Recommend an artist for us to discover in the early weeks of 2009, when releases are weak and resolutions are strong.
I recommend Kim Richey:
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A little Jerry Jeff Walker for the younger folks like me:
I’ve already discovered Kim Richey – and my life is much fuller because of it.
So, I recommend someone discover Shelby Lynne. I recently discovered her catalog and am loving it. Especially her early stuff when she was still in Nashville.
Rodney Hayden or Sunny Sweeney. Take your pick.
The King of L.A. Honky Tonk, the last fool at the bar, the jack of all heartaches – Mike Stinson.
He’s crazy rad, and he has a new record coming out soon, produced by Jesse Dayton with some background vocals by Brennen Leigh.
He was like a revelation to me, but some folks tell me he is an acquired taste, in any case, he’s totally awesome.
Kim Richey’s doing a gig here sometime in the next couple of months. Might get myself along.
Melonie Cannon, I absolutley love her self titled album and really liking her new release.
John Fogerty as a Country/Bluegrass singer.
There are more recent songs such as “Southern Streamline” with a strong Country flavor, but I’m thinking more of his excellent version of “Blue Moon of Kentucky”, which is on a great Bill Monroe tribute compilation album that Ricky Skaggs put together called “Big Mon”. Fogerty puts a Rockabilly edge on the Monroe classic, and makes it one of the best cuts on the album.
Also, from the early seventies, an album that was pretty much overlooked at the time, “John Fogerty, The BLue Ridge Rangers” I found it on Amazon, and it seems it was re-released as a CD back in ’94. I remember really enjoying his take on Hank WIlliams’ “Jambalaya”, when the album first came out, but I listened to samples on Amazon last night and was amazed. This is basically a John Fogerty Bluegrass/Gospel/ Country album…A one man band effort where he plays all the instruments, including fiddlle, banjo, and all harmony vocals. And from what I can tell from the samples, he actually pulls it off!. The man is a musical genius.
John Fogerty has always brought a Swampy, Country-Rock flavor to CCR, but I am amazed at how well suited his vocals are suited to Country Classics such as “She Thinks I still Care” and “Please Help Me I’m Falling”, and other great Country and Bluegrass songs. “Working on a Building”…This is much more than a gimmick, “Blue Ridge Rangers” is a great album!
Steve, I have that album and really like it too.
Oh yeah, Steve, have you heard his song from the Earl Scruggs And Friends album, “Blue Ridge Mountain Home”? It’s a better version than what was on that album that you were talking about.
No I haven’t, thanks Leeann, I’ll have to check it out!
The only criticism I have of “Blue Ridge Rangers” is that I wish he had left out the drums from the Bluegrass numbers. Plus, that would have been one less instrument he would have had to teach himself for the project:)
But once a Rocker, always a Rocker, I guess…
Kim Richey is fabulous. Definitely one of the best kept secrets in “country” music.
Do go check her out in concert as she has a great sense of humor in how she relates to the audience, etc.
Along those lines and genre, I would recommend checking out Maria McKee / Lone Justice. Yet another artist who was more country than 95% of what Music Row shells out.
For those of you that like traditional country as in REAL country ala bluegrass and Appalachian style… check out the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
I heard them on the Opry last year and was blown away!
They were virtually unknown but came out and won over the crowd, got to play a few songs, and received a standing ovation.
They are still at that stage of their career where they interact with their fans via the internet, etc so check out their website (http://www.carolinachocolatedrops.com).
I’ll second the Mike Stinson recommendation. He was an acquired taste for me, but I ended up being really glad to have discovered him (with Ben’s help) a few months back. His voice is a little unusual, but he uses it well and the songwriting is top notch. If you’re into smart, fresh, real honky tonk, do check him out.
I’m trying to discover Dwight Yoakam more. Anyone have any suggestions on good songs to start with?
I sure do … Try these:
Back Of Your Hand
Ain’t That Lonely Yet
It Won’t Hurt
Close Up The Honky Tonks
The Heart That You Own
Fast As You
Pocket Of A Clown
If you need more, I suggest picking up his ‘Last Chance for a Thousand Years:
Dwight Yoakam’s Greatest Hits from the 90’s’ and the more recent ‘The Very Best of Dwight Yoakam’ albums. ‘Population:Me’ and ‘This Time’ are a great start to a collection of his studio albums.
Crooked Still: Cello-Driven Bluegrass that reminds me of a more traditional spin on Nickel Creek. Samantha Martin: I’m not sure exactly how to describe this, it isn’t bluegrass which some of you know is usually all I make recommendations on, perhaps Truck-Stop Country?
Crooked Still: Shaken by a Low Sound
Samantha Martin: Back Home
Mark McGuinn. Remember the guy who sang ‘Mrs. Steven Rudy’? His second album isn’t on iTunes and you’ll be hard pressed to find a physical copy anywhere other than Amazon, but he has some of the most original music you’ll find in country.
I agree with Sunny Sweeney!
Ashley Monroe & Trent Dabbs (together).
I have to agree that anyone who has not listened to Ashley Monroe, should discover her!! She is one of my favorites –
thanks for the suggestions J.R. Journey!
I’m checking them out right now!
Bobby, in addition to JR’s great suggestions, I would also recommend Dwight’s “Intentional Heartache” from his Blame the Vain album…EXCELLENT song, and great video as well!
Also, Dwight’s “IF There Was a Way” is a solid album and features an awesome duet he did with Patty Loveless, called “Send a Message to My Heart”.
And just a piece of trivia, Dwight and Patty were born in the same hospital in Pikeville, KY…Miss Loveless born 52 years ago today, Jan 4th. Happy Birthday Patty!
I vaguely remember hearing the “International heartache” song, but I’ll have to listen to it again. I remember liking it, I had forgotten about it though. And I’ll be sure to check out the Patty Loveless duet, she my favorite! Thanks!
So I’m a little late on this posting, but after doing the mp3 player shuffle, I have someone people should re-discover: Radney Foster. His solo stuff over the last 7-8 years has been consistently fantastic.
If anyone is interested, I can provide some suggestion, but generally, I would start with “See What I See” and move forward.
I would say that people really need to rediscover Linda Ronstadt’s classic 1970s country-rock albums. In lieu of that, however, I would say a newer artist deserving of attention is Tift Merritt, who has quietly built a career around writing great songs, having made three albums thus far, and cultivated an Americana sound redolent of what both Linda and Emmylou have done. Tift really would be my personal pick.
How about Townes Van Zant. The man was one of the greatest songwriters to ever ‘be’ and his “anthology” is a good starting point.
I will second the Mark McGuinn comment. I was such a fan that I made a fanwebsite back in the day (it was better than his at the time, even he said that). Sadly, his record label closed just as he was gaining traction at radio. Had he been on a Big Machine type of label he’d have been much more popular. Despite having offbeat lyrics, his music was always rooted in country/folk traditions. Here’s hoping he releases a new project sooner or later.