Country

One Track Mind: Billy Joe Shaver with Willie Nelson, “Hard To Be An Outlaw” (2014)

One Track Mind: Billy Joe Shaver with Willie Nelson, “Hard To Be An Outlaw” (2014)

Willie Nelson’s presence here means a debt has finally been repaid.

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Country Boy” from Jericho (1993)

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Country Boy” from Jericho (1993)

Richard Manuel, and this is so sad, was on to something at the end.

The Road Hammers – Wheels (2014)

The Road Hammers – Wheels (2014)

Forget about the genre this album is supposed – or not supposed – to be.

Deep Beatles: “I’ll Cry Instead,” A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

Deep Beatles: “I’ll Cry Instead,” A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

This song shows where John Lennon would go as a Beatle, and as a solo artist.

Across the Great Divide: Levon Helm, “Hurricane” from American Son (1980)

Across the Great Divide: Levon Helm, “Hurricane” from American Son (1980)

Nobody embodies hard-bitten, country-strong determination like Levon.

One Track Mind: Shooter Jennings, “4th of July” from Put the O Back in Country (2005)

One Track Mind: Shooter Jennings, “4th of July” from Put the O Back in Country (2005)

I still can’t figure out why this wasn’t a huge summer hit.

Fred Phillips’ Mid-Year Best of 2014 (Southern Rock and Country): Bob Wayne, Sturgill Simpson, Mat D, Jackson Taylor, Willie Nelson

Fred Phillips’ Mid-Year Best of 2014 (Southern Rock and Country): Bob Wayne, Sturgill Simpson, Mat D, Jackson Taylor, Willie Nelson

Sturgill Simpson? The genuine article. Bob Wayne? Back with his best ever.

Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (2014)

Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (2014)

There might not be a more pure and genuine underground country artist.

Jack White – Lazaretto (2014)

Jack White – Lazaretto (2014)

White’s “old, yet new” vibe again has him brilliantly mixing seemingly unrelated styles.

Bronwynne Brent – Stardust (2014)

Bronwynne Brent – Stardust (2014)

Here’s a voice so entrancing that it delays my processing of the delivered lyrics.