Vince Gill’s ‘Love Songs’ Due In Time For Valentine’s; The Infamous Stringdusters w/Sarah Siskind; Bonnie Bishop at Steamboat

Brody Vercher | January 13th, 2010

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  1. [...] Kellie pickler, celine dion, martina, elvis ” just sang”? i dont seem them doing poorly. ● - – Commenter at The 9513 mysteriously puts Kellie Pickler up there with Celine Dion and [...]
  1. Kelly
    January 13, 2010 at 11:19 am

    While I might agree with Lefsetz on his Carrie statment, it’s almost funny to read it from a guy who practically thinks Keith Urban invented the guitar.

  2. Barry Mazor
    January 13, 2010 at 11:31 am

    The notion that anybody not writing their own material is a “product” is plain dumb. There may be a reason an act is mainly a product–but that’s not it. There are at least as many great country singers who interpreted other people’s writing as singers who wrote.

    Now, whether Ms. Underwood is making the lyric interpreting/phrasing contribution as a singer (so far) to consider her a significant one is also a different question.

  3. Rick
    January 13, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Bob Lefsetz is spot on about Carrie Fembot although I usually don’t agree with most of his rants. Once in awhile he’s bound to get something right though…

    Any chance Jon W. will be at the Station Inn tonight? (lol)

    I remember when that Bear Family “Dim Lights..” series was released months ago that the Ernest Tubb Record Shop sent out an email singing its praises. They were playing the discs as background music in their Nashville area stores and loving it. Now if they could just get the price down from $ 28 per disc! Yikes!

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Music Fogger Jim McBean isn’t also the guy who likes Madison Violet so much…

  4. MaeB
    January 13, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Kelly, what was the remark about Keith Urban for? He may not have invented the guitar, but he dang sure knows how to play one! Why knock Keith?

  5. Kelly
    January 13, 2010 at 11:58 am

    MAEB – It really isnt a knock on Keith. There isnt any denying that he is a tremendous talent, even though I dont happen to enjoy his music. I should’ve been more clear. Lefsetz has been a vocal supporter/fan of Keith Urban in the past, so I found his statement ironic, as I dont see many differences between Urban’s and Carrie’s overall product, to be honest.

  6. anna
    January 13, 2010 at 11:59 am

    bob’s in a ninkampoop. seriously his rants are outdated and trite. How did he get to be “important”?

    his comments would have been more valid 4 years ago. anyway, Carrie does write her own stuff now and her last 6 singles, including last name have been co written by her.

    i always laugh when music purists suppose that one must “live” what one is singing. one cant have an imagination, or become a character? You have to method act in your singing all the time? i doubt miranda lambert has shot anyone, or taylor swift terrorized her bf. Some music is just for the purpose of fun.

    so lame.

  7. Jon
    January 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    The title of Andy Hall’s CD is actually Aquafier. It’s a dandy, and mostly not what you’d likely expect.

  8. anna
    January 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    “In the controlled world of Nashville/country music, Carrie Underwood is a star. I like her records. But they have nothing to do with her, all she does is sing them.”

    really? Just sing them? and you know, the whole promoting them, performing them live, interpreting them. what a jacka**. Kellie pickler, celine dion, martina, elvis ” just sang”? i dont seem them doing poorly.

  9. Michael
    January 13, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I thought the Lesetz piece was pretty accurate. I liked this part:

    “is now about driving the kids to school in your SUV and lamenting that some theoretical person died overseas?

    Yes, I support the troops. To the point where I believe they should come back home so they don’t get killed.”

    @ Anna: I don’t know. I do kind of think Taylor Swift may have terrorized her boyfriends. :) And now Kellie Pickler has moved up to the ranks of Celine Dion, Martina McBride and the King himself? Okay.

  10. Dan E.
    January 13, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Bob Lesetz is right when saying she’s not a star. Carrie has been running laps around that term and is indeed a bonafide superstar. She will be around for many, many years to come, while continuing to show her fun and emotional sides within all of her hit songs. Country music is in a great place right now and Carrie continues to be heading in the right direction with her career.

  11. anna
    January 13, 2010 at 12:38 pm


    Really? obviously kellie pickler has not had the success level of the others, but the common denominator is that they all have no dominantly written their own material and have had levels of success.

    so either taylor swift is a belligerent ex or imaginative songwriter? i dont like her but i pick the later.

    and miranda killed her ex? set fire to things? all country artists have really lived everything they write about, speaking of gretchen wilson? she doesnt write really either.

  12. Jon
    January 13, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    That George Jones, I like his records, but they have nothing to do with him, all he does is sing them.

  13. Jon G.
    January 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with Kelly, Barry, and this part of Anna’s: “i always laugh when music purists suppose that one must “live” what one is singing. one cant have an imagination, or become a character?”

    Like Bob, I don’t particularly like Carry Underwood. In general, I don’t like her vocal style, the songs she sings, or the production on her singles. Barry is right, though, when he says that you don’t necessarily have to write your own material to be a genuine artist.

    The fact is that not all singers can write and not all writers can sing.

    If we only accepted the artists who could do both, the world would have missed out on some truly magnificent works of art. I’m sure I don’t even have to list any examples for this, but the one that randomly entered my mind as I typed this sentence was Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt.” A great singer can interpret a song in such a way that it becomes just as much theirs as the writer’s. George Strait, Blake Shelton, and Tim McGraw are some of the more well-known instances of an artist being acclaimed by critics and fans alike despite the fact that they’re not known for their writing.

    And as for “living the songs?” Writing exclusively about things that have happened to you isn’t really that creative, is it? Some of the best songs and albums have been made in a persona. Look at some of David Allan Coe’s better known projects, for example.

    That said, I do not think that Carrie Underwood is a great singer. (I also don’t like Celine Dion or several others mentioned by Anna, but that’s beside the point.) I do, honestly, view her more as a product than an artist. However, as I’ve said before, this is America, and you can like whatever you want to like, regardless of whether or not I approve. And for the record, I don’t. :)

  14. Kelly
    January 13, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    “That George Jones, I like his records, but they have nothing to do with him, all he does is sing them”

    While it isnt the first time I’ve laughed after reading one of your comments Jon, it is the first time I have laughed “with” the comment and not “at” it. Well played, sir.

  15. Matt B.
    January 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm


    The comment is spot on that’s why we can laugh ‘with’ it. Most of country music’s stars don’t write their material (at least all the time) and neither do many of the pop stars on the radio. To quote Alan Jackson’s new song “It’s Just That Way” (A song, by the way, he didn’t write).

  16. K
    January 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I think Carrie is an extremely talented and beautiful woman. As Kevin over at Country Universe says:
    “Her talent so far exceeds that of her contempories that she can outsing them all from the corner of her mouth.

    Although great oppertunities come with a show like American Idol, I think the stigma is still there.
    Carrie has been one of the biggest success stories in country music since she entered the scene for years ago; she has proven her incredible talent time and time again. Even though she has carved her niche as a successful artist in the “real world,” she still get those “she’s a product” comments.

    I think Carrie has worked extremely hard to show who she is, and she’s very open about her music, personality, and faith. There’s no doubt her every move was controlled by Fox at first, but now she has broken out of that shell.

    I think people make assumptions about artists from American Idol, and they just automatically judge and make unwarranted comments just because of where they started.

    Many incredibly talented artists do not have the means or money to help them get discovered, and the show is the only way they can show their talent. Carrie herself grew up in a town of less than 3,000 people, and she’d never even been on a plane before American Idol.

  17. Brady Vercher
    January 13, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    News Update: Apparently Trace Adkins has left Capitol and signed with Show Dog-Universal. It was reported by Billboard on Twitter.

  18. Razor X
    January 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Wow; that is big news. I suppose this means that his forthcoming album, the one containing “Ala-Freakin-Bama” is no longer forthcoming?

  19. Nicolas
    January 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    ^ There’s a good chance he could still release it on Show Dog-Universal; when Gretchen left her mainstream label, she took her upcoming album with her

  20. Occasional Hope
    January 13, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Personally I’d be just as happy never to hear that song again. It’s *definitely* not Trace at his best.

  21. Noeller
    January 13, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    That’s crazy news, ’cause Trace was SO proud of how long he’d been with Capitol. He was one of the longest serving artists on that label, and the only one left from the year he’d signed. Would love to know the details that led to that switch.

  22. Dan Milliken
    January 13, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    “The notion that anybody not writing their own material is a “product” is plain dumb. There may be a reason an act is mainly a product–but that’s not it. There are at least as many great country singers who interpreted other people’s writing as singers who wrote.”

    Agreed 100%, and with most everyone else’s comments on the subject. Writing one’s own material can certainly be a big plus in helping form an artistic identity, but I don’t think not writing it is inherently a minus. You can always tell if someone knows nothing about country music history if they use that as a knock on one of its artists. I suppose Patsy Cline was a complete hack, too?

  23. Dan Milliken
    January 13, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    And I’ll add that I, too, have never been much of an Underwood fan.

  24. Jon
    January 13, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    The thing, too, is that seeing an artist’s name along with co-writers doesn’t tell you a whole lot about the extent to which they’re actually involved in the writing. Some – maybe even most – make real contributions, for sure, but I always keep in mind the story that one successful writer told me of being assigned to co-write with another writer and a budding artist; the latter’s contribution consisted solely of sitting by the window, looking out, and every once in a while turning to say “now that’s strong, hoss.” I know of another case of a song written by two legitimate writers where 90% of the song was written by one of the two; he’s the less well-known of them, and so the song is oftened described as “written by so-and-so,” that being the better-known. You just can’t never tell, and Lefsetz’s point simply indicates that he’s bringing an outside-of-the-genre sensibility and aesthetic to a discussion of country.

  25. Steve M.
    January 13, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    I find it sad the focus is on the Underwood comments and not the story on the Great Ray Wylie Hubbard, who can out-write almost anyone in country music, including a passel of peroxide blonds.

  26. badrockandroll
    January 13, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Thank you Steve – I almost wish that this site would leave out references to you know who and you know other who. Their fans swarm in and deviate from serious stuff. Ray Wylie’s new release sounds good and is affordable. The Bear collections, which like almost all Bear collections, sound good, but are soooo expensive! I’ve had a few of them (like the R & B one) in my Amazon cart forever, but the particular ship that bears the necessary gold hasn’t quite come in yet!

    Sorry for the interruption: please return to comparing artists that I don’t particularly care for.

  27. Razor X
    January 13, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    There’s a good chance he could still release it on Show Dog-Universal; when Gretchen left her mainstream label, she took her upcoming album with her

    Gretchen was dropped by Sony; Trace likely left Capitol of his own volition. I think it’s unlikely that they’d let him take his unreleased recordings with him to release on another major label — as opposed to an indie release like Gretchen’s.

    I agree with Occasional Hope; “Ala-Freakin-Bama” is no great loss, but there are usually some gems among the album cuts on Trace’s albums.

  28. Matt B.
    January 13, 2010 at 8:03 pm


    Toby Keith voluntarily left Mercury back in the day for DreamWorks. He bought his old record from the label. That’s the catch, the artist must BUY the product from their old label (buy out production costs and other incendiaries) before being able to release it on the new label.

  29. Razor X
    January 13, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Is it standard procedure for artists to be given the option to buy their unreleased product when they depart from a label? I thought that Toby Keith and Mercury parted ways because Mercury didn’t to release that album. Assuming that Capitol was willing to release Trace’s album and he just jumped ship because Show Dog-Universal just made him a more attractive offer, would Capitol be willing to let him take the album to the competition?

  30. Razor X
    January 13, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I thought that Toby Keith and Mercury parted ways because Mercury didn’t to release that album.

    Sorry, that should have read “… because Mercury didn’t want to release that album.”

  31. Paul W Dennis
    January 13, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    The problem with artists writing or co-writing the songs they record is that often an inferior song is selected for the album (especially if enough usable singles have been recorded) in order to get the songwriter’s royalty.

    Really great artists such as Carl Smith, George Strait and Charley Pride simply wanted great songs to record. Lesser artists wanted every nickel of royalties they could squeeze out of the record. Generally an artist who has written or co-written every track on an album has passed up some better material for the sake of the royalties

  32. Vicki
    January 13, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    I could agree some with Mr. Lesetz about Carrie up until she co-wrote on the “Play ON” record. Tell me she didn’t write or think of the main stories in “Temporary Home”, tell me “Mama’s Song” is not about her thinking about marrying Mike, and as much as she denies, tell me she didn’t have a little tongue in cheek feeling when she co-wrote “Cowboy Casanova” (Tony Romo). Carrie is a shy, private individual who was plunked from rural, small town OK and thrust in the limelight and quickly. Did she think she would win American Idol? No..not a chance. She kept thinking that soon she would be off. But two things she didn’t count on with America. They fell in love with her. Her God given talent yes, but darn she was cute, shy and not braggy, boastful and in your face like some of the others were. So, to her shock, amazement and then happiness, she won. The circus, “Carnival Ride” began. Yes, she is growing in her writing ability. It’s not her strong suit as she is still very introverted, but she is gobs more open today then she was 4 years ago. And you have to admit that the writing from her, is better and more her than on “Carnival Ride”. The music? That, well, could be what Mr.Lesetz had in mind. She sings with more emotion, and less soaring to out of the atmosphere vocal heights.

  33. Yoel Engel
    January 17, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I just wrote a song about love for my girlfriend and I thought I would find lyrics on your blog so that I can compare my song :P but anyhoo… you’re blog is wayy nicer than mine that’s for sure! If you have the extra 3 minutes to listen to the song I wrote that’s on youtube, click here A Song About Love and dont forget to rate and comment the song! :) thanx SOOOOOO much! :D

  34. shirley
    January 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I am tried of people putting Carrie Underwood down. She is a grat singer and is true to her roots. If you don;t like her than don’t listen to her musice but shut up because everyon else wants to hear her.

  35. Steve M.
    January 27, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Was that last message a parody of the Underwood fan base?

  36. Jon G.
    January 27, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    No, it wasn’t.

    Parodies are supposed to be funny.

    That was such a spot-on impression that it’s just depressing.

  37. Steve M.
    January 27, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    My first thought was that it was written by an Auburn graduate.

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