This week, Florida Georgia Line’s collaboration with the Backstreet Boys called “God, Your Mama, and Me” hit #1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart, meaning The Backstreet Boys—a washed-up boy bad who otherwise had not received a #1 distinction for over 18 years—is now the owner of a country music #1.
Not only was it a DJ comprising the afterparty entertainment, of which attendees had to pay £15 to get in, but the music selected wasn’t even country. “DJ Bad Ash,” a.k.a. Ashlee Willis, who is a DJ from Los Angeles, thought Snoop Dogg, Miley Cyrus, and other non-country selections would be the perfect music for the afterparty.
Zac Brown promised last September that the band would be bringing the music back to its roots, and he certainly delivers on that promise with Zac Brown Band’s latest single called “My Old Man.” But how we got here and why such a return to the roots is even possible or necessary is important context.
They’ve decided to divide opening duties among a total of 26 separate openers across the 65 total tour dates, as opposed to taking the usual stance with openers, which is to drag the same two or three lightweight mainstream up-and-comers around with them for six months. Even more surprising are the names selected to open.
It was either feast or famine for country singles in 2016. As the rigged singles system that almost guarantees #1 songs for any releases from big-named artists metastasized at radio—creating an incredible volume of singles hitting #1 for a solitary week before immediately falling off a precipice—if a song happened to not fit into that rigged system…
If someone is apt to not pay attention to female artists, whether that’s a garden variety country fan or a major label executive, bunching female artists together is probably not going to garner their attention, it’s probably going to turn them off even more, especially if the premise of putting these artists together is an attempt to break through a gender bias.
But even with Ballerini’s success, women are still very much fighting an uphill battle. Yet when asked recently by FOX about the issue of women on country radio, Ballerini didn’t show leadership for her fellow females, she trivialized the issue.
Reviews have been mixed for the show so far, but country music listeners may have an extra incentive to watch the program. Featured on the 10-episode series has been a slew of independent country artists who will hopefully see decent paydays and a bump in exposure. There are also ample country music references and jokes in the series.
American Aquarium, Ashley Monroe, Brandi Carlile, Cam, Corb Lund, Justin Townes Earle, Lukas Nelson, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Netflix, Shooter Jennings, The Ranch, The Turnpike Troubadours
The CMA has officially released the Nissan Stadium lineup for the CMA Music Festival coming up the 2nd week in June, and despite all of the talk of diversity and the inclusion of female acts in country, the lineup remains painfully lacking in female representation once again. Carrie Underwood thinks she knows why.
During the 48th Annual Grammy Awards pre-telecast Monday afternoon, the rising country star and Kentucky born songwriter walked away with the Grammy for “Best Country Solo Performance” for his fine work on the title track to his debut solo album, Traveller. Stapleton beat out Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Cam, and Lee Ann Womack for the distinction.
The artist known as Cam, best known for her breakout single “Burning House,” was on 92.5’s Electric Barnyard show with CMA and ACM-nominated DJ Broadway last week. And as Broadway is apt to do upon occasion, he pulled a disparaging quote from Saving Country Music to read to Cam to get her reaction and response.
I see Cam, and I see a blank page. There’s nothing here. What’s her sound? What’s her style? What is she trying to say? What role is she fulfilling in country music? Is she a one-of-a-kind singer? Is she a critically-acclaimed songwriter? What is her contributions to the music at large? She’s got frizzy blonde hair, and likes the color yellow. And that’s about all the character information I’ve been able squeeze out of her.
“Awards shows don’t matter.” This is the bill of goods fans of true country music, and fans of independent music have been forced to sell themselves for years as a consolation prize for continuously being overlooked, losing in bulk, and being generally embarrassed during the moments when America and the world crowds around the boob tube for the spectacle of a televised award show like the CMA’s or the Grammys.
Aaron Watson, Americiana, Ashley Monroe, Blackberry Smoke, Brandy Clark, Cam, Chris Stapleton, Grammy Awards, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Lee Ann Womack, Leon Bridges, O Brother Where Art Thou, Ralph Stanley, Willie Nelson
“Faint of Heart” is a pleasurable listen that you can see gaining some traction with country fans, possibly by walking through the door opened by Kacey Musgraves and Maddie & Tae recently. Call it “Merry Go ‘Round” mixed with “Girl in a Country Song” if you must, but with a sweeter vocal track than either.
Whether it will actually happen or not remains to be seen, but if country music in the mainstream decides to swing back more towards the traditional side, many of Music Row’s major labels will be ready to take advantage with a new generation of young, fresh, and traditionally-leaning talent already signed to contracts, already getting experience on the road and on big stages, and even finding some success with singles.
The long wait for a new Vince Gill solo record is about to be over. Announced Thursday morning (11-19), Vince Gill will release his twentieth official album over his 30-plus year career, and last solo album since 2011. Down To My Last Bad Habit will arrive in stores on on February 12th, and ahead of the new record, Vince has released a new single called “Take Me Down”
Though the announcement of her debut album is something to celebrate for her fans, it also shows yet again how country music’s females, especially the non-established up-and-comers, are being treated as second class citizens by labels. It is this systematical, logistical downgrading of female performers that is making the struggles of country’s women a self-fulfilling prophesy.
The only thing good that could come from Charles Kelley releasing solo material is that it hints that maybe Lady Antebellum is on the rocks. And since the word is that this is not the case and the band is just taking a short hiatus, not even this can be celebrated as a positive development.
NASH Country Weekly—recently re-branded to include Cumulus Media’s wide-encompassing “NASH” brand—has posted a survey on their website asking readers “Who Is Country’s Hottest Bachelorette?” Interesting that the authors decided to include multiple women who are known to be in committed relationships in the survey, yet failed to include any women who weren’t signed or affiliated with major labels.
There’s no typo here. I didn’t forget the last name, or the second half of the first. Believe it or not, there really is a new female country artist condensedly known as “Cam,” and she’s creating quite a buzz around her new song, and her newish style that has some wondering if she will be the one to solve the problem of women with substance finding success in country music.