Nick Sizemore #featuredartistfriday 8.10.18

A big thank you to Nick Sizemore, for taking the time to fill out our interview.  Thanks also to Nick and many others who have spent time serving their country.  Nick has grown up swimming in country music gold.  If you didn’t notice, he actually plays his guitar upside down.  When I asked him the story behind his way of playing, he told me that his Father taught him to play, but being left-handed, he flipped the guitar over and has played that way ever since.  Doesn’t get more outlaw than Nick, who’s mantra is #tilltheybleed, referring to a time when he was playing guitar, cut his fingers on the strings, and painted the front of his guitar with blood.  It’s pretty bad ass.  Check out his pictures, and videos on Instagram @nsizemusic.   He’s got a great voice, and we are excited for the new album he is currently working on “Nick Sizemore and the Outlaw Sound”.

Background:

 
1. What’s your name(s)? How old Are you? Married? Kids? Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
Nick Sizemore, of central Illinois
 
2.  When/how were you introduced to music?
Growing up my family listened to a lot of old music. Records from the 50’s and 60’s were played constantly.  I remember riding in my dad’s old truck and him rewinding tapes so I could hear solos over again.
 
3.  What were you doing before pursuing your music as a career?
I spent 4 years in the United States Marine Corps as a rifleman, and deployed to Afghanistan, played a lot In the barracks, and it just kind of grew from there.
4.  What made you decide to pursue your music career?
Life is too short to do anything other than exactly what you want. It’s a lot easier to struggle and love what you’re doing, than to struggle and hate your job
 
On Your Music:
 
1.  Who are some of your biggest influences, or your musical heroes?
Waylon Jennings for sure, George Jones, Hank Williams Sr., Whitey Morgan and the 78’s, Ray price, Buck Owens, I could go on forever.
 
2.  Do you write your own music? Collaborate with others?  Do you have a preference between the two?
I do both, usually collaborate for some shows, but I really enjoy writing my own music. Willie Nelson once said “If you can’t write it in ten minutes, it doesn’t need to come out”. I’ve been pretty religious about not spending more than l ten minutes on one song. I think it forces you to grow.
 
3.  What kinds of things do you write about?  What inspires you? 
I write about all types of things, but they’re usually darker, substance abuse, rejection,murder, things that happen to people they don’t much want on the radio.
 
4.  How would you describe your style of music?
It takes a lot of shapes, maybe Outlaw Country or Americana
 
5.  Do you have people that play with you?  Do you have a band?
I do alot of solo shows, but for bigger venues, I have a go to team filled with some extremely talented musicians.
6.  Do you produce your own music, or do you have a studio that works with you?
We’re currently in the process of recording my first album for “Nick Sizemore and the Outlaw Sound”, but I’ve got two good friends with producing experience helping me along the way,
7.  How can people listen to or purchase your music, and how could they learn about shows coming up, and other news concerning your music?
You can follow me @nsizemusic on Instagram, Nick Sizemore and the Outlaw Sound on Facebook
8. Any closing remarks that you would like to share with your supporters/listeners?
Keep supporting good music, there’s alot coming out, you just have to dig a little.

Sylvia Rose Novak #FeaturedArtistFriday 08.03.18

Michael Hitchcock #FeaturedArtistFriday 07.27.18

The Modern “alt-Country” Movement Begins

It was a hot day in late June, and I had just tuned in to Outlaw radio on Sirius XM. As Shooter Jennings says in his song “Outlaw You” I was “Looking for some country soul”.  At this point, I was definitely fed up with the industrialized, machine-packed, conservative pandering music coming out of Nashville. I was constantly looking to the old outlaws, rising stars of Red-dirt country, and loyal artists like Jamey Johnson, and Shooter for some relatable country art.

I was raised on the honesty of Merle Haggard, the rocking rhythm of Johnny Cash, and the originality of Waylon Jennings.  Many people have wrongly assumed that the issue with what is coming out of Nashville, is simply that it is not truly country.  While an electronic hip/hop beat, and banjo track is hardly “country”, what has really been lacking, is truth and originality.

It was on this hot day in late June where I began to hear a different tune.  I heard a familiar back-beat, and a nasally deep voice that screamed honesty and hard work.  I immediately felt a changing wind in the country music world.

“Well they say you live and learn, but it really seems more to me like all along I’ve been learn’ how to live.”  Sturgill Simpson came blasting through my speakers with the first bit of original truth I had ever heard.  I went home and bought his album “High Top Mountain” learning more about this Kentucky raised, railroad working, ex-navy, guitar picker with every song that came on.

The next couple of months, I had friends calling or texting me asking if I had heard of this “Poor Rambler” that sounded like Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings some how had a baby.  (I once heard Sturgill say in an interview that Shooter told him that he reminded him of Waylon).

Just before people started hollering “Savior of Country music”, he released “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music”; And just like that, a new genre of country was invented; one that only Sturgill could perform.  A psychedelic, country album.  Critic’s heads spun while they tried to decode the lyrics to “Turtles all the way Down”.  On his “Tiny Desk” performance, Sturgill grins and tells us that the song is simply about drugs; which is not something that you’re allowed to talk about in country music.

“Metamodern” was not immediately well recieved by everyone.  Infact, many country fans were upset with the liberal tones that were prevelant in songs like “Turtles”, but Sturgill stuck to his guns, and we all loved him for it.  Often times art is meant to stir up controversy because it comes from within a human being.  We are all different, and are bound to disagree on things; but what this world has been missing is the ability to honestly dialogue.  Sturgill has changed that.

Sturgill further proved his originality with his most recent album “Sailors Guide to Earth”.    This album is essentially a letter to his son, and a “thank you” to his family for allowing him to pursue his career in music.  This album was not inspired by Johnny Cash, or other country legends, but by Walt Disney.  Sturgill tells us that he was inspired by the movies his son, Polywog, was watching.

In this album, Sturgill tells us more about his life experiences from his tour in the Navy, to his taste in music, and his teenage angst.  He doesn’t name drop former country artists, and he doesn’t pander to the Nascar crowd.  Yet country fans love him.  Despite not appearing on country radio, Sturgill is on every country music fans playlist, and sells out music venues every where he goes.  You can here countless amounts of “good ol’ boys” hollering, “whoo-hoo-hoo!” to “It Ain’t All Flowers” singing along with all of his songs.

The attention of country music fans has begun to shift, which has alot to do with Sturgill stepping out in honesty and originality.  We have now seen the rise of Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers, and many others that you won’t hear on the radio.  Honesty and originality is becoming the new norm.  Much like “Wanted! The Outlaws” and Waylon Jennings did in the early 70’s when he defied the almighty Nashville music Industry, Sturgill has defied the country music god’s, simply by being himself, and has opened the gate for real music once again.

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Roots Revival Music is all about the music that has influenced the heart and soul of true American culture. From blues, to bluegrass, Americana to American Country, I want to keep you updated on artists (new and old), bands, concerts, and much more!

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“You’ve got to care about the music…You’d better not be doing it for the publicity, the fame or the money. And you’d sure better not be doing it because it’s a way to make a living, ’cause that ain’t always going to be easy. You got to believe it, believe in the music. You got to mean it.” Waylon Jennings