Five years ago today—on November 4th, 2015—the biggest event and paradigm shift in country music occurred most certainly in the last 10 years, likely in the last quarter century, and possibly one of the biggest moments in the totality of country music history.
Due to COVID-19, and then the protests and riots after the George Floyd killing, the Saving Country Music snark machine has been pretty much powered down and collecting dust for the better part of 2020. But there has been as few instances of country music malfeasance so egregious, it would be unconscionable to not address them.
Cody Jinks rarely casts stones, and isn’t inclined to spout off against pop country unless the situation is really called for. That happened to be the case when he made a recent visit to the dentist, and was exposed to the Sam Hunt song “Hard To Forget,” though he didn’t know the song or artist at the time.
Beyond making a really bad amalgam of derivative and formulaic rap pop by ripping off the styles of Drake and trap beat artists to only then turn around and sell it as country to the gullible masses, Sam Hunt is also superlative at turning hip-hop, pop, and indie rock writers into certified country music experts.
If true country music is dead, then Sam Hunt’s DNA is all over the crime scene. As the man who single-handedly eroded more barriers between popular music genres than anyone else in the modern era, it is he who you can point the ugly finger of blame towards for the fact that most all modern music sounds the same.
Haha. Okay… So this is how Sam Hunt is making his music, “… more traditional in terms of the genre … that’s definitely where the songs are leaning at this point,” like he promised us he was doing last summer? By filching a piece of a sacred Webb Pierce classic and misappropriating it for a derivative drum-looped pop song?
Look, we all make mistakes, and Sam Hunt is no criminal, unless the offense is high crimes and misdemeanors perpetrated against the institution of country music. But he did screw up, and big time when he went driving down the wrong side of a principal highway in Nashville early in the morning on November 21st.
One sign that mainstream country music continues to improve is the decrease in “country” songs that were worthy of rants in 2019 compared to previous years. However there were a few exceptions in 2019, and songs worthy of taking out back to the woodshed. Our full-throated opposition to these monstrosities misappropriated as “country.”
Not all drunk driving arrests are the same, and we’re finding that out in the continued fallout after EDM country artist Sam Hunt was arrested last Thursday morning (11-21) in Nashville for swerving in and out of his lane, and driving the wrong way on a principle highway.
Compiling both sales and streaming data over the last ten years, Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller” not only comes out on top, it does so even though its closest competitors had a head start. “Traveller” wasn’t released until halfway into the decade on May 5th, 2015, and unlike its Bro-Country counterparts, received only sporadic radio play.
The timing is never good to be placed in handcuffs by the Nashville Metro Police Department and hauled off to jail for driving under the influence and an open container violation like Sam Hunt was on Thursday. But for Sam Hunt, it ended up being a double whammy since he was readying the release of a new single called “Sinning With You.”
EDM country artist Sam Hunt was arrested on charges of drunk driving early Thursday morning (11-21) by the Nashville Metro Police Department, and was taken to jail at 6:30 a.m. on charges of driving under the influence and having an open container. Hunt was driving the wrong way on Ellington Parkway near Ben Allen Road.
Actual country music is actually starting to emerge as a serious trend in mainstream country today, but we still need to see more widespread adoption before we declare ourselves in the midst of another neotraditionalist resurgence. Instead, the new trend that has begun to emerge is being described as “Boyfriend Country.”
Sure, talk’s cheap. And we saw that illustrated perfectly when Sam Hunt released a new single recently called “Kinfolks.” But the case is a bit different with Carly Pearce. Unlike Sam Hunt and other current mainstream stars, Carly started out in the traditional country ranks, and she’s also backing up her claims with her music.
“Kinfolks” is Sam Hunt thinking you’ll consider this a country song just because the lyrical hook is a rural colloquialism. This is what passes for “country” in Sam Hunt’s book, while we’re supposed to ignore the clap track and hip-pop phrasing. Sam Hunt left a huge mess behind in country music when he disappeared a few years ago.
Yes, you read that headline correctly. Sam Hunt will be heading into the studio soon to start recording his long-delayed second album. And according to the man himself, he says the music he’s working on is more oriented towards traditional country music than the R&B pop of his previous album released now nearly five years ago.
Marty Stuart, who’s the documentary’s lead contributor and a staunch preservationist of country music’s history, says the new film is “like the cavalry coming.” Marty Stuart says, “The traditional end of country music sometimes gets overshadowed by the contemporary … It’s an awesome gift.”
Believe it or not, Sam Hunt released his debut record now nearly six years ago. Sam hasn’t just been slow on delivering a sophomore record, he’s been outright missing in action. There were rumors about Sam Hunt outright retiring. But his long drought of not recording new music is about to be over.
Here we are with a nice, tidy little bow wrapped around 2018, with the barrage of end-of-year lists finally published and in the past, the confetti from New Year’s celebrations all swept up, and the promise of an exciting new year of country music on the way. But how good or bad really was country music in 2018?
Brent Cobb, Chris Stapleton, Cody Jinks, Florida Georgia Line, Kacey Musgraves, Luke Combs, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Midland, Miranda Lambert, Sam Hunt, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers
We took the time to celebrate some of the Best Songs Released in 2018, as well as some of the Best Albums, so now it’s time to place a clothespin firmly on our noses, slip on some elbow-length rubber gloves, and go digging through the cesspool that is radio country to dredge up the absolute worst offenses.
Now that the 2018 CMA Awards nominations have been announced, the people who care about the awards can pour over the lists and find things to complain about, while the people who complain about the awards can pour over the lists while professing to not care. This is the way of things, and what happens every year.
Game over. All efforts to stave off the irrelevancy of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in the face of installing a pop star in the history books as the owner of the most successful single in the genre’s history ultimately failed. This week, the song “Meant To Be” by pop star Bebe Rexha with Florida […]
Well well well. Apparently Sam Hunt is part human, and is prone to fail, at least partially. That’s the pronouncement many are making after his current single “Downtown’s Dead” stalled at country radio outside the Top 10, and has subsequently had the support behind it pulled by his label MCA Nashville.
In the last 73 weeks of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, there have only been five total songs to crest the chart. That means that over the past 1 1/2 years, two songs have occupied the chart’s top spot 89% of the time. And those two artists very specifically benefit from pop attention.