After over two years of rumor and anticipation, Justin Timberlake has finally dropped the first solid information about his upcoming new album, along with substantial hints at the sonic direction it might take. One thing we know for sure now, Memphis will factor in heavily to the new music according to a minute-long teaser.
The next trend in country may not be defined by a style or a sound, but who is involved in it. But if collaborations will be the next big trend, how about putting out just a little bit of effort to make sure that the great talent that is going unrecognized in country music itself gets some love?
Ashley Monroe, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Demi Lovato, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Elle King, Gwen Stefani, Johnny Bush, Kenny Chesney, Kenny Rogers, Little Big Town, Lori McKenna, Miranda Lambert, Pharrell, Pink, Pitbull, Steve Fromholz, The Pistol Annies, Tim McGraw, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson
Clearly this trend of cross genre collaborations is only going to deepen, so with a servant’s heart and a sincere desire to help the collaborators and interlopers with their “country” efforts, Saving Country Music has constructed a pocket reference field guide to help these cross-genre collaborators navigate through their country music experience.
I’m speaking of Thomas Rhett’s “Vacation,” with its diabolically ridiculous baggage of 14 songwriters, and viral video featuring pubescent girls singing about drinking “cold ones.” “Vacation” is nothing more than two previous songs mashed together.
If you thought the story of The Band Perry over the last six months was one of the weirdest, most convoluted situations you could ever imagine coming from a mainstream country music franchise, we’re just beginning boys and girls. And where this entire thing ends up, who knows?
On Monday night’s episode, before Craig Wayne Boyd’s performance of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line,” a tribute to Wayne Mills aired, detailing his life and tragic death, and his relationship with Boyd. Craig Wayne then took the now famous “WM” necklace that Wayne Mills wore at all times from Wayne’s widow Carol, and presented it to Wayne’s former pupil, Blake Shelton.
I don’t have any data to back my assertions up. But I’ll be damned that if in 2014, your average pop star isn’t more likely to outpace your average country star when it comes to substance and depth in their music. The dynamic has flipped, and it leaves one wondering if in the future “country” will be that bad word that infers a lack of artistic merit. Or if we haven’t already arrived there.