It wasn’t just the arrangement, the cool special guests, the poignant setting, and the timing of it all, it’s how it all conspired to create a special moment and a rather spectacular performance that in the throes of the otherwise mediocre ACM Awards really shined out as something sincere.
It’s not often you see an album dart dramatically up in the charts some five months after it’s been released, but such is the case for the second installment of Sturgill Simpson’s foray into bluegrass, ‘Cuttin Grass Vol. 2 – The Cowboy Arms Sessions’ originally released on December 11th, 2020
This is not a country record. This is a Christian record. But along with turning in her 1st volume of exclusively religious material, Carrie Underwood might have also delivered her most country record yet, not just from the nature of the material, but the rootsy aspect of some of the music.
The fact that Loretta Lynn is still with us is grace enough, especially after the merciless culling of souls we experienced over the last year from the ranks of country royalty. But without any hyperbole or bias, after listening to her latest album ‘Still Woman Enough,’ Loretta Lynn still sounds excellent.
The Grand Ole Opry is celebrating its 95th Anniversary with a big primetime special on Sunday, February 14th on NBC. Called ‘Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music,’ it comes as the Opry is enjoying arguably one of its biggest resurgences in interest in the institution’s history.
Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Carly Pearce, Carrie Underwood, Charles Esten, Connie Smith, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Grand Ole Opry, Jeannie Seely, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady A, Little Big Town, Marty Stuart, Old Crow Medicine Show, Riders In The Sky, Trisha Yearwood
Placing aside for a second the list of all of the great traditional country artists and country legends that should be considered for induction into The Grand Ole Opry, and it is ample. I mean goodness, what does Jamey Johnson have to do at this point to make it in?
Tapping into the long-standing tradition in country music of the murder ballad, “no body, no crime” features two members of the sister trio Haim. The song tells the story of Este (also the name of Haim’s oldest sister), who suspects her husband of cheating, tells a friend, and then goes missing.
Loretta Lynn will be joined by numerous guests, and celebrate the legacy of women in country music with her latest album called Still Woman Enough, set for release on March 19th via Sony’s Legacy Records imprint. Co-produced by Loretta’s daughter Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash at the Cash Cabin Studios.
In a pretty unprecedented development for the modern era, there are two separate albums of bluegrass music currently in the Top 15 of the Country Albums chart according to Nielsen Soundscan. Even more unprecedented, they’re both from the same guy.
Murder ballads are indelible part of country music history, from the earliest recording from The Carter Family, all the way to today with Ashley McBryde’s latest radio single “Martha Divine.” The roots of murder ballads go back to before country music was a commercial enterprise.
The 2020 CMA Awards will transpire on Wednesday, November 11th (make sure to follow along with Saving Country Music’s LIVE blog), and this year it will be a tribute heavy affair. Tributes, remembrances, and the marking of anniversaries will be a big part of the presentation.
Brian Kelley, Carrie Underwood, Charley Pride, Charlie Daniels, Chris Stapleton, CMA Awards, Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Joe Diffie, Kenny Rogers, Lee Brice, Luke Combs, Mac Davis, Miranda Lambert, Tyler Hubbard
Many gave credit to Garth Brooks for taking himself out of contention, and you can’t blame him personally for voters awarding him the CMA Entertainer of the Year. But there’s still some bad blood out there coming from many in the country community, including Miranda Lambert, apparently.
Despite George Strait officially retiring from full-time touring in 2014—a commitment he’s actually stuck to unlike other superstars, only playing sporadic stadium shows and limited-run Las Vegas residencies—Strait surprisingly walked away with Billboard’s “Top Country Tour” award.
It’s one of the most common criticisms of today’s mainstream country music: all the songs sound the same and say the same basic things. But is this true, or is it more of a stereotype? And are country lyrics improving as the mainstream continues to veer away from the Bro-Country era?
Look, lobbying for Carrie Underwood among the classic country crowd has always been an uphill battle. But the career of Carrie Underwood is a perfect example of why you can’t paint all pop country with the same broad brush.
Just remember, “It’s only the ACM Awards.” It’s just disappointing that one of their best presentations in perhaps a decade or more—and under difficult circumstances—had to be sullied at the very end by a silly and avoidable decision.
Remember, it’s just the ACM Awards. Less prestigious than the CMAs, and more susceptible to bloc voting and other dubious practices than most any other awards apparatus in country music and beyond, think of it more as a performative infomercial for the mainstream of country music.
From 2008 to 2018, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood hosting the CMAs together was one of the few bright spots on a presentation that otherwise offered you a steady diet of bad pop country being crammed down your throat. They won’t be hosting the CMAs again, but they are pairing up for the Grand Ole Opry Saturday night.
Another quality lineup will grace the Grand Ole Opry stage Saturday night, August 22nd as mainstream traditionalist Jon Pardi, upstart singing trio Runaway June, and Grand Ole Opry member Pam Tillis will help keep the circle unbroken by performing and streaming live from the Opry House in Nashville.
This week, Maddie & Tae’s “Die From A Broken Heart” finally made it to #1 on the country radio charts. It is a major accomplishment, and a long-fought battle for a song that was originally revealed to fans all the way back in the fall of 2018, and not released as a proper single to radio until May 6th, 2019.
Once again Garth is being Garth, which means ultimately he’s probably doing the right thing and making a good choice. He’s just doing it in the most self-gratifying of ways. His heart is 100% in the right place. But his ego won’t allow him to make an altruistic move without letting everyone else know what he’s doing.
The song Florida Georgia Line played a snippet of appeared to have the title of “Feels Good.” But apparently Carrie Underwood was not feeling good about any of it. Underwood never replied or even addressed the duo’s proposal publicly, which left many speculating if Carrie had snubbed them.
As tax season approaches and we get the opportunity to tie a bow around the doings of 2019, it’s always interesting to look back on the year at the Grand Ole Opry to see which performing members are paying their proper dues to country music’s most historic institution, and which one’s aren’t.
Alan Jackson, Barbara Mandrell, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Chris Janson, Dan Rogers, Dustin Lynch, Gene Watson, Grand Ole Opry, Hal Ketchum, Kelsea Ballerini, Loretta Lynn, Lorrie Morgan, Luke Combs, Patty Loveless, Reba McEntire, Rhonda Vincent, Ronnie Milsap, Stonewall Jackson, Tom T. Hall
Like someone with the Coronavirus coughing in your face, here come the 2020 ACM Awards nominations. With Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett leading the pack of nominees with five nominations each, Justin Bieber receiving three nominations, you might as well be getting news from the local doctor where you’re quarantine station is located.