Despite his love of namedropping classic country singers—on this record, “ol’ Hank” and George Jones get cited, and of course there was “Johnny Cash,” the 2007 single that had nothing to do with the Man in Black aside from the statement that he will “rock your ass”—Jason Aldean still has more in common with Molly […]
You can take the girl out of Butcher Holler, but you can’t take Butcher Holler out of the girl. Even during Nashville’s glitziest period, Loretta Lynn was both part of that glamour and apart from it: a country girl living not so comfortably in the city. All those frilly, rhinestone-studded dresses never could cover up […]
Until recently, Rounder Records was the oldest active independent label in America—and arguably the most successful not just in terms of sales but in cultural impact. Founded in 1970 by three Tufts students, the fledgling company originally focused on bluegrass, especially the new strains that were coming out of New England. However, it wasn’t long […]
The lack of dramatics on today’s playlists have threatened to turn country radio into a complete yawn. Enter, stage left: one of the genre’s most talented ambassadors, Reba McEntire, who can deliver a masterful vocal performance like few others in the format. With a stunning string of 59 Top 10 singles, McEntire’s astonishing consistency is […]
More than anything else, life is all about timing. And perhaps more than any other genre, country music is the sonic equivalent of those ups and downs, represented by painful peels of the steel guitar, simple lyrics written by hillbilly Shakespeares and unbridled celebrations of births and rebirths alike. It doesn’t take a rehasing of […]
The musical restlessness that inspired Sugarland to drop in a reggae bridge on “Stuck on You,” especially contrasted against the conservatism that inspired country radio to cut the offending passage, is the duo’s most endearing and most frustrating trait. Playing to an audience they believe has tastes that go beyond twang, Jennifer Nettles and Kristian […]
There’s a quote from Drew Carey about people who hate their job: “There’s a support group for that. It’s called Everybody, and they meet at the bar.” If that support group has an official soundtrack, it’s probably Whitey Morgan and the 78s’ new, self-titled release, which is chock full of tunes for hard workers and […]
A preteen Taylor Swift, peering into her crystal ball, could hardly have imagined the great successes and loud failures that have marked her career so far. She’s sold thirteen million albums since 2006, staggering figures for a girl who is not yet allowed to drink outside her own apartment. She’s claimed the coveted Entertainer of […]
The Band Perry’s full-length debut features producers Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift) and Paul Worley (Dixie Chicks, Lady Antebellum), but they resist the urge to pump up their sound on this rootsy pop-country effort. The Perrys stumble sometimes with awkward, quirky lyrics that never quite gel, but this first effort is a promising start for the […]
Siblings may not always get along, but they sure can harmonize, and when they’ve gotten together to sing, the results have often been magical. Country music has had its fair share of sibling acts–The Carter Family, The Louvins, and The Everly Brothers, to name a few–and the newest addition is The Secret Sisters. Laura and […]
- Leeann Ward: Sheesh, Paul, that's a random/strange dig!
- Jack Williams: After reading that New Yorker article, I canceled my pre-order of the Basement Tapes box set. I love Bob …
- Leeann Ward: Wow! How terrible for Dixie Hall and Tom.
- Ken Morton, Jr.: Another twisted collection of songs to put into the Friday Five Hall of Fame, Juli.
- Arlene: I'd have included "Omie Wise." Doc Watson's is the version I'm familiar with but I think it's been recorded by …
- luckyoldsun: I think the number one country murder ballad is "Frankie and Johnny"--by Jimmie. Also, how about "Delia's Gone" from Harry Belafonte …
- Juli Thanki: Colloquial use of "fantastic" as a synonym for "excellent" dates back to the 1930s. And if it's good enough for …
- Paul W Dennis: I think "Banks of The Ohio", "Miller's Cave" and "It's Nothing to Me" are far creepier than several of the …
- Paul W Dennis: The Hight article is interesting, although I don't know that I would describe it as fantastic, but then I know …
- Dana M: I'm actually excited to hear a new Reba album. As for the Alan Jackson tour, I hope he announces Canadian …