Heard the new solo album by Tara Nevins from Donna the Buffalo this week; probably too folksy and reverent (and it’s not like I go back and listen to whatever Donna the Buffalo CDs I still own much anymore), but I got through it painlessly, which doesn't happen with folk-country albums often, and it could conceivably grow on me.
Favorite country song I heard this week that I'd never heard before was "Country Mohammed," by immigration-obsessed Seattle-based Bosnian-Bulgarian-Japanese-American world-prog-metal band Kultur Shock, who Frank wrote about for me once at the Voice but who I'd basically forgotten about. Said Middle-Eastern hoedown was on their 2009 Integration; new album, Ministry Of Kultur is even better. (For a brief unsavory description, see the Rolling Past Expiry Hard Rock thread.)
― xhuxk, Monday, 14 March 2011 14:40 (2 years ago) Permalink
Haven't listened to the new Tara yet, but solo debut Mule To Ride had some pretty fiery wiry dizzy comin' round the mountain outbursts, far beyond any Donna The B I've heard. Meanwhile, I'm smitten by Miss Willie Brown, a duo jumping into the Dixie Chicks gap, re bringing hearts and minds under stress through popwise whirlwinds of observation and expression--four songs of concise expansion and uncommon range for such a brief set can be found here http://www.misswilliebrown.com and another is linked in the following press release, which also heralds a four-song EP containing none of the ones on their site's jukebox, far as I can tell--so haven't heard those yet--but the ones I have heard are also rec to fans of (for instance) the cable series Army Wives, Little Big Town and um Van Zant I think (thinking of those last two while "The Bible" surges from verse to chorus again). Here's an excerpt of the press release:
-----Original Message-----From: Mary Hilliard Harrington <maryhilli✧✧✧@thegreenroo✧✧✧.c✧✧>To: bamall✧✧✧@a✧✧.c✧✧Sent: Mon, Mar 14, 2011 9:05 amSubject: Miss Willie Brown Releases EP And Hits The Road!
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A&M/OCTONE’S MISS WILLIE BROWN RELEASES FIRST MAJOR LABEL EP
Spring Tour With Country Music Star Dierks Bentley Begins March 17
2011 Tour Kick-Off Show Planned For Tues. In Nashville Nashville, TN - March 14, 2011 - A&M/Octone Records’ first country act Miss Willie Brown is set to release their first major label EP digitally tomorrow. Kasey Buckley and Amanda Watkins—usually found finishing each other’s sentences, talking over each other, making each other laugh and cry—are the two singers and songwriters who make up Miss Willie Brown, and the release of their self titled EP marks the arrival of a dynamic new duo in country music.
Produced by award winning producer Keith Stegall (Zac Brown Band, Alan Jackson, George Strait), the four track EP includes the up-tempo and funked-up tracks “Sick of Me,” “Good Fight” and Couyan Crazy.” It also covers tender emotional territory with “Freeland,” the story of two women waiting for their men to return from fighting overseas. Kasey and Amanda wrote and both sing lead vocals on all four tracks.
“Keith really jumped into our heads in terms of knowing what we like,” says Amanda, while Kasey adds that, “Amanda and I made a promise to each other a long time ago that we would do whatever was best for the song. It’s hard to do a lot of the time, because interests conflict and collide...but the song is everything to us. And now we’ve put some of those songs we love to play live on this EP, so we could get out on the road and hopefully start building a fanbase show by show. We want to tour hard...like the guys do!”
To preview “Sick of Me,” click here:http://www.thegreenroompr.com/misswilliebrown.html
Miss Willie Brown will celebrate the EP’s release and the start of their first major tour with a special show Tues. at the Rutledge in Nashville at 6 P.M. Immediately following the show, the duo will head out for a 30 date run on the JAGERMEISTER COUNTRY TOUR FEATURING DIERKS BENTLEY.
For a full list of tour dates and more information, visithttp://www.misswilliebrown.com
― dow, Monday, 14 March 2011 18:59 (2 years ago) Permalink
Since I've mentioned it here a bunch of times, I should now mention that I've decided Steel Magnolia's album is in fact definitely not as good as Thompson Square's album. Still like most of it okay, especially "Bulletproof." But though their voices sound richer in general to me than, say, Lady Antebellum's, they also partake in a certain kind of commercial-post-jam-band ickiness (a la Dave Matthews? John Mayer? Maroon 5? somebody like that) that can really make me wince, especially in their way beyond embarrassing faux-reggae tune "Rainbow." Haven't yet decided whether the line "I'm not Jamaican/but Jamaican me lazy" (in a different song!) is racist.
― xhuxk, Monday, 14 March 2011 21:00 (2 years ago) Permalink
My recent favorite country singles so far
Someone Else Calling You Baby Luke BryanI Can't Love You Back Easton CorbinColder Weather Zac Brown Band And Jamey Johnson's record from last year is nice, esp the song Front Porch Swing Afternoon
― JacobSanders, Tuesday, 15 March 2011 04:49 (2 years ago) Permalink
(oh sorry - that Bonnie Owens 4CD box came out in '07 - I guess it's back in print is all)
― augustgarage, Wednesday, 16 March 2011 02:37 (2 years ago) Permalink
Goldy Locks takes on Ted Nugent on CMT
After some production stops and starts, Running Wild with Ted Nugent is set to air on CMT on March 23rd. Four consecutive episodes will air beginning at 1 a.m. central time. (Lady pro wrestling personality) Rock singer/songwriter Goldy Locks appears as one of the contestants in the raucous series which features Nugent as a survivalist trainer who then hunts his own students. “I eat maggots on the show!” – Goldy
Set your TiVo and enjoy. Thanks in advance for watching and if you want to see more of Goldy on network, TV, tell ‘em so! Call 615.335.8400 or PLEASE email i✧✧✧@c✧✧.c✧✧ with your comments and ask for more Goldy Locks!
― Gorge, Monday, 21 March 2011 22:57 (2 years ago) Permalink
So, I finally got around to hearing the Band Perry album from late last year this week, and I think I like it a lot. Haven't been able to give it totally undivided attention yet, but for several plays in the background (at home, and in the car on the way to and from SXSW), the cuts that regularly jump out at me are tracks five and six, "Miss You Being Gone" and "Double Heart," which also seem to be the two real rockers on the record -- might well have missed a couple others so far, though.
Tara Nevins' new album has been growing on me too. Agree with what Don seemed to suggest about a previous solo record, that this is more sonically and emotionally intense than what she generally does with Donna The Buffalo. Cuts grabbing me most are probably "Tennessee River" and the fast reeling instrumental "Nothing Really."
― xhuxk, Tuesday, 22 March 2011 13:44 (2 years ago) Permalink
The Band Perry -- deserving of some points for being a lot more pulled back that usual. Dependent on Kimberly Perry, who steals the entire show in the way of a vocal phenom like Noddy Holder. Of which none exist in Nashville.
She's right in the range of Slade's Noddy re "Play It Loud" which isn't that loud an album. But which the vocal rips through all the tunes based on country themes. With Slade it was cruel treatment of horses and the poor. The Band Perry makes it more self-obsessed American. The signature tune being about having to die to get people to notice you.
"Miss You Being Gone" is train beat country, which was most of Don Powell's beats on the hit Slade tunes in England.
I call The Band Perry glam country. With production pulled back, the emphasis being on the singer all the time. There are people doing hoo-hoo-hoo's and Kimberly Perry doing rock n roll emphases. So when the beats are legitimately country like on "fortune teller" the country instruments added aren't phony appliques, as usual. They're only gratuitous (the mandolins, accordion wheezes, fiddles and banjo strokes.)
― Gorge, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 09:31 (2 years ago) Permalink
Which is to say The Band Perry is one of my fave records this year. Probably a bit more than ThompsonSquare although I can't tell you why precisely right now. It's not because there are more jangle classic rock guitars. It's the personality of Kimberly Perry.
― Gorge, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 09:40 (2 years ago) Permalink
Might have to walk The Band Perry record back a bit. There's a universal solvent character to KP's voice that wears me out a bit depending on the mood.
And if you get cable maybe you've seen the ubiquitous General Electric commercial with the line dancing set to Alan Jackson's "Good Time." Good time for GE, indeed, until the frontpage New York Times on the company's tax dodging.
That was the last affront. ;)
So I did a song on it, "GE & Jeffrey" country-style, borrowing Jackson for a couple seconds.
― Gorge, Wednesday, 30 March 2011 03:26 (2 years ago) Permalink
frontpage New York Times on the company's tax dodging.
This was a great, if absolutely depressing piece; was actually thinking of linking it here a few days ago, because of that Alan Jackson commercial (which is now inescapable during Sunday morning political talk shows). Anybody who hasn't read it, really should:
― xhuxk, Wednesday, 30 March 2011 03:34 (2 years ago) Permalink
I want someone to glue "GE & Jeffrey" to the line-dancing video. Windows Movie Maker on my pc won't do it because of some software glitch having to do with memory size.
Shockingly, 60 Minutes took the opposite tack than the Times, giving a lot of time to some flack from Cisco explaining that the alleged 35 percent tax rate was what was causing the exodus. So he offered a bit of blackmail in the form of give us a 5 percent tax rate on the money and jobs we've already taken overseas and we'll come back. Stahl meekly added that the US government had already tried that bribe in 2004 and been rooked. No jobs were brought back.
― Gorge, Wednesday, 30 March 2011 04:31 (2 years ago) Permalink
Before the corporate police drag it away for being truth in advertising.
― Gorge, Thursday, 31 March 2011 16:29 (2 years ago) Permalink
Had a complete listen to the JaneDear Girls album. It's been <strike>pirated</strike> distributed for free by YouTube and been there undisturbed for almost a month so the label must have already given up on it.
It features a good dose shiny poppy hard rock. "Wildflower," the hardest -- "Free Ride," "Lucky You," "Shotgun Girl," "Merry Go Round." The latter is an almost direct rip of Big & Rich style. "Free Ride" sounds like the Donnas with a totally pointless fiddle glued on when the guitars are chugging and chomping. Why even add it? I never get that.
The album's not bad, adequate as hard pop rock, but a little too heavy in spots on the hack work for even me.
If Pauley Perrette's Lo-Ball had ever got out of major label hell demo-land ten years ago this is what they might have sounded like. But they wouldn't have had fiddle or the ticky-ticky novelty banjo that Big & Rich are so fond of.
I liked what I saw of them live on late night.
God, if I had a recording budget like this. Come to think of it, I don't need a recording budget like that.
― Gorge, Saturday, 2 April 2011 02:07 (2 years ago) Permalink
ARE YOU GONNA KISS ME OR NOT
― teledyldonix, Saturday, 2 April 2011 07:53 (2 years ago) Permalink
Hey George, curious what you'd think of the new Foster and Lloyd album. They've never really been on my radar, though I remember them being plugged by say Rockpile/Replacements/Bodeans fans at Creem years ago; had some country chart success in the late '80s (including four top 10 hits), but haven't charted since 1990, when they apparently split up. It's Already Tomorrow seems to be their first album since then; Tom Petterson from Cheap Trick is playing bass, and there's lots of jangle (Foster and Lloyd are both guitarist/vocalists), Everly Brothers harmonies, and some chugging semi-hard rock (at least "Hold That Thought," maybe more.) That said, most of it is making me shrug so far, and I'm trying to figure out why. Sometimes you're more open to this kind of thing than I am.
Elsewise, are Nashville releases just on hold, or what? Have any albums at all come out in the past couple months? Weird.
Christgau seems to be going somewhat alt-country crazy lately, in his msn.com Consumer Guide-style blurbs. A few links:
Drive By Truckers (he also did a long essay about them last month, fwiw)
Loretta Lynn tribute/Lucinda Williams
― xhuxk, Saturday, 2 April 2011 20:18 (2 years ago) Permalink
Oops, actually this is the correct Drive By Truckers CG link:
And his longer essay about them:
As I said, I couldn't even bring myself to bother checking out their new album, since everybody seemed to be saying it was even mellower than their previous few, and I've definitely passed the mellowness-tolerance threshold with those guys.
― xhuxk, Saturday, 2 April 2011 20:25 (2 years ago) Permalink
Hmm, Foster and Lloyd "It's Already Tomorrow"... Hasn't yet been <strike>pirated</strike> freely distributed on YouTube and there's no obvious blogspot steal of it. Don't have a review copy but I did give a listen to the promotional they put on YouTube. Title cut has the jangle, sounded good but maybe more on the Byrds side of things because of the 12-string. B. Too stodgy swamp blues thing with some hard guitars was next, singing about a mandolin and learning to sing from a bird or something, my attention started skipping off it. Third sample tune was the lachrymose country lullaby mode and I couldn't take more than ten or twenty seconds of it. Maybe the rest of the album sounds better. By itself, wouldn't have made me curious to hear the rest.
Christgau does kind of a disservice to the Donnas in comparison with Those Darlins, I thin'. Coulda seen that coming.
"Be Your Bro'" is irritating. Liked "Red Light Lover" a lot more but I still wouldn't pop for an album. The determinedly thrift store rock genre has really never done much for me. Much better live, right? If more of the record is sacrificed upon the altar of YouTube perhaps I'll revise my opinion.
― Gorge, Saturday, 2 April 2011 23:02 (2 years ago) Permalink
You folks watching the Academy of Country Music awards?
― curmudgeon, Monday, 4 April 2011 02:18 (2 years ago) Permalink
Yeah, in the background. The Brokeback Mountain gay joke in reference to Gyllenhall/Swift at the beginning was offputting. Blake playing the clumsy stupid guy to Reba was not exactly Tommy and Dick Smothers. Then there was the Brady guy skit. Carrie Underwood did hard rock bordering on metal.I think she's performed that tune about 1,000 times on TV. It gets louder and more thrusting but not better everytime. Steve Tyler made weird noises during her song and "Walk this Way." Rihanna looks great, did another hard rock tune with Jennifer Nettles in which a guy who looked like the lead guitarist for Extreme in 1991 played a senseless solo. Ronnie Dunn was sub-mediocre. Brad Paisley won another award, it's pro forma, He's so famous he always gets a percentage of the spoil whether he's earned it or not. Toby Keith outright blew, pretty much mumbling his way through or phoning in whatever it was he was doing. xhuxk'd now, probably.
I foolishly expected it to be more tuneful than it was so some of the time was spent in reading "YOU Never Give Me Your Money," a new Beatles book I got for my birthday.
Now Alan Jackson is introducing some people: stocking cap Zach and James Taylor. Stocking cap, in Las Vegas, yet. Is he totally without pity?
― Gorge, Monday, 4 April 2011 05:49 (2 years ago) Permalink
James Taylor looks like he's missing his false teeth. Which actually may be the case since he's playing sitting down.
― Gorge, Monday, 4 April 2011 05:50 (2 years ago) Permalink
I didn't watch; was proof-reading galley proofs for my Greatest Hits book. Have since watched the Underwood/Tyler and Rihanna/Nettles duets on youtube. Okay, I guess, but not okay enough to want to hear them again. Thought Nettles outsung Rihanna.
Otherwise, am really liking Martina McBride's "Teenage Daughters" and Eric Church's "Homeboy." Both rock music as much as country, but different kinds. Bet George will like the McBride more; I probably do too, but haven't decided definitively yet.
― xhuxk, Monday, 4 April 2011 13:44 (2 years ago) Permalink
One of its worst aspects was how totally tone deaf the production and delivery were to the times. It's Vegas and all -- but -- even Vegas has been slammed hard by the <strike>New Depression</strike> Great Recession. Everyone is exuding the height of opulence, there's all this backslapping and self-congratulation, and what's delivered was just not that great. When the centerpieces of the "country awards" show are Carrie Underwood's version of cock rock and a screaming overlong guitar solo while Rihanna is onstage, you're just telegraphing your total detached bankruptcy. Hey, we're rich and great so fuck all the rest of you. The only thing actually missing was Charlie Sheen. He was in Chicago, right?
Sex and the City 2 was on cable over the weekend and I caught a glimpse of it. It was panned -- got a 20 on Metacritic, I think -- and the women on the awards show just looked a lot like the actors in that movie. Horribly overdressed, looking like an assortment of plutocracy stereotypes, as appealing as gold toilet seats in casino lavatories. They made my skin crawl which was why I started reading a book.
― Gorge, Monday, 4 April 2011 17:15 (2 years ago) Permalink
One of its worst aspects was how totally tone deaf the production and delivery were to the times. It's Vegas and all -- but -- even Vegas has been slammed hard by the <strike>New Depression</strike> Great Recession
I'll play devil's advocate. People want to escape and Vegas plus country lyrics helps them do so. McBride's "Teenage Daughters" was arguably relevant and hey Miranda Lambert won a bunch of awards. Plus didn't you think Taylor Swift playing a banjo on a porch while wearing a plain clothed 1930s style dress suggested an understanding of the recession?
― curmudgeon, Monday, 4 April 2011 18:50 (2 years ago) Permalink
Yeah, you got me, didn't mention Martina McBride who was tolerable. I liked the studio version of the song better. The live set was off in the mix but it seemed that way for everyone to me. For me Taylor Swift crossed into irritating over a year ago so my persoanl antagonism cancels the homespun thing out.
― Gorge, Monday, 4 April 2011 19:13 (2 years ago) Permalink
I've gotten used to Taylor's weak live vocals
― curmudgeon, Monday, 4 April 2011 20:45 (2 years ago) Permalink
From CMT site:
Chely Wright is engaged, according to People magazine. "Out country singer Chely Wright and her fiancée, Lauren Blitzer, a GLBT Civil Rights activist, have set a date and plan to be married in Connecticut Aug. 20," a representative for Wright told the magazine. "They met through their youth advocacy work and say that their passion for Scrabble holds them together." Wright publicly came out last year. The singer, 40, who publicly discussed her depression and thoughts of suicide, has since become outspoken about her sexuality and wrote a memoir, Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer.
― xhuxk, Thursday, 7 April 2011 01:28 (2 years ago) Permalink
Don't know if any of you are paying attention to American Idol, but it's got two country singers this year, both good: Scotty McCreery, got a trad voice even on nontrad material, maybe too imprisoned in it, but nice to listen to (here's "The River"; and Lauren Alaina, a 16-year-old with a big blustery voice who knows when to wallop you and when to hold back; on "Candle In The Wind" she went from soft and sensitive to a restrained wail as if it was all of a piece. She's got Carrie/Kelly versatility, could become someone special.
― Frank Kogan, Friday, 8 April 2011 04:45 (2 years ago) Permalink
Scoop! Extra, extra, readallaboudit.
― Gorge, Friday, 8 April 2011 16:32 (2 years ago) Permalink
Scoop! Extra! Bruce Ivins and the Country Boys vinyl 7-inch rip now on-line.
― Gorge, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 19:42 (2 years ago) Permalink
I think it can be said Bruce Ivins was more country than a lot of CMT Top 20 Countdown.
― Gorge, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 19:50 (2 years ago) Permalink
Press release I just received:
COUNTRY MUSIC STAR TRACE ADKINS TESTIFIES TO CONGRESS ON IMPORTANCE OF PROTECTING CIVIL WAR BATTLEFIELDS
Hearing before House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies highlights the need for emphasis on preservation over the next five years, during 150th anniversary period
(Washington, D.C.) - Growing up in Sarepta, La., country music superstar Trace Adkins heard stories of his great-great grandfather Henry T. Morgan's military service. This personal connection to the past spurred his life-long passion for history, a love that today brought him to Capitol Hill to testify before Congress regarding the importance of protecting historic sites, particularly Civil War battlefields. Alongside Civil War Trust president James Lighthizer, Adkins declared these years of the Civil War sesquicentennial anniversary "the opportune time to redouble efforts to forever protect these hallowed grounds."
Both Adkins and Lighthizer had been invited before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies to testify to the importance of federal involvement in battlefield land preservation initiatives through the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program, a highly successful public-private partnership and matching grants program responsible for the permanent protection of more than 16,500 acres of battlefield land.
Trace Adkins is an advocate of preservation, not only in an effort to honor the past but as lessons for the future. Today he summarized his testimony by saying, "American battlefields serve as monuments to what can happen when political wisdom fails and our differences are allowed to escalate beyond reason."
Fans of Trace's music also know that he is an avid historian and supporter of the troops. Most recently, Adkins was joined by the West Point Glee Club at the Grand Ole Opry where they sang Trace's "Til the Last Shot's Fired," which they originally recorded together in 2009.
Both Lighthizer and Adkins encouraged members of Congress to allocate funds for battlefield preservation now and in the coming years, in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
― Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Friday, 15 April 2011 19:42 (2 years ago) Permalink
General Electric has tried a lot of things to counter the perception that it's the US's biggest corporate tax cheat since the New York Times expose on the matter was published. None of them have been particularly effective. However, they are worth noting. Particularly odious is it's pr operation encouraging employees to spam their own versions of "Good Time" line dance videos intoYoutube.
Here's Alan Jackson pimping for it:
Now you could think of it as just a bit of innocent fun. Except for the timing and the conspicuous coincidence with the company's exceptionally bad press.
I noticed larger and larger numbers of these employee videos arriving over the weekend, mostly because when I'd check the view count on my version, the entire right side of the page would be covered with them. So anything keyed off certain searches for GE has the potential to be littered with them.
I wrote about the idea behind, the mobilization of employee lickspittles to astro-turf an image on the Internet, here:
Yhey're not the first company to have done it. They won't be the last. But Alan Jackson surely ought to be less reptilian. Wow, GE will away free bottled water to the impoverished if American workers do this, he says. Well, GE could just give away free bottled water anyway without using it as a small carrot aimed at getting people doing the happy GE country line dance spammed into YouTube.
I wonder what Jackson got paid to do this.
― Gorge, Wednesday, 20 April 2011 17:39 (2 years ago) Permalink
You could also make the argument, that corporate-wise, paying for all this -- including the little bit of charity bottled water (which can be written off), is still a lot cheaper than paying a reasonable and legitimate corporate tax.
So if Alan Jackson's so of the people why's he working so transparently for the ripoff man?
― Gorge, Wednesday, 20 April 2011 17:49 (2 years ago) Permalink
Just in case anyone around here has yet to get on board with Sunny Sweeney (which seems unlikely, but still), her new single, "Staying's Worse Than Leaving," is the iTunes free single for the week.
― jon_oh, Thursday, 21 April 2011 22:52 (2 years ago) Permalink
Craig Morgan is the big music headliner, though, at some amphitheatre in Pittsburgh for the NRA Country concert. Articles didn't mention what must be others on the bill. Nugent is only there to give a talk -- "I Still Believe" -- which, if you were on Rolling Hard Rock, is the title of his new non-hit single, which isn't worth the free download.
― Gorge, Monday, 25 April 2011 15:07 (2 years ago) Permalink
Is Randy Travis good? This looks like it might be; so do some other Cracker Barrel music specials (incl DVDs), but so far I just eat there. Condensed press release:_RANDY TRAVIS JOINS UP WITH CRACKER BARREL’S EXCLUSIVE MUSIC PROGRAM__Exclusive CD to Include Award-Winning Hits and Three Previously UnreleasedTracksLEBANON, Tenn_. (May 2, 2011) Country music star Randy Travis, known forhis award-winning hits such as “_Forever and Ever, Amen_,” “_I Told YouSo_,” and “_1982_,” is releasing his newest CD exclusively with CrackerBarrel Old Country Store^®. In addition to having these three hits, theself-titled album, _Randy Travis_, also contains six other hits and threepreviously unreleased songs for a total of 12 tracks. And because RandyTravis and Cracker Barrel support our military personnel, a portion of theproceeds from sales of this CD will be donated to Wounded WarriorProject_^TM_. _Randy Travis _is available starting today at all CrackerBarrel locations nationwide.Randy Travis has won all of the major country music awards multiple times,including seven Grammy^® Awards, 10 Academy of Country Music Awards, fiveCountry Music Association Awards, and eight Dove Awards, and his albumsthrough the years have sold over 20 million copies.The self-titled _Randy Travis _is the latest in Cracker Barrel’s exclusivemusic program, which features numerous projects. In March of this year,Cracker Barrel released Kenny Rogers’ _The Love of God_, which debuted at #8on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and #2 on the Top Christian Albumschart. In January 2011, Cracker Barrel released _The Grascals & Friends -Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin_, which debuted at #1 on Billboardmagazine’s Bluegrass Albums chart and at #26 on Billboard’s Top CountryAlbums chart. In November of 2010, Cracker Barrel released SmokeyRobinson’s _Now & Then_, which debuted at #19 on Billboard magazine’s R&Bchart and was nominated for an NAACP IMAGE AWARD. September saw the releaseof the self-titled _Rodney Atkins_, which includes four #1 hits, and alsothe release of Mandy Barnett’s _Winter Wonderland_, which offers up all theauthentic sounds of holiday traditions. In July, the company released CraigMorgan’s _That’s Why - Collector’s Edition_, and in May the release ofWynonna’s _Love Heals _debuted at #7 on the Billboard Magazine Top CountryAlbums chart. February’s release of _Dailey & Vincent Sing the StatlerBrothers _debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart, where itspent nine weeks in the top position and 18 weeks overall in one of thethree top positions. One of its songs was nominated for a Grammy award^®.Over the last few years, Cracker Barrel has released exclusive CDs with AlanJackson, the Zac Brown Band, George Jones, Montgomery Gentry, Dolly Parton,Bill Gaither, Ricky Skaggs, Aaron Tippin, Alison Krauss & Union Station,Josh Turner, Amy Grant, Kenny Rogers, Sara Evans, and Charlie Daniels.
Tracks on Randy Travis:1. Forever and Ever, Amen2. No Place Like Home3. 19824. Better Class of Losers5. I Told You So6. I'm Free - Previously Unreleased7. Forever Together8. It's Just a Matter of Time9. She's Okay and I'm Okay - Previously Unreleased10. Deeper Than the Holler11. Three Wooden Crosses12. This Song Doesn't Rhyme - Previously Unreleased
― dow, Monday, 2 May 2011 18:48 (2 years ago) Permalink
Approved link to preview track from forthcoming Lady Antebellum album:http://www.thegreenroompr.com/ladyantebellum.html
― dow, Monday, 2 May 2011 22:16 (2 years ago) Permalink
Saw John Rich groveling on celebrity apprentice last night. It's official -- he's a desperatewash-up. That sure didn't take long. I guess we now know who was the brain in the outfit behind that goofy exterior.
― Gorge, Monday, 2 May 2011 23:22 (2 years ago) Permalink
But where is my Big K?
― dow, Monday, 2 May 2011 23:28 (2 years ago) Permalink
Well, he seems to have put all of his solo album on YouTube -- Quiet Times of a Rock 'n' Roll Country Boy -- where no one listened to it there, either. Maybe if he'd actually rocked more on it...rather than have something like "Go Your Own Way" and its full orchestra in a church let's drown in the lugubriousness of love stuff.
― Gorge, Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:34 (2 years ago) Permalink
Probably being a bit harsh. Big Kenny deserves some points for giving away the album on YouTube. And it's probably at least as good as Big & Rich's third, even without the benefit of the overexposed wedding video song.
Article at Salon, pretty much part of the omnibus overkill coverage of trying to tie everything into Osama bin Laden and the ten years since 9/11. This one makes the argument, poorly, that country is as popular as anything else now because of 9/11.
But the legacy of country music is bigger than the individual. Once the dust has settled, what will people see when they look back at country music in the aughts? Taylor Swift, the CMT Awards, the CMA Awards (completely different), Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Gwyneth Paltrow and "Country Strong"; just in the past year the popularity of the genre has allowed its stars to overtake the Grammys, both in nominees and interest in other music award shows.
Perhaps we can attribute the rise in popularity of country music as much to Swift, Underwood, Miley Cyrus and "American Idol" as we can to the attacks on Sept. 11. But I'd wager that these fresh faces in the industry flocked to country music specifically because it resonated with the first historical event they were alive to witness.
Don't hear much 9/11 in any of them. So Hannah Montana was a result, in some way, of 9/11? And Gwyneth Paltrow and Country Strong was so marginal and ignored as a product it's irrelevant.
Currently, I'll make the argument again that modern country is merely a reinforcer of white heartland delusions and myths. If Aaron Lewis is at the top of CMT's rotation with "Country Boy," and he is, that's just an exhibition in decadence and pandering, part of the sullen reaction to any intimation that the country has gone rancid in the last ten years. If bow-hunting, a Tea Party Flag, US flag tattoos, showing off your old army truck and ending the thing with an image of how you take your guitar and gun into the woods at the same time, has more in common with an intrinsic US citizen overcompensation that looks laughably phony, rather than sincere, to people who don't suffer from it. It's message: "I'll beat you up, run you over with my big truck or shoot you in the woods if <strike>you're not a real American</strike> you dis me."
And it's an inward, not outward, complaint because I guarantee he wasn't thinking about Osama bin Laden when he wrote it and the producer thought about getting Charlie Daniels to deliver his old white coot speech as a voice-over end.
No link. Meh.
― Gorge, Tuesday, 3 May 2011 19:45 (2 years ago) Permalink
Condensed press release:CMT DISASTER RELIEF CONCERT SET TO PREMIERE LIVE ONTHURSDAY, MAY 12 AT 9 PM ET / 8 PM CT
Talent line-up includes Hank Williams, Jr., Alabama, Keith Urban,Lady Antebellum, Ronnie Dunn, Sara Evans and Tim McGraw
NASHVILLE – May 5, 2011 – CMT and its pro-social initiative CMT One Countrywill air a live, 90-minute concert special featuring Hank Williams, Jr.,Alabama, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Ronnie Dunn, Sara Evans, Tim McGrawand many others to raise awareness and funds for those affected by therecent devastating storms, flooding and tornadoes. The fundraising specialwill air live from Nashville on _Thursday, May 12 at 9 pm ET / 8 pm CT onCMT_ and will be simulcast on CMT.com. Additional artists to beannounced; all money raised will benefit the American Red Cross DisasterRelief efforts.**CMT DISASTER RELIEF CONCERT is available for simulcast, free of charge,to outside media. Satellite coordinates and restrictions will be availableearly next week.
**CMT One Country encourages you to support our neighbors affected by therecent devastating tornadoes and floods. Please text “REDCROSS” to 90999 tomake a $10 donation to support the American Red Cross Disaster Reliefefforts.
― dow, Thursday, 5 May 2011 17:48 (2 years ago) Permalink
Okay, put on your thinking caps, feeling caps--Sweepstakes is high! (like to see how the family therapist is faring on their reality show too)
WYNONNA SURPRISES NAOMI WITH SPECIAL NEW SONG “LOVE IT OUT LOUD” ON “THEJUDDS” OWN SEASON FINALE THIS SUNDAY_
_“How Do You Love it Out Loud?” Facebook Sweepstakes Starts Tomorrow!_
Nashville, TN (May 5, 2011) – Curb Records recording artist _Wynonna Judd_has released a new song titled “_Love it Out Loud_” which is available nowon iTunes and Amazon.com. Beginning tomorrow Clear Channel Radio will bestreaming the track exclusively on all of their country radio sites.
Wynonna co-wrote and produced the track with Cactus Moser to honor the love,affection and appreciation she has towards her mother. As the cameras wererolling throughout _The Last Encore_ tour, Wynonna would sneak away to workon creating this special tribute song which she presented to Naomi on thefinal show of their tour in Phoenix, AZ. The surprise performance will takecenter stage on the finale of “The Judds” this _Sunday, May 8th at 10pm ET_on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
Starting tomorrow fans can enter the “_How Do You Love it Out Loud?”Facebook Sweepstakes_ for a chance to win an exclusive chat with Wynonna viaSkype. To enter the contest, go to Wynonna’s Facebook page and post acomment or photo in response to the question, “How do you Love it OutLoud?” Do you give your mom a card every day to tell her you love her? Orput a special note in your child’s lunchbox? Whether you love it out loudin your community, with your family, friends, kids, or spouse…Wynonna wantsto hear about it!
One grand prize winner will get to spend 10 minutes with Wynonna via aprivate Skype chat in June. Ten runner-up winners will each receive aWynonna Judd merchandise package. Winners will be randomly selected andannounced on May 18th.^. For official rules, visit www.wynonna.com.
― dow, Thursday, 5 May 2011 20:43 (2 years ago) Permalink
Haven't been nearly as excited by any country this year as I was at this time last year; but I also haven't been exploring it as much. Here'd be my top 10 singles if the country critics poll were held today. It's a reasonably good set of records except that four of my top 5 were tracks I'd already heard last year (in fact, I voted "Mean" in the 2010 poll, when it was a promo single; now that it's an actual single I'll vote it again, only 'cause Geoff doesn't carry over votes from year to year like Xgau did, Geoff not having the order in his mind for that sort of thing that Xgau has). Anyway, the track in my top 5 I hadn't heard proves my point about my not being excited by country this year, that I'm willing to be moved enough by it to give it the time of day. Do think the Singles Jukebox crew underestimated by quite a lot how powerful the singing is (or ignored or didn't want to credit the power, for understandable reasons); also think there's a little more feeling and poetry in the words than anyone there is giving credit for, even if the anti-sellout ideas and survivalist stomp are strictly grade d scripts from backlot zeitgeists. Not that the poetry is even one-zillionth as poetic as Montgomery Gentry's "She Couldn't Change Me" or Shooter Jennings' "Daddy's Farm," and I don't tend to think "poetry" when I listen to those, either. And I can't say I don't share the impulse to give it a 0, its ideas being ignorant and stupid and destructive. But the singing and words combined hit me harder than the also-problematic-and-noxious-but-not-nearly-as-noxious-as-this-is "Homeboy," which I put at number six. Maybe if everyone else in my neighborhood were giving "Country Boy" a 7 or 8 I'd be the one to give it a 0, but they're not, so I'm not.
Don't know if I've ever heard a track by Staind. Maybe I should.
1. Taylor Swift "Mean"2. Reba McEntire "If I Were A Boy"3. Jamey Johnson "Heartache"4. Aaron Lewis "Country Boy"5. Reba McEntire "When Love Gets A Hold Of You"6. Eric Church "Homeboy"7. The Band Perry "You Lie"8. Trace Adkins "Brown Chicken Brown Cow"9. Carrie Elkin "Jesse Likes Birds"10. Gretchen Wilson "I'd Love To Be Your Last"
From the little I've heard, Carrie Elkin is a restrained country bore with an OK voice, the voice getting lost in standard arrangements; on "Jesse Likes Birds" the voice manages to quietly dominate.
Can't really defend "I'd Love To Be Your Last"; needs some quiet domination, some steady, soft force; Gretchen can't hold it, and she's no Taylor Swift so can't work her tatteredness for drama and power. So, more pathos than intended, but the pathos reaches me.
― Frank Kogan, Sunday, 22 May 2011 21:48 (2 years ago) Permalink
To my surprise, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina are the last two standing on American Idol. I was sure that James Durbin would win it, he being a mediocre rocker with enthusiastic performing, just what's won the last few years. Think Lauren sings with vastly more life, subtlety, and passion than Scotty; but I also think I mischaracterized her a little upthread when I said she had a big blustery voice. I think she has a big blustery talent, but the voice isn't strong enough yet for all the bluster, and she often goes for wallop she can't reach. Scotty's got a strong love-man demeanor and goes for richness that his tonsils lack, though he's nice to listen to on a talent show. The out-of-character "Candle In The Wind I already linked is still the best thing she did. A weak field, so the overreaching sexpot Hayley Reinhart reached third place and to my surprise occasionally grabbed what she was grasping for, "House Of The Rising Sun" in particular being a song to reward all that stretching.
I'm still bitter about Didi Benami being knocked out in the tenth spot last year. Her "Play With Fire" is up there in feeling and smarts with anything Kelly, Carrie, Brooke, or Jordin sang on that show.
― Frank Kogan, Sunday, 22 May 2011 22:22 (2 years ago) Permalink
I was thinking earlier today about how this thread seemed to have died, and then I couldn't really muster up (m)any real reasons why it shouldn't have. Really dire, uninspiring year for country so far.
I honestly don't think I could come up with a full 10 singles for the year that I would stand behind. I guess Miranda Lambert's "Heart Like Mine" would still count, and there's Sunny Sweeney's "Staying's Worse Than Leaving." I love the melody and production on "Mean" but find its entire premise problematic and sloppy based upon Taylor's overall persona, but I know that's not something that's an issue for everyone, and I'll probably end up voting for it by year's end anyway. "Barton Hollow" by the Civil Wars has a pretty great stomp behind it, as does G Love's "Fixin' to Die." I'll probably end up voting for Little Big Town's cover of "Born This Way," but I'm pretty sure Geoff Himes' head will explode. Or maybe even Gaga's "Country Roads" version of "Born This Way."
The only impression Lauren Alaina has made on me is that she needs a vocal coach, because she has possibly the worst breath control of any contestant to make it to the AI finale. There's potential there, but she needs a lot of work. I've yet to hear anything in Scotty's voice that the judges insist is there. The Josh Turner comparisons are obvious, but the only kind of presence I get from him is smarminess. The facial expressions don't help.
― jon_oh, Sunday, 22 May 2011 23:04 (2 years ago) Permalink
Meant to call Carrie Elkin a restrained folkie bore. I ain't typin' fast, it's just I think slow.
― Frank Kogan, Sunday, 22 May 2011 23:09 (2 years ago) Permalink
Well, today I saw/heard the midly nauseating tableau cast by the Sheryl Crow/Kid Rock video for "Collide" which was in at 16 on CMT Top 20 Countdown. After why I turned the show off.
Yeah, SC in a dive bar entertaining ol' greasy hair in his on backwards baseball cap. Urgh -- gurgle.
― Gorge, Monday, 23 May 2011 00:31 (2 years ago) Permalink
It's probably been at least a decade (back to the late '90s) since I've been as bored by country as I am this year. Basically don't listen to the country station in the car at all anymore. Writing about it a lot less, too -- Though that's partly because Rhapsody's lately been having me review more metal, of all things. Also, judging from what I've picked up from albums added to Rhapsody at least, it seemed like three or four months went by when, week after week, there were basically no high- (or even middle-) profile new releases. (Keep meaning to check and see if anybody at Billboard ever did a story on that weird phenomenon, but I never managed to get around to it.) Guess that's turned around some in recent weeks (with Paisley anyway), but the genre/format seems to have entered into one of its periodic phases when it seems scared to be anything else but dull. That said, I guess if I did a top 10 singles so far for 2011, it would probably look something like this (though I'd be surprised if I'd list "Mean" on a Pazz & Jop ballot; like "Heartache," it feels too much like a 2010 song to me):
1. Taylor Swift - Mean2. Martina McBride – Teenage Daughters3. Thompson Square – Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not4. Eric Church – Homeboy5. Rosehill – Midnight America6. Randy Montana – 1,000 Faces7. Jamey Johnson – Heartache8. Reba McEntire – If I Were A Boy9. LeAnn Rimes – Crazy Women10. Toby Keith – Somewhere Else Top 10 country 2011 albums so far would shake out something like this -- Though seems like the Montana and Stealing Angels have maybe been postponed indefinitely, and I'd be stretching the year definition on another album and the genre definition on several others; really, if I'm going to count most of these, maybe I should count the Southern Soul albums I've liked this year too, or even the Dunn Boys' passable Pogues/Dropkick-style Irish folk punk from Nova Scotia for that matter.)
1. Randy Montana – Randy Montana (Mercury)2. Stealing Angels – Stealing Angels (Skyville)3. Thompson Square – Thompson Square (Stoney Creek)4. The Band Perry – The Band Perry (Universal Republic ‘10)5. Too Slim and the Tail Draggers – Shiver (Underworld) -- more hard rock/Southern boogie than country really6. Blame Sally – Speeding Ticket And A Valentine (Ninth Street Opus) - more folk than country7. Those Darlins – Screws Get Loose (Oh Wow Dang) - more garage/indie/"thrift store rock" (as George put it) than county8. Left Lane Cruiser – Junkyard Speed Ball (Alive) -more Southern boogie/blues-rock/garage/pigfuck than country9. Tara Nevins – Wood And Stone (Sugar Hill) - more folk than country10. Steel Magnolia – Steel Magnolia (Big Machine)
Possible (though actually pretty marginal) semi-honorable mentions: Ashton Shepherd, Colt Ford, Janedear Girls.
― xhuxk, Monday, 23 May 2011 01:53 (2 years ago) Permalink