Midland’s Songwriter & Producer Pretty Much Just Admitted They’re Manufactured
One of the criticisms of Saving Country Music in its coverage of Midland has been that we shouldn’t be focusing on a band’s backstory, and instead should put our focus on the music. But that has been the fatal flaw of Midland itself. They’re the ones avoiding talk of the music in the press and elsewhere, and instead are focusing on their backstory, and foisting their image to the forefront. And the reason is because Midland didn’t write their own songs, and had little say in the music itself, which makes them uniquely unqualified to speak about it.
When most bands or artists are interviewed, they talk about the inspiration behind certain songs—the cathartic moments they had penning intimate details of personal moments they share with the public through rhyme and verse. But Midland can’t do that because the music is not theirs. That’s why the backstory has become the focal point in interviews and features for the band as opposed to the music itself.
And the more Midland and the band’s surrogates talk, the bigger the hole they dig for themselves. This is exactly what happened in yet another puff piece on the band in Tuesday’s online edition of the Los Angeles Times, which is such a cornucopia bursting with incredible morsels of ridiculous notions and succulent quotations that expose the true nature of this outfit, it’s almost like a gift basket from the country music gods of truth.
Most notable is a quote from Shane McAnally—Music Row’s current songwriter and producer extraordinaire, who among other dubious distinctions, is the puppetmaster behind Sam Hunt and Old Dominion. Along with co-penning seven of the song on the new Midland album On The Rocks, he also helped produce the effort. And his quote not only exposes just how manufactured Midland is, it’s so incredibly honest and illustrative, it really helps to expose the entirety of the Music Row machine.
“I feel like we manifested [Midland], because this is our playground, writing songs for a 1982 George Strait,” says McAnally. “When these guys walked in and were a vehicle for those kinds of songs, and also quite capable of writing them as well, it was like [the movie] ‘Weird Science,’ like, it wasn’t our design, but it’s almost like we put into a machine what we wanted, and out came Midland.”
You “manifested” Midland? You “put into a machine” what you wanted, “and out came Midland?” They “were a vehicle” and your “playground”? Good Christ this is a quote that will keep on giving for years to come when talk turns to how artists and bands are groomed and coached on Music Row until they’re nothing more than constructs of commercial opportunism.
How many times have you seen the way songs, albums, and artists are constructed in mainstream country referred to as being like products off a conveyor belt? And here is Shane McAnally—inarguably the hottest producer and songwriter in all of country music (and really all of music at the moment)—pretty much admitting to what we’ve been saying for years about the mainstream, and what we’ve been saying about Midland for the past few months is: they’re just a vessel for preformulated musical products as opposed to an original act born of inspired works.
Look, when it comes to most mainstream acts these days, whatever name you may see on the front of an album or beside the title of a single, they’re nothing more than a “vehicle” (as McAnally says) for producers and songwriters like Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, who also has a hand in a majority of the songs on Midland’s debut album. Mainstream music is no longer about the artist. It’s all about the producer, and this is also true in pop, R&B, and hip-hop. Shane McAnally is the Max Martin of country music.
A lot of folks have wondered why a fan favorite song of Midland’s called “Fourteen Gears” did not make the new record. In fact at one point it was announced as Midland’s second single after “Drinkin’ Problem,” and even had a video released for it that has garnered nearly 2 million views. So where did it go? The answer is that “Fourteen Gears” was most likely pulled last minute after the commercial success of “Drinkin’ Problem” because it was not part of the Music Row/Shane McAnally/Josh Osborne songwriting/producing machine, and those principals couldn’t profiteer from “Fourteen Gears” like they can the current single, “Make A Little,” which was written by Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne.
“Fourteen Gears” was written by Midland lead guitar player Jess Carson, with some help from Cameron Duddy and Mark Wystrach, and no involvement from the professionals. One of the biggest scourges on Music Row at the moment is the insistence of labels to only release singles when they have tried and true songwriting professionals in the credits like Shane McAnally. This keeps money flowing back into the machine through publishing houses, and keeps radio program directors on board since they see a name like McAnally and know a song has been optimized for radio play. This is the fundamental reason for the sameness currently plaguing country radio. There’s only one song out of the 13 on Midland’s new album On The Rocks that wasn’t touched by a top flight songwriting professional, and that’s “Check Cashing Country” written by Jess Carson.
And just as the music is manufactured, so is the backstory, with just enough truth interwoven in there to make the embellishments passably believable. Just as it takes an incredible 15 months to take a song from page to single on Music Row—making the mainstream country industry incredibly sluggish to adapt and maneuver to current trends—so goes how they market that song and artist to the public. The willing accomplices in the mainstream press are all handed the same bullet points, which in Midland’s case are:
- They’re a bar band
- They formed at a wedding for Cameron Duddy (that was covered in People)
- They paid dues in Austin (at Poodie’s–four shows)
- They were dirt poor before they were discovered
- They’re the real deal, not like the rest of Nashville
Why do you think we’ve now seen a dozen or more feature-length stories on Midland focusing on their four-show residency at Poodie’s outside of Austin, and talking about how tough Midland had it early in their career? It’s because that’s what the media is being told to convey in talking points, and they rebroadcast these talking points dutifully without ever questioning what they’re being told. You know why despite the countless puff pieces on Midland, we haven’t seen any such copy emerge from the Austin media market? It’s because the journalists in Austin know that four shows at Poodie’s is no big deal, they know Midland never paid their dues in Austin, and know just how much money you need to have to settle in Dripping Springs, TX as opposed to the more affordable portions of the Austin area.
READ: The Midland Authenticity Dilemma
And when all of this ridiculous Midland backstory began to be questioned by Saving Country Music and others, Midland was powerless to bail on it because they had no other plan. The one-sheets of talking points were already printed out. The puff pieces in Rolling Stone, Taste of Country, and the Los Angeles Times were already in the pipeline. It was like trying to turn a battleship around. And so they just kept talking the same bullshit, and still are today.
In the Los Angeles Times article, it states:
All three members of Midland had played in bands for most of their adult lives but also made ends meet in other ways. Wystrach, an Arizona native, picked up modeling and acting gigs, including a stint on the soap “Passions.” Duddy was making a living as a music video director, including an award-winning clip he co-directed with Bruno Mars for “24K Magic.”
The article’s author makes it sound like getting an acting job on a major broadcast soap opera, or producing videos for one of the biggest pop stars in the world and winning VMA Awards is tantamount to working at Subway. Many actors and video producers work their entire lives to never get the opportunities Mark Wystrach and Cameron Duddy received even before Midland was formed and foisted to the front of the line. That doesn’t mean they can’t make country music. Everybody has a right to make country music. But it’s how it is couched that makes it come across as so insincere and detached from the realities that individuals even in the upper middle class experience that you can’t help but to call bullshit.
The Los Angeles Times article even starts once again with the wedding story of how the band formed when if Midland had any good sense, they would avoid this issue, lest it’s brought up yet again that Cameron Duddy’s wedding, due to him being part of the Hollywood power elite, was covered in People Magazine. Again, any good country band with any good sense would have stricken that from the talking points months ago, and focused on something else.
And this Los Angeles Times article just keeps on giving. It explains again, mere paragraphs away from where the band grumbles about how hard they struggled, that Scott Borchetta and Bruno Mars were both hot on signing Midland, and were only kept out of a bidding war because Scott Borchetta “locked the door” with the band, and wouldn’t let them out. That’s because he saw that he could mold them into being his traditional country superstars that would get “purists” to shut the hell up, while also re-integrating all those disenfranchised traditional country fans back into the Music Row fold to maximize profits.
Scott Borchetta is even quoted in the article saying, “I always laugh when people go, ‘Oh man, the guy who tried to kill country music, actually signed a country band.’ It’s the funniest thing.” And with this quote, Scott Borchetta once again proves why he deserves the moniker of the Country Music Antichrist, with all due respect to Shane McAnally, who now is a very close 2nd. They’re both cackling all the way to the bank, as the ranks of traditional country fans lap up Midland as the real deal.
We started this entire Midland process about a year ago just a little a bit suspicious of this band. This was elevated to serious concern when they started pushing this hardship backstory hard and heavy into the run up to the release of their first single “Drinkin’ Problem.” And now with their most recent press, especially this story in the Los Angeles Times, they haven’t just exposed themselves, they’ve exposed the entire facade and fallacy of mainstream country by refusing to abandon their ridiculous sob story talking points, even when it started to earn them more criticism than favor.
And frankly, there are so many other tentacles to this story, like exactly why Cameron Duddy could barely afford to pay his mortgage during Midland’s nascent period, or Mark Wystrach’s supermodel girlfriend, that veers too much into speculation, and frankly, shit talking than I’m comfortable with. But if anything, there’s a good chance we haven’t spent enough time prying into exposing this sob story that Midland claims they emerged from instead of vice versa.
And I kind of feel sorry for lead guitar player Jess Carson, who actually seems like a guy who did pay some dues, and is getting unfairly swept up in all these concerns of Midland’s authenticity.
And in the Los Angeles Times piece, Midland does try to play humble.
“I’m not going to sit here and say, ‘Oh, poor us. We had it so tough,’ especially with everything in perspective that is happening these days,” Mark Wystrach says after the hounds of the past few days have made it essential to respond, and after he’s done that very thing in this interview and others. Yet then he goes on to say,
“But absolutely it’s been a struggle. We all went all in, we could have done something else and could have been more secure and more stable … Through the years, you build a camaraderie and a common respect for every musician that’s out there trying to make it. But the light at the end of the tunnel is the thing that pushes every musician — that dream of someday making it and getting to share your music with the world. That doesn’t happen to pretty much anybody and that’s not lost on us.”
But that’s everyone. We all struggle in our 20’s. We all spend periods in our lives living hand to mouth, and some more than others because our eyes are bigger than our pocketbooks, or due to perception because we’re born into privilege, not because of any true personal hardship. To Midland, playing four shows at Poodie’s to small crowds probably was a hardship, life-altering experience after the glitz of Hollywood and MTV’s Video Music Awards.
Midland could have been sold to the public as anything. They could have avoided talking about their past, like most mainstream artists do, and instead focused on the music. Who gives a shit what their past is, let’s hear the music. Anyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, geographic origination, class, religious background, or social status has the right to make country music. Let me repeat that, just because it continues to be glossed over with this issue. Anyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, geographic origination, class, religious background, or social status has the right to make country music.
Saving Country Music just in 2017 has championed the music of a neotraditionalist from New York City, a former advertising suit from sunny Los Angeles, Nudie-suited singers and pickers from Sweden, and even an anti Taylor Swift country music outfit from Iran. Respectfully, this is not just an argument about authenticity, it is an argument about truth, and the co-opting of a trend back to the roots of country music by Music Row’s most notorious and colossal money changers. It’s also not an argument about what is real country or not. Midland’s music is real country.
This feels very much like the arguments in 2014 surrounding Eric Church and his whole “Outsiders” movement, where it appeared he was fundamentally looking to use the image and the style of cool underground bands to incorporate into his marketing, and caused incredibly contentious arguments about the nature of authenticity, and the role of the industry in co-opting it for their own purposes. But many have forgotten about those fights, because eventually Eric Church brought it back to the music with his album Mr. Misunderstood, and is now one of the most lauded personalities in the mainstream by independent and traditional fans.
Midland’s narrative is just beginning, and it is a misstep in the marketing that has made them overshoot what should have been a moment of unity in getting behind the re-emergence of the roots of country in the mainstream. But the future is yet to be written. Nowhere will you see Saving Country Music accuse Midland of not having talent, or being incapable of making good country music. In fact, we don’t even know if we’ve seen the real Midland yet. It could be hiding under the layers of bullshit, buried just like “Fourteen Gears.” It could be struggling to get out, frustrated to have to be filtered through professional songwriters, media coaches, and image consultants.
Yet it was Midland’s insistence on continuing to push their sob story over and over, even as it was being eroded and exposed in the public, that has put them in a position of polarization. And now they have not only exposed themselves, they’ve helped expose the entire farce that is the mainstream country music machine that didn’t just build Midland up, but keeps scores of artists and bands that Midland was patterned after by Shane McAnally and others, struggling in obscurity.
And that is why there is continued animosity.
September 28, 2017 @ 11:58 am
In today’s climate of acceptance, does it really make any difference who the artist is? I don’t agree with gayness, for example, but I’m supposed to accept
September 28, 2017 @ 12:52 pm
September 28, 2017 @ 1:02 pm
September 28, 2017 @ 1:50 pm
What a horrible way to start off this discussion.
September 28, 2017 @ 3:06 pm
I just laughed so loud my dog got startled
September 28, 2017 @ 10:26 pm
how long have you been waiting to squeeze that into a conversation?
January 21, 2018 @ 10:20 am
i think they are awesome!
September 28, 2017 @ 11:59 am
These guys aren’t even that good, and I don’t care if it’s “better than everything else on the radio,” that’s not good enough. Someone needs to have the balls to step up and cut a real country record instead of this halfway-throwback hipster stuff we’re getting now.
September 28, 2017 @ 12:47 pm
Country Side Of Harmonica Sam had the balls.
September 28, 2017 @ 1:42 pm
Spot on. I don’t see the appeal. Fake drawls that aren’t believable, auto-tuned harmonies. I have been really suprised by all the “but the music is great!” comments on these past few articles. I agree that it is foolish to give praise to anything based on a very low bar of comparison….in this case, “country radio”.
January 11, 2020 @ 11:06 am
They sound exactly the same live.
Know your shit before you speak.
November 14, 2018 @ 7:18 am
You should check out the WOMEN in country who are doing authentic neo-traditional country like Ashely Monroe, Miranda Lambert, and Pistol Annies (yes, their band with Angaleena Presley). They’re amazing solo and together and are creating authentic music, real and soulful. They get little airplay on country radio (Miranda has brought this up in multiple interviews). Check out Monroe’s “Sparrow”, Labert’s “Weight of These Wings”, and Pistol Annie’s new album “Interstate Gospel”.
May 16, 2022 @ 5:25 pm
‘Fourteen Gears’ caught my attention just yesterday, and it’s about seven years out. I’m a musician, I have a ‘good ear’ and, all modesty aside, excellent taste. This song has been on loop play for me. It beaches the driftwood that most modern Country has become. It kicks ass sonically, even if the lyrics — which are great — are a bit hackneyed. A retro sound makes this an instant favorite that’s in for the long haul, no pun intended. It would be nice if there were a gritty story of ascent through the bar and festival scene, but this song is so catchy that I wouldn’t care if it were hidden from public knowledge that every member was a nine-figure trust fund brat. The bridge in this is perfect. I don’t like most of the neo-Country hit-factory offerings of today, but there’s also plenty of self-penned indie and alternative Country music out there that’s as bad as the shit churned out by Music Row’s formula machines
May 22, 2022 @ 5:27 pm
Hey, ass nugget! This song IS quite good. They have a few that aren’t at all bad. Somewhat unfortunately I checked out the Sonic Ranch video made back in 2014 when Midland was more of a tire-kicking venture than a committed band. In THAT I can absolutely sense some mildly nauseating hipster-like qualities in agreement with you, BUT, they don’t come to the surface in performances. Mark Wystrach’s speaking voice conjures visions of Broville, Abercrombie & Fitch shirts, and expensive skinny jeans, but he nails authenticity in singing, especially with ‘Fourteen Gears’. This tune could fit right in with other classic Country Trucker songs.
Much of Nashville’s output now is drivel, for sure, but these guys have the goods. They should have the girls and the pedal steel player in the band full-time, along with Davi — featured here somewhat in the background as well as in the Sonic Ranch video.
These guys are better than most, as subjective as that may be. All the greats had their day, and these guys do a good job of carrying the torch. They’d be criticized for being copycats if they were any closer to any predecessors that still had a resemblance to genuine Country.
September 28, 2017 @ 12:01 pm
In today’s climate of acceptance, does it really make any difference who the artist is? I don’t agree with gayness, hipsters, liberals, pussies or whoever, for example, but I’m supposed to be open to their music, right? If some musician puts out great music but is totally fake, what’s the difference?
September 28, 2017 @ 12:26 pm
So you’re a dude who doesn’t agree with gayness, but you also don’t agree with pussies, so . . .
September 28, 2017 @ 1:25 pm
You somehow managed to preach tolerance while revealing yourself to be completely intolerant of many people. Wow.
September 28, 2017 @ 1:56 pm
Yep John…you’re screwed both ways. Matt…I just thought I’d try liberal logic for a change…based on the fact that it’s contradictory, I’d say I’ve managed to succeed.
September 28, 2017 @ 2:07 pm
Sounds like you’ve got a “liberal logic” ax to grind and plenty of fallacies to go with it.
September 28, 2017 @ 5:58 pm
Cool…Sounds like I got it perfect then.
September 28, 2017 @ 3:42 pm
The fuck does liberalism and conservatism have to do with this?
September 28, 2017 @ 5:56 pm
What it has to do is…If you heard some really cool music, then found out that the people performing it we’re a bunch of fags, would you stop listening to it?
September 29, 2017 @ 11:01 am
@Kevin Wortman You forgot to add “not that there’s anything wrong with that!”.
September 28, 2017 @ 2:32 pm
I bet you’re fun at parties.
September 28, 2017 @ 3:30 pm
You seem like a moron to me, Kevin.
September 28, 2017 @ 4:36 pm
You agree with stupidity, though. Or at least it agrees with you.
September 29, 2017 @ 6:00 am
Ooh Kevin, I’m sure you have a hidden folder on your computer of the midland guy posing in his underwear for that private time late at night. It’s ok, most of us won’t judge as it doesn’t affect us one way or another.
September 28, 2017 @ 12:20 pm
I’ve long thought about candidates for Country Music Antichrist, but kept coming back to Garth Brooks. Thank you for widening the field.
September 28, 2017 @ 12:21 pm
Who’s ready for the new Turnpike Troubadors’ record? ME!
September 29, 2017 @ 11:44 am
The three songs released so far, specifically “Old Time Feeling” and “Sunday Morning Paper,” are so freaking good.
September 28, 2017 @ 12:22 pm
The Village People of country music
The Goddess of Country Rock
September 28, 2017 @ 1:07 pm
That’s who I compared them to when I saw a few YouTube videos of them performing a few different concerts. An all cowboy country version of the Village People.
September 28, 2017 @ 1:45 pm
Yeah. Maybe if they ever form a full band, they can have a drummer who dresses like a Native American, full headdress and all. Get a real cowboys and indians vibe. Seriously though, it will be interesting to see if their costumes lead their fans to start playing dress up at their concerts. The last thing we need are a bunch of Luke Bryan bros and bro-ette’s parading around in parody cowboy costumes.
September 28, 2017 @ 12:22 pm
Fourteen Gears is fantastic. Great song.
September 28, 2017 @ 1:51 pm
I second this.
September 28, 2017 @ 5:33 pm
Thanks for the tip…i wemt and listened and i have to agree. Too bad its not on spotify…
September 28, 2017 @ 5:59 pm
“Hear that Peterbilt whine down the solid white … I’ve got fourteen gears to get you back in my arms”
explain. Peterbilt does not have a 14 speed transmission in their current inventory.
September 29, 2017 @ 3:14 pm
You know I thought the same thing. I never took the time to see if PACCAR offers a 14 speed in a Pete or KW, but it didn’t sound right. I can’t think of a 14 speed truck transmission of the top of my head. I do like the song, but I always got hung up on that detail.
September 29, 2017 @ 3:19 pm
Corncaster, after a little research on the old 13 speed road rangers, there’s a hidden gear between 4th and 5th. Technically he could be right on the 14 gears, but I doubt this is what he’s talking about. They don’t seem like truck driving men…
Roland of Gilead
September 29, 2017 @ 4:53 pm
Hey Farmer Brian,I brought the same thing up last night about the 14 speed and found out Spicer made a one sometime in the 70s I think.I just figured these guys were bullshitting that like they did their backstory
September 29, 2017 @ 6:21 pm
Interesting. My curiosity is getting the better of me. So after somebody more research, Volvo offers a 14 speed currently which is a 12 speed with low and low low. Mack also offers a 14 speed currently. I’d still bet my paycheck that they’ve never driven a semi truck.
January 11, 2020 @ 11:04 am
The song indicates they lost 4 years idiot!
September 28, 2017 @ 12:36 pm
Wasn’t Rascal Flatts created the same way? I like Midland. It’s not like they are Minilli Vanilli. These guys sing their songs. I for one think it’s funny that they tweeked a good back story on them.
September 29, 2017 @ 11:03 am
I don’t think Rascal Flatts were quite on a similar path, as far as being put together by a label. Lead singer Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus are cousins who performed together in nightclubs in Nashville. Jay was also Chely Wright’s bandleader and Joe Don Rooney was lead guitarist for Chely. When Gary and Jay needed a guitar player for one of their gigs, they invited Joe Don which ultimately led to the banding of Rascal Flatts.
October 10, 2017 @ 1:57 pm
I don’t think you can be more manufactured than Rascal Flatts. I remember when they firs came out they were Nashville’s version of a boyband.
September 28, 2017 @ 12:39 pm
Well that Jess fella writes pretty good songs from the two examples we have. It will be interesting to see if this facade blows up in music row’s face and Midland continues as a band without those fuckin’ buzzards. Highly doubtful, but I don’t see them making another album unless we are literally the only people that care.
September 28, 2017 @ 12:48 pm
They need to get rid of that disgusting 80’s look. They look like a bunch of child molesters. They are just a bunch of fake ass clowns, i knew from day one it was all fake the very first time i heard about them. Most people do not pay attention to artists like we do, they just listen to the music and dont care about anything else. Midland’s music is great and very country, but i will not be buying the album because i hate liars and people who tell false stories about “how hard they worked to get in this position”.
September 28, 2017 @ 1:20 pm
Their look isn’t reminiscent of any decade in Country Music history. It sorta combines multiple decades in a way.
What their look is, is what urban people think Country people all look like, times 10.
Still, I love their songs. My main problem with their music is Mark Wystrach’s failed attempt at drawl.
September 29, 2017 @ 8:51 am
If anything it is 70s, cosmic cowboy,, not 80’s.
July 15, 2018 @ 2:15 pm
Their look is stolen straight form the flying burrito brothers. 1969The Glided Palace of Sin. Ever heard of Gram Parsons? Sneaky Peat? Chris Hillman? Bernie Leadon?The guys who created the country rock sound!
December 14, 2017 @ 8:00 pm
The 80s look is awesome
September 28, 2017 @ 12:59 pm
Their songs are acceptable if unexceptional but seems like part of a larger trend of music and everything else being highly constructed and marketed today. From art to clothes to music – every cool, organic trend is immediately co-opted by strategic marketers/producers and made into something more palatable to their target consumers. There is no vulnerability and no risks in their music – it all seems pretty predictable an inoffensive. The saddest part to me is not the false narrative about their lives they are trying to promote but how they are part of a larger trend that is making everything so freakin bland.
September 28, 2017 @ 6:17 pm
Trying to appeal to everybody usually results in appealing to nobody- Music Row.
September 29, 2017 @ 9:07 am
Exactly. You got to the point much quicker than I did.
September 28, 2017 @ 1:04 pm
I think they look ridiculous and I don’t believe any of this hype about “struggling” to make it…but honestly, I don’t care. I like their songs and they have decent music. They can do whatever marketing they want, still don’t care. Are they overdoing it? Probably. Are they creating a problem for themselves? Sure seems like it. But they are trying to get noticed, create and buzz and garner attention – to do that, you usually need a good story. So they are using this as “the story”. It’ll eventually fade into obscurity and perhaps Midland will too – we shall see.
September 28, 2017 @ 1:15 pm
I for one don’t really care about their whole “fake backstory” thing and their album is fine. Not amazing but not terrible either in my opinion. The only thing I have an issue with in this article is the suggestion that the band didn’t write their own songs. According to the notes, at least one band member contributed to writing every song on the album. I’m not stupid and obviously McAnally, Osborne etc. have also contributed to those songs so who’s to say how much of the material by the band made it into the final song but I think it’s a bit unfair to say they don’t write their own songs.
September 28, 2017 @ 1:24 pm
Guy Terrifico was fake as well but the music was great…so there you go
A. Michael Uhlmann
September 28, 2017 @ 1:30 pm
They are artificially created like the rest of the bunch – who cares? They aren’t the first ones and will not be the last ones. It was always something record companies did, even in the past – Brooks & Dunn anyone, put together by the record label, Garth to a certain degree. And the images are probably fake with all of them by now, there is the stylist, the lifestyle consultant, the song plugger and on and on…
A well-known Nashville artist was amused by my deep knowledge of country music and the ability to hear a hit and match song to the artist. The artist asked me to pick ten songs out of around 300 demos. The record company intervened, end of story. And that was in the 80s.
Trigger what you are dreaming about is the “Golden Time” of the 50s and 60s and even then it was mostly producers who had the say. Cowboy Jack Clement is famously known to have put the horns in Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” Chet Atkins anyone.
If you want authenticity you gotta go back to 1927 and I’m sure Ralph Peer told the hillbillies what he likes and what he wanted to be recorded.
If you want authenticity, go to your little honky tonk around the corner and listen to local bands.
September 28, 2017 @ 6:14 pm
Thank you. Trigger sounds like a little baby who wishes he could make music. Enjoy that Midland isn’t making shit trash country that the rest of Nashville has been making for the past ten years.
Midland is one of the reasons I came back to country music after 5+ years away, along with Stapelton, Ryan Cook, Sturgil, East, Lund and Cody Jinks.
September 28, 2017 @ 1:36 pm
I thought it was a movie poster for Dallas Buyers Club.
September 28, 2017 @ 1:48 pm
That’s real damn good. LOL!
Save Austin Country
September 28, 2017 @ 1:38 pm
Anyone that lives in the Austin Area knew this the day they debuted for this year’s SXSW and claimed they were Dripping Springs based. I love their sound. It’s refreshing and it is what the mainstream desperately needs right now. Just let the angle go Trigger. Music Row got this one right regardless of the backstory and this is coming from someone who loves Sturgill and Cody Jinks. I prefer their music to Colter Wall no offense to Colter I just don’t care for his sound. Your litmus test is getting smaller and smaller. I love some of the reviews you did the past year but some of the ones you were high on I thought the albums/artists were meh and some put me to sleep
September 28, 2017 @ 1:56 pm
“I love some of the reviews you did the past year but some of the ones you were high on I thought the albums/artists were meh and some put me to sleep.”
Well, that’s the nature of opinion. I give my opinion, you give yours. It doesn’t make either one right or wrong. If you think my job is to reinforce your opinions or be agreeable with you, you’ve come to the wrong place. In fact if everyone is agreeing with me all the time, I’m probably not doing my job right. Sometimes it takes people willing to sacrifice their standing in popular opinion to get the truth out there.
September 29, 2017 @ 9:50 am
I agree in the sense that anything traditional that comes through the Music Row Machine risks coming out looking worse than Brundlefly. This is about as good as it’s gonna get.
But let Trashville have the Monkees. We’ll stick with the Beatles–until the next Beatles comes along.
(And, apologies to Don Kirshner, Midland is better than the Monkees IMHO.)
September 28, 2017 @ 1:45 pm
September 28, 2017 @ 1:50 pm
But I don’t understand what’s wrong with striving after a particular sound and era, and that’s all McAnally was saying. Yes, there’s a money angle, a marketing angle. If it’s what they love and hope to manifest (yes, manifest), then I’m fine so long as it’s done with competence and excellence.
September 28, 2017 @ 1:54 pm
Well you guys can go fuck yourselves, I bought their CD.
September 28, 2017 @ 1:58 pm
Love Trumps Hate
September 29, 2017 @ 8:36 am
Trump Hates Love
September 29, 2017 @ 6:17 pm
September 28, 2017 @ 2:08 pm
This is all getting real old and redundant.The music is still closer to the solution than the problem. No matter how many articles you repeat yourself in over and over some of us will still love it and some of YOU will still hate it and bitch about it. It’s not like they’re playing these tunes as much as Body Like A Backroad on the radio. 99% of people don’t care about the back story of anyone. They listen to the radio on the way to and from work and if they like the song they go see the person or people who sing it play it live. Most could give a fuck who wrote it. Either way the world will keep turning and Country radio will keep sucking with or without Midland. I’d rather have it suck with em!
May 22, 2019 @ 11:58 am
You are so right with your comment. Agree 100%
September 28, 2017 @ 2:08 pm
this is WAY OFF BASE. i completely read the quote from Shane a different way — saying that he has been dying to write songs of this sound/caliber for a while but hasn’t had the vehicle (a band like Midland) to do it and make it work. So here comes the right band — with the style and vibe to make it all work together — COMBINED with the songwriting of Shane to create amazing music. he didn’t manufacture them or the sound — ‘check cashin country’ for example was written solely by Jess Carson of Midland — and fits right into the sound/vibe of Midland because they are authentically themselves every hour of every day.
September 28, 2017 @ 3:45 pm
Note, too, he acknowledged that they can write these songs. I don’t know. I kinda like them. Hell, Gram Parsons made up that whole story about his grandma while singing on the Opry. Let the music talk. At least it’s a good listen and authentic in its style.
September 28, 2017 @ 5:40 pm
“call it a problem, I call it a solution” isn’t exactly letting your inner Shakespeare run wild
McAnally is a pop writer, nothing more
you can listen to infinitely better more swingin stuff, so this fawning over McAnalland is a waste of time
September 29, 2017 @ 3:32 am
Nothing wrong with a little pop country, so long as its real country. I don’t have the mentally energy to listen to Isbell and colter wall exclusively. I Need some beer drinking music.
September 28, 2017 @ 2:29 pm
Would’ve been cool if they just played this Jess Carson dudes songs and tried to make it. But this is the problem: they see no issue in networking themselves into the establishment. To them, this corporate success is ‘making it’.
I can’t really think of an analogy. But it’s kind of like writing check-out genre fiction, and getting moderate success, but pretending your writing literary fiction. (I recognize there is some classism in there, but focus on the point not the example) Or a journalist writing celebrity pieces about Trump/Melania, thinking they were a serious political expose writer. Or a successful soap actor comparing themselves to Daniel Day-Lewis–or George Strait.
What really gets me, is why this Jess Carson guy goes along with it. Where’s the integrity of playing McAnally’s songs when you can write your own that are just as good? I hope that there is some infighting about this, but at this point that’s probably wishful thinking.
September 28, 2017 @ 2:47 pm
The analogy I can think of is of a lying politician
A hypothetical man from West Virginia runs for governor, with a great platform and a great message, is charismatic, everything you would want currently in a politician. Him and his people all keep talking about his background growing up in coal country and years spent toiling in the mines, the every day struggles of the common worker. Then we find out that his dad is actually a real estate developer, and after spending his gap year travelling in Europe, he spent 2 weeks at the mines getting his hands dirty. This man would have to drop out of the race immediately, we wouldn’t accept his message with a fabricated story like that.
I dont think anyone would care, myself included, if Midland was a few rich guys with connections, who were manufactured into a country band that made good traditional music, if they were upfront about who they were, or if nothing was ever said about their backstory. Then it would be about the music
Most people understand that some people have connections and short cuts to the front of the line. That’s ok, it’s when those people start trying to sell you that the short cut didnt exist, is where the fraud comes in
September 28, 2017 @ 7:11 pm
That’s the beef, quit trying to say you had it hard when you didn’t. That’s all trigger is trying to say. They got called out on it and just double down instead or admitting they had a shortcut to the top. If they had just said it from the get go we wouldn’t care half as much.
September 29, 2017 @ 10:46 pm
Exactly. Had they told the truth, and then let the music speak for itself, they would have no problems. But they lied, and they keep on lying, and personally I refuse to support liars.
September 28, 2017 @ 3:00 pm
He’s country to the core
September 28, 2017 @ 3:11 pm
That is terrible. Off key again. I am seriously wondering if Big Machine has a warehouse of trolls that found SCM and are the ones singing Midland’s praises on here.
September 28, 2017 @ 3:56 pm
I could be wrong but I think Craig’s being sarcastic.
September 28, 2017 @ 4:00 pm
Yes, I think he was as well. I was agreeing with him.
September 28, 2017 @ 4:04 pm
September 28, 2017 @ 4:15 pm
No drawl in this video. Busted.
September 28, 2017 @ 5:43 pm
September 28, 2017 @ 3:01 pm
OK you guys are plain strange to me. When I get mycountry music career off the ground, I’ll tell you this right now, There is no way I’m putting 100 hours of smelly honky tonk bar time in with a bunch of smelly drunkards throwing stuff onto the stage while I’m singing. But you people say over and over again that’ you lonly respect the person who had to drag herself through hell to make a buck. So there will be videos circulating that I create myself of weird bars and messed up audiences giving me disrespect so I can prove it to ya’all that I’m true to the country music way of life. If it’s what you require to get you singing decent music, then that’s what I’m gonna do!
September 29, 2017 @ 7:08 pm
Where in this Comments section did you read that we “…lonly respect the person who had to drag herself through hell to make a buck. “? The beef some of us have with this band is not that they didn’t put in the time, it’s that they created an unnecessary false narative.
September 30, 2017 @ 9:42 am
It’s true, Madwolfe. My only real experience with honky tonks and their bars was the scene in the movie Thelma and Louise. Don’t think you’re there to let down your hair and have fun ladies. You’re there to get bum rushed off the stage. It doesn’t make me any more inauthentic country style. But I got this feeling you’re going to try to railroad my country sing songwriting career if I tell you I might be country but I stay away from you people in wonky, honky tonk bars. What happens to you people when there are no women going into bars?
September 30, 2017 @ 9:56 am
A false narrative, Madwolfe is similar to a man getting married to a woman and starting a family, only to learn that man actually has 5 other wives in 3 states. It’s that bad for you people. It’s like a man getting a woman to have an affair only to learn he’s married with two kids, or even better he’s gay, married, has a gay lover man who is also married and both men have kids with their wives. These kinds of narratives should definitely be revealed, especially if the man is also in the public eye and these kinds of morals are involved. But underwear models and soap stars singing country songs for the radio and mugging for publicity shots just makes me smile. It doesn’t look like they are trying to be sincere and authentic singer songwriters to me. It doesn’t look like they are lying to the public. They are humorously feeding your righteous opinion of what is needed to make a badass country star. If you think for one minute I’m going to spend one minute singing on one of those honky tonk stages you got a big fisting coming to your face! That’s all I have to say on the matter. Leave the boys of Midland alone!
September 30, 2017 @ 10:07 am
You’re wearing me out, Ginger. Less is more.
September 30, 2017 @ 10:52 am
Whoa, lighten up Ginger. I personally thought you were out of your element, though no fault of your own. You were just out for a 3- hour tour and got ship wrecked with a bunch of knuckle dragging Neanderthals. Mary Ann was way more suited for roughing it on a deserted island…..or a honky tonk for that matter.
October 1, 2017 @ 1:10 am
Who’s she calling “you people”?
September 28, 2017 @ 3:09 pm
It’s odd to me that nobody has addressed the fact that these guys are not that great of singers, out of the studio. The harmonies are pretty consistently slightly off-key, and you can tell that the lead singer is struggling at many points in his range. Also, why do they need so many damn guitars for such a simple arrangements? Here is an example.
And the backup high pitched moaning in the link below is just atrocious. I am shocked at all the people giving these guys a pass just because they are better that the Sam Hunts of the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZBxCY5BXv4
September 28, 2017 @ 4:14 pm
I haven’t listened to much of Midland’s stuff, the few I did listen to I thought were just meh. But seeing those live videos and Craig’s above, yikes. The vocals are rough. Maybe I’m not remembering croorectly but aren’t they supposed to be known for their three part harmonies or something? If so, that’s seems like it was an over ambitious selling point by Big Machine.
September 28, 2017 @ 4:18 pm
September 28, 2017 @ 4:35 pm
Yeah. I they are heavily selling the harmonies. They look so uncomfortable up there its almost hard to watch.
September 29, 2017 @ 8:09 am
Thank you! The harmonies are horrible on any live video I’ve seen. They also need all those guitars up there to hide the fact that they can hardly play them. Jess Carson is supposed to be the “lead guitar” player but he can’t play lead. They have the 4th Beatle in there playing all the lead licks.
September 29, 2017 @ 12:17 pm
Wow, those videos do not paint these guys in a good light.
One true musician in the group, and he’s not pretty enough to be in the pictures.
Painfully obvious they don’t know what they’re doing besides making money.
“Any time I fall in love with a girl I take her down to Mexico” – wut????
September 28, 2017 @ 3:17 pm
Having re-read this post and talked about it with my brother, I really don’t see the problem. The McAnally quote is as harmless as it gets, and I’m hardly a fan of McAnally. If Music Row wants to “manufacture” 1982 George Strait and sell it to the masses, then thank God. The criticism is just silly at this point, and I hope Trigger gives it a rest. If they were talentless hacks, then I could understand. They’re not, and it’s about time for the full resources of Music Row to get behind a project with this much quality.
September 29, 2017 @ 8:11 am
Can you explain where you see the talent here in these guys? Not picking at you, just curious where you see the talent and I don’t.
September 29, 2017 @ 12:06 pm
Well, even Trigger said they were talented in this post. I think it’s a fairly obvious thing. The lead singer has a good country voice (somewhat evident on “Drinkin’ Problem” but very evident on several other tracks), and all three harmonize very well, suited to the strong emphasis on melody throughout the album. Based on live video clips, they are capable of pulling it off outside of the studio, and I will see if that’s the case next month when they open for Jon Pardi in Charlotte. As for the album, both the songwriting and the production is consistently of high quality, thanks to Music Row actually doing something right for a change. The production quality is especially noteworthy in our day of over-processed and urbanized wizardry. I’m currently listening to Shania Twain’s new album (came out today), and I don’t know if I can make it to the end. The production is offensive to anyone with an ear to hear. I don’t know how the album got green-lighted.
September 29, 2017 @ 12:14 pm
Ah, I just saw that someone posted immediately above that their vocals and harmonies are off outside of the studio. That may be the case, and I’ll revise my opinion accordingly. Like I said, I’ll see them open for Pardi, so I’ll have the chance to hear them first-hand. After that, I’ll have a much better informed opinion of their talent.
September 29, 2017 @ 2:39 pm
Pretty jealous you’ll see Pardi- cmt tour doesn’t come anywhere near Phoenix and he did a great job opening for Kip Moore last year. Enjoy!
September 30, 2017 @ 5:20 pm
Dude, I’m also listening to Shania Twain’s new album, and I was totally disappointed.
January 9, 2019 @ 5:52 am
Spot on there bro.
September 30, 2017 @ 5:33 pm
Midland just shared a Wide Open Country text about the band’s authenticity text.
I think they are good musicians with great songs from the real country. I think it would be cool if Shania Twain did a song along with Midland. It would be like going back to the roots with a modern band.
October 1, 2017 @ 8:44 am
WTF is this shit?
September 28, 2017 @ 3:43 pm
Bullshit backstory aside, I’m kind of on the fence about their music. I’m generally not a fan of 80s-90s country, but they do that style pretty damn well. That being said, I’m not sold on Wystrach as a vocalist; I feel like he probably does have a nice voice, but his singing/phrasing comes off as very stiff to my ears. Of course, my favorite band is Lucero, and Ben Nichols can’t carry a tune in a bucket, so I’m not necessarily qualified to critique singing styles.
September 28, 2017 @ 6:12 pm
I reckon those are top flight session players, not those three strummers. Listen to their live appearances. It’s not “their” music on any level. This is bad for country music.
September 30, 2017 @ 5:31 pm
Midland just shared a “wide open country” text about the band’s authenticity text.
I think they are good musicians with great songs from the real country. I think it would be cool if Shania Twain did a song along with Midland. It would be like going back to the roots with a modern band.
September 28, 2017 @ 3:47 pm
I wish they’d stop lying, but I don’t really care where they come from. And if I didn’t listen to anything McNally had his hand in, I couldn’t listen to Miranda or Kacey M either. George Straight used song writers too.
Some of your criticism makes sense, but some of this feels like a step to far, just to criticize.
September 28, 2017 @ 4:12 pm
I don’t recall criticizing performers solely for using songwriters. I agree that would be a step too far.
September 28, 2017 @ 6:09 pm
My mistake, I interpreted they are talking about backstory bc they have no personal connection to songs (paraphrase) as a shot.
March 12, 2019 @ 5:40 pm
Yea he could’ve stopped like 2-3 paragraphs in. “Trigger’s” sister must have gotten plowed by the whole band. He’s clearly got a grudge.
September 28, 2017 @ 4:33 pm
They look like they went to the douche bag outlet mall and let a blind three year old pick out their outfits. I’ll pass.
September 28, 2017 @ 4:39 pm
Big Machine has linked to an article in the Washington Post with the headline: ‘An underwear model and his pals just dropped the year’s best country album.’ The short review doesn’t mince words about their backstory at all. Big Machine even called it a great article.
What stung me here isn’t how fake these guys truly are, but the fact that mainstream Nashville uses cuts by Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and others in place of songs without them in order to guarantee airplay. I’m shortsighted and hadn’t realized that. It begs an extremely off-topic question: how has Kelsea Ballerini gotten away with releasing ‘High School’ if she wrote it solo? I feel an article about the cool reception to her sophomore album may be coming down the pipeline…
September 28, 2017 @ 5:52 pm
Notice that this article was posted in the “Style” section, not the “Arts” or “Music” section. With such objectivity as, “Frontman Mark Wystrach is a former Calvin Klein underwear model so preposterously hot you’ve already stopped reading this sentence to go Google him…” it’s becoming patently clear that one of the reasons we’re seeing such reams of unquestioned promotional copy coming from what are supposed to be objective outlets has do to a raging fandom and fascination the media has with these guys.
October 2, 2017 @ 6:24 am
Interestingly enough, the writer is Chris Richards, who I think is their main pop music writer. I remember him being very dismissive of Chris Stapleton when he broke through after the CMAs, winning awards and accolades that he would have rather seen the “visionary” Sam Hunt get. Now all of a sudden, he’s enthusiastic about Midland’s traditional country sound. Curious.
September 28, 2017 @ 4:53 pm
Someone really wants to get their point across, eh? I agree, this is growing into a very tiring subject. Whether the band and record label are truthful or not, its NOT changing how people feel about music. Theyve said it themselves, they were in the right place at the right time. I think everybodys having trouble accepting these guys because theyve been priviliged and didnt have a hardscrabble history but who freakin cares! Like you said in an earlier comment, who knows what the future brings for Midland but i do hope they can drop all the crap around them and let their talent truly shine. Sadly this has happened to alot of talented people in Nashville. So i am convinced that their backstory is bogus, (hard not to be being a regular on this site) but me and several others aint enjoying On the Rocks and the excellent 14 gears, any less. To tell the truth, i dont think these guys ever stood a chance with purists in the long run. And i do hope it is a long run, maybe even a chance to redeem themselves of the unwarranted negativity on them.
September 28, 2017 @ 6:07 pm
Look, I totally understand that when you post about a certain topic numerous times in a short period (though my Midland coverage has been quite limited compared to other subjects), fatigue sets in with regular readers, especially for an outlet that is a one man operation such as my own where you don’t have a bunch of other article being posted to dilute the attention from one particular subject. And I most certainly knew that would be the case before posting this article after similar experiences with Eric Church, Shooter Jennings, Taylor Swift, and many others.
But the article in the Los Angeles Times, and with another article posted this evening in The Washington Post, clearly Big Machine is working aggressively to reinforce their narrative behind Midland, seeing that a counter-narrative is gaining some traction. As I said at the very beginning of this article, my coverage is simply a response. It is Midland who won’t let the subject die and move on. We’re in the midst of a spirited debate about the nature of authenticity and how Midland fits into that, and I think this is a healthy dialogue that we should engage in. And if I steer clear from continuing to offer my own counterpoints and perspective, then the prevailing thought will be whatever Midland and Big Machine want it to be, as opposed to a more objective perspective inferred by both sides. There was also a piece by Marissa Moss in Rolling Stone today, and Jeremy Burchard is working on something about this as well that will likely be posted soon. Not responding, not engaging, is tantamount to folding my hand before the cards have even been dealt.
I’m already on record saying that I think Midland’s music is a sum positive for country, and no amount of debate on the how’s and why’s they got here will change that. But I just want the public to know there is a second side to this coin. I don’t want to see the embellished marketing coming from this band go unchallenged. This is a deep fight that has aroused a lot of interest and passionate thoughts from a lot of folks, which is good. It may not be a subject for everyone, and some folks may not want to see all the back and forth, which is understandable. But I think this is an important subject, and I will cover it as long as I feel it is important, regardless of how popular the subject or my opinions are.
And eventually, we’ll get back to all agreeing that the music of Midland is better for country than worse.
September 29, 2017 @ 10:58 pm
Trigger, don’t you dare let up. It isn’t cool for people, or companies, to lie to you and manipulate you, and that is exactly what is happening here. Their refusal to step up and set the record straight is just doubling down on failure and as such they deserve all the negative ramifications that they get as a result.
September 28, 2017 @ 5:13 pm
So Midlands story is kind of like the show “Nashville” where actors that can sing pretend like they are country music singers?
Roland of Gilead
September 28, 2017 @ 6:10 pm
The “Fourteen Gears”song is pretty good ,but as someone who drives trucks for a living ,I don’t know of any with 14 gears.Most trucks have 9,10,13,15,or 18 speed transmissions.
P.S. The other songs I’ve heard by these guys are just kinda meh in my opinion.
September 28, 2017 @ 6:21 pm
I haven’t frequented truck stops in a while. Are there still lot lizards out there? A few years back, I saw one fall out of a rig in the parking lot. Her high heels fell off. In one motion, she scooped them back up and climbed into the next rig over. Pretty impressive….
Roland of Gilead
September 28, 2017 @ 6:30 pm
Yeah there can be in some places,but I drive a day-cab so most don’t bother me.I googled 14 speed transmissions and Spicer made one at some point,but I’ve never shifted a Spicer transmission in my life.Every truck I’ve ever driven had a Eaton-Fuller transmission so that explains my ignorance about the 14.
September 28, 2017 @ 6:47 pm
Their songs don’t sound too bad – but I agree, there’s no need for them to fake their backstory. Good music is good music regardless of who it comes from – the lack of authenticity is an affront to those artists who are writing from their experiences playing 200 shows a year on the road.
With that said – if you look them up on Spotify, the related artists are the Turnpike Troubadours, Whiskey Myers, Randy Rogers, and Flatland Calvary. So maybe some of those other bands will get more attention with Midland’s success.
Cool Lester Smooth
September 28, 2017 @ 7:06 pm
And, frankly, I doubt TT or Randy would be on that list if Midland weren’t pretending to be a “real” Texas Country Band.
Cool Lester Smooth
September 28, 2017 @ 7:04 pm
Dude, you included the part of the quote where McAnally says that Midland is “also quite capable of writing [80s Strait songs] as well”…and then proceed to completely omit that from your hawt taek on this article.
Similarly, you repeatedly elide over the fact that “14 Gears” is a fucking excellent song that sounds exactly like the McAnally/Osborne songs on the record, because it directly conflicts with the narrative you’re trying to push.
McAnally isn’t a “puppet master.” He’s a fixer, or a consultant. Sam Hunt songs without McAnally sound the same as ones without him…and the same goes for Brandy Clark songs.
I honestly think you’re letting your (entirely justifiable) rage at Borchetta’s using Midland to co-opt the Texas music narrative that guys like Mike and the Moonpies have actually lived (without seeing an iota of the financial awards) cause you to fall into the same trap that you’ve decried in previous articles about the Stapleton backlash.
I don’t care how fake they are (and Jess has clearly got some real fucking chops, independent of the underwear model and the music video director) or that they’re tools of the Nashville establishment.
I care that “The Machine,” or “That Nashville Sound” now believes that making good country music is the best way to make money.
September 29, 2017 @ 10:07 am
If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it still make a sound? Do you think John Prine had an affair with the Angel from Montgomery on his postal route, or do you think he was just ruminating about her life?
September 29, 2017 @ 10:09 am
If you see high heels roll out of an 18 wheeler at a truck stop are worried she’s a kidnap victim?
September 29, 2017 @ 10:25 am
I think that your last statement is a bit premature (that nashville now believes that making good country is the best way to make money). My guess is that the Midland phenomena will be short lived, partially because it is built on such a shoddy foundation. From what I have seen of Jess, he is certainly mediocre and struggles to sing on key in a live setting. Am I missing something?
Cool Lester Smooth
September 29, 2017 @ 10:31 am
You’re missing the fact that he’s written excellent songs that sound no different from the McAnally/Osborne ones Trigger is using as “evidence” that they have nothing to do with the music.
September 28, 2017 @ 7:08 pm
In the ” nothing to do with anything ” department ….
Jana Kramer , in my opinion , has one of the finest character-laced voices anywhere in county music right now ….and in fact could turn in an incredible ‘grass effort with her sound , her flawless pitch and phrasing.Her record was a solid showcase of that voice , if not a solid showcase for material . Its such a shame that singers of her capabilities and uniqueness get a couple kicks at the corporate can and if it doesn’t fly , it doesn’t fly . Anyone remember Jessica Andrews ( Who I Am )…? Amazing vocalist …HUGE song …here and gone . The road is absolutely littered with talented voices who for one reason or another couldn’t maintain a label’s support long enough to become as big as their talents deserved.
Anyway ….carry on with the Midland musings , kids . Just wanted to give a shout out to a GREAT vocalist who seems in danger of having her Music Row parking pass revoked .
September 28, 2017 @ 8:31 pm
Yawn. This, the story and comments, have all been said before.
September 28, 2017 @ 8:35 pm
gay or not. if they can sing and I like the sound. I will listen to it. music is music if its good. no matter who you are. but if its fake. for get it.
September 28, 2017 @ 10:38 pm
They should just trim up and let us see those bar codes on the back of their necks.
September 29, 2017 @ 5:08 am
The music is good and that’s what people are going to care about.
As for their look please god it’s got nothing to do with the 80’s or how urban people think country people dress like.
They are just going along with the East Nashville trend of delayed hipster/boho. Not the only ones either. Kacey Musgraves, all of Littl
September 29, 2017 @ 5:10 am
All of LBT. The Dobbs, Stapletons, Miranda is doing the whole fringes Hippy tour. It’s the dress code of country now.
September 29, 2017 @ 7:37 am
Music is weak. Don’t care what they look like. Another band of pusscakes for the “country” community.
They probably cry during and/or after sex. Flash in the pan, they’ll die off soon enough folks.
September 29, 2017 @ 8:07 am
I’ve stayed clear of anything Midland because they are the perfect example of image over music, style over substance. But I had some time this morning to read this article and Trig’s aborted review of the album and I couldn’t agree anymore.
I’m not supporting manufactured music from music row by three posers no matter how non offensive the music actually sounds. There’s way too much good music out there by more deserving artists that need my attention.
September 29, 2017 @ 8:29 am
September 29, 2017 @ 11:02 pm
September 30, 2017 @ 2:44 pm
I’m not “liking” it cause I agree. I’m liking it cause it’s funny!…lol (Your hashtag)
Truth as you guys see it.
September 29, 2017 @ 2:31 pm
Maybe they didn’t include “Fourteen Gears” because there’s a bunch of other songs about life on the road on On the Rocks. Not everything is a conspiracy.
September 29, 2017 @ 6:57 pm
“But all of these are concerns—though maybe warranted—still don’t seem to be able to erode the appeal of their music. Midland is just really great at what they do on this EP. You like it immediately, and can listen to it over and over. And whether you consider yourself a pure country fan or more Americana leaning, it’s still feels right down your alley.”
Those were Triggers words last November, and while he now believes the image outweighs the music, clearly not all agree. If anything, the fact that they all cowrote Fourteen Gears before being signed could be a sign that the persona they are putting forward isn’t as fake as their idiot publicists are making it. Look, I get the criticism because they have completely screwed up the image side of this but go back to that song which was pre-Big Machine and you will see a lot of the same as what you see on the EP and LP. I would also recommend checking out the below interview right after they signed with BMLG. Not only do I believe it is a slightly more accurate picture of them (although you can already see the embellishing starting), it also does show that Fourteen Gears was going to be their single originally, it seems even BEFORE Drinkin’ Problem.
September 29, 2017 @ 7:33 pm
I think some of you, and the critics are over-thinking this record. If you like it then listen to it and enjoy it. If you don’t then drop it in your trash bin. I would prefer that these guys had a legit back story, or at least a hard luck story we can empathize with, but they don’t. But the truth is it’s a really good country record. Better than 99% of the shit on the radio. It’s more country than Sturgill’s last two records and isbell’s or even the turnpike troubadours. Not quite Cody jinks, but really good. Drinkin’ Problem is a great song. If you go to someone’s back yard BBQ and they serve you one of the best steaks you’ ve ever had, then you find out they bought it at Walmart, does that change your opinion of the steak you just had. IF it does then the problem isn’t with the steak, the problem might be that you’re an elitist hypocrite that cares more about labels than the product.
October 5, 2017 @ 1:27 pm
I think it would be more comparable to being served a Walmart steak that looked and tasted like a Walmart steak, but everyone was telling you it was Japanese A5 wagyu ribeye and then when you said “no, it’s Walmart” they shoved the steak down your throat and made you eat it and told you how good and legit the steak was – when in reality you wouldn’t actually care if it was a Walmart steak if it tasted good.
September 29, 2017 @ 9:44 pm
I haven’t heard their music until today. Not bad and I will check them out further. Regarding their backstory maybe I’m just getting to old to care. If the music is good, it’s good. Their look no big. On one end you have bro-country in tight jeans and t-shirts. And on the other “country” end you have a lot of new artists with long beards. As Joey and Rory sang “play the song, play the song let the people decide if the music is right or wrong.”
September 29, 2017 @ 10:01 pm
Reading the comments here makes Midland (and, in many ways, current America) make total sense: Many Americans don’t care about authenticity any longer.
If it sounds good, provides an easy answer, or is an easy target, then folks don’t really look or care what is behind it. This applies to politics (strangely applied above) to judging others to music: authenticity is too hard for a lot of folks.
Borchetta & McNalley don’t wanna actually go search for a bar band in Georgia that’s been kicking around forever, writes their own music and may not look great in their skivvies. That takes time, tons of demoing, etc. They’re betting on the Stapleton-ish trend toward trad country can go further but the girls want hot guys and cute clothes. So bingo, these guys fit the Gram Parsons suits and they’re happy to play ball and create a Duddy/video director-written Wild West past. I think that’s sad, but it’s what it is.
The thing about it is, this site is called Saving Country Music. The entire premise of it (and I presume Trigger) is that authenticity is important in country music. I come here to read about Country Music sincerity and artists Trigger considers real and authentic. Check me if I’m wrong.
I think this is where I’m supposed to equate Midland with Donald Trump and inauthenticity…but I ain’t gonna do it.
September 29, 2017 @ 11:25 pm
Authenticity is extremely important. But it’s not the only thing. You’re right….the site is called saving country “music”, with music being the operative word. The site is not called saving the country artists image. Cody Jinks was the lead singer in a thrash metal band, people used to bash on Marty Stuart for his hair and no hat, Dwight Yoakam for his. Clothes and flamboyant ass-wiggling dance moves. It goes on and on depending on the generation. Waylon, Bocephus and Cash have all been criticized at one time or another for not being country enough Nkw, I’m not comparing these ass clowns to any of those artists,, and they probably will drop off the music universe and be tremembered as nothing more than a foot.note in a porter wagoner nudie suit, but the music is pretty good I’m ashamed to admit. I can’t define pornographic, but I know it when I see it, and I can’t define the country music sound, but I know it when I here it. Even though my eyes tell me different when I listen to some of those songs it’s without a doubt country. And I don’t think it’s damaging the brand. I don’t think these guys are making a mockery of the genre we love. I think they might be laughing a little with us and not at us. Having a bit of fun perhaps at their own expense. A little tongue in cheek because they look so rediculously over the top. Now I’m going to go put on a lefty frizelle record so I don’t feel so dirty.
September 29, 2017 @ 10:41 pm
I’m shocked at the number of ethically challenged people, who somehow think it’s ok to lie, and therefore are willing to support this face of a band.
Nashville has been lying to us for 20 odd years, selling us something that isn’t what they say it is. This is no different, except now that because you like the sound of the lie, it’s somehow acceptable?
No, it’s not. Principles…you either have them, or you don’t.
September 30, 2017 @ 12:59 pm
Please tell me you have never voted for a politician, Because if you have than you know lying is acceptable.
jessie with the long hair
September 30, 2017 @ 7:35 am
This shit cracks me up! Of course Brochette has his trolls on here taking up for his new product. He also obviously has, Rolling Stone Country writer, Marissa R. Moss on the payroll. This article: http://www.rollingstone.com/country/news/how-midland-epitomize-the-authenticity-debate-in-country-w505854
Is a direct response to Trigger’s criticism. They looked like they were playing “dress up” in their first photos but their new rhinestone suits are just fucking ridiculous. Sometimes people wear outfits and other times the outfits wear them.
I can’t wait to see how this plays out.
Again, I’m blown away that more people are talking about how bad they sing and play live. Go to YouTube and check out their acoustic sets or band sets. They fucking suck. They’re pretty and because they’re pretty and will play ball, Music Row gave them songs, production, and stylists.
It really is kind of like the Nashville tv show. Actors singing.
October 1, 2017 @ 9:46 am
All very true. They also seem to really struggle at playing the guitar parts as well.
September 30, 2017 @ 7:53 am
I have never heard Midland’s music but after reading this article I really don’t have any interest in listening to them. For me (and maybe many others), I care about authenticity in my life and Midland clearly isn’t authentic in any way. Who cares about the quality of the music if it is all built on lies?
In the recent Avett Brother’s movie “May It Last”, Scott Avett tells a story about playing their music in a Nashville corporate office for RCA. An executive from RCA told the band that RCA would like to sign them but they would have to agree to play other people’s songs to get on the radio. The band refused saying that they only play songs that they write. That decision by the band delayed their success by years but they weren’t interested in commercial success at the expense of being authentic. While many on this site might not like the Avett Brothers and clearly their music has evolved since signing with Rick Rubin, the band chose a path to success that was true. That’s the kind of music that I care about.
jessie with the long hair
September 30, 2017 @ 7:55 am
BTW, if you check out some of the radio interviews on YouTube, you can tell that the other two are getting uncomfortable how the they are getting pushed out of the spotlight. The interviews only want to talk to the underwear model. The good news for him is he can just hire new guys and still call it Midland when the current two get wise.
September 30, 2017 @ 12:32 pm
Anybody seen this?
September 30, 2017 @ 2:30 pm
H’mmm. Suddenly I don’t feel so bad about liking that record.
September 30, 2017 @ 11:55 pm
I decided before this piece was posted that I was done talking about this issue and it was time to move on. There are a lot of things in it I take great issue with, and I wish instead of making it all about me the writer would have kept it more on the issue itself and presented his side of the perspective. But I don’t see the value in volleyballing think pieces back and forth. I said my piece and I stand by my coverage of Midland 100%. It’s now time to turn the focus back on the music itself.
October 1, 2017 @ 9:53 am
Agreed. And from what I have seen of their live performances, the music itself just ain’t up to par.
October 5, 2017 @ 1:57 pm
If anything, I think his article just reinforced what you’re saying. Does he even know struggling Texas country bands who would KILL to play at Broken Spoke, Whitehorse and the Continental Club or the fucking RYMAN!! Or, open for Dwight and Willie within a few years of becoming a band? Who are playing in ACTUAL hole-in-the-wall bars every single weekend or night after working an 8 to 5 (not directing videos for Bruno Mars or modeling for Free People – but actual shitty jobs) just to hopefully have a handful of new facebook followers or enough spotify hits to get Austin “honky-tonks” to give them the time of day. Midland played those places not because they were struggling, they played them because their team knew exactly where they should go to add to the persona and act they’re trying to get people to believe. You could literally swap any of them out with a sub par musician and pretty face and have the exact same outcome. They’re rhinestone cowboys. Nudie wasn’t making glittering suits for the working man, he was making suits for Hollywood, which is what these guys are. And that’s FINE! They sound good, they have a cool look and if they like country music and enjoy playing it even better! But quit PRETENDING you’re something that you’re not. It’s not hard to understand.
September 30, 2017 @ 12:34 pm
i hope to god you meet them face to face one day…
jessie with the long hair
October 1, 2017 @ 7:16 am
It’s amazing to me that Macanally, Midland, and has to get Jeremy Burchard to take up for them!
jessie with the long hair
October 1, 2017 @ 7:21 am
Why do you hope to god they meet Trigger one day? Do you think they’re going to whip out some badass 1974 karate movie moves on him to go along with the porn mustaches? Why that wouldn’t be playing the music row game very well, now would it?
October 1, 2017 @ 9:56 am
Because trigger would be so overwhelmed with teenage – like enthusiasm if he saw the freaky Wystrach in person that he would scream like a little girl and take it all back. 😄. Especially if he had his shirt unbuttoned down to his six pack like he usually does. Oh. My. Gawd.
October 1, 2017 @ 9:57 am
*dreamy, not freaky. Maybe I am getting a little worked up myself!! Lol.
October 1, 2017 @ 7:49 am
“Hey Hey we’re the Midlands, and people say we Midland around! But we’re too busy counting….”
October 1, 2017 @ 10:00 am
This video is pretty good too. What a bunch of clowns. “Oh hey guys, here we are feeding the horses on our million dollar ranch we just bought. See, country”. Then the director / record label handler suggests they should play some wiffle ball shortless. Great idea! https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/zm3qpy/a-midland-documentary-in-this-economy-you-know-it-baby
jessie with the long hair
October 1, 2017 @ 10:52 am
This is unbelievable. They’re like the Dixie Chicks. The just won’t shut the fuck up about it! These guys looks and sound so fake. The bass player said the underwear model used to come to his shows and take notes and then he caught his fucking goofy lie and backtracked and said “well not literally.” I can’t believe they would include those little tale tale signs that they are phonies. Also, while the video looks live, it was obviously cut in a studio and doctored up in pro tools. Then they made the video.
October 1, 2017 @ 12:30 pm
I’m not a music expert, but I do find their sound appealing. To me a steel guitar makes up for a multitude of sins. Obviously, these guys are cheesing it up, strangely trying to mimic a 70’s aesthetic from ‘Dazed and Confused’ that really has nothing to do with Country Music. I may be wrong, but I get the feeling that their whole image is tongue in cheek. If they are serious, then that is even funnier than if they are messing with us.
October 1, 2017 @ 11:54 pm
YAWN****The Triggerman lives in his mom’s basement, and over-glorifies the obscure music that he loves while bashing anything that he doesn’t solely because its popular. He is strictly motivated by jealousy, and has no right to criticize music because he has never played it, never written songs, and never toured as a musician. He is also a virgin, and doesn’t know how to please women in bed. In short, he is a nerdy crybaby who uses a moderately successful online platform make himself feel better about his pathetic life.
Trigger – Move the fuck on bud. There are very few ‘AUTHENTIC’ things left in the world, I mean in the natural world even plants are struggling to keep it real because everything, EVERYTHING, E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G on earth is a by-product of something that came before. I mean, the other day I was in Wholefoods buying carrots and low-and-behold there were some purple carrots in the vegetable section. Did I call over the store manager and start whining like a bitch that these purple carrots were parading like parsnips and trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes because they are purple and not orange? NO! I took those fuckers home and made a bloody delicious stew and resigned myself to the fact that there are purple carrots in the world. In the world of art and music, there is no such thing as ‘authenticity’….Every note was inspired by someone or something that preceded it… but it takes the gentle hand or ear or sight of someone to manifest it into a new form. That goes for people too… For all the time you spent looking into each of these artist’s past, you failed to include some pertinent information. You mentioned that Mark Wystrach was a model and a soap star, but you failed to mention that he grew up on a cattle ranch in Sonoita, Arizona. His family still owns the Stakeout Restaurant (since the 70’s) where he grew up listening to country tunes day in and day out, hanging with ranchers, cowhands and city folks. He bussed tables, washed dishes and grilled steaks to help run the family business (while you were still living in your mother’s basement, jerking off with your mother’s panties on your head) Underwear model/ cowboy/ waiter/ playboy/ country singer… Jesus who gives a shit. The man can carry a tune and make it look bloody good.
October 2, 2017 @ 2:49 pm
Wow. Someone was so upset by the article about their favorite country boy band that they failed to even read the article. Here is a quote from the article for you, which basically renders your “points” moot.
Also, the only reason the band sounds the way they do on the record is thanks to auto-tune. Look up some of their live performances on youtube.
Quote from Trigger’s article:
“Midland could have been sold to the public as anything. They could have avoided talking about their past, like most mainstream artists do, and instead focused on the music. Who gives a shit what their past is, let’s hear the music. Anyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, geographic origination, class, religious background, or social status has the right to make country music. Let me repeat that, just because it continues to be glossed over with this issue. Anyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, geographic origination, class, religious background, or social status has the right to make country music.”
October 2, 2017 @ 4:18 pm
Wow, Will. I think in the amount of time it took you to write this, look up how to spell parsnips and put periods between letters, you could’ve watched some of the live performances and understood where a lot of the comments were coming from. The amount of time spent crafting a personal attack is astonishing.
October 4, 2017 @ 4:14 pm
You brought up Eric Church and his Outsiders album. Even though that album is significantly less country, it is definitely more authentic (according to Eric Church himself: http://www.countrycalifornia.com/new-eric-church-album-amazing-reports-eric-church/
I feel like a country band made up of an underwear model and a Bruno mars video director would receive more positive attention if they were to record a country album than a band that proclaims to be country but isn’t. With Midland having a manufactured backstory, it doesn’t look like this is something that they’re wanting to do. It’s way less authentic than if they just said “we’re all from different backgrounds and now we’re merging together to try and record country which we all have a passion for.” That’s a way better backstory than “we’re a bar band who cut our teeth in Texas” for a band who obviously didn’t cut their teeth in Texas.
I feel like what makes some other bands’ music likeable when it’s not necessarily country is the fact that it looks like a project they actually wanted to do rather than something they were pressured/forced to do or did for the money. The issue with Midland is that it seems like this isn’t a project that they whole-heartedly wanted to do.
October 5, 2017 @ 3:46 pm
An artist doesn’t have to live his/her art to be his/her art. What matters are content and delivery.
Elvis singing Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Mornin’ Rain” (“with a dollar in my hand”) is in no way Elvis’s reality. Someone on a late-night drive to some pleasant arrival will listen to Midland’s “Drinkin’ Problem” or FGL’s “Confession” or George Strait’s “Run” and not give a plucking fly about the biography or circumstances of the performer. Listening in the right mood to Sinatra doing Kristofferson’s “Nobody Wins” and trying to analyze the ‘who’ and the ‘why’ and the ‘wherefore’ is to look for losses where there are none.
December 15, 2017 @ 10:18 am
Why the hell does everyone get so pissed off about the authenticity of the songs and who wrote them? Bob Dylan wrote most of George Strait’s songs and no one is bitching about that, even if they are manufactured they still put out good music. Just because they might not be honest about their past doesn’t mean that should ruin them. Who the hell cares if they didn’t rise up the traditional way, if it’s their dream to do this or a goal or aspiration to do this let them, they sound damn good anyways. I can see where they are coming from with trying to seem like they are from the rebel days of country music along the lines of Waylon and willie, I just think they got their start in the wrong decade, they fit better along the lines of the older music! And who the hell cares what kind of instruments they use, it sounds like the older better country music, and that’s what country needs, but that’s my 2 cents
December 15, 2017 @ 12:06 pm
You’re missing the point Dwayne. It’s not about them being authentic enough. It’s about them trying to pass themselves off as being authentic when they’re not. Yes, they were honest about their past, but they were dishonest about their present. Nonetheless, the music remains a positive, and that should be a primary focus.
Willie the wondering Gypsy
May 29, 2020 @ 4:45 pm
Did you mean to say Dean Dylan, when referring to George Strait’s songs? Also when I was a kid calling someone a poser were fighting words. It’s was as uncool as it got. Isn’t the term poser short for someone who’s posturing? …or; “behavior that is intended to impress or mislead.” Seems like a justifiable article or group of articles, given the standards SCM aims to uphold. I wonder how many of your average citizens even realize that there are people who eat, sleep, and breath creating heartfelt music. If you don’t realize the real deal exist then why would you be offended by the phonies?
May 17, 2018 @ 9:46 am
I get where this guy is coming from because in Austin & it’s been that way since I’ve been here the past 30 plus years that true raw, hard won is respected BUT Austin has changed a lot & it’s a who you know world & because these guys had some connections that skipped having to play bars for $100. for 10 years is good on them…that life is rough & I think if most had the opportunity to skip it they would. Also, doesn’t mean there weren’t struggles getting those first careers off the ground, life tests us all, the struggle is real! As far as writing goes Strait didn’t write his biggest hit or really start writing until 2009 with his son, Elvis didn’t write his music or Marvin Gaye but that doesn’t mean they won’t branch out & write their own songs in the future, they are just getting started. I’ve seen these guys around town & I can tell you that I feel they are to some degree who they are in re: to how they dress & act & seem like decent folks. They are far from the ones to blame on expensive Dripping Springs you can look @ city regulators & developers, speculators to address that problem, if I could afford it I’d live out there to but that has been out of my price range for 20 years, long before these boys came to town. I’d rather have guys like this & their families moving here then some uptight real estate developer who don’t give a chit about his neighbors or plowing over everything to put up some massive condo building. I’ll end this with Willie Nelsons son & Doug Shahms kids, Townes etc. probably have some ins that the average joe doesn’t….like I said in the beginning it’s a who you know world. If the record co. is spinning it different that is all marketing.
May 17, 2018 @ 11:25 am
Doug Sahm…had to make that right…auto correct is not my friend!
September 10, 2018 @ 3:00 pm
Nothing like the “Blue Jean Committee”…Catalina Breeze baby!
November 1, 2018 @ 1:58 pm
I stopped reading 3 paragraphs in…..AirPods in my ears and “On the Rocks” playing at random.
Good luck finding yourself.
November 10, 2018 @ 11:21 am
This is a very bizarre article and I’m not sure I understand the point. There have been plenty of successful artists in all walks of music that have been “manufactured” and it doesn’t make them nefarious or not above-board. And, yeah, record companies don’t generally give brand new artists the benefit of the doubt. They often place them with music industry vets to refine the quality raw material which caused them to sign them in the first place, hence the Beatles with George Martin, the Mamas & the Papas with Lou Adler, Willie Nelson with Hank Cochran, Sam Cooke with Hugo & Luigi, Otis Redding with Steve Cropper. I mean, this is nothing new. I saw these guys recently at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ and they can play. There’s no doubt about it. I’m sure time will tell their back story. Vague backstories have been with popular music since the beginning.
January 9, 2019 @ 6:11 am
I’m like them… and the album is fantastic. Only a couple of concerns tho cause Jess is dubbed as the lead guitarist but he’s not.. and he doesn’t even attempt lead on any noteworthy acoustic songs they do live. Like Make a little which got posted recently. Country can’t have enough good genuine guitar pickers in my opinion and if Jess is the lead guitarist he needs to step up to the plate and play or at least improvise some of those cool breaks on the album.
March 16, 2019 @ 3:46 pm
You obviously have NO IDEA what you are talking about. And I’ve been involved in country music for 50 years! I’ve see it all, and these guys are very cool and refreshing! We finally get a group moving music back to country and you can’t embrace it? Sad. Very sad!
November 13, 2022 @ 8:13 pm
Agreed. Great band. Great songs. Thank you everyone that got it off the ground. Author of this article should be ashamed of themselves. Petty, ill-willed dirt.
May 6, 2019 @ 7:58 am
This guy doesn’t get it. I’m just one consumer so I can only speak for myself but what I’m looking for is a great country song. I don’t care how the song came to be. I just want to hear and enjoy it. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is typically considered the greatest country song of all time. George Jones didn’t write it. Don’t care. He delivered on the vocals. Somebody wrote it, somebody played it, somebody sang it, somebody produced it, and now we have a great song to enjoy for eternity. I don’t care if some North Korean kids created a computer program that spit out “Fourteen Wheels”. I don’t care that it’s not on the radio. I found it on YouTube and listen to I all the time. It’s available to me. I’m grateful for it. Long live Midland.
May 19, 2019 @ 4:46 am
Instead of picking on an awesome true country band like Midland, why don’t you write about what is happening to country music with idiots like Sam Hunt, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett, and a bunch of other country imposters. You can add Carrie Underwood to the list too. Do we, as listeners care how someone made it into the industry? Absolutely NOT! We care about what we hear on the radio and Midland is like a breath of fresh air to country music. Pop country sucks and we need more sounds like Midland. Love this trio and any of you so called country fans who don’t can go sit on a short stick!!!!
May 19, 2019 @ 8:00 am
“Instead of picking on an awesome true country band like Midland, why don’t you write about what is happening to country music with idiots like Sam Hunt, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett, and a bunch of other country imposters.”
Um, I would encourage you to poke around Saving Country Music a little bit more.
June 17, 2019 @ 6:10 pm
I’m completely confused by these comments. The anger on here towards Midland is about their music? Their back story? How they arrived where they are in the music scene? That’s ridiculous. What the hell do you think EVERY musician has EVER done to make it? The music industry is exactly that, an industry. I hate to tell you all the truth, but the music business is just like any other business. They want money! And, they are always looking for the new formula to get it. If you really think that the Highwaymen were always “outlaw” country, why not take a look at each of them at the beginning of their careers. Each of them were clean cut, machined, followers of their leaders. Only after paying many, many, years of dues to the industry, were they able to step out of line, and even then, the record companies still had control. Or did you really thing the four “outlaw” country musicians made the records and put on the tours themselves?
I absolutely hate pop country. I, however, understand the business side of making money. As long as teens and young adults keep buying it, the music will exist. The funniest thing to me about this whole thread is that, here is a band playing real country music, and it’s getting radio play, and you all are bitching. “They are keeping scores of bands that midland was patterned after in obscurity”???? Really??? Those bands are anti-nashville. They do not believe in the idea of the business, and have the wrong mentality to ever become something big. It’s the “my way or the highway” way of thinking that causes their first problems. Imagine going to your boss, he sells a product you don’t care for, and you tell him “I’ll work for you, but we only sale what I like.” You’d be out faster than you could blink. Hell, the only musicians who made it past the early 2000’s were the ones who agreed to change for the business.
It sucks, I know. But, you have to look at the positive. People with the old sound are being heard. Midland may have been machined, just like them all, but isn’t that a step forward? Knowing that the same people who sold the idea of pop music as country, are also the ones bringing an old sound back. It’s not exactly like it used to be, but it is still great to hear.
I have been a working country musician for 20 years. My father has been a working country musician for almost 50 years. Throughout all of these years, we’ve seen every trend come and go. They will keep coming and going. Just listen to what you like. Let them listen to what they like. But, don’t expect the industry to stop trying to find the next lottery ticket for, who they consider, a dying breed. The real country/western music fan. Also, try to look at music like Midland’s, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, and so many others, as wins for us.
October 18, 2019 @ 3:42 am
After about the 15th time of reading the word “bullshit” from the “author” of this article, it became more than apparent that you’re spewing for spewing’s sake. Anything, anyone or any group can be picked apart for any reason you want to dream up, but you’re attempt at changing the minds of Midland’s fans has backfired, and their fan base has only grown. Because regardless of whatever ‘reasons’ you manufactured (seriously, it’s like you’re scrounging for dirt on a political opponent) in your bullshit article, they are still phenomenally talented and can entertain better than most artists out there. -True Midland Fan #midland #midlandofficial
November 11, 2019 @ 8:38 pm
And George Strait covered Amarillo By Morning and how many of “his” songs were written by someone else. He’s still great and their music is still enjoyable. I didn’t know snobs messed with country music.