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.
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
But even with Ballerini’s success, women are still very much fighting an uphill battle. Yet when asked recently by FOX about the issue of women on country radio, Ballerini didn’t show leadership for her fellow females, she trivialized the issue.
Cumulus Media’s NASH concept wants to become the one stop shop for corporate country consumers, and the country industry is more than willing to play ball as long as the company spreads its capital around to launch grandiose ventures and continues to play its artists on the radio. But there’s a problem. A big one.
I don’t expect Don Henley’s entire country record to sound this classic, but his take on the old Louvin Brothers standard with Dolly helping out was a welcomed treat that tells you this album isn’t going to be Don reaching for commercial relevance. It’s going to be Don making the country record he wants to make.
Gone are the days of Loretta Lynn singing “One’s On The Way.” Gone are the days of adult issues like divorce, resonating with mature audiences. Gone are the days of originality, not only in style but in songwriting. In that classic era you could tell the difference between Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. Artists were easily discernible and legends arose because of their unique qualities…
Don Henley, the singer and drummer for the Eagles, will be releasing a country album called Cass County via Capitol Record—his first solo album in 15 years. This was the news coming out of an exclusive listening party held at the Ruby event space as part of this week’s CMA Fan Fest in Nashville. And don’t expect this to be an aging rocker looking for a second wind in country by chasing the current trends.
Alison Krauss, Ashley Monroe, Cass County, Dolly Parton, Don Henley, Jamey Johnson, Lucinda Williams, Martina McBride, Merle Haggard, Mick Jagger, Miranda Lambert, Stan Lynch, The Eagles, The Louvin Brothers, Tift Merritt, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill
Where is talk of the format split on the agenda at CRS? You would think it would be dominating the proceedings. I mean, we’re talking about what would be the largest overhaul of country radio in its existence. But is it even being discussed, or are people more focused on the big Garth Brooks party as he tries to retool after his retirement and make up for now two failed radio singles.
Ashley Monroe has all the assets that it takes to be a top tier female country music star, and in an environment where the industry seems to be desperately looking to anoint them. A beautiful, astounding singer, excellent songwriter, yet three years into her major label deal and she still feels like the consummate critical darling/commercial outsider.
It’s not every day you get trolled by a CMA Entertainer of the Year winner, but that’s what Saving Country Music found itself experiencing Sunday night (12-28) when Ronnie Dunn took to his always colorful Facebook page to post links and commentary to recent stories on SCM about his involvement (or non involvement) with the new Cumulus Media/Big Machine Records’ joint venture called NASH Icon.
NASH Icon, the partnership between Cumulus Media and Big Machine Label Group meant to give new life to older country stars, has its second signee. Martina McBride, rumored since the beginning of the new imprint to be a possible artist for the label, made it official on Tuesday (12-23). But there is a curious situation brewing between the label and another older star—Ronnie Dunn.
Cumulus Media’s NASH Icon radio concept mixing older country music in with more contemporary songs continues to gain steam, while yet another radio format called NASH Classics is on its way, and some big signings to the label side of NASH Icon appear to be imminent. John Dickey gave the first indication that the media giant could be giving classic country music a bigger home on the radio.
No matter where you stand on it, the enigma that is Maddie & Tae’s “Girl In A Country Song” has made for grand country music theater in 2014, marking one of the most talked about musical offerings since Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go ‘Round.” So now the young duo has released a four-song EP, and all of a sudden a brand new set of parameters emerge.
Though Taylor Swift leaving country music could very much be seen as a victory from the Saving Country Music perspective, to the country music industry perspective, they just lost this generations biggest music star, and an money-making powerhouse. And the cultural and economic impact of this development cannot be overstated.
King George Strait played what is expected to be his final show as a big ticket touring musician to a packed audience at Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington, TX on Saturday night, and the event that saw people travel from all over the world to witness, and drew some of country music’s biggest names in support, shattered previous attendance records for an indoor concert.
Alan Jackson, Asleep at the Wheel, attendance record, Cowboy Rides Away Tour, Cowboys Stadium, Dallas Cowboys, Eric Church, Final Show, George Jones, George Strait, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, Murder on Music Row, Vince Gill
The country music radio format that has resisted splintering for years could finally be cleaving into two distinct entities of “classic” and “Top 40” country, initiated at least in part over the Memorial Day weekend when a radio station based out of Louisville, KY became the first to adopt a new “classic” country format centered around a 25-year measuring stick.
With Martina McBride at the crossroads that every big country music superstar knows they must ultimately face at some point in their career, where their radio relevancy is slipping through their fingers and the industry is slowly relegating them to the ranks of legacy acts, Martina does something very curious: she releases an album solely consisting of soul and R&B standards.
American Kid is a worthy specimen if someone asked you produce an album that exemplifies Americana’s influence and artistry. From the ultra-traditional “Mom & Dad’s Waltz” by Lefty Frizzell, to the progressive and airy “Highway Song” co-penned by Robert Plant, American Kid presents itself like a tree hanging heavy with fruit, with all but the two aforementioned songs written by Griffin solely.
Tonight is the annual Academy Awards, and during the presentation, you won’t see anybody judged on looks or popularity. You will not see the most commercially-successful endeavors given exclusive billing and opportunity for accolades. No, what you will see is the best and the brightest of the industry highlighted based mostly on the creativity and artistic integrity of their works.
The reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and reality TV personality Blake Shelton made some disparaging remarks about traditional country fans in a recent interview with GAC as part of their Backstory series. “Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, “My God, that ain’t country!” Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass.”
Jesus may have turned the other cheek, but he also overturned the tables of the money changers in the temple where they didn’t belong. Just like the Romans of biblical times, these pop country fart tards are foreign occupiers who need to get the hell out of country. I don’t pretend to know what Jesus would do, but if I were him, I’d shove my sandal straight up Thomas Rhett’s ass and tell him he could keep his Michelob Ultra.
Like most fictional characters in popular culture, the characters of ABC’s new drama Nashville are probably based more on stereotypes than real-life folks. But for fun, let’s see if we can’t match up who the real-life inspiration is for the principals of the Nashville cast, and through the experiment see if the show really does represent all aspects of the Nashville music scene.
Caitlin Rose, Characters based on, Connie Britton, Dale Watson, David Rawlings, Hayden Panettiere, Juliette Barnes, Justin Townes Earle, Martina McBride, Mike Curb, Nashville, Nashville TV Show, Rayna Jaymes, Reba McEntire, Ryan Adams, Scott Borchetta, Taylor Swift
I first used the phrase “Country Music Antichrist” in reference to Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta about 2 1/2 years ago. I’d like to hold my chin high and say I was being prophetic, but in truth at the time I just thought it was a nasty way to label the guy primarily responsible for the rise of Taylor Swift. Little did I know Borchetta would become one of the most powerful men in all of music.
Big Machine Records, Brantley Gilbert, Clear Channel, Eli Young Band, Jack Ingram, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, RCA, Reba McEntire, Republic Nashville, Scott Borchetta, Sunny Sweeny, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, The Mavericks, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Valory Music Group
My overall grade of the 2011 CMA Awards would be “not terrible.” Jason Aldean could have swept the awards, and ushered in a new era in country music where a country rap song was the reigning Song of the Year. But Taylor’s Entertainer of the Year victory at least means that at least a little authenticity is still alive in the “country” genre. Or at least for another year.
2011, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brantley Gilbert, CMA Awards, Colt Ford, Eric Church, Hank Williams, Jason Aldean, Jr., Justin Bieber, Lady Antebellum, Lionel Ritchie, Little Jimmy Dickens, Luke Bryan, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, Scotty McCreery, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry