Articles by Kevin John Coyne

Daily Top Five: Kinda Hits

August 20, 2015 // 16 Comments

Seems as good a topic as any for the day of the week known as Throwback Thursday.

While listening to a Pam Tillis hits playlist, “It’s Lonely Out There” came up early, just after some of her biggest hits and before a few other big hits.

Daily Top Five: Autobiographical Songs

August 10, 2015 // 16 Comments

Jonathan posted an excellent review of “Dime Store Cowgirl” today, which is an autobiographical song by Kacey Musgraves. Today’s top five asks you to share your favorite autobiographical country songs, the ones where the artist/writer tells their own story in song. There are so many of these I like, from Johnny Cash’s “Five Feet High and Rising” to Carlene Carter’s “Me and the Wildwood Rose,” but while making my list, I realized I couldn’t pick just one Dolly Parton song. So my top five is just songs by her. But please feel free to mix up the artists on your own list! Here’s My Top Five: Dolly Parton, “Just Because I’m a Woman” Dolly Parton, “In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)” Dolly Parton, “Coat of Many Colors” Dolly Parton, “Shattered Image” Dolly Parton, “Backwoods Barbie”  

Single Review: Jason Isbell, “24 Frames”

July 29, 2015 // 8 Comments

  “24 Frames” Jason Isbell Written by Jason Isbell “You thought God was an architect. Now you know. He’s something like a pipe bomb ready to blow.” If that line isn’t enough to have you itching to hear the new Jason Isbell single, “24 Frames,” then you might as well skip the rest of this review.

Daily Top Five: Least Favorite Song from Your Favorite Albums

July 29, 2015 // 11 Comments

Because turnabout is always fair play! What is your least favorite song from each of your favorite albums? Here’s my list: Dixie Chicks, “Tortured, Tangled Hearts” (Home) Mary Chapin Carpenter, “Stones in the Road” (Stones in the Road) Trisha Yearwood, “You Don’t Have to Move That Mountain” (Hearts in Armor) Brandy Clark, “Illegitimate Children” (12 Stories) Tim McGraw, “Just Be Your Tear” (Live Like You Were Dying)

The Best Singles of 1993, Part Four: #10-#1

July 28, 2015 // 6 Comments

The list comes to a close with ten classic records from some of the era’s most commercially and critically successful stars. It’s easy to be cynical about country radio these days, but unlike most of the songs on the lists we compile now, 1993’s best singles got a lot of airplay. All but one of our top ten entries reached the top five of the singles chart. If we could get a success rate today that was anywhere near that, it might be safe to turn on the radio again! Enjoy the end to this list, and us writers will enjoy that rare downtime that comes between finishing the publication of one of these lists and starting another one! #10 “Nothin’ But the Wheel” Patty Loveless Written by John Scott Sherrill Peak: #20 #3 – BF | #7 – KJC | #24 – SG Loveless’ brokenhearted narrator takes to the Read More

The Best Singles of 1993, Part Three: #20-#11

July 27, 2015 // 8 Comments

As we enter the top half of the list, signature hits by some of the era’s biggest stars rub elbows with a pair of breakthrough singles and an overlooked release by a future superstar. You’ll also find out, in case you’ve been wondering for the past 22 years, just what Dwight Yoakam sneers at the end of one of his classic records.   #20 “Soon” Tanya Tucker Written by Casey Kelly and Bob Regan Peak: #2 #13 – LW | #22 – JK | #28 – KJC | #30 – BF Cheating songs that successfully make us feel compassion for the other woman are a rarity, but “Soon” manages to make us root for the woman who finds herself in a losing cycle, one that she finally finds the strength to stop. Tanya Tucker’s sympathetic performance and the song’s soothing melody invite us to feel compassion for the woman in Read More

The Best Singles of 1993, Part Two: #30-#21

July 26, 2015 // 4 Comments

Our Best Singles of 1993 list continues with a collection of #1 hits, breakthrough hits, and should’ve been hits.  Kicking things off is the debut single from one of the decade’s most successful vocal groups. #30 “Goodbye Says it All” BlackHawk Written by Bobby Fischer, Charlie Black and Johnny MacRae Peak: #11 #9 – SG | #31 – BF BlackHawk enjoyed a nice run of hits from their debut album, including this kiss-off song. Lead singer Henry Paul was best known for his work in the Southern Rock band The Outlaws, but his distinctive voice adapted well to mainstream country, too. “Goodbye” showed off the great harmonies from the trio (Paul, Dave Robbins and the late Van Stephenson), and it also proved the adage that nothing good has ever written been down in lipstick (Patty Loveless’ “She Drew a Broken Heart” is Exhibit B). – Sam Gazdziak

The Best Singles of 1993, Part One: #40-#31

July 25, 2015 // 2 Comments

How strong a year for country music was 1993? Well, if our Best Albums list revealed how many great artists were overlooked, our Best Singles list reveals why there is so little room at the inn. Out of the forty singles ranked among our best, all but five reached the top twenty of the Billboard country singles chart.    Ten of them made it all the way to #1, and another nine of them stopped at #2.   Country radio in 1993 was good. Our list kicks off today with the first ten entries of the top forty.  We’ll reveal ten more every day until we get to the top of the list on Tuesday. Under each entry, you’ll see each single’s peak position on the Billboard chart and the individual ranking for each writer who included it on their own top forty list. #40 “On the Road” Lee Roy Parnell Written Read More

Daily Top Five: Miranda Lambert

July 23, 2015 // 13 Comments

Later today, we will publish our latest edition of Favorite Songs by Favorite Artists.  The newest entry in our long running series is written by Leeann Ward and will focus on Miranda Lambert. To whet our appetites, today’s top five asks you to list your five favorite tracks from the award-winning artist. Here’s my list: Mama’s Broken Heart Little Red Wagon Gunpowder & Lead Guilty in Here Two Rings Shy  

Daily Top Five: Country Reissue Wish List

July 15, 2015 // 15 Comments

There are so many new concepts going on in country music reissues.  Two disc deluxe editions of classic albums.  Box sets of an entire artist’s catalog, with the CD’s in miniature LP replica sleeves.  Digital issues of concert recordings.  (Wolfgang’s Vault is a thing.  Check it out.)  Two albums on one CD, or carefully curated collections of singles.   Bear Family box sets that give you everything.  Even 180 gram vinyl records are coming out at a rapid clip. So I’m wondering what your wish list is.  What reissues would you rush out to buy or download on day one? Here’s my top five list: Dolly Parton, The Complete RCA Albums Collection: 1968-1986 Willie Nelson,  Deluxe Editions of Nineties Classics: Across the Borderline, Spirit, Teatro Shania Twain, The Complete International Remix Collection: 1995-2006 Kay T. Oslin, Clean Your Own Tables: The Early Years Trisha Yearwood, Rarities and Unreleased Tracks: 1992-2012  

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