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31 MIN READ TIME

PLAYING IT STRAIT

Country music still has some immovable objects. For the better part of 40 years, George Strait has been the cowboy next door in the crisplyironed jeans who knows how to rope horses, and to lasso an audience of millions.

Strait previewed his new album Honky Tonk Time Machine in December with the single Código. It’s a hallelujah to the ultrapremium brand of Mexican “sippin’” tequila in which the proud Texan invested in 2017, after discovering it on his frequent golfing holidays there. But then, ever since Strait started his ride with his first hit Unwound in 1981 — a song intended for Johnny Paycheck until someone remembered that he was in jail — this guy has been ultra-premium all the way.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Country Music - Apr/May 2019: Classic Country!
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Other Articles in this Issue


Country Music
TO COUNTRY MUSIC
REGULARS
The stetson-lovin’ Grammy winner is returning to British shores this October for his irst dates since 2017
Americana legends and award-winning bands are coming
Alt-country cult artists The Felice Brothers are returning with their first new album in three years
Amy Boone is back on her feet
Frozen In Our Time is an intoxicating mix of West Coast rock and radio-friendly country
Celebrating its 12th anniversary, Maverick Festival returns to Eastern Farm Park from 5-7 July with a packed line-up
If you haven’t heard of Wildwood Kin before, you will have soon…
The full line-up of the Ramblin’ Roots Revue 2019 has been announced
If you want to judge the current health of the Americana and country music scene in Britain, there’s probably no better place than AmericanaFest UK to take its temperature, as Helen M Jerome discovered
JOHN OATES (interviewed by Bob Harris at AmericanaFest
RAY BENSON OF ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL
Kris Kristofferson among newly-announced names
ORDER ONLINE AT SHOP.ANTHEM-PUBLISHING.COM OR CALL
In this issue’s Grassroots we take a look at our neighbours in Ireland to find out a little bit more about their thriving country music scene
Nathan Carter
The godfather of country swing hotfoots it from the UK Americana Awards to give the icy north a taste of some Texas cool
If you like your Americana on the bluesy side and shot through with some Muscles Shoals soul, look no further than husky-voiced Bristol artist, Elles Bailey
INTERVIEWS & FEATURES
Country Music braved the icy climes of North London to check out the Americana acts you’ll be seeing more of in the coming months and years, appearing in five venues over two nights of non-stop showcases …
Tom Russell is often dubbed the “Father of Americana” – even though he’s uncomfortable with the label. He moves around genres and crosses continents, and his songs have been covered by everyone from Johnny Cash and Joe Ely to kd lang…
Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson
This month, we celebrate the very best heartland stars of country who found a rich seam of magic within the roots music tradition
From the roots of country to the neotraditionalists of now, here’s an essential playlist
Right from his 1955 debut with Sun Records, Johnny Cash templated a style and sound that still rules over country music. But it could have been very different…
With releases on two labels, JC’s early days delivered 18 albums in just seven years
Anyone who sees Nashville as the home of country music is mistaken. Nashville is the home of country business. And it took over in the 60s…
Merle Haggard was a man of contradictions. A smooth-tongued crooner who sang songs of fighting and an icon of redneck Republicanism who voted for Obama. We pay tribute to the man they nicknamed “the poet of the common man”…
Merle Haggard was a man unafraid to embrace his own contradictions – and he did so on his most famous song. Here are a few interesting facts about it…
“If we all could sound like we wanted to, we’d all sound like George Jones” sang Waylon Jennings. The man known as The Possum was the hero of other country heroes and he didn’t just sing country songs: he lived them…
FIVE OF THE POSSUM’S GREATEST SONGS
At 85, Willie Nelson is still one of country music’s most irreverent and compelling figures. We talk to his one-time Highwaymen colleague Kris Kristofferson about four decades of friendship…
In 1976, Willie Nelson teamed up with fellow bad boys Waylon Jennings and Tompall Glaser for an album that would become a classic of the outlaw country sound
After the scattershot 70s, country rediscovered its roots in the most unlikely decade. Leading the neo-traditionalists and wearing the biggest hat was the immovable George Strait…
STRAIT WASN’T ALONE IN PLOUGHING THE SO-CALLED ‘NEO-TRAD’ FIELD BEGINNING IN THE 80S. OTHER BIG HITTERS INCLUDE…
It’s been a long time since country was the preserve of men only. Following in the footsteps of Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn have been a cavalcade of trailblazing female country singers. So let’s celebrate the sisters who did it for themselves…
Released in February 1967, Dolly Parton’s debut album announced the arrival of a major new talent in country music…
HELLO, I’M DOLLY WAS A FINE “HOWDY DO” TO MS PARTON’S PUBLIC, BUT IN FACT THEY WERE ALREADY ACQUAINTED WITH HER SONGS…
Rejecting the ‘country’ label to lead the charge for the music he loves, Dale Watson is ighting for truth, justice, and the Ameripolitan way. Is he the hero ‘proper’ country music not only deserves, but really needs?
DALE WATSON PICKS FIVE MUSICAL HEROES AND HEROINES THAT HE SWEARS BY
As producer, A&R man and CMA Award-winning songwriter, Buddy Cannon has been a pillar of the Nashville establishment since the early 90s and is now in his 22nd year of helming hits by Kenny Chesney…
He’s spent over three decades carving out his own unique niche in country music, while also dabbling in acting, motorbikes, photography, and equestrian sport. So who is the real Lyle Lovett? Country Music follows the clues…
REVIEWS
Country Music magazine rates all the albums reviewed
Steve Earle + Guy Clark’s songs is a match made in
HONKY TONK TIME MACHINE
It’s maybe stretching things to say that the future
As leader of Jason & The (Nashville) Scorchers
When an established artist releases a selftitled album
OCTOBER IN THE RAILROAD EARTH
WE TALK TOO MUCH
CAN’T SAY I AIN’T COUNTRY
AMERICAN LOVE SONG
Florida roots-rockers in reflective mood for fourth
MY YEARS WITH TOWNES VAN ZANDT: MUSIC, GENIUS AND RAGE
Townes Van Zandt, had he lived, would have turned 75