Though you can’t mistake Ringo’s Liverpool accent, the steel guitar is laid on thick, and the answer portion of the chorus is indicative of Countrypolitan. If you ever wanted to hear one of The Beatles do a straight ahead country song, this would be it.
Normally the release of a Greatest Hits album would not be a reason for consternation, but Curb Records has a long history of re-releasing songs under different titles for various purposes that only serve the label’s best interests instead of the public or the artists.
This is the music tour equivalent to spending $1,200 on a pair professionally fashion-curated pre-ripped jeans, or you know, some shirt with holes in it. It’s bid for authenticity from the most inauthentic and manufactured second-generation preordained “country” star our generation has seen.
There is no doubt that moving to Memphis was the right call for the organization. For Ameripolitan to grow and prosper, and to make sure it doesn’t get stuck in a rut and become simply a local Austin event, a change of scenery was called for after holding the event at Austin’s Paramount Theatre for the last three years.
I’ve always said, one of the greatest moments to witness in a mainstream artist’s career is when they realize they’ve got nothing left to lose. And after years of playing musical politics, they cut lose and do whatever the hell they want to do, devil may care. Miranda Lambert is going to do whatever the hell it is that she wants to do.
How should a country purist regard the legacy of Glen Campbell? That should be a really easy question to answer: with class, respect, and appreciation for a man that was an incredible ambassador for the genre through multiple avenues, and a timeless contributor to the country music canon.
The only greater disservice an artist or a label can do to the music they’ve worked so hard on and put so much love into than releasing it on an EP, is to release it on a four-song EP. You want to bury music and relegate it to the also-ran of your discography and have Wikipedia page editors and everyday fans give you quizzical looks? Release an EP.
Two ruinous singles in a row with “Whisper” and “Everybody We Know Does” that couldn’t crack the Top 40 on radio put Chase Rice on the outs with his label Columbia Nashville, and unlikely to see an album release anytime soon. Now he’s back with a new single from a new label that is being sold as Rice’s return to the roots.
In the process of criticizing modern country music, sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture, or fall into “old man’s syndrome” where the past of the genre seems pristine and idyllic in our mind’s eye, and today’s smutty music perpetrated by sellout stars is an abomination to our beloved genre.
Blake Shelton, Conway Twitty, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Pizza Hut, Roy Acuff, Sylvia, T. Graham Brown, Taco Bell, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Artists with the true love of country music in their hearts, they don’t make country music for money or fame. They make it for life. They make it because they have no other choice. They make it whether they succeed, or it costs incredible sacrifice to keep doing it. It isn’t an option, it’s an obligation to themselves, and the music.
Jason Isbell is still riding high after hitting career marks for his recent album The Nashville Sound, which topped the Country Albums charts. But if you expect the mainstream level of success of his career to change the songwriter, or his penchant to speak out, you’re sadly mistaken.
Even people who despise country music see Willie Nelson as a beacon of light in the world, as a guidepost of infinite wisdom, and as an irreplaceable soul on this mortal coil. For decades now, music has simply been the excuse to pay attention to what a gift it is to have Willie Nelson inhabit planet Earth.
It’s hard enough for side players in any genre to receive the recognition their contributions to the music deserve, let alone ones who choose a discipline that is a dying art. Kayton Roberts had it hard enough as a steel guitar player. But Kayton’s instrument of choice—the pedal-less steel—was in even less demand throughout his career.
Some might think this will sound like a broken record or a tired topic, that all the Chris Stapleton praise and plaudits for his remarkable sales numbers have run their course. But the argument can be made that we’re still not making a big enough about what Chris Stapleton is accomplishing in country music right now.
‘Country music’ most certainly has a definition because it means something to millions of people. They identify with it. It’s their culture. It’s what gives them meaning and fulfillment. And if lost, and even worse, impugned and dragged through the mud as being irrelevant, uncool, or unwilling to evolve, it leaves them empty feeling and hollow.
We may never see a year like we experienced in 2016, when such an unmerciful parade of country greats passing away left us with a renewed appreciation for the legends while their still living. But every death, from the often under-heralded songwriters and behind-the-scenes session musicians, to the principal members of huge Southern rock bands, is significant.
Mainstream country is not stupid. They see the rising tide of Americana artists cresting the country albums charts on a regular basis, the big Americana names selling out large venues and headlining festivals, and doing it all without the help of Music Row or corporate radio, and continuing to encroach into their overall market share.
Sturgill Simpson was selling out 2,500-capacity venues on consecutive nights before the Grammy noise, and he’s choosing to use the aftermath to play the Grianán Theater in Letterkenney, Ireland, capacity 383. These shows seem to be more for Sturgill than the audience or his pocketbook.
Music, and country music specifically plays a big role in the series, not just in the soundtrack, but in many of the jokes told, and in the titles of each episode. Many other musical Easter eggs are placed throughout the series for music fans, such as posters on the wall, and albums in the local bar’s juke box.
As times get lean for alternative newsweeklys, their penchant to dispose of any and all journalistic class, fact-based reporting, or positive counterpoints to their dubious assertions goes out the window in lieu of mercilessly ripping into entire segments of artists without a single word of objectivity or credit where credit is due.