2015 is apparently the year to get paid in country music, and no stone is being left unturned, and apparently nobody is immune. From mainstream country artists who we once thought were the few remaining renegades with integrity that are now releasing trendy R&B singles, to some of our favorite country heroes’ faces, names, and songs ending up endorsing products or stamped on packaging.
A collective rolling of eyes ensued when the ACM’s announced earlier this month they would pair some of today’s country music spares with legends from the past as part of their “Party For a Cause” concert centered around the ACM’s 50th Anniversary. Punctuating the ridiculousness of the duet roster was the unfortunate marriage of country legend Dwight Yoakam and country/EDM star Sam Hunt.
This weekend in sunny Southern California, Sturgill Simpson will be taking the stage at the annual Stagecoach Festival in Indio—the country music cousin of the massive 2-weekend Coachella gathering. Sturgill Simpson is one of the few to ever play both the Coachella and Stagecoach weekends. Even more surprising is where Sturgill Simpson is ranked as far as popularity when it comes to Stagecoach attendees.
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.
In the latest sign that a godless Apocalypse is nigh upon us and will reduce the entire effort of humankind from the beginning of time to an infinitesimal blip of virtual nothingness perpetuated in a faraway corner of the universe, Dwight Yoakam has agreed to pair up with country music sham artist Sam Hunt for a duet as part of an ACM Awards television special.
Even though Taylor Swift has 86’d country and said she wants nothing to do with the awards specifically, the ACM’s have minted a special 50th Anniversary “Milestone Award” crafted by noted jewelry designer David Yurman to be handed out to Swift and a few select others. The Milestone Award trophy is made up of more than 1,010 grams of sterling silver, with the top edged with 4.16 carats of black diamonds.
ACM Awards, Brooks & Dunn, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, George Jones, George Strait, Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard, Milestone Award, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEnitre, Taylor Swift, Willie Nelson
Well the saga of Sony Nashville CEO Gary Overton’s comments to The Tennessean of “If you’re not on country radio, you don’t exist” uttered in late February just took another interesting turn. Gary Overton is out at one of Music Row’s very top executive spots. Announced Tuesday morning (3-17), Gary Overton is stepping down from his position as Sony Nashville’s top executive at the end of March.
So Kelly Clarkson—Mrs. American Idol—went off and made herself a country record. According to the singer, it’s all but finished. Just needs a title. Those were the revelations brought forth in a Rolling Stone interview today amidst the release of Kelly’s latest pop album called “Piece by Piece.” Remember the quizzical inclusion of Kelly Clarkson as a CMA Female Vocalist of the Year nominee in 2012 and 2013?
What should have been a mostly routine procedural event turned into a marathon court session as the prosecution and defense in the Wayne Mills murder trial tried to fill 12 juror slots and two alternates to hear the 2nd Degree Murder charges against bar owner Christopher Ferrell in a trial set to start the evidence phase Tuesday morning.
Though Monday is to be primarily focused on jury selection, in pretrial motions before jury selection, some previously-unknown details about the case were revealed to the public, along with some of the stances the defense is likely to take in attempting to prove Chris Ferrell acted in self-defense. We also learned about some of the witnesses likely to be called in the trial.
Last night (2-25) as part of Country Radio Seminar festivities in Nashville, Dierks Bentley, aka Douglas “Big Rhythm Doug” Douglason, showed the depth of his commitment to his alter-ego 90’s country band called Hot Country Knights by taking the stage at “The Stage” on Lower Broadway and launching into renditions of big late 80’s & 90’s country hits.
Ashley Monroe has all the assets that it takes to be a top tier female country music star, and in an environment where the industry seems to be desperately looking to anoint them. A beautiful, astounding singer, excellent songwriter, yet three years into her major label deal and she still feels like the consummate critical darling/commercial outsider.
All you need to know about the 2015 Grammy Awards. Despite the country genre rising to become arguably the biggest genre in popular music right now, there’s just not a whole lot of country to be featured on the show this year. This year’s country performance slots are cut in half, with the only collaboration being between Brandy Clark and Dwight Yoakam.
But what “Something In The Water” had that no other song that could offer battle to Bro-Country had previously was substance, and one of the most powerful performances we’ve heard from a country artist in the last few years. This is what was needed to defeat Bro-Country. It wasn’t going to take pandering. Leadership is what was needed, and an exhibition of raw talent that could not be denied.
On Thursday (1-22) country music fans were treated to a surprise when Miranda Lambert unexpectedly released a new song totally divested from her recent album Platinum called “Roots and Wings.” The song starts off a little checklist-like, talking about red dirt stains and tall pine trees, but resolves in one deliciously juicy “I got roots, and I got wings” lyrical hook…
If you’re looking for the female equivalent to Bro-Country songs, i.e. something featuring lower brow formulaic songwriting, however less frequently they may find their way onto your radio, the proper comparison would be the “attitude song.” That’s what Miranda Lambert calls it. Miranda Lambert’s latest attitude song is called “Little Red Wagon,” and it has been announced as her latest single.
Scott Borchetta’s gamble has paid off, and “Girl In A Country Song” is now #1 on country radio according to Mediabase. The distinction shatters a slew of dubious distinctions for the country format, and helps to slay the absolute dearth of female representation on country radio. It means that country radio has its very first female-led act to hit number one on country radio in over 2 years.
On Friday morning (12-5), the Grammy Award nominations were inefficiently and unceremoniously announced via Twitter, and once again proved that their nose for quality in country music is somewhat better than what we’re used to seeing from the country music industry itself, even if their ability to categorize music remains somewhat curious.
Brandy Clark, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Faith Hill, Glen Campbell, John Hiatt, Keb Mo, Kenny Chesney, Lee Ann Womack, Miranda Lambert, NIckel Creek, Rosanne Cash, Ryan Adams, Sturgill Simpson, Tim McGraw
The only thing worse than a country music awards show is four of them. It feels like these annual earaches are multiplying like a pestilence in country music and the music world beyond, and now we have yet another machination of forced television pageantry to contend with. Say hello to the “American Country Countdown Awards”—the Busch League of country music award shows.
Adam Hood is not a native of Texas or Oklahoma, but he is an honorary member of the Texas country scene if there ever was one. And now that he’s officially called Frank Liddel’s Carnival Records quits, he’s back releasing his music independently and calling his own shots. Only appropriate then that he would release an album that is strikingly personal in a very palpable and meaningful manner.
Adam Hood, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Frank Liddell, Jason Eady, Lee Ann Womack, Leon Russell, Miranda Lambert, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Review, Roots and Branches, Stoney LaRue, Sunny Sweeney, Tavern In The Gruene, Welcome to the Big World, Will Hoge, Willie Nelson