Make no mistake about it, “Girl In A Country Song” will be a huge hit, because Scott Borchetta will make it that way. The pretty faces help, and so does the fact they they can write and sing a little bit—just exactly how much though has yet to be truly battle tested. But this one song is good enough apparently to give the duo a green light. Yes ladies and gentlemen, this is the brave new world of country music.
Big Machine Records
On Wednesday it was announced that NASH Icons had made its first hire, and it’s a heavy hitter in the music business. Jim Weatherson, a 35-year veteran of music management has been tapped to be the NASH Icons General Manager; a move that signals a deep commitment from both Cumulus and Big Machine to the endeavor.
Welp, that’s that. Gauging from the comments made in Rolling Stone’s current country music special edition by the CEO of Big Machine Records aka the Country Music Antichrist Scott Borchetta, we can now put a period at the end of Taylor Swift’s pop country career. Finito. Done. End of story. Taylor Swift’s country run is in the books, and she’s now a pop star exclusively.
If Cumulus Media and its CEO Lew Dickey have their way, in the coming years that big ‘N’ will be one of the most recognized brands in North America, especially if you’re a country music fan. The plans that Lew Dickey has for that big brown ‘N’ are ambitious to say the least, and look to permeate just about every segment of the consumer culture of the United States.
Alan Jackson, Big Machine Records, Bobby Bones, Clear Channel, Cumulus, Faith Hill, Garth Brooks, Jerry Del Colliano, Lew Dickey, NASH, Nash Icons, Rush Limbaugh, Scott Borchetta, Sean Hannity, Shania Twain
During a recent conversation with Billboard Magazine’s Rich Appel, Dickey says Scott Borchetta is aggressively looking to sign many of the artists that fall between NASH Icons’ 25-year artist window, including but not limited to Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson. “I would look for Scott to make an announcement in the next 30 days,” Lew says.
The country music radio format that has resisted splintering for years could finally be cleaving into two distinct entities of “classic” and “Top 40” country, initiated at least in part over the Memorial Day weekend when a radio station based out of Louisville, KY became the first to adopt a new “classic” country format centered around a 25-year measuring stick.
Jake Worthington finished 2nd and has captured the hearts and imaginations of many traditional country fans by wearing a big cowboy hat, and singing Keith Whitley songs on the show every chance he got, along with songs from Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr., and others throughout the competition.
American Idol, Big Machine Records, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, Dia Frampton, Hank Williams Jr., Jake Worthington, Javier Colon, Jennifer Hudson, Keith Whitley, Kellie Pickler, Kelly Clarkson, Scotty McCreery, The Voice, Waylon Jennings
Envision a day where all the current Top 40 country that classic country fans are incensed over is segregated into its own autonomous format, with its own radio stations, and potentially even its own awards, special events and festivals. And the same could happen for classic country. It could have it’s own place to not forget the past, and respect the roots of the genre.
Announced late Tuesday, NASH Icons, a takeoff on Cumulus’ already-established nationally-syndicated NASH brand, is a partnership with the Big Machine Label Group for the purpose of taking old and new music from artists “of the past 25 years” and giving its own place to live. Though no specific artists to be featured have been detailed yet, the idea seems to encompass music….
Announced yesterday, Republic Records Senior Vice President for Promotion and Artist Development David Nathan is transitioning from a position at one of Big Machine’s partnered subsidiaries to Big Machine proper to serves as the label groups Senior Vice President for “Pop Promotions.” The move is effective immediately. The move once again reinforces Big Machine’s focus on the pop world.
On Thursday, April 3rd, Tim McGraw announced that he will be releasing his 13th studio album. To the apparent cluelessness of Tim McGraw’s team and his label Big Machine Records, the title of McGraw’s new album has very, very strong racist connotations that directly refer back to the segregation and lynching of black people in American history.
Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group is now bigger by one, and adds a new branch on the Big Machine tree right beside the labels other imprints of Republic Records and Valory Music Group. Announced today, Scott Borchetta and Universal Music Group have resurrected the “Dot Records” label name—a legacy music brand that was first started in Gallatin, TN.
Valory Music and the ACM’s may hope that this issue just blows over, but the removal of the Windmills Country audio has arguably exacerbated it, and fed the suspicion some country fans have surrounding the awards process. If there is an explanation for the discrepancy between Justin Moore’s eligibility and his nomination, the fans of country music have yet to hear it.
Forget that Justin Moore signed to Big Machine’s Valory Music imprint in 2008, that he had a #1 single in 2009, and a #1 album in 2011; as first pointed out by Windmills Country, according to the Academy of Country Music’s specifically-stated rules of eligibility for the “New Artist” category, Justin Moore should be disqualified because he’s had not one, but two albums certified gold.
Glam metal band Mötley Crüe confided in the world today that they are calling it quits after three decades. But buried in the litany of announcements and side stories about the Mötley Crüe retirement was a little nugget of info with a country music angle. Apparently the band has signed a contract with Scott Borchetta and Big Machine Records to produce a country-themed Mötley Crüe tribute album.
Hard to pigeonhole, and certainly not what one would traditionally consider mainstream country music, their ability to appeal to mainstream fans, Southern rock fans, and even some independent and underground fans with a sound that despite whatever lack of depth is hard to not label as authentic and gritty, The Cadillac Three could be a band who finds themselves at the nexus of of the “bro-country” phenomenon, and its backlash.
American Bang, Bang Bang Bang, Ben Brown, Big Machine Records, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Eli Young Band, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen, Jaren Johnston, Keith Urban, Kelby Ray, Llama, MIke Eli, Neil Mason, Rhett Akins, Scott Borchetta, The Cadillac Black, The Cadillac Three, The South, Tim McGraw
The Season of Discontent in country music continues with yet another big name country music personality lending his voice to decrying the wayward trajectory of the genre. But this time it’s not a performing artist, it is Scott Borchetta, the label owner of Big Machine Records. Borchetta, just like many of his artist contemporaries, states that he believes country music has gone too far with all the references to alcohol and tailgates.
So here you go ladies and gentlemen, the worst of the worst that 2013 had to offer in country music. As you might suspect, a list of mainstream country’s worst misdeeds in 2013 is mostly populated by an ear-serrating cacophony of country rap songs. With only a couple of exceptions, country rap has replaced what last year at this time was a parade of laundry list-themed songs.
1994, Accidental Racist, Big Machine Records, Blake Shelton, Boys 'Round Here, Brad Paisley, Colt Ford, Cruise, Darius Rucker, Drink To That All NIght, Florida Georgia Line, Girl Ridin' Shotgun, I'd Want It To Be Yours, It'z Just What We Do, Jason Aldean, Jawga Boyz, Jerrod Niemann, Joe Diffie, Justin Moore, Luke Bryan, Montgomery Gentry, Redneck Crazy, Scott Borchetta, Shine On, That's My Kind Of Night, Titty's Beer, Tyler Farr, Wagon Wheel
As Scott Borchetta and Big Machine Records continue to win market share and talent from its rival labels on the Music Row campus, his propensity to inject himself more and more into the creative process could become a bigger problem. As Big Machine gets bigger, so could the artistic control dilemma, and the dilemma of maintaining control over the quality and purity of the term “country.”
Like pretty much every Florida Georgia Line song, “‘Round Here” works in a very similar formulaic fashion. You take an easily-identifiable pop culturally-relevant lyrical hook (“that’s how we do it ’round here.”), add some inane cultural artifacts to fill out your verses (hammer and a nail, stacking them bails), have the chorus rise in the vocal register, and boom, you’ve got yourself a commercially-viable hit.
The question that often comes up about the duo is what exactly does the short, blond-haired Brian Kelley do in the band? The longer-haired Tyler Hubbard seems to be the only voice you hear prominently in the vocal mix, and though Brian Kelley is commonly seen holding a guitar, he doesn’t appear to be handling any of the guitar solos, or really fulfilling any significant function of the Florida Georgia Line sound.
Take the West Coast country coolness of Dwight Yoakam, the haunting tremolo of Roy Orbison, the sweaty rhythms of Los Lobos, and what you get is Miami’s indescribable and enigmatic throwback old-school all-things-to-all-people house band for America known as The Mavericks. “In Time” might be the best album in their nearly 25-year history, and its one of the best put out so far in 2013.
In direct violation of every single rule of country music and the State Department’s South American travel warning, Florida-Georgia line flies down to fake Mexico to participate in a music video that becomes one of the most “WHAT THE HELL?!?!” moments in country music history. This music video is only a couple of quaaludes away from a tasteless Girls Gone Wild installment.
Mike Curb’s repressive stance towards artists and his sharky dealings with other labels is a given amongst the informed country music community, with his latest ploy being the release of a duets album from Tim McGraw two weeks before the former Curb artist is slated to make his debut on Big Machine Records. But Hank3 and Tim McGraw are just the tip of the iceberg.
Big Machine Records, Clay Walker, Curb Records, Frank Zappa, Fuck Curb, Hank Jr., Hank Williams III, Hank3, How Do I Live, I Need You, Jo Dee Messina, LeAnn Rimes, Lieutenant Governor, Lyle Lovett, Mike Curb, The Beat Farmers, Tim McGraw