Oak Ridge Boys Team Up with Cracker Barrel; AKUS in NYC; New Eilen Jewell Video

Juli Thanki | August 5th, 2011

  • Chet Flippo on women in country music: The recent furor over the revelation that the Top 30 of Billboard‘s hot country songs chart had no solo women artists for the first time in recent recorded history comes as no huge news. One main reason: There are relatively few solo women working successfully in country music today, just as has always been the case.
  • The nominees for this year’s International Bluegrass Music Awards will be announced Wednesday, August 17. Doyle Lawson, Russell Moore, Josh Williams, and Sierra Hull will be hosting the press conference (held at the Loveless Barn); then the hosts will play Music City Roots that night.
  • Speaking of Hull and her band Highway 111, banjo player/guitarist/vocalist Zach Gilmer has committed himself to the group for the “next year or so.”
  • The Bluegrass Blog has the title track and debut single from the upcoming Junior Sisk and Rambler’s Choice album, expected to drop in the fall.
  • The Oak Ridge Boys are teaming up with Cracker Barrel to release It’s Only Natural on September 19.
  • Need a pie chart depiction of the elements in an authentic bluegrass song? Yes, you do.
  • History buff Taylor Swift’s “Mean” was nominated for new MTV’s Video Music Awards category “Best Video with a Message.”
  • Eilen Jewell’s Queen of the Minor Key is my favorite album of the summer. Check out the video for “Warning Signs.”

  1. Gator
    August 5, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Uh oh does this mean that Taylor is going to start using American History metaphors?

  2. Juli Thanki
    August 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    What rhymes with Teapot Dome Scandal?


  3. Barry Mazor
    August 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Me got Rome sandals?

  4. Ken Morton, Jr.
    August 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Motorcycle handles. Or more romantic… One hundred candles.

  5. Ben Foster
    August 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Lord, I can’t stand that new Chris Cagle song.

  6. J.R. Journey
    August 5, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    This week’s Nashville Skyline is my favorite yet. Thanks for the link.

  7. Rick
    August 5, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Having seen Sierra Hull and her band perform live recently, I’m happy to hear Zach is sticking around awhile. There is a real synergy working in that band of highly talented musicians right now and the young’uns are among the best pickers! It’s darn near magic I tell you! (lol)Go Sierra!

    Chet Flippo’s article today is one of his best efforts thus far. Since I started following the Top 40 charts weekly about 2003 the average percentage of female artists / female fronted groups in the Top 20 has steadily dropped to a current average of about 10 to 15%. If it weren’t for the emergence of Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, and the Band Perry in the last few years the situation would be far worse. The major labels keep signing and promoting new female artists but the odds of them becoming Top 20 regulars is darn near zero, although signing with Scott Borchetta improves the odds quite a bit. I’m really rooting for Sunny Sweeney to get back into the Top 10, but “Stayin’s Worse Than Leavin'” doesn’t seem to be the song to accomplish that. Dang…

    I really like the concept of what Laura Cantrell does, but the end product just doesn’t move me. There is just something in Laura’s vocals (and Eilen Jewell’s as well) that doesn’t grab nor hold my ADHD level attention.

    What, no mention of the Dex Romweber Duo today? What the hell is going on here?…(lol)

  8. Leeann Ward
    August 6, 2011 at 6:20 am

    I know what you mean about Laura and Eilen, Rick. I actually enjoy both of them particularly because of their sound, but listening to them for long stretches doesn’t work for me, especially in the car. Eilen and her band put on a highly energetic and entertaining show, however. I couldn’t recommend it enough.

  9. idlewildsouth
    August 6, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I’m calling it now…Taylor Swift will reference an Ex as being a Benedict Arnold on her next album.

  10. Jon
    August 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Why on earth would anyone want to make fun of someone else for reading books about history?

  11. idlewildsouth
    August 7, 2011 at 12:40 am

    In all sincerity, I have no problem with someone reading books about history. I am currently re-reading Co. Aytch myself. I just enjoy making snarky comments about Taylor Swift in general.

  12. Jon
    August 7, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Why you gotta be so mean?

  13. idlewildsouth
    August 7, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Because I’m a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life. Because being mean to someone (or, criticizing someone’s performance at the job that they willingly chose to pursue) obviously equals being a pathetic, lonely liar. It couldn’t be that that person just has an opinion that happens to hurt the object of their critiques feelings.

  14. Jon
    August 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    In your mind, making snarky comments in general about someone – and about her interest in earning about the history of her country in particular – is the same as criticizing her job performance?

  15. Barry Mazor
    August 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Apparently, the problem is supposed to be that Ms. Swift often refers to her own experiences and knowledge in what she writes, which may not always gel 100% of those of the listener. If we have more of that sort of thing, eventually, literacy, even songwriting might just break out, when we could, instead, just be sharing a longneck–again.

  16. nm
    August 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Now she’s gonna start to do Steve-Earle-type history songs, right?

  17. Barry Mazor
    August 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Or Scott Miller type history songs?

  18. idlewildsouth
    August 7, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I’m saying I take issue with the undertones of that particular song and what it says. It tells people that if someone criticizes it means that they are all of those things. It couldn’t mean that they are saying something that is true. No matter anyones opinion of Taylor Swifts art, the fact that she has pitch problems cannot be denied.

    Realistically, it was a random snarky comment about something, not an indictment of Taylor Swifts interest, so we can save everyone the time and energy of the back and forth with a quick laugh at a random comment that was made in jest.

    In other news, I hope they are more in the Scott Miller realm. I thoroughly enjoy Steve Earle, but I enjoy the production of and the subtle cleverness of Miller over Earle.

  19. bambi
    August 8, 2011 at 1:02 am

    @idlewildsouth Funny. I absolutely agree with you on the undertones of the song Mean, but it’s so deliciously juvenile! Who can resist? And the irony of it– it’s mean! It’s one of a very few songs of hers I enjoy.

    I also enjoy snarky comments on this thread. . .

  20. Jon
    August 8, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Realistically, it was a random snarky comment about something, not an indictment of Taylor Swifts interest, so we can save everyone the time and energy of the back and forth with a quick laugh at a random comment that was made in jest.

    If the comment had been funny, I might have laughed. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

  21. nm
    August 8, 2011 at 9:08 am

    I’m thinking of something akin to “Mean” but told from Rachel Jackson’s point of view. Or, you know, “Battle of New Orleans” but with Dolley Madison getting George Washington’s portrait out of the White House. The possibilities are endless.

  22. Matt Bjorke
    August 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    If people think “Mean” is juvenile, wonder what they think of “Country Music Jesus” from Eric Church, a song that he wrote in response to critics. From Eric himself:

    ‘”Country Music Jesus” is more tongue-in-cheek than it seems. I got really tired of a lot of the older reporters always looking for the next Johnny Cash or Waylon – I heard one of them use the actual like about “saving the formant’s soul.” So, this one’s a little bit of a dig at people who say you have to have the steel guitar and a banjo. Why’s that arule? why do we have to make the same music we made in the 50s?…’

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