Alan Jackson Splits with Longtime Label; Bloodshot Signs Lydia Loveless; The Steep Canyon Rangers Celebrate 10 Years

Brody Vercher | January 21st, 2011

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  1. Jon
    January 21, 2011 at 11:41 am

    The performance of “Hank…” isn’t too bad, but the rewrite of the lyrics is pretty lousy.

    Congrats to the Steeps, and to Miss Juli, too – see you in March!

  2. numberonecountryfan
    January 21, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I clicked on the link about Alan Jackson leaving Arista Records after 22 years and the article said that Tim McGraw has been with his label longer than anyone else. Excuse me, but George Strait has been with MCA Records for thirty years now. Somebody should fact check that article!

  3. Dave D.
    January 21, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Lydia Loveless’ The Only Man was one of my favorite CDs of 2010; good to see that Bloodshot picked her up.

    OT: I’m all for advertising if it helps keep going, but getting routed to The Mechanic movie web site four straight times while trying to open this link was a bit much.

    January 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I noticed that Mark is not in the video. I guess the dispute is on-going. Quite frankly, I never understood him expecting equal billing for being a drummer. I beleive most, if not all, of the studio albums used session musicians so I always thought he considered himself to be a bit higher than he really ought to have been.

  5. Saving Country Music
    January 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Ah ha. Country Throwdown’s second identity crisis in as many years. I predicted doom for them the first year, and they had to cancel many dates, including the ones in Texas. If they think Texans will overpay to see someone they’ve seen a dozen times and in much more intimate settings, they’re higher than a Georgia pine.

  6. Noeller
    January 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    the Alabama boys looking pretty good for their age and sounding even better. Glad to see a vid for that song, which I am really diggin’ these days and also glad to be spinning up north here for our listeners.

    That Eric Church NPR performance is f’ing STELLAR!! See, now this is the REAL Eric Church. Not the Metallica guitars and all that stuff — the songs themselves are the highlight. Love Love LOVE hearing the acoustic sets!!

  7. Charles Murphy
    January 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    From the looks of it, the Country Throwdown Tour has already scaled down dramatically from last year’s tour. Seems they have less than half the acts of last years bunch and are playing venues that are half the size, if not smaller, than the sheds they played last year. This cannot be a good thing if they are planning on keeping it going in the future. Pretty sad…Thought it was a great idea when it was announced the first year. Maybe they could try to get higher marque or more well known acts that the 4 or 5 baby acts they have on the bill to make it more appealing to bigger venues and fans alike.

  8. luckyoldsun
    January 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Yes, it’s funny that a writer who seems quite knowledgeable just plum forgot about Strait.

    Seems that Sony/Arista must have known Jackson was leaving because they seemed to let his last studio album die pretty quickly–supplanting it with yet another greatest hits package.

  9. Donald
    January 21, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Alabama. It’s funny- back in my Uni/record store retail days, I ‘hated’ their music for how r’n’r it was. Listening to songs from those first four albums now, they sound positively trad. compared to what often passes for country. The drummer thing was always something I didn’t understand; exactly what his role was as he never played on the albums? In those days, I felt ‘a band was a band.’ Now, I know better.

  10. Rick
    January 21, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    10 years and the Steep Canyon Rangers still haven’t grasped their band name sounds far more suited to a cowboy music outfit like Riders In The Sky than a bluegrass band! “Deep Hollow Moonshiners” would have been far more appropriate…

    Eric Church and Miranda Lambert have something in common in that they both sound far better in acoustic settings than being drowned in a sea of screaming rock and roll guitar licks. Neither artist wears musical production bombast and turgidity well.

    Nice to read about Kristen Kelly getting some favorable attention in Nashville. Hopefully it will work out more like Jack Ingram than Pat Green. Will Sahara Smith be next in line?

    Congratulations to Juli for getting to attend the bluegrass version of “CRS”! I’m sure all the “bluegrass insider bloviating” will be quite entertaining! Juli, try to sit next to Jerry Salley if you can since he’s one of the few singer/songwriter musicians involved and probably has some cool stories to tell.

    How can a completely unknown act like “Miss Willie Brown” get a spot on a Dierks Bentley tour? Hmm…

  11. Jon
    January 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    the bluegrass version of “CRS”!

    Uh, no. More like the bluegrass version of Leadership Music.

  12. Michael A.
    January 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm


    This was in the article so I’m not sure if you both managed to miss it (it was right before the Tim McGraw blurb) or if it was added later.

    Thus ends the second-longest run any current country superstar has had with one company. There won’t be any beating the streak George Strait has had with MCA since 1981. After that, there aren’t many competitors for the throne.

    Anyway, it was an interesting read. The times they are a changin’.

  13. MayorJoBob
    January 21, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    To Arista: Bring on the Alan Jackson rarities!!

  14. Brady Vercher
    January 22, 2011 at 12:02 am

    @Dave: “OT: I’m all for advertising if it helps keep going, but getting routed to The Mechanic movie web site four straight times while trying to open this link was a bit much.

    Sorry for that ad, David. I explicitly opted out of those types of ads, but it somehow slipped through our network’s filter.

  15. numberonecountryfan
    January 22, 2011 at 9:25 am

    I just clicked on the article about Alan Jackson and it is a different article!

  16. J.R. Journey
    January 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I really hope the label change doesn’t affect Jackson’s radio airplay, which has been spotty lately anyway. He’s one of very few authentic artists left on today’s country radio – and so is Zac Brown. If the two acts join forces, my only prediction is they’ll give us better music than the Adkins/Keith partnership.

  17. numberonecountryfan
    January 22, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I agree. Alan Jackson currently has 26 #1 hits and I would love to see him move up the list. Next up, Eddy Arnold with 28 chart toppers.

  18. Thomas
    January 22, 2011 at 11:06 am

    …country radio without alan jackson – are there hot dogs without sausage?

  19. WAYNOE
    January 22, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    @Rick – Your comment about Church adn Lambert is absolutely correct.

    As for Jackson, usually when a label change is made after a long run, the airplay and success goes down. I didn’t say always, but usually.

    I love Jackson, but his best days are behind him in this pop-dominated musical crap called country today.

  20. Steve Harvey
    January 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Alan Jackson currently has 26 #1 hits and I would love to see him move up the list.
    Are you sure about that number? He just put out a compilation called “34 #1s”.

  21. Stephen H.
    January 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I think the 26 is probably U.S. Billboard only, while the 34 counts Mediabase, Canada, etc.

  22. Noah Eaton
    January 28, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    It’s also important to keep in mind that the two singles from “Freight Train” surely underperformed, most of all, because Jackson had not been upfront about his intentions to either resign with Arista or change labels—–which from the music industry side of policy gave Arista no incentive to promote the album rigorously. Thus, the singles struggled.

    I think a move to Home Grown would benefit Jackson much more than it would hurt him. He now has another #1 under his belt thanks to the Zac Brown Band, and that highlights that Jackson’s recent single struggles weren’t an indication that his own name recognition and impressionability was riding off into the sunset.

    The real question will be with regard to his musical direction should he choose to venture this direction. I could foresee more LPs that serve as a departure from the sound he’s most recognized for, in the vein of “Precious Memories” perhaps.

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