Please join me in welcoming our newest staff writer, Mr. Larry Rogowin. Welcome aboard, Larry! – KJC I can’t say I grew up listening to country music. Actually, I can’t say I had a very meaningful musical youth. My parents played a lot of Beatles, Motown and Sinatra but I was more interested in what the cool kids played. The first album I begged my parents to buy was Poison’s 1988 magnum opus Open Up and Say…Ahh! (They obliged despite…well, obvious reasons – not the least of which was that original album cover.) So there you go. I fell hard and fast for “Every Rose Has its Thorn,” the greatest and twangiest ’80s glam metal ballad. And that sent me on a path directly to Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. Only kidding. Though I don’t want to discount that this could’ve happened to me and has happened to others. Nonetheless, Read More
Country Universe has reviewed more than a thousand singles during its ten year run. Some of them have been real turkeys. Here are some of the worst, with highlights and links to the original reviews. “Party Like Cowboyz” Big & Rich Reviewed on December 12, 2012 “Yes, from the opening cry of ‘Come on, cowboys and cowgirls, it’s time to par-tay!’ to the stupid ‘Z’ slapped onto the end of the title, this is just bad, bad, bad.” – Ben Foster
As part of our tenth anniversary, the staff of Country Universe decided to celebrate a year that came ten years before our decade-old website: 1994. What can we say? We always look forward to looking backward! Over the next few days, we’ll reveal our choices for the forty best singles and twenty best albums of 1994. We considered all charted singles and albums for inclusion on our list, along with additional selections that didn’t chart but are of notable critical and/or historical significance.
News broke today that the Civil Wars have officially broken up, after a year-long hiatus. It was just under five years ago that we first wrote about the Grammy winning duo, back when they were still without a label. – KJC The Civil Wars – A New Music Discovery August 10, 2009 Out of all the writers at Country Universe, I’m probably the one who is least likely to discover an unsigned artist’s music online and fall in love with it. But thanks to a friend’s shout-out on Facebook, I’ve discovered The Civil Wars, a Nashville-based duo that is nothing short of completely awesome.
It’s fun to think of our favorite endearing songs about dads. We’ve even done it here at Country Universe a time or two. But let’s face it, dad’s aren’t always right and they’re not always wise. Here are a few songs that show villainous fathers. While I’m so fond of my dad that I almost feel guilty about writing this Song Talk installment, my guilt is eased by knowing that he would actually be amused by the topic. So, here we go! Feel free to add your selections in the comments. Lefty Frizzell, “Saginaw, Michigan” I was listening to this song the other day and it’s what inspired this list. It’s the classic scenario of the dad thinking that his daughter’s suitor isn’t good enough for her, but the twist at the end takes a hilarious turn!
In 2008, I was finishing up my degree in journalism and trying to understand what it meant to be a professional writer. I wanted to write about music, but the divide between fan and critic felt, at times, insurmountable. That fall, I stumbled onto Country Universe through this post, and it changed my perspective. As both a writer and leader, Kevin was thoughtful, rational and personally invested in the country music genre. He showed a deep respect for the genre’s history, but wrote about new artists with tolerance and curiosity. Best of all, he held readers and writers alike to the highest standards of decency. It’s for that reason that this post shines. Kevin’s ability to take a stand while cultivating constructive dialogue is unmatched. He cut through the divisive hype around Carrie Underwood –an artist who is as special to me now as she was back then—and underlined the Read More
Ten years ago, in the dog days of Summer 2004, blogging was catching on in the political world. I thought it would be cool to do a country music and politics blog. I think it had the tagline of “Where Music Row meets Pennsylvania Avenue.” Anyway, the politics was dropped pretty quickly, as writing about country music was more than enough ground to cover! Country Universe slowly built an audience, becoming a place for refugee fans from the nineties boom, to debate the latest singles and albums, and at our best, to write about the present in a way that is informed by the past.
Much like they dominated the Country Universe lists, Nashville Scene’s 14th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll finds Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark, and Ashley Monroe on top.
This year, six of our seven Country Universe writers voted in the poll, with Sam Gazdziak featuring heavily in the comments section!