The past year has seen some really interesting developments in the world of country music. While modern country radio continues to rely on Nashville and the large labels for content, a small but growing movement of independent artists have been creating compelling, original, and authentic country music outside of this system. Most of these artists look back to earlier forms that don't rely on modern convention. Although this has been happening for years (No depression/Americana/ Modern bluegrass for example), this last year has seen some especially stellar releases. Come to The Urbana Free Library to check out these great country artists:
With two full length releases in two years, Sturgill Simpson is on a roll. His first release from 2013 High Top Mountain invoked the fundamental 70’s ‘outlaw’ sound to great effect. Highlights include “The Crown” and “The Storm”.
The newly released “Metamodern sounds in Country music” has already been described as the best country record of the year by some critics. Building on his earlier sound, Simpson adds a psychedelic element that expands the already broad songwriting skills he brings to the table. This is a truly great record. Take a look at the Sturgill Simpson website for songs and videos.
Lydia Loveless- Somewhere else.
If you like punk rock, and you like country, then you will probably like Lydia Loveless. An intensely personal songwriter, Lydia Loveless delivers great stripped down amped up country with attitude.
Jason Isbell- Southeastern
An alumnus of The Drive By Truckers, Jason Isbell has created an amazing record. Occasionally intimate, sometimes bawdy, always well performed and lyrically compelling these songs push back on genre boundaries and reveal a giant talent. Watch him on Austin City Limits with Neko Case
Some of these artists are on a great indie label called Bloodshot records- check out their entire roster here
This is just some of the great country at The Urbana Free Library- the collection holds just about any country artist you can think of! Enjoy!