July 31, 2012
How to define Country Universe? Thoughtful, authentic, accessible, open-minded – all qualities established long before I came on board. Eight years in, it’s still home to a rare breed of music criticism that knows no boundaries when it comes to what moves people. I treasure that.
But because of Kevin’s leadership, this blog is more than just a critical eye on country music. Its defining characteristic is that it’s truly a place – a universe — where readers and writers alike are held to the highest standards of respect, honesty and decency. In a genre built on the simplest stories of humanity, this couldn’t be more appropriate.
Country Universe is a blessing in my life for which I am continuously grateful. In the last three years, this blog has not only deepened my relationship with the genre, but challenged me to be a more insightful writer, thinker and person. It’s taught me that being a fan doesn’t have to mean compromising your credibility, that passion and sincerity are as important as intelligence and wit. And, above all, it’s introduced me to a family of writers I never thought I’d be lucky enough to find.
In honor of Country Universe’s 8th anniversary, here are ten of my favorite pieces:
1. The 201 Greatest Singles of the Decade, Conclusion: #20-#1
2. Discussion: Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain and Gender in Country Music
3: Single Review/Shameless Rant: Miranda Lambert, “The House That Built Me”
4. Single Review: Taylor Swift, “Sparks Fly”
6. Favorite Songs by Favorite Artists: Sara Evans
9. Single Review: Jerrod Niemann, “Lover, Lover”
7. Favorite Songs by Favorite Artists: Dixie Chicks
8. Favorite Albums: Christmas
10. The Coping Power of Music
Country Universe Turns Eight:
- An Introduction, by Kevin John Coyne
- Leeann’s Favorites, by Leeann Ward
- Dan’s Perspective, by Dan Milliken
- Tara’s Take, by Tara Seetharam
- Ben’s Best, by Ben Foster
- Jonathan’s View, by Jonathan Keefe