Bob Dylan / Guy Clark / John Prine / Justin Townes Earle / Live / Merle Haggard / Paul Simon / Reviews / Robert Earl Keen / Rodney Crowell / Ryan Bingham / Steve Earle

Ten artists to see this summer (wherever you may be)

1. Guy Clark

I’ve been hearing rumors that Guy Clark isn’t in the best of health. True or not, he will be appearing in the Texas area, Louisiana, Montana and all the way up north to Canada. One of the great Texas songwriters and best friend of the late Townes Van Zandt, Clark’s influence on country music is prolific.

Tour schedule

Clark performing “Hemingway’s Whiskey” from 2009’s Sometimes the Song Writes You

2. Steve Earle
Steve Earle’s the best country artist around today and yet another legendary Texas songwriter (he just so happened to start out playing bass in Guy Clark’s band).  He’s one of the few artists around that seems to have gotten better with age.  He’ll be appearing all over the US this summer and up to the fall, promoting his new album, “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive” (review here).
Los Angeles, September 27 @ The House of Blues
Earle Performing “I’ll Never Get Out of this World Alive” in Austin, TX.
3. Merle Haggard
Even if the Ol’ boy is playin’ state fairs and casinos, he’s probably the greatest Country songwriter of all time. There ain’t no one like the Hagg and at the age of 74, it’s a case of you better catch him while you still can.  A review of his latest album, I Am What I Am can be viewed here.
Tour Schedule
Temecula, CA October 8 & 9 @ Pechanga

Haggard performing “I Am What I Am”


4. John Prine
Bob Dylan lists Prine as one of his favorite performers.  One of the great folk/americana song writers, Prine’s last album, 2010’s On Stage and In Person was a collection of fan selected live tracks. Though Prine’s voice is a bit weathered, he’s still a great performer.
Los Angeles, June 10 @ The Orpheum Theatre

Prine performing the classic, Angel from Montgomery

5. Justin Townes Earle
Like father like son, Justin Townes Earle is a cross between Hank Williams and his namesake Townes Van Zandt.  He’s also a little bit like his pop.  Unlike most children of great songwriters, this Nashville native isn’t just a mediocre substitute. He’s a brilliant musician in his own right who started out at the age of 14 playing in Steve Earle’s band. His most recent record, Harlem River Blues is up for this year’s AMA Album of the Year award.
Earle performing “Halfway to Jackson” from 2009’s Midnight at the Movies
6. Bob Dylan
He’s Bob Dylan, nuff said. I put him at #5 because he’s always on tour. But, if you haven’t seen him before? Move him up the list to #1. Again, he’s Bob Dylan.

Tour Schedule
Santa Barbara, July 14 @ The Santa Barbara Bowl

“Beyond Here Lies Nothing” from 2009’s Together Through Life

7. Paul Simon

As mentioned in the review of his latest album, So Beautiful or So What, Paul Simon is the “Pimp of the Baby boomers.”

Tour Schedule 

Simon gives a fan a thrill of a lifetime when he invited her onstage to perform “Duncan” from his May 7 performance at the Sound Academy in Toronto.

8.  Robert Earl Keen

Now this is Texas Country. 2009’s The Rose Hotel proved that REK’s still an Outlaw, makin good music.

Tour Schedule 

 Keen performing “The Rose Hotel” at Lollapalooza in 2009.
9. Ryan Bingham
Now this is what Country music today should be. Texas native, Ryan Bingham is one of the best contemporary Americana songwriters.  He’s a little bit Dylan and a little bit Townes Van Zandt.
Bingham performing Hallelujah from his most recent album, Junky Star
10. Rodney Crowell
Another Texas outlaw legend.  His recent record, “Rodney Crowell: Acoustic Trio Live” is a collection 13 tracks recorded during Rodney’s tour with Will Kimbrough and Jenny Scheinman. Visit and download three free live tracks (“Earth Bound,” “Moving Work of Art,” ” I Know Love is All I Need”) with a valid email address.
Crowell’s “Earthbound”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.