There’s been much talk so far this year about how the women of country are outpacing the men when it comes to the quality of music, we’ve talked about possible reasons why that is. But we haven’t talked about some of the men that if simply given a chance, could shoot an immediate injection of substance into the country music format. They just need similar chances to their female counterparts.
Wagon Wheel” isn’t the “Free Bird” of our generation, it is our generation’s sonic equivalent of inserting a corkscrew into your earhole and giving it a nice good healthy turn. The song, initially stolen from a Bob Dylan demo by Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor with a “better to ask forgiveness than permission” approach, officially holds the title of the most ubiquitous song in the history of mankind that nobody’s heard.
If you’ve found you’re eyeballs affixed to these very words, you’ve likely found yourself at some point trying to explain that you like country, but not that type of country. Once many artists get to the very top of country pop, they seem to lose all self-awareness and begin to make fools of themselves, and by proxy, the genre that holds the same name as the music we love. He are some of the worst offenses.
Have you ever wondered who actually listens to those songs they play on pop country radio? Here are the six primary Archetypes, or as Music Row refers to them, “target demographics”, that make up the audience of the pop country world: The “Affliction T-Shirt “New Outlaw” Doucher”, “Bored Suburban Soccer Mom”, “Glitter-Faced Pop Country Girl”…
Aaron Lewis, Blackberry Smoke, Brantley Gilbert, Carrie Underwood, Colt Ford, Gary Levox, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Thompson Square, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Yelawolf
My overall grade of the 2011 CMA Awards would be “not terrible.” Jason Aldean could have swept the awards, and ushered in a new era in country music where a country rap song was the reigning Song of the Year. But Taylor’s Entertainer of the Year victory at least means that at least a little authenticity is still alive in the “country” genre. Or at least for another year.
2011, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brantley Gilbert, CMA Awards, Colt Ford, Eric Church, Hank Williams, Jason Aldean, Jr., Justin Bieber, Lady Antebellum, Lionel Ritchie, Little Jimmy Dickens, Luke Bryan, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, Scotty McCreery, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry
Just like how Taylor Swift’s big 2009 sweep of the awards caused a dramatic pop-oriented shift in the genre, an Aldean sweep could cause a shift to Aldean’s calling cards of checklist songs and country rap. And a win for the song “Dirt Road Anthem” would all but make the formation of the mono-genre complete.
It usually takes 6-9 months for the bloated machine of Music Row to realize and catch up on trends, but no doubt that within the next few months, we will begin to see more and more hip-hop infiltration into mainstream country. The next question will be, will the one artist that sits at the very top of the totem pole decide to lead ahead of that trend, or follow it?
I am quite astonished with this in so many different ways I don’t even know where to start. Actually I do. How about with the fact that Gwyneth, across multiple platforms, including movie, radio, and performance, and from a critical and commercial standpoint, has already failed in country music. The movie “Country Strong”, which is the impetus for this whole country music career, was a colossal critical and commercial failure.
I feel the need to iterate to you some observations for last night’s 2011 Grammy Awards, if only to get them off my chest. This is not entirely going to be a bitch fest. Every year they air the Grammy’s, and every year people are left scratching their heads and feeling hopelessness for music, and so it was to be expected that this year would be no different…
Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, Charlie Louvin, Eminem, Esperanza Spalding, Garth Brooks, Grammy, Justin Bieber, Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, Martina McBride, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Mumford and Sons, Randy Travis, Rihanna, Stevie Nicks, Taylor Swift, The Avett Brothers, The Black Crowes, The Suburbs
In the last few years, cataloging the dizzying amount of names that have been associated with music that sometimes is fundamentally the same has become almost impossible, while true sonic variations on the 12 traditional genres abound.
Bogged down arguments about who is what, and what to call it feel so tired, unproductive, and irrelevant, and as the outmoded systems of music distribution and radio promotion continue to erode, classifying your music in one of the traditional 12 genres is becoming less necessary. . .
Chris Brown, Colt Ford, Darius Rucker, Jamey Johnson, Jason Aldean, Justin Bieber, Kevin Fowler, Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, micro-genre, mono-genre, Rascal Flatts, super-genre, Taylor Swift, Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, XXX, Zac Brown Band
After the 2010 CMA’s some wanted to hang a “Mission Accomplished” banner for saving country music because folks like Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert walked away with big awards while the usual cast of pop country performers got the razz. Little they know this is all theater to keep us purists from not getting to restless, and setting up Taylor Swift to sweep the awards in 2011.
This is not John Denver and Olivia Newton John ruffling feathers by winning country awards. This isn’t Garth Brooks flying over stadiums on wires. This isn’t Rascal Flatts rehashing classic rock songs, or even Taylor Swift playing with a fiddle player hidden in a dark corner. This is it. This is the bottom of the slippery slope. This is country music’s ‘rock’ bottom.