Sep 14, 2020
Aug 25, 2020
Aug 24, 2020
Aug 17, 2020
Aug 13, 2020
Aug 3, 2020
Jul 30, 2020
Why do you care about other people listening to music you don't think is really country?
When Rebecca Howe says Willie Nelson is a pot-head commie
A typical radio station visit for a female country singer
When somebody plays Florida-Georgia Line on the jukebox
How you can tell a Brantley Gilbert fan just walked in
Lori McKenna is the best songwriter working today
Turnpike! Ragweed! Turnpike! Ragweed!
When Sawyer Brown came on at a party in the early 90s
Jul 17, 2020
The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism division is launching a new promotion to bring attention to the state’s country music scene, but they may be stepping on some toes. “Our dirt is redder,” laughed department chair Henry Dix. “And better.”
That’s even the tagline for the advertising campaign, which will appear in major print publications and a nationwide television advertisement. The marketing format seems to claim that Georgia’s “red dirt” music scene is greater than that of the beloved (and much longer lived as an actual scene) Oklahoma network of songwriters and musicians.
|Hank Dix, Tourism Director|
Farce the Music spoke with Dix about the Georgia Red Dirt promotion.
FTM: You’re aware that Oklahoma has had a Red Dirt scene for decades, and that Georgia has never had a music scene by that name?
Dix: Indeed! Otherwise, our motto wouldn’t make sense. Better than what?? Better than Oklahoma, that’s what! And we do really have red dirt.
FTM: Great. So, you’ve either just copied the nomenclature from an existing format of music, or pulled it out of your a** and expect it to take? You can’t give yourself a nickname.
Dix: Think of it as “giving that name a better home.” Good artists copy, great artists steal… as they say. If you look at it by pure sales, our scene dwarfs theirs in every category. Thus, we plan to trademark the term, and possibly allow them to continue its use in lower case.
FTM: That’s some shady dealing there, but all’s fair in business it seems. You say your artists sell better. Who, exactly, are you considering to be “Red Dirt” in the Georgia music scene?
Dix: Have you ever heard of Luke Bryan? I thought so. That man alone has sold more albums and concert tickets than nearly every ragweed from Oklahoma combined. Oh, and we claim half of Florida-Georgia Line too. Just half their sales puts us over the entirety of their artists when added to Bryan’s sales. Then there’s Brantley Gilbert, a more humble and soulful songwriter than ever existed in Still Waters.
FTM: It’s “Stillwater.” And hold up. You’re claiming national artists who have already made it in the mainstream as “Red Dirt” artists?
Dix: And why not? They’re from here, many still live here, and they play here once or twice a year on tour. They bring more to our economy than Stoney LaDue ever brought to that dust bowl.
FTM: Gross. And it’s “LaRue.” You don’t even know what a music scene is, do you?
Dix: Music evolves, terminology evolves. They’re just jealous. Justin Boland couldn’t shine Colt Ford’s boots.
FTM: It’s “Jason” Boland. And their scene isn’t about platinum sales and laser shows and dancing at concerts. It’s about integrity and the love of music. You’re making a mockery of the name Red Dirt.
Dix: I’ll tell you about mockery. Nobody ever heard of 90% of their so-called artists. If music isn’t popular, it isn’t good. It’s about the bottom line, not well-written lines. Who the hell are the Red Dirt Rangers, LMAO (he said this aloud)? Are they some redneck Power Rangers? And the Turnrow Troubadours? LOL (again, said out loud), they got Yoko’d before they could even sell out Bridgestone.
FTM: That’s offensive, and I’ve heard enough, and it’s “Turnpike.” You are an idiot.
Dix: And a good day to you too, sir! Before I go, everybody make sure to check out our up and coming Red Dirt® artists Sam Hunt, Jason Aldean, and Thomas Rhett!!
FTM: F**k off.
At press time, Oklahoma’s Red Dirt scene had just claimed Garth Brooks, and taken the lead in the sales category.
Jun 26, 2020
In these divisive and uncertain times, one thing we can all agree on is our collective longing for the triumphant return of the Turnpike Troubadours. In fact, the world has seemed to spin more and more out of control ever since that fateful day in May 2019 when the most beloved band in all of independent (country) music announced their indefinite hiatus. Their departure left a hole in the hearts of many and an even bigger chasm in the world of live music, where no band could quite capture their magic. And then, nearly a year later, Turnpike fiddle player Kyle Nix came barreling down the mountain to ease that ache in our hearts, with cases of bootlegged liquor and the promise of a debut record on the way. The backing band would be none other than the Troubadours themselves, and indeed, this album gives us our Turnpike fix in terms of sonic consideration, especially when it comes to the heavy doses of fiddle applied all over this project as one would expect. But more importantly, this is not a Turnpike album, and Kyle Nix makes a case for himself here as not just a fantastic fiddle player, but also a singer and songwriter in his own right, with plenty of stories to tell and a compelling voice to deliver them.
Inspired by his love for Ennio Morricone and spaghetti westerns, Nix set out to make a record with a front cover and back cover, played out in two instrumental numbers, with a collection of stories in between. It’s a concept record, yes, but instead of one overarching tale, this feels like a group of highly developed, sometimes loosely interwoven episodes, more like something musically equivalent to Pulp Fiction than to a spaghetti western. Sometimes these stories feel extremely personal to Nix, like the album’s second track, “Manifesto,” where he sings of occasionally feeling like his accomplishments are nothing compared with those of a grandfather who fought the Nazis and a father who served in Vietnam; ultimately, he comes to recognize their sacrifices as helping to allow him to choose his own path as a musician and songwriter. More often than not, however, these tales are of other characters and events, little snapshots into these people’s lives written down in order to tell us a story and to convey something to us about the human condition.
The commonality in all of these songs is how intricately crafted they are, how each story is brimming with little details that help us to relate to these characters. It’s a seventeen-track opus, and yet none of these selections are underdeveloped; nothing could be called filler. “Woman of Steel” is such a simple song on the surface, merely painting the picture of a man in a once happy marriage who has now found himself living with the "woman of steel.” But this song is so much more poignant as each detail is revealed, from the family coming into the house in fours and fives for Thanksgiving dinner to the way he tries to touch his wife’s waist in the hallway, only to have her pull away from him in indifference. It’s such an honest picture, drawing the listener in to sympathize with this poor man. Similarly, we are captured by the narrator of “Good Girl Down the Road,” who pines for his best friends wife and has been in love with her since 1991, as he lovingly tells us little things about her like her "dust bowl twang” and her capacity to drink whiskey even while swearing she disapproves of it. The title track elicits such a vivid image when the red-faced man lights everything with his cigar that we can certainly see why Billy wants to take his revenge, or as Billy himself so eloquently puts it, why "tonight that son of a bitch is gonna light his cigar with the help of hellfire.” The same vivid imagery can be attributed to all of these episodes; Kyle Nix certainly has a gift for storytelling, and not only that, for telling a story in three or four minutes and yet capturing a specificity and poetry rarely found among even veteran songwriters. Story songs have been so important to country music over the years, and it’s wonderful to see such a natural storyteller picking up the torch.
Sonically, as previously mentioned, this is very much like a Turnpike release. It’s brimming with fiddle, and not just melodic solos and licks, but also rhythmic fiddle helping to drive the beat, as is the case on any Troubadours project. There are plenty of upbeat songs like the title track and “Shelby ‘65” which draw sonic comparisons to Turnpike songs such as “Before the Devil Knows We’re Dead” or “The Winding Stair Mountain Blues,” along with steel-soaked ballads like “Lonesome For You” to appeal to the lovers of a more traditional country sound. A couple of bluegrass numbers find their way onto the record as well, serving to separate Kyle Nix’s solo sound a bit from that of the Troubadours.
Overall, this separation from Turnpike Troubadours is the most important takeaway from this excellent album. It’s great to hear these guys making music together again, but more than that, Kyle Nix has come racing down the mountain to make a name for himself independent of this band. This is not just some side project or lark while Turnpike remains on hiatus; rather, this is the debut record of a fine songwriter with an arsenal of stories to share with us all. And if there is one blessing that has come out of all this uncertainty, it’s that we had the opportunity to discover the tales and talent of Kyle Nix.
Lightning on the Mountain is available everywhere you consume fine music.
Jun 18, 2020
When you see somebody headed to the Kane Brown concert
Insert Gary Levox joke
The only thing running through a bro-country fan's head when they wake up hung over in a pasture
When the "country" station plays Sam Hunt
♫ ♬ We were sitting on the front porch
With the weather rolling in
Laughing louder than the big south wind ♫ ♬
"Hey check out the new John Baumann album"
When she admits she's a Thomas Rhett fan
The office where Luke Bryan cowrites songs is also know as
Mar 26, 2020
When some dude says Turnpike Troubadours is overrated
In the midst of this stressful international crisis, FGL is releasing a song called "I Love My Country"
When somebody you hate comes in wearing a Tyler Childers t-shirt
I'm about to read the comment section on a Kane Brown video
When your friend has to go to a Luke Bryan concert with a girl he just met
What's the saddest Steve Earle song?
My album collection is pretty good but...
I wish it was larger