From his new album Shape & Destroy.
Sep 15, 2020
Dec 9, 2019
Nov 5, 2019
May 22, 2019
Jan 31, 2019
How you line dance to a modern country song
Do you love The Steel Woods' new album?
What do you call people who drive around blasting Kane Brown?
Koe Wetzel just calls it Tuesday Morning
Walking in after you just scored Tyler Childers tickets
Your opinion on the country charts?
When Jason Aldean fans make fun of Thomas Rhett fans
Why do you listen to so much Ruston Kelly?
(Gifs from Clerks I & II)
Dec 28, 2018
Here are my top 10 songs of 2018 (#s 11-30 here). There's a Spotify playlist of 1-30 at the bottom.
10. Fantastic Negrito – Transgender Biscuits
I don't have a clue what this song is about but it's so much fun. Maybe it's about how stuff's tough all over for everybody, so we might as well have a good time and love everybody while we're at it. Maybe it's about biscuits. Whatever.
9. Jamie Lin Wilson – Death & Life
8. Caitlyn Smith – This Town Is Killing Me
7. Father John Misty – Please Don't Die
6. Ashley McBryde – Tired of Being Happy
5. Cody Jinks – Colorado
4. Lori McKenna – The Lot Behind St. Mary's
3. Lucie Silvas – My Old Habits
Expertly crafted, well -produced, strongly performed bar rock is one of my musical sweet spots and this gets right in there. It was stuck in my head for days on end and that never became annoying. Lucie sings the hell out of this song. It gives me some Bonnie Raitt vibes, and that's never a bad thing.
2. Ruston Kelly – Faceplant
Catchy misery is one of my musical sweet spots and this is a bullseye. "Not even angels came around" really drove it home.
1. YOB – Our Raw Heart
Epic, emotional, visceral, tortured. "Our Raw Heart" conjures images of mountains rising, of ice cliffs smashing into one another, of 90 foot waves falling against the shore, continents sliding into the sea. It's gigantic, ugly, and beautiful all at once. YOB nearly didn't exist into 2018; its singer Mike Scheidt almost died of intestinal issues in 2017. The album was a statement of survival and growth after trauma, and this, the title song, was its raw, beating heart. A cathartic masterpiece.
Dec 14, 2018
Like numbers 11-25, these were voted on by all Farce the Music contributors.
10. Dallas Moore - Mr. Honky Tonk
This is the album where Dallas Moore took a huge step forward. He's always been good, but on Mr. Honky Tonk, the songwriting, vocals, and especially the production all came together. Normally I'd not even consider voting for an album with only 8 tunes, but when the material is this strong, there's nothing wrong with delivering a short, powerful punch. Moore knows for damn sure who he is and on Mr. Honky Tonk, that comes through loud and clear. Check out "You Know the Rest" and "Somewhere Between Bridges." ~Trailer
9. Whitey Morgan & The 78s - Hard Times & White Lines
When it comes to straight-up, hard-edged country, there's not a single person doing it better than Whitey Morgan. He and his band have again written a damn incredible country album. You can always bet the bank on Morgan to only release the best of the best. You will not get filler or cheap songs. You're going to get songs about living out on the road, the things that does to relationships, and ways to pass the time when out on the road. It ain't a pretty life, but when Morgan sings about it, it sure makes you wanna try it out for a while. ~Matthew Martin
8. Ruston Kelly - Dying Star
One for the misfits, but who among us isn’t one? At times depressing, funny and hopeful, and with a dash of redemptive potential. And it’s oh, so very pleasing to the ear. Comparisons to Ryan Adams are inevitable. So far, though, Mr. Kelly doesn’t seem to be a full-of-himself douche. ~Kevin Broughton
7. American Aquarium - Things Change
When BJ lost his band a couple of years ago due to whatever reasons, I thought the American Aquarium name would be retired. Instead, BJ found a new backing band and came back stronger than ever. These are some BJ's strongest songs he's written since Burn. Flicker. Die. And, the band! I'll be damned if this band doesn't seem even tighter. When BJ has been at his lowest point, band-wise, he's given us masterpieces and this album is no exception. ~MM
6. Joshua Hedley - Mr. Jukebox
The soul of Mr. Jukebox is decidedly unhip by mainstream Nashville standards, but the songs are glorious throwbacks to guys like Ernest Tubb, George Jones or Buck Owens. The reason Mr. Jukebox succeeds is his backbone of traditionalism, not only in character, but also because of Ole’ Hed’s dedication to the heart of real country music. Hedley’s fiddle furiously battles his smooth vocal runs with a multi-disciplined attack that's just damned good music. Joshua Hedley can strum a guitar, sing with a clean, clear harmonious range, and write lyrics that are not only witty, but also painstakingly crafted so that the words on some of the record’s tracks land like guy punches. ~Robert Dean
5. Cody Jinks - Lifers
Cody is just taunting the Satanists running Nashville now, showing these soulless, undead beings what a country record could be on their radio stations. ~KB
I remember when I first heard Cody Jinks a few years ago, I wasn't immediately a fan. I don't remember what made me think that- maybe just wasn't in the right headspace or something. But, that has completely changed. Jinks released the album that will likely (and seems to already have) boost him to the ranks of Simpson or, potentially even Stapleton. Jinks's voice is velvety smooth and his band is right on the mark. The songs are a perfect mix of hard-life livers, hard-night havers, and hard-love lovers. It's incredibly relatable to those listening and it's the kind of tunes we've come to expect out of Jinks over the last few years. Yet another very good album in Jinks's short, but incredibly respectable output. ~MM
4. Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
An album chock full of beautifully arranged, damn-near perfectly delivered, radio-ready singles that for some reason didn't find their way to Country Radio. It's a shame that format has bent over backwards to completely ignore and ostracize women because Musgraves made the best Country record of the year by a wide margin. I guess the Country Radio folks need to make sure there's always enough room on the charts for any dude named Luke who might decide to release a single at some point. ~Kasey Anderson
3. Brandi Carlile - By the Way, I Forgive You
Brandi’s finest album since The Story (which will always be in my Top 10 of all-time). “The Joke” is simply gorgeous and a song of the year contender. This Dave Cobb produced platter got some serious Grammy nom love and for good reason. ~Scott Colvin
2. Jamie Lin Wilson - Jumping Over Rocks
I’ll be honest, this album is so beautifully understated in its delivery that I almost had it around number 12. Then I sat down & listened again. What Jamie Lin Wilson has done is monumental. She covers perhaps the greatest song Guy Clark ever wrote, and it fits the album. If you’re looking for who’s going to fill those shoes, the answer is still “nobody”, but this album is a tour de force. Jamie Lin Wilson is a generational talent who deserves every bit of acclaim she receives, and then some. ~Kelcy Salisbury
I love this freaking album. So classy and classic sounding. "The Being Gone" and "Death and Life" are amazing songs. ~Trailer
1. Lucero - Among the Ghosts
To follow Lucero's career has been an amazing transition from country/punk 4 piece to a straight-up Memphis rock and roll band complete with a horns section. For their 9th (or 10th if you count The Attic Tapes) studio album, the guys took it back to their roots and left the horns out for the most part. What they gave us was their best album since 1372 Overton Park. It's a musically concise album cutting away any fat and letting the songs and band speak for themselves. Ben Nichols has written some of his most interesting songs to date about Civil War battles, touring, and shoot-outs. In a catalog full of incredible albums, this one is certainly at the top. ~MM
Good to see Farce the Music's unofficial house band finally make our top spot! ~Trailer
Dec 5, 2018
Colter Wall - Songs of the Plains
You roll your own cigarettes. You only wear raw denim. You think condiments are for the weak.
Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
You never knew you liked country music and you're completely amazed a debut album could be this good.
Morgan Wallen - If I Know Me
You are in Morgan's family.
Tyler Childers - Purgatory
You aren't really into calendars.
Kelsea Ballerini - Unapologetically (Deluxe)
This is the only album you've heard this year.
Ruston Kelly - Mockingbird
You are blocked by Ryan Adams on Twitter. People who know you would best describe you as "pretends to be clinically depressed."
Pistol Annies - Interstate Gospel
If female, you have probably punched a man in the face before. If male, you vote Democrat but own a shitload of guns.
Cody Jinks - Lifers
You have been muted by half your Facebook friends for sharing too many Farce the Music memes.
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers - Years
You have definitely punched a man in the face before. You once landed a frontside 180 kickflip without spilling your whiskey.
Kane Brown - Evolution
You have a misspelled tattoo about drama somewhere on your body. All your Facebook posts are passive aggressive but end with a Bible verse. You graduated 5th in your class …of 5 people in your GED class.
This is satire. Don't take it seriously.
Also, if your favorite wasn't here, there may be more editions soon.
Idea stolen from Medium.
Idea stolen from Medium.
Nov 13, 2018
With the ironically named Dying Star, Ruston Kelly
shows promise of bigger things to come
By Kevin Broughton
Last week saw the long-awaited release of season two of Amazon’s original “Patriot,” easily the most underrated and hilarious television show on any platform the last five years. The protagonist, John Tavner (a.k.a. “Lakeman”) is an intelligence operative/assassin who deals with the job’s inevitable stressors in an unconventional way: By getting high, writing songs about his real-life exploits, then singing them at open-mic nights. This “sad man in a suit” never smiles; but no matter what awful wolves are at the door, he always answers “pretty good,” when somebody asks how things are going. And things are always impossibly awful for Tavner.
One imagines a third season of “Patriot” heavily laden with Ruston Kelly songs. His full-length album debut, Dying Star, is wonderfully, beautifully – almost impossibly – melancholy. His characters just can’t seem to get out of their own way. Whether it’s pills, booze, infidelity or commitment issues these folks touch all the bases and are therefore of necessity sympathetic to somebody. A listen/look at the “Mockingbird” video
gives a pretty good idea at how heavy an emotional investment some of these songs bring. Kelly’s plaintive, poignant voice gives an intimate authenticity to the collection of misfits who bring these stories to life. “Faceplant” is a halfway-funny song about a pill head worrying his girlfriend will key his car and leave his possessions outside when he staggers home for the last time. And that one is followed by “Blackout,” which is the dude’s favorite thing to do in the car.
Probably no one remembers a time when Ryan Adams wasn’t a pretentious douchebag. Maybe in an alternate universe, Ruston Kelly is Adams, but a version that will never wear horn-rimmed glasses and read his book of poetry to a fawning crowd at a library in Brooklyn. Kelly has the sweet, soulful voice and the songwriting chops. And if these fourteen songs – none of which you’ll want to skip – are any indication, he can be every bit as prolific. Toward the end of the record, there’s even a hopeful uptick toward redemption. Throughout, Kelly makes great use of pedal steel and an occasional dueling harmonica to punctuate his phrasing. The whole record is just really danged pleasing to the ear.
This probably won’t be the best album Ruston Kelly ever makes. But there aren’t many released in 2018 by anyone that are its equal.
Dying Star is available anywhere you buy or stream fine music.
Oct 22, 2018
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 3, 2018
Usual disclaimers: This is Trailer's top 20. The year-end list will be compiled from all FTM contributors' votes. 3 more months to go - this'll change a lot by December.
1. Dallas Moore - Mr. Honky Tonk
2. Ashley McBryde - Girl Going Nowhere
3. Fantastic Negrito - Please Don't Be Dead
4. Ruston Kelly - Dying Star
5. Neko Case - Hell On
6. Blackberry Smoke - Find a Light
7. Caitlyn Smith - Starfire
8. John Prine - Tree of Forgiveness
9. Lucero - Among the Ghosts
10. Brent Cobb - Providence Canyon
11. Joshua Hedley - Mr. Jukebox
12. Rolo Tomassi - Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It
13. Lori McKenna - The Tree
14. Cody Jinks - Lifers
15. Glorietta - s/t
16. Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
17. Ryan Culwell - The Last American
18. Brandi Carlile - By the Way, I Forgive You
19. Buffalo Gospel - At the Last Bell
20. Shooter Jennings - Shooter
Oct 1, 2018
Sep 18, 2018
Sep 10, 2018
Aug 15, 2018
Dec 20, 2017
11. The Kernal - Tennessee Sun
A cool 70s country inspired Americana roller with a simple earworm of a refrain. "Letting go of everything that I don't need on my way down" brings to mind the vibe of Son Volt's "Windfall," but this song looks back at the past before embracing the blank slate of the future.
10. Kate Rhudy - I Don't Think You're An Angel (Anymore)
I love everything about this song. The gentle instrumentation, the heavenly harmonies, and the somehow sweet but venomous at the same time lyrics. This song's a beauty.
9. Daddy Issues - High St.
Yeah, I miss the rock of the 90s but that's not why I dig these ladies. They inhabit these throwback pop-grunge tunes with a wise-ass wink and a modern gravity. The whole album is killer, but this one's the best of the bunch, in my estimation.
8. Tyler Childers - Whitehouse Road
Though he's been at it for years, Childers made his introductions to the Americana community at large this year in a big way. His album Purgatory has graced many a "best of 2017" list, and it's not just because he's the 'hot new thing.' Childers' lyrics cut to the heart of the matter but they get there aimed from his unique perspective. "Whitehouse Road" is about too much partying the wrong way, but it still comes off like a singalong for the good times.
7. John Mayer - In the Blood
I have not been a Mayer fan in the past. I've always realized he was a talented guitarist, and that his songs were well-crafted, but something just never clicked for me. "In the Blood" is a revelation. Well-crafted, beautifully written, and masterfully performed. With this great song, and his hilarious Twitter account, I've likely turned the corner on Mr. Mayer.
6. The War on Drugs - Strangest Thing
6 minutes and 41 seconds of low-key classic rock bliss. The guitar solo is a cathartic release.
5. Craig Finn - God in Chicago
A short story set to music shouldn't work this well as a song, but "God in Chicago" is an understated gem. Only a one-time refrain/chorus is sung - the rest of the song is spoken word, mostly over a simple piano melody. It's a song about tying up loose ends and making sense of tragedy, which you might not expect to get from a story about a drug deal.
4. Ruston Kelly - Black Magic
This song was stuck in my head more often than any other in 2017. The chorus is just so damn catchy. And this song is so dark. It's the antithesis of a love song. The imagery evokes a horror movie. Though it's likely a misheard line on my part (and that of all the lyrics websites), I'd still love for Ruston to explain what the line "Love is like a bag of drugs, it blows out both your knees" means. Oh, and I'm guessing the reference to Ryan Adams' "Love is Hell" is intentional.
3. Brandi Carlile - The Joke
A song for the underdog. I'm usually a lyrics guy, but I didn't even realize what the song was about the first 3 or 4 times I heard it - I was just in awe. That the song is an anthem for the times without getting remotely political makes it that much better. Carlile really turns loose here. Breathtaking.
2. Turnpike Troubadours - Pay No Rent
A selfless wish for good tidings. A true love song - whether that love be for a one-time significant other or a friend who comes and goes. Evan Felker brings songs like these to life with colorful detail, everyman philosophy, and warm sincerity. Besides the solid lyricism, "Pay No Rent" is relentlessly catchy, memorable, and it just makes you feel good.
1. Sunny Sweeney - Bottle By My Bed
A good artist can make you appreciate a song that doesn't necessarily relate to your life. A great artist can make you feel exactly what he or she is going through when they sing the words, no matter what they're about. Sunny Sweeney is a great artist, and this is a fantastic song. I dare you not to feel the longing of a woman who desperately wants to be a mother when you hear "Bottle by My Bed." It just aches. A career song.
Oct 18, 2017
Here's a new Halloween "mixtape" for 2017, featuring 33 creepy-ass country,
Americana, R&B, and rock tunes for your listening displeasure. Spotify playlist below.