January 28, 2022 End of January

I got a notification from WordPress this week that my site passed 10,000 views! Thanks for being a part of it.

This week, I’ve seen a lot of festival announcements. It looks like live music is rolling ahead, despite efforts by leftist authoritarians to keep everything shut down for political reasons.

RFD-TV has been showing more of the Gannaway tapes featuring Opry stars of the 1950s, which is some of the best classic country viewing ever. Also from that era, the Ozark Jubilee restoration project has posted several more episodes of YouTube. These Ozark Jubilee episodes haven’t been seen in decades.

For those in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the Penny Gilley Show is taping episodes this weekend for two whole days and it’s free to attend.

Today is national kazoo day. Although kazoos don’t figure into country music very often, early country stars like Vernon Dalhart played kazoo on records.

If you like steel guitar instrumentals, check out the Johnnyupok YouTube channel. This week, he posted covers of Chris Stapleton, Jon Pardi, and Dale Watson.

Although unrelated to country music, I’ll mention my latest musical purchase, a glass “Zil-O-Phone” from the 1940s. This antique toy has small, hollow glass tubes arranged like a xylophone.

For now, my plan is to continue posting about once a week, but I might post more often again if things pick up. I expect to have much more time this summer to attend live shows.

January 20, 2022 Week Three

Let’s see what we can find this week.

Fayfare Opry Blog posted their annual year in review. In general, it’s worth noting that the Opry added the most members in one year since the sixties and nearly half of the current Opry members made zero or one Opry appearance in 2021. The other trend worth noting is the prevalence of guest comedians. Gary Mule Deer was tied for 4th most Opry appearances of anyone in 2021 and Henry Cho was also in the top 10.

It was announced this morning that the 6th annual Southeastern Fiddle Championship in Tuscaloosa, Alabama will be held April 30th. The event is free. Breaking Grass will be the headline act.

There were many “news” stories in recent days about the arrest of Jay Barker for allegedly trying to hit his estranged wife Sara Evans with his vehicle. The media accounts are very difficult to believe. We’re “supposed” to believe that Jay was in the driveway and deliberately tried to hit Sara’s vehicle, but completely missed ? How is that even possible ?

The Pressley Girls posted a new fiddle tune, Clover Reel. Fiddle tunes were practically synonymous with country music a century ago and before. Now, fiddle tunes are often lumped into “old time and bluegrass” or worse yet, “Americana/folk.” What about new fiddle music, though, that isn’t “old” or necessarily part of any of those other scenes ? In other words, since there is a category for “old time fiddle,” shouldn’t there also be a category for “new time fiddle?” What modern fiddle songs come to mind ? “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” is from 1979 and “Ashokan Farewell” is from 1982.

The B&B Project isn’t country music, but if you enjoy stringed instruments, they’re worth a listen. Their specialty is the Ukrainian bandura.

I hoped to attend a lot more live shows in 2022, but I’m getting serious sticker shock. I refuse to purchase marked up “scalper” tickets. I’ve seen hundreds of acts perform in the last few years. Some of the acts I saw for little or nothing a few years ago are headliners now. I expect to go to some festivals this spring and summer. Many festivals are quite affordable and you can check out a large number of acts in a short amount of time.

January 14, 2022 Two Weeks Into 2022

My 2022 Country Videos playlist is off to a vigorous start, with over ten entries already. My plan is to follow the same basic formula as my 2021 Country Videos list, featuring only videos published in the calendar year and limited to one entry per artist. There must be at least some visual component, even if it is just a simple lyric video or live performance. I am not bound to any “scene.” My goal isn’t necessarily to find the best or most traditional, but rather to create a time capsule, a sampler of the new music released this year. I can only choose from the videos that people actually put out. I can’t make them put more steel guitar and fiddle in it.

Some “huge names” are already represented on the 2022 list are hall of famer Dolly Parton, Morgan Wallen (top selling artist all-genre in 2021) with Ernest, and Jason Aldean (ACM artist of the decade for the 2010s). I include lots of independent artists, too.

There are over 100 entries on my 2021 Country Videos playlist and I expect to find at least that many for my 2022 Country Videos playlist.

I’ve mentioned the Instagram site historyofcountrymusic. They’re currently highlighting music from the WWII era. If you’re into country music history, make sure to follow along.

January 6th, 2022 Five Years of Robert’s Country Blog

For my 1,325th post, I thank everyone who has enjoyed any of my posts. I haven’t posted as much lately, but I’m still here. I just noticed the WordPress notification about the fifth year anniversary of my blog, so I don’t have much prepared.

I spent the evening at Gruene Hall enjoying the Jason James Band. If you like classic country with steel guitar from the 50s-70s, this is a great act to check out. I saw Jason James a couple of times in 2018, when he had just one album out. He put out a second album in 2019. His original songs from the two albums fit very well with the classic country covers. I posted a couple of song clips from this evening on my YouTube channel: Robert’s YouTube Channel

I plan to see a whole lot of shows in 2022 and I look forward to sharing my interest in music with anyone who cares to read it.

I’ll also be on the lookout for new videos to add to my 2022 Country Videos playlist.

Thanks for reading !