If 90% of mainstream country music is garbage, then it stands to reason that 10% of it is at least decent, if not good or great. That calculus hasn’t really changed much recently, even as mainstream country has improved. What has changed is that 10% is actually finding traction on radio, at awards shows, and is making fierce inroads into the 90%’s monopoly.
Over the last decade and beyond, it has not been humanly possible to book more godawful performers for the centerpiece of the NFL’s Thanksgiving schedule than what we’ve seen take center field during the halftime of the Dallas Cowboys’ football game. It’s like they purposely conduct a study to find who is the most dreadful performer of the day.
Nearly a week removed from the 2016 CMA Awards, and what are we still talking about? We’re not talking to each other at all. We’re shouting. We’re yelling. We’re digging into our predisposed positioning stances and blaming the other side. We’re not discussing the music.
She’s not doing it through slithering her way into pop country songwriting circles, or selling out with some big single that may impact country radio. She’s doing it by being her own badass self, and in a way that gives the music and entertainment industry no choice but to pay attention, and figure out how to apply her talents to whatever they’re doing.
The nominees for the 50th Annual CMA Awards have been announced, and Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, and newcomer Maren Morris lead the field each with five nominations. Stapleton continues to be the big surprise, picking up a nomination for the evening’s biggest prize, Entertainer of the Year, and four other nominations.
“Country has become a bigger umbrella. It’s good and bad. Country has become too homogenized and too commercial. It has lost what makes it special. It’s great that it’s popular, but then it starts to become watered down.”
This isn’t just a problem for big mainstream bands playing massive venues anymore. As independent music continues to take over market share, and there continues to be a slow build of interest in more substantive music, this issue is starting to affect performers that a few years ago fans were used to seeing in dingy bars with 20 other people.
It’s more fairly described as roots rock, and don’t worry, there’s still some of those plaintive and even painful moments that remind you that you’re listening to a modern-day Music Row release. But that doesn’t take away from the fact the Pawn Shop should be considered a healthy alternative on the mainstream music menu.
Monday morning (2-1), the nominees for the 51st Annual Academy of Country Music, or ACM Awards were revealed via CBS The Morning and ETOnline.com. The 2016 ACM awards will occur on April 3rd at the MGM Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas, and will be broadcast on CBS. Dierks Bentley, who will help host the event with Luke Bryan, also helped reveal the nominees Monday morning.
There’s a ton of great records from Hank starting the the late 70’s all the way up to the early 90’s that country fans will be pulling off of shelves for years to come when they’re looking for some good country music with a rock and roll kick, and if I had a vote I would induct Hank Williams Jr. into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the Modern Era category yesterday. But It’s About Time adds nothing to Hank Jr.’s legacy.
Being willing to go where a song takes you is the challenge in the heart of every music lover. Hopefully one of these songs released in 2015 will take you some place you want to be, or somewhere you’ve never been before. These songs were selected on their own merit, not from the strength of the artist or album from where they came.
Brennen Leigh, Cody Jinks, Dawes, Eric Church, Eric Paslay, Evan Felker, James McMurtry, JB Beverley, John Moreland, Justin Townes Earle, Kacey Musgraves, Love and Theft, Mo Pitney, Randy Rogers, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sunny Sweeney, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen
Another week, and another #1 showing for Chris Stapleton’s debut album Traveller as the songwriter and performer continues to ride a wave of momentum after a massive showing at the CMA Awards on November 4th. A sweep of New Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year categories, and a high-profile performance with Justin Timberlake put Stapleton on the map of mainstream fans in a big way.
That was the big question coming off of Stapleton’s big CMA wins: would radio respond? And now that we have the new numbers from Mediabase, the answer is “Yes.” There’s still a long way to go before Chris Stapleton’s success translates fully to the radio format, but he’s off to a running start.
Saving Country Music has a rich, storied history when it comes to sharing opinions about Eric Church. Forget that just as much of the ink spilled for Church has been praising as it has been critical, when you’re dealing with an artist who enjoys a strong, grassroots fan base, you’re almost never going to win when you have something less than favorable to say.
Andrea Davidson, Eric Church, Jay Joyce, Jeff Hyde, Jeff Tweedy, Jeremy Spillman, Luke Dick, Mr. Misunderstood, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Review, Rhiannon Giddens, Susan Tedeschi, Travis Meadows, Valerie June
Ahead of a comeback album called It’s About Time scheduled for release on January 15th, 2016 through Scott Borchetta’s NASH Icon label, Hank Williams Jr. has issued a rendition of the oft-covered “Are You Ready For The Country,” originally penned by Neil Young, and covered by Waylon Jennings some years later.
What already promised to be an eventful day in the realm of country music with the airing of the 49th Annual CMA Awards and all the parallel pomp and circumstance that entails, turned even more eventful when one of the Entertainer of the Year nominees dropped a surprise album in the mail to his thousands of fan club members Wednesday (11-5).
Well well well. In yet another bid for you to firmly affix your eyeballs to the boob tube on Wednesday, November 4th for the 49th annual CMA Awards, it has been announced that critic’s favorite and thrice-nominated SteelDriver turned songwriter turned performer Chris Stapleton will be performing with former ‘N Sync member turned solo superstar Justin Timberlake. Though if you’ve been reading Saving Country Music, you probably already knew this.
In peep show fashion over the last few days, Hank Williams Jr. has revealed he’ll be releasing his latest album called “It’s About Time.” It will be Hank Jr.’s first album on Big Machine Records’ NASH Icon imprint. He signed to the label meant to give new life to older artists in late April.
Announced today in press release fashion, the 49th Annual, 2015 CMA Awards will be opened by newly-signed NASH Icon recording artist Hank Williams Jr. singing Waylon’s interpretation of Neil Young’s “Are You Ready For the Country?” first released on an album of the same name by Waylon in 1976. Hank Jr. will be joined by Eric Church in the rendition.
Are You Ready for the Country, Chris Stapleton, CMA Awards, Eric Church, Hank Williams Jr., Kacey Musgraves, Lee Ann Womack, Maddie & Tae, Meghan Trainor, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, NASH, NASH Icon, Neil Young, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
On Wednesday morning (9-9), the nominees for the 49th Annual Country Music Association Awards were announced on ABC’s Good Morning America, with decidedly non-country personalities of Steven Tyler and Kelsea Ballerini helping to make the announcements. The 2014 CMA Awards will happen on Wednesday November 4th on ABC, and will be hosted once again by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.
Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, CMA Awards, Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Kenny Chesney, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Maddie & Tae, Miranda Lambert, Nominees, predicitions, Sam Hunt