whiskey” ( but one of several discreetly confident suggestions in “I Can Be The That Something”) is startling as well; dang, he’s always got the cred. Ditto chiaroscuro x firm beat of econo-delivered “Ah don’t wanta know/What’s in your head,” before she goes, just apply lipstick to mirror, leave it “Written in Red.” He got The Bluegrass Album out of his system, except not quite: still (sparingly now) applies just the right tropes, a held note here, rope bridge of plot turn there, a touch of darkness, to his idea of well-preserved mainstream country, as does Rhonda Vincent on Music Is What I See (though she also ends w with a couple of big bg per se tracks). Even one of the wedding songs to his daughter is arresting in a good way, with fresh, non-soppy, concise phrases and sentiments (The opener of his Happy Valentine's Day EP I thought at first was yet another wedding song to one of his several daughters, yeesh—but no, it’s just presumptuous “gallantry” as come on—another one opens with mention of a young-sounding gal, among others included in his self-congratulatory, broad-minded attractions to otherwise utterly standard-sounding, video-suitable, country broads. But some other tracks are cool/acceptable).
Where Have You Been is long, with a few duds, like self-sentimental “The Man Who Couldn’t Cry,” aggh puke, so with not quite the tighter appeal ofAngels and Alcohol, which I Top Tenned in my 2015 country round-up, and may well be best place to start with him, though I’m still no AJ expert:
Alan Jackson, Angels and Alcohol: Starts with less than half-hearted best wishes/empathy for one leaving the nest---"Everybody's gotta live a little, before they die," and he can barely get the words out---then wheels around into a hearty chorus of reassurance, 'bout how you can always come home to big ol' generic slabs of bacon and gravy or whutever.
However, the overall theme of this set, convincingly expressed (tastefully, incl. with tasty details) is a healthy hats-off-and-on to the Uncertainty Principle and our need for same. Incl. in the title track, when it comes to "sooner or later you got to face what's hidin' in your mind", and the randy honky tonk encounters of "You Never Know," fender bender cum two daiquiri hookups and all. He and hitchhiking Jack Kerouac salute each other (along the alternative-lifestyles interstate of dreams, but still). They aren't too far apart in some ways:
stay-at-home AJ finally gets a bellyful of his wife with the flattening iron and the curlers and that little dog and "that damn perfume"--she's sick of his shit too, so good riddance, he'll just keep partying with "Jim and Jack and Hank"--which rhymes with "So take your black Mercedes, full of stuff for ladies, to me you're just a total blank"---damn, that's pretty hardcore, especially for Mr. Mellow Melancholy Blond Mustache. Spoiler: he doesn't cave! Thought surely he would, what with the cartoon-country-Stones tone of the thing, and he does eventually have misgivings, by the end is invoking more and more of his male musical inspirations, "cleanin' out my closet."
And this right after a pensive sensitive cocktail reverie, but he's not just flipping scripts, because he's still competing with, while trying to imagine, "The One You're Waiting On": must be an awesome guy, considering this awesome woman, who keeps drinking and waving guys away, checking her phone...wtf, darlin…(quietly, intensely focused, so considerate a bit creepy)
He also celebrates "Flaws": "Everybody's got 'em/The ones you came with and you caused/Scars and tattoos gone rotten...all the little things that make her unique...the pieces of the puzzle that is me."
I'm hardly an Alan Jackson expert, but, while this set doesn't have
any tracks with the downer power of "Monday Morning Church" or "The Little Man," it sort of doesn't need them: they've been done, and this hasn't, not by him, not this consistently (as far as I know).

dow, Tuesday, 22 February 2022 02:10 (nine months ago) link

The first Sierra Ferrell thumbnail I saw, I thought this was going to be some Days n Daze folk-punk thing but damn she's got a great voice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umDhbp7YWMg

papal hotwife (milo z), Tuesday, 22 February 2022 02:27 (nine months ago) link

that face tat threw ya

alpine static, Tuesday, 22 February 2022 04:47 (nine months ago) link

95% accurate, the other 5% was that she was dressed like a 1930s hobo in the first video of hers I watched.

papal hotwife (milo z), Tuesday, 22 February 2022 05:30 (nine months ago) link

This has that jazzy country feel too, from RC 2021:
Melissa Carper's Daddy's Country Gold: title in part re her sonic sense of humor about her retrophilia,I take it---music folds and flexes bits of western swing, freight train boogie, bluesy inflections, in what is, yes, still trad country gold: tight, but didn't know there were drums 'til saw credits--steel and pedal steel are most prominent, answered by fiddle---no banjo, no uke, no horns (though accordion and guitar can fill in for those, passing through), occasional piano and/or organ, moving right along, following the boss's cute-enough, slightly worn little voice---some Texas dust in the pipes, Appalachian hardness at ends of lines, sometimes: it's a tad more simple-subtle than Sierra Ferrell, but one for her fans (and she contributes harmonies).

dow, Wednesday, 23 February 2022 01:29 (nine months ago) link

This album has gotten stuck in my head---another from the blog round-up:

Connie Smith’s The Cry of The Heart is named for her definition of and specialty in country music, the kind of relentlessly cyclical treks- on-gilded-splinters-of-the-heart trad, sometimes funereal, that I tend to resist, as seen below in comments on Lucinda’s urn ov same (wine-and-lipstick-stained butts incl., OK). Nevertheless, she picks songs about being knowing, struggling with being stuck inside a mobile, turning like a vane of dislocation in layers of strangely familiar, the stranger for it, weather: apologizes to her heart for being about to take another chance on prospect they both know better than; later, “I just don’t believe me any more—I wouldn’t trust my own eyes, if I saw him walking through the door,” and gets to overview, “There are three s-i-i-i-des, to ev-ery sto-ry: his side, her side, and the truth”: tricky, could get to truthie, jesting Pilate, sense of futility, reckless, even: interesting cusp—also, that chorus reminds me of “Love Is Strange,” including a possible cross-influence with proto-reggae, and my other favorites here also have that out of the box, 60s crossover appeal that her accompanists, mainly Mary Stuart & his Superlatives, are so good at—-another starts with an acoustic country suggestion of “Pinball Wizard”—also “A-l-l-l, The Time” could be Orbison singing Jimmy Webb or himself, likewise omg yall fave is “Here Comes My Baby Back Again,” with a kettledrum hook, even, also her voice, now reputedly shy of a few top notes of her 60s-70s commercial heyday, especially mighty and booming from the gut here, w/o overdoing it. This song rec also to Everly Bros., and eerie observational “Jesus Take A Hold” for Mavis (who will be doing some shows w Bonnie Raitt this summer btw). But some of the other, more generically constrained trad country ballads, are ballast, for sure, keeping whole thing bubbling just under my Top Ten. So far!

Here Comes My Baby Back Again (Official Music Video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KFyguNe4Lc

full album playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZNM_kt9jwY

dow, Friday, 25 February 2022 18:33 (nine months ago) link

And speaking of Lucinda:
Lucinda Williams, Lu’s Jukebox Volume 4: Funny How Time Slips Away: A Night of 60s Country Classics: more like Classicks. Rips the thrift store brand substitute for a Band-Aid off, opening with a dingy little dirge, “Apartment #9”(“where the sun never shines”), a dump for the dumped to sit waiting and not waiting, hoping against hope, perversely enough, for you to come back, So don’t suggest subletting, or bloodletting: the austere pleasures of this track, complete with Lu’s generic not-Kleenex tones and her equally familiar quaver, which here is somehow as solid as her fire escape, if she has one, which I doubt, also the futile commiseration of the steel guitar and discreet timekeeping of the stick and struck thing–brave, dented, stalwart little tin soldiers of the heart, as Lu and crew are on so many of these tracks, somehow make this one better than it deserves to be: that’s art!
So is the immediate follow-up with another dirge, pretty much: this version of “Together Again” is the saddest reunion song…ever—”and nothing else matters” sounds like too much does, it really does. Ah, but then, “Make The World Go Away” slips into a dreamy dirge, a shuffle really, like so much else here, like Fats Domino might be playing, swaying not too far away—Jukebox Lu’s from Louisiana, come to think of it, like her other personae—sweeping up and around on the title phrase, a handful of stardust, wistful come-hither is her breadcrumb trail. I will try to make the world go away, yes Ma’am. “Night Life” bounces the shuffle and stroll a little, with its well-aimed, switchy tail, but then “Long Black Limousine, “ bringing you back to her, only dead, from some old wreck out on the highway, is the first dirge too far—whiplash back to “Fist City,” finally an uptempo bullseye yowl, could be on her Stones volume (which zig-zag cuts the roadmap, and a lovely “Moonlight Mile” of it too).
“I Want To Go With You” is a turgid dirge travesty rip of “Make The World Go Away”’s pattern, at least; c’mon! “Don’t Let Me Cross Over” just as boring, but “Gentle On My Mind” perks her up, even has her rushing the beat, while sounding worn—it’s a road song testimonial, soldier of love now bumping her comandeered bike wheels off road. “The End of the World” back on foot, shuffling, now almost majestically, and I’d never liked this song at all. “I’m Movin’ On” back on board, “Funny How Time Slips Away” the poignant, perfectly balanced unexpected encounter riposte, of mixed emotions and free-enough associations, but not too much of either, or of time. “Take Time For The Tears” (“Let them fall where they may”) could be good closing advice, but slogs way on here. So, although she’s one of my all-time favorites, this set isn’t quite top tier (I don’t always have much of a reason or motivation enough to work it up, but with her I do [compliment]).

full album:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrR6s3S-L48

dow, Friday, 25 February 2022 18:44 (nine months ago) link

I don’t always have much of a reason or motivation enough to work *such a long non-Top-Ten report* up, that is.

dow, Friday, 25 February 2022 18:49 (nine months ago) link

Didn't know about her songwriting, did semi-recall that she and then-Bruce co-starred in a musical, Little Abner (he: Abner, she: Daisy Mae), Birmingham, https://www.al.com/entertainment/2015/04/bruce_jenner_on_stage_before_t.html (this from 2015, so no mention of Caitlyn). My friend's sister was in it, remembers Linda as gregarious, him as shy, but "stuck his head in the door, 'Hey, I'm Bruce.' ")

Linda also co-subject of this TV movie, which I thought was pretty good:
Elvis and the Beauty Queen

Memphis beauty queen Linda Thompson (Stephanie Zimbalist) recalls her five-year romance with Elvis Presley (Don Johnson).
Initial release: March 1, 1981
Director: Gus Trikonis
Starring: Don Johnson; Stephanie Zimbalist; Ann Dusenberry; Rick Lenz
Music by: Allyn Ferguson
Distributed by: NBC, Sony Pictures Television

dow, Friday, 25 February 2022 19:34 (nine months ago) link

Speaking of director Gus Trikois, He began his career as an actor and dancer, notably appearing in the hugely successful 1961 film West Side Story as Indio, one of the "Sharks",[1] as well as dancing with Debbie Reynolds and Grover Dale to the frantic "He's My Friend" in 1964's The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
...Trikonis was married to actress Goldie Hawn from 1969 to 1976; he was her first husband and they have the same birthday. His sister is Gina Trikonis, an actress who also appeared in West Side Story, as Graziella, Riff's girlfriend.[3]
Way to go, Gus! (Hope he wasn't too bad, Goldie.)

dow, Friday, 25 February 2022 19:38 (nine months ago) link

Sorry, that was meant for ILE thread re marriages of directors and actors!

dow, Friday, 25 February 2022 19:43 (nine months ago) link

So here's what would have been my Nashville Scene ballot, expanded, as always
(posted w comments here, though lots are from prev and current RC, also some artist threads and Country Funk thread---it's called "Changed The Lox," cos so much Lucinda, incl. her Pettys cover set: https://thefreelancementalists.blogspot.com/2022/03/changed-lox-country-etc-lists-comments.html

Thanxx In Front To Edd Hurt For Turning Me On To Jon Byrd, Paul Niehaus, and Loney Hutchins

Also To Ilxor.com's Rolling Country 2021 Riders Who Issued American Aquarium etc. etc. etc. ect. Advisories

(Most of these are on Bandcamp and/or YouTube)

My Strictly Personal Subjective As Hell But Whut Isn't Top Ten Country Albums Of 2021

American Aquarium, Slappers, Bangers & Certified Twangers, Volume One

Eric Church, Soul

Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall, The Marfa Tapes

Jon Byrd (feat. Paul Niehaus), Me and Paul EP

Joshua Ray Walker, See You Next Time

Kalie Shorr, Open Book Unabridged (Dec. 4, 2020)

Lainey Wilson, Sayin' What I'm Thinkin'

Mickey Guyton, Remember Her Name

Melissa Carper, Daddy's Country Gold

Morgan Wade, Reckless Deluxe Edition (Jan. 28, 2022)

Vincent Neil Emerson, s/t

More Good 'Uns

Alan Jackson, Where Have You Gone

Connie Smith, The Cry of the Heart

Flatlanders, Treasure of Love

Loretta Lynn, Still Woman Enough

Lucinda Williams, Lu's Jukebox Vol. 4: Funny How Time Slips Away: A Night of 60's Country Classics

Natalie Hemby, Pins and Needles

Rhonda Vincent, Music is What I See

Sierra Ferrell, Long Time Coming

Willie Nelson, The Willie Nelson Family

For Further Study (everything here, but especially this)

Pony Bradshaw, Calico Jim

Fave New (To Me) Country Faces of 2021

Charlie Marie, Ramble On

Emily Scott Robinson, American Siren

Tom Williams, Glasshouse Children

Fave Country *Reissues/**Prev. Unreleased

**Billy Joe Shaver & Kinky Friedman, Live From Down Under

*Johnny Cash—Forever Words (Expanded Edition) (Various Artists)

*Jon Byrd, Byrd's Auto Parts

**Loney Hutchins,Buried Loot: Demos From the House of Cash & "Outlaw" Era '73-'78

Fave Country/Related Seasonal

Lori McKenna, Christmas Is Right Here EP

Lucinda Williams, Lu's Jukebox Vol 5: Have Yourself A Rockin' Little Christmas With Lucinda Williams

Pistol Annies, Hell of a Holiday

Country Seasonal Semi-Honorable Mention

Alan Jackson, Happy Valentine's Day EP

Country Semi-Honorable Probationary Mention

Morgan Wallen, Dangerous

Country About Half Good (60-45%)

Carly Pearce, 29—-Written in Stone

Country Headscratcher

Steve Earle & the Dukes, JT

Fave Countryoid, Americana, Roots, Related

Allison Russell, Outside Child

Ashley Monroe, Rosegold

Brandi Carlile, In These Silent Days

Chrissie Hynde, Standing in the Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan

James McMurtry, The Horses and The Hounds

Jason Isbell & 400 Unit: Georgia Blue

Lucinda Williams, Lu's Jukebox Vol. 2: Southern Soul: From Memphis To Muscle Shoals

Lucinda Williams, Lu's Jukebox Vol. 3: Bob's Back Pages: A Night of Bob Dylan Songs

Peter Stampfel, Peter Stampfel's 20th Century

Robert Plant & Allison Krauss, Raise the Roof

Rosali, No Medium

Tom Jones, Surrounded By Time (Hourglass Edition)

Valerie June,The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers

Willie Nelson, That's Life

Related Hon. Mention

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Barn

Rodney Crowell, Triage

More Keepers From Lu's Jukebox

Lucinda Williams, Lu's Jukebox Vol 1: Runnin' Down a Dream: A Tribute to Tom Petty Lu's Jukebox Vol. 6: You Are Cordially Invited...A Tribute To The Rolling Stones

Related Less Than Half Good

Barry Gibb & Friends, Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers' Songbook Vol. 1 (Keepers: BG with: Brandi Carlile, "Run To Me," Sheryl Crow, "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart," Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, "Butterfly," maybe more)

Related Blast From The Future Is Here

Contract Group, Varnished Suffrages (March 5 2022)

Fave Related Top *Reissues/**Previously Unreleased

**Alex Chilton & Hi Rhythm Section, Boogie Shoes: Live on Beale Street

*Country Funk Volume 3 1975-1982 (Various Artists)

*Dusty Springfield, The Complete Atlantic Singles 1968-1971

**Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel Band, Both Ways (The Great Lost 2017 Double-Album)

**Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Way Down In The Rust Bucket

dow, Thursday, 3 March 2022 19:42 (eight months ago) link

dammit--that should be The *Contact* Group, Edd's very fun songdog troupe, which you can hear here: https://thecontactgroup1.bandcamp.com/releases

dow, Thursday, 3 March 2022 19:48 (eight months ago) link

New album Palomino out April 29
My new album Palomino takes you on a journey through songs. I hope y’all are ready to travel with us wandering spirits and meet some cool characters with great stories. – Miranda

"Strange" out now
https://ml.lnk.to/palomino

dow, Thursday, 10 March 2022 19:20 (eight months ago) link

Good on Bobbie: knew about her husband's band, which incl. her & Wille, but not the aftermath, ongoing consequences; also, I've got her rollin' Audiobiography (Willie and Johnny Bush show up some), and one of the duet sets w W, the remarkable December Day, but will have to check these earlier albums, also still need the joint memoir:https://www.npr.org/2022/03/11/1086000679/bobbie-nelson-a-country-music-pioneer-and-willie-nelsons-sister-dies-at-age-91

dow, Friday, 11 March 2022 19:46 (eight months ago) link

Hank: I’m Gonna Sing: The Mother’s Best Gospel Radio Recordings contains rare performances of 40 gospel songs culled from these radio shows; many of which he never officially recorded.
Looks good: https://annecarlini.com/ex_cd.php?id=4187

dow, Friday, 11 March 2022 20:01 (eight months ago) link

is there a catchall country thread? this is such a jam but from Cauthen's 2019 album
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm5UZ0Ov9O0

corrs unplugged, Tuesday, 22 March 2022 08:19 (eight months ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ihKjq2iM5w like this tune from the new Hailey Whitters album, Raised

Indexed, Thursday, 24 March 2022 21:42 (eight months ago) link

i don't know why this bothers me so much but it does, i hate how she undermines the rhyme in the chorus by stressing the first syllable instead of the second in "hometown."

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 24 March 2022 22:20 (eight months ago) link

new maren morris is about a billion times better than her last

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Friday, 25 March 2022 13:46 (eight months ago) link

i continue to be surprised that we don't have a thread for her

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Friday, 25 March 2022 13:48 (eight months ago) link

make one. i will stan

Indexed, Friday, 25 March 2022 16:53 (eight months ago) link

There's been a lot about her on previous Rolling Countrys, haven't heard the new album yet.
is there a catchall country thread?
O hell yes corrs, you've come to the right place.

Under xpost New (To Me) Country Faces on my imaginary 2021 Scene ballot upthread, I should have listed *Sam* Williams, not Tom (was I thinking of Thomas Lainer Williams AKA Tennessee? Or just a brainfart, more likely). And his mother just died---she was in the video for one of the fine tracks on his Glasshouse Children, where maybe he was discreetly alluding to their mutual(ly agreed on?) need for rehab. He's talented and insightful/talks a good game, reminding me of early Justin Townes Earle; here's hoping he does last as least as long.

dow, Friday, 25 March 2022 21:36 (eight months ago) link

catching up w email---excerpts from Maren press release:
Maren will perform on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” tonight, with appearances on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” and “The Howard Stern Show” to follow on March 28.
...Humble Quest features the much-lauded “Nervous,” “Background Music” and “Circles Around This Town,” which broke Amazon Music’s record for most streams for a country song debut by a female artist and is currently Top 20 and climbing at country airplay charts.
Humble Quest is receiving widespread critical acclaim…
stupid blurbs follow, then:
Maren began writing the songs on Humble Quest in the beginning of the pandemic as a series of major life changes unfolded—new motherhood, an upended career, the death of beloved friend and collaborator Michael Busbee and more, further compounded by lockdown. She felt control over life quickly slipping until she had an epiphany—she was never in control in the first place. This inspired her to reckon with the concept of humility as she thought about how the goal of appearing humble puts artists, especially women, in a box with unrealistic demands. Humble Quest documents Maren’s journey to redefining humility on her own terms as a grounded state of understanding one’s own truth rather than the capacity to appear authentic to others.
Produced by frequent collaborator Greg Kurstin (Adele, Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters) and written alongside her husband Ryan Hurd, Julia Michaels, Jimmy Robbins, Natalie Hemby, Laura Veltz and Jon Green on Busbee’s piano, Humble Quest is Maren’s most genuine collection of songs, tracing her journey to embrace the imperfections in her life through snapshots of her rises and falls, overshares, lullabies, wine-soaked conversations with one old friend and a final goodbye to another one.
MAREN MORRIS LIVE
doesn't look write in paste, see https://www.marenmorris.com/#tour Would most like to see one of those Midwestern shows w Hemby.

dow, Saturday, 26 March 2022 01:48 (eight months ago) link

Oh, and Dave Edmunds: "A.1. On The Jukebox" and "Worn Out Suits, Brand New Pockets", which I can't believe wasn't a Buck Owens song to begin with.

Yeh mang, that there Winter comes through my head pretty often.

dow, Friday, 9 September 2022 00:36 (two months ago) link

G./McC. also picks ZZ Top's "She's A Heartbreaker." I'll add more Stones: "Dead Flowers," "Memory Motel," "Wild Hosses," mebbe "Daddy You're A Fool To Cry" ("OOO-ooooo") https://t.co/mWGB2SzClS

— Don Allred (@0wlred) September 9, 2022

dow, Friday, 9 September 2022 01:12 (two months ago) link

Thanks for the shoutout!

In other news, Kill Rock Stars is adding a Nashville imprint. Trans singer-songwriter Mya Byrne first signee.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-country/mya-byrne-autumn-sun-kill-rock-stars-1234588530/?

Haven't read the thread but a few that come to mind: the Stones' "Far Away Eyes", Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down," The Smiths' "Vicar in a Tutu," The Shins' "Gone for Good," Bruce Springsteen's "Tougher Than the Rest," Fleetwood Mac's live version of "Say You Love Me," Talking Heads' "Creatures of Love,"

Something similarly fun I was thinking of lately was great rock song covers by country artists, such as Justin Townes Earle's cover of "Can't Hardly Wait" or Sturgill Simpson's cover of "In Bloom."

Indexed, Friday, 9 September 2022 22:00 (two months ago) link

Stones did about an album's-worth of country, didn't they? Hint hint to somebody.

Can't find it now, but on their ancient CMT Crossroads, some performances from which are on YouTube, Willie Nelson plays coruscating guitar all over Sheryl Crow's crowing "Every Day Is A Winding Road" (if crossover duets count).
He and Sinead O'Connor also did a credible cover of "Don't Give Up," originally recorded by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, not the easiest thing to pull off: it seems intentionally, is at least appropriately, resistant to resolution, being about a couple in recession.
Songbird, his album with Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, sounds pretty wild, kinda precarious, but it works, I think, as cranked-up country rock, esp. "$1,000 Wedding," also a good "Stella Blue." That there Coldplay cover on Willie's Heroes lets fly too.
He and Waylon did "Whiter Shade of Pale," and Waylon did that whole posthumously released basement album recorded by Shooter, with "White Room" etc.

Elizabeth Cook did a good "Sunday Morning"---on Twitter, I called for a country duet of "Pale Blue Eyes," and Kelly Hogan sent me hers with Alejandro Escovedo. She's great, but I like him better in bands, playing guitar more than singing.

Lee Ann Womack does a deevine "Out On The Weekend," although that's kinda country to start with, isn't it?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtcx-zv-ijg

dow, Friday, 9 September 2022 22:59 (two months ago) link

This is the only country song I've ever heard Bonnie Raitt do: "Your Sweet and Shiny Eyes," written by Nan O'Byrne (would like to hear more of hers)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtcx-zv-ijg

dow, Friday, 9 September 2022 23:07 (two months ago) link

Sorry!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRQgdEO1-M

dow, Friday, 9 September 2022 23:08 (two months ago) link

It's not a sing-along with all those guys, just last song of the Calgary show, so they get together at the end.

dow, Friday, 9 September 2022 23:10 (two months ago) link

Sorry, I should have been clearer. Know the rock-cover-by-country-artist is relatively common (Cash's American Recordings, Willie's Stardust probably counts, et al.) but was specifically curious about favorites. I should also note Emmylou's "C'est La Vie" rendition. Funny you should pick that LAW cover, as I just listened to "I Have Not Forgotten You" from the same album, a truly lovely Bruce Robison penned tune that was bizarrely cut from the vinyl release.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1lQOnqIECI

Indexed, Friday, 9 September 2022 23:55 (two months ago) link

Yeah, she did a good "Tougher Than The Rest" and "Wrecking Ball" too. The ones I mentioned mostly were faves---could live w/o "Whiter Shade" and "White Room" (they're ok though)

dow, Saturday, 10 September 2022 00:15 (two months ago) link

Also! Willie's "Halluejah" is by far my fave version of that over-recorded, over-featured-in-cop-shows-as-they're-zipping-up-body-bags-etc. toon, and was also more than pleasantly surprised by his covers of "American Tune" and "Graceland"---could see him doing whole albums of Simon and Cohen ("Tower of Song" is on his latest, awright)

dow, Saturday, 10 September 2022 00:22 (two months ago) link

omg clutch the pearls thought that was Suzi Quatro/Leather Tuscadero w The Residents @ first! Wade's Reckless Deluxe Edition (Jan. '22) demanded to be in my 2021 Top Ten. Get it if you haven't, listen again if you have. https://t.co/1Cf35KZ3HY

— Don Allred (@0wlred) September 16, 2022

dow, Friday, 16 September 2022 02:39 (two months ago) link

Oh Wow---speaking of my Top Tens, here are Willis, Carper, and new-to-me (good rep) Leigh---intriguing--- https://t.co/DthecgirqA

— Don Allred (@0wlred) September 16, 2022

dow, Friday, 16 September 2022 02:48 (two months ago) link

Brennen Leigh did nice old school duets record w/Jessie Dayton back in the 2000s.

an icon of a worried-looking, long-haired, bespectacled man (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 16 September 2022 03:01 (two months ago) link

she also just made a good western swing album with Asleep at the Wheel: https://brennenleigh.bandcamp.com/album/obsessed-with-the-west

alpine static, Friday, 16 September 2022 03:54 (two months ago) link

That Brennen Leigh & A@tW album is fantastic; she did a whole album of Lefty Frizzell covers a couple of years ago, too, and it was definitely worth checking out. And I've been a Willis fan since her major label run in the early 90s. She's long been one of the very best there is.

jon_oh, Friday, 16 September 2022 12:26 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

New Ashley McBryde out!

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 30 September 2022 12:45 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

I just finished the (excellent) Her Country book, and it's hard to conclude anything other than that we are in a golden age of excellent female country or country adjacent singer-songwriters. Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Margo Price, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires, Mickey Guyton, Ashley Monroe, supergroups like the Highwomen and Pistol Annies, Brittney Spencer, the new Plains super-duo, Yola, Ashley McBryde, Hailey Whitters, Morgan Wade ...

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 20 October 2022 21:54 (one month ago) link

mentioned this on the Waxahatchee thread but I find the Plains album very lopsided, owing in large part to my love of Waxahatchee and general unfamiliarity with Jess Williamson.

But also, it doesn't feel like a real group - I can't tell in any way that Waxahatchee's presence enhances Williamson's songs, nor vice versa. It's more like a split and the songs are just shuffled rather than a-side/b-side.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Thursday, 20 October 2022 22:47 (one month ago) link

hey Indexed here’s one of those Tyler Childers songs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqrxHOKhOBE

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 27 October 2022 15:52 (one month ago) link

Joy Oladokun ft Chris Stapleton "Sweet Symphony" is a nice vocal showcase but on first listen feels like a Grammys Awards tv show showcase . Maybe it will grow on me.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 27 October 2022 16:43 (one month ago) link

Oh thank you TH! Didn't realize that was out yet. What a tune!

Indexed, Thursday, 27 October 2022 17:44 (one month ago) link

Yeah it’s good! Like a dixieland hillbilly mashup. All that old footage from Appalshop is like catnip to me. There’s even a little clip of John McCutcheon playing hammer dulcimer. He used to come by my parents’ house sometimes in Knoxville.

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 27 October 2022 17:55 (one month ago) link

Agreed that the Plains record feels like a split, but I do think Williamson's songs work just fine next to Crutchfield's. I mean ... they have different writing styles, but to me they blend pretty well.

(That said, Crutchfield is on an incredible hot streak right now. Hope a new Wax record is coming sooner than later.)

alpine static, Thursday, 27 October 2022 18:41 (one month ago) link

New Ashley McBryde out!

― Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, September 30, 2022 7:45 AM (three weeks ago) bookmarkflaglink

Just getting to this, and am surprised there hasn't been more discourse here. I did not foresee her making a Dennis Linde-inspired world-building concept album about fictional town of misfits. Going to let this soak in.

Indexed, Thursday, 27 October 2022 20:09 (one month ago) link

Great closing run with the make-Linda-proud version of "When Will I Be Loved" > "Bonfire at Tina's" (Can anybody write a singalong anthem with more depth than McBryde?) > "Lindeville". Great record. Should be on the radar of those who like the small town stories of Brandy Clark, early Kacey, etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4i1JAjbpZG4

Indexed, Thursday, 27 October 2022 20:53 (one month ago) link

Unfortunately, it doesn't work for me. don't find the dudes compelling as singers. More troubling is how uninhabited this so-called town is: all the details amount to the kind of "color" I expect from a creative writing workshop.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 27 October 2022 21:01 (one month ago) link

I don't mind the separate vocalists -- reminds me of Anais Mitchell's Hadestown -- but know what you mean about the concept. Would have expected you to at least fall for a "When Will I Be Loved" this true to Ronstadt's version.

Indexed, Thursday, 27 October 2022 21:42 (one month ago) link

trying to revive the Keith Whitley thread if anybody's interested. deeply under his spell right now

Heez, Thursday, 27 October 2022 21:55 (one month ago) link

Luke Bryan brought Florida governor Desantis onstage to push hurricane relief, and while the Jacksonville, Florida audience was happy to see the guv there, lots of folks on twitter are not

curmudgeon, Sunday, 30 October 2022 03:14 (four weeks ago) link

that Tyler Childers song is a joy

corrs unplugged, Monday, 31 October 2022 08:01 (three weeks ago) link

two weeks pass...

New Wilder Blue is great

― Mule, Tuesday, March 29, 2022 5:32 AM (seven months ago) bookmarkflaglink

Only 8 months late but to this but it is indeed. A very spirited, musical, and sharp update on the classic country rock sound of The Eagles. Love the playing and harmonies.

Indexed, Monday, 14 November 2022 18:22 (one week ago) link

How does ILM feel about Zach Bryan's American Heartbreak?

Indexed, Monday, 14 November 2022 21:49 (one week ago) link

i just discovered it today (i am a rap dilettante) - seems... too long? but the "vibe" is good. are any of the songs ~actually~ amazing? "orange" almost gets there, but...

sean gramophone, Monday, 14 November 2022 22:03 (one week ago) link

I listened after hearing so much about it and thought the songwriting was just OK ... some sort of amateur-ish lines? and i generally don't care about lyrics very much ... admittedly, I gave it like one listen while raking leaves and texting with my brother, so probably not a full and fair assessment.

alpine static, Monday, 14 November 2022 22:54 (one week ago) link

2 hours is A LOT to wade through, so this is an admittedly rushed take, but I'm completely floored by/enamored with it -- the sheer industry is a marvel. Albums like this -- Sandinista, 69 Love Songs, The White Album, Emancipation?? -- are usually made by established, successful artists and say something about their restless, relentless artistic energy and talents. They communicate an ability to do anything.

While all these tracks slot within established country and heartland rock traditions, this is no less wide-ranging or ambitious. There are arena-ready rockers, acoustic sketches, radio sing-alongs, red dirt Americana numbers, and a cover of "You Are My Sunshine" for good measure. That he appears to have written every note and lyric aside from that one cover is so incredibly at odds with the vast majority of two decades' worth of male-dominated country...it makes me giddy.

I also like most of the production and playing -- the restraint especially. A lot of it just lets Bryan be, with his vocals and guitar front-and-center, instead of stuffing the thing with too-bright drum fills and the like. But there's also a free-spirited, "try everything" approach throughout, with fiddle, horns, electric guitar, backing vocals, and even a song with auto-tune, and hell, most of it works pretty dang well.

The most obvious antecedent to my ears is Turnpike Troubadours. His earnest rasp can sound awfully similar to them at times, especially on those more Americana-tilted tracks. I'm also reminded of Tyler Childers in places. But Bryan isn't nearly as literary or pretentious as those artists can be. His lyrics are more rudimentary, but I guarantee they are far more relatable to the average kid in rural America than a lot of what else they're spoon fed.

Indexed, Tuesday, 15 November 2022 20:07 (one week ago) link

Caitlin Rose finally released her long-time-coming third album. More country-adjacent, but figured some of you would know her and be interested.

https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/caitlin-rose-cazimi/

Indexed, Friday, 18 November 2022 14:16 (one week ago) link

oh man this is so good, thank you

sean gramophone, Friday, 18 November 2022 15:07 (one week ago) link

This song came out in February (album in April) but is new to me, and I don't believe she has been mentioned in this thread -- it is the most stunning country song I have heard this year. The patient way it builds to its ripping climax, her fiery vocals percolating throughout.

Whole album is very very good -- crazy sharp lyrics and stories, super well constructed songs. Dabbles with cosmic country and outlaw country; lots of twang; produced by Oran Thornton who co-produced Angaleena Presley's Wrangled.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSeCpIg6llI

You go too far
And you get too close
And you hide your scars
When you put on your show
There's nowhere to run
You run through my veins
And I hold my tongue
Swallow my pride
And stay

Blood you're the jury and judge
The tie that binds
And pushes and shoves
Forgives and forgets
Bonds and cements
A counterfeit love
Blood, merciless flood
Draggin' my name through the mud
And awful things swept under the rug
For blood

Indexed, Saturday, 19 November 2022 15:22 (one week ago) link

sounds great, thanks for the tip

corrs unplugged, Sunday, 20 November 2022 11:05 (one week ago) link

Been listening to this on repeat, and cannot get enough. Could one word -- "stay" -- do any much work in telling a story? The way they use the double-instrumental solo instead of a bridge stretches time and allows her to start the final chorus from a lower dynamic before building up to the utterly righteous Draggin'.

Indexed, Monday, 21 November 2022 16:06 (six days ago) link

this is nice

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Monday, 21 November 2022 21:43 (six days ago) link

holy shit

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 21 November 2022 22:53 (six days ago) link

that's a good song but it didn't really hit me until i clicked through to this live version. man.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWmkCdCXLOM

Tracer Hand, Monday, 21 November 2022 23:44 (six days ago) link

Ah that's great and didn't know Angaleena cowrote it!

Indexed, Tuesday, 22 November 2022 16:01 (five days ago) link

Think the verse melody is more or less a lift from "Happy Xmas (War is Over)"

Indexed, Tuesday, 22 November 2022 16:04 (five days ago) link

We don't usually talk about reissues here, but this is worth a mention (Steve Young could sometimes *over*-over-sing-mebbe incl. title track of this 'unbut I still 'ppreciate that he pushed past the boundaries of taste, unlike what the tag of "singer-songwriter" was so often soft-selling in late 60s & 70s especially). From Real Gone Music:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0810/5567/products/fe3df88f429a2ffe5f2bdc188b0e86c5_1024x1024.jpg?v=1663960284

Folks can argue if Steve Young’s debut Rock, Salt and Nails is the first “outlaw country” album, but there is no argument that it’s one of the best. Featuring a star-studded line-up of like-minded players like Gram Parsons, Gene Clark, James Burton, Chris Ethridge, and Bernie Leadon, this 1969 record starts out with Young’s impassioned interpretation of the O.V. Wright/Otis Redding classic “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” which offers an emphatic bookend to Parsons’ own country-soul masterpiece “Dark End of the Street,” recorded the same year with the Flying Burrito Brothers. The rest of the record (produced by Tommy LiPuma) is a beautifully-paced blend of covers and originals, highlighted by Young’s immortal “Seven Bridges Road,” memorably covered by The Eagles among many others. Rock, Salt and Nails has somehow never been reissued on vinyl in the U.S.; our pressing comes in natural, “rock salt” vinyl.

https://realgonemusic.com/products/steve-young-rock-salt-and-nails-lp?rs_oid_rd=198337294826197

dow, Tuesday, 22 November 2022 19:41 (five days ago) link


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