Saving Country Music’s 2013 Album of the Year was not Jason Isbell’s breathtaking Southeastern, or Sturgill Simpson’s breakout High Top Mountain, but the comeback record from the Latin-inspired Raul Malo and The Mavericks called “In Time.” Now The Mavericks have announced that they’ve been in the studio again and will release the followup to In Time called “Mono.”
On Monday, Jason Aldean pulled his latest record Old Boots, New Dirt from Spotify—a big loss for the company from one of country’s biggest stars, and one who has set streaming records. Subsequently, Brantley Gilbert, whose 2014 release Just As I Am has been receiving surprising sales numbers, has also been pulled from Spotify. So has Justin Moore’s “Off The Beaten Path.”
Taylor Swift’s 1989 did not appear on Spotify upon release, though the lead single “Shake It Off” was available. Then the shocking news came down Monday that her entire discography was pulled from the Spotify network, singles and all. The impact of Taylor Swift removing her music from Spotify, especially after she just revealed herself as the biggest artist of the last decade-plus, cannot be overstated.
On Monday, September 22nd, the subset of American country music known to many by its nickname “Bro-Country,” died at its home in Nashville, TN. Though the specific cause of death has yet to be ruled on by the local medical examiner, preliminary findings appear to show that Bro-Country had been exhaustively over-utilized over the last few months and years until it finally passed away from overexposure.
Brantley Gilbert, bro-country, Chase Rice, Cole Swindell, Dallas Davidson, dead, Florida Georgia Line, Gary Overton, Jason Aldean, Jody Rosen, Luke Bryan, Maddie & Tae, Scott Borchetta, Thomas Rhett, Tim McGraw
One of the things that can be so frustrating for distinguishing country music fans is knowing many of country music’s current stars can do so much better. Many of them have sensational voices, and can write great songs when they set their mind to it. And many times you can hear examples of this when listening to their albums.
So here we are. It’s the summer of 2014, and the headlines that dominate the country music world have to do with mounds of trash and numerous arrests in Pittsburgh, a man found dead in a dumpster in Cleveland, a “mass casualty” event called by the local fire chief in Mansfield, Mass. at a Keith Urban concert, and then an alleged rape. Where exactly did mainstream country music go so wrong?
Austin Lucas, Brantley Gilbert, bro-country, Country Checklist, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Maddie & Tae, Mansfield, Michael Skehill, Playboy, Tim McGraw
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
Behind-the-scenes, Borchetta was spying all the earmarks of a hyper-trend, and saw that “Bro-Country” may be leaving his label vulnerable if they continued to bet their future on it. In Neda Ulaby’s NPR report, Borchetta said some things that stunned the country blogsphere at the time. “So we’ll task our writers and artists to dig a little deeper,” the label owner said.
In the vacuum of true choice, Music Row is attempting to appeal to both sides of the “bro-country” issue so they’re insured to not lose anyone’s business. Whether you’re for or against “bro-country”, someone mentions it and your country music world is immediately polarized, attentive, and ready to pounce. This is why Scott Borchetta is an evil genius; he gets you coming and going.
The middle point of 2014 finds so called “bro-country” in full throat, with its death grips around the neck of the country music genre and threatening to throttle the very life out of it with no prayer for resuscitation. As you can expect, the assailants are the usual suspects of putrid country music specimens selling out to the lowest common denominator for commercial success.
2014, Bad Country Songs, Beachin, Billy Ray Cyrus Achy Breaky Heart 2, Bottoms Up, Brantley Gilbert, Carrie Underwood, Chillin' It, Cole Swindell, Donkey, Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen, Jerrod Niemann, Lookin For That Girl, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Somethin' Bad, Tim McGraw, Worst country songs
When you look back at some of the early songs, early albums, and even the early image of some of country’s biggest current stars, it can stimulate downright culture shock. Of course styles change naturally over time, but many of these artists came from small towns and had simple dreams. But the problem with money and fame is that you can always have more of it….
Big & Rich, Billy Currington, Blake Shelton, Brantley Gilbert, Chris LeDoux, Florida Georgia Line, Garth Brooks, Jamey Johnson, Jason Aldean, Jennifer Nettles, Jerrod Niemann, Kristian Bush, Luke Bryan, Neal McCoy, Sugarland, Travis Tritt
On Saturday night (5-31), Valory Music Group artist Brantley Gilbert headlined the Blue Ridge Music Festival in Salem, Virginia, with Thomas Rhett, ABC Nashville actress and singer Clare Bowen, and Travis Tritt opening for him. Apparently what transpired stimulated Travis Tritt to take to Twitter to question the level of respect he and his fellow openers were treated with.
Blue Ridge Music Festival, Brantley Gilbert, Charlie Daniels, Clare Bowen, George Jones, Joe Diffie, Just As I Am, Little Texas, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Dixie Chicks, Thomas Rhett, Travis Tritt, Trisha Yearwood, Twitter, Waylon Jennings, Zac Brown
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the remix era of country music, where the worst “country” songs get regurgitated with an overlayed rapper or EDM twist, repackaged to terrorize the eardrums of the masses for another eight weeks after the song should normally fade from the charts. Please find a group of your favorite male country stars crying for relevancy and attention to your right…
Just as I’ve been saying ever since the term “bro-country” was widely adopted by naysayers of the current male-dominated laundry list phenomenon in country music, eventually it would be co-opted by the very “bros” it was meant to call out, and be used as a term of endearment. Well now ladies and gentlemen, we have reached that point, and in a big way.
To do Ronnie Dunn and his new album Peace, Love & Country Music justice, one doesn’t need to write an album review, one needs to do something in between an in-depth psychoanalysis and a diagramming treatise. There’s so much going on here, so many tentacles to the current Ronnie Dunn story, and ones that reach far beyond the music itself, that it’s hard to know where to even start.
Alan Jackson, Brantley Gilbert, Brooks & Dunn, Eric Church, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Jason Aldean, Jerrod Niemann, Marty Stuart, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Review, Ronne Dunn. Peace Love and Country Music, Sammy Hagar, Sturgill Simpson, Tim McGraw, Vince Gill
Shakira isn’t just releasing this song in her home genre of pop. It has entered the Country Airplay charts this week at #57. “Medicine” is Shakira’s “gone country” moment. All that said, “Medicine” as a song is not all that bad … for a pop song. In fact if you compared it with many of the top songs in country right now it is downright refreshing.
Whereas 2013 seemed to be dominated by country rap singles, 2014 has so far been the story of EDM, or Electronic Dance Music. Though EDM and hip hop can sometimes be mistaken for each other, especially to the country consumer’s ear and because the two disciplines have numerous similarities, there are also many clear differences between the two disciplines.
Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brantley Gilbert, Bubba Sparxxx, Colt Ford, country rap, Cowboy Troy, Daft Punk, Dirt Road Anthem, Drink To That All NIght, EDM, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Jerrod Niemann, Luke Bryan, Moonshine Bandits, The Lacs, Tim McGraw
Yes ladies and gentlemen, we have the death of yet another great American institution to lay at the feet of The Country Music Anti-Christ, Big Machine Records President and CEO Scott Borchetta. The offense occurred when Scott Borchetta flashed the double bird at a camera as part of a Country Radio Seminar function in Nashville on Wednesday night while in the presence of Mötley Crüe.
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
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.
Such a gift from heaven it has been to not have Brantley terrorizing us with new music for a good long while. But apparently Brantley was just resting up, refining his putrid exploration into the very innermost reaches of human vanity and self-ingratiation to then unleash his new diarrhetic single “Bottoms Up,” and it’s accompanying video.
Say what you want about Kacey Musgraves, but you have to give the young songstress credit for speaking her mind. In a recent Q&A with GQ Magazine, the Texas-born songwriter had some spicy things to say about a few of Nashville’s current infatuations. When GQ asked her what musical trend needed to die out immediately, Kacey responded, “Anyone singing about trucks, in any form, in any song, anywhere.”
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