By Doug Palmer
Doug runs IOUMusic on facebook and is an avid supporter of Independent music.
Let me tell you about independent country music's wild card...
The first time I saw Charley Crockett on stage, I had no idea he was going to be there. The opening band was setting up and I recognized the guy who had been in front of me in line at the convenience store earlier, he was the axe man. Next thing I know this wild man walks out on the stage in a 70's nudie suit, grabs the mic, and breaks into an unexpectedly bluesy song while his band plays brass flavored funk. It didn't take more than a couple minutes before everyone in the club was dancing along to this unique blend of country, rock, and Cajun flavored blues. Before Charley and the boys left the stage, I knew I had a new favorite.
To say I’m Not The Devil has been a smash hit for Cody Jinks is an understatement. It is a song that has turned massive amounts of listeners hungry for real country, to be rabid fans of Jinks. One of the writer’s to this song is a very close friend of Jinks and can often be seen while on tour together. Mr. Ward Davis decided to finally record his own special version of this song to the delight of Cody Jinks.
If there’s one that sure as the sun is going to rise, it’s that there is a young West Texas troubadour that is determined to lay his mark on country music. Years in the making, his latest album represents the culmination of his entry into a young man, finding love, and the ever supportive friendship of artists like Aaron Watson, Randall King, and Jake Worthington. It’s a strong step toward finding his own sound and carving out his space in Texas country and no doubt many will learn his name in the coming years. Refusing to settle for what others want, Hunter Hutchinson has released Keep Rollin’ On, an album that firmly establishes his brand of country music.
David Cobb on songwriting: “Intangible has just become reality”
That has to be one of the best quotes I have heard on songwriting. Artists find inspiration in some of the most simple of things. Maybe it’s an event in their life. Something they see walking down the street. Or it could a piece of history. Whatever it is, crafting a song takes a creative process that causes artists to pull pieces of the puzzle from where ever they see fit - by accident or purposefully. Songwriting is an art form that many mainstream music listeners don’t understand. That can make it very difficult to relate to listeners who just want the latest head bob. For Brent Cobb, he teamed up with Ram Trucks to debut his music video for Ain’t A Road Too Long and share some insight into his inspirations.
I believe one of the most rewarding experiences one can have, is attending live music show. Sure, you can go to a bar and have some background noise with the music play list, but it just isn’t the same. Here in New England, it’s pretty difficult to have a consistent and accessible music scene because the concentration of venues are often in the city. See, here in Massachusetts, you may refer to someone like me as being from Boston, but I’m not actually from the city. Most people live in suburbs and we have to travel into the city to see the shows we want. As annoying as that may be, live music has been one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had.
Some artists radiate an energy that will have you thinking they are a seasoned veteran of the music circuit. These artists have had the opportunity to savor their musical heroes long enough to know just what type of music they want to make. They possess an instinct for the precise amount of fiddle that needs to be present in order for them to feel confident that they are representing country in all her glory. It’s all part of becoming a seasoned performer and creative talent and one particular artist by the name of John Hord, is well on his way. This guy blew me away back in March and I haven’t been able to get enough of him since.
There has been nothing short of a truckload of buzz generated around a young Kentucky based singer-songwriter through this past summer. The spotlight, ever so brightly pointing at this young man, putting him out there for those who crave a higher level country sound. It’s deserving too, because after listening to Tyler Childers’ Purgatory, I was left feeling like I had just heard the battle cry of soon-to-be one of the biggest names in country music.
Aaron Watson won’t exactly be able to bring the iconic Bluebonnets of Texas here to Boston, but he can certainly bring real country music when he arrives this Sunday at Berklee Cafe 939. The artist that has gone on to defy all the naysayers, and make history time and time again, will certainly show all us Bostonians what Texas Country Music is all about.
I can only begin to imagine what it feels like for Burleson, Texas native, Casey Donahew to look back at his impressive 15 year career. While obviously filled with the ups and downs of any music career, what Casey and his band have accomplished in that time on their own independent label is nothing short of impressive. Like many of his Texas musical peers, they have all proven time and time again, that the big machine is not the only path to success. It’s the loyalty that gives way to a truly healthy growth in any business. For any consumer to pull out their wallet or pocketbook, they need to really want to and be persuaded and artists do that by putting forth good music. Donahew has certainly done that and is giving back to his fans by treating them to re-recordings of hit songs on their October 6th release, The Wild Ride.
If you’re anything like the average person, life has had it’s fair share of ups and downs. Overwhelming feelings of uncertainty and doubt. Times where you were unsure that the current path was the right one for you. We’ve all been there at one time or another and with one shot at life, it’s important to steer ourselves towards what we want. Failure to do so will result in bitterness and fixation on the past instead of working towards attaining your goals. Fret not, because The Kirks’ music video for Loud Mouth Young Boy will help you remember, it’s never too late to return to your roots.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
Check out my spotify for good tunes!