The allure of ABC’s hour-long drama Nashville lost its luster for yours truly many seasons ago after the drama got so ridiculous you could see the plot twists coming from a mile away. And the music—though still a decent component—got somewhat sidelined in recent seasons in lieu of keeping the sappy and seductive scenes coming to keep eyes glued on the TV screen.
Big Machine Records
In peep show fashion over the last few days, Hank Williams Jr. has revealed he’ll be releasing his latest album called “It’s About Time.” It will be Hank Jr.’s first album on Big Machine Records’ NASH Icon imprint. He signed to the label meant to give new life to older artists in late April.
A new feature recently posted in GQ goes much farther in describing the conflict between Swift and Big Machine. This wasn’t a simple exchange between Swift and Borchetta. There was an outright intervention going on, with numerous high-level executives doing what they could to assuage Swift into not going pop 100%.
Though some may consider Tim McGraw soaring in such high thermals that it’s sacrilege for him to be singing about scraping the bottom and setting out to fulfill your dreams in country music, but that’s exactly what McGraw did on May 10th, 1989 when he boarded a Greyhound bus bound for Nashville—the day after his country music hero Keith Whitley died.
I’m sure Danielle is a super sweet girl and that her hair smells ravishing, but her latest single “Friend Zone” is a techno-loaded disaster that takes the worst attributes from Iggy Azalea’s id and shoehorns them into a meager, non-country composition, stinging the ear drums like flying battery acid.
Traditional bluegrass, gospel, and country twin sister duo The Church Sisters have signed a development deal with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records. The 18-year-old sisters from the coal mining region of Dickerson County, Virginia have created a very strong grassroots fan base from their startling harmonies and many years of performing from an early age.
But possibly the most troubling sign that something is not right in the Toby Keith camp is the continued stories about strange closings and other curious issues surrounding the “Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill” restaurant chain. Keith founded the restaurants in 2005, and they are operated out of Phoenix by Boomtown Entertainment.
No matter how many banjos, fiddles, and mandolins you infuse in the music, a song from Steven Tyler is not going to be country, because Steven Tyler is not country. Just like it doesn’t matter that Willie Nelson never uses fiddles, banjos, or mandolins in his music. He couldn’t stop from making a country song even if he tried. But unfortunately we can’t stop Steven Tyler from trying to make country music.
The reason why these reality TV singing competitions, dancing competitions, and talent shows have worked so well over the last 15 years is because they tap into the innate desire of every human to be plucked out of the morass of obscurity and get the chance to become a superstar. The children of America and beyond are ingrained with a rock & roll fantasy that some day they can become famous.
Written by Keith with Bobby Pinson, the song tries to do something similar to “Drunk Americans,” which is make a statement about the current climate of society. Cutting completely against the grain of current country trends, as opposed to glorifying small town life as this idyllic full-time party of constant bonfire soirees beside bodies of water down dirt roads for bored suburbanites to live vicariously through…
Disregard that discussions about Bro-Country now feel like old hat ever since the trend trailed off except for a few last vestiges of outdated-feeling singles working through the system, Brantley Gilbert has decided he’s fed up with all the fuss about Bro-Country and has released a single saying as much. The song criticizes complaints about Bro-Country by listing off many of the same common tropes of the trend.
As first hypothesized by Saving Country Music in December of 2014, Hank Williams Jr. is the newest signee to NASH Icon—the joint venture between Cumulus Media and the Big Machine Label Group meant to give new life to aging artists who’ve been passed over by mainstream country radio. Hank Jr. joins Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, and Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn in NASH Icon’s inaugural class.
Move over Sheryl Crow and Darius Rucker, apparently Steven Tyler and his size 14 lips will be belting out “country” tunes as early as this November according to a report from Billboard. Sources say the Aerosmith lead singer is getting ready to sign with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records.
According to sources, a deal is in process for iTunes to purchase the Big Machine Label Group for $250 million. Big Machine’s current distribution deal with UMG is up, and Taylor Swift has one more album left on the label before her contract expires, leading to speculation Big Machine wants to sell before they risk losing their superstar.
What gives Zac Brown Band a lot more creative latitude with their music is the fact that they’re honest about not really being country. We’re all music fans first, and then our loyalties split down the lines of various genres. If only more artists were honest about their intentions, it would give us the opportunity to enjoy the music more. Zac Brown Band is a Southern rock band…
NASH Icon is ramping up for a big 2015, making some significant moves on Monday (1-12) to start the year where 2014 ended: stirring conversation about where country music is headed and potentially stimulating a format split that would see more older country music return to the airwaves en masse. The long rumored signing of Ronnie Dunn to the label has been officially announced.
Boyd’s “My Baby’s Got A Smile On Her Face” became only the second single to debut at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart ever. The other #1 debut was Garth Brooks’ “More Than A Memory” from 2007. This development had the media going crazy, ready to annoint Craig as the genre’s next superstar. this week it has completely dropped out of the Top 25. Poof, it’s gone. Sales of the song dropped a whopping 94%.
It’s not every day you get trolled by a CMA Entertainer of the Year winner, but that’s what Saving Country Music found itself experiencing Sunday night (12-28) when Ronnie Dunn took to his always colorful Facebook page to post links and commentary to recent stories on SCM about his involvement (or non involvement) with the new Cumulus Media/Big Machine Records’ joint venture called NASH Icon.
NASH Icon, the partnership between Cumulus Media and Big Machine Label Group meant to give new life to older country stars, has its second signee. Martina McBride, rumored since the beginning of the new imprint to be a possible artist for the label, made it official on Tuesday (12-23). But there is a curious situation brewing between the label and another older star—Ronnie Dunn.
It looks like Hank Williams Jr. might be the next signee to the Cumulus Media / Big Machine Label Group joint venture known as NASH Icon meant to give new life to aging artists who’ve been passed over by mainstream country radio. In the midst of Hank’s ACCA performance, he switched over from a cowboy hat to a black hat with gold lettering that simply read “ICON” across the front.
The dream of many of the aspiring country music artists moving to Nashville in droves every year is to become a big star signed to a major label. Of course the reality is this dream comes true for so few, and even fewer who actually do get signed attain superstar status. However for some artists, as soon as they get that major label deal, their next goal becomes to get out, or to go independent.
2014 has been a year of great flux in country music, with some legendary successes by independent artists and new mainstream artists, and the shuffling out of other artists and the fumbling of what once were legendary, high flying careers. Here’s a run down of the five biggest winners and losers in the greater country music world in 2014.
American Idol, Big Machine Records, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brandy Clark, Brantley Gilbert, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Garth Brooks, IBMA, Jason Aldean, Jerrod Niemann, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Sam Hunt, Scott Borchetta, Shane McAnally, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, Zac Brown Band
Scott Borchetta’s gamble has paid off, and “Girl In A Country Song” is now #1 on country radio according to Mediabase. The distinction shatters a slew of dubious distinctions for the country format, and helps to slay the absolute dearth of female representation on country radio. It means that country radio has its very first female-led act to hit number one on country radio in over 2 years.