Hank Jr. Continues Monday Night Football Partnership

Brody Vercher | July 28th, 2008

  • Since 1989, Monday Night Football has been associated with Hank Williams Jr.‘s “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” and this season will continue the tradition. The 59 year-old singer will shoot the new video next month in Los Angeles, and each week will feature team specific lyrics.
  • Twenty years ago the Dallas Observer launched their first music awards in an effort “to narrow the odds a bit in favor of locally created sounds,” and like Hank Jr.’s Monday Night Football tradition, this one is still going strong. Eleven Hundred Springs turned out be this year’s big winners, taking the award in each category they were nominated, including: Best Band, Best Album, Best Country/Roots Act and lead singer Matt Hillyer took the honors for Best Male Vocalist.
  • Dixie Chick fiddle and mandolin ace Martie Maguire gave birth to her and husband Gareth’s third daughter, Harper Rosie Maguire, last Friday in Austin, TX.
  • The Sun Chronicle’s Matt Kakley reports that concert-goers attending Saturday’s New England Country Music Festival at Gillette Stadium were arrested by the busload for everything from underage drinking and disorderly conduct to assault and battery. However, Hope Fertitta says the show itself, headlined by Kenny Chesney, did not disappoint.
  • In my experience of reading Chris Neal’s album reviews for Country Weekly I’ve found he’s generally stingy with his stars, and rightfully so. So it should not be taken lightly that Willie Nelson‘s Stardust: Legacy Edition received the five-star treatment.

    Following the breakthrough of the Outlaw movement in the mid-1970s, Willie Nelson had earned the right to make whatever sort of music he pleased. To the horror of his record label, the guy who had just established himself as a rough-and-ready rebel chose to record Stardust, an album of 1920s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s pop standards produced by R&B organist Booker T. Jones.

  • Melodic Sunburst shines the light on three acts who won’t ever be classified as traditional country singers, but, one way or another, have country connections: Rachel Williams, Rick Huckaby and Jon Nite.
  • Despite the portrayal of Laura Fedor, of duo Laura & Sophie, in a negative light on Nashville Star this season, NashvilleHype!’s Paul King believes she has the maturity and potential to be a great success.
  • Sugarland feels that the diversity of their influences and material is actually what gives them their distinctive identity. Commenting on the tendency for country songwriters to copy their hits and stick with what works, Kristian Bush says:

    “Eventually what you get is: ‘I can’t figure out which George Strait record to buy because I don’t know which song is on which record. All 50 of them are great, but you can’t tell them apart.'”

  • The Byrds founding member Chris Hillman looks back at the ’60s differently than he did at the time. “It was great in the early days,” he said. “But in 1968, things took a sharp edge. Drugs got real ugly. When my generation stomped on traditional family values, we were throwing out such wonderful things that had kept civilization vibrant.” He’s played in numerous bands over the years, including the Flying Burrito Brothers with Gram Parsons, and the Eagles, but he remains most proud of his country group, the Desert Rose Band. (via ggcolumn)
  • Del McCoury says he hesitated to record his Moneyland project for fear that people would think it was political, but he tells Peter Cooper that if he can “in a little, small way, get people to thinking about the way things are today, then that would be a good thing.”
  • In an effort to continue to present older stars and classic country music the Grand Ole Opry announced that they’ll be adding Thursday night performances to their schedule next year.
  • Click on the “music” section of Jeffrey Steele‘s website to hear samples of his take on country classics like “Behind Closed Doors” and “Night Life” from his Countrypolitan album.
  1. Stormy
    July 28, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Anyone else think that Kristian Bush needs to build a bridge so he can get over himself?

  2. Jenna Vercher
    July 28, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Wow I cannot believe Kristian said that!!! That just proves he doesn’t care about country music being country music.

  3. Chris N.
    July 28, 2008 at 11:56 am

    I’m famous! Whoo!

    I’ve recently decided to be less stingy with the stars, actually. I’m starting to think of five stars as less “inarguable perfection” and more “it fully accomplishes what it sets out to do.”

  4. Chris D.
    July 28, 2008 at 11:56 am

    No, I think he sees that you can make country music but make it distinguished from other songs. He’s not saying anything about country music being bad, he’s just saying that they (sugarland) like to let their music change over time and evolve, and they like that style better.

    And they have done that, their music sounds different on their new album, so if you played a song from that album, it wouldn’t fit as well with material on Enjoy the Ride.

  5. leeann
    July 28, 2008 at 11:59 am

    I see Christian Bush’s point, but that was a pretty bold and probably stupid thing for an aspiring country singer to say about someone who has been dubbed King George. I bet he wishes he had kept that thought to himself.

  6. Brody Vercher
    July 28, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    In other words, the Chris Neal Barometer is being re-tuned and everyone else needs to adjust accordingly.

  7. Chris D.
    July 28, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    The thing is he wasn’t really criticizing George, Kristian said himself in the quote that the songs are great. I agree with him that they do sound very similar to each other, though they are good songs. He was just pointing out the difference between Sugarland’s musical approach and the approaches of other people to their music, that Sugarland tries to make each song or album sound different than their others.

  8. Stormy
    July 28, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    He could at least elaborate as to how “Nobody in His Right Mind Would Have Left her” sounds anything like “Run” or how either sound like “Marina Del Ray” or “How Bout Them Cowgirls.”

  9. Stephen H.
    July 28, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Through the Nashville Hype link, I stumbled across Laura’s MySpace. She has a really good song on there called “This Time,” even if it does feature harmony vocals from Tommy Stanley.

  10. hairandtoenails
    July 28, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Kristian Bush’s comments are absurd. I have no problem distinguishing George Strait songs. Any half-informed country fan can distinguish “Shiftwork” from “I Can Still Make Cheyenne.” Bush should give fans a bit more credit.

    Also, contrary to Bush, the fan faced with the problem of not knowing which CD to buy because “All 50 of them are great” is in a good situation. The fan, no matter what he buys, will get a good record. That’s the kind of problem I’d like to have.

  11. Stephen H.
    July 28, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Kristian Bush and John Rich should start a side-project duo where they never actually release any music, they just see how often each can put their foot in their mouth.

  12. Matt B.
    July 28, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Kristian obviously meant something different than what comes across in that quote. But taken out of context it could sound as bad as it does. Being that his band is ‘pop-country’ he’s opened himself up for criticism.

    Leeann, would you call Sugarland “aspiring” when they’ve sold over 4 million records?

  13. Kelly
    July 28, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    I know I’ll get killed here, so bring it on, but for a guy that most likely gets confused as “Jennifer Nettles guitar player”, Bush sure does seem to talk a whole hell of a lot! I know he helps write and assists with the odd strutting around the stage as he rocks his acoustic guitar during a very loud, electric number, but man, he neds to tone it down a tad. He should also keep Trick Pony’s number handy so he can call them and ask what to do when the hot, talented part of the group leaves him with nothing…

  14. Kelly
    July 28, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    …also, in Dallas, when The Observer hands out the yearly music awards, most of the honors usually go to generic, hipster, indie-rock acts. Given that 1100 Springs won the big prizes (not to mention Doug Burr winning song of the year for “Slow Southern Home”), it says a lot on how far this area has come to embrace country as a part of the “scene”, versus country being forced to operate inside of its own “scene”, seperate from the larger, more general “dallas music scene”

  15. leeann
    July 28, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Well, I suppose aspiring was an understatement on my part. I don’t see them as superstars yet though. They’re not cemented like someone like…let say…George Strait.

  16. Matt B.
    July 28, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Leeann,

    That’s true, they’re not ‘superstars’ yet like George. I am sure, though, that they’ll bring in more people to a show than say, Carrie Underwood.

  17. Craig R.
    July 28, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Bush’s comments reminds me of the comment one of the Dixie Chicks made about ” Not wanting any of Reba’s fans.” It is a comment made by a group without a sense of history or respect. I am sick of the new “country artist” not respecting the older country artist. Thinking that they are bringing a new sound to country when all they are doing is using country to promote their own brand of lame pop music.
    Why is country music a haven for failed pop singers,for groups that think a fiddle, a steel guitar, and a Southern accent is country, and for pretty young men and women who have not earned the right(with one or two hit songs) to be promoted, fawned over, and allowed to sing on the Orpy?
    Is it really just a money issue? Does coutry radio really think that playing the same songs over and over again ( bland, general, and insulting)is a way to keep up with the times? Are record labels really not concerned with the fact that they are debasing an original form of American music? A great many country acts are to country what Kenny G. is to jazz.
    I also wonder why every video has pretty blond people singing pretty stupid music? I wonder if Hank, Sr. or Patsy Cline or George Jones, or even Garth Brooks would have been pretty enough for today’s country music.
    In the end it is really the fan’s fault for not caring or knowing enough about country music to protest these interlopers who now think they can lambast country music greats. Someone with a some country backbone needs shout down these people.

  18. Jim Malec
    July 28, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Bush isn’t saying anything about GS that hasn’t already been said. It’s a cliche that Strait makes the same album every year.

  19. leeann
    July 28, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Craig,

  20. Thomas
    July 28, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    christian bush comes across best when he sticks to oral contributions like in “life in a northern town”. he seems to be a little behind his partner when it comes to growing into these “superstar-boots” on their feet.

  21. Jeff
    July 28, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Sugarland wont be around in 5 years while GS will be pushing 60+ #1’s.

  22. Chris N.
    July 28, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    “Bush’s comments reminds me of the comment one of the Dixie Chicks made about ‘Not wanting any of Reba’s fans.'”

    It reminds me of that too — in that both quotes are easily misconstrued. Kristian is saying that Strait does the same thing very well over and over, whereas Sugarland hopes to explore a wide stylistic range; and the Chick in question (Martie or Emily, I can’t recall which) was just saying they wanted to be a band that inspired devoted listeners rather than casual ones.

  23. Chris N.
    July 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    And yes, I do hope everyone will go ahead and retune your barometers to match mine.

  24. leeann
    July 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    I have to agree with Jim here. I’ve heard that statement about Strait countless times. I really like much of Strait’s music, but he all too often crosses the fine line of stability into blandness and sameness. Sure, not all of his songs sound exactly the same, but I get the feeling that he’s kind of bored with this whole thing sometimes.

    Craig, as far as the Dixie Chicks, I definitely understand why Reba fans would be offended by Marty’s comment, but I don’t think the can be put in the category of country music posers. Their records, especially their first three, were decidedly within the confines of the genre and even more traditional than much of what was and is being played on radio these days. I don’t think their fiddles and steel guitars were obligatory.

    Ultimately though, I just think Bush probably should have been careful because the jury, apparently, is still out on Sugarland’s commitment to the genre. So, saying anything that could be perceived as negative about one of country music’s icons isn’t the best way to facilitate good will toward them.

    To Matt,
    I don’t know if Sugarland are considered to be quite the superstars that Carrie is at this point. Maybe someday, but not quite yet.

  25. Stormy
    July 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Craig: Except that the Chick’s comment came on the heels of Reba being busted for buying a #1 spot for her single.

  26. leeann
    July 28, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Stormy, I’m not aware of what you’re talking about.

  27. Stormy
    July 28, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    “Somebody” only reached #1 because MCA purchased a bunch of late night ad space to spin it in.

  28. Katie
    July 28, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Bush has always been candid in interviews, and I like that that hasn’t changed as Sugarland has become more famous. It’s so boring to read the same BS over and over. I don’t necessarily think every country artist has to worship at the altar of George Strait, but I do think Bush is pretty clearly praising Strait’s consistency, and just pointing out a difference in the philosophy of creating albums.

  29. leeann
    July 28, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    I don’t think anyone should worship at the alter of Strait either; I just think that many country music fans think otherwise. So, this could pose a problem for Bush. I more see his comment to be like Vince’s comment about Alan Jackson, wich inspired the Like Red On A Rose album, rather than the Marty McGuire comment. Obviously, Vince didn’t mean anything insulting by what he said, but it got Alan to think, though I didn’t particularly enjoy the result. It’s just that Bush isn’t George’s peer like Vince is Alan’s.

  30. Jim Malec
    July 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    I agree with Katie on this. I mean, we criticize artists a LOT for not having personality, for not breaking out the corporate box…and then, when someone does, we talk about why they shouldn’t have. I say kudos to you, KB. Speak whatever is on your mind.

  31. Rick
    July 28, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Chris, PLEASE don’t inflate your CW album rating scale! If something is currently rated at 4 stars or higher I figure it might be worth listening to, and now I’ll have to start from scratch…(lol)

    Paul King’s article on the Laura half of “Sophie & Laura” is quite interesting. I applaud the fact they were so successful in pissing off John the Jackass and Jewel simultaneously! This whole season of Nashville Star deserves a bill roll of the eyes for being so pathetic….

    The article about the arrests at the Kenny Cheesey concert demonstrates typical “Airhead Country” fan behavior when a group of them congregate together…

    Congratulations to 1100 Springs for the Dallas area kudos. I will put my head on the chopping block here and say that after purchasing “Country Jam” I feel they need a lead singer with a better voice. A voice like that may be embraced in Texas but would be a harder sell elsewhere. I like the songs on “Jam” but find the vocals a real distraction and keep wondering what they’d sound like with a great vocalist. But that’s just me…

    I picked up a used demo copy of Rick Huckaby’s “Just Call Me Huck” for about a buck and after listening a time or two threw it away. Rick is a competent bluesy guitarist, but the word “derivative” just kept popping into my mind…

  32. Chris N.
    July 28, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Here’s a story on the “paid spins” issue:

    http://tinyurl.com/5e67se

  33. Chris N.
    July 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Rick — I don’t think the distance between 3 and 4 stars will be any different, but I’d just like to put a shorter distance between 4 and 5. A 4-star record will still be a hearty recommendation on my part.

  34. Hollerin' Ben
    July 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Rick,
    regarding 1100 Springs I couldn’t disagree with you more. I’m interested to hear in what ways you think Hillyer’s vocals could be improved upon. Hillyer’s tone is warm and pretty, but also distinct, and his phrasing is, I think, great. All around exceptional singer for my money. What about the vocals were distracting and what kind of singer would you have replace him (obviously, of course, you could never replace Matt Hillyer in 1100 Springs)

  35. Kelly
    July 28, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Ben, I am with you and think that his voice fits perfectly with their sound. Moreover, I get a bit bugged with “vocalist” talk sometimes. If Hillyer’s voice is a regionally acquired taste, then that says more negative about areas outside of texas than inside of it, Rick. Gary LeVox is probably a technically better vocalist than Hillyer,Ryan Bingham, Bleu Edmondson, Cody Canada, Willy Braun and almost any other great frontman from these parts, but what does that have to do with the quality of the overall product?

  36. Stormy
    July 28, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Katie: But an artist who has yet to put out ONE consistantly good album should be careful when critisizing an artist who has put out 30-40 good consistantly good albums.

  37. Brady Vercher
    July 28, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    I think if we view Bush’s comment in the most harmless light, as simply highlighting the difference between what Sugarland is doing and what George Strait has done, that it’s still incredibly short sighted and a bit arrogant.

    They’ve released three albums compared to Strait’s 25, and if they think they’re going to be around long enough to get to 25 and still be considered country, no one, other than hardcore fans, is gonna know which song belongs to which album. Afterall, common criticism of their second album revolved around it not showing much growth.

    Bush’s comment also places an emphasis on uniqueness and seems to equate it with quality, which isn’t the case.

    The criticism that Strait’s albums are similar is valid, but making the statement in comparison to themselves, I don’t think it’s a smart thing to say. A lot of Bush’s comments have been puzzling me lately, though, so it’s nothing new.

  38. Jim Malec
    July 28, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    I think Hillyer’s voice is very generic.

    Now I’ll duck as the bullets start to fly.

  39. Rick
    July 28, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Jim, thanks for providing me some cover! (lol)

    I had not heard of 1100 Springs before The 9513 and bought their CD based upon the praise heaped upon it here. When I first started listening my thoughts were hmmm a nice synthesis of Sir Douglas Quintet Texas Tornadoes, Flaco Jimenez, and good old Texas honky tonk with a singer like Joe Ely! I would love to hear Wade Hayes fronting this band! Singers like Kevin Fowler can thrive in Texas that just won’t cut it in markets used to Top 40 commercial country voices. I still think 1100 Springs is a fine band badly in need of a great vocalist with broad appeal outside of the Texas music scene. I like smooth voices on male country singers. Randy Travis and Ricky Van Shelton are my preference, not the Guy Clark and Townes Van Zant types….

  40. Hollerin' Ben
    July 28, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    generic in what mold? What other singers could be interchanged with him on the songs for the same effect?

  41. Brody Vercher
    July 28, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Something all the voices possess, that you claim to not like Rick, is character. I guess you Californians, except for Ben here, wouldn’t know anything about that.

    I kid, I kid. However, I don’t think Hillyer sounds anything like Ely, Clark, or Van Zandt, either. I’ll agree that Van Zandt wasn’t the best vocalist and Ely is probably an acquired taste, but when you drag Clark into the mix you’re talking about the man as far as I’m concerned, and then I have to leave a comment.

  42. leeann
    July 28, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    “Katie: But an artist who has yet to put out ONE consistantly good album should be careful when critisizing an artist who has put out 30-40 good consistantly
    good albums.”

    There are a few of Strait’s albums that I could live without, including his current one. I bought it and feel I wasted my money. There’s not even one song on it that I really like and there are only a couple that I thought were alright. Then again, I like a ton of Strait songs over all and only moderately like one Sugarlan single so far.

  43. leeann
    July 28, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Rick, I’m surprised to see you say that you really only like smooth voices, since that’s what the “airhead country music”, as you call it, is full of these days. I like smooth voices too, but I also like a good deal of mainstream country music too.

  44. SW
    July 28, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Everybody is blowing the Kristian Bush comment way out of proportion. Nettles and Bush write the vast majority of Sugarland’s songs. On the contrary, George Strait to my knowledge, had a song cut. While, he is the undisputed King in my book, it seems like Bush is making a statement about versatility than quality of music. It seems doubtful that he would ever mean to imply that George Strait’s musical career has been anything less than awe-inspiring. Bush’s comparison isn’t in ability, or quality of music, but its instead a statement on his perception that George Strait has released scores of similar sounding songs, and he would rather have a more diverse body of work.

  45. Dylan Gramm
    July 28, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    I think the fact that Bush says ‘all 50 of them are great’ would probably indicate that he does in fact have respect for Strait and his music.
    I agree with SW.

  46. Lynn
    July 28, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    In a weird way, I think Kristian and Martie were making similar points. They just – unfortunately – both used names that are beloved by some in the country community – Reba and Strait – to make their points.

    Their essential points:

    Kristian: “I want to make distinctive albums. I don’t want to play it safe and release the same album over and over. I don’t want all of our songs to sound the same. I want to grow and change as an artist.” Not a controversial point in and of itself, and one, IMO, to be lauded.

    Martie: “We want to continue to grow as artists and challenge ourselves and make new and interesting music. We don’t want to release the same album over and over. We hope that our fans allow us to do that and will follow us on that path.” Again, not a controversial point in and of itself, and one, IMO, to be lauded.

    I actually think both bands have pursued similar career trajectories. With varying degrees of success, both groups released two very accessible pop-country albums (the second better than the first), before trying something different. For their third album, the Chicks went back to their roots. They moved back to Texas and recorded an acoustic/bluegrass album in Austin. For their third album, Sugarland went back to their roots. They recorded in Atlanta and supposedly went for an acoustic album with bluegrass influences. Both groups also have an appreciation for singer/songwriters and both played the 1999 Lilith Fair. I’m not claiming that their sound is similar (I love the Chicks and I’m not a fan of Sugarland at all), but there are similarities in their approach to their music. Both want to and are willing to take risks.

    I can see Kristian apologizing in the days to come as I’m sure he did not intend to offend George Strait or insult his fans. Just as Martie said in subsequent interviews that she was a huge Reba fan growing up and had all of her albums, and she is still a big fan. The comments I’m sure did not come out as intended. (Of course, no one really cares about the apology – that’s not the good juicy stuff or the catchy soundbite.)

  47. Paul
    July 28, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Thank you for the link… appreciate it.

  48. Jaime
    July 28, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    I like George Strait and I like Sugarland.

    I find it funny that Kristian Bush’s statement is being portrayed as egocentric. Don’t most artists try to sell their work as something new and different? The GS quote painted a sharp picture of what Kristian says he wants to do. As Jim said, at least he’s showing personality.

    Now that Kristian’s put that pressure on himself to be original, he has to get out there and continue to produce innovative songs. And his detractors get to laugh at him if he fails. Sounds like a win-win for fans/nonfans alike.

  49. Thomas
    July 29, 2008 at 4:15 am

    intelligent analysis and comment, lynn

  50. Kelly
    July 29, 2008 at 6:14 am

    Rick and Jim: I obviously disagree that Hillyer’s voice is generic. Again, if it’s a “texas thing” as Rick suggests, then that is a testament to the wide range of talent that this market supports versus the narrow “airhead” range of material that is supported by many other markets that only play Underwood and Urban on their “country” stations. Jim’s suggestion that Hillyer’s voice is generic is odd, since he doesnt sound like anyone else on radio today (texas or elsewhere most likely). I dont buy the “generic” argument. The goal should be to have a distinctive and unique sound, while still actually sounding good, which if you compare 1100 Springs records to other country discs, they clearly do, in my humble opinion.

  51. Jim Malec
    July 29, 2008 at 7:19 am

    I don’t mean generic in that he sounds like everyone else–I mean generic in that his possesses no particularly distinguishing characteristics.

    It’s a very bland voice.

  52. Kelly
    July 29, 2008 at 7:47 am

    Fair enough. I still see it differently. Somehow I bet you’ll still be able to sleep tonight:-)

  53. Jim Malec
    July 29, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Considering the number of Red Bulls I drink when I’m working on artist features (as I am now), sleeping is probably out of the question anyway!

    I still love Country Jam. But it’s like seedless jam, and I prefer organic, what with all the seeds and stems mixed in.

  54. mickster
    July 29, 2008 at 9:13 am

    i think bush actually has a point about george strait records. they DO have a sameness quality to them. i like the guy, too (strait) but let’s face it–george strait is not exactly mr. excitement and genre-busting iconoclast. his albums ARE relatively alike. that doesn’t mean they aren’t good. they just resemble one another. bush is right. many of those songs can be cherry picked from one album and dropped in the middle of another and no one would be the wiser. they fit right in. no disrespect intended–the guy is good at what he does. but that doesn’t mean the records don’t have a same-ness quality to them. they do.

    but i still think bush has a bit of an arrogance problem. dude–you’re done 3 or 4 cds. the sun does not shine out of your own ass. get over yourself and stop reading your own press. and stop taking lessons from john rich. :)

  55. Katie
    July 29, 2008 at 10:58 am

    I think Lynn’s right, and it’s especially worth noting that at the time both artists made those comments, they were bracing for the “not country” criticism of the albums in question. I wish mainstream country artists didn’t have to be quite so defensive of doing anything even remotely outside of the box.

    For the record, I don’t think Sugarland has made anything as good as the Chicks’ last album, but I do think both their first two albums are consistently good. I’m still figuring out how I feel about this one.

  56. Chris N.
    July 29, 2008 at 11:06 am

    What’s so bad about arrogance in the first place? Many of the greatest artists throughout history have been incredibly arrogant.

  57. Brady Vercher
    July 29, 2008 at 11:13 am

    It’s an undesirable personality trait that’s easy to look beyond when you’re a fan or don’t particularly care, but easy fodder for non-fans to latch on to, especially when the arrogance is unwarranted. So I guess it boils down to whether or not you think the arrogance has merit. A lot of my favorite artists can be quite arrogant.

  58. Stormy
    July 29, 2008 at 11:36 am

    As the old saying goes, if you can back it up, its not bragging. But, for Sugarland, its a BIIIGGGG if.

  59. leeann
    July 29, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    The 1100 Springs debate enticed me to listen to clips of their music. I like what I heard quite a bit. I even like the lead’s voice. The only problem I have is that Amazon, where I typically buy my music, only has one album in digital form available, Country Jam.

  60. Brady Vercher
    July 29, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Leeann, I think they only have two albums that aren’t out of print. You can find digital versions of most of their albums on Lone Star Tunes, although I haven’t checked out anything other than Bandwagon or Country Jam, but I’d recommend both. I’m not sure if their previous albums feature the same band members or not or if they’re even worth looking into.

  61. Hollerin' Ben
    July 29, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    their other albums are less polished production wise, and some of them feature earlier versions of songs that appeared on Bandwagon, but if you’re of the opinion that country music needn’t have super polished production to be effective, I’d say they are worth checking out.

  62. leeann
    July 29, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Country Jam is downloading as I write. I’m looking forward to hearing it.

  63. Matt B.
    July 29, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Jamey Johnson’s new record isn’t ‘super polished’

  64. Hollerin' Ben
    July 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I haven’t heard the rest of if, but “In Color” is pretty polished, it definitely does not have a live honky-tonk sound to it.

  65. Matt B.
    July 29, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    I guess compared to ‘live’ it’s polished but it certainly doesn’t have the polished sound of, say, a Dann Huff record.

  66. Hollerin' Ben
    July 29, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    true, and let me say that I don’t think polish is necessarily a bad thing. Pete Anderson produced records are always very polished, but they are also awesome.

    but the early 1100 springs records were self-produced and probably done on a semi-tight budget. that said, the songs and performances are all good, they just sound like honky-tonk performances and not nashville, stadium tour, I have my own sitcom in development, type records.

  67. Matt B.
    July 29, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    I hear ya Ben. I have an early 1100 Springs record (that someone sitting next to me on an airplane suggested back then). I like it. I should look into their music again.

  68. Dylan Gramm
    July 29, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    I suppose you could differentiate between polish and gloss. For example, TOUGH ALL OVER is polished but still retains grit and personality, whereas UP is glossy.

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