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.”
You hate to keep coming back to this stupid topic of Zac Brown going off the rails with his two latest releases—The Zac Brown Band’s The Owl, and his solo album The Controversy. There’s just too much great music out there right now to keep harping on this subject. But once again Zac Brown is spouting off in the media.
Not to spend too much time on the country music washout that is Zac Brown in 2019, but just to wrap a bow around the weird situation surrounding his recent solo pop album called The Controversy, we finally have an explanation of why the surprise album was pulled from multiple outlets and retailers after its release on September 27th.
The worst part about Zac Brown’s The Controversy is that it was released on September 27th—one of these “Super Release Days” that we’ve been getting more and more of recently, where there are quite literally a dozen marquee albums being released simultaneously, and ones that are much more worthy of people’s attention than this.
Zac Brown brought the class of country music’s “also ran” awards show down yet another notch when he decided to drop an F-bomb on live television, and in a prepared statement, and on a show that was rated by the cable network as family friendly.
At this point you just can’t even look away. Like coming up on some grizzly roadside accident, you know it’s going to be grotesque, horrific, and mentally scarring for the rest of your life. But even as you cover your face, the index finger raises ever so slightly, and you sneak a peep. And yes, it’s as bad as you expected.
Can we go back to the time when the biggest worry we had with The Zac Brown Band was that his song “Chicken Fried” was a precursor to Bro-Country? Remember that moment in 2009 when he took the stage at the CMA Awards and ripped into a badass version of “Devil Went Down to Georgia” and had us all pumping our fists?
Boy, you thought witnessing the never-ending drama and identity crisis roiling The Band Perry was dizzying to the point of hilarity, and then began to feel downright sorry for them as matters got even worse as they grappled for mainstream relevancy. Well now Zac Brown has just said, “Hold my beer and watch this.”
If you didn’t get your fill with Blackberry Smoke’s recent record ‘Find a Light,’ or it just increased your appetite for their infectious classic Southern rock vibe, well then you’re in luck. The Atlanta, Georgia boys will be releasing the ‘Southern Ground Sessions EP’ as an accompaniment to ‘Find A Light.’
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.
I’ll tell you exactly what’s going on with Zac Brown folks. He’s tired of just playing country and Southern rock, and he would sell out his entire career and fritter away all the cred he’s accrued with dedicated fans for going on two decades just for the chance to indulge his fancy that he can be some sort of power player in the weirdo hybrid EDM pop world.
Sturgill Simpson sat down with Marc Maron of the WTF podcast recently, and the hour or so interview was released on Thursday (5-12). If you’re a diehard Sturgill Simpson fan, it would be strongly encouraged that you listen. Here are some of the more interesting tidbits from the conversation.
Zac Brown is caught up in a drug scandal after numerous individuals were arrested at the Four Seasons hotel in Palm Beach, FL on Friday, April 8th. Just what Zac Brown’s involvement was in the situation is a matter of dispute between the Palm Beach police department, and celebrity news organization TMZ, which alleges Zac was given preferential treatment by the police.
The “South” is the setting for the songs, and where the respective artists hail from, but “Family” is what makes this record universal for all listeners. And unlike many other concept records that may only have one or two songs that can be separated from the material, every song on “Southern Family” can exist independently, and many will go on to mark top-level career contributions to the artist’s musical canon.
The country music Outlaw movement didn’t happen overnight either. It took years and years of gnawing away at the obtrusive oligarchy that had set up shop on Music Row to get to the point where many of the genre’s most prominent stars could call their own shots, and the music could finally open up to new ideas and fresh faces.
Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Bare, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb, Florida Georgia Line, Hillbilly Central, Holly Williams, Jason Isbell, Jessi Colter, Jon Pardi, Kris Kristofferson, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Mo Pitney Williams Michael Morgan, Southern Family, Sturgill Simpson, Sugar Hill, Thirty Tigers, Tompall Glaser, Wanted The Outlaws, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown
Forget all the sappy relationship stuff, and how it happened and where it might lead. Miranda Lambert ditching Blake Shelton and ending up with Anderson East might be the perfect illustration of the drastic role reversal 2015 has ushered in throughout the greater country music realm, and how 2016 could be poised to completely turn everything upside down.
Aaron Watson, Adam Hood, Anderson East, Ashley Monroe, Blackberry Smoke, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb, David Rawlings, Fred Eaglesmith, Gillian Welch, Holly Williams, Jason Isbell, John Prine, Miranda Lambert, Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, Sturgill Simpson, Zac Brown
There’s something much interesting brewing that’s bigger than any one artist at the moment—an expansive concept record dealing with artists’ experiences growing up in the South. The project was first hinted at in April when the new Elektra deal was signed, and since then there’s been murmurings about Cobb’s concept record here and there, but now we’re finally beginning to piece together the details.
Anderson East, Brandy Clark, Brent Cobb, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb, Eric Clapton, Holly Williams, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, Jessi Colter, John Paul White, Miranda Lambert, Mrorgane Stapleton, Rich Robinson, Shooter Jennings, Southern Family, The Southern Family, Waylon Jennings, Zac Brown
Taking that musicianship, and the sense of groove and dynamics of jazz, and bringing it into the roots music space with adeptness, knowledge, and respect, The Wood Brothers have carved out their own unique discipline in the music spectrum that creates multiple avenues of appeal for a wide chunk of enlightened listeners.
The “Benedict Arnold of Country Music,” a.k.a. Zac Brown, sat down recently with the always-complicit Rolling Stone Country to participate in yet another puff piece, and shoved his foot so far down his throat, Cheryl Tiegs would be colored impressed by his the once country star’s incredible pliability.
You had a sense going into Blackberry Smoke’s new album Holding All The Roses that this could be a big one for the Atlanta-based band, and now were seeing all of the hard work and the good will they’ve sewed with their fan base over the last 15 years or so paying off big. Holding All The Roses shipped 19,614 copies in its first week of sales, which is good enough for #1 on Billboard’s Country Albums Chart.
As the college football consciousness of the country zoomed in on Arlington, TX and the first official National Championship game ever played at the collegiate level Monday night, Zac Brown Band was tapped as the entertainment for ESPN’s College Gameday presentation leading up to the big game. Zac Brown Band played Jason Isbell’s much-appreciated but fairly obscure song for fallen soldiers.
What gives Zac Brown Band a lot more creative latitude with their music is the fact that they’re honest about not really being country. We’re all music fans first, and then our loyalties split down the lines of various genres. If only more artists were honest about their intentions, it would give us the opportunity to enjoy the music more. Zac Brown Band is a Southern rock band…
The hope of fans of any independent music artist is that they will be able to achieve a sustainable career, and that their music will find wider appeal amongst the listening public. When an independent artist succeeds, it’s important that we pay attention to what lent to that success so hopefully more worthy artists can achieve similar results, and to ask what that success might mean.
Rejoice Southern rock fans. If you’re looking for a refill of your favorite poison, Atlanta, Georgia’s formidable Southern rock outfit Blackberry Smoke has just announced they have a brand new album on the way called “Holding All The Roses.” “I think that this record does a really good job of conveying what we do and what we’re about,” says singer, frontman, and songwriter Charlie Starr.