A collective rolling of eyes ensued when the ACM’s announced earlier this month they would pair some of today’s country music spares with legends from the past as part of their “Party For a Cause” concert centered around the ACM’s 50th Anniversary. Punctuating the ridiculousness of the duet roster was the unfortunate marriage of country legend Dwight Yoakam and country/EDM star Sam Hunt.
As My Morning Jacket readies to release a new album called The Waterfall, frontman and songwriter Jim James spoke to Rolling Stone about the prospects of the band ever having a big radio hit. But the question would be, where? Jim characterized pop radio as “such a waste of time,” and then had some pretty scarring words for country.
Words were failing me in my efforts to articulate in any sort of composed and accurate manner what type of depravity country music is currently ailing from, and just what angst I feel about the current state of affairs in the genre. The 50th Annual ACM Awards left me despondent, reeling, and listless from the lack of hope for the future of the country format. And then I saw a picture of Sam Hunt’s hair.
There’s very little that transpired at the 50th Annual ACM Awards that could be salvaged as memorable. But one especially memorable moment transpired when Lee Brice took the stage and started playing Randy Travis’ “Forever and Ever, Amen.” And when Randy Travis himself emerged from the crowd, standing under his own power, and being acknowledged by a standing ovation, it was hard to not feel the emotion.
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Saving Country Music’s LIVE blog of the 50th Annual ACM Awards being held at Cowboys (AT&T) Stadium in Arlington, TX. To celebrate its 50th year in business, the ACM Awards are going all out and offering an extended telecast, and Saving Country Music will there to offer blow by blow commentary on the night’s festivities for the sane minded and true country listener.
All the information on the 50th Annual ACM Awards in one place, including the presenters, the performers, the collaborations, the nominees, special awards, and other things to watch for. Merle Haggard tribute? Will Garth Brooks lip sync? And how the ACM Awards suckered Taylor Swift into showing up.
“Moving to New Zealand is career suicide!” was one of the responses country music singer/songwriter Tami Neilson received when she announced she was leaving her native Canada to live in a place where country music was generally synonymous with two words: achy and breaky. But after 5 years of being in a long-distance relationship with her Kiwi boyfriend (now husband) it was time for them to finally live in the same hemisphere.
Kip insisted to Saving Country Music that he did not know about the appearance, and that it was a lapse in communication with his management that caused the misunderstanding. “Yes they called my team and asked if I’d come by and I would have been glad to,” Moore says. “They helped promote the show and I would have been glad to. That part is my team’s fault which they own…”
The announcement of the Tim McGraw benefit concert blended in with all the regular country music news on Monday—a day usually reserved for the distribution of such press releases, until the conservative news outlet Brietbart picked up the story with the headline, “Country Stars Tim McGraw, Billy Currington Headlining Gun Control Fundraiser.”
Well so much for entertaining the idea in your country music brain that if Miranda Lambert had her way, she’d go all “Gunpowder & Lead” on the purveyors of Bro-Country for their sexist and objectifying behavior if she wasn’t such a classy chic who would rather let her music do the talking. Miranda removed any and all doubt about how she feels about Bro-Country, at least in what she’s willing to portray to the public.
In a move that is so patently and unflinchingly Garth, the recently-unretired superstar says he might lip sync at Sunday night’s 50th Anniversary ACM Awards show in Dallas at Cowboys (AT&T) Stadium. There’s so many different ways this missive from Mr. Brooks can be taken. So Garth Brooks is a lip syncer?
The calamitous and disturbing plan of the Academy of Country Music to pair up some of country music’s worst stars of today with country music heroes of the past just keeps getting worse. Though a few of the collaboration ideas seem kind of cool, some of them are downright sinister to the hearts of traditional country fans who revere the past greats, and revile the new artists who are stomping on the traditions of the genre.
Whether you have already purchased your tickets or are planning to soon, or you’re sitting back and laughing at the idea of a bunch of “Outlaws” setting sail in a luxury liner outbound for the Cayman Islands, don’t lie to yourself and say that this isn’t something that you wouldn’t love to participate in if you could swing it. Out at sea with some of your favorite country artists surrounded by the beauty of the Caribbean?
Blackberry Smoke, Bobby Bare, Bobby Bare Jr., Elizabeth Cook, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Lukas Nelson, Mojo Nixon, Nikki Lane, Shooter Jennings, Steve Earle, The Band of Heathens, The Mavericks, Willie Nelson
Joe’s comments come as similar sentiments have been offered up by other artists, but Joe also communicates the concern about where country music could be headed now that Bro-Country is getting close to the end of its life cycle. Since Bro-Country pushed away many of country music’s core constituents, and now Bro-Country isn’t even around to help fill the gap, it has put the industry on shaky footing.
Singer and songwriter Sarah Potenza first entered my music consciousness in February 2014 at the Inaugural Ameripolitan Awards presented by Dale Watson. Here was this boisterous girl with big glasses paling around Elizabeth Cook, and posing for pictures with Whitey Morgan and his guitar player Joey Spina that I had never seen or heard of before.
With all the hullabaloo surrounding recent radio executive comments about the importance of radio in validating a country artist’s career, Will Hoge stands as a shining star example about how you can carve out a career in music doing it independently. Despite a year-and-a-half stint with Atlantic Records, Hoge has developed a significant following of fans and produced ten albums over the last two decades.
What’s so great about “Yo Bro” is that it’s deftly inclusive of both of the audio plagues country music finds itself suffering from at this very moment. As Bro-Country is trending downward, but still trying to hold on in its last dying gasps, and Metro-Politan is attempting to rise up and take its place, “You Bro” straddles the line between the two, offering an illustration of the absurdity of these “country” styles.
Starring none other than the country music punch line himself, Billy Ray Cyrus, CMT’s latest epiphany for solving their ratings and revenue tailspin is to cast Billy Ray as an Elvis impersonator named Vernon Brown, who appropriately, was a previous country music one hit wonder who then becomes the minister of a church outside of Nashville.
No matter anything else, Little Big Town and their label knew the song would stir the pot, and that’s exactly what it did, and so much so that it has seen a dramatic resurgence across the board on all of country music’s measurables, including radio play, which was supposed to be the bastion of anti “Girl Crush” conservative misunderstanding in the first place.
Top 40 pop radio has always been about taking the biggest songs from the respective genres and featuring them in one place. That’s pop radio’s job; that’s its niche in the marketplace. Now country is showing the early signs of coveting that position for itself. Mainstream country radio stretched its belly with Bro-Country, and now that it’s in serious decline, it’s looking for the next fix to filly its over-portioned appetite.