It’s not that Luke Combs is ideal, because he isn’t. Hell, who is? And for many independent fans, he will never compete with the likes of Cody Jinks or Tyler Childers in their hearts. But who would you rather have being the face of mainstream country at the moment?
Quick question for you. How many women need to accuse Nelly of rape and sexual assault before he becomes a persona no grata in country and roots music similar to Ryan Adams, Morgan Wallen, Winston Marshall of Mumford & Sons, and the like? Your answer must be greater than three.
Starting with his hit “I Wish Grandpas Never Died,” Riley Green has delivered one song after another that labors and often achieves to touch something deeper in the listener than just their vapid, passive-listening pleasure zone placed in the bullseye of the likes of 101.1 FM.
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.
Blackberry Smoke is back on top once again with the band’s latest album You Hear Georgia. It’s a position the Georgia-based Southern rock outfit is used to, bolstered by a supremely loyal fan base. “You Hear Georgia” ended up at #1 in album sales in both country and rock.
Morgan Wallen’s fellow members of the performer class continue to step up and put their names behind him in small and large ways, giving him a window in which to slowly creep back into polite society, if he can continue to mind his p’s and q’s, which has been a challenge in the past.
It’s not often you see an album dart dramatically up in the charts some five months after it’s been released, but such is the case for the second installment of Sturgill Simpson’s foray into bluegrass, ‘Cuttin Grass Vol. 2 – The Cowboy Arms Sessions’ originally released on December 11th, 2020
Along with diminutively characterizing Barnes as just “another young-ish white man,” ‘Pitchfork’ went after the biography and back story of Barnes, saying he reinforced “the mythology of a white, male, ‘real’ country music [performer] whose legitimacy relies wholly on exclusion.”
As the criticism of the country music industry at large continues to pour in following the aftermath of Morgan Wallen’s N-word video, his Dangerous: The Double Album spends its now fifth week firmly atop the Billboard 200 for being far and away the best selling and streaming album in all of music.
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.
Like a tinhorn despot looking to consolidate power by exacerbating a minor spat into an existential crisis, pop country radio personality Bobby Bones has used the Morgan Wallen ‘N’-bomb situation to declare himself the current King of Country. No, not just the king of country radio. But all of it.
For all intents and purposes, Morgan Wallen’s mainstream country music career is over. However, amid the effort to cancel Morgan Wallen and distance from his music, current sales for his albums and songs are skyrocketing.
So now Morgan Wallen has been caught on camera screaming obscenities into the cold Nashville night, including the biggest of all no-no’s—the notorious ‘N’ word (see below). And it’s not only Morgan Wallen who is going to have to answer for it, it’s going to be country music.
Always looking to shake things up and steal the attention of the music listening public, Eric Church’s next release will be three records instead of one, titled Heart & Soul. Heart will be made available on April 16th, Soul will be released on April 23rd, and ‘&’ will only be available as a vinyl record.
If Morgan Wallen was a young male suitor in pursuit of your sister or daughter, he would be one of those beaus where it is undeniable they are trouble, with not just red flags flying right out in the open, but a rap sheet to back up these presuppositions. This is Morgan Wallen’s career and music in a nutshell.
It’s not what Florida Georgia Line said. It’s what they didn’t say, and what they felt compelled to answer when really nobody was asking any questions. Now many are wondering about the future of one of country music’s most popular and vilified duos.
Billboard has published their year-end wrap on country music for 2020 (the music year ends in November), and as you can imagine, it’s a healthy dose of Luke Combs leading many of the metrics, especially from Chris Stapleton and Tyler Childers.
Morgan Wallen, Chase Rice, Brian Kelley and others were wrong to advocate for big shows. But when it comes to the claims of these artists of hypocrisy, they’re completely right. Since the beginning of the pandemic there has been a glaring double standard in how social distancing is demanded, and excused.
Dozens of TikTok videos of the 27-year-old’s maskless partying with college-aged girls emerged, and specifically of Morgan Wallen sucking face with half a dozen of them. This has resulted in ‘Saturday Night Live’ canceling his appearance.
They always say to watch out for a hillbilly with a hit record, and the week that the mustachioed and mulleted Morgan Wallen minted a #1 at country radio with the R&B-infused and derivative “Chasin’ You,” he was arrested by Nashville’s finest outside of Kid Rock’s “Big Ass Honky Tonk” bar.
Beyond making a really bad amalgam of derivative and formulaic rap pop by ripping off the styles of Drake and trap beat artists to only then turn around and sell it as country to the gullible masses, Sam Hunt is also superlative at turning hip-hop, pop, and indie rock writers into certified country music experts.
It’s time. In fact, it’s well past time. And the people calling the shots shouldn’t make the same mistake they did with Chris Stapleton’s rendition of “Tennessee Whiskey.” We’re talking of course about Morgan Wallen’s cover of Jason Isbell’s song “Cover Me Up.” It’s time to release it as a proper radio single.
On NBC’s ‘The Voice’ Monday night (10-28), a contestant named Jake Hoot performed Jason Isbell’s “Cover Me Up” as part of the singing show. Taylor Swift, who was acting as a coach on the episode, even remarked “I love Jason Isbell,” when Jake Hoot said he was covering “Cover Me Up.” It’s more evidence the song has become a standard.