Mainstream country music’s Heartland rocker and reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Eric Church is back with new music, and as often the case for the man behind the Ray-Bans, the effort is ambitious, and maybe even a little bit ostentatious, at least on the surface.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic will not have a hard and fast end date. It’s not just the risk to the public, but the potential concern for a public relations issue surrounding the polarizing subject of COVID-19 that has the prospects for live music later in 2021 still looking like a mixed bag.
“I just want to play shows. Politics’ job is to divide — that’s how you win elections. Those things that unite us are music and sports. The times when, whether you’re a Democrat or Republican or whatever, you throw your arm around the person next to you. We become one. We need that.”
Every year the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville seats a variety of names from throughout the country and roots world in what they call their American Currents exhibit. This is the opportunity for artists that you may not normally see an exhibit for get an opportunity to be featured.
Ashley McBryde, Billy Strings, Casey Beathard, Charley Crockett, Country Music Hall of Fame, Darius Rucker, Eddie Stubbs, Eric Church, Faith Hill, Freddy Fender, Hot Country Knights, Jimmie Allen, John Prine, Luke Combs, Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, Rissi Palmer, Sister Sadie
Country music is usually left off the lineup when it comes Super Bowl time. But there will be at least a sliver of representation in 2021 though as Eric Church has been tapped to perform the National Anthem with Jazmine Sullivan before the game.
Clint Black, Eric Church, Jazmine Sullivan, Kelleigh Bannen, Rhiannon Giddens, Shania Twain, Super Bowl, Tanya Tucker, The Judds, Travis Tritt, Valerie June, Who is singing National Anthem with Eric Church
Eric Church is one of those rare animals that is able to straddle the line between the independent and the mainstream, commercial success and grassroots support, and put a massive crowd of fans together regardless of how radio is treating him at the time.
Always looking to shake things up and steal the attention of the music listening public, Eric Church’s next release will be three records instead of one, titled Heart & Soul. Heart will be made available on April 16th, Soul will be released on April 23rd, and ‘&’ will only be available as a vinyl record.
A once-in-a-lifetime event happened on January 12th, 2019 when a wide-ranging assemblage of talent from country music and beyond came together at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to pay tribute to Willie Nelson. Called ‘Willie: Life and Songs of an American Outlaw,’ it’s being released on CD and DVD.
Amanda Shires, Blackbird Presents, Bobby Bare, Chris Stapleton, Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks, Don Was, Emmylou Harris, Eric Church, George Strait, Jack Johnson, Jamey Johnson, Jimmy Buffett, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Ann Womack, Lukas Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Margo Price, Micah Nelson, Nathaniel Rateliff, Norah Jones and The Little Willies, Ray Benson, Rodney Crowell, Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle, Susan Tedeschi, The Avett Brothers, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Willie: Life and Songs of an American Outlaw
Over the last few years we’ve something completely unexpected from Eric Church, and unprecedented from many mainstream country stars. Whether it was a natural maturation, becoming a father, or actually listening to his critics, Eric Church changed, and in a meaningful way.
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.
Brian Kelley, Carrie Underwood, Charley Pride, Charlie Daniels, Chris Stapleton, CMA Awards, Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Joe Diffie, Kenny Rogers, Lee Brice, Luke Combs, Mac Davis, Miranda Lambert, Tyler Hubbard
Many gave credit to Garth Brooks for taking himself out of contention, and you can’t blame him personally for voters awarding him the CMA Entertainer of the Year. But there’s still some bad blood out there coming from many in the country community, including Miranda Lambert, apparently.
Despite George Strait officially retiring from full-time touring in 2014—a commitment he’s actually stuck to unlike other superstars, only playing sporadic stadium shows and limited-run Las Vegas residencies—Strait surprisingly walked away with Billboard’s “Top Country Tour” award.
Saturday, October 10th would have been John Prine’s 74th birthday. The revered songwriting legend passed away on April 7th due to COVID-19. But there will still be plenty of remembering and celebration to mark the occasion., including re-airing the popular “Picture Show: A Tribute Celebrating John Prine.”
It only took 45 years, and many many impassioned pleas by fans and supporters and believers (including here at Saving Country Music), but Ray Wylie Hubbard will finally be appearing on his own segment on the longest-running music show on television, ‘Austin City Limits.’
It’s worth noting that Rolling Stone’s new updated version of their “500 Best Albums of All Time” significantly diminishes iconic titles from the classic country canon. Not only were some titles downgraded, some were eliminated entirely.
Charley Pride, Cody Jinks, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, George Jones, Gram Parsons, Jason Isbell, John Prine, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, Lucinda Williams, Miranda Lambert, Patsy Cline, Ray Charles, Rolling Stone, Shania Twain, Steve Earle, Taylor Swift, The Byrds, Turnpike Troubadours, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Mickey Guyton made one of the greatest impacts during this week’s ACM Awards. But as we have seen from the media on numerous occasions, important moments for black country artists in the past are being overlooked to score a buzzy headline or tweet.
Just remember, “It’s only the ACM Awards.” It’s just disappointing that one of their best presentations in perhaps a decade or more—and under difficult circumstances—had to be sullied at the very end by a silly and avoidable decision.
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.
Once again Garth is being Garth, which means ultimately he’s probably doing the right thing and making a good choice. He’s just doing it in the most self-gratifying of ways. His heart is 100% in the right place. But his ego won’t allow him to make an altruistic move without letting everyone else know what he’s doing.
Her name is Ashley Ray. And it’s a name that has ended up in the liner notes of the records of some of country music’s most revered performers like Lori McKenna and Wade Bowen. It’s a name that has been featured in opening slots for Miranda Lambert and Eric Church.
With “Stick That In Your Country Song,” Eric Church has once again proven himself to be one of the most bold and ballsy members of the mainstream country class, emboldened by the artistic freedom he’s earned, and willing to do something with it as a platform, and a podium.
A virtual celebration of Prine’s life and legacy has been planned for Thursday, June 11th called Picture Show: A Tribute Celebrating John Prine to be streamed online. Also after the presentation will be the revealing of a new John Prine song, with more unheard music on the way.
Luke Combs announced recently that his new radio single will be “Lovin’ On You,” and I can’t help but think this decision is a one big boner. Luke already had another single out there gaining serious traction on radio, even as his previous one was cresting the charts. It’s the well-written and fiercely topical “Six Feet Apart.”
Just like all the black squares that co-opted the Black Lives Matters hashtags and sowed chaos on Tuesday, the “Country Music Accountability Sheet” should be taken down because it is directly detrimental to the cause, nonfactual at times, dangerously misleading, and destructive to the careers of artists.