Beyond sharing bills, big rocketing career trajectories, and both employing the services of super producer Dave Cobb, the two artists appear to have a greater kinship off the stage. But for whatever reason, we’ve never seen the two men on stage together, until now.
The brutal assault against country music producer Dave Brainard that occurred in the early morning hours Sunday, September 27th on Demonbreun Street in Nashville near Music Row, has finally been solved. After over a week of searching for the responsible couple, 30-year-old Dustin Carl Hargrove and Nichole M. Hargrove from Columbia, TN turned themselves into police detectives on Tuesday (10-6).
We knew George Strait couldn’t keep from stirring for too long. Though he played his final shows as a touring artist in 2014 on his way to racking up astronomical numbers for his farewell junket and finding himself being named Entertainer of the Year by both the CMA and ACM Awards for the effort, you had to know he wouldn’t sit tight for good.
We bitch, we moan, we criticize, we celebrate the symbolic little victories that give us hope that a sea change for country music is imminent, or at least slowly taking hold, even though in many respects things only seem to get worse every year. And we look for ways to implement meaningful solutions to the problems plaguing country music so it can once again become a medium of creativity.
Boy how the entertainment media loves to ruminate on country music’s female dilemma, and how unfair it is that so many fine and talented female voices are going unheard. It’s the perfect topic for Northeast-based periodicals to piggy-back their political and sociological parallels onto, to prove the patriarchal oligarchy is still very much alive in America’s rural and Southern landscapes.
Okay all you Texas, Rocky Mountain, and West Coast Sturgill Simpson fans that were bitching you had no tour dates on the left side of the Mississippi, the Sturgill Simpson train is going to be coming your direction hard and heavy, so stretch out your ticket ordering fingers because he’s just announced a new slew of dates and many of the shows will be selling out fast.
Announced Tuesday (6-23), Downtown Music Publishing has signed Sturgill Simpson to a worldwide publishing deal, according to Downtown’s Senior Vice President of Creative Services Jedd Katrancha. It not only includes any music Sturgill Simpson may release in the future, but also his back catalog of songs from his Thirty Tigers releases.
Regardless of how you feel about Kacey Musgraves, her music, her politics, or the ideologies she espouses, she symbolizes nothing short of a victory in the effort to save country music. To have a major label artist release an album like Pageant Material, full of traditional country leanings and songwriter-based material, is a sizable leap forward for the genre.
But like a diamond, true talent has a tendency to shine through the darkness and Patton’s skill as a singer-songwriter has done just that. She is quickly becoming a driving force within the Red Dirt and Texas music scenes. Patton married fellow musician Jason Eady in March of last year and released So This Is Life today (6-9).
Despite your desire to see Musgraves become that artist that can deliver a more traditional sound and intelligent scope to country, desire doesn’t always match execution. Criticism for Musgraves as a “boring” live performer is pretty common. And similar to Same Trailer, Different Park, the roll out of the new album so far has been less than smooth.
There’s just a cool factor about Dwight that appears will never wear off, regardless if the hips don’t shake and the knees don’t knock as much as they used to, or even if he’s the perfect specimen for male pattern baldness under the low brim of that cowboy hat. He’s still Dwight, and that caramel voice and cutting yodel will never be deprecated.
Hey, Saving Country Music is advocating that listeners actually wait to hear the upcoming country music record from Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler before passing judgement upon it. But you can’t help but appreciate the strange thought of Steven Tyler as a country star, so let’s take a second to try and predict what actually might happen once Steven Tyler officially goes country.
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