The folks at Stagecoach Festival once again stage their three-day desert hoedown by putting fans first. Stagecoach will take place in Indio, California this weekend (April 28, 29, 30), presenting the talent and scope of Country and Roots music in 2017. The possibilities and potential of artists calling themselves Country is caught in the net that festival organizers, Goldenvoice, toss over the Coachella Valley in April every year . The idea of making Country music a part of the successful Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival came in 2007, and was fueled by optimism more than experience in the genre. Goldenvoice has grown each of their yearly fesitivals (Coachella, Stagecoach, and Desert Trips) into events that go beyond a listening experience; gatherings that are part of life for the migration of fans that return each year.

In the war between Country music past, present, and future, Goldenvoice is a neutral zone. The promoters offer three stages at Stagecoach, providing entertainment for two separate and distinct music festivals. The big show for Country Pop the Mane (main) Stage. Stretching from the edge of the stage is a multiple football field expanse of ground that hosts an audience that claim their spots early in the day. Blankets are parked as the crowd settles in for a long day of music that this year will feature Dierks Bentley, Shania Twain, Kenny Chesney and a host of other acts.

For fans of Americana, Roots, Southern Rock, Bluegrass, and the many children birthed by the marriage of Country and Rock’n’Roll, the performances are staggered between two stages. Mustang and Palomino are in close proximity though not on top of one another. The diversity can be shown by the line-up that this year (2017) features artists such as The Sadies, Nikki Lane, John Moreland, Willie Nelson, Wynonna and the Big Noise, Steep Canyon Rangers, Justin Townes Earle, Robert Ellis, Margo Price, Rhiannon Giddens, Cowboy Junkies, Los Lobos, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, The Walcotts, Son Volt, Jamey Johnson, The Hillbenders, The Cactus Blossoms, The Blasters, The Long Ryders, Travis Tritt, John Doe, and many, many more.

We will have a recap of Stagecoach 2017 performances in the next few weeks. Until then, find some sand, plug in a wind machine, and set the dial for rock’n’roll honky tonk Country music as Stagecoach 2017 roars into the desert.


1 – This Town Gets Around – Margo Price (from the album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter)

Margo Price brings a track from her breakthrough release, Midwest Farmers Daughter, to the SoCal desert. Much like the tour that has kept Margo Price on the road since the early 2016 release of the album, she sings of “This Town Gets Around”.

Listen and buy “This Town Gets Around” by Margo Price from AMAZON or iTunes


2 - Jackpot – Nikki Lane (from the album Highway Queen)

The wheel’s or her tour bus keep turning for the Highway Queen role that Nikki Lane has taken on with her latest album release. Nikki sings of a little town slightly further north in the same desert sand as she pulls the handle of a slot machine and hits “Jackpot” on a tune from the album.

Listen and buy “Jackpot” by Nikki Lane from AMAZON or iTunes


3 – Sad Baptist Rain - John Moreland (from the album High on Tulsa Heat)

John Moreland pulls into Stagecoach a little ahead of his new, much anticipated, album release, Big Bad Luv, in early May 2017. John Moreland carved out a spot in the local Oklahoma music scene, proving he was High on Tulsa Heat with the title of his last album release, and tells the tale of the “Sad Baptist Rain”.

Listen and buy “Sad Baptist Rain” by John Moreland from AMAZON or iTunes


4 – Oregon Hill – Cowboy Junkies (from the album Black-Eyed Man)

Many of the acts at this year’s Stagecoach Festival have had a long history in the Roots music community. One of those performers, Cowboy Junkies, can trace their beginnings back to Toronto, Canada in 1985. They broke through with their 1987 release, The Trinity Session, and sing of the “Oregon Rain” with a tune from their 1992 release, Black-Eyed Man.

Listen and buy “Oregon Hill” by Cowboy Junkies from AMAZON or iTunes


5 – Shake Sugaree – Rhiannon Giddens (from the album Tomorrow is My Turn)

Rhinannon Giddens was a founding member of the three-piece Carolina Chocolate Drops. Rhiannon has been a part of other groups, such as the A-list collective for Lost on the River, a collection of lost Bob Dylan songs curated by the group that included Rhiannon with Elvis Costello and other Roots luminaries as The New Basement Tapes. She is solo at Stagecoach Festival with a cut from her last album, Tomorrow is My Turn, with “Shake Sugaree”.

Listen and buy “Shake Sugaree” by Rhiannon Giddens from AMAZON or iTunes


6 – Memphis Rain - Aaron Lee Tasjan   (from the album Silver Tears)

Aaron Lee Tasjan was a musical teen with a gift when he received a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music. He gave it up to pursue music as an Indie artist, becoming part of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’. Aaron Lee Tasjan broke through as a solo artist with his last release, Silver Tears, and is the smooth Country crooner on a tune from the album with “Memphis Rain”.

Listen and buy “Memphis Rain” by Aaron Lee Tasjan from AMAZON or iTunes


7 – Will the Wolf Survive? - Los Lobos (from the album Just Another Band from East L.A.)

The pride of East L.A., Los Lobos, formed in their East Los Angeles neighborhood in 1973 with a mutual love of acts such as Fairport Convention and Ry Cooder. They had their first major label release in 1984 with Will the Wolf Survive?. The title track mirrors the rise of the band from Mexican Roots into the music industry, and can be found on a collection their music, Los Lobos, Just Another Band from East L.A.

Listen and buy “Will the Wolf Survive?” by Los Lobos from AMAZON or iTunes


8 - Marie Marie – The Blasters (from the album The Blasters Collection)

In the middle of the Punk Rock and New Wave of the late 1980’s, The Blasters were true believers for the rock’n’roll sound that gave birth to every genre and style that followed the backbeat of music from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Their first hit, “Marie, Marie”, tells a tale that roars out of the California farmlands like the music of The Blasters.

Listen and buy “Marie Marie” by The Blasters from AMAZON or iTunes


9 – Diggin’ Holes – Brent Cobb (from the album Shine on a Rainy Day)

When Shine on a Rainy Day came out in October 2016, it became the first major album release for Brent Cobb following one independent album and E.P. Produced by Brent’s cousin, Dave Cobb, the album track “Diggin’ Holes” sees its lead character trying to find a career that matches his pitfalls in life.

Listen and buy “Diggin’ Holes” by Brent Cobb from AMAZON or iTunes


10 – Looking for Lewis and Clark – The Long Ryders (from the album State of Our Union)

The Long Ryders, and frontman Sid Griffin, were at the heart of the Los Angeles Paisley Underground from 1983 to 1987, as well as sid scribing the first book on future Roots music legend, Gram Parsons. The Long Ryders played a mix of Country and Rock’n’Roll at top volume that still echoes, carrying the band to the Stagecoach Festival in 2017. The band are "Looking for Lewis and Clark" on a track from their breakthrough album, State of Our Union.

Listen and buy “Looking for Lewis and Clark” by The Long Ryders from AMAZON or iTunes

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