UK’s “Country Music Magazine” is the Mag We’ve Been Waiting For

October 13, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  20 Comments

For years the top tier of country music coverage was simply a cloistered and closed-minded exercise in recycling the same already-established names in puff pieces proselytizing the virtues of pop country and very little else. As independent music as a whole continues to gain market share from the mainstream, it’s becoming more and more pertinent for big news outlets to pay attention to the rising tide of independent music, and the renewed interest in legends of the genre. CMT created CMT Edge to cover Americana, bluegrass, legacy artists and other independent acts, and other outlets have stepped up their independent coverage in one capacity or another. But that one mainstream outlet that really gives equal footing to artists regardless if they have the big money of a major label behind them has remained elusive…at least in country music’s traditional stomping ground of the United States.

country-music-magazine-001Once again the Europeans out class their cross Atlantic counterparts with the newly-launched Country Music Magazine from Team Rock—the same people who’ve brought the UK the long-running and widely-distributed Classic Rock Magazine. Despite the generic name, this magazine is anything but, with 132 extra wide (8 ½” x 12″) glossy full-color photo-showcasing pages, accompanied by a free, 15-track CD with music from the likes of Sturgill Simpson and Guy Clark.

Amongst its content is a full 60 pages of in-depth features on folks like Johnny Cash, Tony Joe White, Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson, steel guitar player Buddy Emmons, Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark, LeAnn Rimes, Steve Martin, Wanda Jackson, and many more. There’s also a rundown of “69 Must-Have Classics of Modern Country” and smaller features on Fifth on the Floor, Austin Lucas, Jack Clement, and others. The last 30 pages of the mag are dedicated to dozens of album reviews and a buyers guide of releases and re-issues complete with ratings from a wide swath of the country music world. Even the few, unobtrusive ads in the mag are for cool country folks like Daniel Romano and Laura Cantrell. Both the current and archival photos for the respective artists are astounding in their full page context.

When I first heard about this magazine and saw the lineup of who they were planning to feature, I was interested to see how it would all play out once it went to print. It sounded almost too good to be true, but Country Music Magazine seems to be determined to do right by the country music name.

And to be fair, the mag doesn’t ignore bigger, mainstream artists. There’s album reviews for Florida-Georgia Line, Blake Shelton, and Brad Paisley because they’re part of the country music community too. But the reviews for these big names are right beside reviews for people like Bill Kirchen and Patty Griffin. And it can’t be stressed enough how much content is here. It’s a magazine you can’t put down, but seems to take forever to get through because past every page turn is something you want to read, and read again.

About the only base that maybe wasn’t thoroughly touched was the Texas/Red Dirt side of country, but from mainstream to Americana and independent country, they have it all covered. Another concern would be that they set the bar so high with this inaugural issue, it will be interesting to see if they can match it at quarterly intervals. Nonetheless, this is the country music magazine we’ve all be waiting for.

Two guns up!

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Country Music Magazine is edited by Ed Mitchell, with contributions by Grant Moon, Emma Wicks, and Max Bell. Comes shipped in an outer protective cover that includes the magazine and free CD. The magazine costs £7.99 in the UK, £9.99, which is roughly $15.00 US to have it shipped to the States.

Purchase Country Music Magazine

20 Comments to “UK’s “Country Music Magazine” is the Mag We’ve Been Waiting For”

  • Going to London in November. Is there anyone who can suggest a good store where I can pick one up ?


    • ive never been to england but a friend who used to live there says “rococo news & magazines” in notting hill has a huge selection of magazines. should probably call them up when you get to London and see if they have it since a magazine about country music might be too niche even for them.


    • Most branches of WH Smith should stock it. They do here in Aberdeen, so I would think they would in London.


    • The large HMV on Oxford Street always has Maverick and other country magazines, so I assume they’d stock this too.


  • Man, does this actually exist? It’s just too damn cool to be real. Not surprised that it’s published in the UK. Roots-based acts that get little mainstream media attenion in the states often seem to be treated with more respect in the UK, go figure.


  • By the way, Trigger, this story is appropos of nothing, but I thought I would post it here because comments on older articles don’t get read as much.

    Yesterday I was talking to my mom, who’s been a fan of mainstream pop country radio for thirty years or more. I asked her what music she’s been listening to recently and she replied, “Nothing.” She usually listens to music via radio, and it turns out that she has taken to driving her car in complete silence lately instead of listening to “The Big 98 WSIX.” I asked her why and she said something like, “I don’t really feel like listening to country radio these days There’s just too many dumb songs. It seems like all the songs are just about dancing girls and trucks.” She aslo complained that country music is getting too raunchy.

    I’ve watched her embrace everything from Rascall Flatts to Toby Keith over the years and now she says country radio is getting too shallow. The decline must really be noticable.


    • By trying to appeal to a younger generation, country music is disenfranchising large segments of the population with its flight from substance. I think of it like a sugar rush—getting high on the here and now to only crash and burn in the long term.


  • Most WH Smith stores should have it. There is one in most high streets and at the main stations.


  • Very cool, will go look on shelf today … The Rock Mag is great.
    Rambler, go look at any big name book shops in your home town & you will find it…
    Funny how a cross water company would do this, makes us look pretty bad here in North America…I think because we’re more focused on the Glitz, production , gossip…the Brits seem to get it.
    Saw Daniel Romano in coffee shop Friday night with full band , like 8 feet away… Was Awesome!!!
    Thanks for the heads up on Mag Trig.


  • Pop Country is like eating a doughy scone. Tasteless, trite…all hype and no flavor…

    Pop Country is devoid of freshness and appeal due to overuse of the banal science they use to appeal to the masses.

    Pop Country is hackneyed and platitudinous.

    Pop Country jumps up and down on the stage (Kelly Clarkson – she should not jump like that)….


    • Pop country is the audio equivalent of watching WWF wrestling. Pandering to the lowest common denominator.


  • This is great news.

    I can’t wait to get a real or digital copy of this mag.


  • Hey – thanks for all the kind words. The magazine is actually £7.99. We’re hoping to get a digital edition up soon.

    We also have a radio show on Team Rock Radio hosted by Rob Hughes that you can listen to online, via apps or on DAB in the UK from 4pm on a Sunday afternoon. There are some shows available on demand here: http://www.teamrockradio.com/on-demand

    Scott Rowley
    Editor In Chief, Classic Rock


    • Hey Scott, am I possibly seeing the 9.99 price because I’m in the US? We’ll change it up above.


      • Hi Trigger,

        I’d hope not, but ya never know. When I clicked on your link above it took me to our digital store where it said £7.99. It should say the same to everyone, wherever you are in the world. I think ;-)


    • I’ve just listened to the first radio show on demand.
      Compliments the magazine brilliantly, really good show ! Now onto the other 4 thats available !

      As for the price, £8 is expensive and the quality will need to be maintained to justify the price, but after the first issue it’s looking like £8 well spent !!

      Can’t wait for issue #2.


  • “The magazine is actually £7.99″ – what?! Thankfully I’ve not been able to locate a copy, therefore no danger of seeing it and then being disappointed to leave it sitting on the shelf at that price. £7.99 – seriously, it’s great to see the likes of Austin Lucas getting UK magazine coverage, but with so much good country info available online for free (such as this site) who’s going to pay eight quid for a magazine?


    • it is kinda high compared to mojo which costs around £5.00 but if its anywhere near as good and all about country music im in. if losing the cd lowers the price significantly maybe that would be a good idea and setup a youtube channel instead.


  • Hi,
    i just ordered it, there a lot of info online but there”s nothing like a good book you can grab and bring everywhere in the house or else, no battery, no wiring, no wifi. In 2 months or years, the mag will still be there.
    Old Style Franck.


  • Found the magazine at the Chapters Bookstore! Glad to see its widely available now. Bought my copy for $20.99 Canadian.


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