The Country Music Hall of Fame announced Keith Whitley as its newest inductee in the Modern Era Category. The induction is well deserved and welcome, especially around here. Keith Whitley’s music was enormously important at a hard time for me when I first discovered it in college.Continue reading “Music Monday: Keith Whitley”
The last two years have been hard on a lot of people for a lot of reasons. Lost jobs, lost loved ones, and weeks spent laid up sick. Losing live music seems like a pretty light burden to bear, but music is one of the main things that helps us deal with hard times. The return of live music is one of the things I was looking forward to most as the pandemic wanes. The last indoor concert I went to was Chris Knight in Oklahoma City way back in February of 2020. My first post-lockdown indoor concert was Dropkick Murphys with The Rumjacks opening (along with a couple other acts).Continue reading “Music Monday: Celtic Punk Edition, Part 2”
Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, a massacre of 14 unarmed civilians by British soldiers at a protest in Northern Ireland. The initial investigation by the British government was a whitewash in which they let themselves off the hook. A much later second investigation repudiated the first and resulted in a formal government apology.Continue reading “Music Monday: Come Out Ye Black and Tans by The Wolfe Tones”
First my wife told me what she wanted for Christmas. Then she said she went ahead and bought it. So I was free to buy myself whatever I wanted on her behalf. I took the opportunity to finally pick up a turntable.
The trick, though, isn’t the turntable. It is the record collection.Continue reading “Music Monday: Vinyl Edition”
I am always thankful for a chance to be somewhere down in Texas.Continue reading “Music Monday: Somewhere Down in Texas by Jason Boland and the Stragglers”
It isn’t the college football season, it isn’t the autumnal equinox that marks the beginning of fall. It is October. Fall is the best time of the year: football, farm visits with the family, crisp air, leaf season.Continue reading “Music Monday: Better in the Fall by The Steel Woods”
The federal government made Juneteenth an official federal holiday on June 17. My new home already had made it a city holiday last month. Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 every year, the date in 1865 when a Union general announced the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas. Texas was the last state in the Confederacy reached by Union troops. Juneteenth has been around a long time, but celebrations have traditionally centered in African-American communities and in Texas. That’s right: Juneteenth is another great cultural export of the great state of Texas.
And celebration is the right word. Juneteenth highlights our (initial) triumph over America’s original sin and the (incomplete) culmination of the founding ideals embodied in the Declaration of Independence. In that respect, the “independence” in the official name of the federal holiday (the “Juneteenth National Independence Day”) is appropriate. The American Revolution was fought for independence from both the British and tyranny. For almost one hundred years, a large chunk of Americans only got one of those. But it is a day for everyone; we all get to live in a more perfect union, we all get freedom from collective sin.Continue reading “Music Monday: Juneteenth Edition”
What the morning called for.Continue reading “Music Monday, Flag Day Edition: Ragged Old Flag by Johnny Cash”
Last week I talked about the independent country songs that have been certified gold over the last few years. And things aren’t slowing down: since I published that post a week ago, I learned that Keep the Wolves Away by Uncle Lucius has been certified gold. (If hits on a blog post are any guide, I shouldn’t have been surprised.) Even more impressive than the songs certified gold, independent country artists are getting songs certified platinum. Leading the way are Tyler Childers and Cody Jinks. (S.O.B. by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats was also certified platinum, but I already featured it here and it is really country-adjacent.)Continue reading “Music Monday: Solid Platinum Edition”
Back when I first really started getting into independent country in the late aughts, most times I looked up an act’s touring schedule I found they didn’t make it out of Texas, Oklahoma, and maybe Arkansas. Didn’t do me much good in North Carolina, but at least the good people of Texas were keeping the lights on for these folks. And they still are, but the rise of independent country over the last decade has been extraordinary. Country radio is still putridly awful on a historic level, but radio matters less than it ever did.