I blame Adam Lambert for what I am about to reveal to you all: I’m headed to a Taylor Swift concert tonight. That’s right, Taylor Swift. Insidious curiosity got the better of me.
But why do I blame Lambert, you ask? Because I haven’t been listening to a whole lot of country music recently. Instead, thanks to my new, bizarre obsession with Lambert, in the past month I’ve pulled out old Queen, Bowie, Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin. And I’ve listened to more My Chemical Romance, Pink and even Def Leppard than anything resembling country. So, of course I thought of Swift. Because, when you think of hard rock, isn’t Swift the first person who comes to mind?
On the eve of Thanksgiving, it’s a good time to say what we’re thankful for. Keeping the focus on country music, here are some things that are inspiring gratitude on my part: New Channels of Distribution The days of wandering around in the wilderness after you’re dropped from a major label are long gone. Today, even superstars like Toby Keith and icons like Dolly Parton are selling their music directly to the people. The great talents don’t need middlemen. Great Singers on the Radio Carrie Underwood. Toby Keith. Jennifer Nettles. Gary Allan. They’re plain great singers, making even ordinary material sound better than it is. Thankfully, they’re often working with excellent material, with powerful results. DVR There’s simply no way to navigate CMT and GAC anymore without having your mute button handy. The good shows can be recorded automatically (I’m looking at you, GAC’s Master Series) and the bad ones Read More
Last night, the CMA stamped its approval on the leading contemporary country stars of today. Congratulations to Kevin for commandeering the most popular live blog in Country Universe history. Here is a series of highlights (according to me) from an otherwise staid ceremony: Best performance: “More Like Her,” Miranda Lambert; “Just a Dream,” Carrie Underwood. With understated brilliance, Lambert shifted gears by offering her Texas twang on the stripped-down ballad, while Underwood hit all the glory notes on her dramatic tearjerker with style and grace. Often pitted as rivals and polar opposites, the two proved that country music holds plenty of room for these two prodigious talents. Although Underwood ended Lambert’s faint hopes of claiming the Female Vocalist prize, bet on Lambert winning her fair share of CMAs in the near future. Sound off: Repeatedly an issue, the Sommet Center’s sound system had problems again this year. Also, Nashville is Read More