Long Island, New York may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of country-Americana music with a strong rural connection, but you might think differently after spending some time with the work of singer/songwriter Delaney Hafener. The driving force behind The Belle Curves, Hafener has a way of turning your assumptions upside down. So whatever preconceived notions you harbor about country music, the USA, love, relationships, identity and belonging, you’ll likely find yourself looking from a newfound vantage point by the time you get to the end of the Belle Curves’ sophomore full-length Watershed.
There’s a fine line between “having to” and “choosing it”… and that was the line that made me fall in love with the sound and style of Willi Carlisle. It’s from his latest track “Van Life” on his upcoming album “Peculiar, Missouri” which comes out next month, and it perfectly sums up a dream I’ve been chasing ever since I left the bustling city behind 13 years ago. All my friends thought I was crazy to leave my established desert music scene, uproot my kids and go hide in the woods. My bank account cried over the loss of “city wages”. My mother worried that I was never going to be able to manage the tedium of raising chicken and keeping a garden. But the fact that I chose this life on purpose made all the difference. In fact, once I started listening to more of Willi’s music, it felt like he was telling my story. Mine. Not his. Not some bubblegum pop country generic references to checklists about rural life. MY STORY. But that’s the mark of a great songwriter, isn’t it? When they tap into the human condition then find a way to spell it out so that it feels both personally and universally true at the same time.
Screenings and panels for the Amazon Music documentary film For Love & Country were held on June 10 during CMA Fest. An in-depth discussion of the film on the CMA Close Up Stage at Fan Fair X featured Amazon Music Breakthrough Artist BRELAND, Blanco Brown, Shy Carter and Frankie Staton and was moderated by award-winning journalist Dyana Williams. Hundreds of fans gathered in the Music City Center to learn more about the history of country music and the influence of black musicians on the genre.
Country star TOBY KEITH revealed TODAY (6/12) that he is battling stomach cancer. In a brief social media post, KEITH wrote, “Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I’ve spent the last six months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax.”
Fans of country artist-songwriter Brandon Davis have been clamoring for more new music since he released his heartwarming debut album ‘Hearts Don’t Rust’ on April 15 via Big Yellow Dog Music. On June 3rd, Davis will share four re-imagined versions of the album’s songs and one never-before-heard song via ‘Hearts Don’t Rust (Acoustic).’ Listen to “Forever And Always (Acoustic),” the first song from the new project here: fanlink.to/BDacoustic
CMT today revealed psychedelic-soul duo Black Pumas and country star Mickey Guyton will premiere their new installment of critically-acclaimed series “CMT Crossroads: Black Pumas & Mickey Guyton” on Wednesday, June 15th at 10p/9c exclusively on CMT. Additional encores to air on CMT on Wednesday, June 15 at 11p/10c and Sunday June 19 at 12p/11c and on MTV Live on Thursday, June 23rd at 5p/4c and 8p/7c.
Trixie Mattel took to the Jimmy Kimmel Live! stage to perform her “song you need to know” (Rolling Stone) and heartachingly nostalgic collab with Shakey Graves “This Town”. Watch the drag legend and music superstar’s touching late night TV debut HERE. It’s a cut from Trixie Mattel’s forthcoming double LP ‘The Blonde & Pink Albums’ which will drop June 24th via PEG Records. The track is a haunting and powerful reflection on small town life and what we leave behind (both good and bad) when we depart.