Merle Haggard remains on tour, and remains on the warpath against the direction of today’s country music, at least when asked about the matter by the press. The Hag was interviewed ahead of a show in Toledo, Ohio at the Stranahan Theater on September 9th, and didn’t mince words when questioned what he thought about today’s country sound and the artists making it.
It’s not just that depth and intelligence are missing from a lot of mainstream country music these days, it’s that it’s being purposely avoided. It’s uncool to be deep. It’s uncool to challenge listeners to think, to covey ideas through music, or tell truly meaningful stories. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with songs that are just fun-loving moments of visceral escapism. The problem arises when that’s all you’re offering.
When your music is better classified in every single other major American genre of music instead of country, then maybe you should consider to quit lying to your fans and the public and quit calling it country, kind of like Taylor Swift did. It’s not just that Sam Hunt isn’t country, it’s that he is the absolute antithesis of country.
Adele, Elton John, Florida Georgia Line, Hayley Williams, Kiss, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Meghan Trainor, Miley Cyrus, Morrissey, Paramore, Sam Hunt, Shooter Jennings, Swamp Dogg, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw
McMaster University, a research university in Ontario, Canada, recently partnered with phone manufacturer Nokia to study the listening habits of music fans in their new Digital Music Lab. The massive project is researching around 20 million song downloads to attempt to study how we listen to music. As researchers cull through the crush of data, they have been releasing certain findings…
Goodness, can we just kill off mainstream country music with one final shotgun blast to the noggin instead of watching this long, suffering, painful smothering at the hands of the proprietors of pop who have positively no idea what country music is supposed to be, and are willing to slowly strew its disemboweled innards all across the public sidewalks in victory? Don’t these bastards have any compassion?
So apparently Ryan Adams is in the process of recording a complete cover album of Taylor Swift’s recent record 1989 done in the style of the Morissey-fronted British rock band The Smiths. At least that is what he’s alluding to through his Twitter and Instagram accounts, which were dominated with Swift postings Thursday (8-6) as the press and curious fans spectated along.
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 â€“ 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 â€˜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…