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…
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
After so many high profile defections from rock to country, you really can’t rule out anyone taking the country music plunge, especially after the incorrigible Steven Tyler made the move recently. But there is one who has made his opinions unflinchingly known to where little doubt is left that we won’t see him writing songs with Shane McAnally anytime soon.
The implosion of the rock genre, especially on radio, has made country a haven for rock stars looking to keep their careers relevant, ultimately spreading the cancer of declining careers to the country format as well. If Steven Tyler’s move to country had anything to do with inspiration or influence, you won’t hear much of it on this new record.
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.
Steven Tyler deciding to “go country” recently is so achingly predictable and cliche, but unlike other aging rockers who switch to country to save a dwindling career, there’s still plenty of meat on the Aerosmith bones. The rock band could be touring the country and world right now and filling up arenas just fine, but instead they’re on a hiatus so frontman Steven Tyler can chase a lark.
Believe it or not, there’s even a deep history for more lewd comedy that would happen in country music under the covers. Roy Acuff, the “King of Country Music” cut dirty songs when nobody was looking, and so did other early country legends, some under assumed names. These recordings were like the peep shows of music in the early days, passed around at beer parlors or in the back rooms of studios.
Ben Hoffman, Dave Cobb, David Allan Coe, Florida Georgia Line, Folk Uke, Grand Ole Opry, Roy Acuff, Shel Silverstein, Steven Tyler, Sturgill Simpson, The Beaumonts, Vince Gill, Ween, Wheller Walker Jr.
While “Red, White & You” makes an ironclad case for itself as the worst “country” song in the history of recorded music, it indisputably takes the top prize for the worst lyrical line the world has ever been forced to behold. What the hell does “yum yum” mean you ask?
Timed to coincide with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announcement was the Cheap Trick news that they have a new album on the way called Bang Zoom Crazy…Hello. It will be the band’s 17th total album, and their first album in over five years. And it will be released on country music’s fastest-growing major label—Big Machine Records.
Many of the creators and producers of these involved and more distinguished television series are fans of these lesser-known artists, and look for opportunities to plant Easter eggs for independent listeners. As non-mainstream music continues to increase in market share, such occurrences are happening more frequently on cable shows and elsewhere.
The inaugural Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival set to transpire in Franklin, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville on September 26th and 27th, just made a rookie move by replacing headliner Willie Nelson with country music interloper/carpetbagger Steven Tyler—a.k.a. the frontman for the legendary rock band Aerosmith.
Sorry syntax Nazis, I couldn’t figure out how to turn my R’s backwards, but I am definitely talking about the 90’s era “nu metal” rap rock noise band Korn, and principally their frontman, vocalist, and bagpipe player Jonathan Davis who is apparently working on a country “project” if you are to believe the brief Instagram post a few days ago.
“I can’t stand to see outdated rock-and-rollers coming in to play country music. That really pissed me off,” Clay Walker told The Modesto Bee recently. “We have great singers, great country musicians. There’s no reason we have to dilute it by letting people in the format that don’t have any business being in the format.”
No matter how many banjos, fiddles, and mandolins you infuse in the music, a song from Steven Tyler is not going to be country, because Steven Tyler is not country. Just like it doesn’t matter that Willie Nelson never uses fiddles, banjos, or mandolins in his music. He couldn’t stop from making a country song even if he tried. But unfortunately we can’t stop Steven Tyler from trying to make country music.
Hey, Saving Country Music is advocating that listeners actually wait to hear the upcoming country music record from Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler before passing judgement upon it. But you can’t help but appreciate the strange thought of Steven Tyler as a country star, so let’s take a second to try and predict what actually might happen once Steven Tyler officially goes country.
Move over Sheryl Crow and Darius Rucker, apparently Steven Tyler and his size 14 lips will be belting out “country” tunes as early as this November according to a report from Billboard. Sources say the Aerosmith lead singer is getting ready to sign with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records.
American Idol introduced Jason “Wolf” Hamlin as one of this year’s contestants on the episode that aired Sunday night. If you reacted positively to seeing Jason “Wolf” Hamlin on American Idol and said “Well hell, I kind of like this guy. I may actually watch this stupid show this year!” just understand that is exactly what the folks in Hollywood wanted you to say.
Please indulge me for a minute here because I need to blow off some steam. Yes I’m glad that The Kennedy Center honored Merle Haggard and I guess you should be grateful for what you are given and not look a gift horse in the mouth. But in my opinion, the Kennedy Center’s presentation to Merle was horrifically mild and uninspired. Merle Haggard is an American treasure and deserves better.