The latest album from Kacey Musgraves called ‘Star-Crossed’ is more pop than country. Nonetheless, in the polarizing time we live in, the recent decision by the Grammy Awards to move Star-Crossed from consideration in the country category has set off a firestorm.
A Grammy Awards screening committee who must make the tough decisions of which albums are considered “country” in the ever-mutating world of popular music has deemed that the latest album from Kacey Musgraves called Star-Crossed should not be eligible for ‘Best Country Album.’
In 2015, when Mickey Guyton released her debut single “Better Than You Left Me,” she symbolized hope in the mainstream of country music for a host of reasons. Similar to how we regard artists such as Lainey Wilson and Carly Pearce today, Mickey Guyton was a bright spot.
‘Star-Crossed’ comes from the aftermath of Kacey’s marriage to fellow performer and songwriter Ruston Kelly. Said to be fashioned to unfold similar to a Greek tragedy in three acts, the album is tragic for sure, but strains to convey any entertainment value or valuable insight.
You may have forgotten about it. After all, it was 10 years ago. But one of the first big breaks for Kacey Musgraves, and one of the biggest songs early on for the Texas-based Josh Abbott Band was “Oh, Tonight” from the band’s February 2010 album ‘She Likes Texas.’
The strategy and reasoning here are pretty obvious. Kacey Musgraves has been a critical darling in country music for years. But the country music industry and especially country radio has never known what to do with her.
After staring long in the mirror, meditating on the subject, counseling with mentors, and rewatching the introduction to The Muppet Movie from 1979, I have resolved in my heart that yes, this a hill I am willing to die on.
Getting into the Texas theme (or at least, a country one), Post Malone threw everyone for a curve ball by borrowing Dwight Yoakam’s band, and busting out a few country songs at Matthew McConaughey’s Texas benefit Sunday night.
Eric Church is one of those rare animals that is able to straddle the line between the independent and the mainstream, commercial success and grassroots support, and put a massive crowd of fans together regardless of how radio is treating him at the time.
Unless you were there in person, you missed it. But now we’ll all get the opportunity to see the tribute concert that transpired on April 6th, 2017, when a hefty list of musical talent all assembled at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to pay tribute to the legendary Merle Haggard.
Aaron Lewis, Ben Haggard, Billy Gibbons, Blackbird Presents, Bobby Bare, Buddy Miller, Chris Janson, Connie Smith, Dierks Bentley, Hank Williams Jr., Jake Owen, Jamey Johnson, John Anderson, John Mellencamp, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Richards, Kenny Chesney, Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Rodney Crowell, Ronnie Dunn, Sheryl Crow, Sing Me Back Home The Music of Merle Haggard, Tanya Tucker, The Avett Brothers, Toby Keith, Warren Haynes, Willie Nelson
Saturday, October 10th would have been John Prine’s 74th birthday. The revered songwriting legend passed away on April 7th due to COVID-19. But there will still be plenty of remembering and celebration to mark the occasion., including re-airing the popular “Picture Show: A Tribute Celebrating John Prine.”
It’s worth noting that Rolling Stone’s new updated version of their “500 Best Albums of All Time” significantly diminishes iconic titles from the classic country canon. Not only were some titles downgraded, some were eliminated entirely.
Charley Pride, Cody Jinks, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, George Jones, Gram Parsons, Jason Isbell, John Prine, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, Lucinda Williams, Miranda Lambert, Patsy Cline, Ray Charles, Rolling Stone, Shania Twain, Steve Earle, Taylor Swift, The Byrds, Turnpike Troubadours, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
This week, Maddie & Tae’s “Die From A Broken Heart” finally made it to #1 on the country radio charts. It is a major accomplishment, and a long-fought battle for a song that was originally revealed to fans all the way back in the fall of 2018, and not released as a proper single to radio until May 6th, 2019.
Margo Price’s new album That’s How Rumors Get Started was described by American Songwriter as “very un-country.” Talking with The Nashville Scene, Price herself foretells how people will still try to sell her new album as country by trying to use “fancy words.” But she states decisively, “Nope, I made a rock ’n’ roll record.”
Lo and behold, Brett Eldredge delivers a record in Sunday Drive worthy of all the promises in the run up. It’s is more adult. It does feel fairly Americana. He doesn’t fall back on drum loops or snap tracks, and many of the songs are really well-written. In short, Sunday Drive feels decidedly non mainstream.
A virtual celebration of Prine’s life and legacy has been planned for Thursday, June 11th called Picture Show: A Tribute Celebrating John Prine to be streamed online. Also after the presentation will be the revealing of a new John Prine song, with more unheard music on the way.
Beyond making a really bad amalgam of derivative and formulaic rap pop by ripping off the styles of Drake and trap beat artists to only then turn around and sell it as country to the gullible masses, Sam Hunt is also superlative at turning hip-hop, pop, and indie rock writers into certified country music experts.
Songwriting legend John Prine’s wife, Fiona Whelan Prine, has tested positive for the Coronavirus. Diagnosed late last week, she hasn’t been running a fever, but has been suffering from a cough and some breathlessness, and general fatigue. “I just don’t feel great at all, to put it mildly.”
“Your Life is a Record” is a little bit of a different approach for Brandy. Where usually her songs follow more of a proven methodology in the use of double entendres and witty turns of phrase and perspective to render themselves enjoyable, this record strikes a more personal chord.
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
Here are the greatest country and roots albums of the last decade in Saving Country Music’s estimation. Albums were regarded primarily on quality, and how they held up over the decade, as well as the influence they had on country music, and music at large. These are the albums that should not be overlooked over the last 10 years of music.
Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Caitlin Rose, Chris Stapleton, Cody Jinks, Emily Scott Robinson, First Aid Kit, Hellbound Glory, Jack Ingram, James McMurtry, Jason Eady, Jason Isbell, John Moreland, Joseph Huber, Kacey Musgraves, Kellie Pickler, Lindi Ortega, MIke and the Moonpies, Miranda Lambert, Olds Sleeper, Roger Alan Wade, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Slackeye Slim, Sturgill Simpson, Sunny Sweeney, Tami Neilson, The Mavericks, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers, Zephaniah OHora
It seems few if anyone is thinking about the music itself amid the Grammy Awards drama, or the artists who on Sunday will get the opportunity to experience something they’ve dreamed of happening from the first time they chose to pursue music, which is hearing their name called to receive a Grammy Award.
It’s been 10 years since Country Music Hall of Famers Brooks & Dunn hit the road for a proper national tour. That will all change this summer and fall when the duo hits the road on the REBOOT 2020 Tour. Who will the opening acts be? According to the duo, there won’t be any. But there will be “special guests.”
Grammy nominated, CMA-winning, well-respected and admired singer and songwriter Brandy Clark is prepping the release of a new album in the new year called ‘Your Life Is A Record.’ Though details on the new record are still a little light, Brandy did preview the new record recently during a promotional event.
Adam Wright, Barry Dean, Brandy Clark, Chase McGill, Clint Daniels, Hailey Whitters, Jay Joyce, Jesse Frasure, Jessie Jo Dillon, Jonathan Singleton, Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Shane McAnally, Sunny Sweeney, Wade Bowen, Your Life Is A Record