The continued success of independent singles proves that there is a path forward for country artists without the crutch of radio, at least for the right song from the right artist, of which these newly-minted singles from Tyler Childers and Jason Isbell most certainly were.
Man, the Academy of Country Music sure knows how to soft pedal the excitement behind some of their awards. Recently they’ve been unveiling their ‘Decade’ awards, stringing them out over months instead of having an event to announce them, surprising artists backstage at gigs and shoving an award in their face as a few flashbulbs go off.
Hypothetically, whether a given song is released to mainstream country radio as a single or not shouldn’t affect the listener’s judgement upon the song itself. And in many cases, it doesn’t. A song is a song, and it should be considered on its own merits. There are exceptions however, like when a song is exceptionally bad, like many of the country radio singles over the years from Luke Bryan.
But then here came a Patsy Cline tribute in the last quarter of the show and the whole sad sack theme of the night did a complete 360. There was LeAnn Rimes, singing a medley of Patsy Cline songs, and who better to do it than her? Since the beginning of LeAnn’s career, the Patsy comparisons have come pouring in.
In Zac Brown’s recent disparaging comments about Luke Bryan’s hit “That’s My Kind Of Night,” Zac went out of his way to lay as little blame as possible on Luke Bryan. Instead it was the song itself, and its songwriters that drew the brunt of Zac Brown’s ire. Though Zac didn’t name any names, the likely target of Zac’s criticism was country songwriter Dallas Davidson.