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"Country music is just about hope and redemption and sorrow and pain and loss and everything at the same time." -- Sturgill Simpson, circa 2011. Sturgill Simpson is not interested in being anyone's peg. Round hole, square unit, he doesn't give a shit about the narratives that listeners or journalists or the powers that be would bestow upon him like a mantle. Instead, Sturgill is interested in what he's always told us changed his life:...
Dave Cobb is saving country music, or so they say. Cobb, who has been producing records in Nashville for the past decade, has been the common thread behind a high number of the artists--Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, and Sturgill Simpson--that have been lauded over the past few years for salvaging country music from its worst impulses. It follows, then, that Dave Cobb must be the latest in a long line of anointed prophets saving...
Maybe I'm being presumptuous, but it seems like this year is shaping up to be one of the best years for country music in a while. Between the lazily grouped yet critically adored real country trifecta of Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, and Chris Stapleton and the surge of support for fiery female voices to get some play in Nashville's notorious boys' club, country has that critical something that makes music more appealing and valuable...
Hello, it's me, your music editor for the past two months (!) ready to look back on 2015. We've run quite a substantial collection of year-end lists, separate by genre for greater scope--folk, country, rap, experimental, EPs, pop, rock, and overrated albums all got their due. But the truth is, no one really listens to music with the idea of ranking an album or a song against others. And even when we try, personal bias...

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