Embarrassment of 2012 ACM Awards Won’t Go Away

April 5, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  74 Comments

Like the most awful of childhood memories, I’ve attempted to suppress my recollections and thoughts of this year’s ACM Awards into the deepest and darkest recesses of my psyche, but like a bad acid reflux condition, the bile keeps rising. Yesterday Fox News contacted me for some quotes on a story entitled: Some country music fans say Ashton Kutcher not offensive, popular country music is. After the ACM’s, both Miranda Lambert and Justin Moore took to Twitter to call out Ashton Kutcher for “making fun of country music” after he showed up dressed more country than anyone else on the night, and then sang a portion of a George Strait song out-of-tune.

Miranda Lambert, who received her “Female Artist of the Year” award from Ashton as presenter, tweeted, “Was Ashton Kutcher making fun of country or is it just me? Watching it back now and I’m kinda wondering?” and the very vertically-addled Justin Moore said, “Seen Ashton kutcher at the acms tonight. What a douche! I don’t care for people making a mockery of the way country artists’ dress.” Ashton responded to Miranda, ““I Am One Of The biggest country Music fans you’ve ever met,” he tweeted at Lambert. “Wasn’t making fun at all.”

As one who admittedly over-reacts to any affront on country music, I found Ashton Kutcher’s appearance innocuous at the worst on Sunday night. I can think of a dozen more offensive elements on the ACMs than Ashton, an actor on a sitcom, coming out and attempting to be entertaining in a funny manner because that is what all of us expect from him. He’s one of the leads on a show notorious for his penis jokes and banal humor.

KISS w/ Lady Antebellum

I found the appearance by KISS in their full spandex and cod piece regalia significantly more offensive and out-of-place, and Carrie Underwood’s opening strip-tease number way more out of line with country’s character. So were appearances by Marc Anthony, Bono, and Lionel Ritchie. Couldn’t the ACMs given that face time to some country legends that deserve it more in that platform, or some up-and-coming country artists that could have benefited from that exposure? Sure, Ashton had no business being on the ACMs either, but he has a show on CBS who broadcast the ACM’s, and this is why he was there, and therein lies the problem with today’s Network TV environment.

Cross marketing is crippling live events on television–this idea that these big events draw enough traffic that you can justify ostensibly embedded commercials into their content with no recourse. Nothing is a bigger ass whip than watching a sports show when some leggy peroxide blonde hops into the broadcasting booth and is attempting to explain the plot of her new TV crime drama romantic comedy show set in a distopian world while the sports commentators attempt to interject info about what’s happening on the field.

The reason KISS was at the awards is because they’re attempting to resurrect their careers with Motley Crue on a new upcoming dual tour. Apparently CBS and washed up hair bands have carte blanch control over the content of a country awards show.

People who actually care about the roots and purity of country music keep waiting for that one Armageddon moment where country music will so cross over the line that the “pop sensibilities” and the “fake Outlaw” motif will all come crumbling down and they will be forced to return to the roots of the genre. With the continued backlash from the ACMs stretching well into this week, we very well may point back to Sunday night as Waterloo in the future. But I’m not holding my breathe, and even if it was the “big moment” and the reset button was pushed, be sure country music will figure out how to screw it up again even when there has been a resurgence back to the roots. It is a cyclical nature, and one can only pray to the ghost of Johnny Cash that the cycle is back on the upswing.

But truly, the 2012 ACM awards offered very few redeeming values, maybe Brad Paisley’s performances, maybe a few other things. But Carrie Underwood’s performance was the worst. Two years in a row now (last year it was a duet with Steven Tyler), Carrie Underwood has played the ACM’s puppet to open the show with the most pop, and most sensational display possible to attempt to draw in non-country genre viewers for the duration of the night.

In the 5 years of Saving Country Music, I have never had the need to call out Carrie Underwood, even last year I gave her a pass because in general, despite her American Idol past and how pop she may or may not be, she’s been a genuine, honest performer. But her persona is of the girl next door, the simple country girl, and when she gets up there in lingerie, flanked by the silhouettes of naked female bodies humping the air, it just looks out of place, for Carrie and country. Hey, I love the curvatures of the female body just as much as anybody, but you don’t want to see that from sweet Carrie.

Carrie defenders (and they are many and fervent) love to point out that she’s more “country” than Taylor Swift. That may be true, but at least Taylor Swift respects herself, and is true to herself, but then again, the 2012 ACMs were a low moment for Taylor too, who I’ve come around on recently. She seemed plastic, too rehearsed and conscious of the cameras on her, and Taylor didn’t even perform. Her reaction to Blake Shelton’s joke about her dating Tim Tebow caused its own drama, and possibly my biggest take from the whole night was how Taylor had slightly tarnished her image.

Taylor Swift’s name has also been brought up in defense of Lionel Ritchie whose performance on the ACMs lasted 4X longer than the tribute to the recently-passed Earl Scruggs, because as they say Taylor Swift is not country. Well of course Taylor is not country either, and at this point saying so is just being a master of the obvious. But she is real, though that didn’t really show through at the ACMs. The issue with Lionel is the absolute drubbing the American consumer is taking from the advertising of his Tuskegee album. Lionel has a whole autonomous ACM Special coming up on April 13th, and his “country” duets” album came in at the top of the charts this week, and sold more copies than any other Lionel album since 1985. And what exactly is country about Lionel?

In the end I feel embarrassed to even be talking about all this TMZ bullshit. The water cooler talk should be about the amazing performances and the inspiring moments about an event like The ACMs. Remember how we felt after Jennifer Hudson’s performance of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” in tribute to Whitney Houston on the Grammys? There is better performances and more inspiration on a episode of American Idol these days than there was on the 2012 ACM’s, and it was because country is embarrassed about being country and attempts to make up for that by being sensational instead of being explanatory in what country is, and exemplary in the way it is presented and in its performances. Instead we have award winners calling out presenters, and fans of pop performers and fake Outlaws duking it out for who is the worst. Dammit I want to to be honored to be a country music fan, not embarrassed.

Whether we like it or not, the ACM’s represent us as country fans. That is why we can’t just sit back and let them monopolize the dialogue, we must hold their feet to the fire, and broadcast our dissent, and let the rest of the world know that this is not us, this is not country music. Country music belongs to the people, and the people of country must rise up and take their genre back before it becomes a laughing stock, and not worth fighting for.

Don’t give up on country music! It may be dark times, and the light of country music may be scattered and dim, but as long as that light lives in the heart of its true fans and musicians, it will never die, and the hope remains that someday that light will be unified in to a new Golden era for country music.

74 Comments to “Embarrassment of 2012 ACM Awards Won’t Go Away”

  • “That is why we can’t just sit back and let them monopolize the dialogue, we must hold their feet to the fire, and broadcast our dissent, and let the rest of the world know that this is not us, this is not country music. Country music belongs to the people, and the people of country must rise up and take their genre back before it becomes a laughing stock, and not worth fighting for.”

    I think this Fox News article is a baby step.

    Congratulations on being a part of it.

    • I agree.

  • We need country music to be like it was in the 90′s. Not too twangy, not too pop. What happened????? Country music in the 90′s was AWESOME!

    • The twang is the most real, defining part. If you take that out you’re left with shitty pop.

      • You said it for me.

    • Don’t know about you but I wish country was like it was in the 50′s and 60′s.

      • I agree to an extent, but if we are going to ‘Save Country Music,’ there has to be a middle ground. There’s no way that 50′s and 60′s country would sell these days. Songs that follow the grid of “Midnight in Montgomery” or “Maybe it was Memphis” would, in my opinion, be much more liked that what currently passes at country. Also, I think if Hellbound Glory were given a chance on the big stage, that people would eat them up. I post HG songs on facebook all the time and the positive responses from people that have no idea that there is actual country being made is astounding. Give them a chance, and they wouldn’t disappoint. This Fox article may be a stepping stone for them, and country in general. I’m not always on Fox News side on issues, but they hit it out of the park with this write up. Congrats and well done on the quote Trig.

        • I think you could get 50′s-60′s style to sell. If that was all the big labels put out people would learn to love it. You have to keep in mind that the majority of the population just listens to what’s being played whether or not it’s good they learn to like it.

          • The show “Always.. Patsy Cline” sells out all over the country and has been going for years. There are other ones too and a stage show about Tammy Wynette that still sells out. The Oakridge Boys are still bringing in big crowds doing songs they have always done.

      • I’ll drink to that.

        • country music was around in the 30′s and 40′s as well. if there was some exposure to that 40 year period(30 to 60) i think the music would still sell. hell, it’s about all i listen to anymore.

  • “Couldn’t the ACMs given that face time to some country legends that deserve it more in that platform, or some up-and-coming country artists that could have benefited from that exposure? ”

    I agree 100%. Why is country music shunning all of the legends in country music? It is disturbing. We have several country stations here in Tampa that you could listen to all day and not hear a Johnny Cash song or a Merle Haggard song let alone a Hank Snow song. Then you watch one of these award shows and there busy pumping up lionel ritchie are you kidding me. I will never stop supporting what I love but they make it really hard sometimes.

  • The most offensive thing to me was the so-called tribute to Earl. How hard would it have been to have Steve Martin do soemthing with say Brad and Zac (instead of those duche bags Rascal Flatts) to honor one of the greatest instrumentalists that ever lived?

    • I would really like to know how the whole “tribute” transpired in the planning phase. First, Rascal Flatts was already scheduled to perform, and to perform their song “Banjo” because it is the big single right now off their new album. So I find it hard to count that as part of the tribute, it was more of a coincidence than anything, and then you can discuss from there the legitimacy or relevance of having Rascal Flatts pay tribute to Earl Scruggs anyway. So that leaves you with about a 30 second window where they said, “Hey, this dude’s dead, everyone clap in tribute”. Steve Martin played with Rascal Flatts, but I don’t know if he was planning to do that anyway (I’d like to think he wasn’t), or if that was supposed to be the “tribute” part of the Rascal Flatts performance. If so, at least let Steve speak about Earl, it could have been a really cool moment, and a way to turn some folks on to Earl Scruggs through Steve Martin’s celebrity status.

      But like I said in my “LIONEL RITCHIE IS NOT COUNTRY” article:


      “Jason Aldean, an Entertainer of the Year contender for this years ACM Awards said to CMT, country music needs to erase “negative stereotypes” that country music is, well, indeed country, and he hopes the ACM Awards help do that.

      Country music still kind of fights the stereotypes a lot of times. And here we’re having a country music show, and it’s in one of the glitziest cities in the world, so it just shows you that were not still sitting on hay bales passing out awards at these shows.

      It will be interesting to see how the ACM’s handle their tribute to the recently passed Earl Scruggs, the man who performed the theme song to The Beverley Hillbillies, in relation to Lionel’s tribute and the idea that country needs to apologize for itself for being so country.”

      • Leroy Virgil, SCM, and Muddy Roots on foxnews.com? We’ve arrived!

        Admittedly, I did not watch the ACMs. I flipped through and saw Brad Paisley actually playing guitar licks and figured it was just going to go downhill from there. Apparently I was right. Say what you will about Paisley, but he does have a signature guitar sound. You can tell right away it’s a Brad Paisley lick.

        Steve Martin may have been the most “country” person at the event. The guy is a diehard lover of the banjo and a true friend of Earl Scruggs. I’m not going to say he has the greatest albums of all-time or anything, but The Crow is a pretty damn good album. His ACL appearance with the Steep Canyon Rangers was also a pleasant surprise. Then, there is this video, which may be the greatest instrumental performance in the history of late night television:


  • just had to watch the strip tease on youtube to see what yall were talking about. i guarantee anybody within 20 feet of that stage got an extra “special” show. anybody with half a brain knows short skirts and high stages don’t mix.

  • Jim Omaha: “Country music in the 90′s was AWESOME!”

    Im going to have to respectfully disagree. country music died with Waylon Jennings. the 90′s produced shania twain, garth brooks, Achy Breaky Heart, john micheal montgomery, and sadly the list goes on. there are a few, key word being few, singers that came from the 90′s that are respectable. Alan Jacksons early stuff is good. randy travis had a few good ones too..
    I realize ol’ Waylon was alive through the 90′s but as far as im concerned, almost everyone after Waylon is pretty much shit.. mainstream music that is…

    • I don’t necessarily agree with Jim Omaha’s sentiment, but I totally understand it. Let’s face it, even with Garth Brooks and Shania, mainstream country music in the 90′s was still way more country than it is today. At least there was some Twang. And at the same time I think it’s important we understand there will always be pop elements in country. There always has been, even in the 50, especially in the 60′s and early 70′s. What we should strive for is balance, where real country and twang have a place at the table in mainstream, which is hard to say they do now. That is how country will stay sustainable. And music can still pop country, and still be real and done with heart and not talk down to its audience. “Pop” country in the 70′s was considered John Denver. I’d take “Country Roads” over “Red Solo Cup” any day.

  • After Carrie Underwood finished her opening number I turned to my wife and said, that girl’s got a good voice but there wasn’t nothin country about that. All I can say is thank God for WSM.

  • The last paragraph gave me chills. Well said, and well said in the Fox News article. Fox News of all the places!

  • The acts on the ACMs are the reason people make fun of country. I agree with George Jones on this one: they really need to call it something else. I have to make sure to list my gigs as CLASSIC country to make a distinction, but we still get the occasional douche bag asking for Kenny Cheese-knee or worse.

    • I agree. I haven’t seen a performance I’ve liked in a while. I can tolerate Paisley until he gets to ‘jokey.’ I guess the most tolerable I’ve seen is Taylor. (I think it was ACM). Last year, she just sat down on a chair, played her guitar and sang. She may not be country, but neither is anyone else on that show. She didn’t do all the flashy stuff for once, and it was really impressive IMHO.

    • I had someone tell me one time I’m not a country music fan, I’m an Americana fan. It’s too damn bad you can’t kick people over the internet, but at least it saved me a redneck pregnant chick trip to jail. Just because Nashville’s gone so far off the mark in regard to what they label country doesn’t mean the real stuff is magically some other genre.

  • I loved Kiss when I was twelve. But my Pappy used to beat me with an old rusty Telecaster and make me watch Hee Haw and Porter & Dolly.

    Somebody should do a country rock version of Hard Luck Woman by Kiss.

    Awards shows usually stink.

    • Not sure if you were being sarcastic or not, since its “countryness” is questionable, but Garth did that on a KISS tribute album in 1994


      • Garth actually did a good job on that imo.The funny thing is,I don’t think that was ever released as a country single because it was on a rock tribute album.(at least if it was,it never got played where I live) If someone did that today,it would be a number 1 song on the country charts.

        • I was unaware.

  • ive been a country fan since the late 70s when clint eastwood was featuring a lot of good music in his movies and even then people were complaining about the death of “real” country music. i recall a lot of sneers and backhanded compliments directed at dolly parton back then because she was too pop but i still loved her music and although im not putting swift in the same league i do own fearless & speak now and i play them both a lot.
    i wonder if the Carter Family ever got trashed for being too “pop” back when they first started i wouldnt be that surprised. im not against constructive criticism but im really sick of some of the blind hate (not on this blog) or maybe im just too old at 46.

  • A while back we saw Hellbound Glory play in front of about 15 people at a dive bar. Id seen them several times before, but something about it struck me differently this time. I told my wife “this could be one of the last times we see these guys play in an empty room like this, so enjoy not waiting 30 minutes in line to get a beer”. While I was joking about the beer part, I was serious about the rest. they are a band that is ready to pop. They are way too good to not be recognized. There is a huge audience that will latch onto this band like crazy, and a little more exposure is all its gonna take. Cheers to Hbg and real country music.

  • I haven’t seen this mentioned yet. But my favorite part was good ol’ TK singing red solo cup. A goofy song yes. But a song about beer and drinking. Hell, I think TK had had a few before. Which is fine by me. Then the camera flashes to Faith Hill (the first original sell out if you ask me), and she has this disgusted look on her face.

    Just heard about this site today. I sure am glad to know I’m not alone!

  • That crap they are singing now days is not country music. For instance Taylor Swift is a really pretty girl and is very sweet but what she sings is not country music. Give me back Merle and Waylon.

  • Lionel Ritchie planning country album #2


  • LOL Miranda asks if Kutcher is making fun of Country Music while her shit head husband is singing “Footloose” and “You Are” with Lionel Ritchie.Plus she has been singing Lada GaGa in concert.Assholes.Flush em all.

    I loved reading the over 9000 comments on the Yahoo blog.It’s nice to see we’re not alone on today’s so called country music

    • I think the people disgruntled with country music outnumber the people that aren’t. I’ve always felt that way, and that’s one of the reasons I started this site, because everywhere I saw these comments, everyone I talked to seemed to echo the same sentiment but there was nobody really putting a loud bullhorn behind that sentiment except for a few artists. If we can just figure out how to connect with these people, unite them, and exposed them to the GOOD country music, we could turn the country music world upside down.

      That all may be pie in the sky, but I say swing for the fences.

      • Yep.Keep up the good work.

  • It’s not just the ACMs. The CMAs are the same. “It’s country’s night to rock,” says it all. Carrie should be ashamed. Maybe she can do that number, with the lingerie, during her next Grand Ole Opry appearance?

  • Come on guys. Carrie Underwood did not dress slutty. She wore a pink dress to match the pink stage setting, and didn’t have any waredrobe malfunctions or show too much skin. I do wish Carrie’s hair had been in a less 80s style as big hair is not my thing, but I didn’t see anything wrong with the dress. It wasn’t something I would wear as I don’t like pink with black personally, but I felt the comments about her doing a “strip tease” were out of line and a gross exaggeration.

    But I agree with the Blogger about Tonedeaf Taylor Swift. She is neither country, nor sweet. She is a manpulative, calculating aggressively ambitious person who calls herself Pop overseas to play to that market, and pretends to be country in Nashville when it suits her to win more awards and steal them from more deserving artists who are actually country and who can actually sing on key.

    Taylor brings out Rappers to her LA and NYC shows, but country stars to sing with her in Nashville. What a phony, two faced fraud. She is like a chameleon, changing her colors to suit whoever is in the room at the time. But who is she really? Certainly NOT real. And certainly NOT the sweet girl she pretends to be.

    • i can’t wait until taylor plays ‘caravan’ with a drum solo. a sure sign of the apocalypse.

    • While I hate her LA guests. The guests for NYC were: Johnny of Goo Goo Dolls, Selena (her friend), and the legendary James Taylor. Atlanta is the home for Urban music (Hip-Hop/Rap). It means giving a nod to the city’s music. Respect other genres too. Check your facts first.

      And what you’ve said about Taylor could be applied to Carrie too actually. Sorry.

  • Country music is crossing over into pop way to much and needs to go back to its roots.

  • I’m not worried about it.

    Our country is going to find it’s way back…real things last, don’t you know?

  • The half-hour or so I watched with my kids was a string of garbled and mumbled mess of nonsense by a gaggle of interchangeable meatheads in tight pants with bad pyrotechnics and shitty shitty songs. The song “Springsteen” by Eric Church was exceptionally frustrating to listen to, but I gave it chance in the hope of actually hearing the song somehow either paying tribute to the boss or at least tie the string of Springsteen song titles into a reasonable and coherent theme. Needless to say (but say it I will) I was disappointed. But at least he had on some cool aviators. I guess I only listen to these meatheads when I want to pull my hair out in frustration. Haters got to hate I guess… JL

  • I think the part about Carrie Underwood not respecting herself was out of line. Just because she did a song in shorter than usual clothes does not mean she doesnt respect herself. That paragraph came off as dated from the 50s where real woman are just polite and smile and say Yes Sir like Miss Swift does.

    • I think more so the point was the horrible non-country song she was singing.It was pulled from the Britney Spears-Katy Perry-Rhianna catalog.Disgusting to call it country music

    • I think her dress was sexier than one normally associates with country music, but that in and of itself doesn’t bother me. Hell, I’m an Elizabeth Cook fan and she’a been known to dress a bit provocatively on occasion. What puts the number over the top are the go-go girls silhouettes in the background. They have nothing to do with the singer or the music. Exploitative.

      And there’s the song. Nothing remotely country about it. And if that’s not bad enough, it’s a lightweight mainstream/classic rockish song that no self-respecting rock and roll fan could like.

      • The paragraph however was written on a personal attack of Underwood, not of her music. I honestly have never heard many of Underwoods songs, but to say she isnt true to herself or respects herself because of this is taking it a bit far. She is a pop country singer, they do things like this from time to time. She is cut from the same ilk of Shania Twain, Reba, Dolly, etc. They appeal to the masses at all times. What she wore and sang at this event is no different. While it is a bad song, that wasnt the focus of what Trig said. He called her out on her ethics and morals that he has no inside information on. You wouldnt get pissed off that Waylon did a rock song cause he was in The Crickets just like you shouldnt get pissed that Carrie did this, afterall she got her start on a reality show that judges people on looks and marketability first and talent second.

        • Oh, I’m not pissed about her singing that song. I assume it’s her latest single and this is the type of music she does. It’s a bit of a sad commentary that an organization called the Academy of Country Music would start their awards show off with a song that doesn’t seem to have any country element to it at all. Not unexpected, though. And as someone who’s been a rock and roll fan a lot longer than a country fan, I just have a pet peeve about how weak these “rock songs” can be from pop country acts.

    • I agree I was a little bit hard on Carrie, but I stand behind her not respecting herself. It is not necessarily the super short dress made out of lingerie material. That was part of it, but the biggest problem I had was with the gyrating silhouettes in the background and the just general sensationalization of the whole thing. Absolutely positively nothing country about anything that happened during Carrie’s performance. As someone pointed out, will she perform like this next time she plays the Opry? She is a member you know.

      And I didn’t mean she just wasn’t respecting herself as a woman. She’s worked years to be “the girl next door” “Sweet Carrie”, to carry herself in a certain way and she threw that all out the window to pull off that routine, and everybody knows it was because CBS and the ACM’s were looking for the most sensational opening performance to draw Joe Q Public into watching their stupid show. There were many other performers who could’ve pulled of that routine without the backlash. So why Carrie? Maybe she feels like she owes it to the ACMs because unlike the CMA’s, they’ve consistently given her love over the years.

      As for Taylor, a couple of years ago I remember her sliding down a pole I believe on the CMA’s and that caused an uproar, but that was nothing compared to this.

      Don’t you worried, I personally am not “offended” by Carrie’s performance for being too sexualized or anything like that. It just wasn’t the right context. Too pop, too sexy for country, OR Carrie.

      If anyone’s curious, here’s the performance:

      The centerpiece of that routine is Carrie’s vagina. The way at the beginning her legs are slightly splayed and the criss crossing footlights intersect right at her woman parts, that was all painstakingly choreographed so that when American tuned in, the first thing they were expose to of any import was Carrie’s vag. It lines up EXACTLY with the center of the screen.

      • Pretty sure that was Miley,not Taylor on the pole and it was at the Kid’s Choice Awards.I remember all her father had to say about it was ‘Heck,she just likes entertaining people”.She was like 15 or something at the time,lol

  • I see the Carrie Underwood sheeple have wandered over here.

    • And bringing their habit of Taylor bashing. Funny stuff.

  • Just one more thing, not really about the awards show but it relates to where country music is headed. Happy 75th birthday Merle Haggard. Enjoy the legends while you can, they’re almost all gone.

  • Foggy Moutain Breakdown should have been played by Steve Martin in honor of Earl, it would have shown the greatness of the style of banjo picken Earl gave the world. The Rascal Fags tribute was the joke of that night!

  • While Carrie gang are here (sorry Trig, have to). Go check out Hellbound Glory, you guys. Being honest with you, I’m more into Rock & Alternative music and love me some Pop Country with Taylor, even tho I always have a healthy dose of country everyday provided by the amazing Cash family, Merle Haggard, and Hank Williams. But I’m SO deep into this band named Hellbound Glory. Thanks for you Trigg for recommending this band. Trying to get their album now, still (being in Europe sucks ass at moment like this).

    • I wonder if some people on this site, or other sites for that matter will consider Hellbound Glory as a sellout, seeing as how they are about to set cruise with Kid Rock for the “Chilling The Most’ cruise. I know they passed judgement on Jamey Johnson for touring with Kid Rock…. My theory is Kid Rock isnt country, never claimed to be, but has a few good country songs that are his, not written for him. I think it’s a great thing for him to promote lesser known acts like Jamey Johnson and Hellbound Glory. Somebody with a big stage should, and he is doing it, like his music or not.

      Encore from last Kid Rock show that passed through Nashville. Was a great show.


      • You won’t find me complaining. I wish them all the exposure I’m the world. They deserve it. Good on kid rock for helping them. I would consider anyone that calls them sellouts for this a tool.

      • Whenever someone uses the phrase “Some people on this site” they’re usually either attempting to refute and argument that doesn’t exist, or are trying to start one.

        Kid Rock is the wet cigarette of country music, but good on him for stepping up and giving Hellbound Glory a chance, even though the situation is more likely that people knew people that were looking for an up-and-coming band and Hellbound Glory’s name got tossed around and at some point Kid Rock approved them, maybe. This cruise is being done by Sixthman. Kid Rock is just the figurehead. So my guess is Kid Rock had nothing to do with it, and even if he did, a 4 day cruise with a dozen bands is nowhere near the same as a 3 1/2 week dual tour like Jamey Johnson did with him, but even if Hellbound Glory signed up for that I would support them 100%. I am peacock proud of those boys. I’ve been fighting years for them and introduced Shooter Jennings to them, and I’m glad they are finally getting some of the recognition they deserve.

        I don’t appreciate you coming here and trying to start a shit spark or assuming what some people’s opinions might be, or trying to use this good news for Hellbound Glory as a spring board to expose some double standard that may or may not exist.

        You want a controversy, then why don’t start asking questions of why the supposed “XXX” showcase at SXSW didn’t have the balls to tell Rachel Brooke she’d been taken off the schedule when they decided to make it an exclusive industry party. Jamey Johnson showed up and was denied access at the door. I’m talking about the event whose poster is still at the very top of Give Me My XXX even though the event happened 3 weeks ago, and it’s been three months since it was determined that Rachel Brooke wouldn’t be playing yet she’s still on the poster. Embarrassing.

        • Calm down Kyle…. Not trying to start any type of argument…. Relax bro!

        • Couldnt agree more. You dont sell out by going on a 4 day tour, no matter who the headliner is. I like how the comment about them selling out came out of leftfield too, yet they arent trying to start shit?

          • Comment wasnt out of left field at all. Try to keep up bro!… And no, not trying to start shit with you either.

        • thought shooter and jj were buds? seems strange he wasn’t allowed in? gives me more reason to not support xxx.

      • No. I don’t consider them as sell-out at all. Opening for Kid Rock means a huge exposure for them. They will become a sell out to me when they water down their music to get mainstream success instead of working twice harder. For now, things are fine for Hellbound Glory, and I’m happy for them to get noticed by a big act like Kid Rock who still gives two cents at the very least about the music.

        Being honest with you, I knew practically nothing about country back then since we have our own ‘country’ music here, only named differently, for example American’s Country has a very similar sound Sweden’s Folk. And as the perfect arse, I put Country a joke genre except Johnny Cash. Until Taylor (and I still like her). Only with first listen, I already knew she’s Pop, well Pop-Country. Then I decided to dig more deep to the genre that I labelled as joke before. Good thing that I love some Country now. And I pulled back my statement of “Country is a joke” by the way.

        • Good on you bro. There is some great country music still being made, just have to look a little harder to find it, but its well worth looking for.

          • Taylor re-ignited my interest to Country, thank her too. Ha Ha! But really, I take her words on making an alt-country album in the future. She implicitly promised us that in 2008. And I do understand the fuckery that’s happening in Country music, that’s why I’m hanging around here. I still love Rock & Alternative tho, Country is a great addition to them.

  • Caaie underwood was dresed like a prostitute. No respect at all for the mother church wich is country music

  • Excellent article. The only point that I take issue with is the part about current sorry state of country music being cyclical. I used to think that and I’ve been waiting since the mid-90s for things to swing back toward the traditional side. But it hasn’t happened and there’s nothing on the horizon that indicates it’s going to happen anytime soon. And if it really were cyclical, it would have happened by now, don’t you think?

    Country music got used to multi-platinum sales levels in the 90s and with that success came the perceived need to cast a wide net in order to appeal to folks who don’t listen to country music — at the expense of those of us who do. The consolidation of record labels and radio stations, and imploding record sales have only made things worse because there are fewer opportunities to do something new or different and because everybody is in a “play-it-safe” mode. I don’t see how the next Randy Travis ever breaks through in the current environment. I would love to be wrong but I really fear that we’re going to continue on this downward spiral for the forseeable future.

  • Justin Moore’s response to the whole thing has made him look like even more of an idiot. He told Ashton to check out Alan Jackson’s “Gone Country” and said that he couldn’t hang with him on “old” country. All of this after Ashton tweeted that he grew up listening to Hank, Merle, the Highwaymen, Patsy, and Dolly. If there is a single artist who’s ruining country more than anyone else, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s doing a better job than “Bait a Hook” and “Outlaws (Ha!) Like Me” poser Justin Moore. All the pop country sites are defending him too. Jesus people, these folks actually seem to believe that country started with Hank Jr., George Strait, Garth Brooks, and Alan Jackson. Ashton probably wouldn’t want to go to a Justin Moore concert (after Moore “invited” him so they could have a “man to man” talk) because he wouldn’t want his ears assaulted with bullshit cliches of rural America and the South for 3 hours.

  • I am waiting for a country singer who can make my soul soar like Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold, Chet Atkins or Patsy Cline. Heck, I’d rather hear the Judds do harmonies and Alabama sing Mountain Music any day than depress myself with the auto-tuned over-dubbed, track heavy wall of monotone junk that is played. The Eagles are more country than that! Brad Paisley has a talent that is undeniable but he sold out. My Dad asked me why Dale Watson is never on any of the country music shows after I gave him some of his music. He doesn’t have Internet and he still buys music with his ears, not his eyes. I am still hoping………..what goes round, comes round…………right?

  • And what’s with that new Carrie Underwood song? THAT’S NOT COUNTRY MUSIC CARRIE…..duh!!!!!

  • I am SUPER late to this (just discovered this site through a friend and agree with a lot of stuff), but in Carrie’s defense, she looked visibly uncomfortable during that performance. I think in the past year since you’ve written this you will see that her morals are still in tact. Every artist makes mistakes once in a while. If i remember correctly, there was a time when Reba, the “queen” of country music went pop for a while.

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