Eric Church’s latest album Desperate Man will win the CMA Album of the Year in 2019, beating out Thomas Rhett’s Center Point Road, Dan + Shay’s self-titled release, Girl by Maren Morris, and Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty. This is the bold prediction Saving Country Music is putting out there right here and now.
Strong songwriting underpins inspired performances delivered by four women with passion for this project and its material in this initial effort by The Highwomen. Instead of writing it all themselves, they took the Nashville approach of utilizing co-writers to refine each effort that began with their original ideas, and it shows in the results.
In many respects, the CMAs did that this year with their 2019 nominations, or at least better than many years. But the Album of the Year nominations were especially easy to pick apart in 2019. The biggest reason to second guess these nominations is that this current awards shows cycle has been exceptional for excellent mainstream albums.
Even ceding the argument that the album concept is dead for many listeners these days (which is not true at all for core, grassroots fans), there still doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of reason to release a large handful of your songs before an album’s street date, aside from that just seems to be what everyone does these days.
As if answering a distress call sent out over the airwaves or via a spotlight beamed over Music City, the Highwomen have assembled in the form of the Grammy-winning Brandi Carlile, fiddlemaster Amanda Shires, songwriting markswoman Natalie Hemby, and superstar Maren Morris. “Redesigning Women” is their first taste.
Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Cam, Dave Cobb, Erin Rae, Hailey Whitters, Jason Isbell, Jimmy Webb, Lily Hiatt, Lori McKenna, Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Hemby, Natalie Stovall, Raelynn, Ray LaMontagne, Tanya Tucker, The Highwomen, Wynonna Judd
Many pop artists want to be included in country these days through collaborations or remixes to skim some of those fans off for themselves. But country music should be careful of continuing to allow this to happen. The music world was much better when pop was too sugary for country, and country was to corny for pop.
This tour will be an all female affair, with Miranda Lambert’s supergroup with Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, a.k.a. The Pistol Annies opening up select tour dates, along with Elle King, Caylee Hammack, Tenille Townes, Maren Morris, and Ashley McBryde. Each date will feature three openers, with a revolving cast for each stop.
When you hear certain albums from some of country music’s mainstream performers, it’s patently clear to large portions of the audience that these albums aren’t pop country, they’re just pop, period. But in the pop world when artist dabble in country influences, they tend to be more honest about how the end result is still pop.
Beyonce, Chris Stapleton, Chuck Leavell, Dolly Parton, Don Was, Greg Leisz, Hillary Lindsey, John Mayer, Justin Timberlake, Keith Urban, Kesha, Lady Gaga, Maren Morris, Miley Cyrus, Priscilla Renea, Sara Watkins, Taylor Swift, Walker Hayes
Maren Morris certainly isn’t the first, will most definitely not be the last, and can’t even be described as the worst to ply pop elements in country either in part or predominantly. It is certainly true from any honest and objective perspective that Maren Morris’s second record, GIRL, is one of the most exclusively pop albums to ever be released in country.
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
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.
We took the time to celebrate some of the Best Songs Released in 2018, as well as some of the Best Albums, so now it’s time to place a clothespin firmly on our noses, slip on some elbow-length rubber gloves, and go digging through the cesspool that is radio country to dredge up the absolute worst offenses.
The nominees for the 2019 Grammy Awards were announced Friday morning (12-7), and some of the things we anticipated happening have happened. But the biggest takeaway, and surprisingly so, is Brandi Carlile earning six total nominations, including all-genre nominations for Album, Song, and Record of the Year.
Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Brothers Osborne, Chris Stapleton, Dan + Shay, Dave Cobb, Jeff Tweedy, John Prine, Kacey Musgraves, Lee Ann Womack, Loretta Lynn, Maren Morris, Shooter Jennings, Vince Gill, Waylon Payne, Willie Nelson, Wood and Wire
This story has been updated. The big news in country music on Wednesday (12-5) was how for the first time in the nearly 30-year history of Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, there wasn’t even one woman represented in the Top 20. By Billboard’s charting methods, this is true. And regardless of whatever other clarification points proceed […]
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
Once again Brandi Carlile has proven why she is a gem of independent roots music, and an asset to the planet. While other people have talked, planned, promised, and threatened to throw an all-girl festival or tour in the roots realm, Carlile has hauled off and actually done it.
It remains stupefying why pop star Maren Morris continues to be portrayed as a leader, feminist, and groundbreaker, etc. in country music by fawning media members who’ve been rendered starry-eyed simply because they’re find guilty pleasure in some of her tunes.
Country music still needs saving ladies and gentlemen, and is still searching for the absolute statistical rock bottom when it comes to quality and substance in songs. Defining the “worst” has officially reached new parameters. So let’s cover our ears, pinch our noses, and set these stinking piles of refuse up to ceremoniously knock them down.
Since the tender age of 11, fraternal twins Sarah and Savannah Church from the coal mining region of Dickerson County, Virginia have been spellbinding listeners with their close sister harmonies evoked in classic bluegrass and gospel arrangements worthy of consideration right beside the all-time greats of the discipline.
Carrie Underwood co-produced her entire new record out in September. This takes Carrie Underwood—a top tier country performer—into virtually uncharted territory in the mainstream, at least in the near term. This move by Carrie Underwood is incredibly audacious for country, mainstream or otherwise, from a man or a woman.
A strong case can be made that Maren Morris is one of the worst things, if not the worst thing going on in mainstream country at the moment, with just a few select challengers. It’s Maren Morris, and a host of now purely pop women like Bebe Rexha who are most responsible the worst offenses on the country radio dial at the moment
So there was a little drama last week. And though the result was not much more than a tempest in a teapot that probably most of you were perfectly unaware of since it was primarily relegated to the purview of media personalities, unfortunately some fallacious and irresponsible accusations were laid at the feet of Saving Country Music.