Due to COVID-19, and then the protests and riots after the George Floyd killing, the Saving Country Music snark machine has been pretty much powered down and collecting dust for the better part of 2020. But there has been as few instances of country music malfeasance so egregious, it would be unconscionable to not address them.
Quite a few country fans were left angered and agog when they saw that Gwen Stefani would be receiving an Opry berth when many more deserving country artists—including some who could benefit from both performing during this period of hardship—are once again being passed over
As tax season approaches and we get the opportunity to tie a bow around the doings of 2019, it’s always interesting to look back on the year at the Grand Ole Opry to see which performing members are paying their proper dues to country music’s most historic institution, and which one’s aren’t.
Alan Jackson, Barbara Mandrell, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Chris Janson, Dan Rogers, Dustin Lynch, Gene Watson, Grand Ole Opry, Hal Ketchum, Kelsea Ballerini, Loretta Lynn, Lorrie Morgan, Luke Combs, Patty Loveless, Reba McEntire, Rhonda Vincent, Ronnie Milsap, Stonewall Jackson, Tom T. Hall
The career of Dustin Lynch is now such a catastrophic natural disaster, it is visible from space. Need a coaster to keep those unsightly water stains off your coffee table? Maybe something to shove under the leg of that tipsy table to keep it from wobbling? Shit, who are we kidding. Nobody even buys CDs anymore, so you can’t even use it for that.
One sign that mainstream country music continues to improve is the decrease in “country” songs that were worthy of rants in 2019 compared to previous years. However there were a few exceptions in 2019, and songs worthy of taking out back to the woodshed. Our full-throated opposition to these monstrosities misappropriated as “country.”
When looking at the top of charts in country music—whether based on radio play or consumption—it’s these songs and other similar ones that are dominating, especially recently, and paralleling the trend of women not just being placed on perilous footing, but falling off the precipice of country music’s major indexes.
We took the time to celebrate some of the Best Songs Released in 2018, as well as some of the Best Albums, so now it’s time to place a clothespin firmly on our noses, slip on some elbow-length rubber gloves, and go digging through the cesspool that is radio country to dredge up the absolute worst offenses.
The name Dustin Lynch is quickly becoming a direct match synonym for derivative bottom shelf white boy culturally appropriating pseudo rap R&B bullshit. Don’t let the cowboy hat and rugged jawline fool you. This guy’s like the Wyle E. Coyote from Looney Tunes, dressed to blend in with the rest of country music….
Membership to the Grand Ole Opry is always a hot button issue among country fans, just as much as induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame is. As country music’s oldest and most hallowed institution, an invitation to join the Opry is one of the most honored opportunities a country artist can receive, and […]
There most definitely have been greater offenders to the roots and the integrity of country music over the past few years than Dustin Lynch. But arguably nobody has been a greater disappointment than the Broken Bow artist from Tullahoma, Tennessee. With a promising start to his career, with his strong voice and propensity to sport […]
What Jon Pardi has done over the last year is prove that an artist can stick to a more traditional style, and not only sustain, but turn in career marks, even in this difficult environment for traditional artists in the mainstream, and a stacked field for artists looking to be launched. “She Ain’t In It” is a classic country crooning heartbreak song…
Oh man are these some stinkers. Not only does an elite and highly-trained group of mainstream country artists seem to be like devoted experts at defining new lows for the genre, in 2017 the amount of non-country-ness of some of these “country” songs is so off the charts, it’s like they’re purposely challenging each other.
Body Like a Backroad, Canaan Smith, Carrie Underwood, Chris Janson, Craving You, David Allan Coe, Dustin Lynch, Fix A Drink, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Like You That Way, Sam Hunt, The Chainsmokers, The Fighter, The Moonshine Bandits, Thomas Rhett
Now Nashville’s decided to try and make the Geico Caveman a superstar it appears, and it’s only appropriate, because to find anything fetching in this anthem to American devolution, your forehead has to stick out over your eyebrows so far that you don’t need to wear a hat in the rain.
Wonder why pretty much every mainstream country single sounds ostensibly the same? It’s probably because they all pretty much do. Lill illustrates how nine songs on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart all employ the same exact drum beat, and within the same 15 or so beats per minute.
“I’m a dirt road, in the headlights. I’m a mama’s boy, I’m a fist fight,” is how “Small Town Boy” starts off. What does this stuff even mean? It’s just nonsensical self-referential, self-ingratiating pap. There’s no point to it except identity politics tied to the demographic country radio is looking to serve, which is primarily people who don’t live on dirt roads.
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.
Blake Shelton, Brantley Gilbert, Brett Young, Calre Dunn, Chase Rice, Chris Lane, Dallas Davidson, Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch, Florida Georgia Line, Jana Kramer, Jason Aldean, Jerrod Niemann, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan, Steven Tyler, Thomas Rhett
The fan was eventually acknowledged by Aldean, but it was with a simple, “No,” as he pointed the assailant out to security. The beer chunker was eventually apprehended and escorted to authorities. Later in the show, Aldean said to the crowd, “It took everything I had not to go kick that guy’s teeth in,” but apparently Aldean has decided to not press charges, and he was not significantly injured in the incident.
2014 was a year of great flux in country music. Where 2013 was dominated by public feuds and outcries by many country performers about the direction of the music, 2014 became the year things began to be done about many of the problems plaguing the genre. With Bro-Country as the battleground, the fight to return some balance to the country format began to make headway.
Billy Gilman, Billy Joe Shaver, Brandy Clark, Dolly Parton, Dustin Lynch, Florida Georgia Line, Garth Brooks, Hank Williams, Hank3, I Saw The Light, Jason Aldean, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Maddie & Tae, NASH Icon, Sturgill Simpson, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Tom Hiddleston, Ty Herndon, Wayne Mills, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown Band
Friday night’s otherwise peaceful festivities at the 38th Annual Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival in Niceville, FL were temporarily interrupted when a patron threw a full beer can at Dustin Lynch on stage, causing a gash below his left eye that had the performer in the hospital receiving stitches. The incident also caused a small brawl to ensue in the crowd.
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
Not since the second installment of the Waylon – The Music Inside series was released with the names of Colt Ford and Justin Moore making their way on the track list have we had such a quizzical collection of artists for a tribute album. As cool as it is to see any attention paid to Merle these days from the mainstream establishment, it is not what’s going to get your average Merle fan’s motor running.
ACM, Ben Haggard, Broken Bow Records, Colt Ford, Crystal Milestone Award, Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch, Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Justin Moore, Kristy Lee Cook, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Paul Franklin, Randy Houser, Suzy Bogguss, Thompson Square, Toby Keith, Vince Gill, Working Man's Poet: A Tribute to Merle Haggard
Today it was announced that Austin, TX would be the site for iHeartRadio’s first ever country music festival, transpiring at Austin’s Frank Erwin Center on March 29th, with a list of top tier headliner talent. There is so much that is ill-conceived about this, I’m not sure where to start. Throwing a corporate country event in Austin, especially at that time of the year will be about as popular in Austin as running over a bicyclist in your Hummer.
Austin, Bobby Bones, Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, Clear Channel, Dustin Lynch, Dwight Yoakam, Eli Young Band, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, iHeartRadio Country Festival, Jake Owen, Jason Aldean, Josh Turner, Lady Antebellum, Lee Brice, Loretta Lynn, Luke Bryan, Rodeo Austin, Scotty McCreery, South by Southwest, SXSW, Thompson Square, Willie Nelson
A little under a year ago, Earl Dibbles Jr., the alter ego of Texas country music star Granger Smith, released a song and video called “The Country Boy Song” that had us all in stitches. Then in mid-October of 2012, Granger Smith released the single “We Do It In A Field” from his new album just released today called Dirt Road Driveway, and all of a sudden we had to re-write what we thought about Granger Smith.
Bare midriffs, buxom gyrations, and badass cars are no match for the curves and character of a real country face served cold. Neither is the caricaturish, shallow, and materialistic portrayal of rural life in pop country compared to the sense of family and community, and the fulfillment of hard work that accompanies true country living. Now that is something to be envious of.