It's true. Hard times beget hard times. But hard times also beget country music -- real country music, not the pop schlock that occupies a seat on the Voice.
Son Volt's "Honky Tonk" calls on inspiration drawn directly from the heartlands of America and takes on a much more classic approach to their alternative-country craft.
There was a time when country music was the music of the common folks, telling their stories of broken hearts, hard times and redemption.
When it comes to heartbreaking, shot-shooting, two-stepping, smooth-shuffling country music, Trigger 5's aim is true.
The ghost of Hank Williams haunts many a country singer and songwriter. In Wayne "the Train" Hancock's case, the ghost has a found a true, kindred spirit.
Over the years Chicago has become a mecca for left-of-center country and roots bands. Sarah & the Tall Boys are the latest addition to the windy, twangy city.
These are hard times, and hard times are often hardest on the working man. And Whitey Morgan and the 78's, a honky tonk band from Flint, Mich., are from a city that's seen its share of tough luck.
Dale Watson isn't just a country singer and songwriter. He's an evangelist. With a supple, booming baritone, he calls out across the deserts of contemporary country music and heralds a reckoning with a truer sound.
There are super groups and then there are superb groups. Consider the Notable Haberdashers both. This 7-piece St. Louis band puts their twang where their ten-gallon hats are. It's the sound of honky tonk, Western Swing and classic hillbilly music as only the veterans can play it.