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Film

Ethan Hawke's Gaze in 'Blaze' Foley Biography Is Quite Clear

Blaze is the sort of film that takes the piss out of the legend, showing a life that's sadder for the wasted talent and what could have been.

Recent
Music

Jason Eady: Jason Eady

Jason Eady set out to make a simple sounding recording but it raises some unexpected emotional complexities that linger long after the songs have wound to a close.

Interviews

All Acoustic Instruments and Kitchen Utensils: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band History With Jeff Hanna

With half a century of music and friendship, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band continues forward with Circlin' Back.

Reviews

'Country Comes to Town' Illuminates Nashville's and Country Music's Internal Struggles

A fascinating piece of analysis about Music City, USA, Jeremy Hill's book is a thoughtful and thorough urban scholarship on origins and authenticity, among other things.

Music

Austin Lucas: Between the Moon and the Midwest

Between the Moon and the Midwest is a collection of tales told by those with broken hearts and proud souls.

Music

Holding on to Hag: Remembering Merle Haggard 1937-2016

Merle Haggard died at age 79, leaving behind a legacy of authentic country music.

Music

Alan Jackson: Genuine: The Alan Jackson Story

You probably know most of the material here, but taken all together we're reminded why Alan Jackson remains one of country music's greatest singers.

Music

Turnpike Troubadours Return with Intimate New Album and Talk with PopMatters

Recorded at former chicken farm north of San Francisco, the new release from Turnpike Troubadours seems like the one that will finally solidify the group's reputation as the best of its kind. And one member says it all comes down to getting what you deserve.

Music

George Strait: Cold Beer Conversation

It's hard to believe that the veteran singer is still hitting the post after all these years but, really, could we expect anything less?

Music

Alabama: Southern Drawl

Disappointing showing from veteran country act with some pretty good--and maybe even one great--ballads and several abysmal rockers.

Music

Let Us Now Praise Dale Watson, American Treasure

Dale Watson wants to secede from country music and all we can do is hope that this is one rebellion that comes to a happy end.

Interviews

Ashley Monroe Is on Her Biggest Winning Streak Yet

Country music star Ashley Monroe gets up close and personal, discussing the emotional rollercoaster that went into creating her latest release, The Blade along with her creative process and her role within the music business.

Music

The Best Country Music of 2014

Take more than a quick glance at country music in 2014 and you'll see a varied landscape -- in terms of gender, age, experience and song content.

Dave Heaton, Taylor Coe, and Steve Leftridge
Books

'Producing Country' Is Great Oral History

This is an exceptional read on how records get made. We learn how producers coaxed great performances, made power deals, and generally had a good time.

Music

Risa Binder: Nashville EP

They say that beauty is only skin deep, and that’s pretty much true of Binder’s five song Nashville EP.

Books

A Yarn-Spinning Tale about Country Music Legend Merle Haggard

David Cantwell writes from the heart and the results are, like the subject, highly unconventional and completely memorable.

Music

Towards a (Redneck) Pleasure Principle: Or Why Luke Bryan Might Be This Year's Best Artist

The idea of pleasure, of the loose swing and the obsessive grinding, becomes the central way that we talk about Luke Bryan, and often the central way that Bryan talks about himself, especially in 2013.

Anthony Easton
Music

The Best Country Music of 2013

What's going to be most often said or written about the year in country music, 2013? That it was the "year of the woman" in a Nashville that's still a man's world after all.

Dave Heaton, Jerrick Adams, and Steve Leftridge
Reviews

Merle Haggard: 31 October 2013 - Carmel, IN

Haggard and his songs managed to leave a far greater impression than the over-the-top venue.

Music

Mark Lanegan: Imitations

Imitations proves once again that even after four decades in the game, Mark Lanegan is not an artist content to conform to expectations, but one that will continue crossing borders to indulge his muse.

Events

Striking a Match at SXSW

Upstart pop country duo outshines bigger, more established names in surprising Tuesday night set.

Music

The Best Country Music of 2012

In 2012, you could be forgiven for being dismissive of the country music genre entirely -- to a point. For as long as country exists as a genre, there will be songwriters who are devoted to embodying their own vision of what “country” means, which sometimes means pushing the genre around.

Dave Heaton, Jedd Beaudoin, Josh Langhoff, Steve Leftridge
Music

In the Heart of Country Music in the Heart of the Country

How the Midwest remade country music in its own image -- and without even trying.

Books

'The Encyclopedia of Country Music: Second Edition' Lives Up to Its Name

Some trends and figures are going to be left out, but this is the most comprehensive examination of country music in North America from 1922 to the present.

Music

What Nashville Might Learn from the Carolina Chocolate Drops

The Carolina Chocolate Drops show us why it's important that country music gets in touch with its real base: rural America and the many gifts that rural America offers.

Books

Hits and Misses on Marty Robbins' Biography, 'Twentieth Century Drifter'

Twentieth Century Drifter leaves the door open for more critical appraisals of Marty Robbins and his work.

Music

Americana May Be Country, But Country Is Rarely Americana

Like punk rock and heavy metal, country music has a formula and violating that formula is a kind of betrayal, a heresy for which one may not be forgiven. In Americana, such betrayals and unexpected turns are often welcomed.

Film

Queer Country: Chely Wright’s Coming Out

The upcoming documentary, Wish Me Away, centered on country singer Chely Wright chronicles the pains of coming out in Nashville and raises questions about why more country musicians haven’t come out.

Music

The Best Country Music of 2011

At first it seemed like an especially quiet year in country music, and in some ways it might have been. At the same time, country is country: it rolls on.

Jedd Beaudoin, Dave Heaton, Josh Langhoff, and Jonathan Sanders
Music

High Flying: Pop Goes Country

1991 was a significant, even historic year, for country music, giving a strong indication of the direction it would take from then on to now.

Music

Ronnie Dunn: Ronnie Dunn

“I’ve waited 20 years to make this record,” Ronnie Dunn says in a video on the making of his first solo album. His patience wore out and now he’s clawing at our eyes and screaming in our ears for attention. He wants us to listen, and we should.

Music

Dixie Chicks: The Essential Dixie Chicks

This is an evocative selection that captures a profound recent history not only in the Dixie Chicks’ career, but in the recent history of female country music.

Music

Great Big Sea: Safe Upon the Shore

Great Big Sea is, at its heart, a party band, and there is pretty much one thing that its music is a soundtrack to in Canada: drinking your face off.

Books

'Cigar Box Banjo' Is a Nice Parting Gift From One of Canada’s Most Talented Writers

Cigar Box Banjo is less a memoir than it is an epitaph: Paul Quarrington wanted to be taken seriously as a bluesman, less so as an author.

Music

Race in America, Race in Music: Different Trains, Same Two Tracks

It's an American pop music creation myth: that blues and folk music developed along two distinct tracks, with their own distinct traditions, divided along racial lines. The truth is, of course, far more slippery and complicated.

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