The Real Easy Ed

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12 Artists Driving The Sound Of Young Americana

Americana may have started as a subgenre and, to some, as a radio format for those “rootsy” artists who didn’t fit simply into the country bag. But …

Universal Music

With 'The Prodigal Son,' Ry Cooder Puts His Own Touch On Gospel Music

Ry Cooder has been described as a singer-songwriter, slide guitar hero, session musician to so many other artists, producer, musicologist and historian, a man beholden to no single style, a champion of Cuban and international roots music, and a composer of film soundtracks.<p>Yet, now a half-century …

Music

Why the Grand Ole Opry Came to Times Square

Opry City Stage in Manhattan is the first satellite outpost for the Nashville institution.<p>Located a block away from the famous four-story Olive …

Country Music

12 Best American ‘Music Cities’ That Aren’t Nashville

Nashville isn’t the only American city with deep ties to music. These 12 destinations have also left their mark.<p>Nashville, Tennessee, earned the …

Music

This Is America: New Folk Music from Childish Gambino

On the morning of May 5, a Saturday, I woke up at the crack of dawn, made a pot of coffee, had a bowl of cereal, took a shower, got dressed, and went …

Music

Jason Isbell, Margo Price Lead Americana Music Association's 2018 Award Nominees

Most music-industry awards shows hand out armloads of trophies, but the Americana Music Association only gives out six. Besides a handful of lifetime achievement awards — which, for this year, have yet to be announced — the only categories are for best album, artist, duo/group, emerging artist, …

Country Music

The voice that launched Mardi Gras Indian culture into the outside world | NOLA.com

He was born Theodore Emile Dollis on Jan. 14, 1944, and grew up in Central City.<p>His first experience singing came at church while he was a young …

Mardi Gras

Behind the Merle Haggard Classic “Mama Tried”

A song for Mother’s Day<p>When Merle Haggard was nine years old, his father passed away from a brain hemorrhage. Haggard’s two older siblings, Lowell and Lillian, were in their twenties at the time, which left Merle to be raised solo by his mother, Flossie, at their house in Bakersfield, California. …

Country Music

The Prodigal Son Returns: Ry Cooder Delivers A Late-Career Classic

Nearly 50 years after his debut album, Ry Cooder has produced <b>another classic</b> with <i>The Prodigal Son</i>, mixed and mastered by Martin Pradler, who worked …

Universal Music

Review: Jerry Garcia's 'Before the Dead' Is a Fascinating Origin Story

Early Sixties recordings of the future Grateful Dead leader present him as an earnest folk and bluegrass musician<p>Among the buried treasures on <i>Before</i> …

Guitar

The Devaluation of Music: It’s Worse Than You Think

Starving artists have been affected by more than just piracy and streaming royalties<p>In <b>their many (justified) laments</b> about the trajectory of their …

Gospel Americana and That Old-Time Religion

The small town of Ferriday, Louisiana, has produced two celebrities who happen to be cousins. You likely know that one is Jerry Lee Lewis, whose …

Music

How The Flying Burrito Brothers Hit The Jackpot With ‘The Gilded Palace Of Sin’

When <i>The Gilded Palace Of Sin</i> was released, on 6 February 1969, sales were initially slow, but <b>the debut album</b> by <b>The Flying Burrito Brothers</b> has since …

Music

The Historical Roots of Blues Music

Contrary to what some people believe, the blues is not “slave music.” Although it was cultivated by the descendants of slaves, the blues was the …

Black History

Original Outlaws: 10 Country Heroes Who Paved The Way For Americana

Americana, a music deeply rooted in the musical culture of the United States, has arguably been around in one form or another for a more than a …

Country Music

On The Verge Of An Epic Album, The Milk Carton Kids Share A Stunning New Song

If this 10-minute-plus song is any indication, The Milk Carton Kids are about to release a truly epic album. The song we're premiering today, "One More For the Road," is a delicate tale of two lovers parting ways and the hope for one last embrace. It'll be one of twelve songs on the duo's fourth …

New Singles

How Robert Earl Keen Became a Country and Americana Cult Hero

Raspy-voiced Texas songwriter has endeared himself to George Strait, Lyle Lovett and countless fans with his irreverent style<p>Robert Earl Keen ought …

The Last Tourist in Havana: watch Leonard Cohen’s Cuban exploits come to life

Fans of the late great <b>Leonard Cohen</b> may already be familiar with the icon’s Havana exploits in 1961. Now, the story comes to life thanks to animated …

Cuba

Guy Clark and Jerry Jeff Walker on Letterman

David Letterman

John Prine and the Rabbit Foot Blues

I can remember a hot summer day in 1961 when the trucks and cars towing shiny Airstream trailers with exotic license plates from states like Florida, …

New Albums

The 10 Best Americana Albums Of All Time

Before we recommend the 10 best Americana albums of all time, maybe we should define the term. In our mind, <b>Americana</b> is more a spirit than a sound – …

Universal Music

Americana: How Country And Roots Music Found A “Brand New Dance”

When the term “Americana” was included in the prestigious Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2011, Americana Music Association executive director Jed …

Country Music

Buffalo Springfield remaster complete discography for new box set

On May 5th, 1968, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin played their final show together as Buffalo Springfield. …

Music

70 Years, 70 Stories - An Appointment with Doc | Smithsonian Folkways

Ralph Rinzler (1934–1994) was a musician, folklorist, and former Smithsonian executive. Like thousands of others during the 1950s, he discovered folk …

Smithsonian

Life, Death, and John Prine

When my wife had been in labor for 16 hours, I played her John Prine’s “Everything Is Cool.” She’d begun gasping instead of breathing, climbing into the tub to gather herself. As Prine’s fingerpicking rang out from a tiny speaker, she closed her eyes and smiled.<p>The song is simple, like all Prine …

New Albums

Excellent Folk Albums From 2018 You Might’ve Missed

In the world of streaming, it feels like more music is accessible to more people than ever before. Unfortunately, it can also feel like there’s more emphasis on the biggest stars in the industry, and less time and space reserved for the middlemen (and women), or the emerging artists who don’t …

Music

The Mammals "Sunshiner"

The Number Ones: Connie Francis’ “Don’t Break The Heart That Loves You”

In The Number Ones, I'm reviewing every single #1 single in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, starting with the chart's beginning, in 1958, and …

'Astral Weeks' and the Making of a Van Morrison Classic

Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968<p>Ryan H. Walsh<p>Penguin<p>Mar 2018<p>The manner by which many of us might perceive George Ivan Morrison today probably …

Jimmy LaFave’s final album is set for posthumous release in July

Jimmy LaFave, Austin singer-songwriter. Laura Skelding/AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2012<p>“Peace Town,” a 20-song double-disc set featuring material Austin …