Maddie and Tae Are Having a Moment

Maddie and Tae

By now, you are almost certainly aware of Maddie & Tae's "Girl in a Country Song." Just in case you're not, though... Two teenage girls newly signed to Big Machine's Dot Records imprint have released a 'bro country' answer song - calling out all the familiar tropes and many of the specific songs - that's so on-the-nose and of-the-moment that it has Yahoo Music, NPR, The Washington Post, Saving Country Music, Farce the Music, Rolling Stone, Country Weekly, Taste of Country, and most other … [Read more...]

Godspeed, Mindy McCready

WZTV FOX 17 in Nashville and WGHP FOX 8 in North Carolina are reporting that the troubled "Ten Thousand Angels" singer has died of an apparent suicide. May she finally find some peace. McCready leaves behind two sons, a boy aged 6 and an infant aged 10 months. Pray for those kids. … [Read more...]

Rest in peace, Chris Neal

Chris Neal, patron saint of country blogging? Probably not a title he would have taken seriously, but one that nevertheless gets at the great influence he had upon those of us who met him within the online sphere. With his discerning intellect and keen wit, Mr. Neal immediately infused every community he entered with a spirit of fun and an air of legitimacy. He was an early and frequent commenter on a whole range of country sites, from The 9513 to Country Universe to Farce the Music and … [Read more...]

Three magic words: “Featuring Elizabeth Cook”

Elizabeth Cook image

Need a credible female duet partner or a harmony vocalist to add an extra dash of mountain panache? Following the critical success of Welder and a star-making couch appearance on Letterman last year, Elizabeth Cook appears well on her way to becoming one of East Nashville's most in-demand guest collaborators. If you've been paying attention to recent non-FM country releases, you've probably been running into her everywhere. Just in case you haven't, though, here's a quick roundup of the … [Read more...]

Rest in Peace, Warren Hellman

I describe the festival frequently as the world's most selfish gift. It's a fantastically selfish gift, but it is a gift. There are hundreds of thousands of people there who are appreciating it. Just being able to do something that is completely not commercial, that is pure, hopefully, pleasure for the participants--to create a surrounding where the musicians and professionals like it as much as the crowd does. How could you have more fun than that? What the hell is money for if it isn't for … [Read more...]

August 23: Celebrating Country Women

823pistol (Custom)

It's safe to say that August 23 is the greatest day in all of 2011 for the women of traditional(ish) country music, with a sophomore album from Sunny Sweeney, a long-awaited return by Connie Smith, and a much-anticipated debut from Miranda Lambert's throwback girl trio, Pistol Annies. While all three albums will be in serious contention for many Best of 2011 lists, the odds-on favorite is the Pistol Annies' Hell on Heels, which benefits from Lambert's big-name exposure but succeeds on the … [Read more...]

More Than 80 Reasons (and Counting) to Come to San Francisco September 30 through October 2


I know, I know. San Francisco is a crowded metropolitan area (-1) with lots of hippies (-2) that's probably a long way from where you live (-3), but once a year it becomes a country/bluegrass/roots music mecca that's more than worth the pilgrimage. This year's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival is set for the weekend of September 30 through October 2 at Golden Gate Park. What makes this festival different from others around the country is (a) that it features just about all the big names … [Read more...]