Don’t Make Gretchen Wilson Take Her Earrings Out

Brody Vercher | March 30th, 2009

  1. Kelly
    March 30, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Interviewer: Hey Keith, what kind of country music do you play?

    Keith Urban: (in aussie accent) Oh, ya know mate, the kind that sounds nothing like Country, but somehow gets played over and over on Country radio, mate…I’m looking to be king of the genre, mate.

  2. Andrew
    March 30, 2009 at 11:48 am

    The Very Best of Asleep At The Wheel is on sale today only for $1.99 at Amazon MP3.

  3. SW
    March 30, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I haven’t missed Gretchen Wilson…

  4. Razor X
    March 30, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    SW, most of us haven’t.

  5. Matt B
    March 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    “Bullets” is one of the best songs I’ve heard in years. It’s even more amazing live.

  6. JD
    March 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Gretchen who?

  7. Kim
    March 30, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    I want Gretch back just to balance the blond brigade in mainstream (forget the music for a second). If one were to believe Kellie Pickler’s representation of brunettes (like the one in her new video), we’re all almost ugly, man-stealing pathetic jealous losers who wear granny panties.

  8. Craig R.
    March 30, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Keith Urban always reminds me of the the 1974 CMA Awards when Olivia Newton -John won for best female vocalist of the year. In 1974 that win raised the roof about what was country music and who was singing it and representing it. Now this David Cassidy of country music tells the world that he is playing a certain kind of country music. That is like Kenny G saying he plays a certain kind of jazz. Keith Urban would be a fine pop vocalist. In fact if he were a pop artist I would probably like him more because at least then I would think he was being honest to the music he played. But when I hear him talking about country music as if he were in the same family as Hank Williams or Johnny Cash, I want to call the INS on him. He needs country to be “a very broad genre” or else he is left out on the side of the road with all the other pop artists who think they serve country music with their shallow lyrics, designed looks, and video made fame.

  9. Peter
    March 30, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    I LIKE granny panties. But only wear them for the comfort ;)

  10. Lanibug
    March 30, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Since I have heard this song several times on Sirius/XM — can she please leave the earrings in and find another song???

    I can think of plenty of other brunettes other than Gretchen – Terri Clark, Lee Ann Womack, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Shelly Fairchild and plenty of blondes – Ashley Monroe, Heidi Newfield, Sarah Buxton, Miranda Lambert, Leann Rimes, Julie Roberts — who I would rather hear from…..

  11. Matt B
    March 30, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Craig R.,

    Keith Urban is contemporary country and I think that’s exactly what he’s trying to talk about, He’s never implied that he’s another Hank or even Johnny Cash.

  12. Kelly
    March 30, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    What seperates Urban from Matchbox 20’s softer material? What seperates Jimmy Wayne’s latest works from almost any of the power pop artists that are currently ascendng the “adult contemporary” charts. When I try to figure out the “Contemporary Country” tag, I always find this massive question mark hanging above my head. I am not here to say that all country acts need to be Cash, Haggard or Jones, and maybe I am just being way too simplistic, as I do agree that there are layers to the genre. That said, you cant convince me that its easier to point out what truly is “country” in Urban’s catalog than what isnt….

  13. Rick
    March 30, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    So is “Bullets” about a comatose killer or one with no conscience? Hmmm….

    Its basically leading artists like Keith Urban that define the concept of “Contemporary Country” these days as they are the flag bearers. That label applies to whatever kind of music the most popular artists crank out and its relation to traditional forms of country music is irrelevant.

    I’m glad Ashlie Kolb hasn’t forgotten about Carter’s Chord because mainstream country radio sure has. (If they even acknowledged them in the first place…)

  14. stewman
    March 30, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    I do know that Id give my left arm to have Keith’s musical ability. What a guitar player. That can fit any genre. This isnt a 17 year old picked off a reality show. The guy worked at it for 10-15 years before he hit. Did he make sacrifices for a record company..probably.
    He is also someone who i genuinely get excited to see at an awards show or on tv. He has the element of surprise with a unique/great cover (sister golden hair, gimme shelter, romeo’s tune) or just backing a great artist and playing great guitar.
    Maybe im a flip side kinda guy, but I find it more obnoxious when you see artists trying to be just like Johnny or Waylon. As if carbon copying someone from 40-50 years ago is a healthy decision or one not born out of the same desperation to show your self as a “true artist” when many of them couldnt name a damn song by any artist other than Waylon or Johnny, because their manager has mandated them to listen to Folsom or Angels. Im sure Keith Urban knows exactly who Chet Atkins or James Burton is and can actually play some of there leads without a manager telling him who they are.

  15. stewman
    March 30, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    I also think we sometimes get too wrapped up in heritage. For every Rosanne Cash & Holly Williams there is a Shooter Jennings.

  16. Lioness
    March 30, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Great post Stewman! Keith sure gets put down a lot. He’s the only reason I look at award shows!
    Stewman, I heard Ronnie Dunn discussing Keith in an interview and he said Keith knew more about the country music genre than even he himself did. He says Keith has alot of respect for the country music genre. His musicianship and vocal ability just amazes me.

  17. Kelly
    March 30, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    To Stewman & Lioness: I dont doubt the level of talent that Urban has, to a point (he isnt my fave artist by any stretch). But, Urban doesnt “fit any genre”, as Stewman says, and that is the issue here. No one is disrespecting Urban, but merely questioning the validity of certain statements when they come from an artist who, at the most, can only be called “pop” or “contemporary country” and barely at that, in my opinion. I also happen to know that friggin’ Brett Michaels has a love of Country music and I have heard him talk with a great deal of knowledge towards the genre, but that sure doesnt mean he is anywhere near “country” as an artist…

  18. Rick
    March 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Man, these crazed Keith Urban fangurls and fanboyz are almost as wearisome as the Carrie Underwear fembot faithful…..

  19. stewman
    March 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Sure Brett Michaels likes country (so do many other non-country artists) , but does anyone care that the Warren Brothers were once “St. Warren” and were a Warrant knock off? (im sure they’re not the only “Country” artist with a dirty little past) It should come down to whether you are good. You cant put Keith in a category with Rascal Flatts etc.. Maybe you’d prefer “The Ranch” but I think Keith has proven himself.

  20. Matt B
    March 30, 2009 at 4:27 pm


    I don’t know where the line of ‘Contemporary Country’ exists to separate it from AC or other ‘genres’ but it’s certainly not pop in the current sense that pop is labeled.

  21. Rick
    March 30, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Last Minute Reminder! Danielle Peck at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge tonight starting at 6 PM! Here are some more details from MusicCityTV:

    Danielle Peck: Big Vinny will do the worm tonight!
    By Brad – view all of Brad’s posts
    March 30th, 2009 – 12:31 pm

    And that alone will be worth the price of admission.
    So tonight is the night for the big Danielle Peck and Friends fund-raiser show for Safe Haven homeless shelter.

    Danielle is playing with James Otto, Halfway to Hazard, Whiskey Falls and Toby Keith-backed band Trailer Choir, along with others. Danielle said the Trailer Choir’s Big Vinny has promised to pull an old-school dance move tonight, The Worm.

    For the unitiated, I give you the Wikipedia definition: “The Worm is a move often associated with break dancing and funk subculture in which the subject lies on the ground and forms a rippling motion through his body, creating a wave reminiscent of a worm crawling.”

    Danielle reports that Big Vinny has done this move on stage several times, and she looks forward to it.
    “Everybody’s seen it but me. I have to see it with my own eyes,” she said.

    Only $13 at the door for you to see it as well. Starts at 6 p.m. at the Mercy Lounge.”

    Wow, who wouldn’t want to see Big Vinny do The Worm? (lol)

  22. Nicolas
    March 30, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    I kinda liked Gretchen, but not that much … I haven’t heard her new single yet

    Oh and i hadn’t heard “Marry for Money” yet until today; its a piece of crap xD

  23. Razor X
    March 30, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Andrew, thanks for the heads up.

  24. Jon
    March 30, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Interesting to see yet another debate on what is and ain’t country crop up here at the same time as the Artist Spotlight on the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who play a kind of country music from which Hank Williams’ is at least as far as Urban’s is from Hank’s.

  25. J.R. Journey
    March 30, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    I started liking Gretchen Wilson’s music with the release of her third single, ‘When I Think About Cheatin’. The first two party anthems just weren’t my style – nor have any of her up-tempo singles done anything for me. I liked ‘I Don’t Feel Like Loving You Today’ a lot too. I would like to hear another ballad from her. That’s where she really shines.

    And thanks again for the link!

  26. Kelly
    March 31, 2009 at 4:27 am

    Jon –

    It doesnt take much consideration to understand why this discussion has popped up on Urban rather than The CCD. You should note Jon, that the CCD feature actually never made the claim that they were a country band, but a string-band that experiments with various musical traditions, while Urban is going around talking about what “type” of Country he is, so the actual point of contention being discussed here is valid. There have been many other reviews and features of artists here on 9513 that many wouldnt consider truly country (neko case, jason isbell are recent examples, and that is fine by me). While the argument of what is and what isnt “Country” can be tiresome, it isnt always pointless and in this case was generated by one of the news round-up links above. I know you arent a big fan of letting actual facts influence many of your opinions generally, but its hard to avoid that one this time around.

  27. Jon
    March 31, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Kelly, if you are seriously trying to argue that the string band styles of the 20s and 30s aren’t country music, then you misapprehend the “actual facts.” And if you aren’t, then you surely see why my point is apposite.

  28. Chris N.
    March 31, 2009 at 10:21 am

    “So is ‘Bullets’ about a comatose killer or one with no conscience? Hmmm….”

    “Bullets” is told from the point of view of, well, a bullet. Therefore, “without consciousness.” I knew some people would think that was a typo, but what the hell.

  29. Kelly
    March 31, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Jon – HUH? I was simply stating why we were discussing what is and “aint” country since you seemed to have a problem with it. I havent made any staement on my thoughts regarding the style of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, as you are the one that stated they were as far from Hank as Urban is, which is odd also…

  30. Kelly
    March 31, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I’ll piggy-back onto my above comment a tad by saying that I did say that many people wouldnt consider them “truly country”, and by that, I meant that they have much of their sound rooted in folk, blues, etc, and arent what one would typically consider stright-ahead “country”.

  31. Stewman
    March 31, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    No offense to the Choc. drops, but am I suppose to believe that doing 20’s string music is exactly what they want to do, or do 3 struggling musicians see an opportunity and a novelty to make some noise?
    It reeks a bit of marketing. And Im sure it will help them get noticed and on the “Leno’s of the world.

  32. M.C.
    March 31, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Kelly–Your last comments about CCD proves why any individual trying to put hard borders around what constitues ‘straight-ahead country’ is a slippery place to stand. There are certainly a number of scholars who would argue that there’s nothing purer in country music than a string band in the tradition the Chocolate Drops draw on. Of course it’s rooted in folk music; country music came from folk music and once was listed in the folk record charts. There also was a time when country purists like George D. Hay argued that acts like Roy Acuff and the Carter Family weren’t pure country because they had vocals. That sounds ridiculous now, but so have most arguments about what “straight-ahead” country would be. Usually it’s just an argument for whatever the previous generation offered up as country music while criticizing whatever is on the charts now. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” now tops most polls concerning the greatest country song of all-time, but when it came out, there were purists who criticized Billy Sherrill’s string arrangement and said that it was bastardized pop-country. A lot of those we look to as country icons today were criticized in their time as altering the music too much. That doesn’t make the argument about what is and isn’t country wholly irrelevant; but just about anytime someone decides they know what “straight-ahead country” in this day and age, they tend to be holding too small of a box.

  33. Jon
    March 31, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    So, if my post wasn’t clear enough, I hope M.C.’s is, because that’s the point. Country music started as a broad, heterogenous genre, constructed in large part as a marketing move, and has been that way ever since. See fine scholarly works such as Pete Peterson’s _Creating Country Music_ for details. If Urban’s comments deserve any criticism, it’s for stating the obvious – obvious, that is, to anyone with possession of more than the most superficial “actual facts” about country music and its rich, diverse history.

    As for this, from Stewman: “No offense to the Choc. drops, but am I suppose to believe that doing 20’s string music is exactly what they want to do…”

    The answer is, until you have some reason to believe otherwise, yes. There are, in fact, thousands of young musicians doing 20s string music and having a fine time with it. The Chocolate Drops’ race gets them extra attention, but that’s hardly their fault.

  34. Jim Malec
    March 31, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Interesting to see yet another debate on what is and ain’t country crop up here at the same time as the Artist Spotlight on the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who play a kind of country music from which Hank Williams’ is at least as far as Urban’s is from Hank’s.

    The only way that makes sense is if we place CCD’s music chronologically prior to Hank’s and call Hank’s stylistically divergent from that which came before it. In that case, we can compare the distance from A to B and from B to C.

    Still, I do get your point, Jon, and I do think there’s some truth to your view on this issue. But I also think you’re ignoring certain technical realities to a point in order to make a very broad, relativist argument.

    I believe in relativism to a point, but if we were to make a list of the attributes that makes up CCD’s music and then make an identical list for Urban’s and Hank’s, I’m certain that we’d find more similarities between CCD and Hank than Urban and Hank.

    That doesn’t prove that Urban isn’t country, but I just feel like you’re so set into this idea that we can’t make any firm determinations about what constitutes Country Music that you overlook (intentionally or not) certain elements of the larger picture.

    Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I don’t think it’s difficult or dangerous to conclude that CCD’s music is more similar to Hank than Keith Urban’s.

  35. Jim Malec
    March 31, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Country music started as a broad, heterogenous genre, constructed in large part as a marketing move, and has been that way ever since.

    Well, in terms of a commercial format, yes. But that statement implies that the elements of the music (and in some cases the music itself) didn’t exist prior to the creation of the genre, and I don’t think that’s true.

    Maybe it depends on where an individual chooses to recognize the beginning of country music. And I guess I’m of the opinion that the commercial format was built (even if in an altered state) on various traditions that we can trace back to (in part) the type of music CCD makes.

    Of course, there are many streams that feed into what that genre was and what it would become. But even as broad as those may be, we can look at where and why those streams bleed into each other.

  36. Jon
    April 1, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Well, yeah, Jim; contemporary performances of older styles don’t make those styles more contemporary. And while you may be certain that Urban’s music is mo’ different from Hank’s than Hank’s was from the string band styles of the 20s, I’m not – and while you’re probably more familiar with Urban’s music than I, I’m probably more familiar with the other two than you are. Call it a wash, if you like. The essential point is that the differences between those latter two are considerable, and that illustrates the fact that country music has been a dynamic, heterogenous field. Contrary to your reduction of my view, that doesn’t make it impossible to make firm determinations about what is or isn’t country music, but it should make one cautious about dishing up simplistic, snap judgments.

    Your second post is mostly just bizarre. Country music “as a commercial format” came into existence in the marketplace of the 1920s, and did so as an amalgam of disparate styles and sounds tied together by a set of choices that had to do with many things besides how the music sounded. Eck Robertson, Jimmie Rodgers, Vernon Dalhart, Ernest V. Stoneman, Uncle Dave Macon and the Carter Family all sounded rilly different; all were country music pioneers, and all were making records before the even broader diversification of the 30s got under way.

    The takeaway from any inquiry into the history of country music is that it’s a broad genre with room for many different sounds and styles, and social and commercial considerations can’t be removed from the picture. The idea that Urban isn’t a country musician is pretty ludicrous, and his remarks were thoroughly unexceptionable.

  37. Kelly
    April 1, 2009 at 9:11 am

    “The idea that Urban isn’t a country musician is pretty ludicrous, and his remarks were thoroughly unexceptionable.”

    Again, since you arent explaining yourself as clear as you seem to think, I am not sure if the above comment as directed at my previous comments or not. Regardless, you have provided little “evidence” to suggest that Urban is as “country” as you claim he is. At no point in this discussion has anyone, espeically me, suggested that “country music” isnt a broad term or that its easily definied. Simply because there have been a multitude of styles of country music from the genre’s origin doesnt cement Urban’s Country credentials anymore than it does George Strait’s or Jimmie Rodgers or anyone else who is without question, “Country”. Obviously, I am not saying that in no way is Urban country at all, I have only said that the difference between him and many pop artists are very small and at times, indistinguishable, which can be said for many “contempo-country” artists.

  38. Josh
    April 1, 2009 at 9:45 am

    I have to agree w/stewman on this: KU is a very exciting endeavor to watch and I always feel perked up whenever he comes on live. I still can’t get over his ability to rip off fretboards so easily, but from the looks of all that firework, you KNOW he paid his dues to get to where he is. As for the country label, I do acknowledge that he isn’t entirely country by image or sound, but this is all just country music headquarter’s advertisement/strategy to stay on top of the big game. I too would perhaps sell my soul to the devil if I could have any of KU’s prowess. :P But of course, I’ve only been playing for 2 years, so that’s roughly 2 decades of work I gotta get going. Well…back to work *jamming*

  39. Jon
    April 1, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    “Obviously, I am not saying that in no way is Urban country at all…”

    So that was some other Kelly who made the opening comment in this thread?

    I don’t need to present evidence to claim that Urban is a country artist; it’s everywhere. You’re the one who made a claim that begs support.

  40. Kelly
    April 1, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Again, I never said he “isnt” country, as I have agreed that he fits into the “contemporary country” category. Jon, I would suggest actually reading the comment before responding based upon your assertion of what a comment may have meant and instead, comment on what it actually said. My jocular first comment said the he doesnt sound “Country” it was obviously a joke. It was you that interrupted a discussion stemming from Urban’s own remarks about the mulit-faceted nature of Country music in order to again try and tell someone how severely misguided you think they are…again. My claim of Urban sounding very pop and not very country is quite evident by merely listening to his albums, therefore a need for further clarification is non-existent.

  41. Jon
    April 1, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Kelly, your joke turned on the notion that Urban’s music “sounds nothing like country,” and agreeing that “he fits into the ‘contemporary country’ category” is, according to your own posts in this thread, little more than another way of saying the same thing. You’ve admitted to being confused about the whole idea of “contemporary country,” you’ve argued that the very idea of Urban playing any kind of country is a legitimate topic of discussion, you’ve suggested that the string band music that forms a large part of country’s earliest styles might not be “truly country,” and on and on. This kind of self-contradiction and incoherence (and, btw, belligerence) is pretty typical of the arguments advanced by those who resist the notion that country music does not, nor has it ever had, clear, simple, easily observed boundaries that can be defined solely by what the music sounds like. Those who advance (whether explicitly or implicitly) such arguments might want to consider learning a bit more and taking a more, ah, nuanced approach to the matter.

  42. Kelly
    April 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Thats fine, Jon, I would suggest that much of your argument shares the same belligerent and incoherent qualities that you say mine has contained. As I have now said many times, I fully recognize the many forms of country, even if I am at times confused by some of the alleged definitions. You obviously choose to ignore much of my comments content, and I guess I’ll just accept that. I could sit here and repeat why I think you have misunderstood a point here or may be wrong on another point there, but that is useless at this juncture.

    After all of that I will say that when I used the term “truly country”, in retrospect, I shouldve used a term like “purely or only country”. I was referring to acts that blend mutliple styles, and I didnt meant to suggest that those acts werent memebers of the Country community, as I fully believe they are.

  43. Stormy
    April 1, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    “What I’ve always wanted is that when people ask ‘What music do you play?’ and I say, ‘Country music,’ they say: ‘Oh, yeah? What kind?’ ”

    He’s probably less fond when people follow that up with “Oh, you mean the kind that sucks.”

  44. john smith
    April 19, 2009 at 10:20 am

    You guys & girls are arguing over urbans music not being “country” , I got one better for yall, Sheila E the drummer from some crappy group from the 80’s trying to sing a country song . Uhg . I saw the vid on CMT & felt like pulling my eyes & ears off. Now that’s a valid argument. She just plain sucks and shouldn’t be trying to be a country singer …

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