The Country Music Hall of Fame has partnered with Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings to release a 36-song companion double album to coincide with what the public can expect to see and hear as part of the upcoming Outlaws & Armadillos exhibit. The track list of the album reveals just how deep the exhibit will go.
“Countrypolitan” or “The Nashville Sound” are the terms used to describe the lush, orchestral approach to country music that took root in Nashville in the 60’s, which embellished the music with strings and chorus sections to make it appeal to a more distinguishing audience of the time. It was Music Row’s answer to the counterculture revolution.
Ashley Monroe’s much-anticipated new album Sparrow will be arriving on April 20th via Warner Bros. Nashville. Produced by Dave Cobb and recorded in Nashville’s historic Studio ‘A’, the record is said to take a very Countrypolitan approach to the music. Songwriting contributors were just revealed along with the full track list.
When you think of the modern country music landscape, you think of a clear delineation line between the independent and mainstream. However the songwriting credits for Miranda Lambert are the one clear exception. Looking through her list of collaborators, it’s pretty incredible.
Adam Hood, Allison Moorer, Anderson East, Angaleena Presley, Ashley Monroe, Audra Mae, Brandy Clark, Carlene Carter, Chris Stapleton, David Rawlings, Fred Eaglesmith, Gillian Welch, Jack Ingram, John Prine, Julie Miller, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Hemby, Patty Griffin, Priscilla Renea, Shake Russell, Steve Earle, Susanna Clark, The Pistol Annies, Tom T. Hall, Traivs Howard, Waylon Payne
Before Dave Cobb became known as the producer du jour in country and Americana, he was a workaday musician and engineer who was looking to get his name out in the industry. In 2009, The Oak Ridge Boys took a chance on working with Cobb on their release ‘The Boys Are Back,’ and it was the beginning of a revival in their career.
“I’m gonna do one by myself, because I can,” Miranda told the crowd. “I want to do this on behalf of all the girls that are not being played on country radio right now. If you really love us, you will call and request any female that has a song out and something to say. This is one of those called ‘Tin Man.'”
This week, Florida Georgia Line’s collaboration with the Backstreet Boys called “God, Your Mama, and Me” hit #1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart, meaning The Backstreet Boys—a washed-up boy bad who otherwise had not received a #1 distinction for over 18 years—is now the owner of a country music #1.
Ashley Monroe, Backstreet Boys, Brandy Clark, Cam, Chris Stapleton, David Allan Coe, Florida Georgia Line, God Your Mama and Me, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Marty Stuart, Sturgill Simpson
Miranda Lambert isn’t releasing one, but two albums November 18th when her double record ‘The Weight of These Wings’ hits stores. With all that material she was sure to solicit help with songwriting. And as we attempt to read the tea leaves of what we might expect from the new record, the names in the songwriting credits are making the prospects more interesting.
The next trend in country may not be defined by a style or a sound, but who is involved in it. But if collaborations will be the next big trend, how about putting out just a little bit of effort to make sure that the great talent that is going unrecognized in country music itself gets some love?
Ashley Monroe, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Demi Lovato, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Elle King, Gwen Stefani, Johnny Bush, Kenny Chesney, Kenny Rogers, Little Big Town, Lori McKenna, Miranda Lambert, Pharrell, Pink, Pitbull, Steve Fromholz, The Pistol Annies, Tim McGraw, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson
Reviews have been mixed for the show so far, but country music listeners may have an extra incentive to watch the program. Featured on the 10-episode series has been a slew of independent country artists who will hopefully see decent paydays and a bump in exposure. There are also ample country music references and jokes in the series.
American Aquarium, Ashley Monroe, Brandi Carlile, Cam, Corb Lund, Justin Townes Earle, Lukas Nelson, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Netflix, Shooter Jennings, The Ranch, The Turnpike Troubadours
Forget all the sappy relationship stuff, and how it happened and where it might lead. Miranda Lambert ditching Blake Shelton and ending up with Anderson East might be the perfect illustration of the drastic role reversal 2015 has ushered in throughout the greater country music realm, and how 2016 could be poised to completely turn everything upside down.
Aaron Watson, Adam Hood, Anderson East, Ashley Monroe, Blackberry Smoke, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb, David Rawlings, Fred Eaglesmith, Gillian Welch, Holly Williams, Jason Isbell, John Prine, Miranda Lambert, Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, Sturgill Simpson, Zac Brown
The Americana Music Association has compiled their year-end list of the Top 100 albums of 2015. Unlike many of the other lists you’re bludgeoned with this time of year, this one isn’t based off on anyone’s opinion. It’s based on the reporting to the Americana Airplay Chart during the period of December 2, 2014 through November 30, 2015. The list also a good tool to see what you may have missed in 2015.
I see Cam, and I see a blank page. There’s nothing here. What’s her sound? What’s her style? What is she trying to say? What role is she fulfilling in country music? Is she a one-of-a-kind singer? Is she a critically-acclaimed songwriter? What is her contributions to the music at large? She’s got frizzy blonde hair, and likes the color yellow. And that’s about all the character information I’ve been able squeeze out of her.
“Awards shows don’t matter.” This is the bill of goods fans of true country music, and fans of independent music have been forced to sell themselves for years as a consolation prize for continuously being overlooked, losing in bulk, and being generally embarrassed during the moments when America and the world crowds around the boob tube for the spectacle of a televised award show like the CMA’s or the Grammys.
Aaron Watson, Americiana, Ashley Monroe, Blackberry Smoke, Brandy Clark, Cam, Chris Stapleton, Grammy Awards, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Lee Ann Womack, Leon Bridges, O Brother Where Art Thou, Ralph Stanley, Willie Nelson
Henley’s been out there outwardly criticizing the state of country music and the state of music in general, though doing so with a lot more of a thoughtful and informed tone than many others, including tracing the problem back to the disappearance of the agrarian way of life that was once prevalent throughout America, and now finds itself quickly receding.
Andrew Combs, Ashley Monroe, Bill Monroe, Cale Tyson, Cass County, Dolly Parton, Don Henley, Dottie West, George Jones, Hank Williams, J.P. Harris & the Tough Choices, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, Jed Hilly, Jeffrey Foucault, Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, Kelsey Waldon, Kitty Wells, Merle Haggard, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Patsy Cline, Shovels & Rope, Striking Matches, Sturgill Simpson, The Eagles, The Milk Carton Kids
Emmylou Harris and long-time collaborator Rodney Crowell have a new album out with called ‘The Traveling Kind,’ and while speaking in a joint interview with radio.com recently, Emmylou had some interesting words about what she thinks about today’s country music.
Whatever you could want or hope from Don Henley’s “Cass County” as a country music fan, this album delivers it and in ample quantities. I don’t know that any country fan’s expectations can meet the actual enjoyment this music deals out. And this is a traditional country record.
Alison Krauss, Ashley Monroe, Cass County, Dolly Parton, Don Henley, Jesse Winchester, Lucinda Williams, Merle Haggard, Mick Jagger, Review, The Eagles, The Louvin Brothers, Tift Merritt, Trisha Yearwood
Last week it was neck and neck heading into the final tally. Would it be country legend Alan Jackson coming in with the #1 album in country music, or upstart Americana songwriting maestro Jason Isbell claiming the top spot? Either way, the winner was country music by being granted a much-needed reprieve from the dominance of Bro-Country on the album charts, at least for a week or two.
In one corner you have the wily veteran who’s sold more than 80 million records worldwide and racked up untold awards and accolades during his quarter century career. In the other corner you have the scrappy young upstart who after years of paying dues on the club circuit can now sell out three consecutive nights at The Ryman Auditorium in 30 minutes and is on the tip of everyone’s tongue as the name of one of the best songwriters around.
In some respects, broaching a discussion on this album seems nearly futile. Or maybe not futile, but at least frustrating. It’s almost fait accompli that it will fail to achieve the commercial feats and radio success the quality of the material warrants, but that’s just the way it is for women in this particular era of country music. We should be basking in the enjoyment of a new generation of inspiring country music females…