A very warm welcome to my new personal website.  Many of you will know me as the editor of Maverick magazine, but my involvement with music, and more specifically country music goes back a lot further than that … in fact, to the early 1960s. In 1966 I published and edited the UK’s very first monthly country music magazine. Initially called Country Record Exchange, it then became Country Music Monthly and finally simply Country Music before being absorbed into Country Music People in 1970 … a magazine that I contributed to until the early 1990s, when I became a contributor to Country Music International until I founded Maverick Magazine in 2002.

The site will include regular features, reviews, musings, recommendations, up to the minute tour dates and news from around the world. This, along with the first online publication of my biographies of all major performers, singers, writers and musicians involved in country music over the past eighty-odd years, I hope, will be of great value and interest to country, roots, bluegrass and Americana music lovers the world over…  
- Alan Cackett

Maverick Festival – A personal overview

For the eighth consecutive year the sun shone brightly on the Maverick Festival. It was back in 2007 that Paul Spencer first spoke to me about his dream of running an Americana music festival in Suffolk. At the time I was the owner and editor of Maverick magazine, which in those days was very much pro-Americana music. He explained that he wanted the festival to mirror the kind of artists and music the magazine featured and so began an informal working relationship towards the first Maverick Festival that was launched in September 2008….read more

Country Music Hall of Fame – 2015 Inductees

During a special press conference in Nashville, the latest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame were announced by singer Brenda Lee, who herself became a Hall of Fame member in 1997. The new members of the Hall of Fame are to be Jim Ed Brown and The Browns, who are inducted in Veterans Era Artist category, the Oak Ridge Boys in the Modern Era Artist category, and Grady Martin in the Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980 category…read more

Country To Country 2015 - Review

Last year I was unable to attend the Country To Country Festival due to recent eye surgery. I invited Laura Baldwin, a young, aspiring journalist, to cover the Festival in my absence. She did a fantastic job, coming up with what I consider to be the finest C2C 2014 write-up that I’ve seen (and I’ve read quite a few). So this year I invited Laura again to cover the Festival… read more

Review: CMA Songwriters Series, Indigo at the O2, London, March 6, 2015

This was a show I’d been looking forward to for weeks. I’ve always been into songwriters. For me, they are the driving force of music. When in Nashville, the Bluebird Café is my must place to be. It takes preference over all other venues or artist appearances. Though tonight’s show was much larger than the Bluebird, it had a similar vibe…read more

Review: C2C Pop up Stages – March 7-8, 2015

Now in its third year, there’s little doubt that the Country To Country Festival at London’s O2 has proved way more successful than the most ambitious expectations. Mingling with the huge crowds around the various Pop-Up stages and venues at the O2 on Saturday and Sunday, it seemed inconceivable to say that the event just might be close to out-growing the venue…read more

Ward Thomas - The Next Step

Whenever I find myself thirsting for inspiration, I tend to search out the blessed gift that is the harmonies of sibling pairings. My adolescent years were shaped by the Everly Brothers. Don and Phil led me back to the Louvins, the Delmores, the Monroes and the Blue Sky Boys whilst moving forward I discovered the Bellamy Brothers, the Judds, the McCarters, Dixie Chicks and the Church Sisters. My most recent discovery has been Ward Thomas…read more

Latest CD Reviews

Luke Bryan Kimmie Rhodes Kip Moore Slim Whitman
Larry Gatlin The Mavericks Various Artists
The Other Side
Of Bakersfield
Gurf Morlix

Country to Country 2015

I was at the O2’s Brooklyn Bowl for the announcement of the line-up for the 2015 Country to Country Festival and have to say, that as the names were revealed, I was extremely disappointed. Too many of the acts fall into the ‘Bro-country’ genre, which has become very popular and commercially successful across America in recent years…read more


Bristol: The Birthplace of Country Music

Virginia’s rich country music heritage

Whenever we think of country music recordings, Nashville immediately springs to mind. For decades it’s been regarded as the home of country music … known as Music City, it’s where the famed Grand Ole Opry radio show (and latterly also television show) has been broadcast from for almost 90 years; it’s where the majority of the record labels, country acts, songwriters, music publishing companies are based. But it’s not where country music first got its early beginnings. It was in Bristol, a small city straddling the Tennessee-Virginia state line…read more

Advertising opportunities!

We have had a good number of people enquiring about advertising possibilities on the site and up to this point have resisted. However, we now feel that the traffic stats are such that we can offer value for money, inexpensive, advertising opportunities to artists, labels, festivals and any other Americana, roots, country & bluegrass music based products…read more

From the Publisher

Here at NEO Music, we are very proud to be a part of Alan Cackett.com, the new digital platform for the views, musings, and insights of respected journalist, publicist and broadcaster, Alan Cackett. We are also keen to hear your news (including tour dates), views, suggestions and recommendations which can be emailed to us at:


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Alan's Video of the Week

Alongside this week's new feature on Homegrown UK Country talent Ward Thomas, here is "The Good And The Right" from the "Footnotes" EP out now!  As always, enjoy! 

Check out previous videos of the week here

Don Robertson Obituary

Don Robertson, a veteran country-pop songwriter, pianist and one-time pop star, passed away in California on March 16, 2015 at the age of 92. He was renowned for such classic songs as Please Help Me I’m Falling, I Don’t Hurt Anymore, Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger, I Really Don’t Want To Know plus more than a dozen songs recorded by Elvis Presley. He also enjoyed success in his own right with The Happy Whistler, a 1956 top ten pop hit in Britain and America. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972…read more
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