Wonder why pretty much every mainstream country single sounds ostensibly the same? It’s probably because they all pretty much do. Lill illustrates how nine songs on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart all employ the same exact drum beat, and within the same 15 or so beats per minute.
“I’m a dirt road, in the headlights. I’m a mama’s boy, I’m a fist fight,” is how “Small Town Boy” starts off. What does this stuff even mean? It’s just nonsensical self-referential, self-ingratiating pap. There’s no point to it except identity politics tied to the demographic country radio is looking to serve, which is primarily people who don’t live on dirt roads.
Everywhere we turn, there are signs that the tide is turning in country music for the better. Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson are turning the tables on the awards shows, a new generation of traditionalists like William Michael Morgan and Margo Price are finding surprising traction. But it’s not all rosy.
Blake Shelton, Brantley Gilbert, Brett Young, Calre Dunn, Chase Rice, Chris Lane, Dallas Davidson, Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch, Florida Georgia Line, Jana Kramer, Jason Aldean, Jerrod Niemann, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan, Steven Tyler, Thomas Rhett
The fan was eventually acknowledged by Aldean, but it was with a simple, “No,” as he pointed the assailant out to security. The beer chunker was eventually apprehended and escorted to authorities. Later in the show, Aldean said to the crowd, “It took everything I had not to go kick that guy’s teeth in,” but apparently Aldean has decided to not press charges, and he was not significantly injured in the incident.
2014 was a year of great flux in country music. Where 2013 was dominated by public feuds and outcries by many country performers about the direction of the music, 2014 became the year things began to be done about many of the problems plaguing the genre. With Bro-Country as the battleground, the fight to return some balance to the country format began to make headway.
Billy Gilman, Billy Joe Shaver, Brandy Clark, Dolly Parton, Dustin Lynch, Florida Georgia Line, Garth Brooks, Hank Williams, Hank3, I Saw The Light, Jason Aldean, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Maddie & Tae, NASH Icon, Sturgill Simpson, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Tom Hiddleston, Ty Herndon, Wayne Mills, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown Band
Friday night’s otherwise peaceful festivities at the 38th Annual Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival in Niceville, FL were temporarily interrupted when a patron threw a full beer can at Dustin Lynch on stage, causing a gash below his left eye that had the performer in the hospital receiving stitches. The incident also caused a small brawl to ensue in the crowd.
On April Fool’s day, Broken Bow Records released a 20-track Merle Haggard Tribute called Working Man’s Poet, primarily as a showcase for the roster’s talent. Big Broken Bow acts like Jason Aldean, Thompson Square, and Dustin Lynch make multiple appearances on the collection, but one of the most heavily-touted songs from the album has been Luke Bryan’s version of “Pancho & Lefty”.
Broken Bow Records, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Merle Haggard Tribute Album, Panch & Lefty, Thompson Square, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson, Working Man's Poet: A Tribute to Merle Haggard
Not since the second installment of the Waylon – The Music Inside series was released with the names of Colt Ford and Justin Moore making their way on the track list have we had such a quizzical collection of artists for a tribute album. As cool as it is to see any attention paid to Merle these days from the mainstream establishment, it is not what’s going to get your average Merle fan’s motor running.
ACM, Ben Haggard, Broken Bow Records, Colt Ford, Crystal Milestone Award, Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch, Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Justin Moore, Kristy Lee Cook, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Paul Franklin, Randy Houser, Suzy Bogguss, Thompson Square, Toby Keith, Vince Gill, Working Man's Poet: A Tribute to Merle Haggard
Today it was announced that Austin, TX would be the site for iHeartRadio’s first ever country music festival, transpiring at Austin’s Frank Erwin Center on March 29th, with a list of top tier headliner talent. There is so much that is ill-conceived about this, I’m not sure where to start. Throwing a corporate country event in Austin, especially at that time of the year will be about as popular in Austin as running over a bicyclist in your Hummer.
Austin, Bobby Bones, Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, Clear Channel, Dustin Lynch, Dwight Yoakam, Eli Young Band, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, iHeartRadio Country Festival, Jake Owen, Jason Aldean, Josh Turner, Lady Antebellum, Lee Brice, Loretta Lynn, Luke Bryan, Rodeo Austin, Scotty McCreery, South by Southwest, SXSW, Thompson Square, Willie Nelson
A little under a year ago, Earl Dibbles Jr., the alter ego of Texas country music star Granger Smith, released a song and video called “The Country Boy Song” that had us all in stitches. Then in mid-October of 2012, Granger Smith released the single “We Do It In A Field” from his new album just released today called Dirt Road Driveway, and all of a sudden we had to re-write what we thought about Granger Smith.
Bare midriffs, buxom gyrations, and badass cars are no match for the curves and character of a real country face served cold. Neither is the caricaturish, shallow, and materialistic portrayal of rural life in pop country compared to the sense of family and community, and the fulfillment of hard work that accompanies true country living. Now that is something to be envious of.
Somewhere in the last year or so, country music crossed that line from being the last bastion for respect of beautiful women in American popular culture, to hanging out in the gutter with the rest of the vermin, making videos of venereal-infused floozies dry humping flashy vehicles in the classic vein of tasteless, materialistic, shallow-minded rap imagery.
Bucky Covington, Country Girl (Shake It For Me), Dolly Parton, Drinking Side of Country, Dustin Lynch, Loretta Lynn, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Patsy Cline, She Cranks My Tractor, Shooter Jennings, Tammy Wynette, Taylor Swift, The Carter Family