In the mid 80’s, it was Randy Travis and his neotraditional sound that led country music out of the great abyss of the earlier decade and returned country to its rightful place as a powerful voice for rural people in popular culture. With over 20 million records sold and his recent induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame…
Well now, perhaps there is a reason for old school traditional country fans to tune into the CMA Awards in 2016. Celebrating their 50th Anniversary, the Country Music Association has promised to honor country music’s past in the presentation, and they have put their money where their mouth is.
Hypothetically, whether a given song is released to mainstream country radio as a single or not shouldn’t affect the listener’s judgement upon the song itself. And in many cases, it doesn’t. A song is a song, and it should be considered on its own merits. There are exceptions however, like when a song is exceptionally bad, like many of the country radio singles over the years from Luke Bryan.
And so continued on the unrelenting march of terrible songs in 2015. This year included some especially diabolical turns that puts the last 12 months in contention for the worst run for songs in country music history. Of course the usual suspects appear on the rap sheet like Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, and Sam Hunt. But 2015 ushered in the worst year for watching previously heralded artists turning their coats from blue to red.
Alabama, Bret Michaels, Brett Eldredge, Cole Swindell, Danielle Bradbery, Eli Young Band, Eric Paslay, Gary Allan, Granger Smith, Jennifer Nettles, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Randy Houser, Sam Hunt, Scotty McCreery, The Band Perry, Thomas Rhett, Ucle Ezra Ray, Zac Brown Band
The stereotypical observation about the classic side of the country music divide is that classic fans only like music because it’s old and sounds old, and only hate the new music of today because it sounds new. But the truth of the matter is country music’s past has plenty of bad music, eras marked by disappointment and poor trends, and songs and artists that time has not been very kind to.
Granted, it is a different day in the music business, and independent country bands are appearing on the country album charts more and more often. But still, to behold the steady rise of the Turnpike Troubadours from a bar band from Oklahoma to the top of the country music charts without ever having to reshape their sound or sign their life away to a major label is an incredible feat.
From the “We Will Rock You” intro, to the obnoxious overdriven arena rock guitar, to the awkwardly and uncharacteristically non-synchronous performances by Alabama founding members Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, and Jeff Cook, “Southern Drawl” isn’t just bad, it’s something that makes you wish you could go back and completely erase it from your country music consciousness.
“What will NASH Icon be, and will it make a significant improvement to country radio?” This has been the question on the mind of many country music fans ever since NASH Icon was announced. Now that there are actually radio stations broadcasting the new NASH Icon format, we can listen in and hear just exactly what NASH Icon is.
Alabama, Alan Jackson, Big Machine Records, Chase Rice, Cole Swindell, Cumulus Media, Diamond Rio, Dierks Bentley, Doug Stone, Dwight Yoakam, Florida Georgia Line, Garth Brooks, John Dickey, Kacey Musgraves, Lee Ann Womack, Mark Chesnutt, Merle Haggard, NASH, NASH Icon, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, playlist, Ricochet, Sturgill Simpson, Tracy Byrd, Vince Gill
On November 12th, artists from across the country and Southern rock world will be coming together to pay tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd in a unique way. Not your typical tribute concert, and not your typical tribute album, One More For The Fans! — Celebrating The Songs & Music of Lynyrd Skynyrd will be a combination of both ideas taking place on the stage of the famed Fox Theatre in Atlanta.
Aaron Lewis, Alabama, Blackberry Smoke, Charlie Daniels, Cheap Trick, Don Was, Donnie Van Zandt, Fox Theatre, Govt. Mule, Gregg Allman, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, John Hiatt, Kevin Wortman, Lynyrd Skynyrd, One More For The Fans!, One More For The Fans! -- Celebrating The Songs & Music of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Peter Frampton, Robert Randolph, Trace Adkins, Warren Haynes
With 34 CMA Awards, over 20 Grammys, and and some 80 million records sold between the two, they both have seen their share of overwhelming commercial success, public notoriety, and peer recognition. But over the last few years the writing has been on the wall that their time has come, and their days of widespread radio play and big awards are over. And so what did these two men do?
Alabama, Alan Jackson, Bakersfiled, Bill Monroe, Brooks & Dunn, Buck Owens, Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris, Kenny Chesney, Kenny Rogers, Kid Rock, Merle Haggard, Paul Franklin, Ronnie Dunn, Sheryl Crow, The Bluegrass Album, The Dillards, Vince Gill, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
High Cotton: A Tribute To Alabama gets right what so many cover and tribute albums get wrong, including its 2013 counterpart Alabama & Friends. A good tribute album doesn’t just pay tribute to the band or artist. It should be a 50/50 proposition, with the contributing artists also benefiting from the name recognition the tributee affords.
Alabama, Blind Boys of Alabama, Bob Schneider, Drive By Truckers, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Jason Isbell, JD McPherson, Jessica Lea Mayfield, John Paul White, Luke Bryan, Shonna Tucker, The Civil Wars, Turnpike Troubadours
I’ll level with you folks. I do not like tribute albums. At all. Any of them. Period. No matter who the albums are in tribute to, or who is doing the tributing. I’m not going to give some long-winded intellectual treatise about why, I will fully admit it simply comes down to taste. They are just not my speed. Chide me all you want, I probably deserve it.
In a poll conducted by The Birmingham News in Alabama where over 31,000 ballots were cast in six total rounds since March 5th, Hank Williams was named Alabama’s “Top Music Icon” by the people. I first learned about this contest from the General of European Operations Restless in Amsterdam. Unfortunately I heard about it too […]