Carrie Underwood

Favorite Females’ Covers of Females’ Songs

August 30, 2015 // 24 Comments

We can thank the shortsighted radio consultant Keith Hill for one thing: drawing attention to the women of country music in a year where so many of them are making outstanding music. As their mainstream counterparts cycle through a series of one-note styles and themes, female country artists are putting out diverse and decidedly more progressive music, even as they draw influence from previous generations. That they do so while supporting each other makes it all the more impressive.

Single Review: Carrie Underwood, “Smoke Break”

August 21, 2015 // 22 Comments

“Smoke Break” is a remarkably good attempt at a working class anthem. It’s so stylistically different from the “rah rah, let’s party this weekend” approach that has made drinking synonymous with adolescent behavior in modern country music.

Daily Top Five: Carrie Underwood Singles and Tracks

August 21, 2015 // 20 Comments

I’ve been at this whole Country Universe thing for eleven years now, and one of the early highlights of my time doing this was the arrival of Carrie Underwood. She was so, so good on American Idol, but it didn’t quite prepare me for how much I would love hearing her do original material.

Daily Double Top Five: Most Played Tracks

July 7, 2015 // 14 Comments

Back in the day, we used to do iPod checks.   Seemed so current at the time! Now, we’re gonna ask you to go to Spotify or your phone or whatever, and just let us know what you’re listening to the most. Two Daily Top Fives Today:  Your five most played songs from a 2015 album, and your most played country songs of all time. Here are my lists, sticking to one song per artist:

Daily Top Five: Palate Cleansers

July 5, 2015 // 18 Comments

It’s gotten to the point that I can’t listen to more than two country singles in a row without wanting to hurt somebody. So here’s the daily top five.  What are some songs that are your palate cleansers, that you can always go back to when you need to wipe out the aftertaste of some really bad music? Here’s my list: Alison Krauss & Union Station, “The Lucky One” Rosanne Cash with Johnny Cash, “September When it Comes” Kathy Mattea, “Where’ve You Been” Jason Isbell, “Elephant” Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill, “How Great Thou Art”

Daily Top Five: Vince Gill Albums, Songs, and Harmony Tracks

June 6, 2015 // 11 Comments

Following up on today’s Say What?, we’re going full Gill for today’s Daily Top Five. What are your favorite Vince Gill albums, songs, and harmony tracks? Here are my lists: Albums These Days High Lonesome Sound I Still Believe in You The Key Pocket Full of Gold Songs The Key to Life Worlds Apart Threaten Me with Heaven What You Give Away When I Call Your Name Harmony Tracks “I Don’t Paint Myself into Corners” – Trisha Yearwood “No Place That Far” – Sara Evans “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me” – Rosanne Cash “How Great Thou Art” – Carrie Underwood “Timber, I’m Falling in Love” – Patty Loveless

Daily Top Five: Track Two

June 2, 2015 // 14 Comments

Every album tries to starts off strong, but it’s usually the second track that convinces you to keep listening to the rest. What do you think are the best second tracks on albums? Here’s my list: “Straight Tequila Night”, John Anderson (Seminole Wind) “Blown Away”, Carrie Underwood (Blown Away) “Dry Town”, Miranda Lambert (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) “Guitars, Cadillacs”, Dwight Yoakam (Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.) “Let Him Fly”, Patty Griffin (Living With Ghosts)

Say What? – Keith Hill

May 28, 2015 // 54 Comments

UPDATE: Check out the impeccably researched work of Deb B, also known as Windmills, over at MJ’s Big Blog: Country Radio & The Anti-Female Female Myth: A Data-Based Look ORIGINAL POST: Via Terri Clark’s Twitter, this gem from radio consultant Keith Hill: This One’s Not For The Girls: Finally, Hill cautions against playing too many females. And playing them back to back, he says, is a no-no. “If you want to make ratings in Country radio, take females out,” he asserts. “The reason is mainstream Country radio generates more quarter hours from female listeners at the rate of 70 to 75%, and women like male artists. I’m basing that not only on music tests from over the years, but more than 300 client radio stations. The expectation is we’re principally a male format with a smaller female component. I’ve got about 40 music databases in front of me and the Read More

Daily Top Five: Favorite Title Tracks

May 20, 2015 // 16 Comments

Suggested by longtime reader Hoggy From Oz: What are your favorite title tracks? Here’s my list: Trisha Yearwood, “The Song Remembers When” Carrie Underwood, “Blown Away” David Nail, “The Sound of a Million Dreams” Suzy Bogguss, “Aces” Kathy Mattea, “Love Travels”

2015 ACM Awards: Country Universe Viewer’s Guide

April 19, 2015 // 14 Comments

The fiftieth annual Academy of Country Music Awards air tonight, and Country Universe has you covered!  Here’s a rundown of all of the major categories, along with some commentary from our writers about who should win, who will, and what the nominations as a whole say about the current state of country music. Share your thoughts about this year’s show in the comments, and check back for a list of winners when it’s all said and done. Update: Join the CU crew on Twitter (@CountryUniverse) during the show to share your thoughts as things unfold! Entertainer of the Year Should Win: Jason Aldean Garth Brooks – Jonathan Luke Bryan – Sam Florida-Georgia Line Miranda Lambert – Ben, Kevin Will Win: Jason Aldean Garth Brooks Luke Bryan Florida Georgia Line Miranda Lambert – Jonathan, Ben, Sam, Kevin BF: I think Lambert is due, but I could get on board with a Read More

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