2014 has been a year of great flux in country music, with some legendary successes by independent artists and new mainstream artists, and the shuffling out of other artists and the fumbling of what once were legendary, high flying careers. Here’s a run down of the five biggest winners and losers in the greater country music world in 2014.
As first reported on Tuesday (12-3) and then confirmed Wednesday afternoon, President and CEO of the Big Machine Label Group Scott Borchetta has partnered with American Idol to become the show’s new “mentor.” All of this news comes in stark contrast to how Scott Borchetta felt about the show in 2010 in the aftermath of Taylor Swift’s now legendary off-key performance at the Grammy Awards.
That’s right, the The Country Music Antichrist, aka President and CEO of the Big Machine Label Group Scott Borchetta is in talks to become the newest mentor on the singing reality show competition American Idol. He would be replacing Randy “Dog” Jackson—the only member of the show’s original cast aside from host Ryan Seacrest.
No this is not one of these American Idol alums who made it into the Top 20 of the show and tries to do everything they can to hold on to that glimmer of notoriety, this is Jason “Wolf” Hamlin who had the minds of many independent music fans reeling at the possibility of a genuine country roots artist making a real splash on America’s premier singing competition.
Jake Worthington finished 2nd and has captured the hearts and imaginations of many traditional country fans by wearing a big cowboy hat, and singing Keith Whitley songs on the show every chance he got, along with songs from Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr., and others throughout the competition.
Recently when Keith Urban was interviewed by Michigan Live and was asked if definitions like “country,” “rock,” and “pop” are important or meaningless, Urban replied, “Totally meaningless to me. I make music and people decide what it is. That’s it. I don’t think about it any more than that.”
Sex has been used to sell music almost since music became a commercial enterprise. From the shaking of Elvis’s hips, to Madonna’s “Sex” book, to Miley Cyrus doing all manner of gratuitous things with a foam finger. but in truth there’s plenty of positive female role models. From huge, internationally-known pop stars, to promising up-and-coming artists, positive female role models in music are out there.
I’m probably a fool for trying to give advice to American Idol on how to right their ship. At this point, barking advice is about as helpful as saying, “I told you to look out for icebergs.” The cultural phenomenon that was American Idol in the early oughts is no longer. So what’s American Idol’s solution for next season? Pander even more to celebrity.
That’s right ladies and gentlemen, your hero, the lord of underground roots, the savior of independent music, Shooter Jennings, is releasing a duet single and video with the most pop-ity pop of pop country uber doches, the “Nickelback of Country Music”, American Idol’s Bucky Covington. The song is called “Drinking Side of Country” and all indications is that it will suck hard enough to send a golf ball through a garden hose.
In the war to restore balance back to the mainstream country format, where both pop and traditional country music and demographics are represented, there is nothing more important than creating support around these few traditional or progressive country albums that Music Row does let slip through.
American Idol introduced Jason “Wolf” Hamlin as one of this year’s contestants on the episode that aired Sunday night. If you reacted positively to seeing Jason “Wolf” Hamlin on American Idol and said “Well hell, I kind of like this guy. I may actually watch this stupid show this year!” just understand that is exactly what the folks in Hollywood wanted you to say.
You know, it’s not very becoming to gloat. But sometimes you just can’t help it, like after you’ve been attacked by a mob of very angry (and curiously, very Asian) Scotty McCreery fans who told me that their beloved American Idol alum Scotty would NEVER lip sync, as I asserted he did on The CMA Awards a couple of weeks back.
During Martina McBride’s rendition of her song “I’m Gonna Love You Through It,” three times during the performance, you could clearly see a teleprompter flashing words in Martina’s direction. During Scotty McCreery’s abridged performance of the song ‘Walk In The Country” from his new album Clear As Day, he was clearly lip syncing.
Well hello there American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, my name’s The Triggerman, and I want to formally welcome you to country music. Don’t worry, just because I’m a hardliner, doesn’t mean I’m gonna rip into you just because you’re an Idol alum. Teeming masses of 14-year-old glitter-faced girls high on Spree and voting en masse on cell phones seem to be a better judge of talent than boardrooms full of business and marketing majors.
In my last post I talked about how singer/songwriter Six Gun Britt had decided to try out for American Idol. Inspired by her residents and co-workers at […]
Yes I know, Fox Television’s American Idol is a Barbie and Ken-style prancing poodle popularity contest that promotes celebrity worship and rabid consumerism, and is causing a […]
OK people, you might want to perch a paper bag on your knee for this one, ’cause it could get nasty. This week the great cultural deconstructionist […]
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