Ride Along For Taylor Swift’s Hendersonville Boy Tour

Brody Vercher | March 7th, 2008

  • Jody Rosen of Blender magazine had a chance to ride around with Taylor Swift in her Lexus and wrote an in-depth article on the teen phenom. Rosen calls the experience “Taylor’s Hendersonville Boy Tour.”

    We’re in front of Sam’s, the rake who prompted Swift to write the revenge ballad “Should’ve Said No,” one of the preternaturally catchy songs on her self-titled debut album. Not far away lives Drew, another ex, now off at ­college, who inspired two of Swift’s monster hits, her wistful debut single, “Tim McGraw,” about a thwarted summer romance between a couple who share the same favorite singer, and 2007’s No. 1 country smash “Our Song.” Swift pulls her car over. “I took my prom pictures in that backyard. I’ve totally moved on. Drew’s a great guy, but we’re not really in touch. His girlfriend”–Swift pauses for emphasis–“she’s not much of a Taylor Swift fan.”

  • For some the name Billy Ray Cyrus will always come with the stigma of “Achy Breaky Heart,” but Chet Flippo argues “if you want a genuine glimpse of the man himself, listen to his 1996 song ‘Trail of Tears’.”
  • J. Neas touches on the brief history of what is known as alt-country and says the coincidental deluxe edition re-issue of Whiskeytown’s Stranger’s Almanac and demise of No Depression‘s print magazine makes the changing of the guard “visible and obvious.” (via Twang Nation)
  • Holly Gleason recounts Carlene Carter’s heartbreaking, downward spiral — that included an arrest for heroin in 2001 and four deaths within nine months — and her inspiring rise to get clean and pour her experiences into her songwriting for her new album, Stronger. Steve Horowitz of PopMatters digs it.
  • Brad Paisley and Sugarland lead the list of nominees for the CMT Awards. Here’s the full list of nominees. Unfortunately, Dale Watson didn’t make the list (!).
  • Nashville Scene’s Michael McCall on Alan Jackson’s Good Time:

    Jackson seems to want to strip away all the pretense of song craft and probe the marrow of who he is and what he cares about. The best of these songs aren’t inspired by his life. Instead, they are emphatically about his life–autobiographical down to the smallest detail.

  • Craig Morgan, who recently left Broken Bow Records, announced at CRS that he’s signed a deal with Sony BMG Nashville.
  • I don’t know if it’s the best, but Big Rock Candy Mountain’s “obituary of sorts” has been my favorite tribute to No Depression thus far, mainly because it feels like the author comes from the same place as I do, musically speaking.
  • Jeff G. wrote in to say:

    Just caught the Big & Rich/John Anderson Cross Country on RAVEHD, which was actually way more entertaining than I thought it would be, mainly due to John Anderson’s songs, but also to Big and Rich’s traditionalism (they can turn it on when they want to be traditionalists). What struck me most . . . was how much Big Kenny seems to be aping Todd Snider in his attire. Granted, Todd doesn’t have it copyrighted, and he would probably be one of the first to say he didn’t care, but its pretty striking.

    Nice find, Jeff.

  • If you’re attending SXSW this year and want to meet up for a show or two, drop us a line. We’re always open for a schooling on new bands and such.
  1. Chris N.
    March 7, 2008 at 11:51 am

    No dollar today!

  2. Kelly
    March 7, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    I am so amazingly sick of the doomsday attitude towards “alt. country” that is oddly attributed to the demise of no depression magazine. I did enjoy the magazine, but this whole chicken little mentality being spouted by the aquarium drunkard blog and many other writers and blogs is just plain ignorant and short-sighted. “alt. country” is a made up label to begin with, and the synthetic nature of such a creation is most likely the reason that the title seems to be dated, not the qulaity if music being offered today by what many folks consider “alt. country”. If the giants of “alt. country” (ryan adams, jay fararr, bottle rockets, etc..) still produce great work and we continue to see great work offered by up and comers like Reckless Kelly & Lucero, then I would say the rumors of the death of this brand of music has been greatly exagerated. For the people that want to bemoan the loss of a magazine and disguise it as the loss of an entire brand of music, stop worrying about labels, grow a brain and find great music you like without worrying about what category other people put it in.

  3. Katie
    March 7, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Wait, so the song of Taylor’s that actually namechecks a Drew (“Teardrops on My Guitar”) isn’t about Drew?

  4. Rick
    March 7, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Since Taylor Swift became a media country-pop sensation staring a couple years ago she hasn’t been to high school or had any time to meet new boys. Recently she said she’s open to romance with a boy that’s more interesting than her career, so good luck with that. What can she possibly write new songs about for her next album apart from road songs? How many of her teeny bopper fans will relate to that? Hmmm….

    I’ve grown waery of “Where’s Waldo?”, so its nice to see I can now switch over to “Where’s Dale Watson?” instead! Thanks!

  5. bobby
    March 7, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    i’m retty sure they mixed up what songs were about drew. from other interviews it sounds like just teardrops on my guitar and tim mcgraw is defenitely not about drew. it’s kind of funny that one guy has become famous just because she mentions his name in one song

  6. Brody Vercher
    March 7, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Chris – Dal3 Watson rawks!@$%!11

    Kelly – I’ve never been able to place my finger on what exactly alt-country is, and I only occasionally listen to the artists most often associated with the label, but I think categories (even if they are broad) help gear fans toward music that their most likely to enjoy.

    Katie – I haven’t really listened to much of her music, so I couldn’t answer you (it looks like Bobby can), but I know we have a lot of readers who do like her.

    Rick – I got the same impression when I read she hadn’t dated a guy in two years, and even if she had, do you think another album of ex-bf inspired songs would be as accepted?

  7. Chris N.
    March 8, 2008 at 12:29 am

    In the interest of self-promotion, I’d like to note that several of these issues are addressed in this interview I conducted with Taylor a while back:


  8. Kelly
    March 8, 2008 at 5:52 am

    Thanks Brody, I cant say anyone has ever put a definitive finger on what “alt. country” is (including myself). Thats why I think it’s a lame and unecessary title. I do listen to (and love) a bunch of artists that are considered “alt. country” and thats why it bugs me when writers argue that an entire brand of music is “dead” or “near the end”. While basic labels are clearly needed (Country, Rock & Roll, R & B, Hip-Hop, etc..) there is a point where the labels are more a product of PR than actual necessity. Also, many of the key artists of “alt. country” detest the label and even deny there is such a thing.

  9. Brody Vercher
    March 8, 2008 at 7:20 am

    I agree that the labels have become a product of PR lately. Not too long ago there was a press release claiming Three Doors Down or Coldplay (or someone like that) had roots in “alt-country.” And half the artists who list “country” as their genre on MySpace don’t have anything country about them or their sound. I forget where it was, but an article that I read recently basically said country was the most viable genre left as far as making money goes. Now everyone and their mom wants to be considered country.

  10. Matt B.
    March 8, 2008 at 8:08 am


    The ‘viable’ market is exactly why labels are still cropping up. NY based ‘indies’ like Robbins and Wind-up are taking a shot while Classical label Decca has also taken a shot with a Marcus Hummon produced band (One Flew South). It’s an interesting time for sure but I wonder if Nashville’s truly ready for this.

  11. Lucas
    March 9, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I used to be a Lucero fan, I could just never find any of their stuff!

    MySpace artists listing themselves as “Funk/Crunk/Country” has always been quite the laugh to me. I can understand something like “Acoustic/Christian/Country” but a lot of them just seem like they’re trying to play the myspace chart game.

    I think Taylor Swift will be able to find inspiration, if not she can just do some songwriting with somebody her age that’s still out there living a “normal” life and is heavily into country. Me for example! ;) Haha, just kiding, I wish.

    Taylor’s chances of finding a guy more interesting than her career are slim. He would need to be a mixture of Martin Luther King Jr., John Wayne, Rodney Dangerfield, and any action character ever played by Will Smith. He would also need to be rich and have invented something amazing like the internet or the television…. ok, you get my point. Her career is insane.

  12. Chris N.
    March 9, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Several years ago I formulated what I think is a fairly bulletproof definition of alt-country: Country music made largely by and for liberals.

  13. Cindy2
    March 9, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Chris N: I don’t know if that holds up. I write as a conservative. And yeah, there are certain people that i like that I respect there stance on things (Craig Morgan), but I know that there are a lot of musicians that I love that are more than likely liberal. As long as they aren’t rubbing my nose in it, or coming off like because they are a musician, their opinion on politics means something special, I’m ok with them. It’s a free country.
    Wasn’t it Alice Çooper that said that people that get their politics from musicians are idiots?

  14. Hollerin' Ben
    March 11, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Chris N.

    Your alt-country definition is totally vulnerable to bullets.

  15. Chris N.
    March 12, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Yes, but only silver bullets. My alt-country definition is a werewolf.

  16. Kelly
    March 12, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Again, the above discussion is why the whole lame attempt to perpetuate “alt. country” as an actual genre just doesnt work. Even the term “Americana” requires too much vague and general explanation. Is James Hand “alt. country”? He isnt in the mainstream by any degree. Most people agree that Son Volt is “alt”, so should we put Son Volt & James Hand in the same category, even though they are amazingly different??? If Chris N.’s definition of “alt. country” is a werewolf, mine is a phantom, because it can’t be seen or clearly defined.

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