It’s not that ‘Ruthless’ is terrible or anything. And if you’re a hardcore Gary Allan fan—of which there are a few—you will probably find enough to enjoy to think of the effort as satisfactory. Still, ‘Ruthless’ is full of compromises and half measures, and it’s only country in spurts.
For his Hall of Fame career, Randy Travis’s ace-in-the-hole behind-the-scenes was his manager, his biggest believer, his staunchest champion, his eventual wife, and eventually, his biggest and most catastrophic adversary, Elizabeth “Lib” Hatcher. This is their story.
Colonel Parker, Country City USA, Dolly Parton, Don Schlitz, Eamonn McCrystal, Eddy Arnold, Elvis Presley, Garth Brooks, George Jones, Joe Stampey, Lib Hatcher, Little Jimmy Dickens, Mary Davis, Nancy Jones, Nashville Palace, Paul Overstreet, Randy Travis, Stubbs Davis, Taylor Swift
Blackberry Smoke is back on top once again with the band’s latest album You Hear Georgia. It’s a position the Georgia-based Southern rock outfit is used to, bolstered by a supremely loyal fan base. “You Hear Georgia” ended up at #1 in album sales in both country and rock.
Even in this confounding day and age in country music, it all still starts with a song. Not a beat, not a riff, but a song. Words, music, and melody. Story and inspiration. It’s what separates country music from certain other musical art forms, no matter how much it may get boiled down.
Austin Moody, Brandy Clark, Brian Callihan, Channing Wilson, Curtis Grimes, Dave Kennedy, David Adam Byrnes, Dean Dillon, Erik Dylan, George Strait, Key West SOngwriters Festival, Lee Brice, Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, Love Junkies, Luke Combs, Rob Snyder, Taylor Swift
The strategy and reasoning here are pretty obvious. Kacey Musgraves has been a critical darling in country music for years. But the country music industry and especially country radio has never known what to do with her.
Tapping into the long-standing tradition in country music of the murder ballad, “no body, no crime” features two members of the sister trio Haim. The song tells the story of Este (also the name of Haim’s oldest sister), who suspects her husband of cheating, tells a friend, and then goes missing.
Over the last few years we’ve something completely unexpected from Eric Church, and unprecedented from many mainstream country stars. Whether it was a natural maturation, becoming a father, or actually listening to his critics, Eric Church changed, and in a meaningful way.
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.
It’s worth noting that Rolling Stone’s new updated version of their “500 Best Albums of All Time” significantly diminishes iconic titles from the classic country canon. Not only were some titles downgraded, some were eliminated entirely.
Charley Pride, Cody Jinks, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, George Jones, Gram Parsons, Jason Isbell, John Prine, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, Lucinda Williams, Miranda Lambert, Patsy Cline, Ray Charles, Rolling Stone, Shania Twain, Steve Earle, Taylor Swift, The Byrds, Turnpike Troubadours, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Remember, it’s just the ACM Awards. Less prestigious than the CMAs, and more susceptible to bloc voting and other dubious practices than most any other awards apparatus in country music and beyond, think of it more as a performative infomercial for the mainstream of country music.
Despite video evidence to the contrary, and no evidence whatsoever in the affirmative, multiple media outlets continue to report that Dolly Parton pledged her support to the Black Lives Matter movement—meaning the political movement—as opposed to saying in a simple colloquial exchange that the lives of black individuals matter.
This week, Maddie & Tae’s “Die From A Broken Heart” finally made it to #1 on the country radio charts. It is a major accomplishment, and a long-fought battle for a song that was originally revealed to fans all the way back in the fall of 2018, and not released as a proper single to radio until May 6th, 2019.
The term “Stan” was never supposed to be a term of endearment, or something to be proud of. Taken from the Eminem song “Stan” released in 2000 about an obsessed Eminem fan who ends up killing himself and his pregnant girlfriend after going off the rails, it doesn’t exactly paint an enviable picture of next-level fan loyalty.
From Taylor Swift’s recent surprise album ‘Folklore,’ the most folkish or “country” song from the collection called “Betty” is being sent to country radio as a proper radio single. It was sent officially to many radio affiliates on Thursday (7-30) after numerous stations were already playing the track.
“Hey, so what does everyone think about American politics?” That’s basically the anthill you’re kicking over whenever you invoke the name of the Dixie Chicks, even though their music was never really that political, and the polarization of their name was more due to misunderstanding and hysteria
Over 112 artists and counting have been confirmed as victims of a sweeping intellectual property theft by having their recordings directly stolen and repurposed by fake artist accounts operating on all major streaming services, including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Google Play, YouTube, and others. The theft includes at least 831 songs.
Adele, Charlie Mosbrook, Coldplay, Colter Wall, DistroKid, Ingrid Michaelson, John Randolph, Katrina Stone, Meghan Linsey, Michelle Branch, Rich O'Toole, Shania Twain, Sixpence None The Richer, Spotify, Taylor Swift, The Statesboro Revue, Vertical Horizon
On NBC’s ‘The Voice’ Monday night (10-28), a contestant named Jake Hoot performed Jason Isbell’s “Cover Me Up” as part of the singing show. Taylor Swift, who was acting as a coach on the episode, even remarked “I love Jason Isbell,” when Jake Hoot said he was covering “Cover Me Up.” It’s more evidence the song has become a standard.
But what Kalie Shorr has also done in Open Book is what every true artist wishes to do whenever the make a record, which is capture raw emotions in bold strokes that resonate deeply with an audience and connect us with our shared humanity. But just like the career of Kalie Shorr, the question is, “Who is the audience?”
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
“What is this?!? Taylor Swift ain’t country, and the Dixie Chicks are commies!” Yeah yeah. Roll off it. We can be adults here and discuss a Taylor Swift song if it’s deemed interesting or necessary. And in the case of “Soon You’ll Get Better,” there are a few interesting country music tie-in’s worth discussing.
The Country Music Antichrist Scott Borchetta is hellbent on world domination ladies and gentlemen, and in the process expect him to pull country music in the pop direction more than ever before. In an interview, he downplayed Luke Combs and Kane Brown, while touting Thomas Rhett as the only true 20-something headliner.
Scooter Brown of the country and Southern Rock outfit the Scooter Brown Band appreciates your passion, Swifties. But he is not the droid you’re looking for. So please stop sending him wishes that his penis fall off and his kids go blind, because he’s got no business with that dude Taylor Swift is beefing with at the moment.
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?
Many pop artists want to be included in country these days through collaborations or remixes to skim some of those fans off for themselves. But country music should be careful of continuing to allow this to happen. The music world was much better when pop was too sugary for country, and country was to corny for pop.