Trailer Choir Downgrades; Carrie Rodriguez Releases Country Duets Project; Amos Lee Tops Album Chart

Brody Vercher | February 2nd, 2011

  1. stormy
    February 2, 2011 at 11:07 am

    If taken literally, “Cold Cold World” would be a very weather-appropriate title today. Check out Gurf Morlix‘s performance for Music Fog.

    My media player queued this up when I took it outside this morning.

  2. Fizz
    February 2, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I was about to say, it wasn’t so very long ago that selling 40,000 copies your first week out would be considered a disappointment, maybe even get you dropped from your label.

  3. Ben Foster
    February 2, 2011 at 11:51 am

    I guess Trailer Choir is sunk now that they no longer have a cute blonde in the group.

  4. Barry Mazor
    February 2, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Well, Fizz, that “dropped for 40K a week sales” notion would apply only to a tiny, tiny few recording contracts where the conglomerate-owned label expects you to add enough to a massive corporate bottom line to “make a financial difference.” The vast majority of recording artists–and their labels– would be excited to see 40,000 in sales altogether. Many names you know well, not chart-toppers, obviously, but you’d likely know their names and work–would be happy to reach 10,000. Or 5. And as we transition off of physical media, there’s also the musical question: 40,000 WHAT?

    One problem for anybody with a heavy emphasis on just 8 or 10 top sales country artists who are in that “Major Contract” category as ” country records” is that it can lead to some wild misconceptions about what most artists ever sell. And what “commercial failure” is.

    (All of which should be tied to a reminder that none of these things should be mind-locked as an indicator of what’s “good.” I met, spent time with and discussed the future with Amos Lee when almost nobody knew who he was–and his music was as good then as it is as he’s this newfangle, lower sort of “Number One.”)

  5. numberonecountryfan
    February 2, 2011 at 11:55 am

    For Ben Foster: You are being too hard on Trailer Choir. They still have the fat man, which should attract a HUGE following. NOT!

  6. Sam G.
    February 2, 2011 at 11:56 am

    “From trio to duo: Crystal Hoyt is leaving Trailer Choir to pursue other interests.”

    Those interests include having a snowball’s chance of ever being taken seriously.

  7. Fizz
    February 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Absolutely, Barry, it’s a different world now. I’m thinking about maybe ten years ago, when the #1 album of the week routinely was selling around a million copies. I remember an interview with Kid Rock, right after the huge success of Devil Without A Cause in the late ’90’s, where he stated that his label had told him that if his next record didn’t go double-platinum, he would be dropped. Here was a guy who had been a regional act for most of a deaade, who suddenly (imporbably?) hit the mother lode, being given that kind of ultimatum.

  8. Lewis
    February 2, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Who’s Amos Lee? Is he marketed as country, Americana Country, rock? Would he be considered as someone like the groups The Decemberists and Cake, the latter group who released the lowest #1 album on the Top 200 a couple of weeks back before Amos Lee broke the record this week? If he’s marketed as country, would he have the #1 country album as well?

  9. Matt B
    February 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Amos Lee is an artist that has music that touches on multiple genres but is best considered a singer/songwriter. And the Decemberists sold over 80k their first week, last week which wasn’t the lowest debut week ever.

  10. Fizz
    February 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    80,000, still not bad for a band that shouldn’t be getting airplay outside of college radio. I’d say Cake is lucky to still be charting at all, coasting on a couple of 15-year-old novelty hits.

  11. stormy
    February 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Lewis: Kinda bluesy folk with elements of country and rock. If you like Nora Jones, you will likely enjoy his music. He gets played on Americana and AAA stations.

  12. Barry Mazor
    February 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Amos works the line between Triple A, Pop and Americana, with a soul twist–a border territory a lot of stations work, actually.. Think “Nora Jones’ territory. Which is potentially large–and it occasionally overlaps into a sort of country. Amos has said that his two biggest influences were Bill Withers and John Prine.

  13. Kelly
    February 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I’m glad someone brought up that Decemberists album, cuz I can’t stop listening to it….

  14. Paul W Dennis
    February 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Growing up in the Tidewater Virginia (66-68 & 1972) and Severna Park MD areas 61-65) the WWVA Jamboree was easier to tune in than was the Opry, so I mostly listened to WWVA on Saturday evenings. Doc & Chickie Williams were the anchors for the peak segments and were terrific performers and recording stars. Doc & Chickie had a lot of regional hits but really did not tour much outside of the northeast and parts of Canada so they did not receive national acclaim. I would put them up against anybody when it comes to the ability to entertain an audience

    I treasure my albums by them and pull them out and listen to them every few months

  15. Blake Boldt
    February 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    @Kelly: Ditto.

    Sales are sluggish, but I’m happy to see Amos Lee have this sort of recognition. It’s a solid record, and 40k is nothing to sneeze at.

  16. Thomas
    February 2, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    …this gurf morlix thing is a running gag, ain’t it? he’s got a funny hobbity name, he can’t sing, he’s not a hunk and listening to him longer than thirty seconds is kind of an endurance test.

    …or am i just missing something here?

  17. Matt B
    February 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Gurf Morlix can’t sing?

  18. Rick
    February 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    The one redeeming feature of Trailer Choir is departing! Dang. Will they now become “Trailer Duo”. Since Butter is now married to one of the Carter’s Chord Robertson sisters, will she fill in for Crystal? Oh, the humanity…

    Amos Lee is getting coverage on country music blogs because his music is at least interesting and good. That makes him far more worthy to report on than most Top 40 AirHead Country artists these days.

    Gurf has one of those rough-hewn voices that only Texans and Obamavoters seem to be able to tolerate, and I’m neither. Oh well.

    Free Wayne Hancock! WooHoo! Thanks for the Amazon freebie music link.

  19. SW
    February 3, 2011 at 7:18 am

    That Rascal Flatts article is ridiculous. He starts with the premise that they are not country, but is appalled that they go without a nomination at a country awards show. In other news, Ke$ha was snubbed. How can you expect a nomination to an awards show for a format you don’t perform?

  20. Mike K
    February 3, 2011 at 9:54 am

    A lot of people like Racin’ in the Streets. I really liked Charlie Robison’s cover on his last album.

  21. Donald
    February 3, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Late on the Trailer Choir news. Am I the only person here who has never heard of them? I know I’m out of touch, but…

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