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.
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.
When it comes to the preservation of the history and sound of country music, you can make the case there is nobody who does it better and with more passion and dedication than Marty Stuart. Tireless and true to his convictions, from his music, to his archive of memorabilia, to his presence on television and the Grand Ole Opry stage, and to some of the thankless things he does well out of the public eye…
B-Bender, Badlands Ballads of the Lakota, Brandy Clark, Clarence White, Connie Smith, Corb Lund, Del McCoury, Don Maddox, Gene Parson, Hummingbyrd, Jim Lauderdale, Johnny Cash, Justin Townes Earle, Lester Flatt, Let There Be Country, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Old Crow Medicine Show, Porter Wagoner, Roland White, Stonewall Jackson, Sturgill Simpson, The Byrds, The Grand Ole Opry, The Kentucky Colonels, The Marty Stuart Show
Kacey Musgraves was the big winner of the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, but her success does not exist in a bubble. You put this next to George Strait’s win for Entertainer of the Year at the CMA Awards in November, and so many of the other positive signs for country music that have been transpiring recently, and you begin to understand that things are changing.
The 56th Annual Grammy Awards transpire tonight at 7 PM Central, 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific on CBS. This is your rundown for things to watch for, the country performances and collaborations, a rundown of the nominees and my picks and prognostications.
56th Annual Grammy Awards, Blake Shelton, Brandy Clark, Darius Rucker, Dolly Parton, Grammy Awards, Hunter Hayes, Jason Aldean, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Rogers, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Brice, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Old Crow Medicine Show, predictions, Sarah Jarosz, Taylor Swift, The Civil Wars, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson
Mid January is the season that most of the big mainstream country music acts unveil their touring plans for the year. Country music critical favorite Kacey Musgraves announced she would not be touring with one of her country music bunk mates, but of all people, the buxom purple-haired pop star Katy Perry. ome Kacey Musgraves’ supporters were disappointed…
Blake Shelton, Bobby Bones, Brandy Clark, Brantley Gilbert, Florida Georgia Line, Jamey Johnson, Jason Aldean, Kacey Musgraves, Katy Perry, Kenny Chesney, Ralph Peer, The Carter Family, Tour, Tyler Farr
When you sit down to assemble a list of candidates for Song of the Year, you almost start to tremble in the face of so much creativity, inspiration, and insight, and grow humbled by how fortunate we are to live in such a bountiful time for music. Candidates for Song of the Year can’t just be songs we enjoy, they are songs that make you change the way you see the world, or change the way you see yourself.
2013, Adam Hood, Alone In Memphis, Ashley Monroe, Austin Lucas, best songs, Brandy Clark, Brennen Leigh, Brian Keane, Caitlin Rose, Charlie Robison, Deadman's Blues, Disappear On Down The Line, Drinkin', El Camino, Elephant, Hank3, Holly Williams, I'll Sing About Mine, Jason Isbell, JB Beverley, John Moreland, Josh Abbott Band, Lindi Ortega, Matt Woods, Noel McKay, Shane McAnally, Song of the Year, Stripes, Sturgill Simpson, Tin Star, Valerie June, Wade Bowen Songs About Trucks
2013 has been self-proclaimed by Saving Country Music as the “Year of the Songwriter,” and this list of candidates for SCM’s Album of the Year reflect that dynamic of an elevated bar of songwriting excellence that these 8 artists have set. There is no arbitrary number of slots for candidates for this award. Nominees are chosen only if they have a legitimate chance of winning…
12 Stories, 2013, album of the year, Austin Lucas, best albums, Brandy Clark, Brent Amaker & The Rodeo, Caitlin Rose The Stand-In, Eric Strickland, Gone Away Backward, High Top Mountain, In The Throes, In Time, Jason Isbell, Jayke Orvis, John Moreland, Lindi Ortega, Possessed by Paul James, Robbie Fulks, Southeastern, Sturgill Simpson, The Mavericks, The White Buffalo, Year of the Dragon
Where it once looked bleak for any positive news to come out of country music’s mainstream channels, now there’s hope. Regardless of how awful the trends of country rap and tailgate songs might be, there are little chutes of life and vitality springing through the scorched country music earth. But there is a stodgy contingent unwilling to acknowledge or participate in what could be a potential turning of the tide.
“Songs About Trucks” performed by Wade Bowen and written by hot songwriting commodities Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally has become one of 2013’s big anti-hits with its off message take on truck songs and their daisy chains of clichÃ©s. It is only appropriate that Bowen’s anti-hit should be accompanied by an anti-video.
2013 very well may go down as the year when referencing marijuana and other drugs in your songs is no longer cool as much as it is conformist—a lyrical hook, a well-recognized buzz word made for marketing an artist or song just as much as anything else. There has ceased to be either the generational gap, or the exclusivity of drug references in music to make them “cool.”
Arlo Guthrie, Ashley Monroe, Brandy Clark, Charlie Daniels, Cypress Hill, Eric Church, Gram Parsons, Green Day, Hank Williams Jr., Hank3, Kacey Musgraves, Kris Kristofferson, Luke Bryan, marijuana, Miley Cyrus, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Pantera, Pistol Annies, pot, Snoop Dogg, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
The hidden dystopia seething under the smile of sweet suburban life, and the general dysfunction plaguing any and all affairs of the heart is the broken-minded madness that Brandy taps into with this album, following fed up and frustrated fraus who are willing to medicate themselves and match the misdeeds of their men sin for glorious sin.
It’s not that there aren’t some token homages to mark her move into the country format, but overall, except for one song that we will get to in due course, there is very, very little contrast between Feels Like Home and what Sheryl Crow was calling rock for the body of her career. But that doesn’t necessarily paint Feels Like Home, or Sheryl Crow, or her career as bad.
Once again a member of the Texas music scene has delivered a song that gives voice and reason to how the rest of us feel. Wade Bowen’s “Trucks” aims its big, diamond-plated bumper at the incessant references to tailgates and four wheel drives in modern pop country songs and slams on the gas.