The Hodgepodge: If You Were Stranded on an Island & Had to Pick One Country Record…

ATOZ_JKT

After a long holiday weekend here in the United States and the unofficial end of summer, there hasn’t been too much happening in the world of country music. This comes a week after all the hoopla surrounding the 50th CMA Awards and who was in and out in terms of nominations. In addition the much-talked about Sturgill Simpson Facebook rant took place and was a topic that was beaten to death. Needless to say I didn’t feel like rehashing this again. With nothing else to really talk about, I decided to try out something I’ve been wanting to give a shot with The Hodgepodge for a while. That is an Ask The Readers Hodgepodge. It’s quite simple: I pose a question to you the readers and in the comments below we will discuss what our answers would be to the question. Sometimes it will be a yes or no question, but most times it’ll be something a little more detailed like today. The first Ask The Readers Hodgepodge will start with an age-old question involving numerous subjects, but this time country music.

If you were stranded on an island for the rest of your life and you had to pick one country album to bring with you, what would it be?

Some guidelines:

  • It can also be Americana/Folk/Roots Rock because we cover those in addition to country music and I know some only follow the blog for these sub-genres.
  • The album cannot be a greatest hits album, box set, compilation, covers album, live album or soundtrack. Double albums are fair game though, but it must be released at the same time and not separately.
  • You can have the album in any format you please (you get one outlet on the island to plug in your CD player, record player 0r MP3 player, although good luck getting your record not to warp with all of the sunlight)
  • The album you pick doesn’t necessarily have to be what you consider the greatest country album of all-time, although it can be. It’s more your favorite album.
  • There are no wrong answers here! (Except if you pick a Sam Hunt album because I would think being stranded on an island would be a hard enough life without his music)
  • Feel free to throw in your picks for other genres too. This is a topic to have fun with!

 

Now with all of the guidelines out of the way, I will give my answer. I haven’t decided as of this writing what one album I would pick, but rather a list I would highly consider from for my one pick. Those albums would be:

  • Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
  • Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (of course my first two on the list are Country Perspective’s album of the year winners)
  • Chris Stapleton – Traveller
  • George Strait – Strait From The Heart
  • George Strait – Ocean Front Property 
  • Alan Jackson – Don’t Rock The Jukebox
  • Waylon Jennings – Dreaming My Dreams
  • Dwight Yoakam – Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. 

It’s your turn now! Be sure to weigh in below.

Upcoming/Recent Country & Americana Releases

  • Whiskey Myers will be releasing their new album MUD tomorrow. My review of it will also be out soon
  • St. Paul & The Broken Bones will be releasing their sophomore album tomorrow, titled Sea of Noise.
  • Next week Amanda Shires’ new album My Piece of Land will be released.
  • Australian country artist Kasey Chambers just released a new EP Ain’t No Little Girl and her new album Dragonfly will be released on January 20, 2017 (shout out to reader Melanie for giving me a heads up!)
  • It was just announced this week Jim Lauderdale will be releasing a new album titled This Changes Everything on September 30
  • A promising up and coming artist named Paul Cauthen will be releasing his debut solo record My Gospel on October 14. He’s the former frontman of Americana band Sons of Fathers.

Throwback Thursday Song

Willie Nelson – “I’d Have To Be Crazy” – This is one of my all-time favorite Willie Nelson songs and one of my favorite country love songs. For the eagle-eyed, yes Sturgill Simpson covered the very same song on his debut album High Top Mountain. It is also great and does Willie justice.

Non-Country Suggestion of the Week

Carly Rae Jepsen – “Cry” – Yes, it’s the same artist that sang “Call Me Maybe.” But she’s moved on to much better music! Her last album Emotion was pop music at it’s best and recently she released the B-Sides EP for it. I recommend both if you listen to pop music, but this song in particular is fantastic off the EP. It reminds me of the best of 80s pop and would undoubtedly be a hit in that decade of music (think Heart or Pat Benatar).

Tweet of the Week

Laughing at Blake Shelton’s current terrible single is always appropriate, but especially when it’s struggling on the chart.

Some Thoughts on Kelsea Ballerini’s Album

kelsea-ballerini-is-meh

I’m not sure why you bought the album either, Danyelle. And it does sound pop, Victoria.

Country Perspective’s 40 Most Essential Country & Americana Albums of 2015

Country Perspective's 2015 Most Essential Albums

We’ve reached the end of 2015 and as you’ve seen over this last month there have numerous best of and worst of lists and everything in between. The “listpocalypse” as many dub it is finally ending and we can start focusing on new music really soon. But before we look forward to the new music of 2016, we want to look back one last time on the music of country and Americana in 2015. These are the albums we consider the absolute must listen albums of 2015 if you’re a fan of country and Americana. We should point out that this year’s essential albums list is different in that last year’s list was all albums that we ranked 8/10 or better. This year’s essential list only contains albums (and a few EPs) ranked 9/10 or better.

Originally we wanted to just have it narrowed down to 25 albums, but then it grew to 30 and then 35 before eventually 40. We wanted to make sure we go all of the great music on the list! Keep in mind if we didn’t put an album on this list it’s not because we’re haters or we’re attacking your favorite artist. Do not turn the comments section into “Well you didn’t put (insert name) on the list and you didn’t put this on the list, so I hate it.” Instead put together your own list in the comments if you want, as this is more constructive and creates more interesting conversation.

Now that I’ve gotten all of the ground rules out of the way, let’s get to the music. These are what we consider the 36 most essential country and Americana albums of 2015.

The Best of the Best

Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free

Whitey Morgan – Sonic Ranch

Chris Stapleton – Traveller 

The Awesome Ones

Don Henley – Cass County 

Tami Neilson – Don’t Be Afraid

Houndmouth – Little Neon Limelight 

Wade Bowen & Randy Rogers – Hold My Beer, Vol. 1

Turnpike Troubadours – Turnpike Troubadours

Sam Outlaw – Angeleno 

Jonathan Tyler – Holy Smokes

Blackberry Smoke – Holding All The Roses

Pretty Damn Great

Whitney Rose – Heartbreaker of the Year

Maddie & Tae – Start Here

Cody Jinks – Adobe Sessions

Eric Church – Mr. Misunderstood

Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material

Gretchen Peters – Blackbirds

Brandi Carlile – The Firewatcher’s Daughter

The Malpass Brothers – The Malpass Brothers

Rick Elliot – West of the Rockies EP

The Lone Bellow – Then Came The Morning

“I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair”

Dwight Yoakam – Second Hand Heart 

George Strait – Cold Beer Conversation

Alan Jackson – Angels & Alcohol

James McMurtry – Complicated Game

Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard – Django & Jimmie

Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – The Traveling Kind

A Little Bit of Everything

John Moreland – High On Tulsa Heat

The Mavericks – Mono

Banditos – Banditos

Corb Lund – Things That Can’t Be Undone

Lindi Ortega – Faded Gloryville 

Will Hoge – Small Town Dreams

Jon Pardi – The B-Sides, 2011-2014 EP

Jamie Lin Wilson – Holidays & Wedding Rings

Justin Townes Earle – Absent Fathers 

Tony Furtado – The Bell

Allison Moorer – Down To Believing 

Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet

The Black Lillies – Hard To Please 

The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown [October 26]

Jason Isbell Something More Than Free

This is The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown. Every week I’ll post the top 40 from the Americana Airplay chart, which is obtained from AmericanaRadio.org. From the site: “The Americana Airplay chart represents the reported play of terrestrial radio stations, nationally syndicated radio shows, satellite radio and internet stations who have agreed to submit weekly spin counts. For more information please visit www.americanamusic.org.”

The goal of this feature is to track and monitor the current most popular music in the Americana realm, as I believe it’s starting to take on a bigger importance in the world of music, especially concerning the current state of country music. In addition it will bring some new names to the site that haven’t been covered here before and could lead to more Americana coverage. It’s also a place to discuss anything going on in the Americana genre at this moment. Be sure to weigh in on the chart in the comments below.

  1. Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (Grade: 10/10)
  2. Patty Griffin – Servant of Love
  3. Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin – Lost Time
  4. Joe Ely – Panhandle Rambler
  5. Josh Ritter – Sermon On The Rocks [Up 2]
  6. The Bottle Rockets – South Broadway Athletic Club (Grade: 8.5/10) [Down 1]
  7. Los Lobos – Gates Of Gold [Up 1]
  8. Don Henley – Cass County (Grade: 10/10) [Up 1]
  9. The Black Lillies – Hard To Please [Up 1]
  10. Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material (Grade: 9/10) [Down 3]
  11. Turnpike Troubadours – Turnpike Troubadours (Grade: 10/10) 
  12. The Wood Brothers – Paradise
  13. Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats – Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats 
  14. Corb Lund – Things That Can’t Be Undone (Grade: 9/10) [Up 6]
  15. Ashley Monroe – The Blade (Grade: 7/10) [Down 1]
  16. The Statesboro Revue – Jukehouse Revival (Grade: 8/10) [Down 1]
  17. Shawn Colvin – Uncovered
  18. Webb Wilder – Mississippi Moderne
  19. Glen Hansard – Didn’t He Ramble [Up 3]
  20. Lucero – All A Man Should Do [Up 4]
  21. Amy Helm – Didn’t It Rain [Down 5]
  22. Watkins Family Hour – Watkins Family Hour [Down 3]
  23. Warren Haynes (feat. Railroad Earth) – Ashes & Dust [Up 2]
  24. The Dave Rawlings Machine – Nashville Obsolete [Down 3]
  25. Shemekia Copeland – Outskirts of Love [Down 2]
  26. Kevin Gordon – Long Gone Time [Up 4]
  27. Bart Crow – The Parade [Up 13]
  28. Lindi Ortega – Faded Gloryville (Grade: 9/10)
  29. The Damn Quails – Out of The Birdcage (Grade: 8.5/10) [Up 9]
  30. Whitney Rose – Heartbreaker of the Year (Grade: 10/10) [Up 1]
  31. Folk Family Festival – Water Walker [Up 3]
  32. Jason James – Jason James
  33. Langhorne Slim – The Spirit Moves [Down 7]
  34. Jason Boland & The Stragglers – Squelch (Grade: 8.5/10) [New]
  35. Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet (Grade: 9/10) [Down 6]
  36. Rayland Baxter – Imaginary Man [Down 9]
  37. Jim Lauderdale – Soul Searching [New]
  38. Jeffrey Foucault – Salt As Wolves [New]
  39. Daniel Romano – If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ [Down 2]
  40. Steve Martin & Edie Brickell – So Familiar [New]

The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown [October 19]

Jason Isbell Something More Than Free

This is The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown. Every week I’ll post the top 40 from the Americana Airplay chart, which is obtained from AmericanaRadio.org. From the site: “The Americana Airplay chart represents the reported play of terrestrial radio stations, nationally syndicated radio shows, satellite radio and internet stations who have agreed to submit weekly spin counts. For more information please visit www.americanamusic.org.”

The goal of this feature is to track and monitor the current most popular music in the Americana realm, as I believe it’s starting to take on a bigger importance in the world of music, especially concerning the current state of country music. In addition it will bring some new names to the site that haven’t been covered here before and could lead to more Americana coverage. It’s also a place to discuss anything going on in the Americana genre at this moment. Be sure to weigh in on the chart in the comments below.

  1. Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (Grade: 10/10)
  2. Patty Griffin – Servant of Love
  3. Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin – Lost Time
  4. Joe Ely – Panhandle Rambler
  5. Josh Ritter – Sermon On The Rocks [Up 2]
  6. The Bottle Rockets – South Broadway Athletic Club (Grade: 8.5/10) [Down 1]
  7. Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material (Grade: 9/10) [Down 1]
  8. Los Lobos – Gates Of Gold
  9. Don Henley – Cass County (Grade: 10/10) [Up 3]
  10. The Black Lillies – Hard To Please [Up 4]
  11. Turnpike Troubadours – Turnpike Troubadours (Grade: 10/10) [Down 2]
  12. The Wood Brothers – Paradise [Down 2]
  13. Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats – Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats 
  14. Ashley Monroe – The Blade (Grade: 7/10) [Down 3]
  15. The Statesboro Revue – Jukehouse Revival (Grade: 8/10) 
  16. Amy Helm – Didn’t It Rain [Up 2]
  17. Shawn Colvin – Uncovered
  18. Webb Wilder – Mississippi Moderne [Up 2]
  19. Watkins Family Hour – Watkins Family Hour [Down 3]
  20. Corb Lund – Things That Can’t Be Undone (Grade: 9/10) [New]
  21. The Dave Rawlings Machine – Nashville Obsolete [Up 4]
  22. Glen Hansard – Didn’t He Ramble [Up 4]
  23. Shemekia Copeland – Outskirts of Love [Up 1]
  24. Lucero – All A Man Should Do [Up 3]
  25. Warren Haynes (feat. Railroad Earth) – Ashes & Dust [Down 2]
  26. Langhorne Slim – The Spirit Moves [Down 7]
  27. Rayland Baxter – Imaginary Man [Up 1]
  28. Lindi Ortega – Faded Gloryville (Grade: 9/10) [Down 6]
  29. Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet (Grade: 9/10) [Down 8]
  30. Kevin Gordon – Long Gone Time [Up 2]
  31. Whitney Rose – Heartbreaker of the Year (Grade: 10/10)
  32. Jason James – Jason James [Up 3]
  33. Steep Canyon Rangers – Radio 
  34. Folk Family Festival – Water Walker [Up 4]
  35. Dale Watson – Call Me Insane (Grade: 8.5/10) [Down 5]
  36. Jonathan Tyler – Holy Smokes (Grade: 10/10) [Down 7]
  37. Daniel Romano – If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ [Down 1]
  38. The Damn Quails – Out of The Birdcage (Grade: 8.5/10) [Down 4]
  39. Chris Stapleton – Traveller (Grade: 10/10) [Down 2]
  40. Bart Crow – The Parade [New]

The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown [October 12]

Jason Isbell Something More Than Free

This is The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown. Every week I’ll post the top 40 from the Americana Airplay chart, which is obtained from AmericanaRadio.org. From the site: “The Americana Airplay chart represents the reported play of terrestrial radio stations, nationally syndicated radio shows, satellite radio and internet stations who have agreed to submit weekly spin counts. For more information please visit www.americanamusic.org.”

The goal of this feature is to track and monitor the current most popular music in the Americana realm, as I believe it’s starting to take on a bigger importance in the world of music, especially concerning the current state of country music. In addition it will bring some new names to the site that haven’t been covered here before and could lead to more Americana coverage. It’s also a place to discuss anything going on in the Americana genre at this moment. Be sure to weigh in on the chart in the comments below.

  1. Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (Grade: 10/10)
  2. Patty Griffin – Servant of Love
  3. Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin – Lost Time
  4. Joe Ely – Panhandle Rambler [Up 1]
  5. The Bottle Rockets – South Broadway Athletic Club (Grade: 8.5/10) [Up 5]
  6. Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material (Grade: 9/10) [Down 2]
  7. Josh Ritter – Sermon On The Rocks [Up 17]
  8. Los Lobos – Gates Of Gold [Down 1]
  9. Turnpike Troubadours – Turnpike Troubadours (Grade: 10/10) [Down 3]
  10. The Wood Brothers – Paradise [Up 3]
  11. Ashley Monroe – The Blade (Grade: 7/10) [Down 3]
  12. Don Henley – Cass County (Grade: 10/10) [Up 2]
  13. Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats – Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats [Up 5] 
  14. The Black Lillies – Hard To Please [Up 6]
  15. The Statesboro Revue – Jukehouse Revival (Grade: 8/10) [Down 3]
  16. Watkins Family Hour – Watkins Family Hour [Down 7]
  17. Shawn Colvin – Uncovered
  18. Amy Helm – Didn’t It Rain [Down 7]
  19. Langhorne Slim – The Spirit Moves 
  20. Webb Wilder – Mississippi Moderne [Up 20]
  21. Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet (Grade: 9/10) [Down 6]
  22. Lindi Ortega – Faded Gloryville (Grade: 9/10) [New]
  23. Warren Haynes (feat. Railroad Earth) – Ashes & Dust [Down 7]
  24. Shemekia Copeland – Outskirts of Love [Up 1]
  25. The Dave Rawlings Machine – Nashville Obsolete [Up 13]
  26. Glen Hansard – Didn’t He Ramble [Up 10]
  27. Lucero – All A Man Should Do [Up 8]
  28. Rayland Baxter – Imaginary Man [Down 5]
  29. Jonathan Tyler – Holy Smokes (Grade: 10/10) [Down 8]
  30. Dale Watson – Call Me Insane (Grade: 8.5/10) [Down 8]
  31. Whitney Rose – Heartbreaker of the Year (Grade: 10/10) [Down 4]
  32. Kevin Gordon – Long Gone Time [Down 6]
  33. Steep Canyon Rangers – Radio [Down 4]
  34. The Damn Quails – Out of The Birdcage (Grade: 8.5/10) [Down 3]
  35. Jason James – Jason James [Down 1]
  36. Daniel Romano – If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ [Down 6]
  37. Chris Stapleton – Traveller (Grade: 10/10) [Down 9]
  38. Folk Family Festival – Water Walker [New]
  39. Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color [Down 6]
  40. Jackie Greene – Back To Birth [Down 3]