We bitch, we moan, we criticize, we celebrate the symbolic little victories that give us hope that a sea change for country music is imminent, or at least slowly taking hold, even though in many respects things only seem to get worse every year. And we look for ways to implement meaningful solutions to the problems plaguing country music so it can once again become a medium of creativity.
On Saturday, July 25th, Kenny Chesney’s Big Revival Tour and Jason Aldean’s Burn It Down Tour merged at the historic Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA for one epic show. As a performer who has played numerous stadiums in his career, Kenny said finally getting the opportunity to play the Rose Bowl was a dream come true. However for one attendee, the experience became a nightmare.
It isn’t often that a musician achieves an illustrious 15-year career that includes five number one hits, Grammy Award nominations, feature film contributions, producer credits and the respect of his peers before he ever releases his first solo album. But Chris Stapleton isn’t your average musician. The near-universal critical acclaim that has been heaped upon his debut album “Traveller” has been nothing short of amazing.
The Chapel Hill, TN product has just released a new record called Suffer In Peace through Columbia Nashville, and it includes a duet with Jason Aldean that’s sure to be tapped as a single. In the first verse of “Damn Good Friends,” Tyler Farr (or the songwriters Brent Anderson, Chris DuBois, and Neil Medley) seem to admit to a little bit of drunk driving.
A woman was sexually assaulted at the Jason Aldean concert in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, April 25th, and police are asking for the public’s help in finding or identifying the assailant. The incident happened around 9 p.m. at the Matthew Knight Arena on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene. It occurred on the main concourse level in a women’s restroom.
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.
The next menace was country rap, symbolized by Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem” becoming the biggest country single in all of 2011. Then country rap gave way to Bro-Country—the most dominant torment to country music arguably in the genre’s entire history. Now what looks to depose Bro-Country as the next malevolent hyper-trend? Let’s just call it “Metro-Politan.”
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
Spinal Tap, eat your heart out. On Eric Church’s current arena tour, there’s been a special guest making a surprise appearance at each show—a giant multi-story inflatable devil that blows up and towers over the crowd with shimmering eyes and skin on fire. It is conjured during the rendition of Eric Church’s song “Devil, Devil (Prelude: Prince of Darkness).”
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.
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.
American Idol, Big Machine Records, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brandy Clark, Brantley Gilbert, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Garth Brooks, IBMA, Jason Aldean, Jerrod Niemann, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Sam Hunt, Scott Borchetta, Shane McAnally, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, Zac Brown Band
The downward spiral for mainstream country music continues as evidenced by the following list of some of the most horrible offerings of 2014. With how terrible these selections are, you could consider this not only the worst songs of 2014, but arguably a list of the majority of the worst songs in the history of country music. And with such a crowded field, only the worst of the worst were selected.
Beachin, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bottoms Up, Brantley Gilbert, Burnin' It Down, Chase Rice, Chillin' It, Cole Swindell, Donkey, Florida Georgia Line, Girl In Your Truck Song, Jake Owen, Jason Aldean, Jerrod Niemann, Leave The Night On, Lookin For That Girl, Luke Bryan, Maggie Rose, Sam Hunt, Sun Daze, This Is How We Roll, Tim McGraw, Worst songs 2014
CBS Evening News reporter Steve Hartman took a deeper look into how his two young kids were computing the lyrics of country songs in their developing brains as they sat and listened to popular country music in the family motor carriage. His conclusion? “I’ve got some sobering news — Nashville is alcohol-poisoning the minds of our young people,” he says in his report.
On Monday, November 17th when Garth Brooks appeared on Access Hollywood promoting his upcoming tour dates and the release of his new album Man Against Machine, he was pretty loose lipped about his hatred for certain elements of music technology, and how it has taken a lot of the power out of the hands of artists.
Have you ever wondered who actually listens to those awful songs they play on pop country radio? Here are the six primary Archetypes, or as Music Row refers to them, the “target demographics” that make up the audience of the pop country world.The new version takes into consideration country music’s changing demographics.
On Monday, Jason Aldean pulled his latest record Old Boots, New Dirt from Spotify—a big loss for the company from one of country’s biggest stars, and one who has set streaming records. Subsequently, Brantley Gilbert, whose 2014 release Just As I Am has been receiving surprising sales numbers, has also been pulled from Spotify. So has Justin Moore’s “Off The Beaten Path.”
When you talk about an artist known as a songwriter first, you tend to look for the strength in the lyric. But Caitliyn Smith is very much a multi-tool performer, and her vocals can rival any in country music’s top tier, and she’s a great musician as well. Mostly known by industry types as a songwriter whose pen to paper has resulted in some very memorable cuts.
With the rise in popularity of country music recently comes a rise in both the demand and prices for concert tickets. And with so many sold out shows and high-priced tickets comes the opportunity for counterfeiters to take advantage of fans looking for entry to see their favorite artists. Counterfeit concert tickets are on the rise in country music, and fans are being taken advantage of more than ever before.
Bad mouth Jason Aldean’s previous accomplishments all you want, but heretofore his career has been defined by the defiant spirit of interior America’s lost populous—disenfranchised and forgotten in the age of technology as they unflinchingly continue on with their way of life inherited down from generations. Now what do we get? A simple enumeration of his sexual conquests one after another.
Just over two months since the body of 22-year-old Cory Barron was found by a landfill worker in New Russia Township, OH after the young man had gone missing at Jason Aldean’s July 18th concert at Progressive Field in Cleveland, and friends and family still don’t have any answers as to the circumstances surrounding his death, and maybe never will.