90s country is back on the upswing, and either you can get your fix from some new performer who was still soiling their diapers or learning multiplication tables when Alan Jackson and Brooks & Dunn were dominating country radio, or you can go to the source.
I know what you’re going to say. “NeW yOrK CiTY!” like that guy in the old Pace Picante Sauce commercial. Or if you pride yourself in having any sort of semblance of taste, maybe you’re wondering why anyone in 2021 would still be listening to mainstream country radio at all.
94.7, Bebe Rexa, Blair Garner, Blanco Brown, Bobby Bones, Breland, Chuck Wicks, Cumulus Media, Florida Georgia Line, Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton, Nelly, New York, Reba McEntire, Ronnie Dunn, Sunny Sweeney, Terri Clark, Walker Hayes, WNSH
It’s country. It’s traditional. But it’s also not so stuffy and dated that the masses would writhe at the sound of it like so many traditional country fans do when they get a whiff of today’s mainstream country radio, or today’s radio listeners do when they hear Hank.
Triston Marez has been a traditional country guy bubbling up in both Texas and Nashville for a good while now. And now he’s about ready to burst into the country music world proper with his debut record, and is getting a boost from a Country Music Hall of Famer to boot.
Unless you were there in person, you missed it. But now we’ll all get the opportunity to see the tribute concert that transpired on April 6th, 2017, when a hefty list of musical talent all assembled at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to pay tribute to the legendary Merle Haggard.
Aaron Lewis, Ben Haggard, Billy Gibbons, Blackbird Presents, Bobby Bare, Buddy Miller, Chris Janson, Connie Smith, Dierks Bentley, Hank Williams Jr., Jake Owen, Jamey Johnson, John Anderson, John Mellencamp, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Richards, Kenny Chesney, Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Rodney Crowell, Ronnie Dunn, Sheryl Crow, Sing Me Back Home The Music of Merle Haggard, Tanya Tucker, The Avett Brothers, Toby Keith, Warren Haynes, Willie Nelson
‘Co-Starring’ is a spirited, ambitious, well-written and performed late career effort by Ray Wylie Hubbard that makes a strong case why he deserves major label backing, why all the praise and opportunities he’s been receiving lately (however late) are warranted, while also making a worthy introduction into why so many revere this man.
Ray Wylie has parleyed his many years of peddling mad influence in country and roots music into a collaborative album hosting a heavy dose of cool names. Called “Co-Starring,” it is preceded by the new song “Bad Trick” that itself sees Ringo Starr, Don Was, Joe Walsh, and Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes all show up to support Hubbard.
Aaron Lee Tasjan, Ashley McBryde, Bad Trick, Big Machine Records, Chris Robinson, Co-Starring, Don Was, Elizabeth Cook, Eric Church, Joe Walsh, Pam Tillis, Paula Nelson, Peter Rowan, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ringo Starr, Ronnie Dunn, Scott Borchetta, The Cadillac Three, Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown
There is no doubt that by any objective assessment, when it comes to the world of creative types in the realm of music or otherwise, their ranks tend to veer more towards liberal ideals when it comes to politics. But that in no way excludes the gift of creativity from people who happen to be more conservative or independent of mindset.
Aaron Watson, Alan Jackson, Bill Anderson, Billy Joe Shaver, Brennen Leigh, Charlie Daniels, Chris Knight, Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, John Anderson, John Rich, Larry Gatlin, Loretta Lynn, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Maddie Marlow, Merle Haggard, Oak Ridge Boys, Ronnie Dunn, Sunny Sweeney, Toby Keith, Tracy Lawrence, Travis Tritt
Whatever you want to call him, “The Forgotten Outlaw,” “The Dead Thumb King,” “Wylie Lama,” or a host of other nicknames he’s amassed over his many years as a music troubadour, Ray Wylie Hubbard has been going through an elongated career resurgence that most 72-year-old performers could only dream of.
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?
Making a collaborative album with some of the most iconic artists from Texas and beyond wasn’t exactly what Houston native Rodney Crowell had in mind when he first started out to write and record his latest record. It just sort of happened that way. This won’t just be a Texas record in name.
Brooks & Dunn will be the newest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the Modern Era. This was the news coming out of the press conference held Monday morning (3-18) in the Hall of Fame rotunda in Nashville. Brooks & Dunn was a commercial powerhouse duo in the 90’s if there ever was one.
Don’t worry, there will be plenty of country artists from the early and late 90’s who we won’t retrospectively be praising as we get older and the music of today gets worse. But you’re short changing yourself as a country fan if you write off many of the big songs and early albums of Brooks & Dunn as forgettable fluff.
A tribute is finally planned for The Hag, and it promises to be a star-studded event. ‘Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard’ will take place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, April 6th to honor what would have been Merle Haggard’s 80th birthday, and to mark the one year anniversary of his passing.
Alison Krauss, Ben Haggard, Bobby Bare, Buddy Cannon, Connie Smith, Dierks Bentley, Don Was, Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, John Anderson, John Mellencamp, Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Chesney, Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Ronnie Dunn, Sing Me Back Home The Music of Merle Haggard, The Avett Brothers, Theresa Haggard, Warren Haynes, Willie Nelson
Andrew Dorff was the kind of mainstream country music songwriter Nashville needed more of—someone who wrote the sleeper hits of surprising depth and humanity compared to most radio singles, and the solid album cuts from mainstream artists you may otherwise write off.
If 90% of mainstream country music is garbage, then it stands to reason that 10% of it is at least decent, if not good or great. That calculus hasn’t really changed much recently, even as mainstream country has improved. What has changed is that 10% is actually finding traction on radio, at awards shows, and is making fierce inroads into the 90%’s monopoly.
Ronnie Dunn has the voice and the name to where if he wanted to transition into a legacy act or do like Tim McGraw and make the best of the opening up of the format to better songs, he could really do some damage. But he has to really commit to it. His days of #1 hits and CMA Awards are unfortunately in the past.
For those fed up with the political system, scared to vote either way for two of the most unlikable Presidential candidates in recent memory, voting with trepidation, not voting in spite, or just plain wanting this whole election thing to end and hoping that somehow the United States can find a modicum of healing after it is all over…
Brennen Leigh, Canned Heat, Hayes Carll, Hellbound Glory, Jackson Taylor and the Sinners, Kinky Friedman, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, Leroy Virgil, Merle Haggard, Peter Dawson, Ronnie Dunn, Sunny Sweeney, Tom Waits, Waylon Jennings
Speaking about his recent signing with Big Machine’s NASH Icon record label, which was set up to create radio support for artists left behind by mainstream country’s current obsession with youth, the once CMA Entertainer of the Year recipient said, “If you’re gonna be heard, you have to get on the radio. The internet alone is not gonna do it.”
Cumulus Media’s NASH concept wants to become the one stop shop for corporate country consumers, and the country industry is more than willing to play ball as long as the company spreads its capital around to launch grandiose ventures and continues to play its artists on the radio. But there’s a problem. A big one.
Trying to get a handle on Ronnie Dunn over the last few years has been like trying to catch a greased piglet. His rhetoric has been nothing short of revolutionary, but his artistic output has been a mixed bag at best. The former Brooks & Dunn member became disenfranchised by the Nashville system after his first solo release in 2011, and so he started a public relations crusade through his Facebook page.
Operating a site called “Saving Country Music” for the last eight years, I’ve learned the patient art of losing every single day with grace. It is the ever-present conceit of the living to believe that the present times are the worst there’s ever been, and country music is no exception. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that people weren’t yelling that the sky was falling when John Denver was winning the CMA Entertainer of the Year…
Where is talk of the format split on the agenda at CRS? You would think it would be dominating the proceedings. I mean, we’re talking about what would be the largest overhaul of country radio in its existence. But is it even being discussed, or are people more focused on the big Garth Brooks party as he tries to retool after his retirement and make up for now two failed radio singles.
NASH Icon is ramping up for a big 2015, making some significant moves on Monday (1-12) to start the year where 2014 ended: stirring conversation about where country music is headed and potentially stimulating a format split that would see more older country music return to the airwaves en masse. The long rumored signing of Ronnie Dunn to the label has been officially announced.