2020 has been year, ain’t it? No less in the music world than outside of it. The pandemic had a deep impact, robbing us musicians, shutting down live music for the better part of a year, and both delaying releases and resulting in a number of low production projects being released. Political and social unrest also seeped in, as it does. American Aquarium’s Lamentations, maybe the best album of the year, is deeply political, and Tyler Childers directly responds to the George Floyd killing and subsequent protests with Long Violent History.
Through all the turmoil of a most eventful year, music proved both respite and reaction, as it has since the first caveman slapped his thighs in rhythm.
2020 took a heavy toll on country music traditions. We lost Kenny Rogers, Joe Diffie, John Prine, Charlie Daniels, Mac Davis, Jerry Jeff Walker, Justin Townes Earle, Billy Joe Shaver, Hal Ketchum, Charley Pride, Tony Rice, and more. It was a slow year for the blog, and I only posted fourteen Music Monday posts, but six of them were R.I.P. posts. It’s a short playlist, but there are twenty-one damn fine songs. Check it out at the Hillbilly Highways 2020 Music Monday playlist on YouTube.
I will end the year on the somber note. There has been too much death and despair this year for it to be otherwise. The pandemic will be overcome, and the U.S. presidential administration will change, but all of the underlying issues that preexisted both remain. Times may be hard, but
“You see, me and mine, we ain’t the kind
To sit around idle and complain
We’re tough as nails, mean as hell
Without an ounce of quit in our veins”
Music Monday is the brainchild of Drew at The Tattooed Book Geek.
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