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 (five 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:

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

My 2021 favs:

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"

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

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"*

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 (five 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 (five 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...

Edd Hurt (whatstalker), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 23:00 (five 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.

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

No Depression – Roots Music Journalism
In the wake of Morgan Wallen's
appearance, we asked
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.

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

Pre-ordered the new Sarah Shook & The Disarmers record

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

Lots of ree-markable stuff on and linked from this page---Keep Idaho IDAHO, and so much will follow:

dow, Thursday, 10 February 2022 02:12 (four 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 (four 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 (four 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:
Release date April 29, his 89th bday.

dow, Sunday, 13 February 2022 03:05 (four 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 (four 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 (four 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:

10 songs, 33 minutes, and that's all he needs:

dow, Saturday, 19 February 2022 20:18 (four 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, 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 (four 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

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

that face tat threw ya

alpine static, Tuesday, 22 February 2022 04:47 (four 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 (four 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 (four 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)

full album playlist:

dow, Friday, 25 February 2022 18:33 (four 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:

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

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

dow, Friday, 25 February 2022 19:43 (four 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:

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

Also To'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 (three months ago) link

dammit--that should be The *Contact* Group, Edd's very fun songdog troupe, which you can hear here:

dow, Thursday, 3 March 2022 19:48 (three 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

dow, Thursday, 10 March 2022 19:20 (three 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:

dow, Friday, 11 March 2022 19:46 (three 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:

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

is there a catchall country thread? this is such a jam but from Cauthen's 2019 album

corrs unplugged, Tuesday, 22 March 2022 08:19 (three months ago) link like this tune from the new Hailey Whitters album, Raised

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

make one. i will stan

Indexed, Friday, 25 March 2022 16:53 (three 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 (three 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.
doesn't look write in paste, see Would most like to see one of those Midwestern shows w Hemby.

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

Chr*s Richards in Washington Post re new Jason Aldean: he kinda likes the album, while disliking Aldean.

Some excerpts--

This has to be the most handsome music of Aldean’s career. Hunched over some neon-drenched bar, the singer narrates a variety of pressing-the-bruise ballads with a lucidity that makes his previous signatures — the rock-tinted bluster of “Hicktown,” the halfhearted quasi-rapping on “Dirt Road Anthem” — feel teeny-tiny in the rearview. As a pair, “Macon” and “Georgia” don’t feel leaden and ponderous like a “mature” album might. They’re focused. So much so, that a rare glimpse of the outside world comes halfway through “Macon” during “Story for Another Glass,” when Aldean says he’s willing to make chitchat about “politics, religion — man, anything, I don’t care,” so long as he doesn’t have to talk about “why I’m here and why she ain’t.”
....There’s a tail-chasing poetry to someone who speaks out against mask mandates donating millions to a hospital — and that dissonance feels even sharper in the cool shadow of Aldean’s anodyne new music, let alone the slick pleasantries of country music writ large. Why does modern country music, a musical community that purportedly celebrates everyday American lives, not do more to protect those lives?....

He’s shrewd to let his wife, a tenacious Instagram influencer, do the heaviest lifting. Among the various T-shirts Brittany has peddled on Instagram, one reads, “THIS IS OUR F-ING COUNTRY.” Are we supposed to believe that these “Let’s go Brandon”-types mean what they’re saying when they’re too afraid to use the actual words? And who’s the “our” in that sentence? Even if the shirt weren’t a racist dog whistle, it still caters to the ugly idea that America belongs to some, not all.

And it clashes with Aldean’s tidy musical self-image, too. In a news release hyping the arrival of “Macon,” Aldean gave thanks for the musical influence of his multicultural hometown: “Growing up in an environment that was a crossroads between country music, Southern rock, blues and R&B, it was just natural to blend different sounds in my own way.” So inclusion is good for the Aldean family when they’re turning it into royalty money, but not so good when they’re trying to make merch money....

This music doesn’t necessarily sound hypocritical, though. It appears to have no ideology, no agenda, ...In his heartsick confusion, the song’s narrator is deflecting responsibility for what might happen next. I can’t decide whether it’s funny or sad how credible Aldean sounds singing these words.

curmudgeon, Friday, 22 April 2022 13:25 (two months ago) link

Enjoying the new Charley Crockett covers album

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 22 April 2022 18:59 (two months ago) link

saw Charley recently and could not believe how many people were there, how far in advance it sold out, and how many people were online desperately seeking tickets.

my takeaway was that he is somehow a couple years away from playing theaters/amphitheaters?!

dude's traveling on a couple of sweet tour buses, too.

alpine static, Friday, 22 April 2022 19:42 (two months ago) link

He is apparently going to be featured on CBS Saturday morning show tomorrow - pretty prominent national coverage! Funny that it's on the occasion of a covers album though.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 22 April 2022 20:16 (two months ago) link

Here’s that Charley Crockett profile - lots of details about his life I didn’t know.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Sunday, 24 April 2022 21:41 (two months ago) link

Crockett's kind of the Roots/Americana guy _we need_ right now.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 24 April 2022 22:41 (two months ago) link

Seeing that footage of him in his early days busking on the subway, and also hearing his earliest albums which are much bluesier... man I am really glad he found his voice/persona.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Monday, 25 April 2022 17:42 (two months ago) link

yeah it was really interesting / weird seeing him out of the persona that we know ... a testament to how well he plays it, i think.

alpine static, Monday, 25 April 2022 20:20 (two months ago) link

That was an interesting feature on Crockett. Nice

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 26 April 2022 11:39 (two months ago) link

(PGM Recordings/Thirty Tigers)
Release Dates:
Friday, June 10 (CD, Digital Download, Streaming)
Friday, June 17 (Cassette)

“At some point in the pandemic, I was digging through my own music streaming to relearn some of my own oldies and found something that had been compiled (perhaps by a computer algorithm) that was titled as a ‘rarities’ or ‘deep cuts’ collection,” Griffin says. “I looked of course, and it was a pretty boring list for the most part. I later dug through some recordings I had done on cheap home recording apps, including my favorite one called TapeDeck which I’m not sure exists anymore. I really liked some of the songs. They were better than I had remembered. I dug around some more and found things from some GarageBand recordings, and then also a couple of things from an in-studio demo session in Nashville that were pretty interesting, including a duet I did with Robert Plant when we first met. It all seemed worth listening to. Back then I didn’t think so, but I do now.

“The sound quality on the majority of things on TAPE is pretty low, but the performances are what really matter to me. My home recordings are almost always my favorite recordings, as far as capturing a fresh, direct feeling. The shy introvert’s dilemma…I’ve always had a hard time creating that same feeling in a studio full of people whose talent is in sound quality. These songs have a feel you can only get when you’re by yourself at three o’clock in the morning. To listen to the bulk of these recordings, you do have to let go of the idea of good sound quality and just listen to the performance. I feel better getting some true rarities out there for people to listen to…not compiled by a computer algorithm.”

dow, Wednesday, 27 April 2022 14:28 (two months ago) link

“Don’t Think Jesus” is one of five Hot 100 entries this week bearing Wallen’s name, tied with Doja Cat for the most of any artist. Oh, and lest we forget, well over a year past its initial release, Dangerous is still No. 2 on the Billboard 200 — perhaps just a Tyler, the Creator vinyl shipment delay from returning to No. 1 this week for the first time since March 2021, for the 11th total frame.

curmudgeon, Saturday, 30 April 2022 03:28 (two months ago) link

So, via WaPo syndication in Birmingham News, I came across the whole long xpost Chris Richards review of Aldean's latest, and maybe I'll give it a listen, maybe---hesitation is not about his current out-of-studio political stance, but prevalence of thinkin' and drinkin' songs---Wallen does find something unexpectedly ear-grabbing in some (some) tracks of the longass Dangerous, but Aldean isn't that crazy, at least publicly. I knew I was tiredass of this classick approach when I couldn't even make it all the way through my first listen to the long-awaited-by-me 2021 Gary Allan album. Should try again, but mainly I guess I was spoiled by Gary Stewart in the 70s, and stayed that way, as described in my ancient Voice piece, when he'd just killed himself, right after the release of Live At Billy Bob's (overall effective, in a way that was spooky even before his death was announced):

Once upon a time, he was Dr. Fun and Mr.
Doom (and self-awareness, and headlonging), simultaneously. Stewart still sounds impossibly corny, truly inspired, while flourishing and flinging single notes and phrases all the way through Out of Hand/Your Place or
Mine, his two best LPs on one CD. Songs flash by like whole lives, but really
they're just his moments, ticking away.
Billy Bob's cuts like "An Empty Glass (That's the Way the Day Ends)" turn the tides
down like blankets, till I'm bathed in (pace tua, St. Sade) the *truly* sweetest taboo (of self-pity).
Tiring, soothing. I just stare through his stare, on the rocks, as he
imagines/avoids/follows her stare. "Maybe you feel cheated, for having married so young,"
he mutters to self and/or significant other (wed in their mid-teens, forty-odd years ago now), while shifting on his bar
stool, in the still-rousing "Ten Years of This." ("A million nights alone!") So:
Mebbe getting married is cheating? No! Not always!

Yeah, flashbacks getting intense---the drinkin'-thinkin' songs on Alan Jackson's 2021 return album, Where Have You Gone mostly work, helped by title track opening with theme that is up front meta-country: He's calling out to his kind of hat trad country, him and the steel guitar, so it's also an effective demonstration of what he's missing in today's country---which of course is also a familiar meta-theme, and his thinkin' drinkin' songs play the angles effectively, like good trad product should, while his vocals and the Nashville Cats apply seductive salesmanship---even though his neat, discreet delivery has me skeptical about how much drinking he's ever done, in a risky way---he still sounds so clean-cut---but if it's more thinkin' about drinkin' while measuring, that's okay too, for this sly one: "I Can Be That Something" soon slips in, among the suggested options, "I can be your whiskey," like he's the one staying sober enough to time this right: he can be your blond-mustached rehab or at least maintenance love guru: transfer to him, darlin', not that ol' cocaine or mary jane.
I did like "Hicksville,"but somehow I don't think the somewhut grunty Aldean is up to something comparable in sheer ear appeal or conceptual interest to any of this, though maybe I'll give his latest a try.

dow, Saturday, 30 April 2022 18:52 (two months ago) link

One of my nieces is at Stagecoach fest. Her IG story said she enjoyed Maren Morris

curmudgeon, Sunday, 1 May 2022 03:18 (two months ago) link

Chxckx Eddyx says YEA: Miranda Lambert: Palomino (Vanner/RCA) 8; Priscilla Block: Welcome to the Block Party Mercury Nashville/InDent) 7;

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 3 May 2022 12:42 (one month ago) link

riyl Jason Molina / Songs:Ohia / MEC

Indexed, Monday, 9 May 2022 17:54 (one month ago) link

one of my favorite albums of the year so far ^^

alpine static, Monday, 9 May 2022 18:19 (one month ago) link

stunned/happy to see it get BNM

alpine static, Monday, 9 May 2022 18:19 (one month ago) link

On Billboard Music Awards tonight a Miranda Lambert & Elle King raw ( or sloppy depending on pov) duet; Dan & Shay; and Morgan Wallen first appearance on an award show since before his n word incident. He did a 2 song medley

curmudgeon, Monday, 16 May 2022 02:03 (one month ago) link

Wallen also won an award for best male country singer

curmudgeon, Monday, 16 May 2022 02:43 (one month ago) link


terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 16 May 2022 02:44 (one month ago) link

Wallen's thank you speech was bland and made no mention of remorse or learning anything from his recent past.

curmudgeon, Monday, 16 May 2022 12:11 (one month ago) link

Sean P-Diddy was the host and he insisted that Wallen and Travis Scott both get to appear and perform

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 17 May 2022 13:02 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

Discovered via Spotify algorithm, so I feel a little dirty, but I’m enjoying this new album by S.G. Goodman.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 8 June 2022 01:14 (three weeks ago) link

can relate to that feeling

sounds good

corrs unplugged, Wednesday, 8 June 2022 08:13 (three weeks ago) link

Thanks - didn't know there was a new one. "Space and Time" from the last album floored me on first listen.

Indexed, Wednesday, 8 June 2022 15:55 (three weeks ago) link

I'll search that out, thanks Indexed

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 8 June 2022 16:27 (three weeks ago) link

"When You Say It" is the one that's really getting me on the new one.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 8 June 2022 16:28 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah, looking fwd to new alb---here's my RC comments added to blogged version of Scene ballot re 2020:

Good'uns Added After Ballot Deadline/Subjects For Further Study:

S. G. Goodman: Old Time Feeling---Appalachoid high lonesome--associated pitch and power rising bullseye from the persistent and fully occupied folds of fog-smog topography: like The Croz before him, on Joni Mitcherll's debut, Goodman's co-producer Jim James refrains from loading this launch with heavy big-name guests---just close mics That Voice and jumps back. Oh, it gets a bit of echo sometimes, and the swirl of low-reflective resonance also brushes by reverb-y guitar (which can come apart sideways when appropriate), pedal steel, bass, drums (she told Rolling Stone she was inspired by Link Wray's '71 s/t, one of his chicken coop sets)---but mainly That Voice, which is youthful but also one of experience, like debut Joni, with plenty to remember and offload, seeking some relief, but not miserabilist nor wrecking ball, just personalised fragments, scenes, phrases coming toward the brink of clarity---somewhat like early Neko on Bloodshot, when she was covering and writing between Loretta Lynn and Scott Walker. Could imagine Goodman working with Brandi Carlile, the Highwomen, whomever, though for now is still Murray KY collegetown-based apparently. (Before this solo, worked as The Savage Radley with a collaborator who was also a drummer; she's gotta have a drummer, as do my ears)

dow, Wednesday, 8 June 2022 16:49 (three weeks ago) link

Also, she sent this out in 2021; hope it'll be on the album:

My Townes Van Zandt cover of "Lungs" is now available to stream everywhere!

I'm not normally one to do covers, they often scare me. I feel it's easier to do a cover poorly than to add to something that was already probably perfect. So when the good folks at Amazon Music offered for me to take part in their Amazon Music Origial series, I was honored, but at a loss for what to do, I chose Townes Van Zandt's "Lungs" because of the odd connection he has to where I live.

Like all small towns, we have our legendary stories, and one story from Murray, KY could be found in a little lemonade stand in the middle of town. You'd drive up to Mr. Jimmy Gingles, ask for a Ginger (Fresh squeezed Lemonade, Orange Juice, and Lime) and you would see a picture of Townes hanging over Jimmy's head while he made your drink. Mr. Jimmy and Townes were friends and running buddies. He's often tell you about all the times Townes vistied him in Murray and how he'd passed out on that very floor in the lemonade stand. Townes also play a few times in a bar where I cut my teeth as performer. It was a thrill to record this with my band and Matt Ross-Spang at the legendary Fame Studios. Hopefully I added to the story of Townes and my home with this cover, but like I said, it's hard to put your spin on something you've always felt was perfect.,2LH3,1J59RR,C46R,1

dow, Wednesday, 8 June 2022 17:01 (three weeks ago) link

Thanks, really liking this. All My Love Coming Back to Me puts me in mind of the Gun Club.

bulb after bulb, Wednesday, 8 June 2022 17:52 (three weeks ago) link

Pitchfork review by GHC:

Indexed, Friday, 10 June 2022 13:58 (three weeks ago) link

Thanks all for the rec. I'm playing the shit out of it this morning.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 11 June 2022 15:06 (two weeks ago) link

The Brennen Leigh (songwriter for LAW, Rodney Crowell, Sunny Sweeny) album with Asleep at the Wheel is as good a traditional 40s/50s western swing revival as you're going to find.

“I’ve been obsessed with western swing music since I was a kid and it’s always been an influence. My records in the past have ranged from bluegrass to country music to folk, but I’d never fully explored swing until now.” So says genre-busting Fargo-born, Austin incubated, Nashville resident Brennen Leigh, whose new collaboration with the kings of modern-day western swing, Asleep at the Wheel, Obsessed with the West (Signature Sounds, out May 6th, 2022) is a showcase not just for The Wheel or Bob Wills fans, but for anyone who’s ever curled up with Lefty Frizzell, Billie Holiday, Willie Nelson or even Louis Armstrong.

Indexed, Monday, 13 June 2022 15:34 (two weeks ago) link

Always feel like I have to caveat before posting...not a fan of the guy and his writing, but his nose is undeniable.

Haven't heard most of these:

Indexed, Friday, 17 June 2022 16:39 (two weeks ago) link

Thanks, will read. I like her. Punchy, well-written heartland country with real sticky melodies. Her vocals are pretty thin though and can grate after a dozen tracks.

Indexed, Friday, 17 June 2022 17:04 (two weeks ago) link

I guess I'll listen to it at some point, but prev Whitters I rated Less Than Half Good and said why in Scene ballot comments:

Hailey Whitters, The Dream: Unless Musgraves is increasingly your go-to guru, and/or The Golden Hour is your touchstone or wellspring or Sgt. Pepper's, I'd say not to waste time with most of this---although "Red White & Blue" is a keeper: here she actually seems to push back against her chronic sluggishness, in a way I don't think I've ever heard (that wordless, rec cry is not a hook in the usual sense, but keeps me waiting for its return), and "Dream, Girl" is a little sneaky, and "The Devil Always Made Me Think Twice" has that stalkin', smokin' beat and riff, the kind of thing she needs way more of---or a sax solo, steel guitar, hick-hop beats--anything to distract from the drab vocals, trite tunes, triter advice, that the people who might possibly benefit from are not likely to hear, because not enough sweetening for the pill to go viral---also, does she really listen to herself? "Happy people don't cheat"? Well, maybe if the cheatee has already made them happy and ready to take things further---but then, also, just to touch all the bases, "do whatever makes you happy"---so that includes, I dunno, cheating, mass murder, shoplifting, gtfo Some say RIYL: Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, Lori McKenna, Brandy Clark, etc I do, but this don't...But if'n you really like recent Musgraves and that side of McKenna's writing, Whitters is okay, although we agree on the thinness of her voice, the need for more production solutions.

dow, Friday, 17 June 2022 22:36 (two weeks ago) link

"we agree" re that year's RC and some email conversations.

dow, Friday, 17 June 2022 22:37 (two weeks ago) link

This song got my attention

Indexed, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 21:31 (one week ago) link

that’s a good tune there

blame it on the modelo (slothroprhymes), Thursday, 23 June 2022 01:49 (one week ago) link

lately i’ve been doing some country writing on the site i moonlight for and bc the audience is predominantly not country fans sometimes i gotta get a little elementary but people seem to kinda like this dolly parton primer i put together, check it out if you’re so inclined

blame it on the modelo (slothroprhymes), Thursday, 23 June 2022 01:54 (one week ago) link

Has anyone heard the Randall King?

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 23 June 2022 14:15 (one week ago) link

xp thanks for sharing -- have never listened to Hungry Again and will give it a spin

Indexed, Thursday, 23 June 2022 14:25 (one week ago) link

Awrightawrightawright yall

Caught up with @nodepression and talked about reissuing and remastering my album ‘Balls’ 15 years after its release! Check it out! ✨

— Elizabeth Cook (@Elizabeth_Cook) June 27, 2022

dow, Monday, 27 June 2022 19:22 (four days ago) link

Oho----Stoney Edwards finally added to a bunch of streaming services:,4NS4,9J3W9,MLOJ,1

Edd Hurt turnt me on to his LPs----here's xgau, with too low a grade for the second album, but fair-enough takes on both:

Mississippi, You're on My Mind [Capitol, 1975]
Scandalously underrecorded, which I'm sure has nothing to do with the fact that he's black, Edwards remains firm in his allegiances. "Hank and Lefty Raised My Country Soul," he announces, and though he sounds more like Lefty than Hank and more like Merle than either, he's got a right. The voice has Haggard's swing and melismatic burr, but it's more powerful, an advantage except when it gets too thick. And though Edwards literally can't read or write, he makes up good songs and picks better ones. Between "We Sure Danced Us Some Good Ones," a believable account of a good marriage in a music that reserves its honesty for the bad ones, to "Summer Melodies," about innocent fun, he touches all the bases without sententiousness or whoop-de-doo. Country soul indeed. A-

Blackbird [Capitol, 1976]
In which well-meaning producer Chip Taylor provides Edwards with a wonderful title tune about "a couple of country niggers/Stealin' the rodeo" while nudging him in a rockish, folkish direction, probably in the belief that he has a better shot at an audience over there. The results are hardly disgraceful, though Joe Cocker didn't get away with six minutes worth of "Bird on a Wire" either. But the straight country album Edwards did last year was a lot tougher. When people in Nashville get serious, they have a tendency to fall for pretentious schmaltz--that's the story of Mickey Newbury's life. A lot of this, straight country and folkish-rockish both, is too damn close to the edge. B+

dow, Monday, 27 June 2022 19:46 (four days ago) link

Jake Blount's Spider Tales got a good RC reception---The New Faith(9/23) takes his kind of tales further:

This record features ten reimagined and reinterpreted traditional Black spirituals across twelve tracks in addition to two original spoken word pieces...The album manifests our worst fears on the shores of an island in Maine, where Blount enacts an imagined religious ceremony performed by Black refugees after the collapse of global civilization due to catastrophic climate change. Most importantly, it snaps us out of our tragically limited historical vantage point to better understand our actions and culture as they exist in deep time...
"I have long felt a powerful draw to the old spirituals passed down in my community," writes Blount. "I am an unlikely devotee; I only rarely attended church as a child, declared myself an atheist at the tender age of eight and developed a strong antipathy toward Christianity when I began to understand my queerness. Nonetheless, spirituals are the songs I bring to communal singing events. They are the songs I teach. In moments of homesickness, sorrow and fear, they are the songs I turn to for solace."

"The destruction of a way of life entails both loss and growth. The traditional songs I adapted for The New Faith originally developed among a people who had but recently been robbed of home, history, family, culture, and society. The unique history of African American people made our musical tradition an ideal candidate for my ambitious task. The New Faith is a statement of reverence for our devastating, yet empowering past; of anticipation and anxiety toward our uncertain future; and of hope that, come what may, something of us will yet survive.”

His and other tour dates:

dow, Monday, 27 June 2022 21:01 (four days ago) link

From New West, Sept. 2:

Recorded live on September 15, 1981, Live At Gilley’s captures Kris Kristofferson at a time in his career where he and his band were firing on all cylinders. Kristofferson was with a full band out on the road that featured Stephen Bruton, Donnie Fritts and Billy Swan. On this night, the band stopped by Gilley’s Honkytonk in Pasadena, Texas to deliver a once in a lifetime performance featuring the hits, “Me And Bobby McGee”, “The Pilgrim” and “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down.”

“What a great album this is! Classic Kristofferson songs throughout, and live!! Kris was in his prime and his vocals were outstanding and very soulful as always.” - George Strait


dow, Tuesday, 28 June 2022 20:24 (three days ago) link

His vocals, hmmm.

dow, Tuesday, 28 June 2022 20:25 (three days ago) link

More about that album, from No Dep---don't think I've ever heard a live album from Gilley's, although

“Gilley’s could hold several thousand people, but the club was very intimate. You were right there on the stage with people all around you. You could bend down and shake hands with people,” recalls Mickey Gilley in liner notes written a few months before he died last May. “Right next to the club was the recording studio, and we recorded everything that was done onstage. We could record onto the 24-track machine that we had in the studio, then we would do the mixing … We booked a lot of shows around that time, including some people I didn’t think would want to play the club. We got some acts that made me think, ‘Are you kidding me?’ … Kris Kristofferson was one of those artists that I didn’t think would want to play Gilley’s, because he was such a big name and a tremendous talent.”

Track list:
Me and Bobby McGee
Here Comes That Rainbow Again
Casey’s Last Ride
You Show Me Yours (And I’ll Show You Mine) / Stranger
Nobody Loves Anybody Anymore
Darby’s Castle
If It’s All the Same to You
The Pilgrim
For the Good Times
Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down
The Silver Tongued Devil and I
Smile at Me Again
Same Old Song
Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)
Why Me


dow, Tuesday, 28 June 2022 23:59 (three days ago) link

Of all the dumb things I’ve seen on the internet today, and it’s a very competitive group, this is by far the dumbest.

— Trey Wilson (@treywilson757) June 29, 2022

Indexed, Wednesday, 29 June 2022 17:36 (two days ago) link

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