As we continue to ponder what country radio might look like after the impending implosion of iHeartMedia and corporate radio as we know it, some very interesting developments emerged on the country radio charts this week.
Garth Brooks, take your free tickets to the Auditorium Shores stage and your Frito bags with your damn brand on them, and go back to Oklahoma and roll around naked in your massive, massive piles of money. You don’t belong at South By Southwest.
There will be no #1 for Texas country artist Cody Johnson’s new album “Gotta Be Me,” even though if all things were equal, he’d would be the rightful owner of the distinction. Cody is being blocked by Blake Shelton who is running a big new promotion behind his recent album “If I’m Honest,” selling it for only $0.99.
If Cowboys Like Me was Cody Johnson selling out in an attempt to garner more national attention with a super-polished and radio-friendly product, the appropriately-titled Gotta Be Me is Johnson reeling it all back in and being truthful about who he is, where his sound lies, and what his prospects are. Gotta Be Me is Cody Johnson being Cody Johnson again.
This year the event will be held for the second year in a row at the Austin 360 Amphitheater on the grounds of the Circuit of the America’s Formula 1 raceway just outside of Austin, and will feature an impressive list of talent, from Picnic mainstays like Johnny Bush, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and David Allan Coe, to newcomers such as Margo Price and Shakey Graves.
2016, Amber Digby, Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver, Brantley Gilbert, Cody Johnson, Dallas Wayne, David Allan Coe, Folk Uke, Jamestown Revival, Jamey Johnson featuring special guest Alison Krauss, Johnny Bush, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Ann Womack, Leon Russell, Margo Price, Paula Nelson, Raelyn Nelson Band, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shakey Graves, Willie Nelson, Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic
I am absolutely shocked, and this is from someone who had sniffed out Kyle Park as a phony many moons ago. This album doesn’t just make me scared for the future of country music, it makes me just plain scared for the future. I never want to leave my house again.
I’ve received more requests to comment on Cody Johnson’s music in 2014 than any other artist. Meanwhile my status of staying mum on him has caused some to question whether I actually care about country music, others to question the legitimacy of of flying the “Saving Country Music” banner, and still others have come out saying point blank Saving Country Music must be a fraud for not discussing the Texas singer.