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

Shawn Jones … The making of a great musician

Shawn Jones is one of the many unheralded performers on the somewhat overcrowded Americana highway. A troubadour in the old-school tradition, he has been taking audiences across America and Europe on a rewarding ride with his diverse musical styles, skilled guitar work, and over-the-top showmanship for the best part of 25 years. I first encountered Shawn and his music a dozen years ago when he toured the UK with Nashville-based singer Billie Joyce. It was a perfect musical match, and when they played Maidstone’s Soul Café they figuratively set the place alight with their fiery performances. Raised on roadhouse blues, outlaw country, classic soul and pure honky-tonk, Shawn has melded those styles into a sound that is distinctively his very own…read more

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

Latest CD Reviews

Chris Stapleton Rod Picott George Strait Trinity River Band
Breelan Angel Sarah Pierce Happy Traum Maddie & Tae

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

This week's video of choice is this spine tingling live performance by the insanely talented Lovell sisters that are 'Larkin Poe' in The Convent Club chapel last month - the Song is 'Mad as a Hatter.' 

Check out previous videos of the week here

Tommy Overstreet Obituary

Tommy Overstreet, a successful country-pop singer of the 1970s, passed away at his home in Hillsboro, Oregon on November 2, 2015 following several months of ill health. He was 78.  Often known simply as ‘T.O.’ by his fans, he enjoyed a string of hits with ‘Lady’ songs including (Jeannie Marie) You Were A Lady, Ann (Don’t Go Runnin’), and Gwen (Congratulations), placing 20 songs in the American country top 20 between 1971 and 1979…read more

Kenny Johnson Obituary

Kenny Johnson, one of the greatest voices in British country music, sadly passed away on Tuesday October 13, 2015 in Spain. One-time lead singer with the Hillsiders and later leader of his own band, Kenny Johnson & Northwind, not to mention a long stint as a radio presenter in his hometown of Liverpool, Kenny lived and breathed country music…read more
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