A legend of country music songwriting, and one that put the painful experience of divorce into words and song like none other has gone to the great honky tonk in the sky. Sanger D. Shafer, known popularly as Whitey Shafer, passed away on Saturday, January 12th according to reports.
Saving Country Music unapologetically leans towards the independent and traditional side of country music. But that doesn’t mean the mainstream of country doesn’t get it right every so often. It’s important that we highlight those positive albums and artists too.
A Saving Country Music Song of the Year candidate is not just your favorite ditty that gets stuck in your head. These are songs that change hearts, change lives, rest in your head for years to come, open up new ideas, or unlock memories or emotions you haven’t felt in years.
Not since Keith Urban have we witnessed an artist trying so transparently to defy their age, and grasp for radio relevancy. “Young As We Are Tonight” is just bad all around, from the writing to the production. And “Young As We Are Tonight” will not go anywhere.
The role of mainstream country music in this contentious time of ever-present social cataclysm and perennial political polarization is starting to materialize, and in pretty conclusive form. Country music is seeing all the turmoil, and wanting to be a calming, unifying voice, instead of choosing sides, and lending to the discord.
Tasked with keeping you up-to-date, informed, and entertained with the best new country music coming down the pike, a new set of songs has just been added to the Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist. This includes Whitey Morgan and the 78’s brand new hard charging song “Honky Honk Hell.”
An album cut is one thing, especially in 2018 when most fans don’t even buy records anymore, and instead stream the top singles on Spotify or Apple Music, and ignore the rest. The real test would be if Kenny Chesney had the fortitude to release “Better Boat” as a single.
Cody Jinks is disrupting the country music charts in a big way with his latest release ‘Lifers’ by turning in career-best numbers that put him near the top of multiple album metrics. ‘Lifers’ is the first record Cody Jinks released after signing to Rounder Records this spring.
If Kenny Chesney hadn’t spent the last 20-something years of his career beating down the country music listening public with his barrage of island and beach songs, we probably would be talking about how his latest record ‘Songs For The Saints’ is a striking piece of conceptualized album making/
Nearly everything about “Better Boat” is right. The songwriters Travis Meadows and Liz Rose are right. The entirety of the instrumentation being performed by Mac McAnally on an acoustic guitar is right. Kenny choosing songwriter Mindy Smith to perform the song with instead of some pop star is right.
Originally appearing on John Baumann’s 2014 record ‘High Plains Alchemy,’ the song has the nautical references common to a Kenny Chesney tune, but is much more poetic and deep than a beach bum ditty—more indicative of a song you may have heard from Guy Clark back in the day, or perhaps James McMurtry.
It’s 24 weeks atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for Bebe Rexha’s collaboration with Florida Georgia Line, “Meant To Be.” This means the song first recorded and released solely as a pop single has now tied Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” for the 2nd longest-running #1 single in the Billboard Hot Country Songs history.
Songs like “Get Along” may not go far in solving society’s problems or to helping to save country music. But they also are not working against these goals. They’re a step in the right direction, and just like the songs say, we shouldn’t let our differences get the better of us, or allow us to not see the bigger picture.
Once again as spring nears, it becomes time for the annual exercise to ponder who perhaps the CMA will deem worthy for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. About this time the secret CMA-approved committee is going over their final ballots and whittling down the precious names to the few who will make it.
Country Music Hall of Fame, David Allan Coe, Dottie West, Gram Parsons, Hank Williams Jr. Dwight Yoakam, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Paycheck, Keith Whitley, Kenny Chesney, Lynn Anderson, Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs, Travis Tritt. Brooks & Dunn
What’s the value in late career success when you sell out to attain it like David Lee Murphy has done here? You can forgive the lightness in the writing. You can even excuse the cavorting with Kenny Chesney. But that stupid electronic drum beat is the type of thing David Lee Murphy should be railing against.
Music can teach us that we all love, we all face fears, and we all can overcome whatever inward or outward oppression that may be dogging us to flourish and prosper. If a music artist chooses to broach political subjects or to speak out against injustices in their music, them more power to them. But don’t hold silence accountable as complicity.
A tribute is finally planned for The Hag, and it promises to be a star-studded event. ‘Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard’ will take place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, April 6th to honor what would have been Merle Haggard’s 80th birthday, and to mark the one year anniversary of his passing.
Alison Krauss, Ben Haggard, Bobby Bare, Buddy Cannon, Connie Smith, Dierks Bentley, Don Was, Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, John Anderson, John Mellencamp, Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Chesney, Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Ronnie Dunn, Sing Me Back Home The Music of Merle Haggard, The Avett Brothers, Theresa Haggard, Warren Haynes, Willie Nelson
It’s always worth a chuckle when you hear someone say that country music must “evolve” to stay relevant, or hear an artist bellyache about how constricting country music is to their creativity. And then you put on a record like this and hear just how much a true artist can do with a simple message and melody, and three chords and the truth.
Over the last decade and beyond, it has not been humanly possible to book more godawful performers for the centerpiece of the NFL’s Thanksgiving schedule than what we’ve seen take center field during the halftime of the Dallas Cowboys’ football game. It’s like they purposely conduct a study to find who is the most dreadful performer of the day.
So wait, Kenny Chesney changed the name of his new record and delayed the release … for this? Don’t bother shaving your legs or changing out of your sweatpants for this one ladies, “Setting the World On Fire” is a non-plussing, generic, lame, cliché, afterthought of a song, not worth the paper it was written on.
The next trend in country may not be defined by a style or a sound, but who is involved in it. But if collaborations will be the next big trend, how about putting out just a little bit of effort to make sure that the great talent that is going unrecognized in country music itself gets some love?
Ashley Monroe, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Demi Lovato, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Elle King, Gwen Stefani, Johnny Bush, Kenny Chesney, Kenny Rogers, Little Big Town, Lori McKenna, Miranda Lambert, Pharrell, Pink, Pitbull, Steve Fromholz, The Pistol Annies, Tim McGraw, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson
Every year, Kenny Chesney’s annual concert on Pittsburgh’s North Shore at the Heinz Field has become the biggest country music embarrassment of the year. This year it’s the video of a drunken female talking on the phone, bent backwards like a character from an M.C. Escher painting while walking backwards before eventually falling down.
It was late Saturday night, early Sunday morning, roughly midnight Central time, and a press release was sent out across the wires from the Kenny Chesney camp. It seemed like a very strange time to send out a press release, but Kenny Chesney’s peeps had a story they wanted to get out to the public, or more specifically, a story they wanted to be out ahead of.
“Noise” is not a bad song. It’s not a good one either, and it’s certainly not country. But it’s not bad. And is it better than Bro-Country or some island ballad? I guess it is, but only as the lesser of evils. The problem here is that the song takes itself too seriously, and it’s built from the same stupid formula Kenny Chesney has used before.