Author Archives: Kevin John Coyne

Daily Top Five: Strengthen Country Radio

Old Crow Medicine Show RemedyActively writing single reviews again has me also looking at the radio charts again.   What a bleak landscape of interchangeable singers and songs!  I can’t remember things ever being this generic and bland.  We flirted with it back in the Kellie Coffey days, but the bottom didn’t fall out.

Today, is there even a bottom?  An old friend of mine listened to country radio for the first time in presumably years and asked, “Am I crazy, or is everyone getting drunk on country radio?”

He’s not crazy.  What can we do to fix this?

Today’s Top Five asks: What five songs would you immediately put in heavy rotation on country radio?

They can already be singles, or could be unreleased songs that you think should be singles, but they should be current enough to be featured on an artist’s most recent album.

Here’s my top five:

  1. Old Crow Medicine Show, “Mean Enough World”
  2. Trisha Yearwood, “You Can’t Trust the Weatherman”
  3. Jason Isbell, “Songs that She Sang in the Shower”
  4. Nickel Creek, “You Don’t Know What’s Going On”
  5. Reba McEntire, “Just Like Them Horses”

Yours?

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Single Review: Josh Dorr, “Save Your Breath”

Josh Dorr Save Your Breath

“Save Your Breath”
Josh Dorr

Written by Josh Dorr and Jason Mizelle

An fairly egregious example of subject-verb disagreement in the start of the chorus distract from the overly bold lyrics being sung by an overly meek vocalist.

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Daily Top Five: Randy Travis

storms-of-life-randyY’all know why.

Here are my picks:

Albums

  1. Storms of Life
  2. Always & Forever
  3. This is Me
  4. High Lonesome
  5. You and You Alone

Tracks

  1. Three Wooden Crosses
  2. Promises
  3. Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart
  4. On the Other Hand
  5. Dig Two Graves

 

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2015 ACM Awards: Winners

ACM 2015

This is Country Music in 2015.

Here are the winners of the 2015 ACM Awards:

Entertainer

Luke Bryan

Male Vocalist

Jason Aldean

Female Vocalist

Miranda Lambert

Vocal Duo

Florida Georgia Line

Vocal Group

Little Big Town

New Artist

Cole Swindell

Album

Miranda Lambert

Platinum

Single

“I Don’t Dance”

Lee Brice

Song

“Automatic”

written by Nicole Gallyon, Natalie Hemby, and Miranda Lambert

performed by Miranda Lambert

Music Video:

“Drunk on a Plane”

Dierks Bentley

Vocal Event

“This is How We Roll”

Florida Georgia Line with Luke Bryan

Multiple Wins:

3 – Miranda Lambert

2 – Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line

Multiple Losses:

4,332 – Country Music’s Dignity and Sense of Self-Worth

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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.

Update: Join the CU crew on Twitter (@CountryUniverse) during the show to share your thoughts as things unfold!

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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