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.
Through the Bro-Country era, Tim McGraw became one of the surprising saving graces in mainstream country music by entering his late career stage doubling back to his roots and releasing quality songs that were surprisingly more country than even some of his earlier stuff, and even finding success with them on the radio.
When it comes to saving country music in the mainstream, Tim McGraw and Reba McEntire both have played important roles recently. During Tim McGraw’s time at Big Machine, he showed a somewhat unexpected but welcomed turn to his roots, and Reba’s “Stronger Than The Truth” was one of the best mainstream albums in years.
Ever since Tim McGraw’s move to Sony, it’s seemed like a series of missteps. Now Tim McGraw is a man without a label. We’ll likely hear about McGraw signing to a new label in a matter of days. Maybe it will even be Big Machine. Don’t count on it being Curb. But again the question is, why all the label musical chairs in the first place?
Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt have all received individual distinctions aplenty over the years, with both Dolly and Emmylou being members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Ronstadt a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But now all three of these important and iconic country music women will be honored together.
We were so swept up in praising ourselves for all the gains made in the independent realm of country music in 2017, it wasn’t until here in the dwindling moments of the year that we realized just what a dreadful era 2017 posed in the mainstream.
Look, I see what they were going for here. The problem is what they were going for was just not very good. This album is a concert play; not your typical studio record. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are on this massive “Soul2Soul” tour together, and when folks have been to the concert, they want to buy Tim and Faith the home game.
The new deal brings Carrie Underwood full circle. In 1996, when Carrie Underwood was just 14, she had auditioned for Capitol Records. When the company was forging a contract with the fledgling star, the management at the company changed and the deal fell through.
Well, this Tim McGraw/Faith Hill collaboration looked good on paper. And it still might result in some favorable and lasting contributions to country music. But “Speak To a Girl” feels a bit like a misfire, at least on the creative side. “Speak To a Girl” is not a bad song, but it does a lot of the little things wrong.
Chivalry may be dead, but it’s alive and well in the McGraw/Hill household. In a press release, the couple announced they will release a new single together called “Speak to a Girl” that will be shipping to country radio on March 23rd. It will be the first single off of a joint album with McGraw and Hill.
What’s so strange about the news is Tim McGraw seemed to be doing so well on Big Machine after fleeing Curb Records. There was a lot of symbolism in McGraw moving to Big Machine after a lengthy court battle with Curb, which tried to keep him on the label indefinitely and was ruining his career.
Not only is Faith Hill and Notorious B.I.G and incredibly awkward musical pairing on the surface, it’s also a strange headline because Notorious B.I.G. has been dead for some 20 years. He was gunned down in 1997 in a still unsolved murder. Nonetheless, it’s coming from CNN, right? President Trump may accuse them of “fake news,” but this isn’t the onion.
They’ve decided to divide opening duties among a total of 26 separate openers across the 65 total tour dates, as opposed to taking the usual stance with openers, which is to drag the same two or three lightweight mainstream up-and-comers around with them for six months. Even more surprising are the names selected to open.
The allure of ABC’s hour-long drama Nashville lost its luster for yours truly many seasons ago after the drama got so ridiculous you could see the plot twists coming from a mile away. And the music—though still a decent component—got somewhat sidelined in recent seasons in lieu of keeping the sappy and seductive scenes coming to keep eyes glued on the TV screen.
Gone are the days of Loretta Lynn singing “One’s On The Way.” Gone are the days of adult issues like divorce, resonating with mature audiences. Gone are the days of originality, not only in style but in songwriting. In that classic era you could tell the difference between Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. Artists were easily discernible and legends arose because of their unique qualities…
On Friday morning (12-5), the Grammy Award nominations were inefficiently and unceremoniously announced via Twitter, and once again proved that their nose for quality in country music is somewhat better than what we’re used to seeing from the country music industry itself, even if their ability to categorize music remains somewhat curious.
Brandy Clark, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Faith Hill, Glen Campbell, John Hiatt, Keb Mo, Kenny Chesney, Lee Ann Womack, Miranda Lambert, NIckel Creek, Rosanne Cash, Ryan Adams, Sturgill Simpson, Tim McGraw
I write these words knowing that many will roll up to this Tim McGraw dissertation looking for a bowl of blood as recompense for the emotional direst recent Tim McGraw singles such as “Truck Yeah” have waged on the mental state of many innocent country music fans. But the simple truth is Tim McGraw’s new album ‘Sundown Heaven Town’ deserves to be spared the most sinister strokes from the poison pen.
One of the big stories involving the back end of country music in 2014 has been the potential formation of a brand new radio format to give a home to the older artists quickly being shuffled off of mainstream radio in the movement towards youth. The big question that remains is how the new format for older country music could take shape.
So we now know who the big winner was for the Garth sweepstakes. But who was the biggest loser? That is certainly what you could call Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records in the situation. Why? Because they had the biggest stake in the Garth sweepstakes, because of Big Machine’s joint venture with the radio world’s Cumulus Media called NASH Icons.
If Cumulus Media and its CEO Lew Dickey have their way, in the coming years that big ‘N’ will be one of the most recognized brands in North America, especially if you’re a country music fan. The plans that Lew Dickey has for that big brown ‘N’ are ambitious to say the least, and look to permeate just about every segment of the consumer culture of the United States.
Alan Jackson, Big Machine Records, Bobby Bones, Clear Channel, Cumulus, Faith Hill, Garth Brooks, Jerry Del Colliano, Lew Dickey, NASH, Nash Icons, Rush Limbaugh, Scott Borchetta, Sean Hannity, Shania Twain
Last night Tim McGraw and Faith Hill began their stint of shows at Vegas’s Venetian, and apparently the show opens with an unveiled shot at country music’s traditionalists and two artists they hold dear: Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams. Tim and Faith’s “Soul2Soul” show opens up to Waylon’s “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” playing mockingly.
One likely reason we’re seeing an explosion of product naming and perfumes is because in the new reality of the music business, the album and single cycle is elongating. Tim McGraw and his label Curb Records have been at the center of this trend, with McGraw insisting they release his music, and Curb attempting to stretch its artists’ albums out.
That’s the real problem, not Jr.’s statements or ESPN’s whiplash decision, it is the fact that mass pop media is perpetually letting us all down, and giving in to the least common denominator. Hank should be happy. His career had been reduced to a weekly punch line. And ESPN should be happy they’re lighter a 200-pound blowhard who hasn’t had anything substantive to offer for 20 years.
The revolution to take back Country Music has begun my friends. I am boldly declaring that on this day, the 3rd of November in the year 2008, the first salvo has been shot, and the money changers and Californicators of the Nashville power-elite oligarchy have no other choice but to take notice. Pop country is […]