Author: Leon Blair
Well, well, well. While it would appear that 2015 and 2016 will go down to many as disappointing years in music, I think we also have to acknowledge that both have also been about championing fantastic songwriters to new levels of prominence. Everyone remembers Chris Stapleton’s big wins at the CMA’s last November that turned him into more than just a songwriter, and it would appear that Lori McKenna is another songwriter whose name is more than just something you see in an artist’s liner notes (for those of you who are like me and still read them).
Sure, she might not have a slew of No. 1’s as an artist, nor is she even releasing songs to country radio. Lori McKenna has however been responsible for crafting some of mainstream country’s finest songs in sometime with “Girl Crush” (Little Big Town) and “Humble and Kind” (Tim McGraw), both of which were huge hits to boot. The best of the best in music haven’t proved themselves through talk, they’ve proven through action, and taking action has been exactly what Lori has been doing.
Happy Saturday, and welcome to another edition of The CMM Tracks of the Day. Every day we bring you two songs we'd like to put a spotlight on.
Welcome to another edition of CMM's Tracks of the Day! Each day we highlight two songs that we love and believe you might have missed.
Welcome to another edition of CMM's Tracks of the Day! Each day we highlight two songs that we love and believe you might have missed. Generally, one song is "older" and one song is "newer." We often strive for there to be a connection between the two artists, and that's definitely the case today.
Line-Up: Kelsey Waldon, Heathen Sons, and The Turnpike Troubadours
Author: Daniel Spradlin
The band out of Oklahoma decided to make a trip up to Nashville to play a show there for the first time in three years. Subsequently, I decided to take a 12 hour road trip with a couple friends down to Music City to see them for the first time. Think it was worth it?
The Turnpike Troubadours are well versed in the Midwest and Texas music scenes with few and far between trips to the east or west coasts. They are one of the only groups out there that manage to carry a six piece band despite not being nearly as popular or successful as they deserve to be. Included in that six man band are some of the wide ranging instrumentation you can hear on any Turnpike album. From your standard acoustic guitar, bass, drums, and electric guitars to the fiddle, pedal steel, harmonica, and even an accordion.
This was one of my most anticipated concerts that I've been to. In addition to the Troubadours, Heathen Sons and Kelsey Waldon were tapped as openers on this warm July summer night. The venue (pictured above) was like an upscale brick warehouse located in "The Gulch" area just south of Broadway. Inside the venue there was rustic atmosphere to the place which I really liked. I was an early arriver in hopes to get a good spot among the sold out crowd near the stage. The line to get in when doors opened probably stretched a quarter mile up the street, so the Troubadours and company created quite the buzz as they hit town.
Welcome to another edition of CMM's "Tracks of the Day" feature! This is where we select two songs we feel are great and that our readers may not have heard.
Welcome to another edition of CMM's "Track of the Day." This is where we bring you two great songs you might not have heard. Generally, one of the songs is relatively older, and the other is relatively newer.
Author: Zackary Kephart
I really didn't know what to expect coming into an album named Circle Round The Signs by a guy from Chicago named Al Scorch. To be fair, you never know what you can expect from a member of Bloodshot Records, and that's not meant to be taken as an insult. Actually, it speaks to the level of creativity embodied under that label, and Al Scorch is certainly what one could call creative.
I'm honestly a little intimidated with how to start off this review folks. I've listened to Circle Round The Signs at least a dozen times by now, and all I can say is – holy shit. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that creativity is a trait that isn't evident in Country or Americana these days, but I think we need to award Al Scorch for crafting one of 2016's best releases thus far.
Circle Round The Signs is the complete package in terms of excellent lyricism, instrumentation, and vocals. Normally I go into albums with a notebook ready to jot down notes and write down anything I see fitting to talk about in great detail. I have to be honest folks, I didn't do that for this album. I was actually losing myself to the music, something that I don't think any album in 2016 has done for me thus far.
We're just about past the halfway point of 2016, and I thought it'd be a great time to share some of my favorite albums I've heard so far this year.
Please note that this is not intended to be a "Best of 2016" list, because that would imply an in-depth knowledge of 2016 new releases that I currently lack. The fact that I only joined CMM in April and didn't decide to do a midyear/endyear list until May has resulted in me being a little behind in new releases. There are several acclaimed releases I fully intend to listen to but haven't yet, as well as some I listened to and enjoyed but haven't yet spent enough time with to feel comfortable writing about. In other words, if you don't see an album here, it is almost certainly not intended as a slight. I will have a more conventional, ranked "best of" list at the end of the year when I'm all caught up!
Welcome to today's edition of Country Music Minds' Tracks of the Day feature! This is where we bring to you two songs will feel are worthy of your attention.
There are very few vocalists in country music history who can match Ray Price, and very few writers who are as intelligent as Roger Miller. So when Ray Price sings a song by Roger Miller, you know it's going to be great. The narrator of "Invitation to the Blues" has been left by his lover and his world has turned into a living hell. It's country music all right! This classic went to #3 in 1958, and has been covered numerous times, perhaps most recently by Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris. Of course, the version by Roger Miller, no slouch of a performer himself, is also well-worth hearing.
When we think of where country music originates, we generally think of the American South. But of course, great country music can originate from anywhere in the world. Ags Connolly is from England, but lives and breathes country music. From his stellar 2014 debut How About Now, which I can't recommend enough, "When Country Was Proud" is something of a protest song, but instead of engaging in pop-country bashing (all right, maybe a little), it's more of a celebration of country music's storied history and the legendary artists of the past. Check it out!