Despite George Strait officially retiring from full-time touring in 2014—a commitment he’s actually stuck to unlike other superstars, only playing sporadic stadium shows and limited-run Las Vegas residencies—Strait surprisingly walked away with Billboard’s “Top Country Tour” award.
Just remember, “It’s only the ACM Awards.” It’s just disappointing that one of their best presentations in perhaps a decade or more—and under difficult circumstances—had to be sullied at the very end by a silly and avoidable decision.
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.
Sure, perhaps absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the indefinite hiatus of the boys from Oklahoma has us all foggy-eyed in recollection. But according to one industrious Twitter user’s social experiment in the midst of the Coronavirus quarantine, the Turnpike Troubadours rule the roost.
Like someone with the Coronavirus coughing in your face, here come the 2020 ACM Awards nominations. With Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett leading the pack of nominees with five nominations each, Justin Bieber receiving three nominations, you might as well be getting news from the local doctor where you’re quarantine station is located.
Alright, so we’ve run down the Saving Country Music Album of the Year nominees, and awarded The Winner. And we’ve also populated the 2019 Essential Albums List. Now it’s time to single out the dogs of the last calendar year and let them hear it. Here ladies and gentlemen are your WORST “Country” Albums for 2019.
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.”
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.”
We knew the release of the latest Luke Combs album ‘What You See Is What You Get’ would be big, and that’s exactly what it was, bringing in the biggest numbers for a country title all year, topping all the charts, and setting a new record in the country space. Luke Combs is now indisputably the biggest artist in country music.
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.
The great American country music goober is back ladies and gentlemen, riding a wave of nepotistic opportunity and slavish trend chasing to launch his own insipid bid in a crowded field of hopefuls to be considered the most non-country “country” star stultifying the American country music airwaves with knockoff R&B rubbish.
The news coming out of the Carrie Underwood camp is that she will be debuting a brand new single at the ACM Awards on Sunday (4-15), and regardless of how good or godawful the song is, I couldn’t be more happy, regardless of what the song turns out to be.
So here we are once again staring at a list of the nominees for the ACM Awards, with few surprises, lots of predictable stuff, and finding ourselves full of self-reflection on if we should even care about the annual country music gala that is most susceptible to bloc voting and horse trading.
The promise of technology and its interfacing with music is a great equalization of the playing field, both opening up the creative possibilities for artists, and the ability to discover new music for fans. For too long the stuffy and outmoded system of radio feeding us what they wanted us to hear reigned over music […]
We were so swept up in praising ourselves for all the gains made in the independent realm of country music in 2017, it wasn’t until here in the dwindling moments of the year that we realized just what a dreadful era 2017 posed in the mainstream.
Netflix released the latest season of its comedy drama ‘The Ranch’ on December 15th, and just like the first three seasons, country music plays a big role in both the dialog and the soundtrack. Apparently the creators want to make discovering the songs part of the fun of the series, because they keep their soundtrack close to the vest.
Amanda Shires, Blitzen Trapper, Brenda Lee, Brothers Osborne, Conway Twitty, Eric Church, Jason Isbell, Mandolin Orange, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Netflix, Patsy Cline, Ricky Nelson, Sam Outlaw, Sara Watkins, Sturgill Simpson, The Cactus Blossoms, The Ranch, Thomas Rhett
Man did Music Row in Nashville turn in a whole slew of stinkers this year, setting new lows for the substance, and non-country-ness of “country” songs in 2017. This year was a great example of how you should never think it can’t get any worse, because it can, and did, and by a long stretch.
There’s yet another reason for players and fans of America’s Team to be disappointed on the direction of the current season. After finishing last year 13-3, and starting the 2017-2018 campaign as many people’s pick as a Super Bowl contender, the Dallas Cowboys have suffered another debilitating season setback.
Thomas Rhett’s got nothing. Each performing artist, whether it’s in the independent realm or the mainstream, has at least one thing they can hang their hat on that makes them unique and interesting in the entertainment marketplace. But with Thomas Rhett, it’s none of the above.
This is the music tour equivalent to spending $1,200 on a pair professionally fashion-curated pre-ripped jeans, or you know, some shirt with holes in it. It’s bid for authenticity from the most inauthentic and manufactured second-generation preordained “country” star our generation has seen.
Oh man are these some stinkers. Not only does an elite and highly-trained group of mainstream country artists seem to be like devoted experts at defining new lows for the genre, in 2017 the amount of non-country-ness of some of these “country” songs is so off the charts, it’s like they’re purposely challenging each other.
Body Like a Backroad, Canaan Smith, Carrie Underwood, Chris Janson, Craving You, David Allan Coe, Dustin Lynch, Fix A Drink, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Like You That Way, Sam Hunt, The Chainsmokers, The Fighter, The Moonshine Bandits, Thomas Rhett
Some fans began to smell something fishy when they noticed that “Die a Happy Man” won the ACM Award for Single of the Year at the 2016 ACM Awards. How could the song still be eligible if it was eligible for the 2016 awards as well? The answer is that it either wasn’t, or perhaps the ACM Voting Criteria was changed.
If for nothing else, give Thomas Rhett credit for this: He’s taken an incredibly average set of marginal skills and talent, and made himself into a bona fide arena-level superstar. That in itself takes a level of cunning that your ordinary citizen doesn’t posses. Music Row in Nashville has an implausible knack for making mediocrity seem exceptional.
It was either feast or famine for country singles in 2016. As the rigged singles system that almost guarantees #1 songs for any releases from big-named artists metastasized at radio—creating an incredible volume of singles hitting #1 for a solitary week before immediately falling off a precipice—if a song happened to not fit into that rigged system…