Usually the themes of heartbreak in country music revolve around relationships, death, or perhaps the erosion of small town life or the family farm. But in the current environment in country, another type of heartbreak has emerged that is more intimately tied to the music itself.
Little Big Town
As a country music fan, you just want to proudly be able to profess to people your appreciation for this music that you hold such a passion for. You want to believe in its institutions, and that the best and the brightest of a generation are foisted forward and given the greatest opportunities.
Carly Pearce, Charles Esten, Chris Janson, Elizabeth Cook, Grand Ole Opry, Holly Williams, Jim Lauderdale, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, William Michael Morgan
They Grammy Awards have much greater implications than just some trophies to collect dust on the mantles of artists for years to come. In 2019, the recipients of some of the biggest awards and screen time were worthy country artists, and that has translated into some big sales and streaming boosts.
All the information about the 2019, 61st Annual Grammy Awards you need in one place, including the performers, the presenters, the nominees, and the important narratives the night will present in country and roots music, and beyond.
It’s no April Fools Joke. Country music legend Loretta Lynn is gearing up to celebrate her 87th birthday this April 14th, and on April 1st, many of country music’s finest will be coming together to show tribute to the Coal Miners Daughter in a massive concert and birthday party at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
Alan Jackson, Brandy Clark, Darius Rucker, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Jack White, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Loretta Lynn, Margo Price, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, Pistol Annies, Trisha Yearwood
It was a night to honor the women of country music, rally support behind them, and remember the legacy of many of the women who have come before. The problem is, very few people witnessed it. Ratings for the 2018 CMT Artists of the Year were poor to put it mildly.
Alison Krauss, Carrie Underwood, CMT Artists of the Year, Hillary Scott, Karen Fairchild, Kelsea Ballerini, Kimberly Schlapman, Lady Antebellum, Leslie Fram, Little Big Town, Loretta Lynn, Maren Morris, Margo Price, Miranda Lambert, Pistol Annies
The 2nd Annual Party in the Pines Festival scheduled to occur in White Springs, Florida October 19th and 20th at the Bienville Plantation has been abruptly cancelled just 10 days before gates were set to open, leaving fans and artists in the lurch and looking for refunds and explanations.
The Turnpike Troubadours have canceled yet another round of shows affecting performances in late August and up to their appearance at the Medicine Stone Festival on September 21st, which is still on. Their show Thursday night (8-30) at the Beaumont Event and Concert Hall in Wayne, Nebraska was canceled Thursday afternoon.
Oklahoma’s Turnpike Troubadours were forced to cancel their appearance Sunday night (8-26) at the Fayetteville Roots Festival after frontman Evan Felker was deemed too ill to perform. The cancellation comes after the band canceled their final appearances on the Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town “Bandwagon Tour.”
The Turnpike Troubadours will not be appearing on the final few dates of the current “Bandwagon Tour” opening for Little Big Town and Miranda Lambert as previously scheduled. The Oklahoma-based band was originally scheduled to appear as openers on 10 of the dates during the tour, but have canceled their final appearances.
Just like Lady Antebellum, Sugarland should have been relegated to the graveyard of failed country music franchises, if for no other reason than the respective members were actually much better in their off season solo projects than the sum of their parts ever were together. But in an industry that is empty of new ideas and interested in squeezing money from whatever crevice possible, no franchise is off the table for resurrection.
You may not be into attending big arena shows, but it’s hard to not be happy for the big opportunity being bestowed to the Turnpike Troubadours, Southern rock revivalists The Steel Woods, high caliber songwriter Natalie Hemby, and Tenille Townes who have all been tapped as openers on Miranda Lambert’s “Bandwagon Tour.”
The nominations for the 2018 Grammy Awards were announced Tuesday morning (11-28), and among the most nominated names are multiple traditional country and roots music favorites, including Chris Stapleton who comes in with three nominations, tied with award show favorites Little Big Town for the most nominations in country.
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.
“Alan Jackson. Wholeheartedly. Alan Jackson. All day. Everyday,” is what the former fiddle player for The Band Perry Jason Fitz said when asked who was the person in country music you most want to punch in the face. Jason Fitz now works for ESPN where the segment occurred.
There continues to be smoke about how Taylor Swift’s new project will potentially have a few country, or country-oriented tunes on it. That doesn’t mean she’ll make a full-on country album, release singles to country radio, or will even call the material country herself. But it could have big ramifications for the genre.
She didn’t choose the title Puxico for the way it popped for focus group audiences. It’s the name of her less than 1,000 population hometown in southeastern Missouri that sets the scene for an album that feels devoutly personal, humble in approach, and eager to express things a professional songwriter just can’t with total fulfillment through the voices of others.
“Better Man” is interesting for many reasons. Unfortunately, most of those reasons have little to do with the music itself. But this track is far from the worst transgressions on country radio, and it is refreshing to hear song that’s not all rosy targeted to the mainstream set. It will perform well as a cozy winter single tiding over Taylor Swift fans.
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
Clearly this trend of cross genre collaborations is only going to deepen, so with a servant’s heart and a sincere desire to help the collaborators and interlopers with their “country” efforts, Saving Country Music has constructed a pocket reference field guide to help these cross-genre collaborators navigate through their country music experience.
Superstar pop R&B artist and producer Pharrell Williams spent the better part of last week in Nashville performing with the vocal troupe Little Big Town, and the entire time he’s been repping for an unlikely band: alt-country/Americana outfit American Aquarium.
I’m speaking of Thomas Rhett’s “Vacation,” with its diabolically ridiculous baggage of 14 songwriters, and viral video featuring pubescent girls singing about drinking “cold ones.” “Vacation” is nothing more than two previous songs mashed together.
If you thought the story of The Band Perry over the last six months was one of the weirdest, most convoluted situations you could ever imagine coming from a mainstream country music franchise, we’re just beginning boys and girls. And where this entire thing ends up, who knows?
Saying that Justin Timberlake’s new single isn’t country may seem like an obvious statement, except that many were anticipating that the next move the pop singer and songwriter would make would be to dip his toes into country waters. Hell, after he’s been dropping monstrous hints about the move…