October 28, 2016Do You Hear What I Hear?
The Christmas album. Holiday album, if you prefer. When you think about the holidays and the influx of Christmas albums, it seems rare that a Country title immediately pops in to mind. Traditionally, we may get one or two holiday releases from Country artists in a given year, but 2016 isn’t like any other year, is it? No way. In a year that has seen the death of music legends, civil unrest, and an election so off the rails it has actually brought SNL back to life, 2016 could use a little holly, jolly peace on earth, right? Well, hot damn, have I got some great news for you! This year we have not 1, 3, 5, or even 7 holiday albums from Country artists – we have 14.
You read that right. We have 14 holiday releases from Country artists this year, including offerings from Chris Young, Brett Eldredge, Rascal Flatts, Kacey Musgraves, Jennifer Nettles, Garth Brooks with Trisha Yearwood, Reba, Loretta Lynn, Oak Ridge Boys, Gatlin Brothers, T. Graham Brown, John Berry, Amy Grant, and even Todd Chrisley. I’m not even kidding – you can’t make that up. I asked a couple of peers why they thought 2016 seems to be The Year Of Country Christmas, and Silverfish Media PD and “Big D and Bubba Show” producer Patrick Thomas told me, “I don’t think there’s any reason other than coincidence. Or maybe we just need anything we can to distract us from the election.”
October 21, 2016They ‘Gol Darn Gone And Done It’
Have I ever shared the turtle and the scorpion fable with you? Don’t worry, it’s short, and has a point: A scorpion, being a very poor swimmer, asked a turtle to carry him on his back across a river. "Are you mad?" Asked the turtle. "You'll sting me while I'm ...
October 14, 2016“Everything Is Nothing, With A Twist”
You’ve seen me refer to the current state of Country music as the Wild West in this space during the past year or so, because during that time, it seems almost anything goes in terms diverse influences finding their way into the format. Country has become the ultimate ...
September 30, 201625 Years Later, “Wind” Still A Breath Of Fresh Air
“When I heard ‘Ropin'’ was 25 years old, I had to go look in the mirror.” That was longtime label executive Bill Catino, reacting to this week’s 25th anniversary of Garth Brooks’ landmark album, “Ropin’ The Wind,” topping the Billboard Top 200 album ...
September 15, 2016We Get Letters, And We Read Stuff
Here’s a potpourri of feedback/observations from last week’s “Theory Of Everything” column: “If you treat Country as if it’s CHR from Nashville, you’re making a mistake.” That’s the gist of a just-published blog from the gang at Integr8 Research titled ...
September 9, 2016The Theory Of Everything: Supply, Demand, The Hits, And Shiny Objects
“Right now, it feels to me like we're trying to put 50 pounds of sugar into a five pound bag.” That was Midwest Communications Corporate Country Brand Strategist Tom Baldrica in an All Access “10 Questions” feature earlier this summer, commenting on the state of ...
September 2, 2016Ramblin' Fever
Ever heard the term “No good deed goes unpunished?” That was the first thing to enter my mind after reading talented and acclaimed singer/songwriter Sturgill Simpson’s criticism of the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and its decision to create the Merle Haggard ...
August 22, 2016Shut Up And Sing
You know what I’m sick and tired of? Bullshit and rhetoric. It’s everywhere, of course – so therefore, unavoidable – but last week the Crap-o-Meter was pegged for me when the Dixie Chicks came to Nashville for a show. I haven’t written about the Chicks since ...
August 18, 2016Ty This On for Size
It was major news earlier this week when Cumulus announced that Ty Bentli was joining the nationally syndicated “America’s Morning Show” (AMS) as co-host, succeeding Blair Garner. Launched in June of 2013 and built around Garner – the former “After Midnite” ...
August 4, 2016He That Can Have Patience Can Have What He Will
After a grueling, year-long nationwide search, the usual onslaught of interested candidates, and requisite vetting of legitimate contenders, Scripps Country KFDI/Wichita is finally set to debut its new morning show. And you want ironic? Following the aforementioned ...