Sure, perhaps absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the indefinite hiatus of the boys from Oklahoma has us all foggy-eyed in recollection. But according to one industrious Twitter user’s social experiment in the midst of the Coronavirus quarantine, the Turnpike Troubadours rule the roost.
Well, if you thought you were already swimming through an upside down world where the NBA and NHL seasons have just been suspended along with pretty much every major music tour and festival to speak of at least until April, well try this development on for size: Ray Wylie Hubbard has signed with Big Machine Records.
The big tribute show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena for Willie Nelson that transpired on January 12th, 2019 is finally set to be broadcast for the rest of us who couldn’t attend, and it will include some behind-the-scenes footage and interviews as well. Specials for Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers are also on the way.
A&E, Blackbird Presents, Chris Stapleton, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, George Strait, Kenndy Rogers, Lee Ann Womack, Norah Jones, Ray Benson, Sturgill Simpson, The Avett Brothers, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson
Like someone with the Coronavirus coughing in your face, here come the 2020 ACM Awards nominations. With Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett leading the pack of nominees with five nominations each, Justin Bieber receiving three nominations, you might as well be getting news from the local doctor where you’re quarantine station is located.
We’ve already run down the Greatest Country Albums of the Decade, and in there, albums in the mainstream were given fair competition to be included, and some made the cut. But in the spirit of inclusiveness and impartiality, let’s make sure the great records from the mainstream get their due as well.
Alan Jackson, Ashley McBryde, Brandy Clark, Caitlyn Smith, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Jon Pardi, Kacey Musgraves, Kalie Shorr, Kellie Pickler, Kip Moore, Miranda Lambert, Mo Pitney, Pistol Annies, Randy Houser, Reba McEntire, William Michael Morgan
Releasing a live record is seen as a rite of passage for many artists. And with the energy she brings to a live show, you would think Miranda Lambert would be a good candidate for one. Many fans have been requesting a live record, and now some 15+ years into her career, you would think she’s about due. But she says it’s not going to happen.
Eric Church sparked off a bit of controversy late last week when he took the stage at The Anthem in Washington D.C. on Friday and Saturday nights (11-15 & 11-16), and made some playful jabs at Garth Brooks after losing a bid for the CMA Entertainer of the Year trophy to Garth. Now Garth has responded.
The distaste the CMA Awards experience can leave in the mouth of actual country music fans is chased early this year by the announcement of the 2020 Grammy Award nominees in the Country and American Roots categories. Though no set of ears will find the nominees list ideal, those with distinguishing tastes will be much more rewarded.
Ashley McBryde, Brooks & Dunn, Dan Auerbach, Dee White, Eric Church, I'm With Her, J.S. Ondara, Keb Mo, Kendell Marvel, Lil Nas X, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, The Pistol Annies, Tyler Childers, Willie Nelson, Yola
For years people played the musical version of fantasy football in their minds by pairing up tour partners like Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson, Cody Jinks and Tyler Childers, or Tyler Childers and Sturgill Simpson, sure that if anyone had the guts to put a bill like that together, it could possibly sell out arenas. But nobody saw this coming.
Well well, it’s getting chippy out there after Eric Church and others lost the 2019 CMA Entertainer of the Year honor to Garth Brooks. At Eric Church’s show at The Anthem in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, November 16th, he was singing a rendition of “Are You Sure Hank Done It His Way” by Waylon Jennings, changing the lyrics to lash out at Garth.
As an addendum to all of the brewhaha last week surrounding Garth Brooks winning the 2019 CMA Entertainer of the Year over Carrie Underwood, a little context is perhaps needed. Though Stan armies love to war back and forth, behind the scenes things are often a lot more moderate and congenial.
On the day after the CMA Awards, it’s always important to take a deep breath, and remind yourself, “It’s just the CMA’s.” But it does feel important to address what turned out to be the biggest controversy Wednesday night, which was Garth Brooks winning Entertainer of the Year over Carrie Underwood.
Amanda Shires, Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Carrie Underwood, Charley Pride, CMA Awards, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Hootie and the Blowfish, Jenee Fleenor, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire
Luke Combs is not the William Faulkner of country music. He’s the Grisham, or the Clancy. Ripe for mass consumption, easy to get into, riveting in moments, it’s a much more healthier alternative to a People Magazine or some trashy romance novel for a long flight, but it’s not exactly material for the Pulitzer Prize.
Eric Church’s latest album Desperate Man will win the CMA Album of the Year in 2019, beating out Thomas Rhett’s Center Point Road, Dan + Shay’s self-titled release, Girl by Maren Morris, and Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty. This is the bold prediction Saving Country Music is putting out there right here and now.
Carrie Underwood will win the 2019 CMA Award for Entertainer of the Year when it is handed out on November 13th, 2019. Mark it down. She will beat out Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, Garth Brooks, and Eric Church for the top prize of the night. This isn’t necessarily an endorsement, nor is it any kind of rebuke. It’s simply a prediction.
It’s not that that the previous works by Jon Pardi haven’t helped define that hard country edge of the mainstream, because they have. But on his new record Heartache Medication, this is not country music by close approximation, or considering it on a sliding scale based off the output from peers on Music Row. It’s By God country.
In many respects, the CMAs did that this year with their 2019 nominations, or at least better than many years. But the Album of the Year nominations were especially easy to pick apart in 2019. The biggest reason to second guess these nominations is that this current awards shows cycle has been exceptional for excellent mainstream albums.
Whatever you want to call him, “The Forgotten Outlaw,” “The Dead Thumb King,” “Wylie Lama,” or a host of other nicknames he’s amassed over his many years as a music troubadour, Ray Wylie Hubbard has been going through an elongated career resurgence that most 72-year-old performers could only dream of.
Eric Church will always pull polarized viewpoints from country fans, if not for his bad attitude in past eras, then from his propensity to veer into the rock space, or most recently, a patently false and pathetic clickbait cover from Rolling Stone characterizing him as an anti-gun Bernie Sanders supporter, unnecessarily roiling his fan base. […]
It felt quite significant this week when Miranda Lambert revealed that she’s doing something that she hasn’t done over the 14 years and six major studio albums of her career, which is switch producers. A long time collaborator with Frank Liddell, Miranda has let it be known she’s now going with well-known mainstream country producer Jay Joyce.
You’ll have to wait all the way until September 27th to hear Jon Pardi’s new record “Heartache Medication” in its entirety. But we now have the track list, cover art, and songwriting contributors for the new record, and there’s a lot of interesting stuff to unpack.
In this politically contentious time we live in, many members of the partisan media attempt to portray popular music artists in a political light even when it’s not pertinent to the situation, or even when the artist doesn’t want to be. But Dolly Parton continues to refuse to be played.
It’s both weird that fellow Texans and country legends Willie Nelson and George Strait have never collaborated together or even performed side by side in their illustrious careers, and yet it also makes perfect sense. But it was bound to happen eventually that the two would sing together.
Amanda Shires, Bubba Strait, Buddy Cannon, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Lee Ann Womack, Margo Price, Ray Benson, Sing One With Willie, Sturgill Simpson, The Avett Brothers, Willie Nelson
Saving Country Music unapologetically leans towards the independent and traditional side of country music. But that doesn’t mean the mainstream of country doesn’t get it right every so often. It’s important that we highlight those positive albums and artists too.