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.
Heretofore, the greatest asset of the Brothers Osborne has been that they’re not Florida Georgia Line. This is how the singing and guitar playing brother duo hopscotched Beavis and Butthead to become the shoo-in duo for all of mainstream country’s industry awards, despite having not nearly the commercial prowess, or frankly, the influence.
We’re at war for the soul of country music ladies and gentlemen, and recruiting cute little pop stars from affluent Southern suburbs, and then attempting to refine their sugary styles to be even more pop, and more cute under the misguided notion that this is how to tap into the passion of the masses has only resulted in continuing losses.
Songwriter and promising mainstream performer Ashley McBryde’s debut major label release on Warner Nashville will be arriving March 30th, and will be named after the song she wrote for her Grand Ole Opry debut that helped spark off a national narrative behind the Arkansas native. She’s also released a new song called “American Scandal.”
After careful consideration of “Big Day in a Small Town,” it feels fair to say that this effort by Brandy Clark and producer Jay Joyce is worthy of being considered right up there with a very select few others as one of the best mainstream country music albums released in the last two or three years, and arguably trumps Clark’s previous effort that was also well-received.
It’s more fairly described as roots rock, and don’t worry, there’s still some of those plaintive and even painful moments that remind you that you’re listening to a modern-day Music Row release. But that doesn’t take away from the fact the Pawn Shop should be considered a healthy alternative on the mainstream music menu.
Saving Country Music has a rich, storied history when it comes to sharing opinions about Eric Church. Forget that just as much of the ink spilled for Church has been praising as it has been critical, when you’re dealing with an artist who enjoys a strong, grassroots fan base, you’re almost never going to win when you have something less than favorable to say.
Andrea Davidson, Eric Church, Jay Joyce, Jeff Hyde, Jeff Tweedy, Jeremy Spillman, Luke Dick, Mr. Misunderstood, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Review, Rhiannon Giddens, Susan Tedeschi, Travis Meadows, Valerie June