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.
Little Big Town
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.
“I used to be your average suburban mom of two. Trust me, I was very average,” says Susan Berkenstock of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. “Now I have spiked hair, wear checkered shorts and deck shoes everyday, and all I want to do is go camping.” What was the cause of Mrs. Berkenstock’s lifestyle transformation? She claims it all happened while listening to the current country music hit from Little Big Town called “Girl Crush.”
The controversy surrounding Tim McGraw’s scheduled benefit concert for Sandy Hook Promise on July 17th at the Infinity Theater in Hartford, Connecticut continues as now 11 of the Sandy Hook families who either had children or other families members killed at the school have come out with a public statement clarifying that they will not be receiving any money from the concert.
No matter anything else, Little Big Town and their label knew the song would stir the pot, and that’s exactly what it did, and so much so that it has seen a dramatic resurgence across the board on all of country music’s measurables, including radio play, which was supposed to be the bastion of anti “Girl Crush” conservative misunderstanding in the first place.
Little Big Town’s latest single called “Girl Crush” is stirring a little bit of controversy from what some perceive as racy, lesbian themes, while others are acting shocked that the song could be misconceived in such a way, making “Girl Crush” a country music battleground for conservative values being fought in the shadow of country music’s big coming out party lately.
Out of the 67 current members of the Opry, only 25 of them fulfilled their 10 appearance obligation, and three of those died during the year. 11 members didn’t make any appearances at all. But what may be more interesting is who is appearing on the Opry to take up the slack. Of the Top 11 performing members at the Grand Ole Opry in 2014, the average age was 79-years-old.
Bill Anderson, Blake Shelton, Bobby Osborne, Brad Paisley, Byron Fay, Carrie Underwood, Chris Jansen, Connie Smith, Craig Morgan, Darius Rucker, Elizabeth Cook, George Hamilton IV, Jean Shepard, Jeannie Seely, Jesse McReynolds, Jim Ed Brown, Jimmy C. Newman, John Conley, Little Big Town, Little Jimmy Dickens, Lorrie Morgan, Mike Snider, Old Crow Medicine Show, Pete Fisher, Rascal Flatts, Riders In The Sky, Sarah Darling, The Grand Ole Opry, The Henningsens, The Whites, Vince Gill, WSM
CBS Evening News reporter Steve Hartman took a deeper look into how his two young kids were computing the lyrics of country songs in their developing brains as they sat and listened to popular country music in the family motor carriage. His conclusion? “I’ve got some sobering news — Nashville is alcohol-poisoning the minds of our young people,” he says in his report.
The Country Music Association Awards, or CMA’s are nigh upon us, and set to transpire on Wednesday, November 5th. And to get you all horny for the festivities, it’s been announced that ultra pop star Ariana Grande, and “All About That Bass” overnight sensation Meghan Trainor will be part of this year’s presentation. Because you know, a country presentation devoid of pop stars would be boring.
All About That Bass, Ariana Grande, Ashley Monroe, Carrie Underwood, CMA Awards, CMA's, Kacey Musgraves, Kid Rock, Lee Ann Womack, Lil Wayne, Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae, Meghan Trainor, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift
Tonight (10-3) on the Friday night presentation of the Grand Ole Opry, Capitol Records recording group Little Big Town was surprised by Reba McEntire on stage and invited to become the newest members of country music’s most storied institution. Now Little Big Town, like so many of the Opry’s newest members, can take the accolades and attention the distinction bestows, but not fulfill their performance obligations.
You know, for years people have been telling me how great Little Big Town is, berating me to give them a deeper listen. But I may never experience their album cuts are because their singles ward me off more than staring down a battery of AIDS cannons. First it was the motorbotin’ “Pontoon”, and now this. What the hell is day drinking anyway?
As sad as it is to turn on the radio and hear what country music has become, it is even more sad to zoom out in your mind to a broader perspective and understand that what we’re hearing in mainstream country now is what will define country music for a generation: laundry list songs perpetrated by pretty boy entertainers, pock marked by rap phrases and EDM elements.
In recent weeks and months, it’s been hard not to look at Kacey Musgraves and her song “Merry Go ‘Round” and wonder if this isn’t the girl and song that has the mustard to crack the Music Row cartel’s iron grip on mainstream country. “Merry Go ‘Round” just keeps chugging away like the little single that could. But what does Kacey Musgraves have beyond “Merry Go Round”?
This year in popular country music, there were some glimmers of hope. Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go ‘Round” found some surprising traction and success, and Kellie Pickler’s 100 Proof may go down as one of the best mainstream country albums in years. But of course this was all counter-balanced by a gaggle of the worst songs “country” music has ever seen.
Beer With Jesus, Big Machine Records, Bucky Covington, Corn Star, Craig Morgan, Crusie, Drinking Side of Country, Florida Georgia Line, Kip Moore, Little Big Town, Mike Curb, Pontoon, Scott Borchetta, Shooter Jennings, Somethin' 'Bout A Truck, Taylor Swift, Thomas Rhett, Tim McGraw Truck Yeah, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
What a banner year it has been for bad songs in country music. After 2011’s “Red Solo Cup” by Toby Keith and Jason Aldean’s country/rap “Dirt Road Anthem” the bar has been raised for how low you must go to get attention for your twilighting music career. Put a clothesline clip on your nose, a paper bag on your knee, and dive in…if you dare.
Bucky Covington, Corn Star, Craig Morgan, Drinkin' Side Of Country, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Kip Moore, Little Big Town, Pontoon, Shooter Jennings, Somethin' 'Bout A Truck, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Truck Yeah
This album is not the worst album ever put out in country music. With the advent of country rap, “New Outlaw” country, and the laundry list approach to country music in general, pop country now finds itself in a bit of a haven from the harshest of criticisms. What Lionel Ritchie’s Tuskegee album does hold the distinction of being is country music’s most embarrassing album put out to date.