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.
Re-integrating important black voices into that living tapestry should be a priority for the genre moving forward. But performing this important re-integration as either a commercial enterprise, or via hip-hop appropriations will only be effective at eroding what makes country music so vital.
Who knows, perhaps Burger King feeding its livestock lemongrass to reduce methane emissions will actually result in some sort of measurable positive for Mother Earth. But how about when you’re a big corporation and you do a good deed, you just do it. Don’t make a whole dumb marketing campaign around it.
It has been a long, slow, steady climb for mainstream country traditionalist Jon Pardi’s current single “Heartache Medication,” but it finally hit #1 this week on country radio according to MediaBase. Released to the country format all the way back on May 20th, 2019 as the title track to Pardi’s most recent record, it reached […]
It’s time. In fact, it’s well past time. And the people calling the shots shouldn’t make the same mistake they did with Chris Stapleton’s rendition of “Tennessee Whiskey.” We’re talking of course about Morgan Wallen’s cover of Jason Isbell’s song “Cover Me Up.” It’s time to release it as a proper radio single.
Miranda Lambert’s latest album Wildcard is the #1 album in country music this week, beating out Luke Combs and a new title from Hootie and the Blowfish (yes, they’re “country” now) to take the top spot. This also marks Miranda’s sixth consecutive #1 album in country, and her sixth consecutive Top 10 on the Billboard 200.
“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
All of a sudden Hootie & the Blowfish—not just Darius Rucker—is signed to Universal Music Group’s country imprint in Nashville, is planning to release a new record on November 1st, and just released a straight up pop rock Hootie & the Blowfish single called “Hold On” that has just become the “most added” song on COUNTRY radio.
Oh the irony of so many people demanding all music sound the same in the name of “diversity.” The only reason we’re even having a discussion of where Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” should be placed on the charts is because you can’t tell the difference between most any given piece of popular music anymore.
Aaron Vance, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah, Ben Hunter, Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Cleve Francis, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Jerry Pentacost, Kaia Kater, Leyla McCalla, Linda Martell, Mavis Staples, Michael “Scooter” McDonald, Mickey Guyton, Milton Patton, OB McClinton, Our Native Daughters, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Priscilla Renea, Ray Charles, Rhiannon Giddens, Stoney Edwards, Sunny War, Tammi Savoy, The McCrary Sisters, The Pointer Sisters, The War & Treaty, Tina Turner, Tony Jackson, Valerie June, Yola
It’s no April Fools Joke. Country music legend Loretta Lynn is gearing up to celebrate her 87th birthday this April 14th, and on April 1st, many of country music’s finest will be coming together to show tribute to the Coal Miners Daughter in a massive concert and birthday party at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
Alan Jackson, Brandy Clark, Darius Rucker, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Jack White, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Loretta Lynn, Margo Price, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, Pistol Annies, Trisha Yearwood
For many years, the influence and contributions of African American musicians in country music went mostly overlooked, or overshadowed by their Caucasian counterparts. However there has been a recent trend by media and even some artists to overstate the influence of African Americans.
Aaron Vance, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Hank Williams, Jimmie Allen, Jimmie Rodgers, Kane Brown, Leyla McCalla, Mickey Guyton, Ray Charles, Rhiannon Giddens, Rufus Payne, Valerie June
You complain that the songs from today’s top country stars are no good and they should start cutting songs that are halfway decent like the ones your favorite independent and underground artists play … until they attempt to do that very thing, and come across like total dork asses.
Let’s face it. For a host of reasons, it’s pretty rare to see African Americans making country and roots music. But when they do, more often that not, they’re doing it the right way, pushing the music forward creatively while fiercely helping to preserving the past, becoming part of the solution instead of prolonging the problem.
Aaron Vance, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Cleve Davis, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Jerry Pentacost, Kaia Kater, Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton, Milton Patton, Rhiannon Giddens, Rufus Payne, Tony Jackson, Valerie June
The Turnpike Troubadours have just crashed the mainstream party at the top of the Billboard Country Albums chart with the release of their latest record, ‘A Long Way From Your Heart.’ Signed to Thirty Tigers, and with little help from radio beyond regional play, they continue to show what quality music and grassroots efforts can result in.
Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Backroad” has now topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for 17 straight weeks. Meanwhile, “Body Like a Backroad” continues to pick up crossover spins. Unfortunately for Miranda Lambert, her current single “Tin Man” is headed in the opposite direction.
“They send out a letter that says you know, â€˜We are kind of demanding that you must be here so many times a year to continue your membership.’ Because it’s just not fair,” Lorrie Morgan explains. “People want to say, â€˜Hey I’m a member of the Opry,’ and not want to come back. The Opry takes dedication and it takes love. It takes love.”
The feature film American Saturday Night: Live From The Grand Ole Opry has just announced that after a limited run of shows at select theaters in December, it is expanding to various Carmike Cinemas and North American theaters across the United States on February 12th. However the film’s top three stars are Opry members who regularly don’t pay their proper dues.
American Saturday Night: Live From The Grand Ole Opry, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brett Eldredge, Carrie Underwood, Chris Janson, Darius Rucker, EmiSunshine, Holly Williams, Jean Sheppard, Jim Ed Brown, Little Big Town, Love & Theft, Mo Pitney, The Band Perry, The Grand Ole Opry
I believe it was the Buddha who once said “life is suffering.” And though you would think mainstream country artists who make their living playing music to massive audiences, they have problems too apparently, and recently the biggest one appears to be having to play music that fits within the confines of the country music genre. Oh, the horror.
Beyond what Darius Rucker is saying, it’s unfortunate that it’s coming from him specifically—someone who has worked in multiple genres, and someone who I would have assumed is a little more informed on these subjects, and would be a little more salient with his points. And let’s just all appreciate that Rucker is a country music carpetbagger himself.
It isn’t often that a musician achieves an illustrious 15-year career that includes five number one hits, Grammy Award nominations, feature film contributions, producer credits and the respect of his peers before he ever releases his first solo album. But Chris Stapleton isn’t your average musician. The near-universal critical acclaim that has been heaped upon his debut album “Traveller” has been nothing short of amazing.
“I can’t stand to see outdated rock-and-rollers coming in to play country music. That really pissed me off,” Clay Walker told The Modesto Bee recently. “We have great singers, great country musicians. There’s no reason we have to dilute it by letting people in the format that don’t have any business being in the format.”
“Better Than You Left Me” gets most all of the textures right—the steel guitar, the waltz beat, the swaying back and forth that jars loose the emotions from the heart and sends them racing through the blood stream. It’s pop country, but like Patsy Cline was pop country. Sure I’d love a little bit more dirt thrown on it or for her vocal performance to be a bit more subdued, but it’s more than a start.
Out of the 67 current members of the Opry, only 25 of them fulfilled their 10 appearance obligation, and three of those died during the year. 11 members didn’t make any appearances at all. But what may be more interesting is who is appearing on the Opry to take up the slack. Of the Top 11 performing members at the Grand Ole Opry in 2014, the average age was 79-years-old.
Bill Anderson, Blake Shelton, Bobby Osborne, Brad Paisley, Byron Fay, Carrie Underwood, Chris Jansen, Connie Smith, Craig Morgan, Darius Rucker, Elizabeth Cook, George Hamilton IV, Jean Shepard, Jeannie Seely, Jesse McReynolds, Jim Ed Brown, Jimmy C. Newman, John Conley, Little Big Town, Little Jimmy Dickens, Lorrie Morgan, Mike Snider, Old Crow Medicine Show, Pete Fisher, Rascal Flatts, Riders In The Sky, Sarah Darling, The Grand Ole Opry, The Henningsens, The Whites, Vince Gill, WSM
On April Fool’s day, Broken Bow Records released a 20-track Merle Haggard Tribute called Working Man’s Poet, primarily as a showcase for the roster’s talent. Big Broken Bow acts like Jason Aldean, Thompson Square, and Dustin Lynch make multiple appearances on the collection, but one of the most heavily-touted songs from the album has been Luke Bryan’s version of “Pancho & Lefty”.
Broken Bow Records, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Merle Haggard Tribute Album, Panch & Lefty, Thompson Square, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson, Working Man's Poet: A Tribute to Merle Haggard