I recently sat with my friends Annie and Matt and described my year of listening to country music. As I told them, it has been one of my most fulfilling times as a music fan in a decade. Like I did when I discovered classic rock in the 80s and Underground in the early 90s, I felt like I’d entered a new world when I began exploring country music in all its forms dating back to the birth of American music. I may not have been as diligent about keeping this column current as I would’ve liked, but that didn’t stop me from becoming a qualified amateur when it comes to critiquing this style of music. I hope to keep contributing Goin’ Country throughout 2014, and I hope you’ll continue with me on this journey. Until then, here are my favorite country albums of the past year. Happy New Year, and as always, thanks for reading Popdose! 10. Tim McGraw, Two Lanes of Freedom Tim McGraw returns to the …
Fans of Patty Griffin – and there are many – can tell you that the singer/songwriter’s story has had a missing chapter since the turn of the new Century. It was at that time her label, A&M, merged into the conglomerate known as Universal Music. In the midst of that merger, she delivered her third album, Silver Bell, to the record company. After many delays in its release, the album got shelved and Griffin was cut from the label’s roster. For thirteen years, Silver Bell has sat in a vault. Fortunately, someone at Universal has finally seen the light and released it to the world. Griffin became a critical darling in the mid 90s with her debut album, 1995’s Living with Ghosts. This stunning release, essentially the demo recordings she submitted to A&M, featured just the guitar and voice of the promising new songwriter. Griffin’s sophomore effort, Flaming Red, came out in 1998. It was a departure from the acoustic fare of the first record. Loud, boisterous guitars and keyboard samples populate the record, indicating …
Ken Shane interviews one of America’s greatest songwriters
Too much is sometimes just too much.
Get in on the funding of Phil Madeira’s “P.M.”
Good golly, Ms. Dolly, rock our date night right into Preservation Hall. Have a ball.
The Editor-in-Chief runs down some of his favorite music from the year that was
Ken Shane was back at the Newport Folk Festival this year — but this time, he wasn’t just there as a journalist.
Bob Dylan is 70 years old, and the Popdose Staff has pulled together a massive post to honor him. Here are 70 of our favorite Dylan songs, one for each year.
When Scottish cock rockers Nazareth slowed things down to play “Love Hurts,” the whole world slowed with them. Rob Smith pays tribute in this week’s Death by Power Ballad.
The Popdose Podcast returns with an interview with Gorman Bechard, the creative force behind Color me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements.
Last night, the lineup for the 2011 Newport Folk Festival was announced at a live event in Cambridge, MA.
Buddy Miller has assembled a veritable guitar army for his latest effort, and matched the pickers with a talented roster of singers doing classic country songs.
Before Zach Galifianakis was Between Two Ferns John Candy was “between two pillows.” Kelly Stitzel explores the soundtrack to the John Hughes classic Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Daniel Lanois is well known as a brilliant producer. His band Black Dub has released their debut album and Ken Shane thinks it’s one of the highlights of 2010.
Ken Shane would like to introduce you to the music of Black Dub, the new band project from Daniel Lanois, Trixie Whitley, and Brian Blade.
Emmylou Harris burst on to the music world when the late Gram Parsons brought her into his band. Over the course of two albums and an endless number of tour dates, Parsons and Harris created some of the most beautiful harmonies since Johnny and June Carter Cash in the ’60s. As much as I love Roy Orbison, I feel that the Parsons/Harris duet of Orbison’s “Love Hurts” remains the definitive version of the song. When Parsons became another victim to drugs, Harris forged her own legendary career, while almost single-handedly keeping Parsons’s legacy alive. She also continued to lend her lovely voice to the work of some of music’s most important artists, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Cash and Orbison, while championing many up and coming singer/songwriters, much as Parsons had done for her. To this day, her harmonies will appear backing up some of the finest musicians around. Here are just six of her most memorable appearances in the past 20 years.
To celebrate Tuesday’s release of the new Patty Griffin album Downtown Church, Popdose looks back at the catalog of one of Americana’s brightest lights.
When I conceived this post, I had actually planned to broaden the category to “Demolition” so I could include classics like AC/DC’s “TNT” and the Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House.”Â The only two songs I knew of that were about wrecking balls were the ones by Neil Young and Creeper Lagoon.Â I had stumbled across a few more – when I mentioned a “crowded field” last week I was aware of maybe five additional songs – but nothing had me prepared for the overwhelming number of songs musicians have recorded about this iconic piece of construction equipment. I mean, it’s not like the category was “love” or “war.”Â So how many songs did I find? Twenty-five songs.Â TWENTY-FIVE SONGS!Â And most of them are original songs.Â And there’s plenty more that I found out about but I wasn’t able to track down the mp3’s.Â There’s all kinds – some are indie tunes from recent years, there’s a few alt-country entries, there’s even one from a collection of National Socialist Black Metal bands (see if …
Popdose favorite Shawn Colvin has a new live album out — and to celebrate, she spoke with ace reporter Jon Cummings.
It certainly wouldn’t be accurate to say that Buddy and Julie Miller have bad luck. After all, each of them has had wonderful career as songwriter and performer. They’ve each had fine solo albums. A variety of country artists have had success with their songs, including Lee Ann Womack and Dierks Bentley. Buddy has played guitar on tour with Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, and more recently Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and he’s produced albums in the studio he built in their Nashville home for Allison Moorer, Solomon Burke, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Together, Buddy and Julie have played inspirational shows all over the country. But back to that luck thing. Written In Chalk (New West Records) is only the couple’s second album together. The first, Buddy and Julie Miller, was released exactly one week after September 11, 2001. Then, just days before this new album was released, Buddy was admitted to a hospital in Baltimore complaining of chest pains. He needed immediate bypass surgery, and though he’s coming along fine now, he is temporarily …
Badly Drawn Boy – Thunder Road from Uncut Magazine Bruce Springsteen Tribute Volume 1(2003) The Knack – Don’t Look Back from Get the Knack (remastered edition) (1979/2002) John Hiatt – Johnny 99 from One Step Up/Two Steps Back: The Songs of Bruce Springsteen (1997) Patty Griffin – Stolen Car from 1000 Kisses (2002) Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes – The Fever from I Don’t Want to Go Home (1976) The Mavericks – All That Heaven Will Allow from What a Crying Shame (1994) Deana Carter – State Trooper from Badlands: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska (2000) Trisha Yearwood – Sad Eyes from Real Live Woman (2000) The Smithereens – Downbound Train from One Step Up/Two Steps Back: The Songs of Bruce Springsteen (1997) Ben E. King – 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) from One Step Up/Two Steps Back: The Songs of Bruce Springsteen (1997) Billy Bragg – Mansion on the Hill from Uncut Magazine Bruce Springsteen Tribute Volume 2 (2003) Sonny Burgess – Tiger Rose from Sonny Burgess (1996) Thea Gilmore – …