First Rose of Spring Blooms for Willie

Approaching his 87th birthday, Willie Nelson continues to tour and record at a pace that puts most younger acts to shame. Come April 24, (Postponed to July 3), Legacy Recordings will release Willie’s 70th (!!) solo studio album, First Rose of Spring. Seventy solo albums! That’s not even counting collaborative albums with Waylon or Merle… Continue reading First Rose of Spring Blooms for Willie

Particle Kid – Window Rock

Neither of Willie Nelson’s musical sons rest on their surname’s laurels and sing jazz-inspired country music out their noses. That’s not meant as trolling. It’s a fitting one-sentence description of one of America’s master musicians and storytellers. Lukas Nelson has made waves in recent years by taking lessons learned from Dad and frequent tour mate… Continue reading Particle Kid – Window Rock

George Strait – Honky Tonk Time Machine

It’s been a good month or so for fans of ’80s and ’90s country music. Reba’s back in rare form, Billy Ray Cyrus joined the “yee haw” movement and Brooks & Dunn taught radio-friendly young’uns how it’s done. Even tragedy has its silver lining, with old souls and curious listeners digging deeper into Earl Thomas… Continue reading George Strait – Honky Tonk Time Machine

Willie Nelson, Force of Nature

Still chugging away at age 86, Willie Nelson keeps touring and toking and cranking out albums like a 25-year-old. The difference being, most of Willie’s recent albums are really damned good. His latest, Ride Me Back Home, will hit retailers on June 21. Produced by longtime friend and collaborator Buddy Cannon, who co-wrote three new… Continue reading Willie Nelson, Force of Nature

Cover Me

Cover Me: The Stories Behind the Greatest Cover Songs of All Time By Ray Padgett [Sterling Publishing] The term “cover songs” comes from record labels covering their bets. If a song by some artist was a hit, then when asked if a label had a particular popular song, they could say, “We’ve got it covered,”… Continue reading Cover Me

Johnny Cash’s Writings Put to Song

A selection of poems, lyrics, letters and other writings by Johnny Cash – undiscovered until after his death – has been put to music by an assortment of country, rock and Americana artists, and will be released as Johnny Cash: Forever Words on April 6th by Legacy Recordings. Acts on the 16-track collection include Chris Cornell,… Continue reading Johnny Cash’s Writings Put to Song

Willie: Still Smokin’, Still Standing

Willie Nelson's new album, God's Problem Child, comes out April 28.

While he’s been having some respiratory issues of late, and cancelled all of his shows through late February after aborting a San Diego concert after just one song on January 6th (the official word is he’s had a bout of the flu), Willie Nelson hasn’t slowed down on his songwriting or recording. The follow-up to… Continue reading Willie: Still Smokin’, Still Standing

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

The Son Shines: Sooner or Later, You’ll Love Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real With a father that transcends country music superstardom, it’s tempting to hitch Lukas Nelson’s growing legacy to nothing but Willie’s. His father’s celebration of kinfolks with his Family Band triggers these comparisons for longtime fans of the Nelsons. As established… Continue reading Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material

Good country music is a lot like vinyl records in 2015, with both going from being treated like a relic to getting some semblance of mainstream acceptance in short order. Consider how easy it is hear a new Kacey Musgraves song or catch Sturgill Simpson on late night television and think talented artists with stacks… Continue reading Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material

Bob Harvey

Flight of a Lifetime: Bob Harvey on His Adventures with Jefferson Airplane and Beyond When my friend Amanda first told me that her cousin was an original member of Jefferson Airplane, and not only that but he lived in metro Atlanta, I was skeptical. The Airplane have always been one of my favorite West Coast… Continue reading Bob Harvey

Billy Joe Shaver

Billy Joe Shaver once told Waylon Jennings, "I just want you to at least listen to these songs. And if you don't, I'm gonna kick your ass right here in front of God and everybody."

The Outlaw Life: Pill Poppin’ at 75 with Billy Joe Shaver Billy Joe Shaver is at a drug store somewhere in Ohio trying to get a prescription filled for his memory pills. “They got an ingredient in them that helps you remember,” Shaver allows. “They work on me, but it’s been like a month since… Continue reading Billy Joe Shaver

Various Artists – Occupy This Album

Aside from nonsensical slogans and pleas still tacked onto telephone poles in imbecile-friendly neighborhoods, occasional flashmob flare-ups in long-lost urban turdpiles like Oakland (Berkeley) and the usual ongoing internet propaganda, the Occupy craze has by-and-large fizzled out, its slovenly park-squatting participants having packed up the ratty tents and retreated back to the flophouses or parents… Continue reading Various Artists – Occupy This Album

Willie Nelson – Remember Me, Vol. 1

For Remember Me, Vol. 1, Willie Nelson, one of country’s undeniably great singers and songwriters, hand-picked 14 hits from some of his favorite singers and songwriters, including George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. But more than just a cool covers collection, the album is an entertaining trip through some 70 years of… Continue reading Willie Nelson – Remember Me, Vol. 1

Kinky Friedman

Still Kinky After All These Years Richard Kinky “Big Dick” Friedman is a man of many talents. Over the course of the past 40 years or so, Friedman has been a singer/songwriter and the bandleader of the legendary Texas Jewboys – shocking the world with satirically unhinged numbers like “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus… Continue reading Kinky Friedman

Jimmy Webb

The Last American: Master Tunesmith Jimmy Webb Speaks Candidly About His Long Career, His New Album, and the Vanishing Legacy of the American Cowboy “I’ve had songs on the lists of the best and the worst songs of all time,” declares Jimmy Webb, “so I never say a song is good or bad, because I… Continue reading Jimmy Webb