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.
Little Big Town
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…
The CMA has officially released the Nissan Stadium lineup for the CMA Music Festival coming up the 2nd week in June, and despite all of the talk of diversity and the inclusion of female acts in country, the lineup remains painfully lacking in female representation once again. Carrie Underwood thinks she knows why.
Riding the momentum of two Grammy wins, and ahead of an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Wednesday night (2-17), Chris Stapleton has announced a slew on new concert dates, and it appears some fans hoping to see him in a smaller venue before things get really crazy will have their opportunity, that is if the show hasn’t already sold out.
When Joey Martin Feek of the country duo Joey + Rory received a terminal diagnosis for her abdominal Cancer in October, the last thing she was thinking about was the prospects of her country music career. The duo had already won an ACM Award and been nominated for other industry recognition in the past, but all of that took a back seat to the realities facing Feek … until music gave her yet another reason to continue living.
Though this is not necessarily reflected in the performances, the general consensus is the Grammy Awards this year could be a big night for country music. With Chris Stapleton up for Album of the Year, Little Big Town up for Song of the Year, and other high-profile and important nominations, this is one of the few years country music could come out on top.
“They send out a letter that says you know, â€˜We are kind of demanding that you must be here so many times a year to continue your membership.’ Because it’s just not fair,” Lorrie Morgan explains. “People want to say, â€˜Hey I’m a member of the Opry,’ and not want to come back. The Opry takes dedication and it takes love. It takes love.”
On Monday, the official lineup for the 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was “announced” by astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station. Perhaps the aeronautical histrionics were a bid to distract everyone back on Earth from the fact that this year’s lineup is the most mundane, most mainstream-centric and generic pop tart Kellogg’s cereal assemblage of plastic talent ever accrued on this beautiful blue planet.
Abbi Walker, Billy Currington, Bri Bagwell, Cole Swindell, Cooper Wade, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston Rodeo, Jamie Richards, Jason James, JB and the Moonshine Band, Josh Ward, Justin van Sant, Little Big Town, Max Stalling, MIke and the Moonpies, Miranda Lambert, Randy Rogers, Sam Riggs, The Band Perry, Trent Willmon, Wade Bowen, Zane Williams
The feature film American Saturday Night: Live From The Grand Ole Opry has just announced that after a limited run of shows at select theaters in December, it is expanding to various Carmike Cinemas and North American theaters across the United States on February 12th. However the film’s top three stars are Opry members who regularly don’t pay their proper dues.
American Saturday Night: Live From The Grand Ole Opry, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brett Eldredge, Carrie Underwood, Chris Janson, Darius Rucker, EmiSunshine, Holly Williams, Jean Sheppard, Jim Ed Brown, Little Big Town, Love & Theft, Mo Pitney, The Band Perry, The Grand Ole Opry
The long wait for a new Vince Gill solo record is about to be over. Announced Thursday morning (11-19), Vince Gill will release his twentieth official album over his 30-plus year career, and last solo album since 2011. Down To My Last Bad Habit will arrive in stores on on February 12th, and ahead of the new record, Vince has released a new single called “Take Me Down”
On Wednesday morning (9-9), the nominees for the 49th Annual Country Music Association Awards were announced on ABC’s Good Morning America, with decidedly non-country personalities of Steven Tyler and Kelsea Ballerini helping to make the announcements. The 2014 CMA Awards will happen on Wednesday November 4th on ABC, and will be hosted once again by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.
Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, CMA Awards, Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Kenny Chesney, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Maddie & Tae, Miranda Lambert, Nominees, predicitions, Sam Hunt
Luke Bryan did not get here by happenstance, and he’s not going to blow his opportunity to remain on top by making poor decisions. Tell yourself his music won’t last through the cruel inquisition of time. Tell yourself he has no talent, and that he’s an idiot on and off the stage. Reassure yourself that eventually he will be relegated to a laughing stock of history with his shallow songs and shortsighted goals.