McGraw and Jackson Added to CMA Music Fest; Country’s Bad Rap; Industry Veteran Jim Halsey Releases New Book
- Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Billy Currington, and Kellie Pickler are the latest entertainers added to the CMA Music Fest lineup.
- I missed the release of Chris King‘s new, six-song Bexar County EP in Tuesday’s new release list. (iTunes)
- Top Country Albums Even Country Haters Should Own
- CMT’s Craig Shelburne introduced the new black-and-white, acoustic video for Easton Corbin‘s debut hit “A Little More Country Than That.”
- When you’re thinking about classic country songwriters, don’t forget Gordon Lightfoot. The Tennessean‘s Peter Cooper interviewed the 71-year-old songwriter, who plays the Ryman on Saturday.
- Simmy Richman claims that country music has a bad rap in England and in his article for The Independent, titled “Another Country: Why everything you thought you knew about cowboy music is wrong,” he argues that the blame belongs to mainstream Nashville.
“In Nashville, country is presented as something not dynamic and backward-looking – like stamp collecting,” says [BJ] Cole. “The cowboy hats and line-dancing associations have become something to be laughed at.”
“Mainstream Nashville is obsessed with money and commercialism,” says [Hank] Wangford. “Acts get huge by essentially playing AOR [adult-oriented rock], and the machine pretends that any artist making mid-tempo rock music while wearing a cowboy hat is a country act.”
“The main hurdle I have to overcome is getting over the word ‘country’,” says Paul Spencer, curator and organiser of Maverick, the UK’s only festival dedicated to this music. “Like ‘folk’, it’s a word with negative connotations, but this music is an authentic combination of folk, gospel and the blues and, apart from the DJ Bob Harris, it gets no exposure in the UK.”
- My Kind of Country: Do you think the current direction of country music could be reversed if the right artist came along, or have the changes been too fundamental?
- The Bluegrass Blog highlighted the new book Kentucky’s Bluegrass Music, which features more than 200 images of bluegrass’ most famous and not-so-famous practitioners. Be sure to click through to view pictures of young, mustachioed Ricky Skaggs with Jerry Douglas in the band Boone Creek, an adolescent Chris Thile taking a lesson from Bill Monroe, and Marty Stuart as a youngster performing with Lester Flatt.
- The new albums from Josh Thompson and Sarah Buxton made relatively high debuts for new artists with respective sales of 15,000 and 8,000 units.
- Behind-the-scenes music industry veteran Jim Halsey released a new book titled Starmaker: How To Make It In The Music Business.
- With no available action figure, Country California’s C.M. Wilcox had to make do with a print-out of Jamey Johnson for his photographic adventures with the bearded savior of country music.
- Radio station KNBT FM out of New Braunfels, Texas is hosting a contest for a Crazy Heart guitar, which means it’s the guitar used in the film. Actually, I made that last part up, but the guitar is autographed by Jeff Bridges, T Bone Burnett, and Ryan Bingham.
- Janice Brooks: Hopes somebody gets those memos about drinking songs. Meanwhile I'm feeling a lot of slots with Bluegrass.
- Leeann: Great news about Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White's duet album! Absolutely appalling about the Keith Urban concert!! Both the rape and …
- bob: I found the Billboard article about country music radio needing an alcohol intervention interesting. Songwriter Adam Wright is quoted as …
- Matt: Definitely agree with C.M. about Maddie & Tae. Certainly not the tidal wave of change some claimed it is or …
- Dave D.: Good stuff, as always. My copy of Producing Country arrived yesterday, and it looks to be as good as …
- Scooter: I agree Holly Williams can do no wrong in my eyes. Such a good album and great to see live …
- Carrie Mclaughlin: Your my Hero Mr. Jim Lauderdale!!! Come to Alaska Please? hehehehe
- Jeremy Dylan: You should check it out Dave D. It's from the first (and strongest) season.
- Leeann: Wow! I love that Holly William's cover of "No Surrender"! She's gotten to be so good.
- luckyoldsun: I made it through a minute of that "Girl In a Country Song Video." Man, that sucks.