The distaste the CMA Awards experience can leave in the mouth of actual country music fans is chased early this year by the announcement of the 2020 Grammy Award nominees in the Country and American Roots categories. Though no set of ears will find the nominees list ideal, those with distinguishing tastes will be much more rewarded.
Brooks & Dunn
If you’re a country music fan and are disappointed that your favorite artist didn’t get enough screen time in the Ken Burns film on country music, well guess what, your favorite genre did, and by the most revered documentary filmmaker of our time, and before rock n’ roll, pop, the blues, soul music, or hip-hop.
Alan Jackson, Allen Reynolds, Bill Monroe, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bluebird Cafe, Brooks & Dunn, Chris Stapleton, Clint Black, Conway Twitty, Dayton Duncan, Dierks Bentley, Dixie Chicks, Don Williams, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, George Jones, George Strait, Glen Campbell, Jamey Johnson, Johnny Cash, Kathy Mattea, Keith Whitley, Ken Burns, Lil Nas X, Little Big Town, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Miranda Lambert, Nanci Griffith, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Rick Rubin, Ricky Skaggs, Rosanne Cash, Ryman Auditorium, Steve Earle, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, The Judds, Toby Keith, Travis Tritt, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill
In March, legendary country music duo Brooks & Dunn were announced as the newest inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame in the Modern Era category. Now the duo will receive the honor of having their legacy and contributions to country music commemorated in an official exhibit at the museum.
The numbers are in at the midway pole of 2019, and “King” George Strait has the best selling album in all of country music so far this calendar year. ‘Honky Tonk Time Machine’ has moved more copies than any other offering, speaking to the honky tonk resurgence country music has been experiencing across the board.
Tracy Lawrence has a new album coming out on August 16th called Made in America, and though we don’t have many details on it at the moment, the 90’s country star who put together seven #1’s and twenty-one Top 10’s into the 2000’s says it’s going to be “very country,” and hopes it’s part of the recent return to country’s roots.
No, it’s not 1989, it’s 2019. But looking at the top of the Billboard Country Albums chart this week, you would have thought you’d been transported back 30 years in time. But it’s quite okay if you’re a traditional country music fan. No need to figure out how to generate the 1.21 gigawatts it takes to fire the flux capacitor and get you back to the present.
Everyone has an opinion of who should be in the Hall of Fame. But few held the opinion it should be Ray Stevens. Sorry Hall of Fame. Love you, but this was a bad, bad pick. What a joke. Hank Williams Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Maddox Brothers and Rose, and a host of other performers were much more deserving.
Brooks & Dunn will be the newest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the Modern Era. This was the news coming out of the press conference held Monday morning (3-18) in the Hall of Fame rotunda in Nashville. Brooks & Dunn was a commercial powerhouse duo in the 90’s if there ever was one.
The heart welled up with excitement in many true country music fans when word came down that Brooks & Dunn had a new title on the way, only to be tempered by the fact that it’s a Reboot (nice double entendre there) of some of their old classics re-recorded with contemporary stars.
The release of the Rodeo Houston main stage lineup is always a highly-anticipated event in Texas and beyond, and this year Oklahoma’s Turnpike Troubadours have earned an opportunity to play on arguably the biggest stage in Texas, and native Texan Kacey Musgraves has been selected to open the rodeo in 2019.
Don’t worry, there will be plenty of country artists from the early and late 90’s who we won’t retrospectively be praising as we get older and the music of today gets worse. But you’re short changing yourself as a country fan if you write off many of the big songs and early albums of Brooks & Dunn as forgettable fluff.
Well now, perhaps there is a reason for old school traditional country fans to tune into the CMA Awards in 2016. Celebrating their 50th Anniversary, the Country Music Association has promised to honor country music’s past in the presentation, and they have put their money where their mouth is.
As we get to mid February each year, it comes down to nut cutting time for deciding who the next class of inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame will be. Though who gets to decide is a big secret kept by the Country Music Association, or CMA, we all should feel like we have a say so and voice our opinions and hope the right people listen.
Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Chet Flippo, Country Music Hall of Fame, David Allan Coe, Don Maddox, Gram Parson, Hank Williams Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Jerry Reed, John Hartford, Johnny Paycheck, Keith Whitley, Kenny Chesney, Maddox Brothers & Rose, Oak Ridge Boys, Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs, Tompall Glaser
Speaking about his recent signing with Big Machine’s NASH Icon record label, which was set up to create radio support for artists left behind by mainstream country’s current obsession with youth, the once CMA Entertainer of the Year recipient said, “If you’re gonna be heard, you have to get on the radio. The internet alone is not gonna do it.”
Trying to get a handle on Ronnie Dunn over the last few years has been like trying to catch a greased piglet. His rhetoric has been nothing short of revolutionary, but his artistic output has been a mixed bag at best. The former Brooks & Dunn member became disenfranchised by the Nashville system after his first solo release in 2011, and so he started a public relations crusade through his Facebook page.
Even though Taylor Swift has 86’d country and said she wants nothing to do with the awards specifically, the ACM’s have minted a special 50th Anniversary “Milestone Award” crafted by noted jewelry designer David Yurman to be handed out to Swift and a few select others. The Milestone Award trophy is made up of more than 1,010 grams of sterling silver, with the top edged with 4.16 carats of black diamonds.
ACM Awards, Brooks & Dunn, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, George Jones, George Strait, Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard, Milestone Award, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEnitre, Taylor Swift, Willie Nelson
Last night (2-25) as part of Country Radio Seminar festivities in Nashville, Dierks Bentley, aka Douglas “Big Rhythm Doug” Douglason, showed the depth of his commitment to his alter-ego 90’s country band called Hot Country Knights by taking the stage at “The Stage” on Lower Broadway and launching into renditions of big late 80’s & 90’s country hits.
It’s about that time of year again to start considering who the Country Music Hall of Fame will include in their list of 2015 inductees. That said, this announcement seems to inch later, and later (and later) each year. Nonetheless, if you want your opinion to amount to anything, you better get it out there early in the year as the people who make the picks for the final ballots and eventually inductees are doing their homework.
Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Country Music Hall of Fame, David Allan Coe, Don Kelley, Dwight Yoakam, Grady Martin, Gram Parsons, Hank Williams Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Jerry Reed, Jesse McReynolds, John Hartford, Johnny Paycheck, Keith Whitley, Kenney Vaughan, Kenny Chesney, Mac McAnally, Mac Wiseman, Pete Drake, Ralph Mooney, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Redd Volkaert, Ricky Skaggs, Ronnie Milsap, Sam Bush, The Maddox Brothers & Rose, The Oak Ridge Boys
NASH Icon is ramping up for a big 2015, making some significant moves on Monday (1-12) to start the year where 2014 ended: stirring conversation about where country music is headed and potentially stimulating a format split that would see more older country music return to the airwaves en masse. The long rumored signing of Ronnie Dunn to the label has been officially announced.
It’s not every day you get trolled by a CMA Entertainer of the Year winner, but that’s what Saving Country Music found itself experiencing Sunday night (12-28) when Ronnie Dunn took to his always colorful Facebook page to post links and commentary to recent stories on SCM about his involvement (or non involvement) with the new Cumulus Media/Big Machine Records’ joint venture called NASH Icon.
NASH Icon, the partnership between Cumulus Media and Big Machine Label Group meant to give new life to older country stars, has its second signee. Martina McBride, rumored since the beginning of the new imprint to be a possible artist for the label, made it official on Tuesday (12-23). But there is a curious situation brewing between the label and another older star—Ronnie Dunn.
It looks like Hank Williams Jr. might be the next signee to the Cumulus Media / Big Machine Label Group joint venture known as NASH Icon meant to give new life to aging artists who’ve been passed over by mainstream country radio. In the midst of Hank’s ACCA performance, he switched over from a cowboy hat to a black hat with gold lettering that simply read “ICON” across the front.
In the fall of 2012 when Ronnie Dunn (of Brooks & Dunn) was looking to write and record material for his upcoming album, he reached out to Texas music songwriting guru Ray Wylie Hubbard after falling in love with the gritty sound Hubbard imbibes on all his records. Dunn flew into Austin as Ray Wylie wrangled up an A-list of Austin musicians to to participate in a recording session.
Bobby Keys, Brooks & Dunn, Bruce Robison, Buddy Holly, Bump Band, Chelle Rose, Faces, George Reiff, Gurf Morlix, Ian McLagan, James McMurtry, Jennifer Nettles, Joe Ely, John Hiatt, Kelly Willis, Lucinda Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mary Gauthier, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Dunn, Small Faces, Sugarland, The Rolling Stones, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
The signs continue to point towards the country music radio format officially splitting in two, with Top 40 country, and “Icon” country covering music from as far back as the 80’s vying for equal share of the country music listenership. Now another local radio station has switched to the new country format, and the verbiage accompanying the format change shows just how much sway NASH Icon is having.