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.
Lil Nas X
The distaste the CMA Awards experience can leave in the mouth of actual country music fans is chased early this year by the announcement of the 2020 Grammy Award nominees in the Country and American Roots categories. Though no set of ears will find the nominees list ideal, those with distinguishing tastes will be much more rewarded.
Ashley McBryde, Brooks & Dunn, Dan Auerbach, Dee White, Eric Church, I'm With Her, J.S. Ondara, Keb Mo, Kendell Marvel, Lil Nas X, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, The Pistol Annies, Tyler Childers, Willie Nelson, Yola
As easily predicted, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus won the 2019 CMA Award for Musical Event of the Year for their collaboration on the genre-bending summer smash “Old Town Road.” In a strange plot twist to “Old Town Road” winning a CMA Award, so does industrial artist Trent Reznor. He now has a CMA Awards, while many country legends don’t.
“It’s definitely not a country record,” Sturgill Simpson told Sarah Silverman point blank back in November of 2018 about the new album. The “definitely” underscores that there’s no wiggle room in that interpretation. So the question is, why is Sound & Fury on the Billboard country charts?
Full-time Navy enlistee turned country music songwriting sensation Zach Bryan has acquired some big muscle behind him to help forward his burgeoning music career. It’s not just fans who’ve been paying attention to his rapid ascent. Managers, booking agents, and labels have been hot on the trail of the Tulsa, Oklahoma native.
If you’re a country music fan and are disappointed that your favorite artist didn’t get enough screen time in the Ken Burns film on country music, well guess what, your favorite genre did, and by the most revered documentary filmmaker of our time, and before rock n’ roll, pop, the blues, soul music, or hip-hop.
Alan Jackson, Allen Reynolds, Bill Monroe, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bluebird Cafe, Brooks & Dunn, Chris Stapleton, Clint Black, Conway Twitty, Dayton Duncan, Dierks Bentley, Dixie Chicks, Don Williams, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, George Jones, George Strait, Glen Campbell, Jamey Johnson, Johnny Cash, Kathy Mattea, Keith Whitley, Ken Burns, Lil Nas X, Little Big Town, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Miranda Lambert, Nanci Griffith, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Rick Rubin, Ricky Skaggs, Rosanne Cash, Ryman Auditorium, Steve Earle, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, The Judds, Toby Keith, Travis Tritt, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill
The broadcast of the Ken Burns-produced 8-part, 16-hour documentary on country music could very well be the most significant event to happen in country music in 2019, if not in the next few years. For country music to receive the expansive documentary treatment for America’s preeminent filmmaking archivist could have significant implications.
Kane Brown is not happy about getting snubbed by the CMAs, again. And as he’s did last year, he took to Twitter on Wednesday (8-28) after the CMA nominations were revealed to show his disdain, posting a GIF of Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry shaking his head in disappointment. Now he’s deleted his Twitter account.
The entirety of Blake Shelton’s career just devolved quicker than a political discussion with your drunk and racist uncle at Thanksgiving dinner. All the headway country music has made over the last couple of years, and now we have to figure out how to maneuver around this “Hell Right” bullshit.
None of this is real ladies and gentlemen. From the fake controversies, to the gaming of the meme culture and social media to make 30-second snippets somehow compete with actual songs on charts, to the paying for streams to create false positives on breakout hits, the malfeasance in the monogenre space with country music as the heel…
The Country Music Antichrist Scott Borchetta is hellbent on world domination ladies and gentlemen, and in the process expect him to pull country music in the pop direction more than ever before. In an interview, he downplayed Luke Combs and Kane Brown, while touting Thomas Rhett as the only true 20-something headliner.
Feeling the spirit in the Ryman Auditorium, Cody Johnson addressed the sold out crowd about what country music means to him, and the commitment it truly takes to consider yourself a country artist. Cody Johnson was dead on about the importance of supporting country artists who don’t just use the word “country” as a sales tactic.
Once again a major periodical has presented a completely false timeline for the removal of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” from the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in an attempt to pin the inspiration for the removal on Saving Country Music. The ‘Bitter Southerner’ article written by Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, PhD published on June 13th….
On Sunday night (6-9), legendary hip-hop outfit The Wu-Tang Clan made a stop at the Ryman Auditorium as part of their 25th Anniversary tour for a sold-out performance. Known affectionately as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” the booking of Wu-Tang at the Ryman might have seemed a little weird to some.
Adopting the sounds and modes of pop and hip-hop might make country music cool to some, but the genre’s most existential threat is not dying because nobody wants to listen to it, it’s going extinct as an art form because nobody can distinguishing it from anything else.
So if anyone was wondering if Billy Ray Cyrus was the secret ingredient to Lil Nas X’s success, or if signing up with the young man would result in a resurgence in Billy Ray’s career, you have your answer. And the sad part is that ‘The Snakedoctor Circus’ is not a particularly bad album at all.
Shane Morris—the former Sony music employee who became a national media celebrity and Twitter star after supposedly exposing the systemic racism in country music—has just exposed himself as a serial liar. Subsequently, his Twitter account has been either been deleted or shut down by the the social network.
Before the controversy over the removal of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” from the Billboard country charts would roil the country music world with accusations of racism and “black erasure,” it was Beyonce and her song “Daddy Lessons” from 2016 that had many outside of country hot and bothered.
It’s now been over five weeks since Saving Country Music exposed numerous incidents of outright false reporting by multiple major news outlets when it came to the removal of Lil Nas X’s song “Old Town Road” from the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, including from the supposed “newspaper of record” in America.
Marty Stuart, who’s the documentary’s lead contributor and a staunch preservationist of country music’s history, says the new film is “like the cavalry coming.” Marty Stuart says, “The traditional end of country music sometimes gets overshadowed by the contemporary … It’s an awesome gift.”
The allure of the man behind the mask making music under the name Orville Peck has become the talk of much of independent country music and Americana lately, with critics and fans alike swooning over his mod-styled moody music mixed with Western imagery. Most certainly what this man is doing is unique.
As the alternative to the bigger, two-weekend all-genre gathering called Coachella, The Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California every April is supposed to give country music its turn on the famous Empire Polo Club grounds so as not be shaded out by the massive names of the pop, EDM, and hip-hop world.
“Yeah, it’s pretty catchy,” Luke Combs says. “But I feel there’s a little bit of sarcasm there I don’t necessarily appreciate. I feel like I’m being poked fun at a bit. Country music is near and dear to my heart, and one of the things that’s most important to me is that the music should be taken seriously.”
“Old Town Road” is now the #1 song in all of music. However it wasn’t just the infectiousness of the track that got it there. It was also due to indisputably incorrect and biased reporting by major media outlets, from legacy music magazines such as Rolling Stone, all the way up to NPR and The New York Times.