It’s not that Luke Combs is ideal, because he isn’t. Hell, who is? And for many independent fans, he will never compete with the likes of Cody Jinks or Tyler Childers in their hearts. But who would you rather have being the face of mainstream country at the moment?
It is very important to contextualize that Luke Combs has completely scrubbed Confederate flags from his image, and for many years now—a critically important point not relayed by Margo Price’s tweet. If nothing else, this should exonerate Billy Strings from having to answer for anything.
When making the case for the character of someone, it’s not just about how they rise to the top, but what they do when they get there. In the case of Luke Combs, he’s been using his platform and his time off of the road during the pandemic to promote and collaborate with some of the best artists in independent country.
Hey mom, look! I made Texas Monthly! …wait, what? Well you know what they say, always attack up. I just wish that if they were going to devote nearly their entire article to reefing little ol’ Saving Country Music in the nuts when I was nothing more than a bit player in a much bigger issue, they could have at least put my name in the headline.
The announcement of the main stage lineup at the Houston Rodeo is an annual head scratcher for many across the Lone Star State and beyond who actually pay attention to the music native to Texas and Houston, and wonder why one of the biggest events in Texas all year chooses to import most of its talent from out of the state.
You may not get to see any of the talented musicians from Texas take the field during the halftime show or sing the National Anthem at the 2017 Super Bowl despite the game being held in Houston, TX. But leading up to the big game there will be a big gaggle of worthy Texas musicians taking the stage as part of the Super Bowl LIVE experience.
In the country music department, the amount of emphasis on Christmas releases in 2016 has been nothing short of astounding, and maybe even historic. And I’m not just talking about “Rascal Flatts Sing The Chipmunks” or whatever crap that’s out there. Even independent artists and country legends have showered the country music listening public…
Forget what you should call this music, if it fits in Americana, or if a country website should even be talking about it. The songs themselves are excellent, and truthfully, shoving the music and arrangements to the side for a moment, if you would call the songs of “Workingman’s Bellfuries” anything, you might have to call them country.
“Awards shows don’t matter.” This is the bill of goods fans of true country music, and fans of independent music have been forced to sell themselves for years as a consolation prize for continuously being overlooked, losing in bulk, and being generally embarrassed during the moments when America and the world crowds around the boob tube for the spectacle of a televised award show like the CMA’s or the Grammys.
Aaron Watson, Americiana, Ashley Monroe, Blackberry Smoke, Brandy Clark, Cam, Chris Stapleton, Grammy Awards, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Lee Ann Womack, Leon Bridges, O Brother Where Art Thou, Ralph Stanley, Willie Nelson
It’s all R&B. Like, all of it. If it’s American and mainstream, chances are it’s better categorized as R&B than anything else. It doesn’t matter what genre of music you’re talking about. Of course R&B sounds like R&B, but so does hip-hop these days. Modern rock? Yeah, it’s pretty much just R&B. Country music? That may be the most convincing case.
Adele, Alabama Shakes, Brett Eldredge, Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Coldplay, Country Music Gold, Eli Young Band, Gary Allan, Jason Aldean, Justin Timberlake, Leon Bridges, Luke Bryan, mono-genre, Old Dominion, Prophets and Outlaws, Sam Hunt, The Weeknd, Thomas Rhett