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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ndcaster, Aug 9, 2018.
Justin Townes Earle
Mo Pitney and his sister Holly are great and they're what I consider "Classic Country" as is the lady Tea Goans (low growl).. S
Saw Marty Stuart recently. Really enjoyed the show and he had an incredible band.
A couple Canadian Names to add to the list....
+1 for Sturgill Simpson
Wisdom, wisdom, wisdom.
Yeah, I can't figure out how much of the suckage is in precisely which artists/performers draw into the Nashville Commercial Pop Machine, how much of it is the fault of executives and producers, and finally how much of the suckage happens because people lose track of why they play music. Although, some people would do WWE or NASCAR or Reality TV or anything for that blend of big Dollars and a lot of notoriety. I am suspicious that a lot of "stars" of this Nashville Pop thing are only peripherally engaged in the musical expression part of it. They really want fame and money, and "music" is just an avenue and nothing more.
I also think reaching a global market is part of the calculus. Album sales are way down, stream revenue is small, etc., the only way to make money is to realize economies of scale, and for that to occur, you need to get close to automated production and the lowest possible common denominator when it comes to lyrics. Anything really language- or tradition-dependent is a financial liability in the global market. So to my mind, we've entered the Age of Chimeras, where most performers are these weird assemblages of "potential market reaches." Everything that rises must converge? Or "dissolve."
Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton are about all I can stomach anymore. When we can get KOKE FM from Austin, TX, we will listen to most of the stuff they have on there. But, it has gotten so bad that my wife is listening to classic rock and not any country music stations.
Well Hell if that ain't an alt country album title right there (do they still call them "Albums"?)
In the spirit of the OP here's a couple from Chris Knight who I didn't mention earlier...
I occasionally listen to Bob Harris' country music session on BBC Radio 2, here in the UK. As you might expect, he plays a fair bit of "American" country music as, although there are British exponents, the majority of material available - legacy and new - is from across the pond.
I'm quite partial to Sturgill Simpson, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris and Jason Isbell's music and I have a bit of Chris Stapleton's - to which I'm warming a bit more slowly.
I watched the CMA on TV last year and the majority wasn't really to my taste. Not surprising as I'm much more a heavy / prog rock and blue fan - but I'm always open to trying new stuff.
There's long been an over-stockage of real talent in/around Commercial Country and Nashville, but then a corresponding deep reservoir of formulaic dreck; a high suckage factor as others note. I enjoy and mostly draw country songs for gigs from about 1927 - think early Jimmie Rodgers - up until about 1963. Even during this era there were plenty of musicians following a script. By the mid-50s the Nashville Sound started to dominate and push out hardcore honky tonk, folky blues ballads, music from the hollers - Eddy Arnold, The "Singing Plowboy," started wearing a tux and singing in front of phalanxes of singers and violin (not fiddle) players - some forms of rural gospel music. It's more complicated than this, of course, and interesting music has a way of making itself heard as this thread attests. But the industry has always IMHO had a tendency to persuade itself that Country Music in 19?? or 20?? needs to sound like >THIS<, and artists are under pressure to conform.
Junior Brown if he hasn't been mentioned.
I’ll mention Brandy Clark. Awesome songwriter. And Todd Snider. Not sure about his newer stuff, but he’s written some classics. And Robbie Fulks, who just released an album with Jerry Lee Lewis’s sister. Robbie’s never written a bad song. And of course the ever-reliable Buddy Miller.
All of the above lean on country but are appealing to all listeners searching for good, personal songwriting.
For those interested in production and songwriting, the new Kacey Musgraves album is great. Golden Hour may be about as mainstream as one can get coming out of Nashville that isn't cookie cutter bro-country or "EDM"-country. On first listen it reminded me of Beck's more mellow albums (i.e. Morning Phase), if that floats your boat.
I think some people glanced over the "today" part in the original question.
Mo and Hollly Pitney's friend and local country DJ, Wyatt McCubbin. John Schneider (Dukes of Hazard) just recorded one of Wyatt's songs.
wow thanks so much good music references here! Will watch the thread... keep it going
My favourite's Jaime Wyatt. A bit more country rock at times but Felony Blues is and album full of greatt hooks
I played with her around Texas about 10 years ago. That girl has come a long way!