Just remember, “It’s only the ACM Awards.” It’s just disappointing that one of their best presentations in perhaps a decade or more—and under difficult circumstances—had to be sullied at the very end by a silly and avoidable decision.
For the three hours of the presentation, we’ll be leaving quips, observations, and kudos where warranted in real time in an effort to make the awards at least somewhat palatable for those of distinguishing tastes, and who know what actual country music is supposed to sound like.
Remember, it’s just the ACM Awards. Less prestigious than the CMAs, and more susceptible to bloc voting and other dubious practices than most any other awards apparatus in country music and beyond, think of it more as a performative infomercial for the mainstream of country music.
Colter Wall’s latest record ‘Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs’ released on August 28th debuted at #8 on the Billboard Country Albums chart this week, and was #1 in physical sales in country by a wide margin. But this isn’t just about numbers. Colter Wall is doing all of this with your grandpa’s music.
For 30 years Austin has been officially nicknamed the Live Music Capital of the World. However for years the city’s music scene has been experiencing dramatic contraction, and now with a mediocre COVID-19 response, it could lose the moniker.
Oh CMA’s. How 2020 of you to nominate Justin Bieber for three CMA Awards. Now he can compete with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who won his first in 2019. But hey, the 2020 CMA nominations aren’t all bad. Ashley McBryde received three nominations. You know, just as many as Justin Bieber.
Florida Georgia Line has the #1 song on country radio this week with their latest single “I Love My Country.” But buried deep in the songwriting credits and the history of this song is one of the most uncovered scandals in country music in 2020.
With his aching, painful delivery of poetically elegant songs ripped straight out of his own biography and smeared with tears and the residues of addiction, Justin Townes Earle embodied everything you wanted from the tragic troubadour holding on just enough to perform for you.
The season finale for the Paramount Network’s signature summer series Yellowstone ended in a cliffhanger Sunday night (8-23), and it also ended another successful run for the series in both the ratings department, and in featuring all manner of cool country and roots artists and songs throughout the season.
Dolly Parton did not come out for defunding the police. Dolly Parton did not come out for pushing Marxist ideals. Dolly Parton did not come out for the dissolving of the nuclear family, or any other controversial topic that has been tied to the Black Lives Matter movement, legitimately, tangentially, or unfairly.
The fear when efforts were undertaken to strike anything that in any way could be construed however indirectly as being sympathetic to the Confederacy out of the public record was the slippery slope presented that may ultimately result in important pieces of art being mischaracterized and ultimately cancelled under false pretenses.
The term “Stan” was never supposed to be a term of endearment, or something to be proud of. Taken from the Eminem song “Stan” released in 2000 about an obsessed Eminem fan who ends up killing himself and his pregnant girlfriend after going off the rails, it doesn’t exactly paint an enviable picture of next-level fan loyalty.
Once again Garth is being Garth, which means ultimately he’s probably doing the right thing and making a good choice. He’s just doing it in the most self-gratifying of ways. His heart is 100% in the right place. But his ego won’t allow him to make an altruistic move without letting everyone else know what he’s doing.
A titan of the airwaves and our generation’s voice of country music, Eddie Stubbs, has announced that after 25 years of service at The Legend WSM-AM in Nashville as a DJ and announcer at the Grand Ole Opry, he is retiring. Stubbs announced the retirement on Tuesday night (7-22) during his regular weeknight radio show.
Re-integrating important black voices into that living tapestry should be a priority for the genre moving forward. But performing this important re-integration as either a commercial enterprise, or via hip-hop appropriations will only be effective at eroding what makes country music so vital.
Who knows, perhaps Burger King feeding its livestock lemongrass to reduce methane emissions will actually result in some sort of measurable positive for Mother Earth. But how about when you’re a big corporation and you do a good deed, you just do it. Don’t make a whole dumb marketing campaign around it.
Margo Price’s new album That’s How Rumors Get Started was described by American Songwriter as “very un-country.” Talking with The Nashville Scene, Price herself foretells how people will still try to sell her new album as country by trying to use “fancy words.” But she states decisively, “Nope, I made a rock ’n’ roll record.”
Lady A started by changing their name to erase what some considered the racist connotations of “Antebellum” and to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Now that action has resulted in them publicly suing a well-respected black member of the music community and receiving a massive backlash for it.
There should be no shame in major music outfits taking money through the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, to keep their road crew and support staff financially stable, despite it being characterized as the cash grab of millionaires by some, aided by certain embellished and misleading headlines in the media.
If you’re looking for a solution of how to solve the crisis facing live music at the moment, this is it. And it’s not a hypothetical. Thanks to Granger Smith, his fans, and a forward-thinking city and baseball team, they’ve proven safe music concerts can be done, and done successfully.
Don’t regard this as a slandering. Please don’t mistake this as a rebuke. I bow down to the magnificent power of country music megastar Garth Brooks, and his ability to hoodwink hundreds of thousands of people and make millions of dollars even amidst an unprecedented pandemic and economic disparity.
Similar to the recent move by Lady Antebellum to change their name to Lady A, the concern with The Chicks is not the name change specifically, but the slippery slope it presents toward what language can and will be deemed as problematic.
Neither Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, nor The Highwomen collectively have addressed the issue publicly, or directly. We still don’t know why Mickey Guyton felt she was “disinvited” from the shoot, whether it was the fault of “a giant miscommunication” or otherwise.