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Music

The 10 Best Country Albums of 2010

The synthesis of the past, present, and future was so much of what country music was about in 2010. Country was still fairly male-dominated in the era, although the changing winds, wherein women would create the most forward-looking music, were already beginning to blow.

Recent
Music

Persona and Modern Music in 17 Songs

Persona -- the “I” of the song -- has evolved, broadened, and expanded to more fully represent a diversity of experiences as well as emotional, political, and cultural orientations.

John Amen
Music

Merle Haggard, Prolific Country Music Outlaw, Dies at 79

Haggard’s scores of plain, rough-livin’ character songs made him a critics’ choice for one of the leading songwriters of his generation.

Jill Leovy
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

2015 Nelsonville Music Festival - 28-31 May, 2015 (Photos)

Merle Haggard, St. Vincent, and the Flaming Lips headed up another eclectic year at Ohio's Nelsonville Music Festival.

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

Ranking the Performances: The 56th Annual Grammy Awards

Was music’s biggest night worth staying up all night for? Read on to find out.

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

Merle Haggard: The Running Kind

Merle Haggard’s music helped invent the America we live in today. David Cantwell explores the fascinating contradictions that define not only Haggard’s music and public persona, but the very heart of American culture.

David Cantwell
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

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

Various Artists: The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams

The only thing more exciting than the release of 12 previously unrecorded Hank Williams lyrics is the group of artists recruited to put them together.

Music

Merle Haggard: Working in Tennessee

Merle Haggard's new album sounds good, but doesn't add anything to his legacy.

Music

Marty Stuart: Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions

Marty Stuart recorded his latest album in the old RCA Studio B in Nashville where so many classic albums were recorded, including those he made with Lester Flatts’ band when Stuart was a prodigy at a mere 13 years of age.

Events

Marty Stuart: 30 August 2010 - New York

Though Marty Stuart is arguably a country artist’s country musician—virtuosic and omnipresent yet unknown to mainstream listeners—he still cuts a commanding figure.

Music

He Is What He Is: The Merle Haggard Interview

The legendary "poet of the common man" talks to PopMatters about the state of country music today, his friendship with Johnny Cash and why he hasn’t liked a president since Ronald Reagan.

Rachel Brodsky
Music

Prisoners Are the Best Audience: The Challenge of 'At Folsom Prison'

Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison wasn't a pivotal live album or country album or Cash album -- it was a piece of history unto itself, flaws and all.

Music

Countrypolitik: What's Right and What's Left About Country Music

At a first glance, country music seems traditionally allied with the sort of down-home, small-town ethics and values touted by the Republicans. But the politics of country music has never been a simple red or blue.

Books

Sing Me Back Home by Dana Jennings

A personal history and a love letter, urging us to embrace country music as American music.

Music

Merle Haggard: Hag's Christmas

Hag's Christmas may be light on Christmas cheer, but it sure is pretty in its holiday loneliness.

Reviews

Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Ray Price: Last of the Breed [DVD]

These three graying men are the true, diehard troubadours. This concert DVD will surely bless your little heart if you happen to be the last of another breed: the traditional country music fan.

Reviews

Merle Haggard: In Concert 1983 [DVD]

A Merle Haggard show is one of the best concert dollar values today, just as it was in 1983. This DVD, however, is not.

Music

Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Ray Price: Last of the Breed Volume 1

Yes, that’s right. Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Ray Price offer the somnolent styles of yesterday and today for your enjoyment.

Reviews

Merle Haggard: Live From Austin TX [DVD]

Merle Haggard is still going, and it is on the strength of his timeless country songs. A select cache of numbers is showcased from this memorable '85 date for the legendary PBS program.

Jason MacNeil
Reviews
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