For many country music fans, the perceived pinnacle of success in country music is to land a record deal in Nashville. Long viewed as the Mecca of country music, many unenlightened fans still lack the understanding that Nashville is no longer the sole hub for talent in the country world. It has become the once glamorous mom and pop store that everyone loved to visit, to the chain store that cares solely about the business side of things – alienating it's core customers and the quality products they expected. While there are the occasional whispers of hope from within it's doors, it continues to disappoint and turn people away. Those that also think Nashville has no talent need a slap across their face. There is plenty, but they fail to receive mainstream success or press. Independent artist Craig Gerdes knows all too well that feeling of alienation within Nashville, and he's releasing a new record next year that will have some execs eating their cowboy hat. Oh wait, they don't know what those are…
The beauty of turning my passion of country music into something tangible, has been all of the behind the scenes correspondence with independent labels and artists that no one sees. After writing about outlaw Dallas Moore, Craig Gerdes was put on my radar and I have been able to get an exclusive listen of his new album Smokin' Drinkin and Gamblin' which is due out next year.
After working to get his name out in Nashville, Craig Gerdes found himself in a time where that healthy country 'twang was undervalued and lacking in appreciation. Meaningful lyrics and telecasters were replaced with computerized drumbeats and stage-prancing metro-styled men. Being told that no one wanted to hear his style of music was the icing on the cake to get outta dodge. This led him to Brian DeBruler of Sol Records, who helps record and champion artists such as Dallas Moore.
Listen to the original Johnny Paycheck recording below
Armed with his fiery determination and a belief that people want to hear real country music, Gerdes has recorded an album that treats our ears to lively honky tonkin' tunes and tender ballads. His first release off Smokin' Drinkin and Gamblin' is a well executed Johnny Paycheck cover of Slide Off Of Your Satin Sheets. With a voice that feels right at home paired this song, Gerdes will almost certainly ignite a resurgence for the appreciation of this track. It even features the original steel player, the legendary Jim Vest who also believes in Gerdes' mission to share his brand of country music. Recording a cover of a classic country song can be a nail biting experience for all involved when the original packs such a punch. Rest assured, this cover is worthy of your headphones.
Luckily for you, Slide Off Of Your Satin Sheets is available now and will prevent you from being left hanging with anticipation for the full album for too long. This album is an excellent country album and I believe things have a way of working themselves out in life. Once left insulted in Nashville by record execs, to now on the verge of releasing his latest album, Craig Gerdes is yet another example of how Nashville is no longer the country hub it once was. Long live the independent artist. I'll raise a beer to that.
Check out Slide Off Of Your Satin Sheets Below!
Another previously released favorite is Haggard Fan and you can watch the awesome music video below!
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
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