What's up with country

Woody Guthrie would’ve turned 100 last week, so let’s raise a glass to all his hard traveling. Woody wrote a ton of songs that have become a part of the American lexicon, but it’s hard to recall a song that became a standard as fast as the Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel.” Hell, it’s still hard to go to a picking party and not hear it five times. (Stop it, y’all.) But the boys in OCMS got banjo badass Critter Fuqua back in the band and dropped a rugged new album, Carry Me Back, this Tuesday, July 17.

Elizabeth Cook just released a hot new, old-time gospel record, Gospel Plow, on 31 Tigers (co-owned by Cyclops’ books Andy Rubin). Elizabeth also just recorded great versions of two Townes Van Zandt songs with Jason Isbell (formerly of the Drive-By Truckers) for David Letterman’s website.

But if y’all wanna see some live shit, local singer-songwriter-superstar Caleb Stine will be headlining the Station North stage at Artscape this Sunday, bringing back some new tunes from a recent road trip out West.

Right around the corner, the Manly Deeds mix manly melodies and sad songs to the Scenic Route Records Showcase at the Windup Space.

Arty Hill and his Long Gone Daddies will be playing a BYOB happy hour jam at Andy Nelson’s Barbecue on Friday, July 27. Ain’t no better combo than Arty’s songs and Andy’s eats.

If veggies are more your thing, Her Fantastic Cats (2011’s Best of Folk Music and a recent collaborator with Strum und Twang) is putting the hoe down at the Baltimore Free Farm that same day and harvesting his avant-garde old-time songs with a record release in early August.

On July 28, telecaster legend Chick Hall’s hot licks make the drive to Laurel’s Sapphire Restaurant and Lounge worth the trip, while Highstrung, a bluegrass band, rounds out the month, getting high and lonesome in Patterson Park on Tuesday, July 31.

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