None of this is real ladies and gentlemen. From the fake controversies, to the gaming of the meme culture and social media to make 30-second snippets somehow compete with actual songs on charts, to the paying for streams to create false positives on breakout hits, the malfeasance in the monogenre space with country music as the heel…
You won’t find many country music fans who have a discouraging word to share about “King” George Strait. But the one point of contention some have brought up in rebuttal of Strait’s greatness over the years has been that he doesn’t write his own songs. This opinion deserves a little context of course.
What I’m getting at here is that I don’t think I just speak for myself when I say I wouldn’t be opposed to hearing you take a stab at releasing an original album of some sort. I’m talking about something beyond what you’ve already been doing on the stage. Get Dave Cobb involved as a producer, or perhaps your buddy Sturgill Simpson.
The Country Music Antichrist Scott Borchetta is hellbent on world domination ladies and gentlemen, and in the process expect him to pull country music in the pop direction more than ever before. In an interview, he downplayed Luke Combs and Kane Brown, while touting Thomas Rhett as the only true 20-something headliner.
This is not the Tyler Mahan Coe I started following and conversing with in 2012, who impressed me with his temperament and intelligence, who I knew once he found his place in the music world would contribute something brilliant, which he has. This isn’t even the Tyler Mahan Coe who released those 14 amazing Cocaine & Rhinestones episodes.
Any Turnpike Troubadours fan worth their salt already knows all about the lineage of the girl named Lorrie through multiple Turnpike Troubadours songs. Lorrie is not the only recurring character in the Turnpike Troubadours universe though. This is all the genius of Turnpike’s frontman and primary songwriter Evan Felker.
Outlaw country and Southern rock group Confederate Railroad has been removed from playing at the Illinois State Fair in Du Quoin this August due to the band’s name. Originally scheduled to perform with Restless Heart and Shenandoah under the banner “90s Country Reloaded Day” on August 27th, they have been removed from the bill.
A new album by the Dixie Chicks is on the way, and it’s no longer a matter of “if,” but “when.” Recent social media posts confirm the trio is working in the studio with super producer Jack Antonoff, and that a new record is coming “someday.” If they’re teasing us on social media already, that “someday” is more likely to be counted in months.
Independent country is getting a huge boost in 2019, and sometimes from some unlikely places. Not only are worthy artists who’ve been working hard for years for recognition finally receiving their due from important independent record labels, even the major labels are getting into the game.
You’re a music fan. And sure, you know a little something about labels and producers and how all this stuff is necessary to get the music to you. But it so quickly gets bogged down in minutia and detail, does the sale of one huge music company to another really affect you, or affect the music in some significant way that you should care?
It felt quite significant this week when Miranda Lambert revealed that she’s doing something that she hasn’t done over the 14 years and six major studio albums of her career, which is switch producers. A long time collaborator with Frank Liddell, Miranda has let it be known she’s now going with well-known mainstream country producer Jay Joyce.
Feeling the spirit in the Ryman Auditorium, Cody Johnson addressed the sold out crowd about what country music means to him, and the commitment it truly takes to consider yourself a country artist. Cody Johnson was dead on about the importance of supporting country artists who don’t just use the word “country” as a sales tactic.
Yes, you read that headline correctly. Sam Hunt will be heading into the studio soon to start recording his long-delayed second album. And according to the man himself, he says the music he’s working on is more oriented towards traditional country music than the R&B pop of his previous album released now nearly five years ago.
On Sunday night (6-9), legendary hip-hop outfit The Wu-Tang Clan made a stop at the Ryman Auditorium as part of their 25th Anniversary tour for a sold-out performance. Known affectionately as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” the booking of Wu-Tang at the Ryman might have seemed a little weird to some.
Of course Tompall is where the attention usually dwells when bringing up the three siblings from Spalding, Nebraska. But youngest brother Jim, who died of a heart attack on April 6th at the age of 81, and Chuck Glaser, who died Monday, June 10th at the age of 83, also contributed heavily to country music as songwriters and performers.
Fans of country and Red Dirt’s Turnpike Troubadours were left forlorn late last month when it was announced that the band would be going on an indefinite hiatus amid a rash of cancelled shows and concerns for frontman Evan Felker, which begs the question of who might be able to step up to fill this important void.
American Aquarium, Charley Crockett, Cleto Cordero, Comanche Moon, Dalton Domino, Drew Moreland, Evan Felker, Flatland Cavalry, James Steinle, Jamie Line Wilson, Mike & The Moonpies, Randall King, Reckless Kelly, Red Shahan, Shane Smith and the Saints, Shotgun Rider, Turnpike Troubadours, William Clark Green
Adopting the sounds and modes of pop and hip-hop might make country music cool to some, but the genre’s most existential threat is not dying because nobody wants to listen to it, it’s going extinct as an art form because nobody can distinguishing it from anything else.
Before the controversy over the removal of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” from the Billboard country charts would roil the country music world with accusations of racism and “black erasure,” it was Beyonce and her song “Daddy Lessons” from 2016 that had many outside of country hot and bothered.
It doesn’t matter if Hank Williams Jr. wants to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame or not. What matters is if he belongs there, which he does. One of the reasons why Hank Jr. likely doesn’t care if the Hall of Fame honors him or not is because he’s the most obvious snubbing in the institution’s history, and he’s rightfully cheesed off.
We are starring straight at the future of mainstream country music ladies and gentlemen, and it’s fuzzy-faced, overweight, wearing duds acquired at a Bass Pro Shop, and possibly holding a red solo cup in its right hand. That’s right, we’re talking about Luke Combs, and after the release of his latest single, there’s no mistaking it now. He is the biggest thing in all of country music.
Marty Stuart, who’s the documentary’s lead contributor and a staunch preservationist of country music’s history, says the new film is “like the cavalry coming.” Marty Stuart says, “The traditional end of country music sometimes gets overshadowed by the contemporary … It’s an awesome gift.”
Big names in country music turned out on Tuesday, May 7th, for a benefit concert for Byron Berline and his Double Stop Fiddle Shop in Guthrie, Oklahoma. But immediately as the Turnpike Troubadours began to play, long-time fans of the band could tell something was off with frontman Evan Felker.
To enumerate everything that has happened with The Band Perry since they went from winning awards and selling out mid-sized arenas, to now playing 300-capacity rooms, is a convoluted, and somewhat sordid story of chasing a pop dream of Taylor Swift-level superstardom, and striking out demonstrably.
As the alternative to the bigger, two-weekend all-genre gathering called Coachella, The Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California every April is supposed to give country music its turn on the famous Empire Polo Club grounds so as not be shaded out by the massive names of the pop, EDM, and hip-hop world.