Alecia Elliott was country music’s answer to the female teen pop wave of the late 90s. It sucks that you have to begin every story about her with that, but it’s an elephant in the room that absolutely can’t be ignored. Not that she’s ignoring it. She embraces it. That just isn’t the person that Alecia is now.
“I’m Diggin’ It” was the catchy, MCA Nashville country answer to Britney Spears. She had a short-lived teen comedy on NBC. Then, she was gone. She and I talked much more in depth about all of that in my first book, The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME.
Alecia is the rare soul that is actually from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, not the “idea” of Muscle Shoals. Not the surrounding communities that identify as “Muscle Shoals” because that’s the thing that resonates with people. Alecia went to Muscle Shoals, that is, until Tony Brown of MCA (you know, the guy that signed George Strait, Reba McEntire and half of the 80s and 90s country canon) found her. Continue reading
In January, Mile 0 Fest in Key West celebrated its biggest year to date. Headlined by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and a hard sell out, the festival stepped into the elite class of “boutique” festivals that Fyre dreamed of and couldn’t execute. It wasn’t without pitfalls. On Saturday, just moments after Randy Rogers had taken the stage, torrential rains forced the amphitheater to be evacuated and literally dampened most of the weekend’s remaining schedule. Continue reading
Filed under Music., Places.
Abraham Smith is the poet laureate of Ogden, Utah, and he’s one fourth of The Snarlin’ Yarns. His poetry collections have been published by Action Books and Third Man Books. With his band, he inserts a unique freestyle that complements the songwriting of fiddler Mara Brown, guitarist William Pollett and string specialist Jason Barrett-Fox.
Smith honed those skills—among other places—at The Chukker in Tuscaloosa. Now, he and his band are set to release their debut, Break Your Heart. It was recorded in Water Valley, Mississippi at Dial Back Sound, the studio owned by Drive-By Truckers bassist and Jasper, Alabama native Matt Patton. Patton’s studio is fast becoming a destination for a diverse collection of independent artists that all find themselves pumped into “Americana.” Continue reading
Filed under Music., Places.
Covington, Kentucky’s Frontier Folk Nebraska are back with “Blackhorse,” a single that will be available as a split with William Matheny on July 11 through Soul Step Records. The band has spent a lot of time on the road with Matheny and developed a kinship; a pandemic felt like a perfect time to release new music while further solidifying that bond. Continue reading
Steven Hyden recently ranked his top 30 Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit songs, and I was tagged by a few people that asked for me to do a similar list of my own. Continue reading
Nashville Noise is heading to Key West for Mile 0 Fest. The third-year festival welcomes Nashville residents and fixtures Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit as headliners this year, along with Randy Rogers Band, Robert Earl Keen, Whiskey Myers, Lucero, Wade Bowen, American Aquarium and dozens of others Americana acts. The festival’s scheduling has long been rooted deep in Texas and Oklahoma sounds, and early on, Texas singer-songwriter Jamie Lin Wilson was affectionately dubbed the “Queen of Key West” as she became one of its most visible mainstays. Having been a part of the lineup in each year of its existence, Wilson has helped create an inviting atmosphere that has given artists an opportunity to jam together. It’s allowed audiences to experience unique collaborations that they wouldn’t otherwise see. Continue reading
Fooled around and fell into the Emergency Room on the day after Christmas. If that cough ain’t going away, kids, I urge you to have it looked at before you actually hack up a lung. Continue reading
Terms of Surrender is the 11th studio album from Hiss Golden Messenger in as many years. That’s not including a handful of EPs and live albums. The Durham, North Carolina band’s latest was heavily inspired, and dedicated to, lead singer MC Taylor’s wife and children, and perhaps more than any of Taylor’s previous work, it begins to search for meaning and hope in a world that Taylor says he felt disconnected from, lonely and lost to himself within. Continue reading
Seratones have a long relationship with Birmingham, as one of their first ventures out of Louisiana was as an opener for Birmingham’s own St. Paul & the Broken Bones. The relationship that lead singer AJ Haynes has maintained with the band has been an important one to her as she has navigated the past three years between albums. During that time, she spent a lot of time working on the craft of songwriting and on ensuring that she had surrounded herself with the musicians that she needed for the sophomore record. Continue reading
A Texas band can be a Texas band for an entire career and make a pretty good living. That was especially true throughout the 90s and 00s. They came in varying measures of success and varying types of swing, but the list has been expansive: from Jack Ingram and Aaron Watson to Randy Rogers and Stoney LaRue. For years, few crossed over the barrier–be it imagined or be it the actual Mississippi River. There were obvious exceptions like Willie Nelson and George Strait, and later troubadours like Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen. Continue reading