Jordan Tice gets Grammy Nomination for his work with The John Hartford Fiddle Tune Project

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Dec 312020
 

Jordan Tice gets Grammy Nomination for his work with The John Hartford Fiddle Tune Project

Nashville Guitarist Jordan Tice just got a Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album this week for his work on The John Hartford Fiddle Tune Project, Volume 1. Pulling together unheard compositions from Hartford’s pen intended as fiddle tunes, Jordan joined Hawktail band members Brittany Haas and Paul Kowert (of the Punch Bros) plus banjo master Alison Brown and mandolinist Dominic Leslie to play guitar on two fiddle tunes:

“Long White Road”
“Little Country Town”
This comes on the heels of Jordan Tice’s new solo album, Motivational Speakeasy, which came out September 25, 2020. Here’s more info on that:
Jordan Tice – Motivational Speakeasy – September 25, 2020

It’s not that Jordan Tice is living on the fringes of Nashville, holed up during quarantine in a little house in Madison, Tennessee. It’s that he’s living in a Nashville that’s based more on the community roots of the music than on the glitz of country stars in secluded recording studios. He’s living in a Nashville that’s moved even beyond East Nashville’s underground Americana scene to a more free-wheeling house session community based in Madison. Late night cosmic Americana picking parties at Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge, or back porch sessions within spitting distance of John Hartford’s cottage next to the lazy Cumberland River, it all lends a spontaneity to the music that’s based on the joy of invention and creativity and less on finger-busting virtuosity. Tice is a collaborator by nature, known for his work with groundbreaking progressive stringband Hawktail (featuring Brittany Haas and Paul Kowert of the Punch Brothers), but his new album, Motivational Speakeasy (coming September 25, 2020), is a solo affair, just Tice and his beloved and well-worn Collings guitar. Hawktail’s music showcases Tice’s remarkable instrumental skill, and here his guitar work is as crisp and intricate as ever, informed by everything from classical ragtime to psychedelic newgrass. Produced by close friend Kenneth Pattengale of The Milk Carton Kids, the focus of the recording was on finding the heart of Tice’s original songs and instrumentals, and showcasing his deep explorations into American fingerstyle guitar, nodding to purveyors such as Leo Kottke, John Fahey, Mississippi John Hurt, Norman Blake, and David Bromberg.

Mr. T.G. Sheppard Signs With Time Life To Release Entire Catalog Of Albums.

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Dec 302020
 

 

 Sheppard’s New Nine-Album Licensing Deal With Time Life Spans 25 Years Of Hit Songs By The Country Music Superstar

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – To the delight of country music fans around the world, T.G. Sheppard will reissue nine of his legendary albums next year through his newly signed deal with Time Life. For the first time ever, these classic albums will be available on all digital platforms and include several of his #1 hits and many all-time fan favorites. With a career spanning nearly five decades and a total of 21 #1 hits, T.G. Sheppard shows no signs of slowing down. In addition to his new partnership with Time Life, Sheppard recently released the popular new Christmas single, “Christmas In Mexico,” with Kelly Lang.

“I am so happy to be working with the folks at Time Life. I have performed on their cruises, I have had songs on many of their previous country music collections, and now I get to work with them to put out several albums that originally came out on Warner Brothers Records,” says T.G. Sheppard. “I can’t wait for 2020 to be over so we can start enjoying the greatness of what we hope 2021 will become!”

“T.G. has built such a remarkable career in country music,” said Mike Jason, Time Life Senior Vice President, Live Entertainment, “We’re honored that he’s joining the Time Life family and has entrusted us with so much of his treasured music.”

T.G. Sheppard continues to experience a huge surge in his career with “The T.G. Sheppard Show” on SiriusXM Radio’s Elvis Channel. His latest album release, Midnight In Memphis (produced by T.G. Sheppard and Buddy Hyatt), featured the single “I Wanna Live Like Elvis” which embraced not only Sheppard’s close friendship with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but the world’s infatuation and love for the iconic figure. Watch Sheppard perform the single HEREMidnight In Memphis is Sheppard’s first country solo project in over two decades that offers a wide array of songs about love and heartbreak.

His 2015 album, Legendary Friends & Country Duets, was a star-studded project featuring collaborations with some of the genre’s biggest stars including George Jones, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Oak Ridge Boys, Crystal Gayle, Lorrie Morgan and many more.

For more information on T.G. Sheppard, visit his website or follow him on social media:

Fellow Performers & Friends Remember Country Music Pioneer Charley Pride

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Dec 292020
 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Country Music Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry member, and country music pioneer, Charley Pride passed away Saturday, December 12, 2020, at the age of 86. His final performance came on November 11, 2020, when he sang “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’” during the CMA Awards show at Nashville’s Music City Center with Jimmie Allen, a modern-day hitmaker who counts Pride among his heroes.

Through a mix of courage, determination, and extraordinary talent, Pride made country music history by becoming the genre’s first black superstar. The country legend had remarkable longevity in his career, which spanned more than five decades. His distinctive baritone voice allowed him to take almost every song he touched into the Top 10, if not the No. 1 position, typically spending multiple weeks there. Between his chart debut in 1966, and 1989, Pride had 29 No. 1 country hits and over 50 Top 10 tracks, including enduring classics like “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” (1970), “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’” (1971), and “All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)” (1969).

In 1971, he was named CMA Entertainer of the Year as well as Male Vocalist of the Year in both 1971 and 1972. Pride was also the first black man to co-host the CMA Awards, taking the reins in 1975 alongside Glen Campbell. He became a Grand Ole Opry member in 1993 and in 2000, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He holds three Grammy Awards and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Recording Academy in 2017. Pride was honored most recently at the CMA Awards with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Fellow artists & friends mourn the loss and share fond memories that have left them forever inspired by Charley Pride:

“My friend Charley Pride passed away today. He was a man I very much admired because he took the road less traveled by becoming not just a country singer but a driving force in county music. More than 50 of his songs have been in the top 10 AND his music has hit #1 30 times. I wanted Charley to be recognized by the Kennedy Center because as a black man his life was large and I thought after being a baseball player, a business owner, and the only black man most of us knew who sang country music, he should have gotten The Kennedy Center Honors. I will simply say he was a wonderful man & a great artist. My condolences to his family and the fact this is also another COVID-related death breaks my heart because it didn’t have to be this way. Rest In Peace Charley Pride, RIP. Many thanks to the CMAs for recognizing Charley Pride’s achievements this year.” – Whoopi Goldberg

‘When I heard that Charley Pride had passed I just went numb. It hurts beyond words when someone you love passes. When Charley opened his theatre, he asked the Oak Ridge Boys to help him. I got to know Charley as a friend. We recorded with him on one of his last recordings. On the Country Music Cruise, I sat with Rozene and sang along with every big hit as Charley sang. I ask for prayers for Rozene and the family. We have lost another legend, folks. There is a big hole left in our industry. I have been singing “Kiss An Angel Good Morning” all day.” – Duane Allen, The Oak Ridge Boys

“There is a Neal McCoy because there was a Charley Pride. No other way to put it. Charley and Rozene have meant the world to Melinda and me and our kids. We are forever indebted to them for their hospitality, their generosity, and their caring and loving ways. Charley is gone now but never forgotten by our family and many other families around this world for the love he has extended through his music and the overall kindness he showed while on this earth. We will see him again, and we will continue to love Rozene and their entire family for years to come.” – Neal McCoy

“We have lost a dear long-time friend, hero, PIONEER, and LEGEND. This year keeps getting worse and worse. This will be another loss that will take a long time to process. Rest Easy Charley Pride…we all love you and will miss you terribly.” – Joe Bonsall, The Oak Ridge Boys

“Charley has made it possible for artists like me, Mickey, Darius, Jimmie, Kane… to be in country music. He showed us that a career in country music is possible, that we can be true to ourselves and create the music we love. He has paved a path that we’re able to walk down. He is a true legend and will never be forgotten.” – Reyna Roberts

“Damn Covid. How dare it take Charley Pride away from us. If there was ever any justice in the world, it will come when everyone cares to wear a mask and get the vaccine, so we don’t lose anyone else to Covid. Charley Pride was always such a nice man. What a loss for all of the music industry and the world. Never in my lifetime have I met anyone more wonderful. My heartfelt prayers for his family.” – Sam Moore

“Charley Pride was the Jackie Robinson of country music and his name was perfect. He was proud, brave and a hell of a singer. I worked with him once and he sang the heck out of the old Hank Williams song Kaw-liga. His voice was large and pure. He belongs in centerfield where the monuments are. He was a great one.” – Don McLean

“What an incredible talent Mr. Charley Pride was. Very sad to hear of his passing, God bless, Mr. Pride.” – Andrew Farriss

“We have been friends for a long time. Charley and Rozene would come to our home for parties and get-togethers over the years. He was so down to earth and just a normal guy. He will be so missed.” – B.J. Thomas

“Charley Pride has been a cornerstone of country music and a wonderful part of my life for so long. I loved his music before I came to Nashville and I loved Charley as soon as I met him. I always looked forward to working with Charley and I will always miss his warm smile, kind words, and beautiful heart.” – Crystal Gayle

“Charley Pride was a dear friend and truly one of the sweetest men in the music business. I was privileged to be his opening act when I first came to town. He treated everyone with respect and kindness. I’m in shock and so sad because I lost a good friend, the music business lost an incredible artist and the world lost an amazing citizen.” – Lee Greenwood

“Just when I think 2020 couldn’t get any worse, it does. One of my dearest friends and one of country music’s biggest stars Charley Pride may have left for home today, but my 50 years of wonderful memories with him will never be gone. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Rozene, and their family at this very sad time. R.I.P. my friend.” – T.G. Sheppard

“First time I met Charley Pride was in 1983 at the old RCA Records “Studio A”. He walked up to me and told me I was a Scorpio. He could do things like that. We became and remained friends since that day. He and Rozene were dear friends of ours. The music business has lost one of the all-time greats! Prayers and condolences to his family and everyone that loved him. RIP, my brother.” – T. Graham Brown

“I am speechless and broken-hearted and don’t really know what to say. Country music has lost an icon, but I have lost a dear friend. Heaven must be putting together a band. My heart is with the family.” – Johnny Lee

“I’m so saddened to hear about Charley Pride. He gave me my start in country music concerts as I opened shows for him in Washington state, Canada, and many cities. His band backed me up, we flew on his private plane and it was a thrill of a lifetime, a dream come true. May peace and strength be with his family.” – Janie Fricke

“I was ten years old in 1972 standing on stage in Marceline, Missouri at the Frontier Jamboree when Charley Pride came on stage to sing his new number one song, “Kiss An Angel Good Morning”. I got my photo with Charley. I was awestruck watching a Grand Ole Opry star in person. The last time I saw Charley was when we filmed “Country’s Family Reunion”. He was always so friendly. We will miss his amazing voice and the trailblazer he was. Sending my thoughts and prayers to the family of Charley Pride.” – Rhonda Vincent

“I’m heartbroken to hear about Charley’s passing. I’m so grateful to have had such a precious conversation with him recently. I loved how he always knew what zodiac sign everyone was the second he met them. What a terrible void he has left in not only our hearts but in the music world. What a courageous trailblazer he was. My prayers go out to his family. Rest In Peace.” Kelly Lang

“He was named Pride for a reason. Charley brought honor to country music–breaking through barriers that I can only imagine. His rise to fame is historic. I was honored to play for Charley on the Grand Ole Opry, and I even recorded with him once. It was a thrill for me every time. He was a Christian man who was also fascinated by astrology. After talking with you for a few minutes, he would announce that he could tell what sign you were born under. He pegged me for a Taurus after two minutes of conversation, and darn if he wasn’t right. I am lifting Rozene and the entire Pride family up in prayer today. Charley Pride made us all proud, and he will be greatly missed.” – Tim Atwood

“Charley was just a real, solid, kind human being. He’ll be a great voice in that heavenly choir.” – Lacy J. Dalton

“I am so saddened to hear of the passing of my friend, Charley Pride. Charley please “Say Hello To Heaven” for me.” – David Frizzell

“On behalf of my husband, Dave Rowland of award-winning group Dave & Sugar our heartfelt condolences go out to the Pride family. If not for Charley we would not have gotten a deal at RCA or even been discovered. Charley had a knack for discovering amazing talent and always gave his all to help bring those talents to not just the industry but also the fans.” – Terri Rowland

“My heart is so heavy to know that our Dear Charley Pride has left us, even though we know it’s for a better place. Charley was the ultimate gentleman and legend in Country Music! He broke all boundaries in every way! He was always so open and friendly. I specifically remember, of all the people at the BMI Awards, Charley Pride was who my Daddy most wanted to meet! When I took him over to Charley, you would have thought they were long lost friends! That’s just the way Charley made everyone feel. He had a “Mountain Of Love” for everybody and was a huge gift to all who knew him.” – Deborah Allen

“I am so sad to hear of the passing of country music legend, Charley Pride. He is one of the best artists of all time and there will never be another one like him. Not only was he a legendary artist, but one of the kindest people I ever met. Any time we were ever at the same place regardless of how busy he would be, Charley always took the time to say hello, visit a bit and share a funny story. He’s truly the last of a dying breed in my book. Rest easy, sweet Charley.” – Shane Owens

“I am sad to hear about the passing of Charley Pride. I met him at the premiere of his documentary, “I Am Me.” I will never forget how kind he was to my wife. This one hurts. Prayers to the family.” – JD Shelburne

“Trailblazer is an understatement when you say a name like Charley Pride. Charley Pride is an American hero! Because of his courage and talent, the door to country music is now open for all! We hope to make him proud and continue to carry the torch! Rest In Peace, Uncle Charley!” – Danica Hart, Chapel Hart

“I didn’t want to believe the news when I heard Mr. Charley had passed away. I remember watching him perform on the CMA Awards show just last month and still being in awe of his smooth voice that has been a staple in country music for so many years. This world will be a little less bright with him gone. My prayers go out to him and his family during these times.” – Paige King Johnson

“Today I celebrate one of my heroes in Country Music. I remember first meeting Charley Pride at Gilley’s in Houston. He touched me then and inspired me over the years. Rest In Peace, my brother. The world was made better because of you.” – Carl Ray

Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.

# # #

A personal note from Jeremy Westby, publicist for Charley Pride:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed representing Charley Pride for many years. My favorite memories were seeing him perform for and interact with all his fans on the Country Music Cruise, his last performance on The Grand Ole Opry, and then early last year we traveled to Pasadena for the TCAs to promote his American Masters documentary for PBS. Many who are TCA vets said the group is one of the most stoic media gatherings you’d ever experience. To say he had them in the palm of his hand would be a severe understatement. There were many laughs and they were all enthralled to experience his clever, comedic passion, most for the first time. Charley was THE trailblazer for people of color in country music, and his art transcended boundaries, bringing country music to the entire world. His music sold second only to Elvis during his major label tenure on RCA Records. That simply speaks volumes. He will be missed by so many, and I hope that his passing will also help introduce his vast catalog of hits to a new generation of music fans. Please continue praying with me for Charley’s family and all who knew him well. Godspeed, my friend.” – Jeremy Westby

Charley Pride “I’m Just Me” To Air Through 2021.

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Dec 282020
 
American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me Is Streaming Free For A Limited Time on PBS
American Masters - Charley Pride: I'm Just Me

Available on pbs.org/americanmasters and the PBS Video App Through Dec 26

Charley Pride: I’m Just Me Also Set To Air January 1 at 11am ET / 10 am CT on Canada’s CBC

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me is streaming free again for a limited time on pbs.org/americanmasters and on the PBS Video app which will run through December 26 before going back to members-only PBS Passport. Charley Pride: I’m Just Me is also set to air on Canada’s CBC on New Years Day, Friday, January 1, 2021, at 11 am ET / 10 am CT. The documentary is also now available on DVD at charleypride.com.

American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me traces the improbable journey of Charley Pride, from his humble beginnings as a sharecropper’s son on a cotton farm in segregated Sledge, Mississippi to his career as a Negro League baseball player and his meteoric rise as a trailblazing country music superstar. The new documentary reveals how Pride’s love for music led him from the Delta to a larger, grander world. In the 1940s, radio transcended racial barriers, making it possible for Pride to grow up listening to and emulating Grand Ole Opry stars like Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff. The singer arrived in Nashville in 1963 while the city roiled with sit-ins and racial violence. But with boldness, perseverance, and undeniable musical talent, he managed to parlay a series of fortuitous encounters with music industry insiders into a legacy of hit singles, a Recording Academy “Lifetime Achievement Award” and a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The film includes original interviews with country music royalty, including Garth BrooksDolly PartonBrad PaisleyDarius Rucker, and Marty Stuart. It also includes several on-camera conversations between Pride and special guests, including Rozene Pride (his wife of 63 years), Willie Nelson, and other fellow musicians. The film also features many songs from his repertoire of classic country hits, along with more modern cuts like “Standing In My Way,” from his latest album Music In My Heart, released in 2017.

“At a time when African-American singers were more notable for R&B hits, Charley Pride followed his passion for country music, overcoming obstacles through determination and raw talent to make a lasting impact on the genre and create a legacy that continues today,” said Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters. “We are honored to share the inspiring, and largely untold, story of this barrier-breaking performer with viewers nationwide.”

On January 30, 2019, the film made its world premiere at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. The premiere featured an appearance by Charley Pride himself, along with special guest artists featured in the film, including the film’s narrator Tanya TuckerJimmie AllenJanie Fricke, and Sylvia Hutton. Members of the media and other family and friends of Pride also attended. After the film, a Q&A was hosted by the film’s director Barbara Hall, and journalist Robert K. Oermann, Country Music Hall of Fame’s Peter Cooper, and Charley Pride.

Notable talent in the film:
• Charley Pride
• Garth Brooks
• Dolly Parton
• Willie Nelson
• Tanya Tucker (narrator)
• Brad Paisley
• Darius Rucker
• Marty Stuart
• Sylvia Hutton
• Charlie Worsham
• Jimmie Allen
• Whoopi Goldberg

Noteworthy Facts:
• Eighteen-year-old Charley Pride made his debut in the Negro American League as a pitcher-outfielder for the Memphis Red Sox in 1952.
• Charley Pride was drafted into the army in 1956 and served 14 months in Arkansas and Colorado. While in the military, he played on the Fort Carson baseball team and sang in the barracks.
• After RCA signed him to a record deal, his third single, “Just Between You and Me,” reached the top 10 on the country music charts in 1967. The singer received his first GRAMMY® nomination, for Best Country & Western Vocal Performance, Male, for the song.
• Charley Pride first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry radio show in January 1967. When he was inducted as an Opry member in 1993, he became the first African-American Opry member since DeFord Bailey, who had been a regular member from 1927 until 1941. Pride celebrated the 25th anniversary of his induction into the Grand Ole Opry in 2018.
• Charley Pride won Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year at the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards in 1971.
• Charley Pride committed to an extensive tour of the U.K. in 1976, including several dates in Northern Ireland during the peak of the Troubles conflict. Because of the intense political violence, international music acts were avoiding Belfast. Pride’s November 1976 appearance at Belfast’s Ritz Cinema brought the community together and he became a hero to both sides of the conflict for helping to break the informal touring ban of Northern Ireland after several other international music acts soon followed. This resulted in “Crystal Chandeliers” being considered a ‘unity song’ in Ireland and the UK when it was subsequently released as a single.
• In 2000, Charley Pride was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
• The Recording Academy honored Charley Pride with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the GRAMMY® Salute to Music Legends awards ceremony and tribute concert event in 2017.

Production Credits:
American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me is a production of Corridor Group Productions Inc in association with THIRTEEN’s American Masters and ITVS. The film is directed by Barbara Hall, who is also the executive producer. Co-executive producers are Greg Hall, Suzanne Kessler, and Ed Lanquist. Jon Schouten is the producer. Editors are Matthew Walsh and Chris Windings. The writer is Jon Schouten. Michael Kantor is the American Masters series executive producer.

Underwriters:
Support for American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me is provided by Mike and Ginny Lester. Major support for American Masters is provided by AARP. Additional support is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, Ellen and James Marcus, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Judith and Burton Resnick, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, Vital Projects Fund, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, Seton Melvin, and public television viewers.

Blue Ox Music Festival Announces It’s lineup For 2021

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Dec 272020
 
* BLUE OX MUSIC FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES ITS LINEUP FOR 2021 *
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Shakey Graves, Sam Bush Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, Charlie Parr, Molly Tuttle, Lissie, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades plus 2 nights of Pert Near Sandstone, are among the artists to perform at the 7th annual Blue Ox Music Festival. The 2021 Blue Ox Music Festival will take place on August 19-21, 2021 at The Pines Music Park – formally known as Whispering Pines Campgrounds. Tickets are on-sale now at BlueOxMusicFestival.com

EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN – December 16, 2020 – Blue Ox Music Festival is pleased to announce its artist lineup, for the 7th annual Blue Ox Music Festival, to be held August 19, 20 and 21, 2021. Blue Ox Music Festival welcomes back the annual summer pilgrimage of Bluegrass, Americana, and Roots artists, and their devoted music festival fans; returning to the tall pines and hardwoods of northern Wisconsin.Moving into a new year Whispering Pines Campground has been re-branded as The Pines Music Park, reflecting a re-newed focus as a music venue that will host a variety of concerts throughout the summer.

With the same team in place, artists and attendees can expect the same level of passionate commitment to the music and camping experience that has earned loyalty and a reputation for quality over the past seven years.This year, Blue Ox honors a fine lineup of performances by heavy hitters – Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Shakey Graves, Sam Bush Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, Charlie Parr, Molly Tuttle, Lissie, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Charley Crockett, The Lil Smokies, Kitchen Dwellers, Henhouse Prowlers with Tony Trischka, Lillie Mae, Them Coulee Boys, Sunny War, Julian Davis & The Situation, Nora Brown, Jon Stickley Trio, Arkansauce, Armchair Boogie, Kind Country, One Way Traffic, Short Round String Band, Feed The Dog, Intuitive Compass, Barbaro, and The High 48s. With Pert Near Sandstone hostingthe Blue Ox Music Festival for the seventh year, in addition to performing for two nights.

The return of the full Blue Ox Music Festival in 2021 will be one of historical celebration after a year of uncertainty and waiting, which has all but shuttered the live music industry. Artists, management, crews and venues alike, have all been affected by the COVID pandemic. Yet resilience, creativity and hope, have held the torch high as we discovered ways to stay united through live streaming performance concerts, and an abundance of exciting new music and collaboration.

Since its premiere in the summer of 2015, Blue Ox Music Festival has consistently brought together a lineup of top level regional and national acts that have set the stage and standard of artists for the true music festival fan’s experience for
years to come. With the vision of an intimate music and camping experience focused on Bluegrass, Americana Roots genres – the 3-day festival creates a unique experience with an impressive lineup of notable artists, in a familial and
beautiful outdoor venue setting.

New this year, in addition to the traditional Blue Ox late night sets – The Backwoods Stage will feature regional and emerging artists from 11:30AM to 6:30PM on Friday, August 20 and Saturday, August 21.

Performances for the 2021 Blue Ox Music Festival Backwoods Stage include – Miles Over Mountains, Good Morning Bedlam, The Thirsty River, Dig Deep, Never Come Down, Pit Wagon, Katey Bellville, Gabe Barnett, and Doug Otto and The Getaways.

This past year in 2020, Blue Ox Music Festival, and the Campout in the Pines summer series were dedicated to step forward bringing the artists and music fans unique experiences to watch live performance safely. The socially conscious
solidarity of the shows and live streams kept many loyal fans sane and connected to each other.

The music lives on in the loyal hearts of festival fans, and Blue Ox feels optimistic that it will be safe to come together with our festival family again in August; always following safety and health guidelines that are approved by the regional health authorities and well organized for all attendees of the festival.

The 2021 Blue Ox Music Festival will be a limited capacity event, and due to rollovers from 2020, tickets are currently 50% sold out. Fans are encouraged to buy their tickets soon in order to take advantage of the best prices available to
date. Please join Blue Ox Music Festival on August 19, 20, 21, 2021 – for three days of phenomenal music and camping in a family friendly, intimate atmosphere.

Fans can stay tuned for updates about the 2021 Blue Ox Music Festival and The Pines Music Park, by subscribing to the newsletters at www.blueoxmusicfestival.com and www.pinesmusicpark.com.

Blue Ox and The Pines Music Park look forward to the new year of music and live performance! As artists and ambassadors for the festival – members of Pert Near Sandstone, Nate Sipe and Justin Bruhn, produce and host the popular, Road to Blue Ox Podcast. In each episode, Bruhn and Sipe interview performing artists on the lineup, as well as highlighting key information and updates about the festival.
Nate and Justin are currently in the studio working on the 2021 season of the Road to Blue Ox Podcast.

The new episodes will include music premieres and exclusive interviews, news about the Blue Ox Music Festival, and some other surprises along the way. Tune in for new Road to Blue Ox Podcast episodes on Apple iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher and Pocket Casts.

Follow along on Spotify and be notified as soon as a new episode is released. Stay tuned for upcoming monthly installments of the Road to Blue Ox Podcast, featuring Bluegrass, Americana, and Roots, legends as well as new artists on the scene.

About Blue Ox Music Festival– Blue Ox creates and fosters a wonderful sense of artistic community and has become a cornerstone of the cultural renaissance movement in the Eau Claire area. Blue Ox Music Festival at The Pines Music
Park boasts 155 acres of pristine forest, walkable trails and green landscaped lawn with music presented on three distinct stages, (Main Stage, Saloon Stage, Backwoods Stage).

As a family friendly environment, diverse cultural events take place throughout the festival grounds, including music workshops, morning yoga, eclectic craft vendors, dance performance, kids activity stages as well as a disc golf course.
The variety of quality food and beverages offers something delicious for everyone to enjoy. All ages are welcome Children 13 and under are free with a paid adult.
General Admission Tickets are available for purchase, which gives you access to all entertainment and Unreserved Tent Camping. Car Camping Passes are available, for guests who prefer their car on the camp site next to their tent.

Reserved RV / Tent sites are also available for purchase. Camping accommodations include spaces for RVs, Family and Quiet Camping, and for those who wish to just arrive at the festival, enjoy and lay their heads – there are comfortable
“glamping” options for purchase.

Fellow Artists Remember Hitmaker K.T. Oslin, Who Passed Away December 21

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Dec 262020
 
K.T. Oslin
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member K.T. Oslin has passed away at age 78. Some of her most legendary hits include, “Hold Me,” “Do Ya’,” “Come Next Monday,” “I’ll Always Come Back,” “80’s Ladies” and more. As a songwriter, Oslin’s songs we recorded by artists such as Gail Davies, The Judds, Dottie West, Judy Rodman, and Sissy Spacek.

Fellow artists mourn the loss of their friend and share fond memories that have left them forever inspired by K.T. Oslin.

“The Oak Ridge Boys are saddened by the loss of the Eighties Lady, K.T. Oslin. We didn’t know her very well, but anytime we met, she was always gracious and first-class all the way. REST EASY K.T.” – Joe Bonsall, The Oak Ridge Boys

“I am very sorry to hear that K.T. Oslin passed away. My prayers are with her and her family during this time.” – Lee Greenwood

“K.T. was a great artist, with an instantly identifiable voice and a Hall of Fame songwriter, who was a joy to hang out with. She had a big smile, a big heart, and a big laugh! She was a sweet soul and we are all going to miss her. Condolences to her friends and family. Rest easy, sister.” – T. Graham Brown

“We’ve lost another great one! K.T. Oslin had such an amazing voice and will be missed. Prayers to her family during this time.” – Johnny Lee

“I am very saddened by K.T.’s passing. I am a huge fan of her music.” – B.J. Thomas

“K.T. made a big impact on country music with her style, flair, and talented, unique voice during the Eighties Ladies era. My prayers go out to her family and friends.” – Janie Fricke

K.T. Oslin was truly the ultimate 80’s Lady… and so much more! Her spicy southern wit, mixed with her amazing voice, musical talent, and theatrical flair was a one of a kind recipe making her larger than life personality a delicious, sensual, soul stew that made country music lovers all over the world fall in love! The honesty in her heartfelt, velvety voice could mesmerize, make you laugh and cry all at the same time! I always loved her as an artist! And, I count it as one of life’s true blessings to have gotten to spend quality time with K.T., laughing and talking and getting to know her as a friend! We had so much fun! It makes me sad to think of her being gone, but she gave us all so much, that even through my sadness, just thinking about her makes me smile! God Bless You K.T…Carry on.” – Deborah Allen

“She was the ultimate 80’s lady.” – Lacy J. Dalton

“K.T. Oslin was one of my music heroes because she never gave up on her dream. She signed with a major label in her 40’s and had her first #1 record at the age of 45. I am ashamed to say. that in our youth-driven climate, that often listens with its eyes and not its ears, she would be a rarity today. She was an 80’s lady with “balls,” and I loved the passionate way she approached every song she sang. I often sing her song “Do Ya” in my roadshow–and I try to bring the same sass and class to the song as she did.” – Tim Atwood

“2020 just keeps rollin’ in the sad news. The Nashville music community lost another great one today with K.T. Oslin. Prayers to her family during this difficult time.” – JD Shelburne

“K.T. Oslin was a great artist that taught us about life, love, joy, and pain, who also had the ability to connect with her audience like no other. Her music was awesome and soulful. I loved how she would squeeze every note and deliver a masterful expression of each song. I remember when I first heard her hit “Do Ya.” WOW! Rest In Peace K.T. and for sharing your life with us all.” – Carl Ray

“The news of K.T.’s passing is so sad for all women in country music. She was a spitfire & a trailblazer for so many & will truly be missed! My prayers go out to her family and friends during this season.” – Paige King Johnson

“Another sad day in country music. We lost another great one! Rest well, K.T. Oslin. Thanks for leaving a legacy and the message that it’s never too late to chase after your dreams! Our thoughts and prayers to her fans and family!” – Danica Hart, Chapel Hart

“R.I.P. K.T. Oslin. You forged a path for women in country music that will inspire and encourage women to not let go of their dreams. You showed the world that talent is ageless.” – JD Reynolds

Curtis Grimes Scores Double Win at the 2020 Texas Country Music Awards

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Dec 252020
 

Curtis Grimes Scores Double Win at the  2020 Texas Country Music Awards

Brand New Acoustic EP Drops December 11th 

On Sunday, November 15th Texas country music fans gathered at the legendary Billy Bob’s Texas in the historic stockyards in Ft. Worth, Texas for the 2020 Texas Country Music Awards.  The event was a high spirited affair brimming with the who’s who of Texas country music including last year’s “Entertainer of the Year” Curtis Grimes who came away with a double win for “Single of the Year” for “River Road Dream,” and for “Christian Country Artist of the Year,” his second time to win that category.

Grimes delivered a brilliant live performance of the winning single and basked in the golden opportunity to share the company and stage with his most respected peers and industry professionals.  Still, Grimes admits that the biggest highlight of the evening was having his entire family there to share it with him including his wife Brooke, his 1-year-old son Cason, and his 3-year-old daughter Blakely who accompanied Grimes on stage to accept his awards.

It’s always nice to be recognized and appreciated for your work.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to even be in the ring.  For one: just to be nominated.  And two: winning is just the icing on the cake.  None of that is ever guaranteed.  To win an award for the second time this year…I appreciate that very much.  It’s always great to see everyone in the business and catch up with friends, something we all rarely get to do.  Most of us are indie artists, so to have an event like this where we can all dress up and celebrate our music is truly wonderful.”

Another big highlight was the church service concert he performed earlier in the day in the stockyards.  Whether it’s a picnic or a fundraiser or an early morning service, this cowboy church revival is another heartfelt aspect of Grimes’ live performance resume, one that he is proud to deliver in addition to his regular live concerts.  His passion to spread the gospel doesn’t stop with his music, rather his music is often the vehicle.  Grimes has proudly distributed bibles through his Ten Finger Ministry since 2017.

Right on the heels of his success on awards night, Grimes will release his brand new EP “Acoustic Collections” on December 11th.  The 5 song effort features two brand new songs “Cowboy Constitution” and “Ain’t Worth The Heartache,” and acoustic versions of fan favorites “From Where I’m Standing,” “Still A Little Country Left” and “Heaven Sent.”  The project is produced by Curtis Grimes and Bart Busch.  “Acoustic Collections” is like a peaceful Sunday drive in the country, smooth and easy with a heart full of humbled gratitude.  It’s the perfect auditory cruise towards his new full length album release in summer 2021.  Pre-orders can be snagged here. https://ffm.to/curtisgrimesacousticep

Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts’ New Album ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ Invades The UK Charts

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Dec 242020
 

Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts critically-acclaimed new album ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ (Wicked Cool Records) is making waves across the pond.

In its debut week, the album landed on multiple UK charts including #7 Indie Album Breakers, #10 Record Store, #22 Independent Albums, and #82 Overall Albums, capping off a career-best for the band, a transatlantic collaboration, with frontman Ryan Hamilton hailing from just outside of Fort Worth, TX, while his backing band The Harlequin Ghosts are based in the U.K.

The LP has also generated high praise on social media from the likes of Frank Turner, Clem Burke, Drew Carey, Benmont Tench and Clint Boon of Inspiral Carpets and more.

The follow up to 2019’s ‘This Is The Sound’ (which won an Independent Music Award for ‘Best Indie Album’), ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ was written by Ryan during a long road trip across the USA with his dog Peaches, while coming to terms with his recent divorce. He filmed the trek, which resulted in ‘Communique’– an inspiring and deeply personal 7 part mini-documentary, which premiered on Glide Magazine.

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And now, the songs of Nowhere To Go But Everywhere in Ryan’s own words…

Only A Dream

You know when you’re a kid, and you have a really bad dream, then you wake up and have the relief of, “it was only a dream.” This song is a grown-up version of that. Unfortunately when it comes to things like divorce, you can’t wish it away…or wake up. This song is about hoping something isn’t really happening, then dealing with the harsh realization that it is.

Oh No

Super proud of the concept of this song. Flipping all those classic songs on their heads. Plus, I got to sing it with my friend Kay Hanley.

Jesus & John Lennon

Do you ever feel like, no matter what, some things are destined to fall apart? No matter what you do, the end result is the same. This song is about that, and I was thrilled to take the concept, and the song, to the next level, by having the opportunity to co-write it with Stevie Van Zandt.

Out Of My League

This is a song idea that was almost 10 years old. I found the old demo, and it rang true, considering what I was going through. So, I revisited the song, and reworked it into the version that it is now.

Let’s Go Slow

Dating after divorce is terrifying to me. This song is about the fear of dating again, after a relationship ends. There’s SO MUCH to navigate in today’s dating world. I wish things were simpler.

Can I Get An Amen

I was raised in church. We went two times a week to a very conservative Church of Christ. The struggle finding happiness, without all the guilt, is something I still deal with. Drugs, alcohol, sex…these very un-“Christian” things are all a part of my life. Not in a dangerous way. I’m a responsible adult. But sometimes, because it’s engrained in me, I feel like I’m going to Hell.

Don’t Fall Apart

This song is really a pep talk to myself. Sometimes, when things are especially difficult, all you want to do is give up. But you can’t. It’s important to keep it together for your family, and friends…but you have to get to a point where you LOVE YOURSELF enough to want to keep going.

Newcastle Charm

I didn’t even know what a “Geordie” was until I met my ex-wife. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by Geordie women. I love their whole bad-ass attitude. Zero tolerance for bullshit. A tough exterior, but a big heart. Throwing some Geordie slang into the chorus of a new song is something I never thought this Texas boy would do. Haha.

Southern Accents

Possibly my all time favorite Tom Petty song. I was so excited to put this song on the album, and I’m super proud of the version we created. It feels special. I think Tom would like it.

We Gave It Hell

When a relationship ends, you have a choice. You can let it consume you, or you can find a more positive way through it. I think it’s important to realize that sometimes, even though we give it hell, and do our best…it just isn’t going to work out. So, you say goodbye, wish the person well, pick up the pieces, and move on.

Pick Yourself Up

What’s the saying? Every end is a brand new beginning. I got that quote a little wrong, but you get the gist. Having the realization that a marriage ending is only a short chapter, in the book of life, was a BIG moment for me. I’m determined to make the rest of my story a good one.

About Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts

The open road has beckoned to generations of artists, writers, and seekers of authentic experience. For acclaimed singer/songwriter Ryan Hamilton, jumping into a minivan with his pup Peaches and driving from home near Fort Worth, Texas through the Southwest out to California last fall was not just catharsis, it was an unexpected impetus to create ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere,’ his formidable new album with The Harlequin Ghosts.

“I actually own Jack Kerouac’s belt,” Ryan reveals, referencing the legendary 1950s beat poet whose classic work ‘On The Road’ provides the album’s title. “I got it from the folks who handle his estate. It’s a cherished possession. The belt is actually pictured on the back of the new album art. Kerouac is a hero, and because of the way this album was written, his spirit is all over it.”

Hamilton made sure to drive along Route 66, the fabled American highway immortalized in song by Nat King Cole and The Rolling Stones. “While it was magical to take that storied route, it was more like driving through a graveyard version of what once was. Though ominous, it was still darkly beautiful.”

Those weeks adventuring out west gave Ryan time to reflect in the wake of his recent divorce.

Releasing September 18 on Wicked Cool Records, ‘Nowhere…’ follows quickly on the heels of the band’s 2019 label debut ‘This Is The Sound,’ which won Album of the Year at the Independent Music Awards and was praised as “masterful” (RPM) and “spectacular” (Adam Duritz of Counting Crows). Both the title cut and “Mamacita” were playlisted on more than 100 U.K. radio stations and heard throughout Europe and the Americas on syndicated radio.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented Hamilton from accepting the IMA in New York, but he channeled his early quarantine energy into the recording of the ‘Incommunicado’ EP, which hit #1 on the iTunes Country Albums chart in the U.K. Proceeds from the sale of the EP were donated to the Music Venue Trust’s “Save Our Venues” campaign, a cause he’s passionate about from years of dedicated touring in the U.K., where the rest of his band is based.

Live highlights of the ‘This Is The Sound’ campaign included shows with The Alarm in the U.K. plus their Gathering festival in Wales and New York City, a U.S. tour with Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, and featured NYC appearances at Duritz’s Underwater Sunshine fest as well as opening for Jesse Malin and guest Lucinda Williams on a live SiriusXM broadcast.

Wicked Cool honcho Stevie “Little Steven” Van Zandt has long championed Ryan’s talents. “The best advice he ever gave me was, ‘Get away from yourself,” Ryan shares. “But really, the songs are still coming from personal experience.”

Many of the ten new tunes – the album also includes a heartfelt cover of Tom Petty’s “Southern Accents” – were written on a guitar Ryan found on the road trip, at Norman’s Rare Guitars in the San Fernando Valley. “Norm and I got to talkin’, and before I knew it, I was leaving with a vintage Martin acoustic. That guitar feels like my child.”

Most of the album was recorded with producer Dave Draper just days before the pandemic hit, during a February 2020 U.K. tour. The rhythm section of Mickey Richards (drums) and Rob Lane (bass) return, while featured guests include Mike Peters of The Alarm (backing vocals on “Jesus & John Lennon”) and Kay Hanley of Letters To Cleo (vocals on “Oh No”).

The anthemic “Can I Get An Amen,” released as a single in January, and new single “Jesus & John Lennon” were both co-written with Van Zandt. “Oh No” builds its upbeat narrative through referencing Ryan’s own favorite classic records, from Nirvana and Oasis to Curtis Mayfield and The Clash, and “flipping them on their heads,” he says.

“Newcastle Charm” speaks to Ryan’s special connection with the North East English city where he’s played countless shows and also met his ex-wife. “Women from Newcastle have this really tough exterior. I like the idea of breaking through that and finding a big heart.”

After cutting his teeth with the bands Smile Smile and People On Vacation, the 2016 single “Fuck You Brain,” with Ginger Wildheart was named Track of the Week by Classic Rock Magazine. The album ‘Devil’s In The Detail’ as Ryan Hamilton and The Traitors caught Stevie’s ear in 2017, after which the backing band became known as The Harlequin Ghosts. RH and The HG’s are now very familiar to satellite radio listeners thanks to heavy rotation of numerous tracks.

The latest Wicked Cool release distributed by The Orchard, ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ is a top marketing priority for the label, whose 2020 slate also includes new music from Jesse Malin, WYLDLIFE, The Empty Hearts, Kurt Baker and Jessie Wagner.

ROMP Virtual Band Contest!

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Dec 222020
 

ROMP Virtual Band Contest!
Who’s ready to discover some new music?  We are, and we’re thrilled to announce the ROMP Virtual Band Contest presented by Jagoe Homes!  The contest is open to all pickers who fall under the umbrella of bluegrass or acoustic roots music.  For bands who want to enter the contest, simply make a killer video of your band doing what you do best then follow the instructions to submit. 
The video below has all the details to enter your band!
If you’re not a picker but have a band in mind that you would like to see at ROMP, share this email and encourage them to enter the ROMP Virtual Band Contest.  The winner is picked by you, our ROMP Festival fam!  Bands can submit their video immediately, and voting begins on February 3rd. 
The contest will be in two phases:
Phase I:  12/03/20 – 01/31/21 ~ Bands submit their video entry
Phase II:  02/03/21 – 03/14/21 ~ Voting is open to ROMP fans
The winner will be announced on March 17th!  The band receiving the most votes will be perform on both the ROMP main stage and Jagoe Homes After Party stage.  More details for entry and contest rules can be found here.  Join us for this ride to discover new artists and give us your input!
ENTRY INFO

Josh Kelley Releases New Full-Length Album, My Baby & The Band

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Dec 212020
 

 

If there is one piece of his life that singer-songwriter Josh Kelley is more than comfortable displaying, it’s how he feels about his family. The central line running through My Baby & The Band, out today, is the contentment he’s found in his life with his wife and three kids. Kelley paints a picture of a man who has found his place nestled deep into the small mountain town they call home, along with everything that entails: the simple, extraordinary moments, the disagreements, the makeups, and a deep love for one another. It’s wrapped in sonic packaging that’s true to who Kelley is, clear in its reverence for a great voice and song but unafraid to experiment with new textures surrounding it.

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The album’s most recent release, “Hold Me My Lord,” exists thanks to some divine intervention. Originally written while searching for a thread of hope for himself, Kelley realized the world overall could use some of the same, resulting in the powerful video released two weeks ago. Co-produced by Grammy, Emmy and Dove award-winner Shannon Sanders, the track includes the addition of the remotely-recorded 30-member All Voices choir.

My Baby & The Band traces Kelley’s and his family’s story, a scenic walk through the evolution of a relationship, family, and growth. Kelley solidifies himself as a talented vocalist and lyricist while tapping into the details of everyday life: watching his kids develop their own personalities and continuing to find new reasons to love his wife after 15 years together.

“We Don’t Need The Money” offers a good bit of groove; “Back To You” begs for a sing-along, and “If That’s Alright” continues the theme. “You Can Count On Me,” with background vocals from his kids, takes its sonic inspiration from Bill Withers and Shuggie Otis, written with Alen Chang. “I Want You Tonight” and “Loves You Like Me” are straight-up love songs.

“You And I,” written with Nashville songwriter Dustin Christensen, slows things down with an ode to an all-consuming kind of love. Kelley also wrote the album’s title track with Christensen, all about sitting back with the one you love and listening to timeless music, in this case, specifically The Band.

My Baby & The Band follows the release of “Love Her Boy,” a clever, smooth and soulful number employing wordplay, and “Busy Making Memories,” a deeply personal excerpt, written on New Year’s Day while watching his kids play. Kelley and his wife, Katherine Heigl, collaborated on the video, featuring treasured memories and adventures on their ranch. Kelley produced and engineered the single himself; and in fact, creates most of his music in a barn that he’s converted into a studio.

Kelley released his solo debut, Changing Faces, while attending the University of Mississippi, and subsequently signed a record deal with Hollywood Records. His mainstream debut, For the Ride Home, found a Top Five single with “Amazing,” and his second album, Almost Honest, included the Top Ten single “Only You.” Kelley later released four independent albums, between 2006 and 2008; Georgia Clay was released in 2011 with MCA Nashville, and 2015’s New Lane Road with Sugar Hill Records. In 2017 he independently released an album of covers, titled Under the Covers, Vol. 1, and a holiday album, Christmas Traditions.

Kelley has appeared on “TODAY,” “Good Morning America,” “The Ellen Degeneres Show,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Live with Regis & Kelly” and “Last Call with Carson Daly,” and his songs have been featured on such shows as “Smallville,” “Scrubs,” “Brothers and Sisters” and MTV’s “The Hills.” Kelley also wrote and performed the theme song for the TV sitcom “Mike and Molly,” scored the feature film Home Sweet Hell, and created the theme song for TV’s Golf Channel.

My Baby & The Band Track Listing:

1. We Don’t Need The Money
2. If That’s Alright
3. My Baby & The Band
4. Love Her Boy
5. Hold Me My Lord (featuring All Voices)
6. Loves You Like Me
7. You Can Count on Me
8. I Want You Tonight
9. Back to You
10. You & I
11. Busy Making Memories

The central line running through Josh Kelley’s upcoming album, My Baby & The Band, set for Nov. 13 release, is his family. It’s fitting that the video for his gospel-soaked next single, “Hold Me My Lord,” was made with them in mind. The song was co-produced by Grammy, Emmy and Dove award-winner Shannon Sanders and includes the addition of the 30-member All Voices choir.

“I think in the instance of this song, my heart was calling for hope. I was trying to muddle through the dark nights of my soul and how I’ve managed to find my way again and again. When we started putting the video together for this song, we realized that this world has been suffering through a dark night of the soul. Despair, hurt, anger, violence, pain, suffering, disease and death have been the headlines every day for the last eight months,” Kelley said.

“I realized this song that came through me speaks to more than my own suffering. It speaks to humanity’s,” Kelley continued. “The video felt like an opportunity to unite us in our pain and in our hope. It felt like a way for me to make one small difference in this tumultuous time so I can look at my children, years from now, and tell them I did something. I didn’t just bury my head in the sand, or hide from the pain, or run from the fear. I did what I could do, and I did it for them.”

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Joshua Wallace’s Top 50 Albums of 2020

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Dec 202020
 

By Joshua Wallace

By all measures, 2020 was an insane year, however it was an amazing year for country music releases.  I could have made a Top 100 list this year, but I stuck with tradition and did a Top 50.  With that in mind, some of your favorites might be left off here.  Don’t fret, they’re still good albums, it’s just that there were a ton of good releases this year.  It seemed like every band was releasing their best work even when they weren’t able to fully tour on it.  I could make a case for every record in my Top 10 to be my album of the year, however I went with American Aquarium’s Lamentations.  Lamentations was my most anticipated album going into 2020 and it’s still my favorite album here in December.  It’s no secret that American Aquarium is one of my favorite bands and when they release an album this good, it’s going to be hard to top.  I’ll give my thoughts on each of the Top 20 and provide links to listen to the rest of the list.  I encourage you to check out every record on this list as you might just find something new and that is my biggest goal in doing all of this.

 

**ALBUM OF THE YEAR** 01.  American Aquarium – Lamentations  **ALBUM OF THE YEAR**

When American Aquarium announced late 2019 that they were going into the studio with Shooter Jennings producing, I knew this album would be something special.  I just didn’t know how special it would turn out to be.  Songs like “The Long Haul”, “Starts With You”, “A Better South” and even the tear jerker “Six Years Come September” helped define my 2020.  It is worth noting here that their last album which was 2018’s Things Change was my favorite record of that year too.  I can only imagine that the next album they release will either top or come close to the top of this list in that year.  This band is very consistent in that they keep getting better with every release.  I can’t wait to hear what is next.

 

  1. Chris Stapleton – Starting Over

Chris Stapleton has quite possibly the best voice in modern country music.  This album further solidifies that with performances like “Cold”, “Devil Always Made Me Think Twice”, “Watch You Burn” and more.  This whole record is great top to bottom and it came very close to being my number one album of the year.  It features Stapleton’s signature mix of rock, blues and country anchored by his amazing guitar playing throughout.  This record features guests like former Heartbreaker Mike Campbell and the amazing pedal steel player Paul Franklin.  I highly recommend giving this album a good listen as Chris Stapleton is 4 records in and only shows signs of getting better.

 

  1. Charley Crockett – Welcome To Hard Times

There was a period this year where this album was slated as my #1 record of 2020.  It’s that good.  Charley Crockett put out the best record of his career with Welcome To Hard Times and it hit all the right buttons with the psychedelic bend to it’s sound and a neo-western theme.  The title track is one of my favorite jams of the year and I still love that piano riff that opens it.  Check out “Welcome To Hard Times”, “Run Horse Run” and “The Man That Time Forgot”.

 

  1. Muscadine Bloodline – Burn It At Both Ends

I have been a fan of Muscadine Bloodline since “WD40” was making the rounds as a single a few years ago.  This highly anticipated debut full length album delivers on all of the promise the band showed early on and then some.  As for their sound, they kind of straddle the line of being polished for country radio and rough around the edges for the independent country crowd.  It also helps to feature the likes of BJ Barham, Brent Cobb and Adam Hood on your debut record to give you a bit of a boost.  Check out “Ain’t Just A Van”, “Good Chunk Of Change”, “After Midnight” and “Drunk Tattoo” for a few choice cuts from this one.

 

  1. Mike and The Moonpies – Touch Of You : The Lost Songs Of Gary Stewart

Mike and The Moonpies have released another great album with this collection of lost Gary Stewart songs.  While you won’t get a cover of “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinking Doubles)” on this set, you will get some awesome Gary Stewart tunes that have never been recorded before.  You can hear Gary Stewart’s influence on Mike and The Moonpies music and when you do, you will know that they were the perfect band for a project such as this. The band worked closely with Stewart’s daughter, Shannon Stewart, and his best friend Tommy Schwartz to compile the tracks for this project. The finished product is a great Moonpies album that slides in at number five in our countdown.

 

  1. Sturgill Simpson – Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 1 (Butcher Shoppe Sessions) & Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 2 (The Cowboy Arms Sessions)

   

I told you this was an insane year.  We got not one, but two great Sturgill Simpson albums this year.  I’m lumping them together here because they’re essentially one long piece split into two.  Sturgill promised fans that if they hit a certain goal on a charity drive he was doing that he would cut 2 albums this year.  He came through with two sets of bluegrass versions of practically every song in his solo catalog.  The only things missing are the covers from each album and “It Ain’t All Flowers”.  He also threw in some Sunday Valley tunes and a new song he wrote with the late Merle Haggard titled “Hobo Cartoon”.  I highly recommend giving these records a spin as a lot of these aren’t just re-recordings in a different genre.  There are some new arrangements of old favorites here that I think anyone would enjoy.

 

  1. Ward Davis – Black Cats And Crows

Ward Davis has finally given us the follow up to 15 Years In A 10 Year Town and it was well worth the wait.  This is a darker collection of songs with lots of heavy guitars setting the mood throughout.  There are a couple of murder ballads on this record that I highly recommend.  We also get Ward Davis’s version of Colorado a couple of years after Cody Jinks released his version on the album Lifers.  Give this album a listen and you won’t be disappointed.

 

  1. Colter Wall – Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs

Colter Wall is finally giving us a full band western swing record and I am here for this.  From amazing covers like “Big Iron” to originals like “Henry and Sam”, this record is all killer from top to bottom.  This record puts Colter Wall up there with some of the premier western acts going today.  Check it out.


 

  1. Ashley McBryde – Never Will

Ashley McBryde is back with her second major label album and another major hit with “One Night Standards”.  This album is full of great songs and I highly recommend the murder ballad “Martha Divine”.  Throw in some traditional country cuts like “First Thing I Reach For”, “Sparrow” and “Velvet Red” and you have one amazing album.  I can’t wait to hear what is coming next.


 

  1. Zach Bryan – Quiet, Heavy Dreams EP

I initially had Zach Bryan’s Elizabeth record in this spot, but this EP is Zach Bryan’s first professionally recorded music and I had to include it here.  With songs like “Birmingham”, “Crooked Teeth” and “November Air”, Zach Bryan is certainly going to be around for a long time.  I hope to be able to see him live sometime in the near future, and with albums like this, I have no doubt he’ll be able to tour widely once it is safe to do so again.


 

  1. Joshua Ray Walker – Glad You Made It

Joshua Ray Walker’s sophomore record Glad You Made it improves on the working formula he created with 2019’s Wish You Were Here.  Songs like “Voices” show off his incredible vocal range while deeper tracks like “D.B. Cooper” show a bit of experimentation with the soundscape Joshua Ray Walker is using on this record.  Give it a listen and see why it’s in at number 11 on this list.


 

  1. Hailey Whitters – The Dream

Hailey Whitters album The Dream took a bit to grow on me, honestly.  But it grew on me and I came to really enjoy a few tracks from this record.  Check out “Janice At The Hotel Bar”, “Loose Strings”, her version of Stapleton’s “Devil Always Made Me Think Twice” and her version of “Happy People” which was also recorded by co-writer Lori McKenna on her 2018 album The Tree.  This record is a fun album that deserves to be heard by more people.  I hope I get the chance to see her live very soon.


 

  1. Brent Cobb – Keep ‘Em On They Toes

Brent Cobb has released another great album in Keep ‘Em On They Toes.  I really love the title track and it quickly became one of my feel good favorites of 2020.  Other highlights include the timely “The World Is Ending”, “Soapbox w/ Nikki Lane” and “Good Times and Good Love”.  This album is a nice change in pace back to the slower country and folk songs of 2016’s Shine On Rainy Day.


 

  1. Kyle Nix – Lightning On The Mountain & Other Short Stories

While this year was rough for fans of Turnpike Troubadours, we got a bit of a reprieve in the form of a Kyle Nix solo album.  I had a feeling this one would be special from the moment it was announced and I was right.  Some favorites include “Graves”, “Shelby 65”, “If Ruby Ain’t Happy” and “Lightning On The Mountain”.  This album is highlighted by some great fiddle playing and good songwriting.  I really hope Kyle Nix gets to tour on this one soon as I would love to see these songs live.


 

  1. The Panhandlers – The Panhandlers

When I first heard about this super group of Texas Country talents, I knew we had something special coming.  All four of these men are great with their own bands, but together they are a force to be reckoned with.  “West Texas In My Eye” and “This Is My Life” are two highlights on this one for me.  Give this one a listen if you haven’t, you won’t be disappointed.


 

  1. Parker McCollum – Hollywood Gold EP

Parker McCollum had a strong 2020 with some great single releases leading up to this EP.  “Pretty Heart” actually got a lot of radio play and I really dig “Like A Cowboy”.  I knew Parker McCollum was one to watch after 2017’s strong Probably Wrong LP.  This EP is so good and it solidifies my opinion that he is destined for bigger things.  Be on the lookout for his next full length as I belive that one will go places.


 

  1. Josh Abbott Band – The Highway Kind

I have been a fan of Josh Abbott Band since 2012’s Small Town Family Dream album and it has been a fun ride watching this band grow.  They get better with every release and The Highway Kind is no different.  Highlights include the title track, “Settle Me Down”, “24-7-365” and “Real Damn Good”.  Give it a listen.


 

  1. Aubrie Sellers – Far From Home

While I wasn’t as much of a fan of Aubrie Sellers’s 2016 record New City Blues, this album blew me away.  I dig the mixing of grungy garage rock and country music and it works here.  Check out favorites like “Glad”, “Troublemaker”, “My Love Will Not Change w/ Steve Earle” and the title track.


 

  1. Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen – Hold My Beer, Vol. 2

With Hold My Beer, Vol. 2, Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen have put together two amazing country duo albums.  This record is full of solid country gold.  I love the comedy of “Rodeo Clown” and we finally get a title track for this collection with “Hold My Beer”.  Also check out “Mi Amigo” with Asleep At The Wheel and “Speak To Me Jukebox” for more highlights.

 

  1. David Adam Byrnes – Neon Town

This record from David Adam Byrnes was one of those unexpected gems that you hear about and when you finally get around to listening to, it blows you away.  Neon Town is just good Texas country and I can’t wait yi hear what is next.


 

  1. Corb Lund – Agricultural Tragic

 


 

  1. Waylon Payne – Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me

 


 

  1. Bella White – Just Like Leaving

 


 

  1. Jaime Wyatt – Neon Cross

 


 

  1. Scott H. Biram – Fever Dreams

 


 

  1. Jessi Alexander – Decatur County Red

 


 

  1. Brennen Leigh – Prairie Love Letter

 


 

  1. Lori McKenna – The Balladeer


 

  1. The Wilder Blue – Hill Country


 

  1. Tennessee Jet – The Country


 

  1. Elizabeth Cook – The Aftermath


 

  1. Margo Price – That’s How Rumors Get Started

 

  1. Ray Wylie Hubbard – Co-Starring


 

  1. Dalton Domino – Feverdreamer


 

  1. Zephania Ohora – Listening to the Music


 

  1. Marcus King – El Dorado


 

  1. Sunny Sweeney – Recorded Live at the Machine Shop Recording Studio


 

  1. Brandy Clark – Your Life Is A Record


 

  1. Chase Crawford – The Neon Lights Go On Forever EP


 

  1. Arlo McKinley – Die Midwestern


 

  1. Jesse Daniel – Rollin’ On


 

  1. Rachel Brooke – The Loneliness In Me


 

  1. Caleb Caudle – Better Hurry Up


 

  1. Kyle Keller – All It Does Is Rain


 

  1. Lilly Hiatt – Walking Proof


 

  1. John Baumann – Country Shade


 

  1. Daniel Donato – A Young Man’s Country


 

  1. S.G. Goodman – Old Time Feeling


 

  1. Kody West – Overgrown


 

  1. Katie Pruitt – Expectations


 

Spend Christmas With Your Favortie Texas Crowd!

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Dec 202020
 

SPECIAL 2-NIGHT LIVE STREAM CHRISTMAS CONCERT! Join us via Facebook or YouTube on December 23rd and 24th at 8pm CT for a one-of-a-kind Christmas Concert Special showcasing holiday music and performances by some of your favorite MusicFest artists! This is a fundraiser to assist musicians and crew members whose main source of income has all but ceased for nearly the entire year with no end determined at this time. 100% of the donations received will be committed to the musicians and crews via HUCK Foundation (Helping Underprivileged, Citizens and Kids Foundation) Non-Profit 501 (c) (3).
4 EASY WAYS TO DONATE TO HUCK FOUNDATION:
1. Text “MUSICFEST” to 44321
3. Venmo: @HuckFoundation
4. Direct Mail: P.O. Box 1522, Buda, TX 78610

Now accepting donations! Join us via Facebook or YouTube on December 23rd and December 24th at 8pm CT for a one-of-a-kind Christmas Concert Special showcasing holiday music and performances by some of your favorite MusicFest artists! This will be a fundraiser to assist musicians and crew members whose main source of income has all but ceased for nearly the entire year with no end determined at this time. 100% of the donations received will be committed to the musicians and crews via HUCK Foundation (Helping Underprivileged, Citizens and Kids Foundation) Non-Profit 501 (c) (3).

What The Death of Charley Pride Means To Me.

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Dec 192020
 

I have always looked to do things in my writing forum differently than everyone else, and use an anomalous approach to get my feelings across to you. I cannot write some “same old informational” junk every other website will make about a Legend as special as Mr. Charley Pride. He was a totally different hero to me, and to Country Music in general. Not because he was black or because he faced so much prejudice…he was a hero because he sang with heart and soul, and he didn’t consider himself different from his peers.

Many times he was asked how it felt to be a black Country singer, and his answer was always “I don’t know, I just sing Country and I’m just a Country singer”. See, Mr. Charley sprouted out of RCA Victor during the 1960’s when two things were transpiring that were hurdles to him..the Outlaw movement and segregation.

But even then he faced another hurdle that not many people really know much about, and that is they used Mr. Charley as a pawn in their marketing strategies against rival label Capitol Records after 1971, when Capitol records introduced another black Country artist not many know about…Mr. Stoney Edwards. To top it all off not many know that the band that backed Mr. Stoney Edwards was none other than Asleep At The Wheel.

Now, one of the reasons I say that Mr. Charley was being pawned by the label was that he didn’t record many songs HE wrote, and Mr. Stoney, did. Don’t mistake my words my friends, because that fact alone bred some of Country Music’s BEST writers, like Mr. Jerry Foster and more. That marketing war also spawned the birth and proliferation of Asleep At The Wheel too.

Many of the others of his ilk were already going through the 1970’s garnering their own creative control of their music, which was coined by the media as the Outlaw movement. From my personal studies, I never concluded a judgement on whether it was HIS CHOICE to record songs he didn’t write..and I’ll spend more years trying to learn.

Back then the general public was either enjoying one of three “derivatives” of Country Music, and those were The Outlaw Movement, The Nashville Sound and The Bakersfield Eras. Funny thing was, was that Mr. Charley was NONE OF THEM! He was just self admittedly a regular old Country Singer. I think that fact placed him into the ranks of Mr. Gene Watson and Mr. Moe Bandy ( both of whom are still alive, touring and healthy today). Yeah, I know many of his 1970’s albums like “Pride Of America” were recorded at the Nashville Sound studio, but that doesn’t change the fact his sound was Country.

He faced so many boundaries with segregation and prejudice during his youth, they had to “discretely”  place him into package deals to slip him into the most prominent theaters across America. From my studies Mr. Faron young, whom helped Mr. Charley break out into superstardom, was VERY prejudiced against blacks. But Pride earned the respect of many with his raw and honest vocals, and his ardent love of the music itself.

I was exposed to his album “Country Feelin” at age 8. For some reason, it just spoke to me as a person. AGE 8 I was identifying with this “sound”  I was hearing, and the song I loved was called “The Man I Used To be” by Mr. Max D Barnes. Mr. max wrote one of Country Music’s saddest songs called “Chiseled in Stone”..ironically Charley Pride’s management team passed on the offer for him to record that song.

As a teenager I swiftly scooped up EVERY Pride record I could find. From 1973 and 1975 his two albums with a band called the Pridesmen are rare finds for vinyl collectors alike.  When I moved to Nashville in 1996, to pursue a career in Country Music, pride was one of the first heroes I had that I went out to find. I got to meet him at the Midnite Jamboree, at the Ernest Tubb Record Store.

Mr. Charley Pride was one of the most prominent and active Opry members within it’s ranks celebrating his 25th year in 2018. That statement right there brings me to my last quandary, how is the Opry going to react to this gaping hole 2020 has left in the Opry membership problem?

Mr. Hal Ketchum and Miss Jan Howard were almost weekly Opry appearance mainstays, with Mr. Charlie Daniels recently following suit, playing almost every other week.

Does the Opry plan to refill the “Grand Ladies Of The Opry” anymore? There are a plethora of ladies out there that play the opry on a regular basis, that need to be inducted into membership like Miss Erin Enderlin and Miss Sunny Sweeney and Miss Elizaeth Cook.

Charley Pride was my 2017 Album Of The Year. Without question that album was  probably one of pride’s best in the last 20 years of his career. Without question it made my TOP LIST the first few moments of my hearing it.

In closing, the death of Mr. Charley Pride has not only left a hollow gaping hole in this entire genre, but in the hearts of many. His kindness and genuine gentle mannerisms cannot be duplicated or even copied by any of today’s youth. The dignity that he embellished Country Music with cannot be repeated by anybody.

There will never be another hero like him. Ever.

Country Artist, Ken Wilber, Offers Fans Three New Singles off Upcoming Project

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Dec 152020
 

 

Country music artist, Ken Wilber, has announced the release of three singles as a gift to his fans during the holiday season, “Bread On The Table, “Freedom Song” and “I Could Get Used To You,” are all part of his upcoming compilation project. All three tunes were recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville and engineered and mixed by Tony Cottrill at The DAWg Houze in Hendersonville, TN and mastered by Benny Quinn. The new releases are available on all digital music platforms for streaming and download. “Bread On The Table” is available here. “Freedom Song”is available here and “I Could Get Used To You” is available here.

The three recordings were produced and co-written by Exile’s Sonny LeMaire, who stated “Ken has taken a timely lyric and injected it with a kickin’ vocal that makes you smile and want to dance with his version of “Bread On The Table.” Co-writers were hit songwriters Shane Minor and J.P. Pennington. LeMaire added, “New York born and bred, Ken really shows his vocal range on “Freedom Song,” by taking a tune that could be in any Southern Rock band’s repertoire and made it his own!” Clay Mills and Jimmy Ritchey joined LeMaire in writing this tune. “Rearranging a number one song originally recorded by Exile penned by J.P. Pennington and myself and turning it into a reggae sing along is a trick that Ken pulls off in fun fashion! I love playing and listening to this tune over and over,” concluded LeMaire.

Ken Wilber recollects that “Freedom Song was originally recorded by Blackberry Smoke, I really liked the Southern Rock flavor to it, as I grew up listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers. I was also heavily influenced by The Charlie Daniels Band, so this was a nice way to showcase that influence. This particular song has a great groove to it, it’s one of those songs that makes you want to roll the windows down in your car and hit the gas.”

““I Could Get Used to You” is my wife Amanda’s favorite Exile song,” exclaimed Wilber!  “We knew that we wanted to cover it for this project, but we wanted to change it up a bit, so that it wasn’t a carbon copy of what they originally did. Sonny and I played around with some different stuff on this one and finally settled on a reggae feel. I’m really happy with the way that this one turned out, as it sounds totally different from the original, but is also recognizable to people who are familiar with the song.”

“A nice uptempo 90’s style barn-burner – Exile originally released “Bread On The Table” on an EP.  I really responded to the lyrics of this song, as it’s all about the struggles of the everyday working family. Right now in the midst of the pandemic, I think this song rings true more than ever. Millions of people have lost their jobs and are worrying about how they are going to feed their families and pay the rent. As much as this song is about the struggles that we all go through, it also has a positive way at talking about those struggles.”

“Ken is a pleasure to work with and I’m always excited when he travels here to Nashville. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to record and mix his projects. He’s an amazing talent, incredible versatility in his singing, songwriting and his honest enthusiasm is infectious. Ken just keeps getting better and better as an artist and entertainer which will become obvious to the listener in these new releases,” exclaimed Tony Cottrill, Lonely Dog Productions and The DAWg Houze.

All of Ken’s music is available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music and download on Google Play, Amazon Music and iTunes.

David Frizzell’s ‘Barnyard Christmas’ CD and Storybook Available Now

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Dec 132020
 
Barnyard Christmas - From the Pen and Artistry of David Frizzell
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Legendary country music singer/songwriter and animal advocate David Frizzell, is supporting animal rescue with his new ten-song CD and storybook, Barnyard Christmas. This original project presents the story of the birth of Christ as told by animal characters that were present in the manger.

“The greatest story ever told…the birth of Christ as told by the animals that were there. What a blessing for me to create these amazing animated characters as they tell of their participation in the birth of Christ and the wonderfully talented artist, graphic designers, musicians, singers, studio engineers, and co-producer who help bring the whole project to life. From my heart to yours,” shares Frizzell.

With Barnyard Christmas, Frizzell gives a unique perspective on the meaning of Christmas, through the eyes of animals that were present at the birth of Jesus. The album and accompanying storybook presents a tender and whimsical musical tale, woven brilliantly by Frizzell with guests Allen Frizzell and the Martin Family Circus, and an impressive list of talented musicians.

To order the CD and storybook, visit www.davidfrizzell.com for more information.

About David Frizzell:
David Frizzell was born in El Dorado, Arkansas, in 1941. He began touring with his legendary brother, Lefty Frizzell at the age of 12 throughout the 1950s and 60s. After serving in the Air Force, Frizzell signed with Columbia Records in 1970 and charted his first Billboard single with “L.A. International Airport” and then a Top 40 with “I Just Can’t Help Believing.”

During the 1970s, Frizzell appeared regularly on Buck Owens’ All American TV Show and began recording for Capitol Records. In 1981, he recorded his first number-one country hit, “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma,” a duet with Shelly West. The song won the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year and Vocal Duet of the Year awards in 1981, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and was featured in Clint Eastwood’s film ‘Any Which Way You Can.’ Frizzell and West also won the Academy of Country Music award for Vocal Duo of the Year in 1981 and 1982.

In 1982, Frizzell released “I’m Gonna Hire A Wino To Decorate Our Home,” which made its way to number one. In recent years, Frizzell created his own label Nashville America Records, and has released several albums including Frizzell & Friends: This Is Our Time which includes a bonus track, written in honor of Lefty Frizzell, Merle Haggard, and traditional music in general. “Lefty, Merle & Me” features David with Marty Haggard.

David Frizzell is a timeless and tireless entertainer who continues to share his many gifts to the delight of fans old and new across the US and throughout the world. In 2020, Frizzell signed a distribution deal with Time Life / Warner Music Group to release his catalog of recordings.

 

Barnyard Christmas
Barnyard Christmas storybook
Barnyard Christmas cast of characters

News From My Friends At Old Settler’s Festival.

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Dec 122020
 

My friends out in Texas have many great festivals all through the state all year long, like this one many of them have to move at certain times. This festival is one of the Grandaddies of the Texas Music community, rich with history and ripe with relevance to the music world.

It began at Old Settler’s park in Round Rock Texas, but when the park flooded one year , they moved the festival to Stone Mountain Events Center in Dripping Springs Texas. In 2018 they moved the festival to it’s permanent home close to Austin Texas.

Some of their past lineups have blown my mind and made me want to finally get out west to cover their event, and much like Steamboat Springs…ONE DAY I’ll get out there to do some work for them.

I mean how many festivals juxtapose such an eclectic lineup as this:

2019 / 32ND ANNUAL

APRIL 11-14, 2019 THE HOMESTEAD, 1616 FM 3158, DALE (TILMON), TEXAS

BRANDI CARLILE, JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT, THE DEL MCCOURY BAND, GALACTIC, HAYES CARLL, WILD CHILD, PENNY & SPARROW, THE LONE BELLOW, SHINYRIBS, AMANDA SHIRES, LOS LEGENDS FT. FLACO JIMINEZ, RUBEN RAMOS, RICK TREVINO Y AMIGOS, MANDOLIN ORANGE, THE STEELDRIVERS, JAMES HUNTER SIX, ROBERT ELLIS, PAUL THORN, BLACK PUMAS, JOHN MORELAND, PAUL CAUTHEN, THE LAST BANDOLEROS, WOOD & WIRE, SAMANTHA FISH, SOUTH AUSTIN JUG BAND, MIPSO, SARAH GRACE AND THE SOUL, JAIMEE HARRIS, CALLIOPE MUSICALS, LEY LINE, BEN HUNTER & JOE SEAMONS, JEFF PLANKENHORN, IDA MAE, JOHN ELLIOTT, FEEDING LEROY, MCMERCY FAMILY BAND, BATTY JR., MIDDLESPOON

Mr. Aaron Watson Has Had A Big Year!

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Dec 112020
 

Way back in 2007, after I was done going through my divorce I began healing by delving into all types of music, including Red Dirt. Myspace helped me find so many of these great artists, including this man Mr. Aaron Watson.

At the time I discovered him, he was into his album called “Barbed Wire Halo” which in my opinion is an iconic album in the history of Red Dirt music. It boasted a religious theme and brought many people out to recognize a Legend we lost in 2020 Mr. Billy Joe Shaver, who recites many Bible verses during the album.

That’s the type of gigantic duende that  he has for the heart and soul of Country Music. This year alone, he has surpassed album sales of his last two albums on an independent basis with no help from mainstream platforms of any kind. The only places that you can find his music thrive is on websites like this, and a few others.

The song “Barbed Wire Halo” is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard in the past. I hope he continues to play this one on his live shows forever. Last year in January, he headlined his own show at the Ryman Auditorium..and it sold well.

His album “Vaquero” peaked at number 2 on the Top Country Albums chart, which was the follow up to his critically acclaimed 2015 album “Underdog”. The album ‘Underdog” debuted at number 1 on the charts, and at that time he was the first ever independent male artist ever to do so.

2021 is already a huge year full of anticipated albums from many different artists including Mr. Aaron Watson, as he announces his new album “American Soul” on February 5th. He released a portion of the lyrics from the title track.

I have a new song called “American Soul” out today. We weren’t
planning on releasing it until the end of the year, but decided to release it today because the American Soul needs a pep talk right now more than ever. We need to turn off the news, turn up the music and dance with the ones we love. This year has been filled with an overdose of hate and heartache and a shortage of hugs. I hope this new song fills your heart with hope during these troubled times.

In the song the Abilene native sings, “It’s the red white and blue, it’s the yellow, brown and black. It’s those rotten ol’ Republicans and those darned ol’ Democrats. We’re coming back around ’cause you can’t hold down the American Soul.”

Also, this past year in January he received another very special milestone as he was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall Of Fame at Billy Bob’s Texas. The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame—which includes members such as George Strait, Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson and more—was created to honor individuals who show excellence in competition, business and support of rodeo and the western lifestyle in Texas.

Asleep At The Wheel Announce Online Christmas Concert On December 19th

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Dec 102020
 
Asleep At The Wheel Announce Merry Texas Christmas, Y’all!,
A Special Online Christmas Concert On December 19th
December 3, 2020 – Austin, TX – Texas and Americana music pioneers Asleep at the Wheel aren’t going to let the year end without one last digital hurrah. On December 19th, bandleader Ray Benson and crew will dust off the carols, spike the eggnog, and proceed to boogie—holiday style—with a very special 90-minute live stream concert dubbed Merry Texas Christmas, Y’all! The band will take the stage at the “Texas North Pole,” playing fan favorites as well as choice cuts from their three previously released Christmas albums. The festivities will begin at 7 pm CST on December 19th, and post-show, the special will be on-demand streaming until Santa makes his rounds. For more information and to purchase a ticket, please follow this link. One ticket will allow streaming on one device.
In addition to tickets, exclusive holiday bundles including VIP Zoom meet and greets with Ray Benson and Katie Shore, Asleep at the Wheel Christmas cards, autographed CDs, tote bags, and more are available now right here, powered by Friendly Sky.
What else has the Asleep at the Wheel been up to this year? In October, the band teamed up with Austin City Limits and PBS for ACL Presents: 50 Years of Asleep at the Wheel, a special retrospective of the band’s appearances on the beloved program. From performing on the series’ very first episode to modern-day collaborations with legends like Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett (in total, the band has appeared on eleven episodes), Asleep at the Wheel have woven a 50-year thread through Texas and American music history, and Austin City Limits played a quite the part in it. Fans can experience the journey right from the beginning with ACL Presents: 50 Years of Asleep at the Wheel; more information including a full broadcast schedule is available at acltv.com.
About Asleep at the Wheel: The stars aligned in 1970 when three friends Ray Benson, Lucky Oceans, and Leroy Preston moved to Paw Paw, West Virginia (it’s not a made-up place, you can look it up). It was there that their dream of forming a band began after a mutual friend gave them access to his uncle’s cabin on an apple orchard just outside of town. The three friends began to—quite literally—woodshed and found others who would join them in their mission to play old-style roots/Americana music. This was long before the genre even had a name. After a trip to the outhouse, Lucky lived up to his name and suggested the band be called Asleep at the Wheel and so it was to be for the next 50 years.
Since inception, Asleep at the Wheel has received 10 GRAMMY® Awards, was cited by the Country Music Association as 1976 Touring Band of the Year, and were given the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Americana Music Association. They have released 31 albums and charted more than 20 singles on country charts. Billboard commented on the band’s catalog most succinctly: “Everything this act has ever released is simply spectacular.”

Bo Armstrong’s Debut Full-Length Chasing Ballads is an Ode to What Matters

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Dec 092020
 

 

BoArmstrong

Bo Armstrong’s full-length debut, Chasing Ballads, is both conversational and poetic, Americana with a tinge of Texas influence. Out today, the album focuses on chasing after what matters to you, whether that’s realizing lifelong dreams or finding the love you believe in.

Produced by Brian Douglas Phillips (David Ramirez, Rob Baird, Thomas Csorba) at Rattle Trap Audio in Austin, TX, Chasing Ballads follows Armstrong’s 2017 EP, Where We Are. Throughout the 11 tracks, Armstrong seamlessly transitions from love songs to declarations of his purpose and finding his own voice.

“My idea of what it means to ‘make it’ as a songwriter has changed over and over and over again,” Armstrong says about the album. “I’ve learned that—despite all the necessary collaboration—this is often a lonely pursuit. But what calms me when I’m feeling overwhelmed is the realization that such behavior isn’t unique to me; it’s not even unique to someone pursuing a career in the arts. We all experience these flurries of emotion, and we all have to find ways of coping with them. That is the very shared human experience that the storytellers I admire capture so gracefully, and it is what I aim to get better at myself in the years ahead.”

Chasing Ballads is about finding love you believe in and going after it,” he continues. “It’s about acknowledging your past and letting it motivate your future. It’s about finding the courage to live in the moment without throwing caution to the wind, and learning that so little in life can be accomplished on your own, even if the road you’re on is sometimes a lonely one.”

***

“The album’s eleven tracks develop an inviting sense of intimacy by reflecting on life’s small moments, while its subdued instrumentation lets the songwriting truly shine, putting the focus on the lyrics and Armstrong’s soulful delivery.”

– Raised Rowdy

***

“Meet Me in Memphis” offers a rollicking start to the album, an ode to long-distance love. “Built to Last,” featuring Laurel Wright of The Young Fables, examines love that spans decades. “Where Are You, Lonesome” explores “the universal feeling of loneliness,” notes Wide Open Country. “Mama Sway” is a tried-and-true love song, written for Armstrong’s wife while watching her with their young son. “Chasing Ballads,” one of the most affecting tracks on the album, finds Armstrong digging his heels in on what he believes in and remaining true to himself. “You Know What I Look Like in the Dark” offers a rare look at what it means to really be vulnerable.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Armstrong played four years of NCAA ice hockey in upstate New York. Following graduation, he spent two years in the Mississippi Delta with Teach for America. After close to a decade in New York City, he convinced his wife in 2017 that they should move to Nashville, where he could finally give music a real shot. His songs have garnered the respect and subsequent mentorship of storied songwriters (and fellow Texans) Jack Ingram, Jon Randall, and Liz Rose.

Chasing Ballads Track Listing:

1. Meet Me in Memphis
2. Built to Last (feat. Laurel Wright)
3. Where Are You Lonesome? (feat. Taylor Stearns)
4. Wildfire
5. Wearing Out These Wings
6. Here’s Looking at You, Kid
7. Used to You (feat. Sierra Carson)
8. Mama Sway
9. Dance With Me
10. Chasing Ballads
11. You Know What I Look Like in the Dark

News On The Cody Canada Musicfest Tribute.

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Dec 082020
 

 

 

 

PRE-ORDER THE ALBUM HERE!

I’m excited about some of the releases of 2021 already…MY GOD the winter will be packed full of good ones coming out of many different genres. Delving into one of my favorite music communities, Red Dirt I found out about a recording from my friends over at Steamboat MusicFest.

See before the pandemic happened, THERE WERE a few festivals that DID transpire, including Mile 0 Fest…and THIS ONE. The MusicFest at Steamboat Springs is one of the hot spots for Red Dirt music across multiple stages in a huge area.

Now, I’m going to openly admit that as much as I admire this festival, I have not had the opportunity to cover this festival yet in person. It IS on our radar and we ARE making plans to go there soon! You know we are indeed a nationwide operation, and we have had a strong presence in the west.

This past January, the artists and staff at MusicFest banded together to host a BIG tribute show to Red Dirt Legend Mr. Cody Canada who was a major part of the band Cross Canadian Ragweed. Dickson Productions put together a damn fine show here, and his peers were given the opportunity to perform the songs of Cross Canadian Ragweed and the music that inspired many of them to become bands.

I wanted to take the opportunity to also write my love of this man and this band, and how integral they are to Red Dirt and underground music in general. I started out REALLY delving into Texas Music and Red Dirt stuff around 2007, when I got a divorce. After I healed, I started collecting records and researching bands like Cross Canadian Ragweed. I found them on their “Mission California” album but their live albums like Cain’s Ballroom truly gripped me.

I have been collecting all of the LIVE at Billy Bob’s albums on CD and their recording of “Boys From Oklahoma” was an epic milestone of my healing process from a dark period of my life. “Soul Gravy” is an iconic album in my opinion, and brought Red Dirt Music to a whole new echelon.

Their 2002 self titled album ( It’s called the purple album ) is one that propelled this band up to a national level from a local one, with classic songs like “Constantly”.  In may of 2010, the band officially announced it’s final show, saying “We’re Ragweed as the four of us, or not Ragweed at all”. Their final show was in Illinois that year, and Mr. Cody Canada formed the Departed.

1. Constantly – Parker McCollum
2. Bang My Head – Copper Chief (featuring Cody Canada)
3. Don’t Need You – Read Southall Band
4. Fightin’ For – Reckless Kelly
5. 17 – Jamie Lin Wilson (featuring Dierks Canada)
6. This Time Around – Randy Rogers
7. 42 Miles – Casey Donahew
8. Sick and Tired – Wade Bowen (featuring Jamie Lin Wilson)
9. Carney Man – Mike McClure
10. Breakdown – Bruce Robison
11. Alabama – Courtney Patton
12. Johnny’s Song – William Clark Green
13. On a Cloud – Doug Moreland
14. Run to Me – Bri Bagwell
15. Broken – Stoney LaRue (featuring Cody Canada)
16. Dead Man – Jade Marie Patek
17. The Years – BJ Barham of American Aquarium

Read More: Tribute to Cody Canada & The Music of Ragweed Coming in January | https://radiotexaslive.com/the-tribute-to-cody-canada-the-music-of-cross-canadian-ragweed-the-years-is-out-in-january/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

ARTISTS AND INDUSTRY FRIENDS REFLECT ON PASSING OF HAL KETCHUM

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Dec 072020
 

Hal Ketchum

 

Hit Country singer of “Small Town Saturday Night,” Hal Ketchum, pased away on Monday night at age 67 as a result of complications from dementia. His wife Andrea confirmed the news on Facebook Tuesday.

Ketchum, a member of the Grand Ole Opry, released his debut album for Curb Records, Past the Point of Rescue, in 1991. The album produced four country Top 20 singles: the Number Two-charting classic “Small Town Saturday Night,” “I Know Where Love Lives,” his version of the Mick Hanly-penned title track, and producer Allen Reynolds’ “Five O’Clock World.” It would be his highest-selling album, eventually going gold for sales in excess of 500,000.

“I am saddened to hear the news of the passing of Hal Ketchum. He had such a distinctive voice and way of delivering a song. He was also a very nice man and wow, could he snow ski!! I will cherish the day I spent with Hal and Charlie Daniels the day we shot the video for the Long Haired Country Boy remake at Charlie’s place. If you watch the video and you think we must have had a lot of fun you’d be correct. It was a great day and will be forever a fond memory.” –John Berry

“Very sad to hear of Hal’s passing. His poetic piece about becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry was so touching. He will certainly be missed.” –Jeannie Seely

“Hal’s debut in country music was explosive. Unique-sounding singer, prolific and commercial songwriter and drop dead handsome, Hal presented as the total package. As an instant fan I requested and received the opportunity to interview Hal for an article in Country Song Roundup magazine. We covered a bunch of topics, but kept returning to songwriting and his process of inspiration. “When I’m preparing to write for a new project,” he explained, “I feel myself seizing up emotionally, and I exorcize all of it by writing”. In contrast to exploring the depths of his artistry, we had a few hearty laughs, too. Hal was honest and open that day, and I liked him a lot.” –Steve Goetman, Exile

“I remember one year when Gerry House was promoting Oktoberfest and as a joke he challenged Hal Ketchum to come play live in the studio in a pair of lederhosen to yodel for the audience. It was off the cuff and on air and we had no idea Hal had heard until he just showed up wearing full German attire with knee socks, suspenders, leather shorts and an accordion.  I seldom saw Gerry House bested with a joke but this time he was. Hal sang and laughed with us at himself and the joy of life. He was brilliant. He had a voice he kept pristine throughout his career and dashing good looks that matured like the finest wine. But his laugh…his smile…his humor will always be my fondest memory of him. Our world is dimmer today without Hal’s smile.” –Devon O’Day host of Main Street Today and Devon O’Day’s Nashville

“Hal Ketchum was a singers singer. One of the nicest guys in the business and I so enjoyed our conversations about history. I can’t say enough about how cool he was on and off stage. I will be cranking up my favorite song of his today! Do yourself a favor and listen to “In front of the Alamo” and you’ll know what I mean. Rest easy my friend.”  –Tim Rushlow

“Love to Hal and all his family. He was a brother.” –David Ball

“I met Hal thru the Allen Reynolds group at Jack’s Tracks and was lucky to do some shows with him. At the 1st 30A Songwriters show we did, he sang “Stay Forever” a cappella and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. He will be missed. My condolences to his family.” –Kent Blazy

“Wow, what a year to lose another amazing artist of the 90s. Small Town Saturday Night was just one staple of many great songs Hal released. Regards to his family and friends and thank you for all of your iconic music.” –Lockeland

“I was saddened to hear of the passing of Hal Ketchum today. I was blessed to be raised with nineties country icons such as Hal, and am forever grateful for his musical influence.” –Noah Garner

“I’m so saddened to hear about the passing of Mr. Ketchum. Although I never met him, he and his music were a huge part of my life. Growing up in a small town, “Small Town Saturday   Night” became one of the theme songs of my life. He will be dearly missed! –Dallas Remington

“Today the industry lost another icon!! Hal Ketchum was one of those really cool guys with his own style. I  listened to him often back in the day. R.I.P Hal.” –Mickey Lamantia

“I am so sad to hear of the passing of Hal Ketchum. Our Country music world for sure lost a legend. Although I was only born in the late 90s, some of my favorite artists and influences come from 90’s Country. “Small Town Saturday Night” has always been a favorite of mine. Hal’s memory will live on forever through his music and all he inspired. My heart and prayers go out to his family and friends.” –Dani-elle Kleha

The Opry Has Gone In A Little Better Direction In the Past Few Years.

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Dec 062020
 

This article will be one of my opinionated ones that few of you will quickly and ardently disagree and call me foolish. It’s this whole “Hate Pop Country” mindset some people have today within our community. They immediately scorn simple statements without any delving into the facts. Sadly, some of these “anti pop country” facebook only pages they have managed to inculcate that state of mind into thousands of us..for a while, I TOO was intrigued by the memes and jokes that abound on social media.

From the dawn of Myspace, the mere mention of the Opry generated so much hatred and foul feelings, to see it was futile to change my own thoughts of it. Yeah, I was HEAVILY involved and supportive of the Reinstate Hank movement, and I STILL THINK that it’s a poor excuse of a reason, however I do see THEIR point.

However in this article I’m going to ratiocinate some positive and negative points about our beloved Opry in 2020, and in general. Despite the way things panned out this year ( do I seriously need to start out another article with ‘Well 2020 was a rough year” crap?) the Opry did some terrific things for some artists I really like.

A few years ago, when Miss Sally Williams took over as CEO of the Opry, I was enamored with hope that she would embrace a NEW kind of change. I was hopeful that she was going to welcome some of these new REAL COUNTRY females out there to come play the Opry, and become members. Why you ask?

Because Miss Sally Williams has been a Nashville icon for 20 years now, and she REALLY LIKES REAL local music. In 2017, she took over the entity with grace and alacrity and immediately began to take things into a positive direction with her Opry inductions to membership AND booking performers. In fact, right off the bat in 2017 she began her iron fist rule with inducting Miss Crystal Gayle AND she allowed her sister Loretta Lynn to invite her!

Then, in 2019 we had another change as Mr. Dan Rogers took over as the Opry GM, and he also had a vision to create an even playing field on the Opry by inviting new Country AND Traditional Country to play. In 2019, it was a groundbreaking thing to transpire to see Country Legend Mr. Gene Watson become a new member.

Even with all of the pandemic changes this year ( just this weekend the Opry finally opened it’s doors fully ), they invited so many of the artists I adore to perform. In July, even though Mr. Corb Lund did not get to perform his Opry debut, I DID GET to see Miss Margo Price perform there. Why, this weekend the mighty fine Miss Erin Enderlin is performing on the Opry!

August began a DAMN FINE month on the Opry as they featured Old Crow Medicine Show, Mr. Dom Flemmons, Mr. Billy Strings, and Miss Molly Tuttle.  It continued on with Mr. Jon Pardi, whom is one of the mainstream artists that is actually tolerable in today’s society.

September marked a breakthrough month for me as a fan of this woman..Miss Ashley McBryde and another young lady I have been watching..Miss Sierra Hull. Ashley McBryde made her own Opry debut in 2017, and has become one of the many artists to continuously play there with passion and love. The ONLY thing I was disappointed with on her Opry debut was the T shirt..which was crappy. However, her NEXT Opry performance she dressed the part and brought forth SO MUCH dignity and love!

One thing I find INTOLERABLE about the Opry now is when they finally did come back on television, they had to pick Mr. Bobby Bones as the host. They could not have picked a deeper scar on Country Music as him. ugh. I suppose this portion of the article is where I could expand upon the many things I dislike about the Opry’s direction now. But overall in 2020 I am convinced that the Opry has begun to head in a great direction lately, and if you haven’t taken a few moments to look into the reasons WHY I say that….shame on you!

Listen To Molly Parden’s Patiently-Awaited EP “Rosemary” – Out Today

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Dec 052020
 
Today, after a string of critically-acclaimed single releases accounting for millions of Spotify streams and an album of haunting cover tunes, Nashville-based, mood-altering singer and songwriter Molly Parden returns with a brand new EP, Rosemary. Rosemary’s six tracks—the largest collection of songs Parden has released since her 2011 debut Time Is Medicine—weave effortlessly between worlds of pop, folk, string-scapes, and warbly lo-fi filters to make a tidy bed for Parden’s gilded voice and heart wrenching songs to melt into.
Ahead of its release, Rosemary received accolades from the likes of Forbes, who said of Parden’s patient writing process, “This slow creative philosophy serves her; the kind of emotional work that must be done in an album such as Rosemary cannot be expedited,” and Paste, who shared Parden’s “Kitchen Table” video, saying “‘Kitchen Table’ has the lush, unhurried sway of a Faye Webster (whose backing band Parden once played in) tune and the delicate vocals of your favorite indie-folk singer.” In addition to adding Parden to their list of 40 Best New Bands Of 2020, Stereogum also suggested that “if called upon, she could just as easily become a fourth member of boygenius or ghostwrite for Natalie Prass,” and Gorilla vs. Bear called “Who Are We Kiddin” an “effortless, timeless-but-unmistakably-modern union of swooning R&B, heartfelt indie-folk, and twinkling, string-laden classic pop.” With critics already on board, now it’s the fans’ turn to finally get a taste of Parden’s patiently crafted and awaited Rosemary. To stream or purchase, please follow this link.
Rosemary is rich with light-handed touches from Parden and producers Juan Solorzano and Zachary Dyke. From the throbbing electric piano chords and reedy horn flourishes of “Who Are We Kiddin’” to the slow burn of “These Are The Times,” the care taken to present each song in its most pristine form is on the same focal plane as the songs themselves. “The guys and I set out to make each song sound as beautiful, sad, and lonely as the day I first sang them,” says Parden. “Precise sounds with intentionality and plenty of space,” she calls it. “These Are The Times” closes out Rosemary with the same intimate pulse in which “Feel Alive Again” begins it—Parden calls the latter “a hymn” and “a plea for peace.” “I Know You Can” may be the single-most devastating song Parden has ever shared with the world. “This song depicts the crippling heartache that I felt following the ending of a relationship that I thought would last the test of time,” recalls Parden. “These were moments of bittersweet tenderness as I tried to let go of everything. I couldn’t listen to this song without crying for months.” Her sentiment comes across deeply clear in the pleading chorus: I know you’re strong enough to be my man. You may think you can’t. But I know you can.
For all its unapproachable beauty, the heart of Parden’s music is humble and profoundly human. They are songs that remind us that heartbreak isn’t simply another marketable human emotion, but is more like a familiar place—a sacred space within all of us. It makes listening to Rosemary feel like falling into a dream or a distant memory; a beautiful reminder of something we’ve known all along.
Rosemary Track Listing
1. Feel Alive Again
2. Kitchen Table
3. Who Are We Kiddin’
4. I Know You Can
5. Within A Dream
6. These Are the Times

Album Feature – Ward Davis – Black Cats and Crows

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Dec 042020
 

By Joshua Wallace

Ward Davis is finally back with his second full length album titled Black Cats and Crows.  This is his first full album since 2015’s stellar 15 Years In A Ten Year Town.  This record was well worth the wait although I hope it doesn’t take another five years for a third full length Ward Davis.  This collection has a bit more of a rock sound to it with plenty of heavy guitars throughout, but it is still firmly a country record and it’s one of the best country records to come out in 2020.

The album kicks off with “Ain’t Gonna Be Today” which is co-written by Kendell Marvel.  This song gives you a bit of a rocking feel that sets you up for the rest of the record.  “Black Cats and Crows” was the first single from the record.  It’s a ballad with a darker tone that was co-written by Cody Jinks and Tennessee Jet.  I love the slow build with the Ward on the keys and the solo on this one is awesome.  Speaking of amazing solos, none other than Anthrax’s Scott Ian plays on the track “Sound Of Chains” and it’s a heavy rocking country murder ballad.  Scott Ian’s playing adds a lot of muscle to this track and it has to be heard to be truly appreciated.

I think Ward Davis has the better version of “Colorado” here.  This song is written by Cody Jinks and Ward, and it previously appeared on Jinks Lifers album.  This version is smoother and I feel like the emotion of the song carries through a bit more here.  It’s a great song either way you listen to it though.  Another murder ballad here is “Papa and Mama” which is a great Ray Scott tune.  Ward takes Ray Scott’s dark and bluesy number and turns it into more of a gothic country murder ballad.  Finally, “Good and Drunk” closes out this record.  I’m happy to see this stand out track from 2018’s Asunder EP finally appear on an actual album.  It’s a nice closer and fits the overall darker mood of the record.

Ward Davis has turned in a great follow up to 2015’s 15 Years In A Ten Year Town.  With these two albums under his belt, Ward Davis has cemented himself as one of the top independent country music acts.  I cannot wait to hear some of these songs live sometime very soon.  Black Cats and Crows is out everywhere you can listen to music as of November 20th, 2020.

Favorite Tracks : Ain’t Gonna Be Today, Black Cats and Crows, Sounds Of Chains, Get To Work Whiskey, Colorado, Papa and Mama, Lady Down On Love, Good and Drunk 

Ward Davis – Black Cats and Crows (2020)

  1. Ain’t Gonna Be Today
  2. Black Cats and Crows
  3. Threads
  4. Sounds Of Chains
  5. Get To Work Whiskey
  6. Colorado
  7. Book Of Matches
  8. Heaven Had A Hand
  9. Where I Learned To Live 
  10. Papa and Mama
  11. Lady Down On Love
  12. Nobody
  13. Good To Say Goodbye
  14. Good and Drunk

Miss Amber Digby Is Recording Again With An All New Duet Album.

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Dec 032020
 

Heart of Texas Recording Artist Amber Digby is at Cherry Ridge Recording Studios In Floresville, Texas, today starting a new album being produced by Country Music Legend Tommy Detamore. Mr. Tommy has benefited many Country artists I love and regard as future legends, especially the younger ones like her. I’m REALLY excited to see what this young lady has to bring us in the future, and it’s one of the TOP records on my list of 2020 up comers.

Mr. Tommy has also played steel guitar on many albums for artists like Miss Sunny Sweeney, and many others I could list on here. In my opinion Country Music has three integral pillars of it’s very foundation, The songwriters, the producers and the steel guitarists.

This will be a very special project for Amber and her first new album in over six years. It will contain duets with some legendary figures in Country Music, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic to let you in on what I know right now! It appears to be a duet album including the likes of Mr. Moe Bandy and Mr. Johnny Rodriguez. The full duet album will contain Mr. Willie Nelson, Miss Jeannie C. Riley, Mr. Johnny Bush and Miss Loretta.

“I’m plugging away at the music again” Amber Digby said. “We are heading to the studio to lay down rhythm tracks for a new record that I know ya’ll will love. I should’ve done this 10 years ago, but you know how that goes. This project is near and dear to me, because it is a duet project with some of my biggest influences in country music. Every single person on this record is a friend, a cheerleader, a mentor. These are some of my heroes. From Nashville to Texas, money can’t buy what I have learned and still learn from these wonderful artists.

1. Texas Dance Hall Girl
Jerry Naill
2. You Go Around
Johnny Rodriguez
3. It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
Loretta Lynn
4. I’m Hangin’ Around
The Whites
5.  Today Is Not the Day
Jeannie Seely
6. It Should Be Easier Now
Willie Nelson
7. I’ll Warm by the Flame
Johnny Bush
8. The Heart He Kicks Around
Jeannie C. Riley
9. Take Back It’s Over
Larry Gatlin
10. Soft Lights and Country Music
Moe Bandy
11. Under These Conditions
Vince Gill

Robbie Fulks Debut Album Now Available On Vinyl.

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Dec 022020
 

 

BS 011 Robbie Fulks
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BS011-vinyl web

ROBBIE FULKS DEBUT ALBUM NOW AVAILABLE ON VINYL LP

bs011 cover 1

ROBBIE FULKS DEBUT ALBUM “COUNTRY LOVE SONGS” AVAILABLE ON VINYL LP FOR THE FIRST TIME!!

LIMITED EDITION OF 1000

Lovingly re-mastered from the original tapes by Carl Saff in Chicago IL, Robbie’s masterful debut album will hit your turntable like a warm glass of bourbon.

THIS is how a stone cold brilliant honky tonk album should be enjoyed: on 180 gram vinyl.

The surprise hit of 1996, and at the time served notice that a) Country Music did NOT have to suck b) that he was a top-notch songwriter and performer and c) things in the underground country scene were never going to be the same.

Highlights (and there are many) include drop-dead, now classic cool honky tonk gems like “Every Kinda Music But Country,” “The Buck Starts Here,” and the sing-a-long fave “She Took A Lot Of Pills (And Died).”

Our friends over at Bloodshot Records released his debut album “Country Love Songs” on vinyl this year, for the first time ever. They did that with an early Wayne “The Train” Hancock album as well, and others. The last few years have indeed been a triumph for vinyl collectors, and I could not be anymore elated over that.

This past Christmas I witnessed MANY people get record players, and there are many reports of vinyl outselling all other forms of music in 2019. If you are one of those people, this album needs to be at the TOP of your list.

This man is one of the many artists that led me to enjoy underground music like Mr.Chris Knight and Wayne Train Hancock. In 1998 I was just getting into this underground music with a few more bands, but this album and this man was one of the catalysts that sparked my love of local music….and here I am.

The 1990s are a hard decade to collect vinyl from, because next tot nothing was made by any artist and every time I find these companies re releasing their titles to us collectors, I always try my best to let my readers know. Because this album  is probably one of the TOP 100 albums of all time for me, when it comes to Roots music.

As the years went by, I became to have even more love and respect for him for all of his contributions to music. He spent quite some time making music with Miss Linda Gail Lewis, sister of Legend Mr. Jerry Lee Lewis. In 2016 his album called “Upland Stories” made my TOP 50 lists.

Today’s times have witnessed a total comeback of vinyl and in fact it is outselling compact discs! People have become enamored again about going out to the record store and buying new records…however many of them still come with download cards for your digital needs.