The President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, is furious with the Jason Aldean camp for allegedly turning down the UFC’s offer to sing the National Anthem before UFC 2016 Saturday night in Las Vegas, citing that he was still to shaken up to perform, and may never to perform again, only to show up to unexpectedly on SNL.
Music is the way we get through these moments. And though others have tried valiantly, Eric Church is the one so far, verified by the viral reaction, that has stepped out of the shadows of grief to deliver the light and the message we’ve all been waiting to hear, and put words to the emotions we all feel.
I understand. For those of you who are for strong new gun regulations that could potentially help prevent the massacre like we saw in Las Vegas, the idea of mainstream country music’s top artists coming out against the NRA is a salivating, sumptuous idea. But it’s never going to happen.
You know me. I’ve made an entire career out of exploiting any and every minuscule chink in mainstream country’s armor, and rearing back and reefing pop country’s worst offenders right square in the short pants for any perceived slight. And specifically, Jason Aldean has been a favorite target of Saving Country Music.
“Country shows man. Everybody gets way too drunk.” This is one of many things that can be overheard in the disturbing video of a brawl that erupted after the Sam Hunt show in Tinley Park, IL (Chicago area) Saturday night, July 8th.
In April, WME, who represents country music superstar Luke Bryan, received a letter from the FTC, or Federal Trade Commission. The letter makes reference to an Instagram picture where Luke Bryan is touting his clothing line that is called “HFE,” which is short for the title of his hit single, “Huntin’ Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day.”
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.
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
Screw me, but I just don’t have a strong opinion about this thing one way or the other. Sometimes that happens. If you think this song and video is amazing, then awesome. If you think it’s stupid, I can see that perspective too. In the end it’s kind of a wash for me.
“You have to always be conscious of the songs. I never want the songs to be too songwriterly or too clever,” Jason Aldean said in a recent interview. “I think you do have to make it, to some extent, black and white. The song has to say what it means and it means what it says. If you try to get too tricky with the lyrics, it gets confusing.
This is the reason that it’s imperative that true country music fans, true blue collar Americans, and people of just general decency publicly distance from someone like Jason Aldean, and lump his music into some demeaning subgenre with terms like Bro-Country.
Now that some of the dust has settled since Sturgill Simpson made his inflammatory comments about the mistreatment of Merle Haggard on Monday (8-29), many others have taken the opportunity to weigh in on the matters on both sides of the country music cultural divide.
Every year we wonder if it can get any worse, and while there are positive signs for country music’s future all over the place, the bad stuff somehow continues to only get worse. The only saving grace is that many of the songs highlighted below have become commercial flops, whereas in previous years it would be a virtual Top 10 on the country charts.
So often in modern country the task of songs is to reaffirm the importance of country songs to the listeners. There’s songs about songs, songs about radio, songs about songs on the radio, songs about what it means to be country, songs about what a country song should mean, songs about love, songs about songs about love, and songs about songs about falling in love when a song about love or country comes on the radio.
See, this is what happens when you have poorly-coordinated white doofuses with about as much soul as a solid state amplifier get up on stage and try to pretend they can move like Bruno Mars. We’ve already seen Luke Bryan eat it numerous times, and it was inevitable Thomas Rhett would be heading into the Stage Fall Hall of Fame now that he’s decided to become a dance first, and sing second “performer.”
It was a busy year in country music, with lots of controversy, lots of legal issues, and even death surrounding country music artists. It was a tumultuous 2015 to say the least. Here are the top news stories of the year taking into consideration 1) Their importance to country music overall 2) The interest, or accumulated interest in the story if covered in multiple articles, based on traffic registered at Saving Country Music.
Aaron Watson, Blackberry Smoke, Chris Ferrell, Chris Stapleton, Garth Brooks, Gary Overton, Jason Aldean, Jason Isbell, Joey + Rory, Joey Feek, Keith Hill, Little Jimmy Dickens, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Randy Howard, Stoney LaRue, Tim McGraw, Wayne Mills, Willie Nelson
It’s all R&B. Like, all of it. If it’s American and mainstream, chances are it’s better categorized as R&B than anything else. It doesn’t matter what genre of music you’re talking about. Of course R&B sounds like R&B, but so does hip-hop these days. Modern rock? Yeah, it’s pretty much just R&B. Country music? That may be the most convincing case.
Adele, Alabama Shakes, Brett Eldredge, Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Coldplay, Country Music Gold, Eli Young Band, Gary Allan, Jason Aldean, Justin Timberlake, Leon Bridges, Luke Bryan, mono-genre, Old Dominion, Prophets and Outlaws, Sam Hunt, The Weeknd, Thomas Rhett
the quality of the music of these do-good artists can sometimes be an entirely different story than the quality of their character. Such an assessment is subjective mind you, both on the musical and personal side. But generally speaking, the generosity of a given celebrity and the standards of their music doesn’t always go hand in hand.
Mainstream country artist Jason Aldean becomes the latest to think it is socially acceptable to paint your face black (or in his case, dark brown) as part of a Halloween costume or comedy skit. In a photo discovered on Instagram, Jason Aldean can be seen hanging out with his wife Brittany Kerr and other friends on Halloween, clearly wearing color-altering makeup on his face.
Speaking about his recent signing with Big Machine’s NASH Icon record label, which was set up to create radio support for artists left behind by mainstream country’s current obsession with youth, the once CMA Entertainer of the Year recipient said, “If you’re gonna be heard, you have to get on the radio. The internet alone is not gonna do it.”