Tag Archives: Alan Jackson

Daily Top Five: Most Essential Albums

Reba McEntire For My Broken HeartSuggested by longtime reader and commenter  Jonathan Pappalardo:

What are the five most essential albums in your collection?

I love this question!
Here’s my list:

  1. Dixie Chicks, Home
  2. Reba McEntire, For My Broken Heart
  3. Patty Loveless, When Fallen Angels Fly
  4. Trisha Yearwood, Hearts in Armor
  5. Linda Ronstadt, Heart Like a Wheel

Was going to try to do some equal opportunity attempt and squeeze in an album by a male act.  But even without repeating artists, the next seven or eight would still be female artists.

So here are my five most essential albums by male artists, for the record

  1. Johnny Cash, American III: Solitary Man
  2. Dwight Yoakam, Gone
  3. Todd Snider, The Devil You Know
  4. Willie Nelson, Phases and Stages
  5. Alan Jackson, Like Red on a Rose

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Daily Top Five: Long Songs

a-hundred-miles-or-more-kraussReader Buddy Noel suggested a Daily Top Five of “Songs DJ’s used for bathroom runs”, citing “El Paso” by Marty Robbins as an example.

What are your five favorite long songs?

Here’s my list:

  1. Iris Dement, “No Time to Cry”
  2. Dixie Chicks, “Top of the World”
  3. Alison Krauss, “Jacob’s Dream”
  4. Alan Jackson, “Blue Ridge Mountain Song”
  5. Kathy Mattea, “There Were Roses”

Weird that all five songs involve death, with a total body count of seven between them.

Characters in a country song should get very nervous when their track passes the four minute mark.

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Daily Top Five: Tear Jerkers

Lori McKenna LorraineFrom reader Kuzco, today’s Top Five is songs that made you cry.

Here are my Top Five Tear Jerkers:

  1. Lori McKenna, “Still Down Here”
  2. Alan Jackson, “Blue Ridge Mountain Song”
  3. Collin Raye, “Love, Me”
  4. Reba McEntire, “If I Had Only Known”
  5. Sugarland, “Very Last Country Song”

 

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Daily Top Five: Rodney Crowell

rodney-crowellToday’s Daily Top Five is the promised Rodney Crowell edition.

He’s such a legendary songwriter that I’m putting up three Top Fives – albums, singles, and songs written by him that were recorded by others!

Share yours in the comments.  Here are my lists:

Albums

  1. The Outsider
  2. Fate’s Right Hand
  3. The Houston Kid
  4. Tarpaper Sky
  5. Ain’t Living Long Like This

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Single Review: Chris Janson, “Buy Me a Boat”

Chris Janson Buy Me a Boat

“Buy Me a Boat”
Chris Janson

Written by Chris DuBois and Chris Janson

It’s about time that Eric Church’s sound started showing up on other people’s records.

Chris Janson’s “Buy Me a Boat” is lyrically something you would’ve expected from Alan Jackson back in the day. He’d have done it with a goofy smile. Janson does it with the same amount of twang, but it sounds like he’s grimacing instead of grinning.

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Daily Top Five: Country Convert Albums

Dixie Chicks Home high qualityToday’s Daily Top Five asks you to pick the five albums you would use to make a case for country music to the unconverted listener.

Here are the five albums I would lend/rip/share in a .zip to someone willing to give country music a chance:

  1. Dixie Chicks, Home
  2. Tim McGraw, Live Like You Were Dying
  3. Reba McEntire, For My Broken Heart
  4. Alan Jackson, A Lot About Livin’ (and a Little ‘Bout Love)
  5. Shania Twain, The Woman in Me

What are your Top Five Country Convert Albums?

 

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Daily Top Five: Favorite Songs by Your Favorite Songwriter

Guy ClarkThere’s a cool Guy Clark documentary Kickstarter campaign happening right now that I encourage country music lovers to check out and, perhaps, make a pledge toward. Long time publicist, biographer and Guy Clark champion, Tamara Saviano, is in the process of producing and directing a documentary on Clark, a revered songwriter in country music.

The campaign is already almost fully funded, which is a testament to the wide and strong impact of Clark. However, while they’ve almost raised the initial funds, any extra money on top of that modest goal will only allow the documentary to be even better than it already promises to be, not to mention the opportunities for various perks that are offered to backers of the project.

After reading about and pledging to this campaign, I’ve been going down a Guy Clark Rabbit hole for the last couple of days, which has included listening to songs written by Clark that others have recorded and listening to his own excellent albums.

Luminaries such as Vince Gill, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Jerry Jeff Walker, Ricky Skaggs, Bobby Bare, John Conlee, The Highwaymen, Rosanne Cash, Kathy Mattea, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley , Ashley Monroe and Kenny Chesney, among many others, have been mentored by and have recorded Guy Clark songs.

With that said, today’s Daily Top Five is : What are your five favorite songs written and/or recorded by one of your favorite songwriters.

Since Guy Clark is one of my favorite songwriters, here are my top favorite songs of his:

1. Guy Clark & Emmylou Harris, “I Don’t Love You Much Do I”

2. Rodney Crowell, “She’s Crazy for Leaving”

3. Jerry Jeff Walker, “L.A. Freeway”

4. The Highwaymen, “Desperados Waiting for a Train”

5. Kathy Mattea, “The Cape”

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The Twenty Best Albums of 1994

As 2014 comes to a close, the Country Universe staff has been collectively impressed by the number of quality albums that were released this year.  How many of those albums, however, will we still be listening to in twenty years?

We have that benefit of hindsight for the year 1994, and we’ve compiled our twenty favorite studio sets from that year.  At their time of release, some of our favorites were comeback albums from veteran artists, some were from current artists reaching new artistic and commercial peaks, and some were debut sets from artists that went on to become mainstays on country radio or in the Americana music scene that was just coming together twenty years ago.

What they all have in common is that each and every one of them still sounds great today, and they collectively show the wide breadth that the country music landscape was transforming into as the genre reached wider levels of popularity than it had ever seen before.

Randy Travis This is Me

#20
Randy Travis
This is Me

BF #11 | KJC #15 | LW #19

Travis’ legendary status was practically secure by 1994, but This is Me shows an artist neither resting on his laurels nor struggling to keep up with the young new talent of the era. The album serves up one solid song after another, with its best tracks delivering clever new takes on signature country themes, thus further advancing an already respectable legacy. – Ben Foster

Recommended Tracks: “Before You Kill Us All”, “This is Me”, “The Box”

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Best Singles of 1994, Part 4: #10-#1

The countdown concludes with a wide range of classics, including breakthrough hits, signature songs, and exciting later career gems from long-established icons of the genre.

Alan jackson Who Says You Can't Have it All#10
“(Who Says) You Can’t Have it All”
Alan Jackson

Written by Alan Jackson and Jim McBride

LW #10 | BF #5 | JK #38

What makes a better country song than a stark naked light bulb, one lonely pillow on a double bed, a mournful fiddle and steel guitar? Jackson’s “(Who Says) You Can’t Have It All” is one of the finest exhibits to present as the answer to that question. – Leeann Ward

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The Best Singles of 1994, Part 1: #40-#31

Our Best of 1994 Singles List kicks off today with the bottom quarter of our top forty. The list was compiled by weighing each individual writer’s choices, with preference given to songs that appeared on multiple lists. Each writer’s individual ranking is listed under the songwriter credits.

Bonus retro fun: Check out those cassette singles covers!

Alan Jackson Livin' On Love

#40
“Livin’ on Love”
Alan Jackson

Written by Alan Jackson

SG #14 | JK #23 | BF #37

Country music has, historically, given voice to those disenfranchised by poverty, validating and finding the value in the struggles of economic hardship. What elevates the appropriately bare-bones narrative of “Livin’ on Love” is the warmth and real sense of empathy in Jackson’s performance. – Jonathan Keefe

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