Author Archives: Kevin John Coyne

2015 ACM Awards: Country Universe Viewer’s Guide

The fiftieth annual Academy of Country Music Awards air tonight, and Country Universe has you covered!  Here’s a rundown of all of the major categories, along with some commentary from our writers about who should win, who will, and what the nominations as a whole say about the current state of country music.

Share your thoughts about this year’s show in the comments, and check back for a list of winners when it’s all said and done.

Garth Brooks 3Entertainer of the Year

Should Win:

  • Jason Aldean
  • Garth Brooks – Jonathan
  • Luke Bryan – Sam
  • Florida-Georgia Line
  • Miranda Lambert – Ben, Kevin

Will Win:

  • Jason Aldean
  • Garth Brooks
  • Luke Bryan
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Miranda Lambert – Jonathan, Ben, Sam, Kevin

BF: I think Lambert is due, but I could get on board with a win for Brooks, whose comeback tour certainly warrants recognition. Those are about the only two possible victories I could swallow.

SG: This is fan-voted, so it really comes down to who can most mobilize their fan base. I give Miranda the nod, simply because she and her husband can both rally the troops. As to who deserves it, it’s hard to deny the impact that Luke Bryan has had on country music, love him or loathe him. He also seems like a fair entertainer, whether it’s shimmying around the stage or falling off them.

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Daily Top Five: Reba McEntire

Reba McEntireFollowing up on yesterday’s post, Reba McEntire is the other legend that streeted a new album last week.  As good a time as any to ask: What are your five favorite Reba McEntire albums and tracks?

Here are my picks:

Albums

  1. For My Broken Heart
  2. Rumor Has it
  3. What if it’s You
  4. Whoever’s in New England
  5. My Kind of Country

Tracks

  1. The Fear of Being Alone
  2. If I Had Only Known
  3. The Greatest Man I Never Knew
  4. Fallin’ Out of Love
  5. Consider Me Gone

 

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Daily Top Five: Dwight Yoakam

Dwight YoakamThose of you enjoying Dwight Yoakam’s new album, Second Hand Heart, have probably been fans for a long time!

Today, we’re sharing are top five albums and tracks for the legendary singer.  Tomorrow, we’ll tackle the other legend who street dated this week.

Here are my top fives:

Albums

  1. Gone
  2. Under the Covers
  3. This Time
  4. If There was a Way
  5. Tomorrow’s Sounds Today

Tracks

  1. Things Change
  2. The Back of Your Hand
  3. Guitars, Cadillacs
  4. Ain’t That Lonely Yet
  5. Nothing

How about you?

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Daily Top Five: Songs About Money

Shania Twain Ka-Ching!This week brought tax season to an end, and depending on how it went for you last year, you’ll be collecting a refund check or writing one out to the IRS instead.

Seems as good a time as any to share our five favorite songs about money!

Here ‘s my top five:

  1. Merle Haggard, “If We Make it Through December”
  2. John Anderson, “Money in the Bank”
  3. Todd Snider, “Broke”
  4. Shania Twain, “Ka-Ching!”
  5. Alabama, “40 Hour Week (For a Livin’)”

 

 

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Single Review: Old Dominion, “Break Up With Him”

Old Dominion Break Up With Him
“Break Up With Him”
Old Dominion

Written by Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Whit Sellers, Geoff Sprung and Brad Tursi

Any song that starts with, “Hey, girl! What’s up?” gets off to a bad start right away.

What follows is three minutes of a guy pressuring a girl to dump her boyfriend because he knows that she’d rather be with him, instead.

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Daily Top Five: Most Recent Purchases

Dwight Yoakam Second Hand HeartToday’s a fairly big release day for long time country music fans, as two legends release sets today:  Reba McEntire, who returns after five years with Love Somebody, and Dwight Yoakam, who is back with Second Hand Heart, which is only his second album of new material in the last ten years.

We’ve already review the lead Reba single and lead Dwight single.  We’ll have reviews up of both albums at a later date, but they influenced today’s Daily Top Five:  What are your most recent purchases?

I’m still an albums guy, so I’m going to list my most recent five albums purchased, but feel free to list tracks instead, if you’re more the a la carte type.

My five most recent (country) album purchases are:

  1. Shelby Lynne, Temptation
  2. Shania Twain, Still the One: Live From Vegas
  3. Rhiannon Giddens, Tomorrow is My Turn
  4. Punch Brothers, The Phosphorescent Blues
  5. Jason Isbell, Sirens of the Ditch

You can read the CU reviews of Giddens here, and Punch Brothers here, and there’s a good chance you’ll be reading about the Lynne set when we finish our 1993 lists.  Also, a great Starter Kit for Jason Isbell can be read here.  (Start with Southeastern, if you don’t have it already, before moving on to Sirens and the rest of his catalog.  You should have all of his catalog.  He’s that good.)

What are your five latest country purchases?

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Daily Top Five: Toby Keith Songs

Toby KeithToday, we reviewed the latest single from Toby Keith, who has been on the mainstream country scene since 1993.   That’s long enough for any fan of country music to have at least five songs they dig by the guy.

So today’s question is, what are your five favorite Toby Keith songs?

Mine are:

  1. In a Couple of Days
  2. White Rose
  3. I’m Just Talking About Tonight
  4. As Good as I Once Was
  5. A Little too Late

Yours?

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Single Review: Toby Keith, “35 MPH Town”

Toby Keith 35 MPH Town

“35 MPH Town”
Toby Keith

Written by Toby Keith and Bobby Pinson

Toby Keith revisits one of his most successful ongoing themes – life in a dying small town.

In this case, he lays the blames the pending death on a lack of religion and strict discipline in the lives of today’s youth.

It’s a different approach for him, as usually he talks about the collapse of economic opportunity leading to the downfall of small town America.    That’s lingering under the surface, of course, but not his primary focus here.

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Single Review: Thompson Square, “Trans Am”

Thompson Square Trans Am

“Trans Am”
Thompson Square

Written by Nathan Chapman, Blair Daly, Kiefer Thompson, and Shawna Thompson

Dude really loves his car.  Like, the way Sam Winchester loves his car.

“Trans Am” has a lot of energy and it’s a credit to Thompson Square that they don’t get lost in the shuffle of a very busy production.

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Daily Top Five: First Favorites

kenny-rogers-gamblerToday, we kick off a new feature: Daily Top Five.  Every day, one of our writers will post their top five picks for a given category, and invite readers to share their own lists in the comments.   This idea was ripped off from inspired by the film Top Five.

Since this is the first entry, today’s topic is First Favorites – your top five songs that got you into country music.

For me:

  1. John Anderson, “Straight Tequila Night”
  2. Reba McEntire, “For My Broken Heart”
  3. Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler”
  4. Pam Tillis, “Maybe it Was Memphis”
  5. Dwight Yoakam, “It Only Hurts When I Cry”

What’s your top five?

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