Country Stars Salute Lynyrd Synyrd; Billy Joe Shaver Pleads No Contest; Zac Brown’s iTunes Celebrity Playlist Podcast

Brody Vercher | June 17th, 2010

  1. Richard
    June 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Little Big Town’s last album was fantastic and criminally overlooked by country radio. I’ve been hearing Litte White Church pretty frequently though, so hopefully this album gets them back to “Boondocks”-esque stature in terms of radio play. They certainly deserve it, especially with some of the groups currently (over)played on country radio. Little White Church is a damn good song too…hopefully bodes well for the album.

  2. Noeller
    June 17, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    For what it’s worth, we’re spinning the heck outta LWC up here, and I personally would love to see/hear LBT get the success of Lady A.

  3. Vicki
    June 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I love LWC and will definitely buy their new album. I rated them great on ratethemusic.com

  4. Rick
    June 17, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I saw the “Little White Church” video on GAC and thoroughly enjoyed it due to Karen Fairchild being out front and center. Her “sassy” factor has definitely beek kicked up a notch or two!

    The Washington Post’s Chris Richards has obviously never heard Dierk’s debut “Don’t Leave Me In Love” album, but then again few Dierks fans ever have. I’d say Dierks has tapped back into his initial early career excellence with this album and then muddied the waters up a bit…

    I think I saw Chris Shiflett perform at Echo Park’s “The Echo” venue a year or so ago during a free Americana show and I remember liking it. I’m not familiar with music from the Foo Fighters, so I have no idea how it compares.

    I think the gun Billy Joe Shaver used to shoot that guy should be donated to the Country Music Hall Of Fame! (lol)

  5. Vicki
    June 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    @Rick: for once we are in agreement: Karen singing out front was great and it had a more bluegrass sound. Great song.

  6. Julia Hughan
    June 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    I really hope country radio picks latches on LBT’s material this time around. LWC is definitely near the top of my playlist at the moment.

    Also looking forward to the Ricky Skaggs project. Still thankful to Razor X for that tip a few months ago.

  7. Rick
    June 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Vicki, I think Karen has now reached the point she can properly tackle the song “Black Betty” as originally performed by Ram Jam! The rest of the LBT’s can sing the “Bam-A-Lam’s” in the background while Karen gets down with it, baby! (lol)

    Julia, so what’s your take on Catherine Britt’s latest album? I’ve heard most of it and its far more Americana than Australiana for my traditionalists tastes these days. On the other hand I picked up Lou Bradley’s “La La La La La Not Listening” CD and there are a few rippers on there.

  8. Julia Hughan
    June 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    @Rick.

    Overall I enjoyed the record. The presence of Bill Chambers definitely harks back to her debut record and should resonate well with her original audience, especially the song “Sleepy Town”.

    For me, Britt truly shines through in the slower tracks (“Save Me” and “Sweet Emmylou”). My favorites are the Gospel-centric “Holy River” and the title track which is pure melodic candy. “Under My Thumb” and “I Want You Back” also delve further into the grittier country rock sound that I wish she would play around with a little more.

    There is however a slight tendency towards repetition (and poorly chosen tracklisting placement) which may lead to some major track skipping in the future.

    Overall, nothing too groundbreaking but a solid record.

  9. Rick
    June 17, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Thanks, Julia! I’ve been kind of spoiled by Joey+Rory version of “Sweet Emmylou”, which was co-written by Catherine and Rory. Jamey Johnson even sang a version that may still be in the listening archives over at Roughstock! Personally I’d prefer a lot more “I’m Gone” than “I Want You Back!! (lol)

  10. sam (sam)
    June 17, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Is Hays really right to say, “For Dierks to want to pull what’s in his heart out and put it on an album and tour with it is a wonderful gesture, but that’s what artists should be doing”?

    Maybe he is right. But its far from obvious. Perhaps artists should sometimes or even most of the time do that. But what happens when doing that means sacrificing money (which may be necessary to support oneself or one’s family), satisfying commitments or promises that one once made even though doing so its not what is “in one’s heart” presently, satisfying one’s fans (especially those who pay money for an album or a concert ticket), et cetera? I assume that some artists at least sometimes face these (and other) conflicts, and I’m not sure why following one’s heart should be “the norm” when these values conflict.

  11. Brady Vercher
    June 17, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Of course he’s right to say that.

  12. Stormy
    June 17, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Sam: Allison Moorer summed it up: “Its wrong to be a doggone pawn singing songs that make me yawn for payments on a long mercedes benz.”

  13. Jon
    June 17, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Problem is that critics (and others) tend to project what they think artists ought to be doing onto their idea of what the artists themselves want. I’ve never heard anything from Dierks to indicate that his previous albums have merely been fodder for commerce and that this one, now, is the only thing that’s “in his heart.” Bentley could well be like, oh, Lauderdale, or Vince Gill, or Ricky Skaggs, or Alison Krauss, or any of dozens of artists who like to do more than one thing – and as near as I can tell, that’s what he actually is.

  14. Brady Vercher
    June 17, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Near as you can tell; luckily, you’re not the authority on all things that you think you are. So if it’s merely a problem of projection, well, that works two ways, but someone doesn’t put crap like “Sideways” on an album at the behest of the label head because it’s what was in their heart. Anyways, no one is saying all of Dierks’ previous albums were merely fodder for commerce, but way to contort things (as usual) to try to make a point.

  15. Leeann Ward
    June 18, 2010 at 12:25 am

    In fact, Dierks even admitted that the record label made him go back into the studio to record something more upbeat, because they didn’t think his record was fun enough, which is how “Sideways came about.

  16. Stormy
    June 18, 2010 at 7:42 am

    And Dierks did has indicated that he would prefer to sing more traditionally country or bluegrass songs.

  17. Stewman
    June 18, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I have to agree with Jon. Musicians from all genres have always done different things not to “make a splash”, but to challenge and excite their natural curiosity. Crossroads is a great show (sometimes) when you see the artists genuinly excited to be pushing themselves and playing music that might be off the beaten path from their standard setlist.
    As for LBT, is everyone listening to the same song ,LWC, that Im hearing? Harmonies aside, the song is awful. They should be doing “Bring it on Home” part II, rather than boondocks or Im with the band part II. It boils down to the song, they didnt write Bring it on home, and their ego’s drove them to not record with outside writers, hence a flop of a 2nd album. This first song is not promising at all.

  18. Jon
    June 18, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Show me where Dierks has called “Sideways” or anything else he’s recorded “crap.” The fact that the label suggested – or for that matter demanded – that he revamp the material on an album doesn’t mean as much as you seem to think. Bentley’s said that the revamp “felt right,” and that’s the bottom line. Folks can prefer whatever side of Bentley’s work they like, including all or none of it, but there’s precious few who can claim to have any real insight into how Bentley feels about it beyond what he says publicly. Those who have been in the studio with him might, or those who tour with him might, or those who just hang out with him might, but I don’t believe I’ve seen any of y’all’s names on the credits or itineraries, which leaves just the hangin’ part; anyone here laying claim to that? Some of the ideas floating around here about the mutual exclusivity of art and commerce just don’t have much connection with the way that people who actually have to deal with those issues do it. There are an awful lot of permutations.

    By the way, if you look on YouTube, you’ll find footage of “Sideways” performed just weeks ago by Bentley and the Travelin’ McCourys.

  19. Stormy
    June 18, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Show me where Dierks has called “Sideways” or anything else he’s recorded “crap.”

    Why do we have to show you something no one has claimed happened?

  20. Jon
    June 18, 2010 at 10:04 am

    someone doesn’t put crap like “Sideways” on an album at the behest of the label head because it’s what was in their heart.

    Try to keep up, Stormy.

  21. Stormy
    June 18, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Oh, you mean this whole sentance:
    So if it’s merely a problem of projection, well, that works two ways, but someone doesn’t put crap like “Sideways” on an album at the behest of the label head because it’s what was in their heart

    Doesn’t say anything about Dierks publically denoucing his single. It merely points out that you cannot have two directly conflicting motivations for the including the same song on an album.

  22. Brady Vercher
    June 18, 2010 at 10:39 am

    There’s really no point in even responding to you anymore, Jon. I didn’t suggest Dierks called any of his own work crap.

  23. Jon
    June 18, 2010 at 10:53 am

    No, Brady, but your comment only makes sense if you believe that Bentley thought the song was crap, or something close to it, or (at the very least), something he didn’t want to put on the album. And I’m saying that you have no good reason for believing that.

    @Stormy “Directly conflicting motivations” is exactly the kind of Manichaean point of view to which I referred. Commercial and artistic motivations do not necessarily conflict directly or even indirectly; in fact, they are often impossible to untangle. And when you have no direct knowledge of someone’s motivations, well, then, the smart course is to pass over talking about them.

  24. Stormy
    June 18, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Jon: Why is it best to pass over one of the most interesting topics of discussion?

  25. Jon
    June 18, 2010 at 11:02 am

    @Stormy Because when you have no direct knowledge of an artist’s motives for the artistic decisions he or she makes, you have no basis for intelligently discussing them, d’oh. And personally, I don’t find uninformed, unintelligent discussion interesting. YMMV, and evidently does.

  26. Stormy
    June 18, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I have a degress based on my ability to intelligently discuss the motives and meanings of authors who have been dead for at least 100 years.

  27. Jon
    June 18, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Uh, no you don’t. Meanings, sure – those are to be found in the work. Motives? Not so much – at least, not outside of what the authors had to say for themselves while they were still alive.

  28. Stormy
    June 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Jon: Salinger may have still been alive, but I don’t remember him commenting on whether the pedophile references in A Perfect Day for Bannannafish were unintentional, a reflection of his true feelings or a joke played a the expense of uptight readers and we spent a whole class discussing that.

    Of course, there was alway that one huffy guy in the back pissily stating that we could not be discussing whatever we were discussing. Hi, that guy!

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