When it comes to saving country music in the mainstream, Tim McGraw and Reba McEntire both have played important roles recently. During Tim McGraw’s time at Big Machine, he showed a somewhat unexpected but welcomed turn to his roots, and Reba’s “Stronger Than The Truth” was one of the best mainstream albums in years.
As tax season approaches and we get the opportunity to tie a bow around the doings of 2019, it’s always interesting to look back on the year at the Grand Ole Opry to see which performing members are paying their proper dues to country music’s most historic institution, and which one’s aren’t.
Alan Jackson, Barbara Mandrell, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Chris Janson, Dan Rogers, Dustin Lynch, Gene Watson, Grand Ole Opry, Hal Ketchum, Kelsea Ballerini, Loretta Lynn, Lorrie Morgan, Luke Combs, Patty Loveless, Reba McEntire, Rhonda Vincent, Ronnie Milsap, Stonewall Jackson, Tom T. Hall
We’ve already run down the Greatest Country Albums of the Decade, and in there, albums in the mainstream were given fair competition to be included, and some made the cut. But in the spirit of inclusiveness and impartiality, let’s make sure the great records from the mainstream get their due as well.
Alan Jackson, Ashley McBryde, Brandy Clark, Caitlyn Smith, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Jon Pardi, Kacey Musgraves, Kalie Shorr, Kellie Pickler, Kip Moore, Miranda Lambert, Mo Pitney, Pistol Annies, Randy Houser, Reba McEntire, William Michael Morgan
Sorry to barge in on all your Holiday revelry, but the news just came down that Carrie Underwood won’t be returning to host the CMA Awards in 2020, which she’s done for the last dozen years. And yeah, it kind of feels like a thing that’s worth remarking on.
Grammy nominated, CMA-winning, well-respected and admired singer and songwriter Brandy Clark is prepping the release of a new album in the new year called ‘Your Life Is A Record.’ Though details on the new record are still a little light, Brandy did preview the new record recently during a promotional event.
Adam Wright, Barry Dean, Brandy Clark, Chase McGill, Clint Daniels, Hailey Whitters, Jay Joyce, Jesse Frasure, Jessie Jo Dillon, Jonathan Singleton, Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Shane McAnally, Sunny Sweeney, Wade Bowen, Your Life Is A Record
All country albums, regardless if they emanate from a major label or receive radio play, are considered for Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year nominations. But not every year does a mainstream album make it. Even though one didn’t make it to the top of the heap in 2019, we had a bumper crop of quality mainstream country releases.
The distaste the CMA Awards experience can leave in the mouth of actual country music fans is chased early this year by the announcement of the 2020 Grammy Award nominees in the Country and American Roots categories. Though no set of ears will find the nominees list ideal, those with distinguishing tastes will be much more rewarded.
Ashley McBryde, Brooks & Dunn, Dan Auerbach, Dee White, Eric Church, I'm With Her, J.S. Ondara, Keb Mo, Kendell Marvel, Lil Nas X, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, The Pistol Annies, Tyler Childers, Willie Nelson, Yola
On the day after the CMA Awards, it’s always important to take a deep breath, and remind yourself, “It’s just the CMA’s.” But it does feel important to address what turned out to be the biggest controversy Wednesday night, which was Garth Brooks winning Entertainer of the Year over Carrie Underwood.
Amanda Shires, Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Carrie Underwood, Charley Pride, CMA Awards, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Hootie and the Blowfish, Jenee Fleenor, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire
Eric Church’s latest album Desperate Man will win the CMA Album of the Year in 2019, beating out Thomas Rhett’s Center Point Road, Dan + Shay’s self-titled release, Girl by Maren Morris, and Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty. This is the bold prediction Saving Country Music is putting out there right here and now.
If you’re a country music fan and are disappointed that your favorite artist didn’t get enough screen time in the Ken Burns film on country music, well guess what, your favorite genre did, and by the most revered documentary filmmaker of our time, and before rock n’ roll, pop, the blues, soul music, or hip-hop.
Alan Jackson, Allen Reynolds, Bill Monroe, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bluebird Cafe, Brooks & Dunn, Chris Stapleton, Clint Black, Conway Twitty, Dayton Duncan, Dierks Bentley, Dixie Chicks, Don Williams, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, George Jones, George Strait, Glen Campbell, Jamey Johnson, Johnny Cash, Kathy Mattea, Keith Whitley, Ken Burns, Lil Nas X, Little Big Town, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Miranda Lambert, Nanci Griffith, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Rick Rubin, Ricky Skaggs, Rosanne Cash, Ryman Auditorium, Steve Earle, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, The Judds, Toby Keith, Travis Tritt, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill
Look, the semi controversy over the CMAs choosing to replace Brad Paisley as the long-time host in 2019 with Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire is water under the bridge at this point. But it is kind of amusing that the CMAs and ABC recently announced that Brad Paisley will be getting his own television special later this season.
It’s not just hardcore country fans who are stupefied by what the modern country format has become. It’s most everybody. In fact the ranks of non-country fans and performers may be even more shocked and appalled by what is called “country music” today, because they haven’t been present for the slow erosion of the format over the many years.
In many respects, the CMAs did that this year with their 2019 nominations, or at least better than many years. But the Album of the Year nominations were especially easy to pick apart in 2019. The biggest reason to second guess these nominations is that this current awards shows cycle has been exceptional for excellent mainstream albums.
The Grand Ole Opry regularly loves to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and other such milestones for its members when they come around on the calendar. It’s a good reason for fans to tune in, and can build a good theme around a segment or an entire show. No anniversary for any Opry member might be […]
Call me sexist, I don’t care. And on paper, a supposed “purist” such as myself (ha!) would much prefer Brad Paisley being swapped out for a couple of country music broads of such legendary status as Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire to host the 2019 CMA Awards. But this was a bad move to pull Brad Paisley from hosting the 2019 CMAs.
You’re a music fan. And sure, you know a little something about labels and producers and how all this stuff is necessary to get the music to you. But it so quickly gets bogged down in minutia and detail, does the sale of one huge music company to another really affect you, or affect the music in some significant way that you should care?
Big changes abound in the latest update to the Saving Country Music Top 25 playlist, including the playlist finally coming to YouTube for people who are unable or unwilling to listen on Spotify, Apple Music, or Google Play. A lot of great discoveries have occurred on Saving Country Music in 2019, but none may be as big as Charlie Marie.
Tracy Lawrence has a new album coming out on August 16th called Made in America, and though we don’t have many details on it at the moment, the 90’s country star who put together seven #1’s and twenty-one Top 10’s into the 2000’s says it’s going to be “very country,” and hopes it’s part of the recent return to country’s roots.
No, it’s not 1989, it’s 2019. But looking at the top of the Billboard Country Albums chart this week, you would have thought you’d been transported back 30 years in time. But it’s quite okay if you’re a traditional country music fan. No need to figure out how to generate the 1.21 gigawatts it takes to fire the flux capacitor and get you back to the present.
Reba McEntire has nothing to gain by making a strong country record at this point in her career. But she did it anyway because she wanted to. And that sense of deliberate passion and comes through in the twelve inspired songs of ‘Stronger Than The Truth.’
Reba McEntire is about to release a new album on April 5th called ‘Stronger Than The Truth,’ and this release may be way more significant that just a late career entry by an aging star that country radio has long since put out to pasture. Reba already promised us it was going to be the most country record of her career.
If you’ve been paying attention to Saving Country Music, then you should already know that the name Logan Ledger is one you should be paying attention to. But up to this point, whatever potential this burgeoning performer had was all hypothetical. Now that has all changed.
The heart welled up with excitement in many true country music fans when word came down that Brooks & Dunn had a new title on the way, only to be tempered by the fact that it’s a Reboot (nice double entendre there) of some of their old classics re-recorded with contemporary stars.
Reba McEntire has a new album coming out on April 7th called ‘Stronger Than The Truth,’ and she’s promising fans that it will be the most country record she’s done in a long time, if not in her career. That says a lot considering just how country many of Reba McEntire’s earlier albums were.