Cherryholmes

Grammy Awards 2011: Staff Picks & Predictions

February 12, 2011 // 9 Comments

It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again: the 2011 Grammy Awards air this Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern. Country music has its hand in the Grammy pot via major nominations for Lady Antebellum, performances by Miranda Lambert, Lady A and Martina McBride, and appearances by Keith Urban, Zac Brown, Blake Shelton and Kris Kristofferson. We’ve picked and predicted the awards below – chime in with your own thoughts, and stop by on Sunday night for our live blog!

Album of the Year

Should Win

  • Arcade Fire, The Suburbs – Dan
  • Eminem, Recovery – Kevin, Tara
  • Lady Antebellum, Need You Now
  • Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster
  • Katy Perry, Teenage Dream

Will Win

  • Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
  • Eminem, Recovery – Kevin, Dan, Tara
  • Lady Antebellum, Need You Now
  • Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster
  • Katy Perry, Teenage Dream

Best Country Singles of 2009, Part 1: #40-#21

January 5, 2010 // 16 Comments

Here’s hoping you haven’t gotten completely burned out on countdowns yet. 2009 was hardly a favorite musical year for many of us, but amid each year’s glut of throwaway items, there’s always a good’un or two (or forty). The following is the first installment of our Best Singles of 2009 list, which will conclude tomorrow morning. Best Albums will follow next week.

As with the Singles of the Decade feature, this countdown has been compiled through combination of four equally weighed Top 20 lists by Kevin, Leeann, Tara and myself. An inverted point system was applied to the individual rankings (#1 on a list meant 20 points, while #20 on the list meant 1 point). The songs were then ranked together by number of total points, greatest to least. The final result is another rather stylistically diverse set.

As always, we hope you enjoy the countdown, and welcome all the feedback you can muster. Happy New Year!

#40

Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now”

The trio puts a country spin on an old school pop sound, but without forsaking raw emotion. The highlight of the song is Hillary Scott’s smoky performance, which draws out all the anguish and regret you’d expect from a desperate, 1 AM lover’s call. – Tara Seetharam

An Interview with Marty Stuart

February 10, 2009 // 16 Comments

Widely acclaimed as one of country music’s greatest warriors, Marty Stuart turned a childhood obsession into a lifelong career filled with hit records and collaborations with numerous Nashville legends.  A member of the Country Music Foundation and the Grand Ole Opry, he’s preserved the traditions of the genre by assembling a collection of country-related artifacts that has no rival. His most recent project is The Marty Stuart Show, a weekly television program airing Saturday nights on RFD-TV. Stuart discusses the development of the show, his thoughts on the future of country music and his role in honoring its past. What was the single driving force behind creating The Marty Stuart Show? What are your hopes for the future of the program? The most important thing was the right setting, the channel, RFD (a Nashville-based television station focused on rural America programming). I’m a big fan of the network and I’ve watched it grow. As a country music fan, Read More

Review: Cherryholmes, “This Is My Son”

January 19, 2009 // 8 Comments

On the surface, family bluegrass act Cherryholmes’ new single might seem to paint by a lot of standard Nashville numbers, but don’t let the use of over-exploited motifs (God, soldiers, solders’ families) distract you from how bold an effort it really is. Contemporary country in the 2000’s loves to find ways to tie whatever it’s talking about to Christianity, but it’s rare to hear a tie that really sounds inspired and personal, the way spiritual insights worth actually writing about should. “This Is My Son” is a beautiful example of a piece that manages to pull it off. The song is written as a mother’s prayer to God that her son will remain safe while he’s away at war. Not a terribly objectionable set-up, but the kicker comes swiftly as the mother draws a parallel between her son potentially dying for “a people who don’t even care that they’re free Read More

Favorite Songs By Favorite Artists: Christmas Edition

December 24, 2008 // 25 Comments

One of my favorite features to write for Country Universe is Favorite Songs by Favorite Artists. So, since I love Christmas music, it seems natural that I change the format a bit to accommodate a list of my favorite Christmas songs. Narrowing my favorite Christmas songs down to twenty-five choices proved to be a nearly impossible challenge. In order to accomplish this feat, I had to do two things: (1) disqualify all quintessential versions of classics, i.e., Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” or any songs by Gene Autry. Instead, I’ve stuck to modern country versions of any classics that may appear on this list. (2) Limit the number of classics included on this list so that there can be room for as many original Christmas songs as possible. You can listen to most of the songs and purchase them through the Amazon link at the end.  Merry Christmas! #25 Asleep At Read More

Lynn’s Favorite Songs of 2008

December 22, 2008 // 10 Comments

Country Universe has presented you with its top 40 singles of 2008, but as you know, singles rarely scratch the surface of a great album. Over the course of the past year, while listening to various albums, I made note of songs that stuck out for one reason or another. Although this isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, here are some of my favorite songs of 2008: #1 “She Left Me For Jesus” (Hayes Carll, Trouble in Mind) Honestly, when is the last time you heard a song this slyly clever? This laugh-out-loud engaging? But not just anyone could pull off this song. Carll’s slow laughing drawl is absolutely perfect and he nails every punch line. He not only gets the joke, he assumes you do as well. Carll readily acknowledges that this song isn’t for everyone, but in my book, it’s an instant classic. #2 “Red River Shore” Read More

Cherryholmes, Cherryholmes III: Don’t Believe

October 8, 2008 // 10 Comments

Cherryholmes Cherryholmes III: Don’t Believe Upon listening to Cherryholmes’ latest album, Cherryholmes III: Don’t Believe, you’ll remember, if you’ve been ambivalent of late, why you love music. Because at the end of the day, bluegrass is one of the last honest forms of music: it’s real, it’s tangible, it’s grounded, it requires heart and talent, and it can’t be faked. In an era where image is everything, and substance and talent seemingly count for little, bluegrass is one of the last great refuges for music lovers. Continuing the long tradition of family bands in bluegrass, all six members of the Cherryholmes family contribute their unique talents to this album: Cia Cherryholmes, 25, a fast and powerful banjo player, wrote or co-wrote seven of the twelve tracks, and takes lead vocals on four of them; Molly Cherryholmes, 16, contributes lead vocals, orchestral arrangements, songwriting and a fine fiddle; Sandy Cherryholmes, the Read More