After what seems like months of ever-louder hype, Sturgill Simpson’s latest album finally arrived.
Merle Haggard passing away isn’t only a huge loss because of his legacy. It’s a huge loss because he was still a vital artist making new, good music that added to that legacy.
The most obvious points of comparison for singer-songwriter Maren Morris and her single “My Church” are to Sheryl Crow’s self-titled masterpiece and its follow-up, The Globe Sessions. Though Crow spent the 1990s as a pop star, her ties to the country genre were clear. “If It Makes You Happy” was always a honky-tonk anthem waiting to happen, while “The Difficult Kind,” “Home,” and “Mississippi” all sound more recognizably country than do current chart-topping hits by Sam Hunt, Kelsea Ballerini, and Thomas Rhett.
She was one of those artists that my parents listened to in the car. The CD was always Hits: 1979-1989. My dad loved “My Baby Thinks He’s a Train” and my mom, “Tennessee Flat-Top Box.” They both loved “Seven Year Ache.”
But by the time I was listening to country music independently, with CMT as my primary conduit for new music, Cash had already left country music behind. Given that she was never big on making music videos in the first place, I saw the clip for “The Wheel” a few times, and that was it.
Django and Jimmie derives its title from the names of two of the biggest influences of Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard – Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers.
The fact that Rosanne Cash is a member of country music’s most beloved family cannot be escaped, but the fact that her estimable career is based on her own incredible talent cannot be disputed.