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.
Cody Jinks dropped a missive enumerating no less than nine projects he has on the way in one capacity or another—some he’s hinted at in the past, some that are probably mostly done, and a few that may not see the light of day in the next year or so, but don’t be surprised if they do. Here’s a breakdown.
In many respects, it’s never been a better time to be an aging mainstream artist in country music. Where before once your career lost radio relevance, you were relegated to the pasture pretty quickly, perhaps performing at theaters in Branson, or on the county fair circuit if you could, now Americana has become a second home.
On a totally black cassette tape (what else would you expect?) that is simply marked “Clint Black” with the phone number “589-0560” on a label, someone who most certainly sounds like a young Clint Black spends 7 minutes and 59 seconds reciting minute-long renditions of solid gold hits.
Shaky Boots is returning as a replacement for the EDM/hip-hop festival, Shaky Beats. The rock fest Shaky Knees will still be held in 2020 the week before in Atlanta’s Central Park. Also as part of the return is more of an emphasis on independent country and Americana artists, as can be seen in the lineup.
“Hayden [Nicholas] and I originally wrote this song for ‘Killin’ Time.’ 30 years & 8 special guests later, I am so proud of what we created to honor the Grand Ole Opry, and some of the proceeds will go to the Opry Trust Fund!” says Clint Black. The song is part of an upcoming live album from Clint called “Still Killin’ Time.”
Clint Black, Cody Jinks, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Grand Ole Opry, Hayden Nicholas, Killin' Time, Michael Ray, Sara Evans, Steve Wariner, Still Killin' Time, This Old House, Trace Adkins, Travis Tritt
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
Cody Jinks made his Grand Ole Opry debut on August 28th, and the Opry has finally gotten around to posting the full official audio of the show (listen below). In a segment hosted by Grand Ole Opry member Clint Black, Cody Jinks received a standing ovation after performing his allotted three songs backed by the Opry house band.
Some may wonder why it took so long. Others will just be ecstatic it’s happening at all. But either way, Cody Jinks will be stepping into the hallowed Grand Ole Opry circle to make his Grand Ole Opry debut. Scheduled to perform in the 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. slot (Central time), he will be sharing a segment with Grand Ole Opry member Clint Black.
Look, Steely Dan is not for everyone. Let’s face it, it’s sort of a weird band that’s too jazzy to be progressive rock, and too rock to be considered jazz, that was slotted into the slosh pit of the classic rock space by Clear Channel some 35 years ago, and asked to fend for itself among legacy AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd cuts.
The amount of older talent announced on the presentation so far is quite unprecedented. According to Saving Country Music’s calculations, of the announced performers so far, 16 performers who could be considered either country legends or artists whose careers started before or during the “Class of ’89.”
Love them, hate them, evoke the strong opinions of the Coen Brothers’ fictional character Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski all you want, but Glen Frey and The Eagles turned millions of music fans from all around the world into country music listeners through the evocative power of simple, universal sentiments bathed in twangy tones, however filed off the edges may have been, or however commercially successful the pursuit ultimately was.
So what’s to learn from hitching a ride in Marty McFly’s time machine and traveling back to 1985? That the problems country music is facing today are virtually the same ones that were being faced 30 years ago. It’s all cyclical, as canonized in the old Gospel tune enshrined in the architecture of the Country Music Hall of Fame asking the question, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?”
Alan Jackson, Bill Carter, Bobby Bare, Chris Stapleton, Clint Black, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Jason Isbell, Keith Whitley, Kris Kristofferson, Mo Pitney, Randy Travis, Ray Charles, Ricky Skaggs, Sturgill Simpson, The Highwaymen, Travis Tritt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
There was another big battle at the top of the country albums charts last week, and once again the good guys won. Despite the perception by so many in the mainstream country business that radio play and youth is the key to success, two guys in their 60’s with no mainstream radio love topped the charts, and not just from statistical anomalies based on weak numbers, or on an off week for releases.
It’s fitting that Clint’s last name is “Black” because he seems to have spent his entire career overshadowed by his peers, even when he was at his commercial peak. As part of the now famous “Class of ’89,” he was always vying for attention with Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and Brooks & Dunn. He still was wildly successful. 22 #1 singles is nothing to scoff at.
There’s been a Clint Black sighting! And there’s been a Clint Black signing! And now one of the lost artists of country music’s famed “Class of ’89” is back in the saddle, and one of the most forward-thinking and upwardly-rising record labels in Nashville have landed arguably their biggest fish yet.
Sorry syntax Nazis, I couldn’t figure out how to turn my R’s backwards, but I am definitely talking about the 90’s era “nu metal” rap rock noise band Korn, and principally their frontman, vocalist, and bagpipe player Jonathan Davis who is apparently working on a country “project” if you are to believe the brief Instagram post a few days ago.
As Tippin says, country music appears to be shifting away from so-called “Bro-Country” to music of a little more substance lately, and though there still seems to be much more work to be done and a few more Bro-Country hits could still materialize (or something even worse to take its place), positive signs that country is moving in a more positive direction are appearing.
So we now know who the big winner was for the Garth sweepstakes. But who was the biggest loser? That is certainly what you could call Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records in the situation. Why? Because they had the biggest stake in the Garth sweepstakes, because of Big Machine’s joint venture with the radio world’s Cumulus Media called NASH Icons.
As hypothesized when GARTH-FM first hit the air, the radio station has arguably become the first to adopt a new “classic” country format. “The country listener that became a fan in the 1990’s when country really exploded can’t find those songs on the radio in Louisville right now,” says Operations Manager Shane Collins. “It’s a whole segment of the audience that’s being underserved.
“There’s a mentality in the country music world of Nashville that says, “You don’t know anything, and we know how to do this.” It’s “We know what’s best for you: You get to the microphone, sing what we tell you to sing, play what we tell you to play, and you’ll be fine.” That scares people away from branching out and doing things that creatively are out of the box.”
Some of the new “Outlaws” in country music will have you believe that getting some mud on their tires or drinking a little too much is tantamount to years of paying dues and sewing your true Outlaw oats like the original Outlaws did. So here’s ten reasons why today’s “Outlaws” will never live up to the legacy of one of the biggest country music Outlaws, Waylon Waymore Watashin By God Hoss Tecumseh Jennings.
Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way, Billy Ray Cyrus, Buddy Holly, Chet Atkins, Clint Black, CMA Awards, Jessi Colter, Kris Kristofferson, Married With Children, Neil Reshen, RCA, Sesame Street, Tom Snyder, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
What do we mean when we say “country” music? Well take a listen to Mississippi native and Texas transplant Jason Eady’s new album AM Country Heaven, and that should give you the strongest of all possible clues. And what do people mean when they say “Texas” country? This album isn’t a bad example of that either. Where I distance from a lot of other music writers is in the project’s originality.