Sep
27

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Lydia Loveless’ Postcards From The Road

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Back in the day, it was kind of fun when you’d go to a live show and hear the band announce that you were going to be on a live album recorded that night. The thought crossed my mind watching Lydia Loveless, when she stepped on Mountainstage in Charlestown for a taping of a forthcoming West Virginia Public Broadcasting radio program.

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Sep
23

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At Farm Aid, The Seeds of Revolution

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Let it be said here that this was the day when we may look back on when the revolution was declared. Or as Neil Young said on the morning of Saturday, September 17, “The Better Food Revolution.”

Young appeared at his 31st Farm Aid like he was Mayor of the Earth, the planet’s five letters all in uppercase emblazoned EARTH on his black t-shirt. Young was decrying big agriculture for selling food that’s been degraded, taking a shot at Barack Obama. “Even your president supports it.”

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Sep
6

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Margo Price’s Surreal Year

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When news came out this week that Margo Price and Sturgill Simpson did not receive any CMA nominations, fans of country music were left scratching their heads—again.

“Maybe I’d be smarter if I just played dumb,” Price posted on her Facebook page, a sarcastic reference pulled from her song “This Town Gets Around,” a stinging indictment of Music Row.

It was just another chapter in the surreal year of 2016. The singer went from selling nearly every last possession in order to fund and release a stunning debut Midwest Farmer’s Daughter. It debuted in the top ten of Billboard’s country albums chart and landed her on Saturday Night Live. By the time she got to the Newport Folk Festival, Price realized the musical highlight of her career, singing “Me and Bobby McGee” alongside its legendary writer Kris Kristofferson. Price will finish her summer appearing with Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Sturgill Simpson during Farm Aid.  A week later she will attend the Americana Music Association Awards in Nashville, where she is nominated for Best New Artist.

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Aug
30

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Shane McAnally, This Is Your Life

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Shane McAnally motions up to the stage where Josh Osborne, one of his writing partners, is sitting. It’s a Saturday afternoon at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville where McAnally is the featured honoree of the museum’s ongoing Poets & Prophets series. They were going to sing “Merry-Go-Round” when McAnally said it must seem odd that Kacey Musgraves, who was sitting in the audience, wasn’t onstage. He hadn’t given her a heads up he’d be calling on her but then asked her to come up and sing harmony. The elegant Musgraves obliged. Just as she sat down, McAnally disappeared to leave Musgraves and Osborne to sing the song together.

“Welcome to what it’s like with Shane,” Osborne said, deadpan.

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Aug
20

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Dolly Parton @ Verizon Arena, Little Rock, AR | August 13, 2016 – Review

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Dolly Parton at the Verizon Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas on August 13th, 2016. Photo courtesy of Tracy Dardenne.

Written by Michelle Ivey

The first time I saw Dolly Parton in concert was 11 years ago at Dollywood. It was, in fact, my first concert ever. So when Dolly announced she was coming back to Arkansas (a place she hasn’t been since 2008), I immediately knew I wanted to be there.

I arrived and settled into my seat in the lower bowl of the arena, with a decent view of the stage. After a few minutes of making sure I had everything I needed, I ran to the front row before the show started, to ask some of the people who met Dolly some questions.

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May
30

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Miranda Lambert @ Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA | May 21, 2016 – Review

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There was this moment during “All Kinds of Kinds” when Miranda Lambert was recalling standing up in geometry class and you wondered if the thought crossed her mind: am I really here? Lambert was singing in front of over 15,000 people headlining the Keeper of the Flame tour, on a cold rainy night at the Jiffy Lube Live amphitheater in Bristow, Virginia outside of Washington, D.C.

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May
4

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Nikki Lane @ The Borderline, London, UK | May 2, 2016 – Review

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Prior to going to see Nikki Lane at The Borderline on Monday, I had listened to her albums a couple of times through, but hadn’t devoted a huge amount of time to her music. I had heard good things about her overall, however, and so was excited to attend her first ever UK tour, of which London’s stop was the final date.

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Apr
25

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Garth Brooks @ Schottenstein Center, Columbus, OH | April 16, 2016 – Review

Written by Brandon Florkey

Being born in the late 80s and having parents that regularly listened to country radio in the car, I grew up on 90s country and Garth Brooks. When the Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences box set was announced it immediately went on my Christmas list. So when Vickye asked if I could cover this show, there was no hesitation to say yes.

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