Everywhere we turn, there are signs that the tide is turning in country music for the better. Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson are turning the tables on the awards shows, a new generation of traditionalists like William Michael Morgan and Margo Price are finding surprising traction. But it’s not all rosy.
Every year we wonder if it can get any worse, and while there are positive signs for country music’s future all over the place, the bad stuff somehow continues to only get worse. The only saving grace is that many of the songs highlighted below have become commercial flops, whereas in previous years it would be a virtual Top 10 on the country charts.
When I heard that Dallas Davidson was working on a new solo album, it sounded like just another stupid plan to offload his leftover Bro-Country material now that the songs aren’t selling so well. Harmless. Sure, release a solo album Dallas, and take one last gasp as the Bro-Country songwriting king before you’re relegated to the refuse pile of country music’s most deplorable era.
Randy Houser may want to spend more time perfecting his faux hawk instead of speaking his mind after he put his foot in his mouth in a recent interview with radio.com (see below). The co-writer of “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” and the close friend of Bro-Country Godfather Dallas Davidson decided to go on the offensive against Bro-Country haters.
New Theory: Many 3rd tier mainstream major label country stars are nothing more than musical dumping grounds for all the excess songwriting material left over at the tail end of a dying trend. That’s about the only explanation for the relentless onslaught of outdated and terrible material you’re exposed to on Randy Houser’s new album “Fired Up.”
Hypothetically, whether a given song is released to mainstream country radio as a single or not shouldn’t affect the listener’s judgement upon the song itself. And in many cases, it doesn’t. A song is a song, and it should be considered on its own merits. There are exceptions however, like when a song is exceptionally bad, like many of the country radio singles over the years from Luke Bryan.
Luke Bryan did not get here by happenstance, and he’s not going to blow his opportunity to remain on top by making poor decisions. Tell yourself his music won’t last through the cruel inquisition of time. Tell yourself he has no talent, and that he’s an idiot on and off the stage. Reassure yourself that eventually he will be relegated to a laughing stock of history with his shallow songs and shortsighted goals.
Dear Luke Bryan, Thanks for taking the time to read my letter, if in fact you do so. I can only imagine the time constraints a man of your success has, and you’ve already been taking of your time over the last few days to help clear up a mess that I guess I had some part in creating.
Aaron Watson, Blackberry Smoke, Blake Shelton, Dallas Davidson, Florida Georgia Line, Gary Overton, George Strait, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Hill, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Sam Hunt, Sturgill Simpson, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Seriously though, right? If some country music media outlet posted something like this, it would result in a shit storm of the highest proportions, especially with all the tomato talk going around after radio consultant Keith Hill’s comments. But when the shoe is on the other foot, apparently it is open season. So how could oogling at the butts and brawn of male country stars adversely affect the females?
Some bad songs make you angry that such a monstrosity would ever be released under the country banner. Some make you sad for what country music has become. This one? Randy Houser’s entry into this new R&B sexy time Bee Gees-inspired country music disco craze? This thing had me laughing out loud so hard from being so embarrassing and absurd, I had milk shooting out of my nose. And I wasn’t even drinking milk.
So this is it. Right here, right now. Is Bro-Country going to be vanquished, or is it going to be given new life? Who holds the keys to country music? Is it radio programmers, the country music listening public, including many of Luke Bryan’s own fans, or is it Dallas Davidson and the purveyors of formulaic songwriting?
Hypothetically he does, or at least metaphorically. But depending on Tyler Farr’s proficiency at internet research (which I’m guessing is pretty sub-par) and his proximity to the Big Apple where New Yorker culture writer Jody Rosen—who coined the term “Bro-Country”—makes his bed, Farr will probably just have to settle for sending verbal daggers out towards Rosen in The Arizona Republic.
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
Thomas Rhett took time away from getting hammered with Jesus and writing idiotic checklist songs to talk with Cody Alan of CMT’s After Midnite recently, and not so surprisingly, Thomas had some dumb things to say regarding his take on Bro-Country. Rhett told an eager and servile Cody Alan, “I just have never actually used the term â€˜bro country’….”
When The Chicago Tribune interviewed Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley earlier this week, his ability to laugh at himself, or Maddie & Tae’s “Girl In A Country Song” specifically, seemed quite elusive. Writer Allison Stewart characterized Maddie & Tae questions to Kelley as “…the only ones Kelley, in a recent phoner, doesn’t sound happy to answer.”
What in the all kinds of actual hell do we have here my friends. I think we have just unearthed the biggest cultural abomination that has ever been classified as “country” music in its 70 year existence. No, I’m not talking bad, awful, terrible, or any other such adjectives. Even those words would seem to instill this embarrassment of Western Civilization with a dollop of undeserved respect.
In the world of country music songwriting, and specifically the writing of many of the so-called “Bro-Country” hits that have gone on to dominate country radio in the last few years, one man stands tall above the others as the King of “Bro-Country” songwriting, Dallas Davidson. Davidson was arrested Thursday morning and was yelling “racial and homophobic obscenities.”
Jamey. Jamey Johnson. Yeah, hey man, it’s your old pal country music here. Sorry to bother you like this out of the blue and everything, but it looks like I’ve kind of gotten myself into a mighty big pickle. Generally speaking I’m one of those proud people that doesn’t like to ask for anything from anybody. But honestly man, I need your help. Now I understand that you’re in some contract dispute…
Everywhere you turn, people are trying to take advantage of the rising interest in country music and Nashville. It seemed like only a matter of time before reality TV got on the “gone country” kick, and it has recently with a slew of new shows. But unfortunately for country music’s small screen offshoots, all’s not right in TV land.
In Zac Brown’s recent disparaging comments about Luke Bryan’s hit “That’s My Kind Of Night,” Zac went out of his way to lay as little blame as possible on Luke Bryan. Instead it was the song itself, and its songwriters that drew the brunt of Zac Brown’s ire. Though Zac didn’t name any names, the likely target of Zac’s criticism was country songwriter Dallas Davidson.
Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Colt Ford, criticism, Dallas Davidson, Florida Georgia Line, Honky Tonk Badonkadonk, Jamey Johnson, Justin Moore, Kacey Musgraves, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Luke Laird, Miranda Lambert, Possessed by Paul James, Randy Houser, Rhett Atkins, Shane McAnally, songwriters, songwriting, That's My Kind Of Night, Trace Adkins, Wade Bowen, Zac Brown