Caitlin & Will/Keith Anderson Dropped; Gretchen Wilson’s Redneck Records; Initial Lineup for CMA Awards

Brody Vercher | October 5th, 2009

  1. m
    October 5, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Such disappointing news about Keith. He is WAY underrated, a sweet, funny, nice guy and good songwriter – and AWESOME live. Hope he moves on to a new label quickly and I hope they know what they have, way moreso than Columbia apparently did. Wish Jeffrey Steele would just go on and start a label and sign him to it already. :) Weird about Caitlin & Will, “Address in the Stars” was in the Top 5 (or thereabouts) on GAC’s Top Twenty just this past week. This news isn’t exactly a great endorsement for “Can You Duet” either…

  2. Jon
    October 5, 2009 at 11:37 am

    That Patrick Caldwell dude suffers from an all too common Austin myopia. None of the Greencards are from Austin, and they’ve been in Nashville longer than they were in Austin, so in what sense were they “back home?”

  3. m
    October 5, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Oh, and the new label had damn well push his uptempo, good humored stuff more! I’m tired of him being billed just as a romantic or sad guy (“I Still Miss You” and “Every Time I Hear Your Name,”). Not that I don’t like those songs because I do and they have some of the best songwriters in town behind them too. But come on (forgive the album title wordplay)! “Double XL” REALLY should have done something – especially with such a great video to accompany it. And Columbia DID NOT push “Somebody Needs A Hug” nearly enough.

  4. highwayman3
    October 5, 2009 at 11:41 am

    I dont know why they bother announcing the CMA awards lineup. All those performers were pretty much assumed. All they had to say, ‘The usuals’ and we get the picture.

  5. Stewman
    October 5, 2009 at 11:44 am

    It is almost comical how fast majors dump artists these days. Im sure Keith Anderson’s power point presentation “trended upward” and when his album tanked, they had to assess the Keith Anderson business model.
    Fear not, Keith will put out a statement about how he wants to create a more independent album and tour the next time around, and has no ill will towards Columbia.

  6. Sam G.
    October 5, 2009 at 11:45 am

    That CMA list can’t be complete, because I don’t see Dave Matthews, ZZ Top, Hall & Oates, Tiffany, The Eagles, Bret Michaels, Def Leppard, The B52’s or Lady Gaga on it.

  7. Thomas
    October 5, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    josh turner’s new album delayed till feb. 9 – ok, so we’ll be bored to death then.

  8. Steve M.
    October 5, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    If we wonder why there is so much crappy music out there, its because in part as the lead story indicates, the record companies no longer try to take long term approach to artists. I will fully admit to having never heard of Caitlin and Will. But to drop them after only the release of a 6 song EP while sitting on a completed record? Sounds like good management-only focus on short term profits at the expense of research and development that could have long lasting impact.

  9. Kelly
    October 5, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Jon, calm down. The Greencards formed there and have spent a good deal of time in Austin. Its no secret that they became local favorites while playing the clubs there…it isnt that complicated.

  10. Chris N.
    October 5, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Let him be right and walk away.

  11. Jim Malec
    October 5, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    If you go back and read our interview with Caitlin and Will, you’ll realize that the label never intended to release their disc in the first place. It’s not surprising that they pulled support after the duo’s single had trouble gaining traction.

  12. Kelly
    October 5, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I just couldnt this time. Ive gotten better at that, but the painfully obvious truth that he decided to ignore was too much for to bare this time around…I suspect he’ll soon reply with something like, “The greencards didnt form in Austin, but in Round Rock, 10 minutes to the north of Austin…”

  13. Steve M.
    October 5, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks Jim, that was an interesting read. Of course, the question then is if one single is enough to judge an artist/artists?

  14. Jon
    October 5, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    The Greencards have spent a good deal more time in Nashville. When they come here, or when they go to visit their folks overseas, they’re home; when they go to Austin, they’re on tour. Like you say, not that complicated.

  15. Truersound
    October 5, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Dear Country Universe. Turn off your crap-ass radio and use your own ears for what they were meant to do.


  16. stormy
    October 5, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Jon: The Greencards are “back home” in the sense that they all refer to Austin as “home.”

  17. Jim Malec
    October 5, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    One single isn’t enough time, unless you don’t really want to make an investment in the artist in the first place.

    Caitlin and Will had an image problem from to onset–the major labels have narrowed the scope of what’s marketable to to the point where there is virtually zero chance of artists who look like Caitlin and Will having enough widespread commercial success to justify the outrageous costs of promoting them to a national audience. It’s a shame, but it is the reality in today’s country music. If you’re even slightly overweight–as a woman, especially–you can almost forget about it.

    So, when the single didn’t catch, the label cut its losses.

  18. Jon
    October 5, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    “Jon: The Greencards are “back home” in the sense that they all refer to Austin as “home.””

    Really? You converse with them pretty regularly, do you?

  19. Steve M.
    October 5, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Jim, I readily believe you, but I sure hope they didn’t consider Caitlin overweight. To my eyes she looked like a stick.

  20. Stewman
    October 5, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Go back and look at Carrie Underwood from American Idol to now. She was whipped into terrific shape. Probably by a personal trainer at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars. No one would have thought she was overweight during AI, but that perception is not what labels see. They are investing in a look, as much as an artist, when its on that level.

  21. Leeann Ward
    October 5, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Dear Truer Sound,

    We do.


  22. Jeff Remz
    October 5, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Fact of the matter in this day and age is everything so so bottom line oriented, so not a surprise that Anderson & Caitlin & Will got dropped, though one single is not a lot to say the least.
    Anderson was more rock than country anyway. His second CD yielded one hit & 3 other songs that didn’t even crack the top 25.

  23. Charles Murphy
    October 5, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Music Row needs to rethink the model they are running by. Too many acts are signed that honestly suck and then put out songs that are just plain BAD. Now they are going to start releasing EPs to see what happens before putting another 5 songs on a product and putting out a full CD?? Please!?!?!?
    Music Row needs to STOP getting acts off game shows and get acts that have actually gone out and gotten a fan base in club touring that can actually perform live AND on record..then once they are signed…keep them for what they liked in them to begin with. Music Row doesn’t need to change and mold them too much. Obviously that ain’t working for them in the long run.
    Look at the most successful acts in the long run…Those that did it THEIR way!!

  24. Leeann Ward
    October 5, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I came to the same conclusion about Caitlin and Wills fate with the label when I read that interview awhile back. It’s too bad because they would have been better off being able to shop for their own deal like Joey + Rory was able to do rather than being stuck and pulled around by Columbia.

  25. Chris N.
    October 5, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Contentious bunch today.

  26. m
    October 5, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Yeah, exactly, Jeffrey B. Remz. And that sad fact is the LABEL’S fault, not Keith’s. Since when does lack of chart success mean a song is bad? That’s a rhetorical question – please don’t answer me. Also, rock has been redefined and Keith is by no means more of what today’s rock is than he is country. If you’re gonna get on that rant then She’s Country is far more deserving of it.

  27. stormy
    October 5, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Jon: I converse with them not infrequently.

  28. Noeller
    October 5, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Frick. I know I’ll get pasted for this, but I was a huge fan of Keith Anderson. “3 Chord Country…” was one of my favourite debuts in a really long time (along with Church’s “Sinners…” disc) and the follow up, while not quite as solid, was still a quality album. I’m not sure if it’s a political thing, or what, but I really felt that guy had/has potential to be a star. Great songwriter, and great live show. Damn, I’m kinda ticked about that.

    Oh, and just to dip my toes into the “Is Carrie Skinny??” debate, I thought CU was smokin’ hot during American Idol, and now, to me, she is WAY too skinny. Just my opinion tho…

  29. Matt B.
    October 5, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Charles Murphy,

    Caitlin & Will CAN an DO sing great live. The problem is with radio wanting and then not playing “Address in the Stars.”

  30. Kelly
    October 5, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Jon – choosing to ignore the fact that the group formed in Austin (where they likely made their homes, by the way) and became a part of Austin’s musical community before heading to Nashville doesnt make your point valid, it makes it incomplete. Also, the writer doesnt state that the greencards are glad to be back where they currently reside and have spent the majority of their time recently, he was simply explaining that there was a sense of “homecoming” to their set cuz, ya know, Austin was their HOME for a good bit…in your words, yeesh.

  31. Jon
    October 5, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    “Jon: I converse with them not infrequently.”


    Caldwell’s point was built around a conceit that really doesn’t stand up, especially for being so unnecessary; like I said, it’s symptomatic of an Austin myopia that always sees a cool act’s connection to Austin as something central, rather than sometimes peripheral. I have no doubt that the Greencards are especially fond of Austin, where they got their start, but a homecoming is what you have when you go home, and their home is Nashville. It’s telling that Caldwell nowhere actually quotes them as calling Austin home – the plethora of “seems”s and “like”s reveals the weakness of the piece’s central idea – and equally telling that when Eamon talks about being home in his journal (available for inspection on the Greencards’ website), he’s talking about Nashville. If Austinites can’t handle that – or, more importantly, write about them accurately – too bad.

  32. K
    October 5, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    “Caitlin and Will had an image problem from to onset–the major labels have narrowed the scope of what’s marketable to to the point where there is virtually zero chance of artists who look like Caitlin and Will having enough widespread commercial success to justify the outrageous costs of promoting them to a national audience. It’s a shame, but it is the reality in today’s country music. If you’re even slightly overweight–as a woman, especially–you can almost forget about it. ”

    That may be true, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be successful on a smaller, independent labell look at Trisha Yearwood and Wynonna Judd as examples.

    If looks are such a determining factor, why is that a group of frumpy, overweight men that go by the name of Tralier Chior have a record deal? Why are overweight women like Wynnona and Trisha Yearwood successful? On the flipside, why are gorgeous women by the likes of Julie Roberts and Jessica Simpson dropped by their labels?

    Success out of the gate is very important; Catlin and Will didn’t have that, and that’s why they were dropped.

  33. stormy
    October 5, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    What do Carol and Kym call “home?”

  34. m
    October 5, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Noeller: Yay! Thank you for speaking up. I couldn’t agree more. And in fact pretty much did above you. :) I don’t see how anyone could not like Keith Anderson if they’ve heard his first CD and ESPECIALLY seen him perform, or on top of that – talked to him. He definitely should be a star. (Oh, and I loved Eric Church’s first CD too. I still don’t get why “Sinners” itself wasn’t a hit single).

  35. Nicolas
    October 5, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Really loved Gretchen’s new single, coupled with the greatness of “If I Could It All Again”, she’s captured my attention for her upcoming album

  36. Kelly
    October 5, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Again Jon, that logic might work on a random city that they had only visited on tour previously, but that doesnt fly for the city where they formed and began their careers together and, in fact, called home.

    As usual, you are taking what the writer says entirely too literally as well, so that skews the overall point. there have to be a bunch of “seems” and “likes”, as he wasnt literally saying that the greencards told him that they consider Austin to be “home”. That point was a tad abstract to begin with and he was saying that, as an onlooker, he felt their set had a sense of homecoming from their performance as he interpreted it…

  37. Chris N.
    October 5, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Clearly he should have written:

    “And partly that’s because their jam-heavy, joyous set had the genuine sense of fun and camaraderie that all the best homecomings have, even though it totally wasn’t a homecoming because they’re really from other countries and they now live in Nashville.”

  38. numberonecountryfan
    October 5, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Sam G. forgot one performer that MAY be at the C.M.A. Awards-Kanye West!

  39. Jon
    October 5, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Sheesh, you ought to know by now that when it comes to something like this, I have some reason for saying what I say, and it involves first-hand knowledge, as with the hoo-hah over who was in Missy Raines’ band when. I made a simple observation and asked a simple question – prompted, by the way, not only by Caldwell’s conceit but by Brody’s abstract – and it’s only a few more cases of that Austin myopia that’s kept the discussion going. When y’all start including Kenny Rogers in the Texas Music category, *then* y’all can start calling Austin the Greencards’ home.

    Chris N., nothing prevented Caldwell from writing “a” instead of “the” and ending his sentence after “camaraderie” – nothing except, you know, that Austin thang.

  40. Chris N.
    October 5, 2009 at 4:51 pm


  41. Rick
    October 5, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    I’m excited to hear that Elizabeth Cook will be working with a top producer next go round. In fact I’m just excited she’ll be recording a new album period! (lol)

    Country Universe Asks: Is this the worst year ever for country music? – Well, I think every year since about 1997 can arguably be given this title in some respects although the trend has been downhill at an accelerating pace…

    Caitlin sang “Address In The Stars” solo on last Friday night’s Opry and did a fine job. She’s obviously not ready to roll over and play dead quite yet.

    Thanks for the Music Fog and Ashleigh Flynn links. I just wish The Hot Club of Cowtown would have picked one of their older, better songs like “Forget Me Nots”. Oh well…

  42. idlewildsouth
    October 5, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Here’s a fun game…let’s spend all day arguing about something that really has no bearing on our lives at all. Is Austin their home? Guess what…it doesn’t really matter. No matter their reasons for putting on such a passionate show, they put it on, and that’s what matters.

    And for the record…i’ve never lived in Tuscumbia, AL, but when I go back there, it feels just as much like home as Nashville does. Just sayin’

  43. Vicki
    October 5, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    I was listening to the Opry on the radio on Friday. Terri Clark was fabulous! So was Catlin..she has a very strong pure voice. Mindy Smith was a terrific, emotional singer. Carrie’s “Cowboy Casanova” was quite a departure from the rest of the more serious music relating more to breast cancer-earlier in the show but it was still was a great performance. But better was her performances of “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and “I Told You So”.

  44. Pierce
    October 5, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    I once did a philosophy project on the question: what is home?

  45. Stormy
    October 5, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Idle: I care because these are people I know well enough to say hi too and Jon is trying to speak for them.

    Jon: If the band doesn’t consider Austin their home, why does their Myspace list them as an Austin band?

  46. badrockandroll
    October 5, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    I think my home is in the mythical place of the photo essay that accompanies Cooper’s story in The Tennessean. Serioiusly. I would like to go back there.

  47. Jon
    October 5, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Speaking of the Greencards’ MySpace page, read their most recent blog entry there anent Winfield:

    “The journey back to Tennessee was long and arduous, but until they invent teleportation, it’s a necessary evil in this line of work…..

    We’re home long enough to do laundry and gear up for our next weekend in Ohio, Chicago and Iowa…”

    “Home” as in Tennessee – specifically, Nashville.

    Give it up, Stormy; the Greencards are a Nashville band. Remember, there’s only 1 degree of separation between them and Kenny Chesney!

  48. Stormy
    October 5, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    A Nashville band that considers Austin home–they aren’t the only one.

  49. Mayor Jobob
    October 5, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Country Universe: just wait till next year!

  50. Jim Malec
    October 5, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    There’s a difference between home and home, but in John’s absolutist world a word only means one thing.

  51. idlewildsouth
    October 6, 2009 at 12:26 am

    As the Cajun man from “Joe DIrt” says…home is where you make it.

  52. Jon
    October 6, 2009 at 10:48 am

    “A Nashville band that considers Austin home”

    Austin myopia claims another victim.

  53. Lucas
    October 6, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Artists don’t fail labels, labels fail artists. Labels are supposed to be marketing powerhouses, if they can’t get somebody to the top, and they’re a label that gets airplay, it truly is their fault. They signed the person, made the person’s album, messed with their image, underpromoted them, and the artist didn’t sell… big surprise.

    All those people should be the current award show performers.

    It was a great year for country music I’m sure, I just missed it while listening to that station with Gloriana on it.

  54. Chris N.
    October 6, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Oh, I’ve seen artists fail labels before. That doesn’t apply here, but it happens on occasion.

  55. Lucas
    October 6, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    No such thing. Untalented acts would never see the light of day – yet somehow they cover most of the Billboard Top 20.

    If there was such a thing as an artist failing a label, George Jones would have failed a long time ago. But for some reason, despite substance abuse and not showing up to shows coupled with every form of bad press you could imagine, a person my age still knows who he is, that he’s called “The Possum”, the songs Alan Jackson pays homage to Jones in, and that “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is a country classic. Why? Because his people knew how to make it that way.

  56. sam
    October 6, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    The fact that Jones continued to maintain a career despite all his problems hardly suggests that an artist cannot “fail” a label.

  57. Lucas
    October 6, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Say what you will, an artist failing a label is as good as the person in charge of their promotion saying “I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.”

  58. sam
    October 6, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    But the person in charge of promotion is also as good as the artist: If someone in charge of promoting the artist, say, sets up a radio tour, and the artist is rude to the PDs on the tour or is uninteresting or offensive on the air on a morning show or or doesn’t bother to show up to do the interview or what not, then the person working the promotion is only as good as the artist.

    People from all walks of life can mess up in their jobs, – even artists – and I don’t think a label’s inability or unwillingless to rescue such an artist from their own mistakes necessarily constitutes a failing on the label’s part.

  59. Lynnie
    October 6, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Lucas, I absolutely agree with you, especially in the case of Caitlin and Will. The label failed the artists. I had the pleasure of seeing C&W perform quite a few times. They were better live than on the EP, cause you could gage their personalities. They were never stale, cause they mixed it up, and they always added something extra to even the covers that they did. I went to see Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson when they came to Ramshead here in Annapolis. I love their music, but to be honest, I got a little bored with the concert. I was ready to go home in 45 minutes. Too much of the same stuff.
    I had the pleasure of hearing some of the other cuts from C&W’s ‘never to be released album’ live and honestly, it is a cryin’ shame. The live performances were compelling. I never did like “Stupid Boy’, by either Urban or Buxton, but man, if you never got to see Caitlin and Will do the entire song live, you really missed something special. Wonder what it would have sounded like on my IPOD. I’ll never know. Yep, thanks Sony. It’s a crying shame.

  60. Matt B.
    October 6, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Lucas, plenty of artists have failed the labels just as much as labels have failed the artists. Also one could say that RADIO failed the artists by not coming through on the ‘promises’ they may have made one way or another with a band when they came by the station.

  61. Lucas
    October 7, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Radio does fail artists, I’ll give you that Matt, due to consolidation. Back when, radio DJs had the choice of who to play. It’s laughable that payola is illegal, considering its obvious presence.

    What we need is truly independent labels, truly independent radio stations, and a umbrella organization to more closely regulate monopolization.

    A monopoly is OBVIOUSLY illegal in America… you can’t own a radio station and only play your artists, run your theme park where your artists show up at parades which are broadcasted, and then put your artists on their own TV show – especially if your company uses a mouse as it’s mascot…

    Even the “independent” labels aren’t truly independent. Big Machine, independent… true. Distribution, Universal, not so much.

  62. Lynnie
    October 8, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    You all kill me. You parse and you pick. Do you not ever just listen? Good music is good music, whatever your genre. You pick and bicker about where a group is from. You grouse about lyric. You forget about feeling. I have listened to a song the first time and just fallen in love. What is it about that song as opposed to another? It just makes your skin react. I dont’ worry about why! Time before last, the hairs on my skin rose when I heard “Every breath you take”. Simple, and yet real.
    You guys and gals on this site are so boxed in. Some of you post just so you can go back and tingle about how much you think you know! Who cares? I can see you, some of you, with your noses in the air. UGH. Come down and smell the roses. Accentuate the positive. There is so much negativity out there, this day and age. I wish for you that you could just enjoy. Then again……..

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