Yes, she’s the mainstream country star who isn’t afraid to actually act and sing a little country, is fearless enough to actually have the audacity to say something with her music, and has found a way to be decorated by critics while still upholding enough of a commercial standard to be recognized by the CMA’s and ACM’s. But despite all your squinting to make Kacey Musgraves into what you want her to be…
So Kelly Clarkson—Mrs. American Idol—went off and made herself a country record. According to the singer, it’s all but finished. Just needs a title. Those were the revelations brought forth in a Rolling Stone interview today amidst the release of Kelly’s latest pop album called “Piece by Piece.” Remember the quizzical inclusion of Kelly Clarkson as a CMA Female Vocalist of the Year nominee in 2012 and 2013?
“My name is Aaron Watson. I’m not played on country radio. And I have the #1 record in country music this week. I do exist.” This was Aaron Watson’s reaction to the comments of Sony Records Nashville CEO Gary Overton, who said earlier this week, “If you’re not on country radio, you don’t exist.” But overall the Texas country star took a much more humble, appreciative, and inclusive tone.
Steve Earle says it wasn’t his politics that held him back from greater mainstream country success. It was more the oligarchy who was afraid of artists who call their own shots. Steve Earle is not the only one talking about saving country music lately. Brandy Clark amidst her Grammy Awards success said recently, “My name is said in the same breath as people like Kacey [Musgraves] and Sturgill Simpson, Ashley Monroe…
Why do the Grammy Awards matter? Well even if you don’t win anything, the exposure as a performer is just about priceless for those that get the opportunity. Brandy Clark was up for Best Country Album for her ’12 Stories’ release, and Best New Artist, and walked away with neither. But her performance with Dwight Yoakam on her song “Hold My Hand” landed Brandy the largest single percentage gain in song sales.
All you need to know about the 2015 Grammy Awards. Despite the country genre rising to become arguably the biggest genre in popular music right now, there’s just not a whole lot of country to be featured on the show this year. This year’s country performance slots are cut in half, with the only collaboration being between Brandy Clark and Dwight Yoakam.
Rockin’ West Coast country music legend Dwight Yoakam has a fresh new set of tracks ready to be offered to the listening public under the collective title of “Second Hand Heart.” The new album is said to hearken back to Yoakam’s early cowpunk days, when the caramel-voiced singer was coming up in the ranks touring with punk and rock bands as a throwback country music artist.
Say what you want about Eric Church’s music, and though he’s sporting one of the most loyal fan bases in popular music these days, he’s also revealed himself as one of the most polarizing figures in country music in the last few years. But you can’t fault the man for thinking outside the box, and scouring the hungry, unwashed faces of independent music when looking for openers.
The increasingly irrelevant Academy of Country Music Awards, or ACM’s, released their annual earache of ignoble pseudo-country performers known as the semi-final “New Artist” nominees this Monday, that spellbind any beholder with an even elementary understanding of the definitions of “New” and “Artist” as to how such names were populated.
2014 was a year of great flux in country music. Where 2013 was dominated by public feuds and outcries by many country performers about the direction of the music, 2014 became the year things began to be done about many of the problems plaguing the genre. With Bro-Country as the battleground, the fight to return some balance to the country format began to make headway.
Billy Gilman, Billy Joe Shaver, Brandy Clark, Dolly Parton, Dustin Lynch, Florida Georgia Line, Garth Brooks, Hank Williams, Hank3, I Saw The Light, Jason Aldean, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Maddie & Tae, NASH Icon, Sturgill Simpson, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Tom Hiddleston, Ty Herndon, Wayne Mills, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown Band
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
On Friday morning (12-5), the Grammy Award nominations were inefficiently and unceremoniously announced via Twitter, and once again proved that their nose for quality in country music is somewhat better than what we’re used to seeing from the country music industry itself, even if their ability to categorize music remains somewhat curious.
Brandy Clark, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Faith Hill, Glen Campbell, John Hiatt, Keb Mo, Kenny Chesney, Lee Ann Womack, Miranda Lambert, NIckel Creek, Rosanne Cash, Ryan Adams, Sturgill Simpson, Tim McGraw
Country star Ty Herndon—known for his handful of mid 90’s hits such as “What Mattered Most,” “I Want My Goodbye Back,” and “Living In A Moment”—came out as gay on Thursday morning (11-20), making him the first openly gay male country music star in the mainstream in the history of the genre. The announcement was made in a series of stutter steps…
When the news began to slowly trickle out that songwriter turned performer Brandy Clark was in fact gay, it didn’t really cause the kind of stir you would assume this type of news might drum up in country music. Part of the reason is because you just sort of found out about it through osmosis. There wasn’t some big news story with a huge headline proclaiming “Brandy Clark Is Gay!”
Ahead of this self-titled release, the buzz was immense. There was a sense this wasn’t going to be simply another Wade Bowen album—that his experiences of the last few years helped Wade see himself for who he really is, instead of who everyone else wants him to be. Two songs in, and this album already delivers on any promises and expectations preceding it.
Aaron Watson, Brandy Clark, Cody Canada, Eli Young Band, Jason Eady, Josh Abbot Band, Randy Rogers, Randy Rogers Band, Rodney Clawson, Sarah Buxton, Sean McConnell, Shane McAnally, Travis Meadows, Vince Gill, Wade Bowen, Waylon Jennings, Will Hoge, Willie Nelson
Forget that now the last six Toby Keith singles in a row very heavily involve drinking— that’s “Beers Ago,” “Red Solo Cup,” “Hope on the Rocks,” “I Like Girls That Drink Beer,” and “Drinks After Work” for those of you counting at home—this is a song with a message dammit! What makes it a little difficult to stomach is this idyllic, hopeful picture it paints of the American reality that is so far off the mark…
On Wednesday morning (9-3), the nominees for the 48th Annual CMA Awards were announced on ABC’s Good Morning America and through a CMA Live stream. The 2014 CMA Awards will happen on Wednesday November 5th on ABC, and will be hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. Leading all nominees with nine is Miranda Lambert.
If you’re looking for the country music female revolution’s representative for true neotraditional country, Kelsey Waldon might just be your perfect match. If this album was released in the 70’s, it would have birthed a slew of indelible country standards. Such inconsolable heartbreak, such sorrow-drenched insight is captured on these tracks and then embellished with tasteful production…
Brandy Clark, Brett Resnick, Caitlin Rose, First Aid Kit, Holly Williams, Jeremy Fetzer, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsey Waldon, Kitty Wells, Lindi Ortega, Merle Haggard, Michael Rinne, Rachel Brooke, Review, Skylar Wilson, Steelism, Tammy Wynette, The Gold Mine
Texas country star Wade Bowen is set to release his 5th studio album on October 28th, and the self-titled affair will see Bowen break away from the bonds of a major label to reclaim his creative freedom. The album is said to be a new beginning for Bowen, and finds the Waco, TX native at “…the turning of the page to a place where the music becomes a little bit freer, a little bit looser…”
The virtual disappearance of female country music stars on American radio is a dilemma that has now stretched out for nearly half a decade. Now the senior director of music programming at SiriusXM is looking to try and do something about the problem and hopefully create interest around some of country music’s undiscovered and worthy female talent.
Angaleena Presley, Brandy Clark, Carrie Underwood, Chase Rice, Cole Swindell, First Aid Kit, Florida Georgia Line, Fresh Female Voices, John Marks, Kelleigh Bannen, Leah Turner, Miranda Lambert, SiriusXM, Sunny Sweeney, Taylor Swift
This is where Garth Brooks could shake up the country music industry beyond simply packing sold-out stadiums. There are reams of amazing songs out there going unheard, and Garth is one of the very few people with the star power to take these songs and make them hits. And this rising tide could raise all boats, taking an artist like Caitlyn Smith to the greater notoriety her talents deserve.
Ashley Monroe, Austin Lucas, Bob DiPiero, Brandy Clark, Brantley Gilbert, Caitlyn Smith, Cassadee Pope, Country Throwdown, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Kenny Regers, Lady Antebellum, Lee Brice, Nashville, T Bone Burnett, Tacoma, Willie Nelson
Last year about this time, music periodicals left and right were falling over themselves to declare 2013 the “Year of the Woman” in country music. Music Row in Nashville may be dumb, but it’s not stupid. They saw the need to ramp up the female quotient to restore some diversity. Here in the summer of 2014, we’re very much seeing the results of those efforts. And unfortunately, it’s not very pretty.
Ashley Monroe, Brandy Clark, Brantley Gilbert, bro-country, Caitlin Rose, Carrie Underwood, Cole Swindell, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Holly Williams, Kacey Musgraves, Kellie Pickler, Lindi Ortega, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Raelynn
Eric Church has just announced the details and dates for his upcoming “The Outsiders” World arena tour, and he will be tapping some worthy talent to open for him during dates that will start on September 11th in North America, and run through December. Joining him will be Dwight Yoakam as the primary opener, as well as Brandy Clark, Brothers Osborne, and Halestrom.