She didn’t choose the title Puxico for the way it popped for focus group audiences. It’s the name of her less than 1,000 population hometown in southeastern Missouri that sets the scene for an album that feels devoutly personal, humble in approach, and eager to express things a professional songwriter just can’t with total fulfillment through the voices of others.
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.
You only have to pay mild attention to Miranda Lambert’s music career to know her support of true American songwriters is far from skin deep. Her latest record The Weight of These Wings has a monster list of contributing songwriters, and she’s been known to get a wild hair and drive for miles to see someone like John Moreland play a dive bar.
Whether one may ultimately settle upon ‘The Weight of These Wings’ with a more positive or negative take, what is next to indisputable is that it is a significant release. ‘The Weight of These Wing’s is the symbolic entry of Miranda Lambert—the biggest female country star for the last six or so years—into the Americana/independent/east Nashville mindset
Miranda Lambert has won a record-setting six straight CMA Female Vocalist of the Year awards. But there may not be a seventh. When it comes to awards and recognition, nobody has been as heavily decorated as Miranda Lambert in recent memory, male or female. But it has been time for a breather, and Miranda Lambert’s last year has been a pretty quiet one, at least from a musical standpoint.
Miranda Lambert isn’t releasing one, but two albums November 18th when her double record ‘The Weight of These Wings’ hits stores. With all that material she was sure to solicit help with songwriting. And as we attempt to read the tea leaves of what we might expect from the new record, the names in the songwriting credits are making the prospects more interesting.
The ripe age of 70 is one hell of a time to experience a resurgence of interest in your music career, and that’s exactly what’s happening for country songwriting legend John Prine. Celebrating his seventh decade on planet Earth on Monday (8-10), Tuesday found confirmation that his most recent album ‘For Better, Or Worse’ has come in at #2…
John Moreland has already received the praise of the likes of Jason Isbell who he’s toured with before and dozens of others, but an endorsement from one of the biggest females in country music at the moment is a pretty big deal. Apparently during AmericanaFest a couple of weeks ago, Miranda Lambert took time out of her busy schedule to take in a set by Moreland.
Hillary Clinton is not the only one feeling under the weather and needing some time off. Country music’s current First Lady Miranda Lambert has got a case of laryngitis or something similar, and has been put on mandatory vocal rest by her crack team of country music doctors. The result is Miranda will miss at least three of her upcoming shows.
The next trend in country may not be defined by a style or a sound, but who is involved in it. But if collaborations will be the next big trend, how about putting out just a little bit of effort to make sure that the great talent that is going unrecognized in country music itself gets some love?
Ashley Monroe, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Demi Lovato, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Elle King, Gwen Stefani, Johnny Bush, Kenny Chesney, Kenny Rogers, Little Big Town, Lori McKenna, Miranda Lambert, Pharrell, Pink, Pitbull, Steve Fromholz, The Pistol Annies, Tim McGraw, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson
Flying low over the country music masses to survey the landscape, it’s patently clear that in the 48-hour aftermath of Miranda Lambert releasing her first single in over a year, how you feel about it has a lot to do with how you feel about Miranda Lambert, or Blake Shelton. The fact that “Vice” has become so polarizing proves that music is no longer about music, but personality.
The Country Music Association sent out the initial ballots for the 50th Annual CMA Awards on July 5th, and with them came a new system that hopes to stop some of the campaigning for artists to win certain awards. It’s called “Nominee Showcase,” and gives voters a centralized location to find verified and fairly-presented stats on all the nominees.
Some feel “She’s Got A Way With Words” is crossing the line in the way a woman is being portrayed by a major mainstream country music star, especially in the tenuous environment of today where the issue of equality for female artists and the objectification of women is high of mind with listeners and music pundits.
Right now, Texas and Oklahoma is being robbed of its female talent from Nashville and the two coasts. And these women are regularly sucked up into a system that absconds with their creative freedom, sexualizes their image, and drops them unceremoniously whenever their commercial viability is perceived to be spent.
American Aquarium, Aubrie Sellers, Billy Joe Shaver, Brennen Leigh, Bri Bagwell, Courtney Patton, Hot Club of Cowtown, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Kacey Musgraves, Lee Ann Womack, Maren Morris, Medicine Stone, Miranda Lambert, Randy Rogers Band, Ryan Engleman, Samantha Crain, Shane Smith and the Saints, Sister C, Stoney LaRue, Sunny Sweeney, The Quebe Sisters, Turnpike Troubadours
A big issue with the Grand Ole Opry in recent years has been trying to get standing members to meet their performance obligations. Though the Opry loves to add high-profile names from country’s current radio stars, these performers tend to sign on to receive the distinction of being Opry members, but don’t actually want to play the appointed number of slots for membership.
"Cousin" Kenny Vaughan, Brandy Clark, Carrie Underwood, Chris Janson, Chris Scruggs, Chris Stapleton, Daryle Singletary, Elizabeth Cook, EmiSunshine, Gene Watson, Grand Ole Opry, Holly Williams, Jamey Johnson, Jim Lauderdale, Kacey Musgraves, Kellie Pickler, Mark Chesnutt, Miranda Lambert, Mo Pitney, Radney Foster, Rhonda Vincent, Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash, Sam Bush, William Michael Morgan
Corporate sponsorship is the grease for the wheels that makes country music turn. What is new about corporate truck sponsors in country over the last couple of years is how deep they have embedded into the country music culture, to the point where now smaller, independent artists can be seen out there participating in helping to promote full sized trucks.
The CMA has officially released the Nissan Stadium lineup for the CMA Music Festival coming up the 2nd week in June, and despite all of the talk of diversity and the inclusion of female acts in country, the lineup remains painfully lacking in female representation once again. Carrie Underwood thinks she knows why.
The “South” is the setting for the songs, and where the respective artists hail from, but “Family” is what makes this record universal for all listeners. And unlike many other concept records that may only have one or two songs that can be separated from the material, every song on “Southern Family” can exist independently, and many will go on to mark top-level career contributions to the artist’s musical canon.
“Came Here To Forget” is not a terrible song. It’s a decent song that they made into a poor effort by taking a decent premise, loading it up with radio-friendly buzzwords, and stylizing it to the “Hot AC” crowd in the production. In other words, it’s destined to be a super hit on country radio.
“The Driver” is Charles Kelley’s version of Theodore Roosevelt buying a $700 cowboy shirt and heading for the Dakota badlands, or Rose from Titanic choosing to attend the dance in the boiler room instead of the ballroom because the help knows how to party better. It’s this strange, striving for everything Charles Kelley and Lady Antebellum isn’t that defines this solo album.