Country Album Sales Increase in 2011; New Music From Emily West; Stream The Little Willies’ New Album

Ken Morton, Jr. | January 2nd, 2012

  • Stream For the Good Times, the upcoming album from The Little Willies, over at NPR’s music blog.
  • Journey and Rascal Flatts are rumored to be doing a CMT Crossroads together in February.
  • Peter Cooper did a column on the reinvention of Ronnie Milsap for The Tennessean.
  • After her first project was shelved by Capitol Records, Emily West released an independent EP last week to Amazon and iTunes called I Love You, I Hate You.  It’s outstanding. Matt Bjorke over at Roughstock agrees.
  • Billboard Magazine listed their top 10 country albums of 2011.
  • Wade Hayes’ colon cancer surgery went “better than expected” and he’s now resting comfortably at his home.
  • The Infamous Stringdusters are more interested in being called “an experience” than a bluegrass band.
  • PBS will be on hand taping the Bluegrass Underground’s 2012 kick-off February 24-26. Del McCoury, Vince Gill, Doyle Lawson, The Civil Wars, Jim Lauderdale, The Time Jumpers, Jerry Douglas and Sarah Jarosz will all be in one weekend’s worth of shows.
  • Pop star Demi Lovato is the latest Disney icon who is interested in crossing over into country music.
  • Can an international star from Brazil crack US country radio? Michel Teló aims to find out.
  • New music videos from the past week or so:

Nick 13 – “All Alone”

Aly Cook – “Midnight Sun”

Red Roots – “Double Wide Church”

Christy Angeletti – “Never Been Better”

Jasmine Rae – Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”

Tenille — “Pictures on a Crooked Wall”

Markus Meier – “Only Human”

Paul Brandt — “I Was There”

Sarah Darling – “Free Falling”

Lindsey Lawler – “Highway Angel”

  1. Jon
    January 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    How can one read this:

    “‘At the end of the day, it matters very little what music is called,’ says Pandolfi. ‘What we’re really trying to create is an experience.’”

    and conclude this:

    The Infamous Stringdusters are more interested in being called “an experience” than a bluegrass band.

    Hmm?

  2. Rick
    January 2, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    I would like to see the annual country music album sales comparisons over the last few years that excluded Taylor Swift. Its not encouraging when a single artist is carrying so much of the retail sales load all by herself…

    I’m glad Emily West was finally able to release an indie EP of the type of music she really wants to make. The songs are radically different in style from the material on her original Capitol label album. I saw her perform in LA a couple of years ago in a Capitol showcase where they were hoping to stir up some interest with the Hollywood TV and film industry types. That obviously didn’t work out. Now the question is what type of radio stations will play Emily’s new music? Hmm…

    That Bluegrass Underground artist roster is quite impressive. If only Jesse McReynolds were there instead of Doyle Lawson, they’d really have something! (lol)

  3. luckyoldsun
    January 3, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Hasn’t it usually been the case that one artist was “carrying so much of the retail sales load all by (him/her)self–whether it was Willie, Garth, Shania, Tim or Kenny?

  4. Jon
    January 3, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Hasn’t it usually been the case that one artist was “carrying so much of the retail sales load all by (him/her)self–whether it was Willie, Garth, Shania, Tim or Kenny?

    It’s about as true now as it was then, which is to say, not. If Rick weren’t so Swiftophobic, he’d notice that Jason Aldean’s album was just a couple of notches below hers. What’s been true for the last 20 years or so is that a handful of artists (handful > 1) have vastly disproportionate influences on the overall sales figures.

  5. nm
    January 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I do think it’s relatively new (= started with Garth Brooks) to have one artist out of the leading handful so very far ahead of the others in sales.

  6. bll
    January 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I suss in the past certain artists provided a large amount of their record labels income; Elvis and Sinatra come to mind. At one point in time Garth was something like 86% of Capitol’s bottom line; the difference was Sound Scan. With Sound Scan labels/charts were able to get accurate numbers of what was truly selling, and that was the game changer.

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