George’s 16 Biggest Hits album was certified platinum yesterday, meaning it has now sold 1 million copies according to the RIAA. This comes 15 years after the album was initially released, and 11 years after the album was first certified gold for selling 500,000 copies. But George Jones’s postmortem sales success was not all due to older country music consumers.
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the LIVE blog for the 2013 broadcast of CMA’s Fan Fest, dubbed over the last few years as “Country’s Night to Rock.” Since our live blogs for mainstream country’s big awards shows have been so successful over the years, and because we had many requests to also create a platform for commiseration, it was decided we’ll give it a shot for this event too.
Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, CMA Fan Fest, Country's Night to Rock, Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Jake Owen, Jason Mraz, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kellie Pickler, Kelly Clarkson, Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, Lenny Kravitz, Live Blog, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw
So many of pop country’s celebrities have such a vacuous amount of life skills, without being propped up as pretty faces by the country music industry, they’d be clueless in the real world. Others probably have some skills outside of singing into Auto-tuners at concerts, and that’s probably what they should be doing instead of trying to be artists.
Blake Shelton, Brantley Gilbert, Brian Kelley, Colt Ford, Dave Haywood, Florida Georgia Line, Gary Levox, Gretchen Wilson, Jason Aldean, Joe Diffie, Justin Moore, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts
As you might suspect, at the halfway point of 2013 a list of mainstream country’s worst misdeeds is mostly populated by an ear-serrating cacophony of country rap. With only a couple of exceptions, country rap has replaced what last year at this time was a parade of laundry list-themed songs. Country rap has become the next devolving plateau in mainstream country.
1994, 2013, Accidental Racist, Bad Country Songs, Blake Shelton, Bob Dylan, Boys 'Round Here, Brad Paisley, Cruise, D. Thrash, Darius Rucker, Florida Georgia Line, Girl Ridin' Shotgun, I Support The Troops More Than You, Jason Aldean, Jawga Boyz, Joe Diffie, LL Cool J, Michael Jackson Montgomery, Nelly, Old Crow Medicine Show, Wagon Wheel, Worst country songs
All of a sudden hip-hop influences are dominating the top of the country music charts, asserting just as much influence, if not more than indigenous country influences, with a bevy of new country rap tunes from numerous artists ready to be released, and mainstream artists lining up to try and be a part of the trend. How did country music get here?
Aaron Lewis, Accidental Racist, Ashley Monroe, Blake Shelton, Boys 'Round Here, Brad Paisley, Brantley Gilbert, Colt Ford, country rap, Cowboy Troy, Cruise, Darius Rucker, Dirt Road Anthem, Florida Georgia Line, George Jones, Jason Aldean, Jawga Boyz, Joe Diffie, Kid Rock, Lil Wayne, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, LL Cool J, LoCash Cowboys, Ludacris, Luke Bryan, Lynard Skynard, Miranda Lambert, Moonshine Bandits, Nelly, Pistol Annies, remix, Sheryl Crow, Staind, Struggle, T Pain, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Warren Zevon, Waylon Jennings
So this weekend we were reading the June edition of Playboy Magazine. You know, for the articles. And lo and behold, Saving Country Music is cited in a feature on Eric Church entitled “The Badass” that proclaims the performer from North Carolina the “new face of country music.” You know, I could almost like Eric Church if he would quit so doggedly pursuing his persona as product.
Blake Shelton, David Allan Coe, Earnest Tubb, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Johnny Paycheck, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marty Stuart, Playboy, Taylor Swift, The Allman Brothers, Travis Tritt, Waylon Jennings
These dudes are on the mother of all tears. Their song “Cruise” threatens to be the biggest country song in 2013, and has already set multiple records, including spending 12 weeks at the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart—the first time this has happened by a duo in the 69-year history of the chart. “Cruise” has already been certified triple-platinum.
Every time the topic of country rap is broached, accusations fly that people who oppose the emerging sub-genre are simply opposed to country music evolving. But country rap would be bad even if the verses were sung instead of rapped. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to mix elements of American roots music with elements of hip-hop. Enter Adam Matta, an extraordinary and gifted old-school beat boxer.
We all know them and we all hate them, those ubiquitous and ridiculous pop country songs that make us hang our heads in shame, embarrassed to call ourselves country fans, constantly making us having to explain that no, we don’t listen to that type of country. They pursue us doggedly, on the radio, over the speakers at the grocery store, blaring from a car full of high school kids at a red light.
1994, Achy Breaky Heart, Bad Country Songs, Big & Rich, Billy Ray Cyrus, Blake Shelton, Boys 'Round Here, Brad Paisley, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Corn Star, Country Girl (Shake It For Me), Craig Morgan, Cruise, Dirt Road Anthem, Florida Georgia Line, Honky Tonk Badonkadonk, I Wanna Talk About Me, Jason Aldea, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Red Solo Cup, Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy), She Think's My Tractor's Sexy, Stuck Like Glue, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Truck Yeah, Worst Country Songs of All Time
If equality is what Blake Shelton was looking to strike in the video for “Boys ‘Round Here,” then he deserves a big pat on the back. Because anything and everything about this eye-raping edifice to the universal monoculture and hyper-driven consumer excess mixed with vomit-inducing racial tokenism is as equally repulsive as it is embarrassing.
When it comes to country music, it is the best of times, and the worst of times depending on if you’re talking about male or female artists. While it’s easy to focus on the awful, inane music from mainstream country’s male-dominated ruling class, there is an inspiring sect of female performers attempting to emerge from the heavy shadows of towering males and their tiring musical pap. So why the gender gap?
I don’t care what the intentions of this song are. And I’ll give you that it’s well-written, including LL Cool J’s rapping parts. And I’m not just saying that as a positioning point. Because despite the optimism this song attempts to convey, “Accidental Racist” also conveys a level of judgementalism and reaffirmation of stereotypes that many people don’t appreciate.
Aside from all the bad music, disappointing award winners, and ridiculous stage antics, the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards may go down as one of the gremlin-riddled presentations in the modern award show era. An inordinate amount of technical problems plagued the night, along with other funny mishaps. Here are some of the major ones.
Just when we thought the American public was finally getting wise to the fact that country rap is a Cancer of Western Civilization, needing to be cut out and radiated like the grapefruit-sized, puss-filled tumor it is, here it comes roaring back like a raging case of bleeding hemorrhoids. It’s the audio equivalent of sneaking out of your mom’s house to smoke pot behind a Pizza Hut.
Blake Shelton, Boys 'Round Here, Brantley Gilbert, CHarlie Sheen, Florida Georgia Line, Grand Ole Opry, Jason Aldean, Listen to Blake Shelton's Boys 'Round Here, Pistol Annies, puss-filled grapefruit-sized tumors
Bob Everhart, a traditional country musician, and the President of the National Traditional Country Music Association since 1976, along with Maggie Penn at the Traditional Music Foundation have banded together with other organizations and individuals to launch an initiative to attempt to remove Blake Shelton from the Grand Ole Opry, and get more traditional country played on the radio.
Like A Rose is a short and sweet, classic country album that encapsulates Ashley Monroe’s skills as a formidable traditional country songwriter with a sweet voice embellished with sincere pain. The approach to Like A Rose is traditional, but light in the way the rhythm is laid back and some of the textures are ambient, making it in some respects a cross between country and Americana, broadening the appeal of the record.
What in the world is Blake Shelton thinking doing some tired, crusty, old-sounding country shuffle with an artist nobody has heard of? Is he trying to apologize to all of the “Old Farts and Jackasses” he insulted last month? Because the only people who will ever listen to this song are Geritol-drinking old farts who yell at kids for playing on their lawn and and watch 60 Minutes before going to bed by 8 PM.
I know a lot of folks are going to roll up on this review hoping to see a crime scene unfold, hoping that I show no mercy and draw blood on this embarrassment of American country music. But the truth is, I don’t have much to say about it. I’ve got no dry powder here. What could be said that hasn’t been said many times before to the point of being redundant, or that isn’t obvious to the clear-minded listener?
A good song can drown all other concerns, and The Highballers deliver one after another on this somewhat quirky but really enjoyable anf fun album. Originating from the unlikely country music locale of Washington DC, The Higballers revive the classic country rock feel in songs that display wit, humor, and at times, heartfelt storytelling, backed by some great country licks and adept composition.
Since music no longer holds any intrinsic value to the American consumer and they’d rather steal a song than have it be sold to them for less than a pack of gum, merch, MERCH is where all the money is now. Major labels manufacture merch in the textile industry’s version of puppy mills somewhere in southeast Asia. Here’s some country music T Shirts you won’t see for sale anytime soon.
Sure the song will do well commercially, but the opening line “I was gonna keep it real like chill like only have a drink or two” shows that Blake is not ready to lead the country music troops into battle, he’s cowering from the fight by releasing a song that is a cry for relevancy. Like many current pop country songs, it simply switches urban artifacts for rural ones to qualify it as “country,” creating dissonance between subject and sonic style.
I’m not going to go as far as to call it sacrilege, but Thomas Rhett’s song “Beer With Jesus” proves that when it comes to trying to write a pop country hit, nothing is sacred. But if we’re going to say that’s okay or even creative songwriting to “have a beer with Jesus,” where do we draw the line? Here’s some suggestions of other things that might be fun to do with the Son of God.
Bred for dancing, El Rancho Azul is taken straight out of the honky tonks Dale Watson plays 8 nights a week while home in Austin. Drinking and heartache are the prevailing themes, and maybe not just because this is a country album, but because Dale just recently went through a divorce himself. Dale’s supple country drawl delivered with breadth, emotion and control breathe new life into old, familiar narratives.
Wilie Nelson, whose currently on a tour of the east coast that started in Durham, North Carolina on January 18th, and included a performance at the Presidential Inauguration on January 21st, has just renamed his tour the “Old Farts & Jackasses” tour. The move comes in response to the controversy over Blake Shelton’s recent comments on a GAC Backstory interview.