Michelle Branch on her upcoming album, from last week’s issue of Billboard: It’s more singer/songwriter than, I would say, country, but I think the term ‘country’ is all relative now. There’s really no room for singer/songwriters anymore at radio, so I think this is a natural step. The album will be marketed as country by Warner Bros. Nashville and features a duet with Dwight Yoakam. Thoughts?
Between the live blog and Blake’s excellent post-mortem, there isn’t much left to be said about Wednesday’s CMA Awards. But Whitney Pastorek from Entertainment Weekly made some points in her CMA Wrap-up that are worthy of discussion, particularly her two different takes on country music’s leading females. On Carrie Underwood: Yes, it was cheating to bring out the wife of a deceased soldier to introduce “Just a Dream” and get the waterworks going before she even sang a note. But this was a true showstopper, the emotional equivalent of Sugarland doing “Stay” last year, and official notice that we can now stop looking down on Ms. Underwood because of how she got here. The girl is learning how to use her voice for something other than blowing the doors off the joint every time she steps to the bedazzled mic — and then she went ahead and blew the doors Read More
Rosanne Cash has issued a statement regarding recent use of her father’s name for political purposes: It is appalling to me that people still want to invoke my father’s name, five years after his death, to ascribe beliefs, ideals, values and loyalties to him that cannot possibly be determined, and to try to further their own agendas by doing so. I knew my father pretty well, at least better than some of those who entitle themselves to his legacy and his supposed ideals, and even I would not presume to say publicly what I ‘know’ he thought or felt. This is especially dangerous in the case of political affiliation. It is unfair and presumptuous to use him to bolster any platform. I would ask that my father not be co-opted in this election for either side, since he is clearly not here to defend or state his own allegiance. Her Read More
It seems pretty unbelievable that I missed this the first time around, given how this site has been so focused on women in country music these past four months. But Carrie Underwood had some interesting things to say about women in the country music world after the ACM awards last month. First, she discussed the scarcity of female nominees for Entertainer of the Year. The CMA hasn’t nominated a female act since 2001 (Dixie Chicks) and the ACM since 2003 (also the Dixie Chicks.) In fact, the only other women to be nominated at either show in the 90’s and 00’s are Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Reba McEntire and Kathy Mattea. Here’s what Underwood had to say about that: “I think there have been several women over the past decade that should have been nominated at some point. It’s disappointing that they haven’t been, because I know — and I’m Read More
We all know that Taylor Swift has been home schooled while she has been working hard on her country music career. Unfortunately, it seems that she has not been taking her studies too seriously. Apparently, she worked so hard during her junior year that she only had to fulfill two class requirements during her senior year in order to graduate this upcoming June. She told GAC: “I chose public speaking and musical performance…So I kind of coasted my senior year, as seniors usually do. Musical performance: I was on tour with Rascal Flatts and Brad Paisley, so that occurred every night — me singing in front of people happened a lot this year. And public speaking: Every single time I did a radio interview, every single time I got on stage and said, ‘How we doin’, Houston?’ — you know, that’s public speaking. So, senior year’s been pretty good.” As Read More
2008 ACM Entertainer of the Year Kenny Chesney has gone on record to protest this year’s change that made the category fan-voted: “The entertainer of the year trophy is supposed to represent heart and passion and an amazing amount of sacrifice, commitment and focus,” he said. “That’s the way Garth won it four times, that’s the way I won it, that’s the way (George) Strait won it, Reba (McEntire), Alabama all those years. That’s what it’s supposed to represent.” He said his complaint is directed at the industry, not the fans — and that the method amounted to “complete disrespect” of the artists, saying the academy turned the award “into a sweepstakes to see who can push people’s buttons the hardest on the Internet.” I think he makes a good point. Thoughts?
Via The 9513, I learned that John Rich has some problems with American Idol: “The reason their ratings are going into the toilet right now is because the American public cannot stand when it comes to reality,” Rich said. “You can tell when somebody’s comment was scripted. You can tell when they told an artist, ‘Wear this, and sing that, and do that.’ That’s not the way it’s going to work on this show,” he said of “Nashville Star.” Rich was on a panel promoting the NBC show during the network’s summer programming event for the press. He is a judge and mentor on the upcoming sixth season of the show, which has moved from USA Network to NBC this year. “We have to respect the fans’ ears and eyes and give them something that’s for real,” he added. “Don’t try to con them. And I think that’s why ‘American Read More
Asked how she feels about her newfound stardom, and the difficulties that come along with it, Taylor Swift told Billboard : Balancing all this is not hard. I mean what do I have to complain about? I have the best time in the world. I’m so lucky. When I go out in public and I go to a mall, yeah it’s a lot different than it was two years ago, but it’s a beautiful kind of different. It’s the kind of different that I’ve wanted my entire life. I’m a strong believer that if you work your entire life for something, and you work so hard and you want this one thing so much, you should never complain once you get it. Good for her. That used to be the country music norm, but it sounds refreshing when compared to the attitude a massively successful act like Rascal Flatts has Read More
John Rich is apologizing again. It’s been only a month since the last time he scrambled to save part of his fan base. Now, The Tennessean reports that PETA wasn’t pleased by the fox fur he wore on the CMA Awards, and fired off a letter to him stating their displeasure. His response: “I would like you to please forward my apologies to any of your members that are fans of Big and Rich that took offense to me wearing a fur coat on the CMA awards,” John wrote PETA. “Trust me, it was never my intent to upset anyone. Also, if any of the world class designers that you mentioned in your previous e-mail would like to send me full length faux fur coats, I would be happy to wear them, and when asked by the press or fans, tell them it is a faux fur. Karl Marx famously Read More
Reader Roger Newcomb suggested a thread covering recent statements from John Rich of Big & Rich regarding homosexuality. The first comment was made on a radio show in Nashville, as Rich was discussing why he supports Fred Thompson for President: “I think if you legalize [gay marriage], you’ve got to legalize some other things that are pretty unsavory. You can call me a radical, but how can you tell an aunt that she can’t marry her nephew if they are really in love and sharing the bills? How can you tell them they can’t get married, but something else that’s unnatural can happen?” Wow. After receiving some negative feedback over this comment, he issued the following statement: “My earlier comments on same-sex marriage don’t reflect my full views on the broader issues regarding tolerance and the treatment of gays and lesbians in our society. I apologize for that and wish Read More