It feels very strange to even talk about the CMA Awards at this moment in country music when everything else is centered around the wild success of wild-assed and under-produced guys like Zach Bryan and Oliver Anthony.
Luke Combs may be the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, but you get the distinct impression that he’s barely aware of it. There’s no cocksure attitude as he stands up there on stage in his Bass Pro fishing shirt with the flap across the back. He’s just a grown up pudgy choir kid from North Carolina.
Dierks plays both sides of the country music cultural divide, and in the past he’s put out albums that very much appeal to folks who wouldn’t be caught dead listening to corporate radio. But that’s not exactly what “Gravel & Gold” is. It’s definitely not like his 2016 album “Black” either.
Comedian Rob Schneider’s daughter has hauled off and made herself a country record. And just like Elle King herself, it’s a little much and all over the place. That’s not to say there isn’t any entertainment value to be had. On the contrary. Elle King turns in some real quality songs.
20 years in the business now, Dierks Bentley should be at the point where he can call his own shots. And seeing him paling around with Charlie Worsham lately, and hanging out in the rain to watch Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway play their set at Telluride last summer are all good signs.
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.
It turns out this isn’t just a one-off situation, but part of a much bigger bluegrass project Luke Combs has been working on during quarantine. That’s right, arguably the biggest artist in mainstream country at the moment has a bluegrass album in the works.
Singer, songwriter, Warner Bros. Records signee, and critical favorite Charlie Worsham is the newest member of iconic string band and Grand Ole Opry members Old Crow Medicine Show. The Mississippi native officially joined the band before they embarked on their current summer tour in late May.
On Saturday, May 4th, Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry member Randy Travis will turn 60 years old. And to commemorate the milestone, the Grand Ole Opry is planning a special tribute to Travis, while the flagship radio station of the Opry, 650 AM-WSM, has named Randy Travis their Artist of the Month.
Get your hemp necklaces and nag champa ready, because Miranda Lambert is about to embark on the “Livin’ Like Hippies” tour come January, and even if you’re fair to partly cloudy on Ran Ran herself, she’s assembled a pretty badass lineup of openers that represent a who’s who of cool independent acts that may coax you off your couch.
They’ve decided to divide opening duties among a total of 26 separate openers across the 65 total tour dates, as opposed to taking the usual stance with openers, which is to drag the same two or three lightweight mainstream up-and-comers around with them for six months. Even more surprising are the names selected to open.
Just what 2017 has in store for us in the country music department remains to be seen. But we do know about what to expect in the release department for at least the first quarter of the year, while rumors abound about the big projects that could come to light later in 2017. Here’s a run down of what we know, what we think we know, and what we would like to believe.
Aaron Watson, Ags Connolly, Alison Krauss, Casey James Prestwood, Charlie Worsham, Chris Knight, Chris Stapleton, Colter Wall, Curtis McMurtry, Dale Watson, Dan Auerbach, Dave Cobb, George Jones, Guy Clark, Holly Williams, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jaime Wyatt, Jason Isbell, JB Beverley, Justin Townes Earle, Marty Stuart, MOderna Mal, Nikki Lane, Old Crow Medicine Show, Otis Gibbs, Phoebe Hunt, Ray Benson, Ray Scott, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Rhiannon Giddens, Robbie Fulks, Scott H. Biram, Shinyribs, Son Volt, Steve Earle, Sunny Sweeney, The Gibson Brothers, The Sadies, The Secret Sisters, Tift Merritt, Valerie June, Whitney Rose
There’s been much ado about country artists of the fairer sex over the last couple of weeks. For Logan Brill, whose Carnival Records album Shuteye came out on June 2, that debate is all just noise. Sure, she’ll righteously stand up for women artists and songwriters. But for Brill, music is pursued for the passion of good quality songwriting and the artistry of storytelling—everything else comes secondary.
There’s nothing I value more than a mainstream country music record that bucks all trends and is truly worth your ear. Enter Charlie Worsham and his debut album Rubberband that is being lauded by many critics and fans alike as a breath of fresh air for the mainstream radio dial. Rubberband is a very fun album that sucks you right in, but Charlie Worsham is no Kellie Pickler….