Are we just so happy to hear a mainstream record that doesn’t alienate us or let us down that we can construe a few good songs into a strong effort? Maybe that’s the case, but any work is only fair to judge beside its peers, and right now Paisley is one of the few setting the pace for decency in popular country music.
“Billy Don Burns.” To those country fans that know the name, it looms large. But the truth of the matter is, not many know the name. They know the names of Merle Haggard and Johnny Paycheck—two men who Billy Don Burns has produced albums for. They know Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash—two acquaintances of Burns who on separate occasions, wrote touching letters for him.
The Ryman is what lower Broadway revolves around, and it is easy to think that however it goes, so goes lower Broadway. When The Ryman was virtually shuttered in 1974 and The Grand Ole Opry moved to the Opry House, that is when the seeds of the lower Broadway decline were sowed.