Dolly Parton is number one on “Taste of Country’s” list of Country’s Most Powerful Women of All Time To celebrate her new children’s album, the CMA posted a 30-song Spotify list selected by Dolly (her own songs and others): CMA Artist Takeover: Dolly Parton Spotify
This post is inspired in part by reading a post on Twitter by Keith Urban, recommending Travis Meadows’ new album. As much as it is human nature to form “us-vs-them” cliques, whether it is about music or sports or politics or religion or anything else, it’s nice to see people supporting each other. I also read Lee Ann Womack’s post about Kendell Marvel’s new album, and Meadows and Marvel posted about each other’s albums. So, the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like the nucleus of a feel-good article.
Often, the “big names” support lesser-known counterparts by including them as openers, recording their songs, or doing guest spots on their albums. Miranda Lambert’s recently announced tour includes a lot of independent acts, including the Steel Woods, who opened for Dwight Yoakam when I saw them last month. Chris Stapleton’s albums feature songs he wrote with songwriters he collaborated with for many years before he got his big break. Jason Eady & Courtney Patton opened for Sturgill Simpson at a recent tour stop near Houston, and Sturgill donated proceeds of the concert to hurricane victims. Eric Church provided a guest vocal on Ray Wylie Hubbard’s latest album. Bluegrass bands don’t get many opportunities to play for huge audiences, but I watched the Steeldrivers open for a sold-out Alabama concert a couple years ago in Tuscaloosa, and very recently, the Zac Brown Band had the O’Connor Band for a few dates. I could go on and on, but I just wanted to put some positive vibes out there.
Song list for Chris Stapleton From A Room Volume 2, 12/1/17 Itunes listing . Song preview clips are available on Google Play.
Here I am in a hotel in Mississippi, because my truck broke down on the way back to Texas from a Willie Nelson and Jamey Johnson concert. Sounds like a country song! Anyway, here’s a selection from Christian country artist Bradley Walker’s new album.
Thank you to the many artists, venues, and others involved with this and other efforts to help those in need: Texas Music Flood
Posts on Robert’s Country Blog- Facebook Edition the last couple days include Hill Country Revival, Bradley Walker, Bob Wills Fiddle Fest (band members aged 90 and 94 will perform), and Whiskey Gentry, and recent additions to 2017 New Country Showcase include Midland, Rumor Town, and Vandoliers. Here’s a nice article about the new bluegrass album from Flatt Lonesome
Although country music has varied roots, a whole lot came from the heart of Appalachia, where coal was king. Although I included a couple of international and/or “non-country” selections, the majority of the songs on this list are country songs, some old and a few new: Coal Songs
I’m a proud American, but I try to include some variety from other countries. 2017 New Country Showcase includes such acts as Harmonica Sam (Sweden), Colter Wall (Canada), Brian Mallery (Canada),Whitney Rose (Canada), Aly Cook (New Zealand), Ags Connolly (UK), Larry Peninsula (Finland), Cris Mantello (Italy), Robert Mizzell (USA originally, now Ireland), Kirsty Lee Akers (Australia), The Palomars (Canada), Rockin’ Bonnie (Italy), Ritchie Remo (Ireland), Carpenter Caswell (Australia), Teagan Littlechief (Canada), Mallory Johnson (Canada), Dale Duncan (Australia), and Cliona Hagan (Ireland). The particular song I included from Cliona is an old Irish song with roots back to at least the early 1800s: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
My 200-song Country & Western Music 2015-2016 list predates this blog, and also includes some international contributors: Daniel Romano (Canada), Aly Cook (New Zealand), Zack Dust (Croatia), Cliona Hagan (Ireland), Lisa Stanley (Ireland), Don Diego Trio (Italy), Bo Outlaw & Loiten Twang Depot(Norway), Doug Bruce (USA originally, then Australia), Applewood Road (one member of the band from Australia originally, then UK), Kristy Cox (Australia), and Punch Douglas (Canada).
Here’s the World of Country Spotify , which includes some non-English selections.
Posts in the last week on Robert’s Country Blog -Facebook Edition include Whitney Rose, Irlene Mandrell, Kellie Pickler, Seth James, Travis Lee Kern, Little Feather, Jamey Johnson, Rhonda Vincent & Daryle Singletary, Dori Freeman, and Lynn Anderson.
Recent additions to 2017 New Country Showcase (now up to 180 songs that aren’t on the top 40) also include selections from Taylor Hicks, Whiskey Gentry, Kinsey Rose, and Hunter Hutchinson.
I’ll lead off with the Wikipedia Article, Western Music
Although western music is woven into the fabric of country music and American culture, in general, many western artists aren’t integrated into the country, Americana, or Texas/Red Dirt “scenes.” The Western Music Association and the Academy of Western Artists both sponsor annual awards and events. The Ameripolitan Music Awards also feature western categories. Check out these performers and what they have to offer. The WMA posted its current list of nominees last month.
A few western performers of note:
Rex Allen, Jr – I saw Rex perform at CMA Fest Fan Fair this June. He is retiring from performing this week, after many decades singing and promoting western music, and he’s my primary inspiration for making this post.
Kristyn Harris – She won the most recent award for Ameripolitan western swing female, and last year was the youngest person in the history of the WMA awards to win Entertainer of the Year.
The High Country Cowboys – If you want to hear real cowboys who are expert at western harmonies and yodeling, check out these guys.