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.
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
Former Hootie & The Blowfish frontman turned country artist Darius Rucker was on sports personality Dan Patrick’s radio show Tuesday (3-4), and had some interesting things to say about who the new torch bearers are for country music’s Outlaw legacy. According to Darius Rucker and Dan Patrick, the new Willie and Waylon is Luke Bryan and Eric Church.
Bob Dylan, Brad Paisley, Dan Patrick, Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Hank Williams, Hootie & The Blowfish, Jamey Johnson, Johnny Paycheck, Luke Bryan, Old Crow Medicine Show, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
The 56th Annual Grammy Awards transpire tonight at 7 PM Central, 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific on CBS. This is your rundown for things to watch for, the country performances and collaborations, a rundown of the nominees and my picks and prognostications.
56th Annual Grammy Awards, Blake Shelton, Brandy Clark, Darius Rucker, Dolly Parton, Grammy Awards, Hunter Hayes, Jason Aldean, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Rogers, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Brice, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Old Crow Medicine Show, predictions, Sarah Jarosz, Taylor Swift, The Civil Wars, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson
Recently when Keith Urban was interviewed by Michigan Live and was asked if definitions like “country,” “rock,” and “pop” are important or meaningless, Urban replied, “Totally meaningless to me. I make music and people decide what it is. That’s it. I don’t think about it any more than that.”
Membership to the Grand Ole Opry is seen a one of the most prestigious accolades a country music artist can be bestowed, and the recognition is sought after by performers both big and small, mainstream and traditional because it is one of the hardest gets in music. But the cavalcade of mainstream pop country music stars recently added as members are not fulfilling the Opry obligations.
Barbara Mandrell, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Byron Fay, Darius Rucker, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Grand Ole Opry, Hank Williams, Keith Urban, membership rules, Nashville, Neko Case, Old Crow Medicine Show, Pete Fisher, Rascal Flatts, Trace Adkins
So here you go ladies and gentlemen, the worst of the worst that 2013 had to offer in country music. As you might suspect, a list of mainstream country’s worst misdeeds in 2013 is mostly populated by an ear-serrating cacophony of country rap songs. With only a couple of exceptions, country rap has replaced what last year at this time was a parade of laundry list-themed songs.
1994, Accidental Racist, Big Machine Records, Blake Shelton, Boys 'Round Here, Brad Paisley, Colt Ford, Cruise, Darius Rucker, Drink To That All NIght, Florida Georgia Line, Girl Ridin' Shotgun, I'd Want It To Be Yours, It'z Just What We Do, Jason Aldean, Jawga Boyz, Jerrod Niemann, Joe Diffie, Justin Moore, Luke Bryan, Montgomery Gentry, Redneck Crazy, Scott Borchetta, Shine On, That's My Kind Of Night, Titty's Beer, Tyler Farr, Wagon Wheel
Last week pop and R&B superstar Justin Timberlake helped stir the music pot by proposing that he might make a country record. Timberlake told Sirius XM’s “The Highway” show: “I just did an interview earlier today and I said, â€˜I’m America, that’s what I am.’ In all sense of the word. [I] grew up outside of Memphis, Tennessee. Listened to country music, R&B music, classic rock, you know, everything…
Pop rocker turned county pop star Darius “Hootie” Rucker has decided to cut yet another iconic tune from the American songbook after his massive commercial success with Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel.” Rucker’s next remake will be what many regard as the most-requested song in this history of American music, Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 14-minute anthemic jam “Free Bird.”
Former Hootie & The Blowfish frontman and country music carpetbagger/interloper Darius Rucker says he deserves a Grammy nod for his #1 hit “Wagon Wheel,” or quote, “country music’s screwed.” Darius Rucker made the comments during an interview with sports personality Dan Patrick. Why exactly country music is “screwed” if the song is not nominated was not elaborated upon by Rucker.