A Very Deep Talent Pool
July 20, 2012
Jimmy Carter in his homebase Nashville.
Back from Canada and the Craven Country Music Festival. Thousands of County music fans camping and partying until, in some cases, they pass out.
They went nuts for Eric Church Friday night. The reaction was everything I heard it would be.
Somewhere near old Hank Jr. enthusiasm and uncharted territory. If there was ever doubt that the push to get a younger country audience has been accomplished, all you needed was to look at that Eric Church bunch. They were plugged in!
Eric in 2013 may get the stadium opportunity with a superstar and that will only put this guy in even rarer air. Cutting edge does describe this act.
Jason Aldean won't wait for 2013 to keep growing. He is on fire this year. "Dirt Road Anthem" at 3 million single sales. No one has done triple-platinum country single. Selling 44,000 seats in a few minutes is equally impressive. CMA Entertainer of the Year nomination easily. He will fight Lady A for the win.
Eric, Jason and you can put Luke Bryan, of course, in that bunch and list Kip Moore and Brantley Gilbert on the fast track. Excellent songwriters at the core of each artist.
The business is regrouping, recharging, re-charting. If you aren't selling, you are gone. Never before has that been more true.
The Country concert business is dangerous, but sure has plenty success stories shining the way.
2013 bookings are already in ink. Kenny Chesney playing Craven next July. Toby and Lady A already booked for Country USA. Carrie and Keith booked for Minnesota's WE Festival. Hard to think a year ahead, but it's part of the danger. The big guys are easy; it's the openers and number 2s that are harder to chart.
So many young females and duets/trios/ to hook up with. It's the signing of a young Taylor Swift to open that gives the genius points to the artist./tour managers.
Thomas Rhett ... he's getting buzz ... so is The Farm. Really baby acts like Morgan Frazier. So much talent. But who will sell tickets a year from now or fuel the presales now? Tricky business.
Ronnie Milsap and Terri Clark played the Craven stage and they only get better with time! Sammy Kershaw was fun to see again. Neal McCoy is never anything but entertaining.
Alan Jackson and Brad Paisley were the two superstar anchor shows. Two very different styles, but both modern classics. Video makes Alan's traditional music come alive for all ages. Brad's video support makes him a one-of-a-kind. Brad has the music to play with one spotlight, but when you add the bells and whistles it becomes a spectacle. It is exciting, and the energy coming from stage fires up all ages and seems to have no boundary or ceiling. The fans get their money's worth, that's for sure.
When you do make it to the label-deal level, you are special. No duds make it to the Olympics. Some may lose but like the NFL or NHL, the worst player is damn good. It's so hard to see all this talent we see come through this town and not enough room in the end to have them stay.
Part of this business is luck and persistence. Being good is only part of the equation. As The Who and Rolling Stones plan concerts in the next nine months, you just are in awe of both groups' longevity. Most show biz types get a chance to dance for a little while.
When you see the Brad's and Alan's play hit after hit for nearly two hours, you are in awe.
Toby's another one. Smart, talented guy to stay at that level of the business. There are so many elements to success. Toby found the secret ingredient and just keeps rolling along. "Red Solo Cup" now 2 million downloads. Wow, wow and wow.
If you don't take risks, you reap no rewards. Toby walks that tight rope like the Flying Wallendas. He's a porcupine, but I do admire him!
I miss the Johnnys and Waylons ... the Minnies and Goobers ... Johnny Russell and Mr Acuff. So many others but with that said, this bunch at the top of the Country class right now is as good as it's ever gotten. Talented and smart. Amazing bunch of men and women.
Not sure what brought all that on, but seeing so many of these talents in concert recently just makes you want to give them a salute for their success and a big thank you for the entertainment they give.