Recently when Keith Urban was interviewed by Michigan Live and was asked if definitions like “country,” “rock,” and “pop” are important or meaningless, Urban replied, “Totally meaningless to me. I make music and people decide what it is. That’s it. I don’t think about it any more than that.”
Membership to the Grand Ole Opry is seen a one of the most prestigious accolades a country music artist can be bestowed, and the recognition is sought after by performers both big and small, mainstream and traditional because it is one of the hardest gets in music. But the cavalcade of mainstream pop country music stars recently added as members are not fulfilling the Opry obligations.
Barbara Mandrell, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Byron Fay, Darius Rucker, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Grand Ole Opry, Hank Williams, Keith Urban, membership rules, Nashville, Neko Case, Old Crow Medicine Show, Pete Fisher, Rascal Flatts, Trace Adkins
So here it is January 3rd, the day that we were promised that everything would be revealed of why a month ago today, Eric Church’s marketing arm decided to post a psychotic and irresponsible “teaser” video for his upcoming The Outsiders album that depicted a shadowy figure in gloves obsessively watching a video of Taylor Swift explaining on the CMA Awards how it was Eric Church’s….
In the latest installment in a series of cryptic teaser videos Eric Church has released ahead of his new album The Outsiders, Church culls footage from the recent CMA Awards, and specifically Taylor Swift’s speech accepting the Pinnacle Award in a creepy, if not downright disturbing video full of obtuse connotations and veiled threats.
The last few weeks might go down in history as one of country music’s most feud-laden moments. Though country music feuding may be on a sharp rise here recently, it is not an uncommon or recent occurrence in country music by any stretch. Nothing gets folks talking like a good old artist on artist donnybrook. Here are some of the most infamous over the years.
Billy Ray Cyrus, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Charlie Rich, country music feuds, Curb Records, Dierks Bentley, Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, Ethan Hawke, feud, Garth Brooks, Gary Allan, Grand Ole Opry, Hank Williams III, Hank3, In A Razor Town, Jason Isbell, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Kelly Clarkson, Kid Rock, Kris Kristofferson, LeAnn Rimes, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Maines, Porter Wagoner, Rascal Flatts, Ray Price, Scott Borchetta, Shooter Jennings, Stonewall Jason, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Tompall Glaser, Travis Tritt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown
Country music in 2013 feels like the best of times, and the worst of times. While a few top male performers perpetrate untold atrocities on the integrity of the genre, the rise of independent music and infrastructure in the marketplace is now almost to the point where it equals its corporate counterpart. Quality songs and worthy artists are beginning to see more and more support…
Ashley Monroe, Austin Lucas, Avett Brothers, Blake Shelton, Bobb Bare, Caitlin Rose, CMA Awards, Cory Branan, Country Music Hall of Fame, Dale Watson, Darius Rucker, David Letterman, East Nashville, Gary Allan, Grand Ole Opry, Guy Clark, Hellbound Glory, Jack Clement, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kid Rock, Lindi Ortega, Mumford and Sons, Nashville, Old Crow Medicine Show, Old Farts and Jackasses, Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame, Pokey LaFarge, Rascal Flatts, Ray Price, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shovels and Rope, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, The Lumineers, Tom Petty, Twones Van Zandt, Valerie June, Zac Brown
There’s nothing I value more than a mainstream country music record that bucks all trends and is truly worth your ear. Enter Charlie Worsham and his debut album Rubberband that is being lauded by many critics and fans alike as a breath of fresh air for the mainstream radio dial. Rubberband is a very fun album that sucks you right in, but Charlie Worsham is no Kellie Pickler….
For the first time in the last half decade, the Grand Ole Opry is poised to induct a traditionally-leaning country music act into its distinct and coveted roster of permanent members. Opry member Marty Stuart surprised Old Crow Medicine Show on the Opry stage tonight (8-16) with an invitation to join the storied institution during Old Crow’s scheduled performance.
Charlie Daniels, Darius Rucker, David Rawlings, Doc Watson, Grand Ole Opry, Keith Urban, Marty Stuart, MerleFest, Mumford & Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show, Rascal Flatts, Ryman Auditorium, The Lumineers
So many of pop country’s celebrities have such a vacuous amount of life skills, without being propped up as pretty faces by the country music industry, they’d be clueless in the real world. Others probably have some skills outside of singing into Auto-tuners at concerts, and that’s probably what they should be doing instead of trying to be artists.
Blake Shelton, Brantley Gilbert, Brian Kelley, Colt Ford, Dave Haywood, Florida Georgia Line, Gary Levox, Gretchen Wilson, Jason Aldean, Joe Diffie, Justin Moore, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts
When looking at the historical timeline of country music, many times it is big events that set the wheels of change in motion, for the good and the bad. Whether it is intrusion of pop or rap into country, or the ill-treatment of country music greats, here are some of the most embarrassing moments in country music history.
Alan Jackson, Bob Dylan, Chris Gains, CMA Awards, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey. Jason Aldean, Dirt Road Anthem, Garth Brooks, George Jones, Grand Ole Opry, Hank Williams, Jakob Dylan, Jason & the Scorchers, Jessica Simpson, John Denver, John Hartford, Keith Urban, Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams, Ludacris, Olivia Newton John, rap, Rascal Flatts, Reinstate Hank, Ryman Auditorium, Sheryl Crow, Stonewall Jackson, Struggle, Taylor Swift, Waylon Jennings
Take the West Coast country coolness of Dwight Yoakam, the haunting tremolo of Roy Orbison, the sweaty rhythms of Los Lobos, and what you get is Miami’s indescribable and enigmatic throwback old-school all-things-to-all-people house band for America known as The Mavericks. “In Time” might be the best album in their nearly 25-year history, and its one of the best put out so far in 2013.
The objective of the joint venture is “to allow the two companies to co-publish songwriters with the goal of bringing country and pop writers into each other’s realm.” In other words, the deal will likely mean even more pop on country radio, as pop songwriters and producers collaborate more intimately with Big Machine’s growing roster of country talent.
This story grew many tentacles, but one worth following a little deeper is Blake Shelton and his current membership at The Grand Ole Opry. By not making even one appearance at the Opry in 2012, Blake Shelton is in unquestionable violation of the Opry’s long-standing membership rules. According to the bylaws of The Opry, membership not only has to be earned, but maintained.
Leaping off the pages of the latest issue of Tiger Beat, Hunter Hayes and his prepubescent, non-gender-specific style have gripped the nation’s middle schools with Hunter mania, spearheaded by his smash hit “Wanted”– a saccharine, ultra-diluted white boy R&B B-side at best, only finding commercial traction in country because legions of affluent, glitter-faced suburban girls in training bras want to see Hunter’s penis.
The Country Music Anti-Christ Scott Borchetta has decided to unleash a new wave of pestilence on the human eardrum, this time in the form of the glorified boy band Florida Georgia Line; a horrible combination of Rascal Flatts pretty boy hyper-pop, and designer jeans Jason Aldean “backroad” laundry list bullshit. They are everything bad about quotation mark “country” in 2012.
As some of you may already know, I’ve got a good friend named Pointer, and every year we get together for an annual trip to downtown Nashville around Labor Day. Pointer and I are great friends and we both love country music, but we couldn’t be on more opposite sides of the country music spectrum. Pointer loves to have his picture taken in front of things.
Like most of the overused song formulas employed by Music Row songwriters, the laundry list likely started with some good, creative, innovative tunes. But once something works, it is called upon again and again by Music Row until all creativity is spent and it becomes cliche. Such is the evolution (or devolution) of the country checklist song.
Blake Shelton, Bob Seger, Country Boy Can Survive, Country Checklist songs, David Allan Coe, God's Country USA, Hank Williams Jr., Kiss My Country Ass, Laundry List Songs, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marcus Hummon, Merle Haggard, Okie From Muskogee, Rascal Flatts, Rebel Son, Redneck Piece of White Trash, Rhett Akins, Sara Evans, That's How I Like It, Tim McGraw
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
Yesterday Tim McGraw announced in a press conference that he had signed with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records after a 20-year career and protracted legal battle with Curb. The symbolism and significance surrounding the signing was striking, and spoke to the titanic shifts that are rearranging the country music landscape in Nashville at this very moment.
This album is not the worst album ever put out in country music. With the advent of country rap, “New Outlaw” country, and the laundry list approach to country music in general, pop country now finds itself in a bit of a haven from the harshest of criticisms. What Lionel Ritchie’s Tuskegee album does hold the distinction of being is country music’s most embarrassing album put out to date.
Erich Church wants it both ways. He wants to be considered the “new Outlaw” of country music, but he wants to still use the same pop country machine he criticizes to get success. If Eric Church has such a problem with Blake Shelton, why did he perform his song “Springsteen” at last month’s ACM Awards, that were hosted by, guess who… Blake Shelton.
The day after Vince Gill surprised Keith Urban with an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry at his “All For The Hall” benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame, apparently Vince handed out another surprise invitation, this one to none other than the frontman and sole remaining founding member of Guns & Roses, Axl Rose.
One likely reason we’re seeing an explosion of product naming and perfumes is because in the new reality of the music business, the album and single cycle is elongating. Tim McGraw and his label Curb Records have been at the center of this trend, with McGraw insisting they release his music, and Curb attempting to stretch its artists’ albums out.
Have you ever wondered who actually listens to those songs they play on pop country radio? Here are the six primary Archetypes, or as Music Row refers to them, “target demographics”, that make up the audience of the pop country world: The “Affliction T-Shirt “New Outlaw” Doucher”, “Bored Suburban Soccer Mom”, “Glitter-Faced Pop Country Girl”…
Aaron Lewis, Blackberry Smoke, Brantley Gilbert, Carrie Underwood, Colt Ford, Gary Levox, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Thompson Square, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Yelawolf