But possibly the most troubling sign that something is not right in the Toby Keith camp is the continued stories about strange closings and other curious issues surrounding the “Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill” restaurant chain. Keith founded the restaurants in 2005, and they are operated out of Phoenix by Boomtown Entertainment.
Is this really the substantive victory we were looking for that would symbolize inroads into the sausage fest at the top of the country music charts? Unfortunately the story about the “Love Me Like You Mean It” #1 is more about radio politics, a specific and calculated push by connected people, and frankly, a pop song on country radio. Though the diversity is welcomed, the result is circumspect.
After solving the mother of all First World problems, the United States Treasury has announced that pop superstar Taylor Swift will be the new face of the $10 bill. What cataclysmic upheaval did Taylor Swift stave off to be bestowed such distinctions? . . . The contentious and complex issue of whether music artists would be paid during a preliminary, 3-month trial period as part of Apple Music’s new streaming service.
Swift was the first to pull her music from Spotify in response to their paltry payouts and freemium model. Now she is taking the new Apple music to task for offering a 3 moth free trial at the expense of the artists and songwriters who created the music. And before you say this is all a publicity stunt, appreciate many independent labels are taking the same stance Swift is.
The only thing I conclusively walked away with from this new Mickey Guyton EP is that Capitol Records Nashville has absolutely no idea what to do with this young lady. And that’s about par for the course for just about any up-and-coming female country artist at this moment. Mickey Guyton already released a 4-song EP in March of 2014. So what’s the deal?
Cumulus Media’s VP Admits Country Can’t Be Delineated from Pop — Wants to Bring Taylor Swift Back to Country
“You don’t know these artists. You’re just listening to just a few hooks of their songs,” John Dickey says. “You tell me what they are. Florida Georgia Line – country, rock or pop? We can do Brantley Gilbert, Eric Church or Sam Hunt. You’re telling me Sam Hunt’s song is country? Today Country is successful because it’s co-oping other audiences into the format.
Words were failing me in my efforts to articulate in any sort of composed and accurate manner what type of depravity country music is currently ailing from, and just what angst I feel about the current state of affairs in the genre. The 50th Annual ACM Awards left me despondent, reeling, and listless from the lack of hope for the future of the country format. And then I saw a picture of Sam Hunt’s hair.
Top 40 pop radio has always been about taking the biggest songs from the respective genres and featuring them in one place. That’s pop radio’s job; that’s its niche in the marketplace. Now country is showing the early signs of coveting that position for itself. Mainstream country radio stretched its belly with Bro-Country, and now that it’s in serious decline, it’s looking for the next fix to filly its over-portioned appetite.
Ted Cruz says he became a country music fan after 9/11, while the digital editor of ‘Ebony’ responded with “Nothing says ‘Let’s go kill some Muslims’ like country music,” forcing MSNBC to have to publicly distance from the comments. Meanwhile a super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton released a pro-Hillary country song. Here’s how country listeners will be targeted like never before in the upcoming election.
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
Things are going from bad to worse in country music radio rankings, and now were starting see the lengths country radio is willing to go to in an attempt to rekindle the magic. Just six short months ago it looked like popular country music was poised to take over the music world and take down pop as the most dominant genre. Now the ratings for country radio’s key demographic continues its precipitous slide.
Just what country needed—a cute little pop girl pretending to be country, and pushing all the female singers who actually are country yet another step towards the back of a line that they’re already being crowded out of because of the sausage fest at the top of the country charts. Oh, and give an assist to country expat Taylor Swift who tweeted out her admiration for this song.
In 2015, the names and music residing at the top of Billboard’s respective genre charts seems topsy-turvy and misguided. While Sam Hunt and his music that resembles next to nothing country is at the top of the country charts, an artist like Brandi Carlile who does uphold some of those country standards has the top album in rock. A very serious case can be made that those two artists should be switched.
During a phone interview Thursday afternoon (3-12) ahead of Scott Borchetta’s appearance on American Idol, he was asked to comment on the quotes from Sony Nashville CEO Gary Overton who said a couple of weeks ago, “If you’re not on country radio, you don’t exist.” Not only did Borchetta somewhat disagree with Overton’s assessment as being “very broad,” he cited Sturgill Simpson…
I don’t need a workup from Dr. Scratch-N-Sniff to know something is seriously ill with country music here in the first quarter of 2015. We’re not talking about the worn-out complaints about how pop country sucks and how Sam Hunt and Florida Georgia Line don’t belong. Take all of those concerns and put them to the side for a second. I’m talking about the once high-flying country genre…
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.
Taylor Swift right now is at that same juncture as your favorite little company that has grown so big their founding philosophy begins to flounder, and they start to alienate the same customers and principles that got them to where they are. The problem with money is that you can always have more of it, and for many, the more money they have, apparently the more they think they need.
According to sources, a deal is in process for iTunes to purchase the Big Machine Label Group for $250 million. Big Machine’s current distribution deal with UMG is up, and Taylor Swift has one more album left on the label before her contract expires, leading to speculation Big Machine wants to sell before they risk losing their superstar.
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.
Say what you want about Eric Church’s music, and though he’s sporting one of the most loyal fan bases in popular music these days, he’s also revealed himself as one of the most polarizing figures in country music in the last few years. But you can’t fault the man for thinking outside the box, and scouring the hungry, unwashed faces of independent music when looking for openers.