Worth Reading

Worth Reading: The Launch of Engine 145

July 11, 2011 // 8 Comments

Hark! I have exciting news for those of us who have been feeling a great void ever since the disbandment of The 9513! While we will continue to miss the esteemed country music blog, with Brady & Brody Vercher’s blessings, Engine 145 has just been launched to sort of take its place, or at least complement what The 9513 had begun.

Aside from its undeniably cool name, the even more awesome thing is that Engine 145 will be run by esteemed country music critic, Juli Thanki, who just so happens to be one of my personal favorite country music writers. She will be joined by several of our old favorites from The 9513 as well.

Worth Reading: Paul W. Dennis @ The 9513

July 26, 2008 // 1 Comment

Long time readers will remember that back in 2006, Country Universe benefited from the contributions of Paul W. Dennis. I'm happy to report that he's now writing a feature for The 9513 called Forgotten Artists. The

First Round of 2007 Best-of Lists: The 9513, Rolling Stone

December 13, 2007 // 10 Comments

‘Tis the season.  With just about every 2007 release already in the marketplace, best-of lists have begun to roll in.  Who doesn’t love these things? True to their organized form, The 9513 has their Top Ten Country Albums of 2007 list up already, when I haven’t even started mine yet.  Way to make me feel lazy, guys! They pick some good albums, including some that I haven’t heard.   Trisha Yearwood can be found at #1: 1. Heaven, Heartache, And The Power Of Love, Trisha Yearwood With Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love, Mrs. Garth Brooks reasserted herself as a country powerhouse, delivering a string of captivating vocal performances over a core of wonderfully crafted, musically diverse songs. While most of her female contemporaries tried to find their niche market (and thus, their niche musical approach) in 2007, Yearwood’s 10th studio album shattered expectations by successfully drawing from many Read More

Brent’s Back! & Other Great Happenings in the World of Country Music Blogging

July 14, 2007 // 8 Comments

How happy I was today to click on one of my favorite bookmarks, and find a shiny new post! Yes, friends, Brent Hecht has returned from a too-long sabbatical, and Liberal Country Fan is back in business, with a preview of Garth & Trisha’s Live Earth performance of “We Shall Be Free.” Brent let me do some guest blogging on his site last year, and I have to say that if he hadn’t done so, Country Universe would never have grown into the blog that it is today. He’s also a genuinely nice guy, able to remain above the fray when his beliefs are attacked. When I couldn’t keep my cool as the Halfway to Hazard groupies descended on the site earlier this year, I admire his ability to remain good-natured as he writes about country music from an angle that provokes hostility and derision from some of the people Read More

Worth Reading: April 27, 2007

April 27, 2007 // 5 Comments

Here’s what’s been catching my attention today: Album Reviews City Girl, Country Girl has high praise for the new John Prine & Mac Wiseman release Standard Songs For Average People: The sound of the album is refreshing. The traditional country instruments — dobro, mandolin, fiddle, guitars of all varieties — are allowed to shine without the over-processed, overwhelming production values that mar much of modern country music. (Though the cover art depicts Prine and Wiseman playing guitar, the liner notes indicate that they both play guitar on only “Old Rugged Cross” and Prine plays guitar on “Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Age.”) The background vocals on “Saginaw Michigan” and “Old Cape Cod” create a retro, polished feel like the women who sang the call letters for 1940s radio stations. Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly friggin’ loves the new Miranda Lambert, and slips in a subtle dig at Taylor Swift while praising the Read More

Worth Reading: April 23, 2007

April 23, 2007 // 2 Comments

Too much good stuff out there to wait.   Here’s what’s caught my eye around the net today: Slant Praise for Dale Watson, Twang Nation Joins CMT Awards Backlash One week after awarding four stars to Pam Tillis for Rhinestoned,  Slant writer Jonathan Keefe is similarly enthused for the new Dale Watson album: From The Cradle To The Grave is an album of remarkable depth and complexity (that is, with the exception of the atonal “Hollywood Hillbilly,” a shout-out to Johnny Knoxville), tackling issues of spiritual and intellectual resonance. And, with only one of its 10 songs exceeding three minutes, it’s also an incredibly dense record (Watson puts more into a single line than most Music Row acts put into a whole career’s worth of albums), making it just that much more forceful a gut-punch. I’ll be checking that album out tomorrow on his recommendation. Keefe also slips in a jab Read More

Worth Reading: April 21, 2007

April 21, 2007 // 2 Comments

Worth Reading: April 21, 2007 There are some interesting stories, reviews and opinion pieces floating around the ‘net this week, many of which deal with what’s been talked about on Country Universe in recent days. CMT Music Awards The CMT Music Awards that I live-blogged on Monday were apparently not only despised by me. Check out this Tennessean piece that Roger flagged in the comments of the Idol live blog. Some highlights: To Jeff Foxworthy: You might be a lousy host for the CMT Music Awards if … • You launched into a needlessly exclusionary rant near the end of an otherwise decent awards show Monday night, telling viewers that country music is only for people who don’t question wars and regularly attend church. • You gratuitously — and humorlessly — piled on to a heap of worn-out jabs against the Dixie Chicks as well as a down-on-his-luck Opry veteran, Read More