The fact that “Vice” has now gone platinum is not entirely surprising as a lead single from a mainstream country star, but what is surprising is the song never cracked the Top 10 on country radio during its ascent. “Vice” stalled out at #11 before being moved to recurrent.
I’ve always said, one of the greatest moments to witness in a mainstream artist’s career is when they realize they’ve got nothing left to lose. And after years of playing musical politics, they cut lose and do whatever the hell they want to do, devil may care. Miranda Lambert is going to do whatever the hell it is that she wants to do.
“I’m gonna do one by myself, because I can,” Miranda told the crowd. “I want to do this on behalf of all the girls that are not being played on country radio right now. If you really love us, you will call and request any female that has a song out and something to say. This is one of those called ‘Tin Man.'”
Jason Isbell is still riding high after hitting career marks for his recent album The Nashville Sound, which topped the Country Albums charts. But if you expect the mainstream level of success of his career to change the songwriter, or his penchant to speak out, you’re sadly mistaken.
Once again the sales record for one of country music’s critically-acclaimed artists is being minted in precious metal due to robust sales and attention from the public, even while country radio struggles to recognize its significant cultural impact. Miranda Lambert’s double album ‘The Weight of These Wings’ has been certified Platinum.
At the moment there are exactly zero women in country radio’s Top 20, and a whopping total of 4 in the entire Top 50 for an abysmal 8% representation. In fact this 4 out of 50 ratio has been pretty consistent now for the entirety of the “Body Like A Backroad” reign at #1.
Sam Hunt’s smash single “Body Like a Backroad” has already made history, and is set to make more. By now logging 20 weeks at #1, “Body Like a Backroad” and Sam Hunt break a 55-year-old record on the 59-year-old Billboard Hot Country Songs chart previously held by Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk On By.”
Steve Earle isn’t just your average aging thinning-hair post-mainstream relevancy Americana dude who was kind of big in the 80’s. At 62-years-old, he’s probably the youngest guy who can legitimately claim honest ties to the original country music Outlaw movement of the 70’s.
Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Backroad” has now topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for 17 straight weeks. Meanwhile, “Body Like a Backroad” continues to pick up crossover spins. Unfortunately for Miranda Lambert, her current single “Tin Man” is headed in the opposite direction.
Eric Church has always said the right things. Or, he’s said the right things most of the time at least. The question with Church has always been where the marketing ends, and where the real Eric Church begins. Really, where Eric Church is at his best is when he doesn’t say anything, and lets his music and his actions speak for him.
Sometimes the effort to save country music feels like one step forward, two steps back. Last week at this time we were all gaga over the fact that Chris Stapleton’s stripped-down new single “Either Way” was the most added single at country radio and debuted at a surprisingly #26 on the charts, but “Either Way” took a proverbial dive during its second week.
As we continue to ponder what country radio might look like after the impending implosion of iHeartMedia and corporate radio as we know it, some very interesting developments emerged on the country radio charts this week.
As first reported by Saving Country Music in January, Steve Earle’s newest album will be called So You Wanna Be An Outlaw, and feature an appearance by Willie Nelson on the title track. The album is said to be unabashedly inspired by Waylon Jennings and the other original country music Outlaws.
Canaan Smith, Cole Swindell, Chase Bryant, Chase Rice, Chris Lane, who are these clowns? It’s like one douchebag with many faces. Their songs, their styles, their personalities are indistinguishable and interchangeable. They might as well be the same person. Nashville’s overcrowded enough these days. Pick one of these guys and release all the music through them.
Miranda did what any artist with a somewhat lagging album hopes to do with the opportunity an awards show can present, which is press a big reset button. Giving up on her current single “We Should Be Friends,” Miranda Lambert debuted “Tin Man” on the ACM Awards as the album’s next offering to radio.
A tribute is finally planned for The Hag, and it promises to be a star-studded event. ‘Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard’ will take place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, April 6th to honor what would have been Merle Haggard’s 80th birthday, and to mark the one year anniversary of his passing.
Alison Krauss, Ben Haggard, Bobby Bare, Buddy Cannon, Connie Smith, Dierks Bentley, Don Was, Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, John Anderson, John Mellencamp, Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Chesney, Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Ronnie Dunn, Sing Me Back Home The Music of Merle Haggard, The Avett Brothers, Theresa Haggard, Warren Haynes, Willie Nelson
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.
If 90% of mainstream country music is garbage, then it stands to reason that 10% of it is at least decent, if not good or great. That calculus hasn’t really changed much recently, even as mainstream country has improved. What has changed is that 10% is actually finding traction on radio, at awards shows, and is making fierce inroads into the 90%’s monopoly.
You only have to pay mild attention to Miranda Lambert’s music career to know her support of true American songwriters is far from skin deep. Her latest record The Weight of These Wings has a monster list of contributing songwriters, and she’s been known to get a wild hair and drive for miles to see someone like John Moreland play a dive bar.
Whether one may ultimately settle upon ‘The Weight of These Wings’ with a more positive or negative take, what is next to indisputable is that it is a significant release. ‘The Weight of These Wing’s is the symbolic entry of Miranda Lambert—the biggest female country star for the last six or so years—into the Americana/independent/east Nashville mindset