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.
Little Big Town
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…
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.”