And though we’re a good half decade from when Toby Keith was still relevant in the country mainstream, and a healthy 15 years removed from when he was telling would-be terrorists where he rudely wanted to ensconce his manly footwear, Toby Keith still has a reserved seat at the very top of these “highest paid” lists, despite not showing a Top 5 single since 2011.
It was either feast or famine for country singles in 2016. As the rigged singles system that almost guarantees #1 songs for any releases from big-named artists metastasized at radio—creating an incredible volume of singles hitting #1 for a solitary week before immediately falling off a precipice—if a song happened to not fit into that rigged system…
Joe Nichols continues to be one of the most confounding country stars in mainstream country music today, many times saying one thing, but doing something much different. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Nichols has tried to stay true to himself and the roots of country music, yet he’s not above straying away at times and trying to tantalize radio with a catchy single.
Joe Nichols is fed up with all of the country music that doesn’t sound country and says the same things over and over dammit, and he’s aiming to do something about it. You know . . . like release a song that references the same things all the others songs he’s complaining about do.
Well so much for entertaining the idea in your country music brain that if Miranda Lambert had her way, she’d go all “Gunpowder & Lead” on the purveyors of Bro-Country for their sexist and objectifying behavior if she wasn’t such a classy chic who would rather let her music do the talking. Miranda removed any and all doubt about how she feels about Bro-Country, at least in what she’s willing to portray to the public.
Joe’s comments come as similar sentiments have been offered up by other artists, but Joe also communicates the concern about where country music could be headed now that Bro-Country is getting close to the end of its life cycle. Since Bro-Country pushed away many of country music’s core constituents, and now Bro-Country isn’t even around to help fill the gap, it has put the industry on shaky footing.
EDM, or Electronic Dance Music, is making a big move into country music with one of the world’s biggest EDM stars in Avicii, and he’s doing it with the help of none other than notorious Clear Channel syndicated DJ Bobby Bones, who’s taking credit for helping to spark the trend. Avicii is a Swedish DJ that released his first album True in 2013. His song “Hey Brother” has been a huge international hit.
We like to make fun of how so many country songs are about other country songs, but the reason it is so common is because it works so well at revitalizing those roots that are so deeply intertwined with our personal fabrics and story lines. The songs of George Jones and others offer a soundtrack to our lives that nobody can take away from us.
There’s been lots of talk lately here and other places about what makes an Outlaw, who are the real Outlaws, who are the fake ones. Well Nancy Dunham from The Boot had Merle Haggard cornered and answering questions, and was bold enough to ask him some smart ones, and Merle replied with some bold, smart answers.