I spend a lot of my time discussing artists that are based thousands of miles away from New England. Here we lack a prominent music scene and accessible venues as much of that resides in the cities – often not easily visited during the week. If you see the same people attending local Texas/Indie country shows, it becomes a little community that tends to keep in touch to link up at future shows. Something I never really thought about, was the local artists in my area that find influence in the very acts that I discuss. We obviously have a lot of Texas/Americana fans up here, so wouldn’t it make sense if some of those fans are artists themselves? Earlier in January I received a nice letter and physical CD from a local artist, Matt York who just happened to be from one town over from me. I decided to dig into his music and see what this local artist has to offer.
I have found myself on a female artist kick as of late and I have been finding a goldmine of talent. It’s a tough time for female artists because they just have not been getting airplay on national radio and have not seen the same amount of coverage as their male counterparts. Back in December, my buddy Doug (of IOUMusic) and I had discussed the current landscape of country music. The conclusion that we arrived at, is that there is an extreme lack of female artists being pushed, but also noted that we should not just push female artists for the sake of “filling a quota.” We want to focus on the real talent, not hitting a number to be politically correct. The women I have chosen to discuss are ones that I feel are worthy of the press and represent immense talent. The talent pool should not be narrowed to certain numbers, but rather who is talented and fit for discussion. A young lady by the name of Laci Kaye Booth, is incredibly worthy of both discussion and exploration into her music career.
Well it’s that time of year yet again. It’s cold as hell, the ground is frozen and the pavement in cold and an uninviting shade of grey. But have no fear, one of my favorite bands is coming to New England! Tonight, Friday January 26th, the boys of Whiskey Myers are having a free concert at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT!
One of the hardest things a person can do is share their art with the world. You start to second guess yourself once you release it. You’ll start asking yourself, “Will people enjoy my work?” If you harp on that too long, it can become a dangerous hit to your confidence and you may stop putting your work out altogether. Heather Rayleen has been working diligently to debut her first release, Falling for You after playing fiddle for artists such as the Scooter Brown Band and Cody Johnson. I’m a believer in being well rounded, and having a solid background in performing before going out on your own, is always a good thing to have.
There’s not much more I like to talk about than the awesome young Texas talent that keeps making noise in the Lonestar state. Remember friends, those that are coming up the ranks now, are the big and bright stars of tomorrow. A few months back I was thumbing through Spotify and saw a name I hadn’t heard before and decided to give it a go. It’s one of the moments where it can be incredibly rewarding taking a chance with a new artist, or one you fail to visit again. I can assure you, I have been listening to that young man a lot. San Antonio’s very own, Clay Hollis.
There has without a doubt been some buzz generated when a young man by the name of Dillon Carmichael released a tune called Old Songs Like That. Without looking, you’ll perk up when you hear his booming vocals, trying to place just where you heard them before. Nephew to Eddie (1/2 of Montgomery Gentry) and John Michael Montgomery, Carmichael inherited and has honed an incredible voice that will make the gods of country music gleam with approval. Pair that with songs that are pulled straight from the heart, we could just be looking at one of the next big things in country music.
I’m always fascinated with the perseverance that musical artists possess. It’s gets them through the early days when they are playing to next to no one. Some out there in the audience may perk up when they hear a cover they really like, but many of the original songs go unnoticed. The crucial time in chasing one’s dream is the empty room. No audience, little fame, and still having to give it your all. It’s a true test to one’s commitment to their chosen path. It’s also for the love of your craft more than anything else. Staying hungry for your dream and Jade Marie Patek tells us her story with Drive.
2017 brought a lot of positive change for Scotty McCreery. After having his record deal fall through, he found himself an independent artist and nearly starting from ground zero. While his original music tended to lean towards the country-pop side of things, fans and listeners could always tell that there was something more under the hood. McCreery’s voice is just so damn good and he just needs to be paired with the right songs to make the magic happen. Could 2018 be the year that it all comes together?
Like a hunter perched in the tree stand, I watch a lot of interactions on social media, quietly seeing that has transpired in the music world. Not looking to stir the pot much, I tend to keep it positive. I’m not a fan of bro-country, but I try to not go down the bashing road because as one of my friends says, I’m just not looking for that sort of audience. As independent artists gain rise in this digital music landscape, their music is now right in the hands of anyone who can think for themselves and seek out “the good stuff.” This means festivals and larger shows must take notice to stay relevant. So, what happens when your fan base hates bro country and you are invited to play with some of these artists?
One of the most interesting occurrences in music, is when artists perform another’s song. A song is an incredibly special piece of a songwriter’s life, because it’s personal and filled with some of the most intimate details of one’s mind. While there are exceptions to this – such as the blatant BS that is often pedaled on mainstream radio, a song can have such an impact on both the writer and listener. So, when another artist takes that very song and performs it themselves, it’s amazing to see what happens.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
Check out my spotify for good tunes!