Miscellaneous Musings

Pop Goes Country – A Cover Song Report Card

November 15, 2011 // 40 Comments

Cover songs can be a hot topic at just about any given time. We recently got to hear a somewhat underwhelming OneRepublic cover by Faith Hill, which Kevin recently reviewed. Other recent attempts include Sara Evans’ pop-country reworking of Rod Stewart’s “My Heart Can’t Tell You No,” as well as last year’s polarizing Beyoncé cover by Reba McEntire.

Since cover songs are so much fun to talk about, I thought I’d weigh in on a few well-known cover songs from the past few years – the good ones, as well as a few that we would rather forget. My criteria is simple: A good cover song should bring something new to the table, and the song should be treated in a way that is well-suited to the artist as well as the genre. This list focuses specifically on country covers of non-country songs.

Four Ways that 9/11 Changed Country Music

September 12, 2011 // 27 Comments

The terrorist attacks on American soil ten years ago changed the course of our nation’s history in far more significant ways than just its impact on country music.

But the fact is that country music was changed as well. Here are the four biggest ways that it did, for better and for worse.

1. Alan Jackson Becomes a Legend

He was still getting solid radio airplay and record sales in 2001, but it seemed like his glory days were behind him. Then, he stepped on to the CMA Awards stage and debuted “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” to a stunned industry crowd on national television.

Someone Like You

September 1, 2011 // 25 Comments

I didn’t expect much.

I’ve had the Adele album for a good bit now, and “Someone Like You” is my favorite track on it. I’d already heard how the song shot to #1 in the U.K. after she performed it on the Brit Awards.

I checked out that performance, and thought it was good. Not great, but good.

In Praise of The 9513

May 2, 2011 // 15 Comments

On behalf of the entire staff of Country Universe, I must express our sadness that The 9513, the internet’s premier country music blog, is being retired.

I remember when Brady and Brody Vercher first launched their website, and I watched in awe as it completely redefined the landscape for what a country music blog could be.

Toxic People

April 8, 2011 // 13 Comments

This post, originally written on September 19, 2005, seems to have disappeared from the Country Universe archives when we switched over to self-hosting. I’m reposting it today for the sake of posterity.

I’m starting to wonder if the people I like and can get along with all fall into one category and the people I can’t stand to be around or have a conversation with fall into another. The categories?
1 – You believe that you have a moral obligation to other people, and live your life accordingly.
2 – You look out for yourself primarily, and what you feel is best for you informs any obligation you feel to other people.

International Women’s Day

March 8, 2011 // 16 Comments

Today is the 100th Annual International Women’s Day.

I have mixed feelings about days like this. I understand why they’re necessary, but I can’t help but wonder what today being international women’s day makes the other 364 days of the year. A little more than half the population should be due at least 183 days.

But I can’t pass up a day to celebrate female country artists, so in the spirit of the day, how about some recognition for women who don’t get a lot of praise?

Blake Shelton, Superstar?

March 7, 2011 // 25 Comments

He’s a good singer. He’s put out a few good songs here and there. I’m partial to “Goodbye Time” myself.

But is he really this good?

Country singer Blake Shelton has been cast as the final judge/coach on Mark Burnett’s upcoming singing competition series. Shelton joins Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Adam Levine on the panel.

“We couldn’t have a panel that represented the hottest American music without a strong country presence, and Blake is at the top of his game right now,” said NBC’s reality chief Paul Telegdy. “Not only is he incredibly charismatic, but his passion for collaborating with and bringing the best out of other talented artists makes him the perfect choice to round out this ‘Dream Team’ of musician coaches.”


March 1, 2011 // 6 Comments

Inspired by Leeann Ward.

Sometimes it’s hard to write about country music.

Outside life intrudes, and the music that used to offer you sanctuary now greets you with mind-numbing banality.

But if there’s something true about all long-term country music fans, it’s probably that the music has uniquely inspired us, moved us in a way that other genres had failed to do.

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