One of the most interesting and accomplished characters to ever grace the history of country music has unfortunately passed away. Eddie Pleasant just about did it all. He was a performer and musician. He wrote songs. He worked as the right-hand man for Hank Williams Jr.
After a quarter century, and a very messy last eight years or so, Gary Allan has just made it official: he’s leaving his long time label home of Universal Music Group Nashville. And though we won’t know for a while just where he’ll land or how everything will shake out, it feels like it can only be a positive development.
If you feel like you’re experiencing déjà vu with Gary Allan lashing out at country music’s radio system, it’s because you’re more dialed into the doings of country music than the writers over at Rolling Stone. Yes, we have been at this exact spot with Gary Allan before.
It’s not that ‘Ruthless’ is terrible or anything. And if you’re a hardcore Gary Allan fan—of which there are a few—you will probably find enough to enjoy to think of the effort as satisfactory. Still, ‘Ruthless’ is full of compromises and half measures, and it’s only country in spurts.
Many true country fans were ecstatic at the news, but I fear some folks have visions of getting a slew of new songs from Gary along the lines of “Nothing On but the Radio” and “Smoke Rings in the Dark” when we already have multiple indications that’s unlikely the direction Gary Allan will be taking.
From the Grammy-winning song “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days)” that became the signature song from The Judds, to Gary Allan’s first #1 hit “Man To Man,” to Ronnie McDowell’s #1 “Older Woman,” songwriter Jamie O’Hara made major contributions to the songbook of country music.
Gary Allan attempting to relaunch his career on radio has now morphed from a storyline into a bonafide saga. His latest attempt is the song “Waste of a Whiskey Drink” that has been released to the public and radio from a still unnamed album fans have been waiting some five years for.
There should be no shame in major music outfits taking money through the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, to keep their road crew and support staff financially stable, despite it being characterized as the cash grab of millionaires by some, aided by certain embellished and misleading headlines in the media.
Shaky Boots is returning as a replacement for the EDM/hip-hop festival, Shaky Beats. The rock fest Shaky Knees will still be held in 2020 the week before in Atlanta’s Central Park. Also as part of the return is more of an emphasis on independent country and Americana artists, as can be seen in the lineup.
“ ‘Organic’ is a good word,” Gary Allan says. “I feel like somebody needs to stick out and turn this thing back toward something more organic. Country music used to be the most organic stuff out there, and now it’s become super pop-influenced. We used to influence pop. Now I feel like we’re being influenced by pop.”
Benefiting The Young Texans Against Cancer, the 10th Annual Lone Star Jam held forth at the rodeo grounds in Austin, TX over Memorial Day weekend, May 26th and 27th. Saving Country Music braved the heat to take in the festivities and snap a few photos.
Bri Bagwell, Cleto Cordero, Dalton Domino, Drugstore Gypsies, Flatland Cavalry, Gary Allan, Jaime Wyatt, Kody West, Laura Jane, Lone Star Jam, MIke and the Moonpies, Parker McCollum, Randall King, Randy Rogers, Read Southall, Reckless Kelly, Stoney LaRue, The Randy Rogers Band, Troy Cartwright, William Clark Green
“I’d Sing About You” is all steel guitar and fiddle set to a country shuffle to move your boots across the dance floor. And though the premise is a little silly, and maybe even a little list-like in its approach, it’s also very sweet and witty in that warm, folksy manner that you want from a good country song.
Eddie Pleasant is known as possibly the very first individual to ever sell a concert T-shirt. Eddie Pleasant took white T-shirts with an 8X10 picture of Hank Jr. on the front, and turned it into one of the most lucrative industries in music at the time.
Big Al Halterman, Buddy Lee, CJ Udeen, Conway Twitty, Eddie Pleasant, Gary Allan, Hank Williams Jr., Hank3, Jim Reeves, Kitty Wells, L.E. White, Lefty Frizzell, Marry Jane, Stoney Cooper, Vernon Derrick, Willie Nelson, Wilma Lee
It was either feast or famine for country singles in 2016. As the rigged singles system that almost guarantees #1 songs for any releases from big-named artists metastasized at radio—creating an incredible volume of singles hitting #1 for a solitary week before immediately falling off a precipice—if a song happened to not fit into that rigged system…
Last time we saw Gary Allan he was looking all dapper in a crushed velvet suit with a perfectly-folded silk pocket handkerchief, trying to do his best Justin Timberlake impression and singing “Hangover Tonight” like he had a shot at that new hot R&B sound of Thomas Rhett and Brett Eldredge. Now we see Gary lounged back on a couch rescued from a curbside.
One of the biggest questions coming off of Music Row at the end of 2015 was what the hell was going on at MCA Nashville. Artists on the roster not named Sam Hunt seemed to be in perpetual limbo and lost in time when it came to new music and new albums. Well perhaps all the bellyaching by fans finally helped shake the MCA Nashville log jam loose.
Now there’s some news, though it’s of a convoluted variety. On Wednesday (3-31), it was announced that Gary Allan had “re-signed” with Universal Music Group Nashville—the parent company of MCA Nashville. The press release spoke about how Gary had been with the label for the entirety of his 20-year career, which is true. But one very important distinction in the press release is that Gary is no longer being promoted by MCA Nashville.
How people listen to music is clearly changing, but much of the country music industry isn’t following suit. In a town that employs scores of people just to push songs to radio, Nashville doesn’t know how to behave any differently than they did 60 years ago. Entire companies are based around trying to sell songs to country radio. The difference now is radio is no longer the only game in town.
Are you waiting for your favorite music artists signed to MCA Nashville to release an album after a prolonged hiatus? Perhaps you heard the first single months or sometimes years ago, but still no record? Well you’re not alone. It looks like the unenviable position of being the most notorious label on Music Row is no longer a slam dunk for Curb Records.
And so continued on the unrelenting march of terrible songs in 2015. This year included some especially diabolical turns that puts the last 12 months in contention for the worst run for songs in country music history. Of course the usual suspects appear on the rap sheet like Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, and Sam Hunt. But 2015 ushered in the worst year for watching previously heralded artists turning their coats from blue to red.
Alabama, Bret Michaels, Brett Eldredge, Cole Swindell, Danielle Bradbery, Eli Young Band, Eric Paslay, Gary Allan, Granger Smith, Jennifer Nettles, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Randy Houser, Sam Hunt, Scotty McCreery, The Band Perry, Thomas Rhett, Ucle Ezra Ray, Zac Brown Band
It’s all R&B. Like, all of it. If it’s American and mainstream, chances are it’s better categorized as R&B than anything else. It doesn’t matter what genre of music you’re talking about. Of course R&B sounds like R&B, but so does hip-hop these days. Modern rock? Yeah, it’s pretty much just R&B. Country music? That may be the most convincing case.
Adele, Alabama Shakes, Brett Eldredge, Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Coldplay, Country Music Gold, Eli Young Band, Gary Allan, Jason Aldean, Justin Timberlake, Leon Bridges, Luke Bryan, mono-genre, Old Dominion, Prophets and Outlaws, Sam Hunt, The Weeknd, Thomas Rhett
One of the few bright spots in mainstream country for so many years (though he’d throw an unfortunate single out there upon occasion), when he released his latest single in March called “Hangover Tonight,” some wondered if the hard-edged 47-year-old had lost his mind. This wasn’t the Gary Allan we all knew, all dressing in crushed velvet suits and doing his best Bruno Mars impression.
This thing was considered ploddingly long in coming and and potentially missing in action nearly a year ago. Now for many Josh Turner fans, the situation has reached a critical mass state, and folks are starting to demand answers. Is Josh and his music being held hostage? At this point, what plausible explanation could be given to justify all the delays?
The color yellow was picked to be the primary backdrop for the relaunch. The image of a diamond shaped like a heart was selected as a logo (even though that’s not the way a true heart-shaped diamond is cut), and everyone had visions of a blockbuster #1 single and sold out arena tours dancing in their heads. . . . and since then, “Live Forever” has flopped.