Your Take: Crossover Candidates

Ken Morton, Jr. | April 20th, 2013

The crisscrossing of music genres is nothing new. Even so, it seems that more pop and rock artists have been trying their hands in the country music field as of late. Sheryl Crow has a new country release, Easy, and Lionel Richie’s Tuskegee was a smash success last year. Hootie’s now a successful country artist and Don Henley has a country album coming out later this year.  Even Tommy Shaw of Styx went bluegrass in 2011 on The Great Divide.

So assume that you’re in charge of the institution of music for a day and money’s no object. Which outside-the-genre artist/band would you like to take a crack at making a country or bluegrass record? Why?

  1. Jeremy Dylan
    April 20, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Rod Stewart’s rasp would suit some country material down to the ground.

    Norah Jones, aside from as good a singer as is currently alive, has an established love and respect for country music, between her Dolly duet, the Little Willies and her contribution to the Hank Williams record. I’d love to hear a solo album of original country tunes from her.

  2. Leeann Ward
    April 20, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I’d go for Adelle for bluegrass flavored country. Her cover of the SteelDrivers’ “If It Hadn’t Been for Love” is steller.

  3. Leeann Ward
    April 20, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I also agree with Jeremy on Norah Jones. I love the Little Willies, especially the first album. I’ll add her duets with Willie and her contribution to the Mary Carr/Rodney Carr album, one of the best tracks on the project.

  4. Barry Mazor
    April 20, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Maybe Shania Twain. It might be interesting to see that pop artist cross over and make a country record.

  5. Ashley Griggs
    April 20, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Sara Evans needs to make a bluegrass record. She’s talked in interviews about singing in a family bluegrass band growing up and her duet with Ralph Stanley of “Are You Tired of Me” sounds great. I would also love to hear her make another country record. Her first two albums were traditional brilliance. And I think if Norah Jones makes a country record it would have to have Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings singing and playing on it. The three of them sound awesome together.

  6. Henry
    April 20, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Love the Rod Stewart mention, though his “Country Comfort” on his first solo album, “Gasoline Alley” heads hard into country, especially drenched in pedal steel as it is.
    Be fun to see what Clapton would do with country–though he’s had his moments (“Tulsa Time”) and some tunes from 461 Ocean Boulevard and Every Dog has It’s Day (maybe not exact title). Aretha, Carol King, Laura Nyro (if she were still with us), Jeff Beck, Jerry Butler would be a few of my picks from whom to hear their take on country.

  7. Ben Foster
    April 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Judge if you must, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I was disappointed that the Cher country album never materialized :)

    I would also love to hear a country album from Stevie Nicks, as I’ve always loved her voice, and some of her work (e.g., “Leather and Lace,” “After the Glitter Fades”) has shown tinges of country influence.

    I’ll also second an Adele country album and a Sara Evans bluegrass album.

    • Juli Thanki
      April 20, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Now I really, really want to hear a grassed up version of “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.”

  8. bob
    April 20, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Maybe Neil Diamond is ready for another try at country. He released a country album, “Tennessee Moon”, in 1996. It included some duets with country artists – Hal Ketchum, Raul Malo & a few others. I don’t have it so I don’t know if it was any good.

    I have his 1969 LP which featured “Sweet Caroline” and “Brother Loves Travelling Salvation Show”. (Could they be countrified?) That album also included “You’re So Sweet, Horseflies Keep Hangin’ ‘Round Your Face”. I wonder if back then he was just trying to write a funny song or was he mocking country music.

  9. Ignatius
    April 20, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Norah Jones for sure. I’d also like to see one from Jason Mraz. Green River Ordinance too. Theyre at their best on acoustic songs like Dancing Shoes and Endlessly. There are a lot of them…Train, Colbie Callait, Paul Simon…

  10. Henry
    April 20, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Yes, Stevie Nicks; how about Rhona Vincent and Stevie Nicks pairing up for a bluegrass “At the Edge of Seventeen”?

  11. Barry Mazor
    April 20, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    People know that Norah Jones in fact has what often amounts to a country band, of a flavor, in The Little Willies, right?

  12. Leeann Ward
    April 20, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Ha, Barry. I think we do, since we mentioned them in our comments.:) As much as I love the Little Willies, I’d like Norah Jones to do a solo country album with original songs.

  13. Leeann Ward
    April 20, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    I’d also love Jack White to do either a bluegrass or country album.

  14. Paul W Dennis
    April 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    I’d like to hear Steve Tyrell do a country album, also possibly Michael Buble’

    I’d also like Gene Watson do a bluegrass album. Most bluegrass vocalists are rather indifferent – it would be nice to hear a real vocalist do some bluegrass, much like the great Carl Smith did back in the 1970s

  15. Barry Mazor
    April 20, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Yeah, I see that now LeeAnn..Well, she generally does do a Hank song or something in the course of a set.. Who knows; her most recent stuff suggests that she’s tired of being typecast as a chanteuse acceptible to old folks.

  16. Jon
    April 20, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    “Most bluegrass vocalists are rather indifferent…”

    Holy c***. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, I reckon.

  17. Luckyoldsun
    April 21, 2013 at 2:14 am

    I’d like to hear a country album from Placido Domingo–since I kind of miss Don Walser, who was introduced as “the Domingo of the Desert.”

  18. nm
    April 21, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I wouldn’t mind hearing what Robert Randolph does with country. It would be fascinating to hear how he fit his variety of steel guitar playing into that.

  19. Ken Morton, Jr.
    April 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I’d love to have Marc Broussard apply his soulful groove to a country album. Tom Petty’s take would be pretty fascinating. The comments on Robert Randolph and Stevie Nicks are spot on as well. Seeing as he’s written several hits for other artists including Keith Urban, a crossover album for Richard Marx doesn’t seem to far-fetched.

    My first choice, however, would be something from Michael McDonald. With that voice of his, I’m sure his take on a country album would be distinctively different.

  20. Paul W Dennis
    April 21, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Jon, I figured my comment would have you cr****g in your pants – that’s why I made it.

    Seriously though, other than Marty Raybon, I can’t think of any modern day bluegrass male singer that matches up to Gene Watson. I really would love to hear him do a bluegrass (or acoustic)album

  21. Luckyoldsun
    April 21, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I think you’ve previously said that no modern day male COUNTRY singer measures up to Watson; So this would appear to give minimal–if any–support to your peculiar argument for the deficiencies or inferiority of bluegrass singers.

  22. BRUCE
    April 21, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Heck, I can think of several modern-day “country” artists that needs to cross over and put out a country album. Anyway, Paul is singing my tune on Watson.

  23. TX Music Jim
    April 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Norah Jones would be great with a full fledged country or bluegrass album. What a voice.

  24. Rick
    April 22, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Katherine McPhee! Now that it looks like the NBC TV series “Smash” is likely getting the axe, it would be great to have Katherine move into the country realm.

    Also the red headed gal Mallory Moye (ie Wanda) from the “Hart of Dixie” TV show if she has really been singing her musical performance segments on that program. Holy crap what an amazing voice (if that was really her that is.)!

  25. Arlene
    April 22, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Patty Griffin. That is all.

  26. Janice Brooks
    April 23, 2013 at 10:06 am

    So what about Trinity River Band’s treatment of Shel Silversteins “Rose of Paradise”

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