I enter each year with open ears and excitement about new music. I’ve worried that I won’t be blown away by new music, but artists haven’t let me down yet. Their work is my reward. Thanks to all the musicians that changed my life the past 12 months.

Coming events in entertainment range from fun to festive to reverent. After the New Year, a program on historic highlights of Calhoun County shifts the aura to spooky. You never know what you can find in area arts, but there’s likely something for every preference.

The debate for authenticity in country music rages eternal. Is it “real country” or “pop country”? Is an artist using the right amount of pedal steel? Would Nashville approve? Would Merle, Johnny and Hank give their stamp of approval?

It would be fair to say that established norms in the music business are gone. In their place are new charts, DIY musicians and tech-savvy artists with innovation only a few keystrokes away. A new generation has created musical landscapes that are chopped beats and distorted notes without sa…

The Rembrandts have a new album and plans to tour in early 2020. The new songs are strong; each one is rooted in the jangly style the duo is known for, but also drenched in near-mint harmonization.

Janiva Magness is an artist adept at playing many roles. Her chief endeavor is that of blues chanteuse and keeper of the flame for the legends who lived those songs and travelled our country’s dusty trails. She’s also a published author and passionate advocate for at-risk children. 

While the temperatures outside are dropping, the volume of entertainment events is rising. This afternoon, First Baptist Church of Oxford is on tour as part of the Oxford Historic Church Tour. On Nov. 3, Lakeview Baptist Church welcomes visitors into their sanctuary to see 12 lovely stained …

On a night characterized with dark skies and near biblical rain, the difference inside the BJCC Concert Hall in Birmingham on Monday couldn’t have more striking. Bastille and indie rocker cohorts Joywave electrified with a jaunty show that disproved the notion that technology is slowly killi…

Susto is a group that sounds like a gem you’ve found deep in your father’s LP collection. Each song has a lived-in, dusty feel that adds up to a timeless classic in album form. The South Carolina band’s roots are distinctly Southern, while the lyrics wouldn’t sound out of place on a Jackson …

Cowboy Mouth and their enigmatic leader, Fred LeBlanc, will be in Bessemer at Hangarfest on Oct. 5. Their appeal has always been their raucous live show and Fred’s pile driver personality. He’s always been one of the more magnetic people in the music business. I’ve interviewed him in the pas…

Hearing music has more advantages than people realize. It can motivate exercise, decrease anxiety, aid sleeping patterns and generate creative solutions. As members of the Bienville Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution learned recently, music is also useful in bringing history to life.  

Since there’s a big ol’ story about Ken Burns’ new “Country Music” PBS series on this page over there to my left (your right), I thought maybe we could play a game of country music trivia. Here are 10 questions, with answers at the bottom.