Cherryholmes Disband; Taylor Swift’s New Video; Shania Twain Chosen For Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Brody Vercher | January 13th, 2011

  • The Cherryholmes are disbanding.

    Many of you have watched us from the beginning. You’ve seen our children grow into young adults. Though it is bittersweet, there comes a time in a family when seasons change. We’ve always known this season would come. Now that it has, we believe it is only right that our young folks be allowed to follow their own dreams and goals for the future.

  • Taylor Swift‘s Speak Now tops the Billboard 200 chart for the sixth time this week, but with 52,000 copies sold, it stands out as having the lowest sales frame from a No. 1 since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991.
  • Perhaps her new video for current single “Back to December” will help with next week’s sales.
  • Shania Twain has been chosen as the 2011 inductee to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
  • On January 29, Toby Keith will appear on the Grand Ole Opry for the first time since his Opry debut in 2002.
  • Roots and bluegrass music writer Donald Teplyske is enamored with Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, particularly the group’s latest album Cloud of Dust. It’s not just the lyrics or Chris Jones’ “low lonesome sound” that captured his attention — he dedicates more than a third of an article at his blog Fervor Coulee to the album’s bass player, Jon Weisberger. High praise, indeed.

    What is different is the musical maturity I bring to my bluegrass listening today, a clarity developed by years of focused concentration. And what I hear holding down the bottom end on Cloud of Dust is terribly impressive.

    [...] in bluegrass nothing- harmony singing, rhythm guitar, the mandolin chop- is as simple as it seems on first impression and bluegrass bass is no exception. While not as immediately noticeable as other bluegrass elements, bluegrass bass isn’t exactly easy to do right. And throughout Cloud of Dust, Weisberger demonstrates his art in admirable fashion.

  • Billboard‘s list of top 10 TV theme songs from 1980-2011 includes Waylon Jenning‘s “Theme From The Dukes Of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys).”
  • Nashville or Bust Week 51: Johnny Paycheck, job-shover
  • Elizabeth Cook — like the love child that Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton never had.
  • Zac Brown has lofty expectations for his live show:

    “We want people to go to other concerts and feel like they got robbed,” Brown said. “That’s our goal.”

    One way he’s working towards that goal is by feeding fan club members before every show. If that sounds like a crazy idea, don’t worry, the the band says Brown has crazy ideas all the time, like a machine shop for a planned line of custom knives.

  • The Indianapolis Star‘s Bill McCleery profiled radio disc jockey Steve Rogers, who hosts the only radio show in Indianapolis dedicated to the old-time country music every Saturday night. Co-workers say his knowledge of country music is like Wikipedia — only accurate.
  • Chris Young originally released his current single, “Voices,” in the summer of 2008. It peaked at No. 37, but since then he’s landed two No. 1s and decided to give “Voices” another shot. It currently sits at No. 5.

    If “Voices” – co-written by Young, Chris Tompkins, and Craig Wiseman – hits #1, it will not only become Young’s third consecutive chart-topper, but will make him the first artist to re-release a country single to go to #1 since [Randy] Travis did so 25 years ago. It would also become only the second time in the modern era of the Billboard country chart that an artist re-released the same recording to chart-topping success.

  • Marshall Chapman might not have a line in the film Country Strong, but that’s not keeping folks like Roger Ebert from taking notice.
  • Here’s a depressing article on the state of songwriting in Nashville.

    Recent albums by Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Kellie Pickler included several co-writing credits by each of those performers, which was a rarity or even nonexistent on the artists’ previous albums.

    That trend has sparked its share of controversy among nonperforming songwriters who, behind the scenes, are critical of artists who show up at songwriting sessions, contribute little to the process but claim credit — and future royalties — for the songs created.

  • Faith Hill vs. Snowman. Hilarious.
  1. Rick
    January 13, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Oh great. As if Jon W. wasn’t insufferable enough already around these parts…(lol)

    I hope the disbanding of Cherryholmes means Cia Leigh is going to assemble and front her own bluegrass band! Skip, BJ, and Molly are excellent musicians, but its Cia Leigh’s songwriting and vocals that were always the strongest element of the band’s music. Go Cia!

    I think including Top 40 artists as “token songwriters” is designed primarily to give them more credibility as an artist. I don’t know if that works, but I can understand how the real songwriters feal cheated out of royalties that are rightfully theirs. Oh well…

  2. Chickette
    January 13, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I, for one, will be giving Clouds of Dust a miss.

  3. Saving Country Music
    January 13, 2011 at 11:59 am

    In that “Depressing State of Songwriting” above they highlight Liz Rose who writes with Taylor Swift. Her daughter Caitlin Rose is a great singer/songwriter I saw open for Justin Townes Earle a while back and is worth checking out.

  4. Leeann Ward
    January 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I think that some songwriters use the big-named non-songwriting artists to their advantage as well, because it better guarantees that people like Tim McGraw, for instance (the Warren Brothers), will cut their songs.

  5. joe
    January 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I really love “Back To December” video. New level of maturity from Taylor. That “Mine” video was complete trash.

  6. Brody Vercher
    January 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Rick, the article mentions that songwriting royalties are one of the few music revenue streams that are increasing, which is probably a better explanation for the trend of performers seeking songwriting credit.

    Leeann, I think the article also touches on songwriters targeting the bigger-name artists. But I agree, it’s a two-way street.

  7. Dan Milliken
    January 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I don’t know if I’d ever actually Faith Hill talk much before I happened to watch Fallon last night. She seems really sweet and cool.

  8. Tony
    January 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    The Canadian equivelant to the FCC (ran by non-government types) has banned Dire Straits “Money for Nothing” due to a complaint – The song has “faggot” in it. Yep one complaint from a LGTB (sic) person. The road goes on forever and the party never ends…….

  9. Thomas
    January 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    …does that mean jon is more like a “pain on the bass” now?

  10. Fizz
    January 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    How many bass players does it take to change a lightbulb?

    Only one, but the guitarist has to show him how first.

  11. Fizz
    January 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Teplyske’s blog is actually called “The Snootification Of Bluegrass.”

  12. Brody Vercher
    January 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Fizz, you’d be better off leaving the jokes to the professionals.

  13. Fizz
    January 13, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Okay … hit it, funnyboy.

  14. Jon
    January 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Actually, I’ve never met Donald, except virtually; we’ve disagreed a few times over on the bgrass-l. So I was pretty surprised – and, of course, grateful to read that. Every musician hopes to reach people with what he or she does.

    @Rick, we’re in Blythe for a bluegrass festival tomorrow and Saturday, along with some other fine bands; you ought to come on over.

  15. WAYNOE
    January 13, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Sorry to hear of Cherryholmes. Most others couldn’t carry their water.

    Ditto about the co-writing sham. This could be seen even by the most casual country music follower.

  16. Jon
    January 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Songwriters like to get cuts. If writing with artists improves their chances of doing so, then that’s what they’ll do. And no one who isn’t in the room during a co-writing session can say with much certainty as to who contributed what.

    Anyhow, Brody’s point about revenue is well-taken. The pie is getting all resliced these days, and everyone’s looking to preserve the size of their piece, even if it means moving around some. Can you say “360 deal?”

  17. Steve Harvey
    January 13, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    This quote from the writers article struck me as odd:
    In contrast to pop music, some of country music’s biggest hits have been penned by songwriters who were somewhat invisible behind the scenes.
    In contrast to pop? This is a list of the writers behind some of Britney Spears’ biggest hits:
    Nikesha Briscoe, Rafael Akinyemi, Max Martin,
    Henrik Jonback, Christian Karlsson, Pontus Winnberg, Rami Yacoub.
    There’s over 20 million sales between them. How many people have heard of them?
    Non-performing, low profile songwriters are not unique to Nashville.

  18. Noeller
    January 13, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    No comments about Toby re-appearing at the Opry for the first time in forever?? I thought that was a really intriguing bit of news outta the round up today, anyhow……

    Yeah, the “token writing credit” thing chaps my ass too…brutal.

  19. Vicki
    January 13, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    So sad to hear about Cherryholmes but as a Mother, it does make sense what’s going on. I sure hope they find other bluegrass bands or front new ones.

    In the state of songwriting in Nashville, you cannot tell me that Carrie is one of those that just shows up. Her “PLay On” songs showcase how bad song writing can get with song themes that are definitely personal to her. I dare any Nashville songwriter to claim that they actually wrote those songs!

  20. Troy
    January 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    “Recent albums by Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Kellie Pickler included several co-writing credits by each of those performers, which was a rarity or even nonexistent on the artists’ previous albums.”

    I wonder why they mentioned Kellie when Small town girl had five co-writes, and kellie pickler had five co-writes as well.

    Has change a word take a third not been happending in country before recently?

    And Congrats to Shania and Jon!

  21. Fizz
    January 13, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I’m guessing those artists whose are suddenly popping up as co-writers were sick of being singing puppets and wanted to take more control. Happens with pop singers too, including the aforementioned Ms. Spears and others of her ilk. American Idol contestants seem especially prone to it, because their first albums are almost always written for them.

  22. Mike Wimmer
    January 13, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I only caught the first minute or so of the Taylor Swift video, but could they have gotten a more emo looking guy? Yikes

  23. Troy
    January 13, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    “I’m guessing those artists whose are suddenly popping up as co-writers were sick of being singing puppets and wanted to take more control. Happens with pop singers too, including the aforementioned Ms. Spears and others of her ilk. American Idol contestants seem especially prone to it, because their first albums are almost always written for them.”

    Quite a few of these acts don’t seem themselves as puppets though and will say that they liked former albums that had no writing. As for Spears her most co-written album was sadly pulled by Jive Orgianl Doll.

    I’m always surprised by how Spears has been able to keep career with being blacklisted on radio, mental break down, crazy label which is jive.

  24. Noeller
    January 13, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Yeah, I finally got around to watching the Swifty vid and the first thing I did was laugh right out loud at the douche in the scarf. What a tool! But I’m not quite sure what the buzz is all about with the vid. The snow inside the house looks so ridiculously fake…it’s almost insulting to those of us who tread through tundra for the better part of the year. There’s nothing really special about this clip, imo.

  25. Jon
    January 13, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    guessing those artists whose are suddenly popping up as co-writers were sick of being singing puppets and wanted to take more control.

    And you guess that their joneses for more control are satisfied by a 1/2 or 1/3 or 1/4 credits on a couple of songs?

  26. numberonecountryfan
    January 13, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    On the writing subject, Reba McEntire DID write Only In My Mind (#5 in 1985).

  27. Rick
    January 13, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Jon said: “@Rick, we’re in Blythe for a bluegrass festival tomorrow and Saturday, along with some other fine bands; you ought to come on over.” Believe me Jon, if I could pull it off I would but my old car seems allergic to venturing beyond the LA County line these days (and the Auto Club will only tow me for 100 miles without extra charge). There is a big annual bluegrass festival in Victorville each summer as well and I haven’t even made it to that one yet either! Here in the greater LA area there is a festival of mostly local artists in Topanga Canyon each year, but that doesn’t really count.

    PS – Blythe isn’t exactly a garden spot, so I’m curious why that location was chosen? Maybe they are trying to attract both the SoCal crowd and the Phoenix, AZ types as well. I think they should have gone for the Needles/Laughlin/Bullhead City area to add the gambling attraction factor. Hmm…

  28. Donald
    January 13, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    You mean ‘that’ Jon Weisberger plays bass?! Oh, dang.
    And what’s this about snootification? But, thanks for reading!
    But the guitarist has to tell him how…just as funny as the first time I heard it

  29. Jon
    January 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    @Rick. The festival’s actually put on by the Chamber of Commerce. I hear it’s pretty big. See http://www.blythebluegrass.com .

  30. Vicki
    January 13, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    “Recent albums by Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Kellie Pickler included several co-writing credits by each of those performers, which was a rarity or even nonexistent on the artists’ previous albums.”

    Not Carrie either: 1 co-write on “Some Hearts”, 4 co-writes on “Carnival Ride” and 7 co-writes on “Play On”. Notice a trend? Best album she ever made was the first one.

  31. Troy
    January 13, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    “Not Carrie either: 1 co-write on “Some Hearts”, 4 co-writes on “Carnival Ride” and 7 co-writes on “Play On”. Notice a trend? Best album she ever made was the first one.”

    I’ll agree that some hearts was her best album, but using your theory how would it be explain that Play On is a lot better than Carnival Ride.

  32. Leeann Ward
    January 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Troy,
    I think she’s saying that her best album is the one that she had the least writing involvement on?

  33. Troy
    January 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Yes, i got that but Play On has more of her co-writing on it then carnival ride and at least in my opinon Play On is a lot better album then carnival ride. And carnival ride has 4 co-writes and play on has 7 co-writes so I don’t think its comes down exactly to the co-writing.

  34. Leeann Ward
    January 13, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    But I think she was saying that the increase in co-writes decreased the quality of her albums. I’m not a Carrie fan, but I have to agree. That album at least had a couple of songs that I really enjoyed on it, which is something that I really can’t say for the last two albums. I have no idea whether or not her writing involvement has anything to do with it though. I’m just not connected enough to her career to speculate.

  35. Troy
    January 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    My point was that I don’t think co-writing was the biggest part because even though her third album had more co-writing its quality went up comapred to Carnival Ride. And if her co-writing was what the problem was the thrid album should be worse then the second one because it has more co-writing but to me it’s not. Am I making sense?

  36. Jon
    January 13, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Yes, you’re making sense. But the “to me” is an important – indispensable – part of your statement.

    Personally, I think the takeaways from Wadhwani’s are all about the writing and publishing business and how it’s changing, not about subjective aspects. Direct competition to get cuts is turning into indirect competition – to get writing appointments with artists.

    @Vicki. I’ve heard Underwood’s co-writers claim that they actually co-wrote their co-writes with her. I think their opinions of the songs might differ from yours.

  37. Troy
    January 13, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    @Jon, well yes I wasn’t presenting it as fact just as personal opinon that to me at least disproves that the more co-writes by Carrie on her album automatically equals a worst quality album.

    The me part was in there for a reason because someone could just as easily say Carnival Ride was thier favorite album, I wouldn’t agree but im not going to say as a fact that Some Hearts or Play On is better.

  38. Paul W Dennis
    January 14, 2011 at 1:55 am

    Too many family bands have broken up after years of increasing bitterness. If Cherryholmes is breaking up for the reasons stated, then kudos to them for recognizing the need to free their offspring to seek their own paths. As Rick noted, there do seem to be varying degrees of talent within the band, especially with regard to vocals.

    I too, hope Cia organizes her own band,but I’d like to see her venture into western swing and traditional country as well as ‘grass

  39. Fizz
    January 14, 2011 at 8:56 am

    “To me is an important — indispensable part of your statement … their opinions of those songs might differ with yours …”

    Pick up the needle, that record’s busted.

  40. Vicki
    January 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    @Jon-I’ve heard Underwood’s co-writers claim that they actually co-wrote their co-writes with her. I think their opinions of the songs might differ from yours.

    So they claim the co-writing with her? Amazing. Carrie has a great voice but her songwriting is basic, simple. I listened to Jamey Johnson’s CD all the way to Kansas and one time put in Carrie’s and immediately had to take it back out. Even with her golden tones, it couldn’t take away how simple the words were in comparison to a master like Jamey.

  41. Jon
    January 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    So they claim the co-writing with her? Amazing. Carrie has a great voice but her songwriting is basic, simple.

    Has she had cuts with songs she’s written on her own? Because if she hasn’t, then I think it’s hard to say anything about “her songwriting” – or, rather, it would be clearer to talk about her co-writing instead of her songwriting.

    I think it’s hard for people who haven’t co-written songs to talk meaningfully about what the process of co-writing entails.

  42. Vicki
    January 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    I’m just saying the songs that she has co-written sound like she herself had written. “Mama’s song”; “Temporary Home” (on that one even one of the co-writers said she brought that totally to the table. I imagine more, Carrie is the lyricist while others are the music creators.

  43. ShoresLady
    January 15, 2011 at 1:29 am

    The whole co-writing scheme is just greed on wheels. Heaven forbid the songwriters actually make a good living. Singing performers should be happy with their enormous share and not grab a piece of someone else’s action. it just looks ugly from here.

  44. Jon
    January 15, 2011 at 8:54 am

    I think it’s hard for people who haven’t co-written songs to talk meaningfully about what the process of co-writing entails.

  45. Trish
    January 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Hey Shores, these major artists aren’t doing co-writing to steal a few dollars from the writers. These artists such as Carrie, Miranda, Lady A are already making boatloads of money.

    Jim is right in that they are getting involved because of artistic integrity and taking pride in their work!

    Stop being such a pessimist.

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