I know what you’re going to say. “NeW yOrK CiTY!” like that guy in the old Pace Picante Sauce commercial. Or if you pride yourself in having any sort of semblance of taste, maybe you’re wondering why anyone in 2021 would still be listening to mainstream country radio at all.
In 2015, when Mickey Guyton released her debut single “Better Than You Left Me,” she symbolized hope in the mainstream of country music for a host of reasons. Similar to how we regard artists such as Lainey Wilson and Carly Pearce today, Mickey Guyton was a bright spot.
So often identity-based media coverage and awards are not about the artists themselves. These media members, outlets, and awards institutions use these artists as tokens and sometimes unwitting pawns to signal their virtue to the public and their peers in the industry.
The national Memorial Day concert each year broadcast on PBS doesn’t always include notable names from the country music world. But in 2021, it included three of them, who each turned in marquee performances. Here are the performances of Vince Gill, Mickey Guyton, and Alan Jackson.
Some top country music talent has been tapped to perform at the National Memorial Day concert that broadcasts annually on PBS. Not always so inclusive of country performers, this year Alan Jackson is slated to be one of the centerpieces of the presentation as he gets ready to release a new album.
It wasn’t just the arrangement, the cool special guests, the poignant setting, and the timing of it all, it’s how it all conspired to create a special moment and a rather spectacular performance that in the throes of the otherwise mediocre ACM Awards really shined out as something sincere.
ACM Awards, Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, CeCe Winans, Dierks Bentley, Elle King, Erich Church, Jack Ingram, Jon Randall, Larkin Poe, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, The Station Inn, The War and Treaty, U2
Every year the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville seats a variety of names from throughout the country and roots world in what they call their American Currents exhibit. This is the opportunity for artists that you may not normally see an exhibit for get an opportunity to be featured.
Ashley McBryde, Billy Strings, Casey Beathard, Charley Crockett, Country Music Hall of Fame, Darius Rucker, Eddie Stubbs, Eric Church, Faith Hill, Freddy Fender, Hot Country Knights, Jimmie Allen, John Prine, Luke Combs, Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, Rissi Palmer, Sister Sadie
As some of the dust begins to settle from the fallout of Morgan Wallen’s inappropriate and offensive use of the N-word, there’s an addendum that needs to be addressed in regards to the accusations of a double standard pervasive in country music.
“Every precaution was taken. I think it’s unfortunate that people are out there crusading to stir up some mud. Because I really don’t think the CMAs were negligent in any way. Every time we darkened the door, we got tested,” says Charley Pride’s longtime manager, bass player, and close friend.
The 2021 Grammy Award nominees were announced on Tuesday (11/24), and as can be expected, there is some good, some bad, many worthy nominations, a few probably born of virtue signaling as you can expect. But overall, it’s about par for the course.
Ashley McBryde, Black Pumas, Brandi Carlile, Brandy Clark, Brittany Howard, Brothers Osborne, Charley Crockett, Dan Auerbach, Dave Cobb, Grammy Awards, Ingrid Andress, John Anderson, John Prine, Linda Ronstadt, Lori McKenna, Lucinda Williams, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, Sarah Jarosz, Sierra Hull, Sturgill Simpson, The Highwomen
The recipient of the inaugural CMT Equal Play Award has been announced as Jennifer Nettles, known both as a solo performer, and most notably for her work in the country music duo Sugarland. But there is a problem with presenting Jennifer Nettles as a “equal play” advocate.
Mickey Guyton made one of the greatest impacts during this week’s ACM Awards. But as we have seen from the media on numerous occasions, important moments for black country artists in the past are being overlooked to score a buzzy headline or tweet.
Just remember, “It’s only the ACM Awards.” It’s just disappointing that one of their best presentations in perhaps a decade or more—and under difficult circumstances—had to be sullied at the very end by a silly and avoidable decision.
This week, Maddie & Tae’s “Die From A Broken Heart” finally made it to #1 on the country radio charts. It is a major accomplishment, and a long-fought battle for a song that was originally revealed to fans all the way back in the fall of 2018, and not released as a proper single to radio until May 6th, 2019.
Re-integrating important black voices into that living tapestry should be a priority for the genre moving forward. But performing this important re-integration as either a commercial enterprise, or via hip-hop appropriations will only be effective at eroding what makes country music so vital.
Neither Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, nor The Highwomen collectively have addressed the issue publicly, or directly. We still don’t know why Mickey Guyton felt she was “disinvited” from the shoot, whether it was the fault of “a giant miscommunication” or otherwise.
In a recent op/ed, Guyton spelled out numerous frustrations she’s experienced, but one of the most shocking revelations of the article was not on the systemic racism she’s suffered from in the country music industry, it was how she was snubbed by her fellow women in the genre.
Margo Price is no longer signed with Jack White’s Third Man Records, and is now signed with Loma Vista Recordings. Ahead of the release of her third record, Margo Price has unveiled a new song called “Stone Me.” “After what feels like an eternity, I’m releasing a new song into the wild today,” Price says.
Oh the irony of so many people demanding all music sound the same in the name of “diversity.” The only reason we’re even having a discussion of where Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” should be placed on the charts is because you can’t tell the difference between most any given piece of popular music anymore.
Aaron Vance, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah, Ben Hunter, Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Cleve Francis, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Jerry Pentacost, Kaia Kater, Leyla McCalla, Linda Martell, Mavis Staples, Michael “Scooter” McDonald, Mickey Guyton, Milton Patton, OB McClinton, Our Native Daughters, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Priscilla Renea, Ray Charles, Rhiannon Giddens, Stoney Edwards, Sunny War, Tammi Savoy, The McCrary Sisters, The Pointer Sisters, The War & Treaty, Tina Turner, Tony Jackson, Valerie June, Yola
Announced Monday morning (3-25), country music duo Maddie & Tae will finally have an album of new music to peddle come April 26th when a 5-song EP called ‘One Heart To Another’ is released via Mercury Nashville. But there’s a reason why this release feels inappropriate, and more of a stop gap than a proper album.
For many years, the influence and contributions of African American musicians in country music went mostly overlooked, or overshadowed by their Caucasian counterparts. However there has been a recent trend by media and even some artists to overstate the influence of African Americans.
Aaron Vance, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Hank Williams, Jimmie Allen, Jimmie Rodgers, Kane Brown, Leyla McCalla, Mickey Guyton, Ray Charles, Rhiannon Giddens, Rufus Payne, Valerie June
Let’s face it. For a host of reasons, it’s pretty rare to see African Americans making country and roots music. But when they do, more often that not, they’re doing it the right way, pushing the music forward creatively while fiercely helping to preserving the past, becoming part of the solution instead of prolonging the problem.
Aaron Vance, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Cleve Davis, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Jerry Pentacost, Kaia Kater, Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton, Milton Patton, Rhiannon Giddens, Rufus Payne, Tony Jackson, Valerie June
While in the independent realm of country music, 2017 went down as a record year for quality projects, the mainstream was downright abysmal pretty much across the board for both songs and albums. There actually were quite a few pretty good songs, but most struggled to gain traction in the charts.
“Nice Things” delves into the possessive nature of love in a bold effort that accentuates Guyton’s vocal strengths, and is stirred with Jerry Douglas-sounding rootsy dobro. Mickey Guyton resists the temptation to inflect her voice with urban annunciations and R&B styling that is all the rage in the mainstream country today.