Rolling Country 2014

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It's a new day for a new year, brothers and sisters---so let yore Electro Sh-h-h-i-i-i-eye-e-n-ne now:


dow, Wednesday, 1 January 2014 18:52 (four years ago) Permalink

aw fuck

dow, Wednesday, 1 January 2014 18:53 (four years ago) Permalink

Anyway, here's the music, all of it masterminded by Big Kenny and Chebacca---my faves are the remix of Big & Rich's "Born Again", ft. Bon Jovi; the long and otherwise uncensored version of Electro Shine's own "Dance Upon The Solid Ground"; and especially their "Electro Country Shine", ft. Big K, Chebacca, Megan Mullins and Dave Stewart---really has a sensuous starshine groove, enough to remind me of "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This"(has any country artist covered that?)

dow, Wednesday, 1 January 2014 19:07 (four years ago) Permalink

....some thangs to consider if still filling out the Singles section of that there Nashville Scene ballot. (Okay, I'll stop now.)
(Source: Rick Diamond/Getty Images North America)

dow, Wednesday, 1 January 2014 19:32 (four years ago) Permalink

Here's my Country Music Critics ballot. I was thinking of leaving the albums category blank, since I didn't give it the attention it needed, and Ashley and Kacey would have done fine without my vote. But Sturgill deserved the shout-out. Not that any category got the attention it needed. And I subsequently wrote Geoff that I was second-guessing what I wrote about Sturgill Simpson's bitterness; not that the bitterness isn't glaringly, bitterly evident, but I don't know if I did right by its complexity. Simpson's in an interesting fight with his pain (I mean both senses of "with"). Trigger at Saving Country Music thinks "The World Is Mean" is about acceptance and moving forward. I don't really buy that. Nonetheless, I am a bit worried about not having been fair. But who said life was fair?


1. 2YOON - "24/7"
2. Miranda Lambert - "Mama's Broken Heart"
3. Kacey Musgraves - "Blowin' Smoke"
4. The Civil Wars - "The One That Got Away"
5. Luke Bryan - "That's My Kind Of Night"
6. Sturgill Simpson - "Life Ain't Fair And The World Is Mean"
7. Cassadee Pope - "Wasting All These Tears"
8. Chris Stapleton - "What Are You Listening To?"
9. Taylor Swift - "22"
10. Gwen Sebastian - "Suitcase"


1. Sturgill Simpson - High Top Mountain
2. Ashley Monroe - Like A Rose
3. Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park


1. Toby Keith
2. Luke Bryan
3. Dean Brody


1. Miranda Lambert
2. Kacey Musgraves
3. Ashley Monroe


1. Shane McAnally
2. Ashley Monroe
3. Kacey Musgraves


1. Lady Antebellum
2. The Band Perry


1. Kacey Musgraves


1. Sturgill Simpson
2. Ashley Monroe
3. Kacey Musgraves


Sturgill Simpson could rename himself Grumpy Stodgill, so resolved is he to be left-behind and to resent it. So the album works way better as music than as music criticism, but I'm sure Grumpy'll take that tradeoff. Hard, bitter, immovable.

Korean duo 2YOON's "24/7" isn't country so much as it's a visit to a country theme park (that's exactly how it's portrayed in the video). But as a lark rather than a lived-in world it manages to be more alive and rousing than a year's full of defensive, redneck partying, maybe because it isn't burdened with having to represent the vitality of an American South that is still determined to feel defeated.

Women have been going musically berserk in response to broken hearts since well before Frankie plugged Albert (not to mention Johnny) and Miss Otis sent her regrets. And Kacey's "Merry Go Round" references Malvina Reynolds' "Little Boxes" (1962), and it could have footnoted Ray Davies' "Well Respected Man" (1965) as well, for adoring the girl next door while dyin' to get at her. But there is a twist of feminism and newness coming from the McAnally-Musgraves-Lambert-Monroe clique, as they frame these old tropes as a breaking out rather than a breaking down. This isn't all that new either - Martina McBride and Shawn Colvin were lighting up the sky in rebellion a decade before Miranda struck her match with "Kerosene." But if people keep claiming a newness, this could lead to their creating some genuine newness. The experience isn't new but the response to it can be.

(I didn't vote for reissues or live acts, and obviously I didn't fill in all the spots for albums, groups, and new acts. And my one vote in that last category was questionable (Kacey's been releasing stuff for years), but Geoff said we could count as a newbie anyone whose first album on a major (or a major indie) was in 2013.)

Frank Kogan, Saturday, 4 January 2014 12:29 (four years ago) Permalink

My NashScene ballot; no comments per usual. Decided not to vote for Musgraves as a "Best New Artist" despite her apparent eligibility because I'm pretty sure (maybe erroneously) that she placed in that category last year.

1. Ashley Monroe – Like A Rose (Warner Music Nashville)
2. Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer Different Park (Mercury)
3. The Mavericks – In Time (Valory Music Co.)
4. Gretchen Wilson – Right On Time (Redneck)
5. Gary Allan – Set You Free (MCA/Nashville)
6. Pistol Annies – Annie Up (RCA)
7. Brandy Clark – 12 Stories (508/State Creek)
8. Shanytown – Shanytown (Garage Door)
9. Cassadee Pope – Frame By Frame (Republic Nashville)
10. The Band Perry - Pioneer (Republic Nashville)

1. 2Yoon – 24/7
2. Regulo Caro – Empujando La Linea (El Minilic)
3. Lady Antebellum – Downtown
4. Taylor Swift - 22
5. Kacey Musgraves – Blowin’ Smoke
6. Lee Brice – Parking Lot Party
7. Pistol Annies – Hush Hush
8. Miranda Lambert – Mama’s Broken Heart
9. Toby Keith – Drinks After Work
10. Luke Bryan – That’s My Kind Of Night

1. Swamp Dogg – Total Destruction To Your Mind (Alive)
2. Kinky Friedman & the Texas Jewboys – Lost And Found: The Famous Living Room Tape (Avenue A)
3. Doc Watson – The Definitive Doc Watson (Sugar Hill/Vanguard)
4. Dwight Yoakam – 21st Century Hits (New West)
5. Shaver – Shaver’s Jewels: The Best Of Shaver (New West)

1. Raul Malo
2. Gary Allan
3. Kenny Chesney

1. Miranda Lambert
2. Ashley Monroe
3. Gretchen Wilson

1. Shane McAnally
2. Brandy Clark
3. Ashley Monroe

1. The Mavericks
2. Pistol Annies
3. Shanytown

1. Brandy Clark
2. Shanytown
3. Cassadee Pope

1. Ashley Monroe
2. Kacey Musgraves
3. The Mavericks

xhuxk, Saturday, 4 January 2014 13:58 (four years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Not so thrilled by these sweeps, but here's the word, from Scene Music Editor Patrick Rodgers:

Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark and Ashley Monroe Dominate the Nashville Scene’s 14th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll

The 98 writers from all over North America who voted in the 14th annual Country Music Critics’ Poll named Kacey Musgraves Artist of the Year, New Artist of the Year, Album Artist of the Year, Singles Artist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year. Right behind her in all five categories were Brandy Clark and Ashley Monroe. It was an unprecedented sweep by three artists releasing their first nationally distributed albums.

In an hourlong special tomorrow morning at 10 a.m./9 a.m. Central (and again on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 9 a.m./8 a.m. Central), CMT and host Katie Cook will count down the Top 10 Country Singles of 2013 as selected by this year’s poll.

In addition to Musgraves, Clark and Monroe, there are other winners: Jason Isbell was voted the No. 4 Best Album, the No. 1 Male Vocalist and the No. 3 Best Songwriter. Miranda Lambert, the big winner in 2009 and 2011, was voted No. 2 Best Single, while her band with Monroe, Pistol Annies, was voted the No. 1 Best Group, the No. 5 Best Album and the No. 8 Best Single. Taylor Swift was voted the No. 1 Best Live Act.

But the poll was dominated by Musgraves, Clark and Monroe. Tomorrow's Nashville Scene cover story will offer much more than just the results. Geoffrey Himes, who conducts the poll each year, provides context for the voting with an essay and an interview with Musgraves. There are also comments from many of the voters.

The voters included writers from coastal newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times as well as smaller heartland dailies such as the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Idaho Statesmen and Lincoln Journal Star. They write for magazines like Rolling Stone, Spin and Country Weekly and for music websites such as,, and

Here are the links to the stories, which will go live tomorrow at 4 a.m.:

dow, Thursday, 23 January 2014 01:54 (four years ago) Permalink

My ballot from this year. Haven't written any comments for the past three years; I find the "What is..." angle tiresome and counterproductive, especially in what I felt was the first year in a full decade that the Americana / alt contingent made better, more interesting music than the mainstream acts.


1. High Top Mountain, Sturgill Simpson
2. Southeastern, Jason Isbell
3. Like a Rose, Ashley Monroe
4. 12 Stories, Brandy Clark
5. Bakersfield, Vince Gill & Paul Franklin
6. In the Throes, John Moreland
7. Not Cool, Tim Easton
8. Spitfire, LeAnn Rimes
9. Cheater’s Game, Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison
10. American Kid, Patty Griffin


1. “Sober,” Little Big Town
2. “Bible on the Dash,” Corb Lund featuring Hayes Carll
3. “If I Loved You,” Delta Rae featuring Lindsey Buckingham
4. “Follow Your Arrow,” Kacey Musgraves
5. “Railroad of Sin,” Sturgill Simpson
6. “DONE,” The Band Perry
7. “Borrowed,” LeAnn Rimes
8. “You and I,” Laura Bell Bundy
9. “9,999,999 Tears,” Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison
10. “Could it Be,” Charlie Worsham


1. Silver Bell, Patty Griffin
2. Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions, Billy Bragg & Wilco
3. Bottle Rockets and The Brooklyn Side, Bottle Rockets
4. The Warner Bros Years, Steve Earle
5. Grand Ole Opry’s New Star, George Jones


1. Jason Isbell
2. Chris Stapelton
3. Charlie Worsham


1. Ashley Monroe
2. LeAnn Rimes
3. Brandy Clark


1. Sturgill Simpson
2. Jason Isbell
3. Hank III


1. Brandy Clark
2. Jason Isbell
3. Patty Griffin


1. Little Big Town
2. The Band Perry
3. Pistol Annies


1. Brandy Clark
2. Sturgill Simpson
3. Charlie Worsham


1. Brandy Clark
2. Jason Isbell
3. Ashley Monroe

jon_oh, Thursday, 23 January 2014 17:41 (four years ago) Permalink

My comment on the poll results, as posted on facebook: Singles list is kind of pathetic -- It's like country critics are as lazy as Pazz & Joppers a couple years ago, just picking songs off albums they voted for. (Jason Isbell has *singles*? Really?? Well, maybe on Americana stations; I wouldn't know. Still -- I'm surprised and bummed that neither "Downtown" nor "22" made the winners list.)

xhuxk, Thursday, 23 January 2014 17:58 (four years ago) Permalink

Despite it all, one of the main things (other than walking hard while re-listening, and re-reading/deciphering notes) still making polls worthwhile: always seeing stuff I haven't checked out, like on y'all's ballots. Here's mine--also, with comments in a second post below it, on Sorry for any typos; I'll check again later.

(Hon. Mentions etc. after official ballot categories)

(just in order that they come to mind)(and yeah, I know this looks like a Paste list)

1. Natalie Maines: Mother (Columbia)
2. Various Artists: Divided & United: Songs of the Civil War (ATO)
3. Willie Nelson and Family: Let’s Face The Music and Dance (Sony Legacy)
4. Willie Nelson: To All The Girls… (Sony Legacy)
5. Mavericks: In Time (Valory)
6. LeAnn Rimes: Spitfire (Curb)
7. Pistol Annies: Hell On Heels (Sony Nashville)
8. Patty Griffin: American Kid(New West)
9. Jason Isbell: Southeastern (Southeastern/Relativity)
10. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell: Old Yellow Moon (Nonesuch)


1. Guy Clark: ”My Favorite Picture of You” (Dualtone)
2. Bob Dylan: “Pretty Saro” (Columbia)
3. Gary Allan: “It Ain’t The Whiskey” (MCA Nashville)
4. Toby Keith: “Drinks After Work” (Show Dog/Universal)
5. Marshall Chapman: “I Don’t Want Nobody” (Tallgirl)
6. Electro Shine (ft. Big Kenny, Chebacca, Megan Mullins and Dave Stewart): “Electro Country Shine” (Glotown)
7. Big & Rich (ft. Bon Jovi): “Born Again” (Electro Shine remix) (Warner Bros)
8. Maggie Rose: “Better” (RPM Entertainment)
9. Luke Bryan: “That’s My Kind of Night” (Capitol Nashville)
10. Lee Brice: “Parking Lot Party” (Curb)


1. Buck Owens: Buck ‘Em! The Music of Buck Owens (1955--1967) (Omnivore/Universal)
2. Townes Van Zandt: The Late Great Townes Van Zandt (Omnivore/Universal)
3. Townes Van Zandt: Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions & Demos 1971-1972 (Omnivore/Universal)
4. Shaver: Shaver’s Jewels (The Best of Shaver)(New West)
5. Wanda Jackson: The Best of The Capitol Classic Singles (Omnivore/Universal)


1. Willie Nelson
2. Toby Keith
3. Gary Allan


1. Natalie Maines
2. LeAnn Rimes
3. Patty Griffin


1. Mavericks
2. Willie Nelson & Family
3. Pistol Annies


1. Maggie Rose
2. Kacey Musgraves
3. Brandy Clark

1. Willie Nelson
2. Natalie Maines
3. Mavericks

Albums---Hon. Mentions:
Guy Clark: My Favorite Picture of You (Dualtone), Toby Keith: Drinks After Work (Deluxe Edition)(Show Dog/Uni), Patty Griffin: Silver Bell (A&M/Universal), Hot Club of Cowtown:Rendezvous In Rhythm (Gold Strike), Marshall Chapman:Blaze of Glory (Tallgirl), Todd Snider: Time As We Know It: The Songs of Jerry Jeff Walker (Aimless),
Holly Williams: The Highway (Georgiana), Susan Werner: Hayseed (Sleeve Dog),
Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison:Cheater’s Game(Premium), Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses): The Low Highway (New West), Cyndi Boste: Nowadays (WMP),
Gary Allan: Set You Free (MCA Nashville), Courtyard Hounds: Amelita (Columbia),
Maggie Rose: Cut To Impress (RPM Entertainment), Kandia Crazy Horse: Stampede (Bluebilly),
Bryan & The Haggards ft. Dr. Eugene Chadbourne: Merles Just Want To Have Fun(Northern Spy), Carrie Rodriguez: Give Me All You Got(Ninth Street Opus), Brandy Clark:12 Stories (Slate Creek), Kacey Musgraves: Same Trailer Different Park (Mercury Nashville)
Ashley Monroe: Like A Rose (Warner Bros)

Albums---other(about half good)
Tim McGraw: Two Lanes of Freedom(Accelerated Deluxe Edition) (Big Machine), Sheryl Crow: [Feels Like Home (Warner Music Nashville), Alan Jackson: The Bluegrass Album (Universal Nashville), Kellie Pickler: The Woman I Am (Black River Entertainment), Wayne Hancock: Ride (Bloodshot), James King:Three Chords And The Truth(Rounder)

Singles---Hon. Mentions:
Electro Shine ft. Big Kenny, Chebacca, and Chessboxer: “Dance Upon The Solid Ground” (Glotown), Electro Shine ft. Big Kenny, Chebacca, Ky-mani & KJ Marley: “Hope Chant”(Glotown), Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton: “You Can’t Make Old Friends” (Warner Bros/Elektra/Atlantic), Avicii ft. Dan Tyminski: “Hey Brother” (Island)

Reissues---other (about half good)
The Buckaroos: The Buckaroos Play Buck and Merle(Omnivore/Universal)

dow, Thursday, 23 January 2014 20:29 (four years ago) Permalink

Oh, The Perry's Pioneer should have been in Albums--other (about half-good): as I said in the blogged comments:
Kimberly P. can’t tote such generic ballads by herself; helps when guys’ voices sprout as she belts the Bay City Rollers-on-Broadway-type stuff: radios appear, hand-claps too, theirs and mine. At least four or five of these are keepers, and urge a tolerant re-consid of a couple other babies’ potential

dow, Thursday, 23 January 2014 20:49 (four years ago) Permalink

“Bible on the Dash,” Corb Lund featuring Hayes Carll

Wow, is this the same song as Gunplay's rap single from last year? (If so, I definitely need to check it out.)

xhuxk, Friday, 24 January 2014 14:16 (four years ago) Permalink

Actually, Chuck, I was just picking albums off the singles I voted for (or something).

But Xhuxk, we've had this discussion before, and you're simply wrong about the laziness,* and I'd thought Dave and I had convinced you. Geoff doesn't print ballots so it's impossible to prove it in regard to the country poll, but in Pazz & Jop it's been clear for years that people are combing the boonies hither and yon for songs, with rarely more than a few on any particular person's ballot that more than one or two other people even voted for; but therefore neither Hither nor Yon show atop the polls, but rather only the few tracks that people do vote for in common.** This is what popularity polls do.

*Well, except for my laziness, given that I barely heard any country albs but refused to disqualify myself, and I basically listened from a pool of tracks that you guys recommended.

**Xgau wrote an impossibly vague essay about this year's P&J in which he seems to be hoping for a reversal of the "atomization" that afflicts critics' ballots, i.e., he seems to think the world would be better if critics were liking more of the same songs as each other than they like now. (Don, Scott, JD, Alfred, and I chat about this essay over at

On a different topic, I feared from the title that Eric Church's "Give Me Back My Hometown" would be pandering to the antimodernity or antiimmigrant crowds (and maybe in a half-subliminal way the title is trawling for such purchasers via dog whistle), but rather its message is, "It's the same old town, but with a different meaning since you been gone," rather like Kix Brooks' "New To This Town." Glad that Eric's way of singing sorrow doesn't preclude prettiness.

(Not yet making sense of the video, which has suicide overtones, though according to Church in an interview on Country Vibe the vid is deliberately in fragments, is the first in a series for the album's singles, at the end of which we'll know who really killed Laura Palmer.)

Frank Kogan, Thursday, 6 February 2014 20:55 (four years ago) Permalink

Oops, Eric Church interview is here.

Frank Kogan, Thursday, 6 February 2014 21:01 (four years ago) Permalink

Eh? "My father killed me," Laura Palmer told Agent Dale Cooper during slight return, and that turned out to be true, or so it sure seemed, 23 years ago...

dow, Friday, 7 February 2014 01:16 (four years ago) Permalink

Speaking of Sturgill Simpson uphtread, Frank perceived exactly what I also saw w/ Simpson, the night he premiered his new record at Station Inn in Nashville in front of a big crowd. I'd heard the Sunday Valley bluegrass-rock-blues record he'd done and thought it was good. Sturgill did seem sort of sunken away from the proceedings, singing well but somehow, trapped in his groove, not communicating what he wanted to, and I got the vague feeling he thought he was selling out. So the record doesn't really move me too much, though I think he could be good.

Edd Hurt, Saturday, 8 February 2014 20:02 (four years ago) Permalink

“Bible on the Dash,” Corb Lund featuring Hayes Carll

Wow, is this the same song as Gunplay's rap single from last year? (If so, I definitely need to check it out.)

my god, if only

charitable remainder unitrust (crüt), Saturday, 8 February 2014 20:57 (four years ago) Permalink

I'm not a regular listener of recent country music but I've run into a couple of things lately about country acts who focus a lot on drinking and girls and trucks and such other tropes and it made me curious - do any modern country artists ever sing about weed or getting high?

Seems like a natural fit in a lot of ways and something utterly taboo in others, wasn't sure if this was a thing or not.

joygoat, Tuesday, 11 February 2014 21:58 (four years ago) Permalink

Eric Church - Smoke a Little Smoke

Bryan Fairy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 11 February 2014 22:16 (four years ago) Permalink

The highly acclaimed Brandy Clark, "Get High"

dow, Tuesday, 11 February 2014 22:33 (four years ago) Permalink

toby keith & scotty emerick - weed with willie

fact checking cuz, Tuesday, 11 February 2014 22:36 (four years ago) Permalink

from 2012, Willie Nelson & Snoop Dog & Jamey Johnson & Kris Kristofferson,
"Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die"

dow, Tuesday, 11 February 2014 22:37 (four years ago) Permalink

Used to hear this 'un quite a bit on the radio, back in the 70s: Jim Stafford, "Wildwood Weed"

dow, Tuesday, 11 February 2014 22:40 (four years ago) Permalink

Turns out Eric Church's album is his worst. I feel bad that new features tout Eric Church as the smart alternative to bro country and he's made a conflicted, confusing bro country album with racist overtones.

Bryan Fairy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 17 February 2014 01:04 (four years ago) Permalink

I've found the pre-release coverage of Church's album to be exhausting; a horde of poptimist writers I really like and respect, all agog over an album they'd be rolling their eyes at were it classified as the rock it sounds like for most of its running time and barely engaging with its problematic content. I'd love to banish the word "signifiers" from music writing, generally, but especially when it comes to Church's album.

Really sharp observations there, Alfred. Compared to someone like Miranda Lambert, Church has no idea how to create a clear, distinct persona even though it's clear that's what he seems driven to accomplish on this album.

jon_oh, Monday, 17 February 2014 02:29 (four years ago) Permalink

Which poptimists do you mean, Alfred?

Tim, Tuesday, 18 February 2014 09:46 (four years ago) Permalink,,20783671,00.html

More importantly, though, The Outsiders — the still-rising star's most brazen, brilliant disc yet, and the first great album of this year — challenges country's chart-dominating pickup polishers, drawing on riff-wagging rock and early Beastie Boys-style beats.

Nick Catucci in Entertainment Weekly never seems to have even a small bad word for big-name country acts

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 18 February 2014 15:36 (four years ago) Permalink

Is the Eric Church album streaming anywhere? Last I looked, Spotify only had the title track?

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 18 February 2014 16:14 (four years ago) Permalink

Which poptimists do you mean, Alfred?

― Tim,

me or jon oh?

Bryan Fairy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 18 February 2014 16:27 (four years ago) Permalink

Sorry, I met Jon Oh.

Tim, Tuesday, 18 February 2014 17:32 (four years ago) Permalink

Excerpt from Mikael Wood interview in L.A. Times with Church on different aspects of the new album not mentioned above

And the album has hard-to-define numbers such as "The Joint," which Church referred to as a cross between JJ Cale and "Rock On" by David Essex, and the disco-streaked "Roller Coaster Ride."

"I don’t know what the hell that one is," he said with a laugh, crediting his longtime producer, Jay Joyce, with helping to create an atmosphere of open experimentation during the album's recording. A couple of songs, including "Cold One," even make prominent use of trombone -- a rarity on modern pop, rock or country radio.

"I went to this jazz club in San Francisco and just fell in love with that sound,” Church explained. "When I went back to Jay, every song I’d be like, 'Trombone!' It became a joke in the studio.",0,193844.story#axzz2thFkmnlr

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 18 February 2014 17:47 (four years ago) Permalink

Jody Rosen is full of praise w/ very little criticism too

Since then, Church has released a new album roughly every two and a half years, each stronger than the previous, proving himself not just the most consistent male country star of his generation but one of the brightest lights in any genre—right up there with Kanye West, Beyoncé, Vampire Weekend, et al. Church’s new album, The Outsiders, is, in keeping with the pattern, his best yet; it’s also his most blustery, with the guitars and the outlaw swagger turned up, as the poet said, to eleven.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 18 February 2014 17:51 (four years ago) Permalink

I'm astounded by the plaudits tbh. In Jody's case particularly, for he's not a johnny come lately to Church.

Bryan Fairy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 18 February 2014 17:53 (four years ago) Permalink

Joygoat, if cocaine counts, there's Merle Haggard's "Wishing All These Old Things Were New, though it's not exactly a party song; and Shooter Jennings' "Little White Lines," if that's what it's about. For the leaf, there's Shooter's "Busted In Baylor County."

Frank Kogan, Tuesday, 18 February 2014 21:35 (four years ago) Permalink

Dierks Bentley sang “"you can grow marijuana way back in the pines/or work for the man down in the mines” in “Down In The Mine” a few years back. And I'm pretty sure there was another song on the same album, Up On The Ridge, that talked about smoking pot or at least generically “getting high,” but I’m drawing a blank on which track it might have been.

So far I like Dierks’s new album even less than Eric Church's, by the way, if only because I'm way less likely to return to its best songs. Only songs I like much on Church's are "Talladega" and "Like A Wrecking Ball," though maybe half of the rest (including the current single) is at least tolerable. Agree with Alfred (at least so far) that it's his worst album; in fact, I'd been predicting that since I heard an advance EP of song snippets last fall, and finally confirmed it this weekend.

Interestingly given something said above, @nn P0w3rs (who thinks it's a great record) told me on facebook that she thought "poptimists" would have trouble with the new Church album, since (she says) he's obsessed with being "authentic" (or something like that). (I didn't know whether that meant she thought I was a poptimist or not. I also still don't believe there's any such thing, but that's old news.)

Frank probably deserves an answer to what he said upthread about what I'd said about lazy Nashville Scene poll voters. And he's probably right (though I'm not sure that previous discussion he linked to had to do with singles results mirroring album results, which even if not lazy makes for a boring and not particularly useful singles list) -- not to mention that I'm probably just as lazy sometimes. But mainly I need to give it more thought.

xhuxk, Wednesday, 19 February 2014 01:26 (four years ago) Permalink

Music City Roots streams Wednesday night live audio-video shows from Nashville, with a variety of performers, playing with ye olde-tymey live country radio format (extended into TV Age via brief occasional on-stage commercials, presented, usually, by Hee Haw/Dazzy Duk-style gals). Tonight's line-up headlines Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy (regular/steel guitarist John Neff, a founding, recurring, now adamantly ex-Trucker, with guys from Elf Power, I think). Haven't yet gotten that much into late-'13 debut album, but live glimpses so far were promising.
The show starts with Julie Roberts, whose first album, past the starpower of her first single/video, was pretty disappointing. But she may have had more control over the unexpected 2013 return, which I haven't heard, or heard of, 'til I read this round-up(also: Jason D. Williams, Willie Sugarcapps, and The Barefoot Movement--better than their name, hopefully)

dow, Wednesday, 19 February 2014 18:42 (four years ago) Permalink

Lots of prev. shows still in the archive, last time I checked. All the ones I've seen are two hours long.

dow, Wednesday, 19 February 2014 18:44 (four years ago) Permalink

Oh, and I keep forgetting: Kacey Musgrave/Dale Watson's Austin City Limits sets are still streaming, for now (gotta set up a account, but just takes a sec).
Not crazy about his albums, the few I've heard (hers either, consistency-wise), but he plays somewhere almost every night, so should be tight, right? Autopilot, possibly, but

dow, Wednesday, 19 February 2014 23:38 (four years ago) Permalink

Jamey Johnson (who, like Shooter Jennings* everybody seems to have already forgotten about in all this Eric Church hoopla, though maybe I just haven't read the right reviews), "Can't Cash My Checks": "You can't make a good living these days 'cause the truth just won't sell/So if you go out my back door just over the hill/You'll see all these plants that's been paying my bills."

* -- who put out a way more metal -- and even worse! -- album than The Outsiders a couple years ago by the way.

Also pretty sure Kid Rock's mentioned weed at least once or twice, if he counts. (If nothing else, "Picture" -- a #21 country hit that talked about cocaine, though possibly not in the radio version -- ought to.)

xhuxk, Thursday, 20 February 2014 03:42 (four years ago) Permalink

And really late-period Kid Rock should count, in part because Church's "That's Damn Rock'n'Roll" is basically a late-period Kid Rock song.

xhuxk, Thursday, 20 February 2014 03:45 (four years ago) Permalink


1. High Top Mountain, Sturgill Simpson

wow, wish i would have seen this talked up more in the world at large a la kacey et al

j., Thursday, 20 February 2014 03:54 (four years ago) Permalink

well, this is a hell of a song

I'm getting pretty tired of the state things are in
Sometimes I feel like cutting a vein, just watching it bleed
I'm tired of laying it down, getting nothing on the other end
and people only wanting to be your friend when you got something they need

Well I'm getting pretty tired of being treated like competition
When the only one that can hold me down is inside my head
Whats a honky gotta do around here to get a little recognition
Start to think I might be worth more to everybody if I was dead

I'm getting pretty tired sitting around and wasting time
I'm tired of taking blame when I ain't done nothing wrong
I'm tired of other people trying to take what's mine
and I'm tired of y'all playing dress up and trying to sing them old country songs

Well some days you kill it and some days you just choke
Some days you blast off and some days you just smoke
Well now maybe I do and maybe I don't
Everybody says they'll be there but in the end y'all know they won't

would be strange to be in an audience for it, i think

j., Sunday, 23 February 2014 21:29 (four years ago) Permalink

the haden triplets, album release party at the bootleg theater, los angeles -- more old-timey/retro than this thread tends to go, i think, but i like the album, which places occasionally raggedy sisterly harmonies over pretty arrangements of country and bluegrass standards. recommended if you like the carter family and you find yourself missing 1947 and the knitters were too rock for your taste. the tempos are all almost aggressively slow, which doesn't bother me on the album, but onstage i really really wanted them -- needed them -- to rock out at least a little. i kept waiting. they kept getting slower. but they and their band, a mostly acoustic five-piece but with ry cooder playing electric lead for at least half the set, were endearingly loose, unpolished. they were less precious live than on record. and ry did rock out on his corner of the stage, sitting on a folding chair and playing wonderful ry cooder lead bits. first show in a long time where i was continuously thinking, "more guitar solos, please." they played an awful lot of songs by brothers -- louvins, stanleys, everlys -- which is maybe an inside joke because they're sisters, or maybe when you're doing country and bluegrass covers you don't really have a choice. i was also amused when, after playing a couple jesus songs, they said to their friends in the audience, now you understand why we can't pay the temple israel fundraiser.

fact checking cuz, Saturday, 1 March 2014 09:36 (four years ago) Permalink

...can't *play* the temple israel fundraiser.

fact checking cuz, Saturday, 1 March 2014 09:38 (four years ago) Permalink

Ha. Charlie's kids

curmudgeon, Saturday, 1 March 2014 15:58 (four years ago) Permalink

I clicked on that Sturgill Simpson Bandcamp link and this is the portion of his bio that's immediately visible:

Sturgill Simpson's authenticity stands out like an island of hope in a sea of tacky. Pure and uncompromising, devoid of...

I came back without even pressing play on the song. Might go back and try again later.

I'm new to Eric Church; picked up Chief and The Outsiders at Target last weekend. Chief is very good, The Outsiders is pretty bad. I listen to way too much Cannibal Corpse, to name just one, for his lyrics to get me worked up, but as far as the music's concerned, I'll just cut 'n' paste what I put on Facebook: "I feel SLIGHTLY less baffled (in the 'did I get the same CD I read about in the reviews?' sense) and ripped off after this purchase than I did after buying the first Big & Rich CD. Slightly. I guess the lesson here, which I fortunately only have to re-learn once a decade or so, is to never take advice on country music from pop critics."

Humorist (horse) (誤訳侮辱), Saturday, 1 March 2014 16:07 (four years ago) Permalink

hey let us know if there's any other music you almost listen to but don't

j., Saturday, 1 March 2014 16:52 (four years ago) Permalink

Chris Richards end of the year list in Washington Post has Sam Hunt, Miranda Lambert, sturgill Simpson, plus Lori McKenna and Hiss Golden Messenger

Methinks that Sam Hunt one is kinda uneven

curmudgeon, Sunday, 30 November 2014 06:24 (three years ago) Permalink

i wanted to like it/him but i thought it was pretty boring throughout. i actually love "cop car" but somehow found the version on his album fairly dull.

dyl, Sunday, 30 November 2014 07:45 (three years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that track started well, but petered out. Overall---mehhh---anyway, note to self: get the following

dow, Wednesday, 3 December 2014 02:15 (three years ago) Permalink

Have they done one for Oklahoma yet?

dow, Wednesday, 3 December 2014 02:16 (three years ago) Permalink

Thanx to all-weather publicist Cary Baker for pic of his new copy.

dow, Wednesday, 3 December 2014 02:18 (three years ago) Permalink

Country album noms at the Grammys:

Dierks Bentley - Riser
Eric Church - The Outsiders
Brandy Clark - 12 Stories
Miranda Lambert - Platinum
Lee Ann Womack - The Way I'm Livin'

uberweiss, Friday, 5 December 2014 14:08 (three years ago) Permalink

brandy, miranda and lee ann :D :D :D

uberweiss, Friday, 5 December 2014 14:08 (three years ago) Permalink

so happy that brandy's gotten some recognition

lex pretend, Friday, 5 December 2014 14:10 (three years ago) Permalink

Best New Artist noms:

Iggy Azalea
Brandy Clark
Sam Smith


prolego, Friday, 5 December 2014 16:06 (three years ago) Permalink

whoa that is pretty big especially given that her album wasn't exactly a hit. SO DESERVING! so unusual to be excited about grammy nominations!

lex pretend, Friday, 5 December 2014 16:10 (three years ago) Permalink


only grammy noms to make me happy so far

dyl, Friday, 5 December 2014 19:37 (three years ago) Permalink

The chronology of these ballot choices always weirds me out: voted (see way upthread) for Clark in Nashville Scene poll re alb was released---last year. Na ga vote for anything twice, wouldn't be prudent.
Best recap & comments in the history of time:

dow, Friday, 5 December 2014 19:47 (three years ago) Permalink

It is great to see Brandy Clark getting the exposure that her talent deserves. I was wondering, because i have no idea, do Grammy nominations actually make a difference to record sales?

gregus, Friday, 5 December 2014 23:19 (three years ago) Permalink

if the the category is shown on the television broadcast, it usually provides a quick but significant upsurge in sales for the nominated artists (esp. if they win)

dyl, Saturday, 6 December 2014 05:04 (three years ago) Permalink

Thanks dyl,

I was wondering about the importance of the nomination. In Britain or Ireland, being nominated or winning a high profile award, such as the Mercury Prize, can have a very positive effect, but it can also be seen as an albatross around the neck of the winner. A case in point is Speech Debelle, who never really recovered from being perceived as an undeserving winner of the award, and her win certainly didn't translate into record sales.

gregus, Saturday, 6 December 2014 06:28 (three years ago) Permalink

Whiney and other RS contributors weigh in with selections from big names and others

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 10 December 2014 19:11 (three years ago) Permalink

But the guys in question have been pretty humorless. When the song dropped, the bros were tellingly silent amid the waves of hype, if not downright annoyed. Asked about the song by the Chicago Tribune, Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley claimed he didn’t know what the interviewer was talking about. When asked further, he got snippy. “All I’m gonna say about that is, I don’t know one girl who doesn’t want to be a girl in a country song,” Kelley said. “That’s all I’m gonna say to you. That’s it.”

curmudgeon, Thursday, 11 December 2014 20:12 (three years ago) Permalink

Here's one to which I contributed:

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 December 2014 20:13 (three years ago) Permalink

Nikki Lane: still good. Prob in my Scene ballot Top Ten Albums.

i like this pretty ok so far but i can't stop hearing her accent as claire bowen's fake-ass 'scarlett' accent on nashville

j., Friday, 12 December 2014 03:58 (three years ago) Permalink

Thanks, Alfred. I've been way behind on singles for the Scene ballot, will check those.
Tulare Dust, good Merle trib, now reissued with an added disc:

dow, Friday, 12 December 2014 19:58 (three years ago) Permalink

tulare dust is one of the only tribute albums i've ever truly loved.

fact checking cuz, Friday, 12 December 2014 20:28 (three years ago) Permalink

i think "girl in a country song" and especially the way it's been promoted have been overly acquiescent to the 'bro' side of the industry but it is amusing to see that the florida georgia line guy is actually annoyed by it

dyl, Friday, 12 December 2014 20:35 (three years ago) Permalink

Iris DeMent's cover of Big City on Tulare Dust. Just killer.

that's not my post, Saturday, 13 December 2014 06:45 (three years ago) Permalink

Amen. Come to think of it, during one of her long spells between albums, she also toured as keyboard player with Merle and the Strangers. Sure would like them to duet.
xpost yeah and he shoulda pointed out to his interviewer that they put themselves in a country song, that answer songs are another way of riding a trend by counter-balance, that answer songs are another biz family tradition. Alas, Weird Al probably won't be back 'til way after this whole thing is too passe for him.

Another excellent Ashley Spurgeon recap of Nashville (mid-season finale!), with some points I hadn't thought of, so obv. brilliant. Good comments again too:

dow, Sunday, 14 December 2014 15:37 (three years ago) Permalink

Also speaking of Nashville, I don't hear a connection between Nikki Lane and Claire Bowman's fake accent, which always reminded me of a Loretta Lynn imitation (or Sissy Spacek as Loretta in Coal Miner's Daughter) Maybe Bowman noticed that she looks like young Loretta might now, with a salon tan and mermaid waves of platinum extensions.

dow, Sunday, 14 December 2014 15:44 (three years ago) Permalink

extensions, even (but the original LL would prob be pale brunette on Bloodshot w Lydia Loveless, at least initially)

dow, Sunday, 14 December 2014 15:50 (three years ago) Permalink

Whiney and other RS contributors weigh in with selections from big names and others

― curmudgeon, Wednesday, December 10, 2014 1:11 PM (1 week ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I really like this list, though Lydia Loveless is an unforgivable exclusion. Is that Little Big Town record the real deal? I can barely remember it, though I'm certain I gave it a couple spins.

Indexed, Tuesday, 23 December 2014 19:50 (three years ago) Permalink

Also, I feel like I'm the only guy that doesn't get Shovels and Rope. They're fine, but come off a bit gimmicky to me.

Indexed, Tuesday, 23 December 2014 19:51 (three years ago) Permalink

That Nashville Sound's EOY lists:

Top 35 Albums:

Top Ten Unexpected Country Duets and Music Collaborations of 2014:

Nice to see Jason Eady get some love. Critics seem to have totally slept on that record.

Indexed, Tuesday, 23 December 2014 19:56 (three years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I still need to check that for the last round-up, re the Scene ballot. Maybe check Shovels and Rope's O' Be Joyful, which I get into more than the latest alb. They've got a Deluxe Edition of it out now or coming up, with "songs from our previous records," meaning from before they teamed up, apparently, but reworked for their current shows.

dow, Tuesday, 23 December 2014 22:42 (three years ago) Permalink

May not have time for singles though. Right now I'm just blanking on any ten, much less ten best.

dow, Tuesday, 23 December 2014 22:45 (three years ago) Permalink

Okay, listened to the current xpost Jason Eady, Daylight and Dark: a mild-mannered, reflective, sometimes rueful voice, usually late night for him. between 9 and 10.Although "Temptation" seems to be out in the great wide open, an eerie gray today, with no distractions, while he thinks about his thoughts, about being tempted. He invites us to lean in, just a bit. So far, the title track and about half the others, ones that sound a bit more lived-in, pull me along. Background and duet assistants assist, also when the tempo gets picked up, just a tad. Don Williams, George Strait appeal.

Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, Our Year: Was she this strong on her solo albums? Must check. Seems like she should always sing lead. On "Lonely For You," she even sounds like a (vocally, not emotionally) self-sustained Everly, no need for overdubs. He's crisp, but there's a subliminal ebb and flow on a couple tracks, like he's pausing the take, "Lemme come back to that line": the writer as vocal stylist, whoopee. Still, it mostly works out, especially when I play it louder, and the sequence of tracks is good, like even "Harper Valley PTA" takes on a claustrophobic quality here, as Willis relentlessly busts the endless, obsessive rounds of musical beds in this itchy niche, this teeming Valley. Fine finale, "This Will Be Our Year," doesn't seem ironic, though lyrics x context of sequence show they know they got a lot to hope for, def. incl. change, but they've sure worked for it, earned it. Good, but if you haven't heard them before, check 2013 Cheater's Game first.

dow, Wednesday, 24 December 2014 14:53 (three years ago) Permalink

Here are some singles,a mixture of pop and Americana and Jon Langford (I guess he counts as roots/Americana now).

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 24 December 2014 21:05 (three years ago) Permalink

I wrote some of those blurbs -- thanks!

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 24 December 2014 21:06 (three years ago) Permalink

Re: Willis, I'd say she's even stronger on her solo albums (though I like both of the duets albums with Robison quite a bit, as well). Of her early 90s albums for MCA, her self-titled release was my favorite, though all three were solid. Since signing with independent labels, I'd say <i>What I Deserve</i> is her strongest album, but I really don't think she's ever released a bad album. She plays to more of an Americana audience, but I think her song choices and feistiness avoid a lot of the stuffier trappings of so many other acts in that corner of the genre.

Both the Willis & Robison and Jason Eady albums made my Nashville Scene ballot. I liked Eady's previous album a bit better than this one, fwiw.

jon_oh, Wednesday, 24 December 2014 21:15 (three years ago) Permalink

Ah cool, will check all those too, thanks Jon!
Also, I got Rosanne Cash's The River & The Thread pretty early, but after a few spins, quickly dismissed it as too arty. But as I start listening again, and this time to the Deluxe Edition, it's growing on me. The bonus tracks---Townes Van Zandt's "Two Girls" (vibe/strategy cousin to the most truly artful, if also arty original here, fabulous "Night School"), Jesse Winchester's sensuous blue "Biloxi," and "Your Southern Heart," (apparently Cash-Leventhal, like all of 'em if not otherwise specified)---def. tip the scales in favor of artisanal pleasure: conceptualism gets carried along, as she increasingly seems to enjoy making dark, rich, fluid,lustrous stuff, suitable for some thoughtful listening and a discreet buzz.
But c'mon: this is post-country. This is Rosanne Cash. Yes, it's about a narrator, maybe a woman (gonna wear a dress, anyway), references to tape and other music gear stashed, coming back to places like Memphis, and RC was born there, but mostly grew up in Southern California, in a house JC bought from Johnny Carson, she's said she was never at ease as a young female radio star in Nsshville, and she moved to NYC 25 years ago. Writes and edits books, etc. Probably owns every issue of Oxford American ever, and has appeared in the pages of several.
So we get empathetic or anyway increasingly sympathetic takes on a returned native's approaches to local residents, mostly with sensibilties skewed and possibly screwed, in the best tracks. But no mention of, say, Wal-Mart vs. Mom 'n' Pops (check Alan Jackson's "The Little Man" for good bits on that, despite the title), or meth, booze-running (yep, she's making me re-think A. Presley's album, despite finding its topicality a bit schematic at first), no open carry laws, no clampdown on birth control and abortion, etc. Tuning into the electric church, "50, 000 watts of common prayer," at one point, but no common speech, not when river bottoms can be "The Sunken Lands." No slang, no inverse condescension, Ah reckon.(Common prayer? Well, we do still have some Episcopals, way back there and on that NPR.)
But hey, "Open up that window, and pass the baby through/Take her to the ghost bridge, and she'll know what to do." Sounds like she's with us, folks! (And she's still studying, judging by "Night School" and some others, still learning from covering Townes & Jesse, from "Ode To Billy Joe," which she specifically references in passing once here and covers live, and from the expansion-compression cycles of 90s-now Dylan, I think, I hope...)

So I'm gonna make up another category for the Scene ballot, incl post-country (her) country punk (Lydia Loveless) cowpunk (prev unleased This Is Lone Justice, and some other tags/stuff.

dow, Wednesday, 24 December 2014 21:38 (three years ago) Permalink

Not to get purist! Just to have another Top Ten (which won't get counted in the poll, but neither would they as Hon. Mentions, my ongoing catchall category.)

dow, Wednesday, 24 December 2014 21:42 (three years ago) Permalink

This new category may be called Countryoid.

dow, Wednesday, 24 December 2014 21:45 (three years ago) Permalink

I wish I liked the Cash album as much as her Civil War ballad and as much as I love "Little Man."

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 24 December 2014 21:45 (three years ago) Permalink

Me too (though my wife likes it). We saw Rosanne Cash live around this time last year and I liked the songs better(they seemed to have more energy and life and less formula)

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 24 December 2014 23:28 (three years ago) Permalink

Yeah, works better live, esp. when she also includes "Ode To Billy Joe" and includes some of her older songs with the new ones

Listened to Angeleena Presley's American Middle Class, giving it the added advantage of contrast with arty artisanal artful Rosanne. It does grow on me, but still got mixed responses. Like-tolove the writing (for the latter, line about the girl who's compared to "a saddle in a one-hoss town," ouch!)and performance of "Ain't No Way," but the understated, breathy drawl can let me drift away when she doesn't let the instruments do enough of the dirty work, and seems willfully simple when the writing does. She and I come from similar backgrounds, and I'm still there, incl. financially, so obviously not smarter or for that matter better (or worse) off with the out-of-town book learnin' either, but I know she knows there's more to it than the title track rants about---oh wait, she'd be "Better Off Red," if all those things that she learned when the bluegrass poison of Eastern Kentucky State Babylon could just fall out of her head.

But of course, she's just giving us the unflattering truth of what she thinks sometimes, including the easy connection to "American Middle Class," and "Knocked Up" too, after spilling the beans in "Dry County Blues" (which drifts away a bit toward the end, but that's part of the point about that way of life)(ditto [a day in the]"Life of the Party," kinda generic but again context y'all, and nice picking), and especially "Pain Pills" (my fave, with the "backup singer" caught in echolalia and bouncing off the particle board, times the monster guitar she finally lets off its leash---although it's real good on and important to "Grocery Store" as well). After all that, "Knocked Up" 's wry delivery understates & underlines the notion that she hasn't really turned up her nose at *all* the secular local customs. Still, gets a little tedious, but maybe that's part of just movin' right along folks, life and life only. Fine line between the mundane and quotidian, yep.
"Drunk" okay set piece, you know the plot from first couple lines, didn't Brandy Clark do this? "BLessing and A Curse" is better, with bracing music, even though no hairy solos, good she can do it this way too; "Surrender" is even better with the candor again, though not quite spelling out what she's surrendering too, except it's not a sense of (ultimate) defeat, just "I can't do it alone," which I hope means she's realizing she can't rely too much on vocal power/distinction, and that she will also be a Pistol Annie as long as that works.
Hon. Mention, I guess. End of another minority report.

dow, Thursday, 25 December 2014 00:02 (three years ago) Permalink

"if all those things that she learned, when the bluegrass poison of Eastern Kentucky State Babylon *entered her*, could just fall out of her head," I meant (still not that good, but a little clearer).

dow, Thursday, 25 December 2014 00:09 (three years ago) Permalink

Should have just quoted the line instead of parodically paraphrasing it, but anyway.

dow, Thursday, 25 December 2014 00:11 (three years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, staying in Pistol Annies might help w writing as well, at least re feedback, also trying different co-writers beyond PA.

dow, Thursday, 25 December 2014 00:32 (three years ago) Permalink

Eric Church, The Outsiders
First track has me thinking this is hick hop in black, with a touch of metal, ready to square off in the parking lot with rich yearbook pix/cheerleader hawgs of bro country--like Metallica presented as a dark alternative to gaudy Hollywood hair metal and Van Halen pop "metal." Also, as later songs elaborate on, it's for older bros, or bros who have been around long enough to have relationships to negotiate, and other long and winding roads, sometimes with twists which have barely turned (don't ask, just---don't...). Not serenading gals when not serenading selves and each other, in instant selfie nostalgia for the present nights, "Beer In The Headlights" and all that bro-mance.
But some people liked Metallica and hair metal and pop metal, and some of this is mainly nostalgic, like Chesney remembering race tracks more than pickup tracks, and the older bro is grateful to the lady who pulled the iron thorn from his paw, put a pin back in his grenade, and maybe introduced him to the band who pace his "Wrecking Ball" before it can explode beyond some kind of luric macho as written, mellow as murmured customary boudoir code.
Oh yeah, the band! Always on point, and if if this okay (studio) character actor & storyteller (effectively low-key and informative when guiding us around the "fer-tile loins" of Nashville Babylonia, although it doesn't work as well when he turns on Her mate, the Devil), much more Chuck Norris than James Hetfield after all---which really is okay, at this point!----but if he ever managed to give his Nashville Cats in black more than Music Row's latest angles, arcs and novelty songs--sure would be good to hear them rise to the occasion, rather than have to hold back just a little too obviously, by sounding so ferocious so on cue----so as not to upstage the guy up front.
That can happen live, when everything isn't mixed beyond perfectly, but go for whatever you go for, and be prepared to stay for the band (do brace yourself for the worst-"sung" version of "Talladega" you can imagine, and then some). Still, considering the heavy, agile, always attentive playing, and the clever gimmicks of most songs, and of course Church's adequate studio delivery, overall it's an Hon. Mention (much more consistently listenable than Florida-Georgia, for inst.)

dow, Thursday, 25 December 2014 05:00 (three years ago) Permalink

"Talladega" seems to be nostalgic for bros drinking and driving, on some occasions, so touching all bases---and most songs address how "you" make him feel, much more than touching on whoever, whatever you may be otherwise (whereever? Mostly real close, or real gone, to/from vicinity of the monologue). Not even any "By the time I get to Phoenix she'll be risin'", no wondering what Bro's doin' now, or would be if he hadn't crashed, no "I drive his truck"---no trucks, as prev. mentioned. And no blood relatives, other than a son you thugs, mugs, dealers of drugs better not touch, or "(little smirk)I'll let the Dark Side out to play..." (darkwing music in background)
So it's all at least as self-involved as a lot of male-sung mainstream pop country, which is to say, as a lot of country, whatever the special sauce.

dow, Thursday, 25 December 2014 05:16 (three years ago) Permalink

Merry Country Christmas and adios for a while.

dow, Thursday, 25 December 2014 05:38 (three years ago) Permalink

After the Christmas basket, before the turkey & dressing, a palate cleanser:
Terri Clark, Some Songs: "Some songs/Need air/Some songs/Need a girl." Yep,'n' some need the return of the No-BS Canadian Queen of Hat Country, with just enough of ye olde rodeo/hangar clangor, Chris LeDoux's pioneer prescription of "Aerosmith in a cowboy hat," balanced by her own, sometimes romantic, often dry POV: you gave her your word, darlin---riiight, she heard that, "So I took it down town and I cheated on you," how do like them onions? She's been around, and is still ready get some messy details on the fresh white T; more where that came from. And her new theme song is the typically forthright "Better With My Boots On." Others incl. "Here Comes Crazy," "Don't Start," "Wheels Down," "Bad Car," "Just Add Water," and "Feelin' Pretty Good Right Now." If you need some car music for holiday travel (to see The Interview, to buy the new Garth at Wal-Mart, etc.), try this, and her Greatest Hits 1994-2004, whether or not you can find that "worn-out tape of Chris LeDoux" (Hi Garth, who is not on $P0T1fy, so won't get considerd by me in this poll, unless I find a nice-priced used CD).

dow, Thursday, 25 December 2014 19:42 (three years ago) Permalink

Rosanne getting really hearty w the arty re The River & The Thread, also slinging hot chestnuts from The List, on latest Beale Street Caravan. Listen local, or here---although, unlike most of their archived shows, you gotta join to listen---but you also get backstory of The Gentrys' Memphis garagemark "Keep On Dancin'":

dow, Sunday, 28 December 2014 04:02 (three years ago) Permalink

Listened to Angeleena Presley's American Middle Class, giving it the added advantage of contrast with arty artisanal artful Rosanne. It does grow on me, but still got mixed responses.

― dow, Wednesday, December 24, 2014 6:02 PM (1 week ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Agreed, this was one of the more disappointing releases of the year for me. Gave it the benefit of the doubt and returned a number of times, but nothing grabbed me quite like her best work for the Annies. Sadly, the best of the bunch for me are the ones with serious talent co-writing (“Grocery Store” and “Surrender”).

Indexed, Monday, 5 January 2015 20:40 (three years ago) Permalink

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