Gretchen Wilson

Matraca Berg

November 16, 2008 // 0 Comments

When women became the dominant creative force in country music during the mid-nineties, it wasn’t just on the strength of their vocal talents, but also because of their excellent choice of material. No single songwriter supplied more of that quality material than Matraca Berg, one of the most prominent and successful female country songwriters in country music history. Most songwriter stories begin with their journey to Nashville, but Matraca Berg was born in Music City. She grew up thinking that she’d either be a lawyer or a songwriter, and she later quipped that once she dropped out of high school, it was obvious that law wasn’t an option. Not that it mattered much. Berg was only eighteen when she met up with songwriter legend Bobby Braddock (”D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” “He Stopped Loving Her Today”), who was very impressed with her self-written songs and suggested they pair up to write on together. The Read More

CMA Flashback: Horizon Award (New Artist)

November 9, 2008 // 14 Comments

For a look back at the other major categories, visit our CMA Awards page. 2010 Luke Bryan Easton Corbin Jerrod Neimann Chris Young Zac Brown Band Usually there isn’t this much turnover in this race unless most of last year’s nominees are ineligible.  This year, only one of the four eligible nominees from last year – Zac Brown Band – earns a nomination.  With their massive success and their multiple nominations, they’ve got an excellent shot at winning. Then again, Easton Corbin is elsewhere on the ballot, too. It could be a horse race. 2009 Randy Houser Jamey Johnson Jake Owen Darius Rucker Zac Brown Band Thirteen years after winning the Best New Artist Grammy as part of Hootie & The Blowfish, Darius Rucker won the country music equivalent, adding an exclamation point to the most successful pop-to-country crossover in a generation. 2008 Jason Aldean Rodney Atkins Lady Antebellum James Read More

Gretchen Wilson, "Don't Do Me No Good"

July 13, 2008 // 2 Comments

I don't think I've ever heard Gretchen Wilson rock out quite this much. There's a driving energy to “Don't Do Me No Good” that is relentless, and it helps gloss over the fact that once again, Wi lson's material is not quite up to par. This would make for decent album filler, but it's not distinctive or interesting enough to really stand out among her singles to date. Grade: B Listen: Don't Do Me No Good Buy: Don't Do Me No Good zp8497586rq

100 Greatest Women, #56: Matraca Berg

May 10, 2008 // 14 Comments

100 Greatest Women #56 Matraca Berg When women became the dominant creative force in country music during the mid-nineties, it wasn’t just on the strength of their vocal talents, but also because of their excellent choice of material. No single songwriter supplied more of that quality material than Matraca Berg, one of the most prominent and successful female country songwriters in country music history. Most songwriter stories begin with their journey to Nashville, but Matraca Berg was born in Music City. She grew up thinking that she’d either be a lawyer or a songwriter, and she later quipped that once she dropped out of high school, it was obvious that law wasn’t an option. Not that it mattered much. Berg was only eighteen when she met up with songwriter legend Bobby Braddock (“D-I-V-O-R-C-E”, “He Stopped Loving Her Today”), who was very impressed with her self-written songs and suggested they pair Read More

100 Greatest Women, #85: Gretchen Wilson

April 6, 2008 // 24 Comments

100 Greatest Women #85 Gretchen Wilson Never underestimate the power of good timing. When Gretchen Wilson finally landed a recording contract after years of laboring in obscurity, country radio was more hostile to female artists than at any point in its modern history. When her debut single “Redneck Woman” was released in 2004, Martina McBride was the only female artist who was consistently hitting the top ten with her singles. Two years earlier, when country sales had skyrocketed thanks to massive sales of new albums by superstars Shania Twain, Dixie Chicks and Faith Hill, all of the credit for the boom was given to post-9/11 anthems by Alan Jackson, Toby Keith and Darryl Worley. Country radio shunned Hill, Lee Ann Womack and SHeDaisy for their crossover sounds, and when Natalie Maines uttered her innocuous comment about President Bush in March 2003, the Dixie Chicks were instantly removed from country radio Read More

Gretchen Wilson, “You Don’t Have to Go Home”

September 13, 2007 // 1 Comment

Good enough.  She sounds fully engaged, it’s up-tempo and rowdy without being in-your-face obnoxious, and every detail from this last call scene sounds authentic and believable.   It’s certainly more realistic than “All Jacked Up.”    I doubt it will fire up her career at radio again, but it’s good enough.  That’s about all I can say. Grade: B Listen: You Don’t Have to Go Home Buy: You Don’t Have to Go Home

Gretchen Wilson, One of the Boys

May 28, 2007 // 6 Comments

Gretchen Wilson One of the Boys Gretchen Wilson continues her baffling descent from the promise of her debut album, Here For the Party. Its follow-up, All Jacked Up, suffered from overconfidence, a cocky attitude of entitlement based on a misreading of the popularity of “Redneck Woman.” There was a universality to that track, which had people from all background embracing the attitude of it, even if they couldn’t relate to the actual lifestyle. Wilson apparently thought that she’d stumbled on a nation of redneck women and she’d been chosen as their leader, so we had to suffer through more confrontational versions like the West-coast dissing “California Girls” and the drunk-driving, teeth-busting “All Jacked Up.”

Gretchen Wilson, “One of the Boys”

May 5, 2007 // 3 Comments

Gretchen Wilson, “One of the Boys” “Woo hoo hoo.” That’s a catchy little hook there. Wilson sounds more fully engaged in the material here, much more so than anything that was released off of the mediocre All Jacked Up project. There’s a sweet charm to this single, and it’s nice to hear her going for the soft sell instead of always raving it up. This could conceivably be an opener to a very interesting themed album about gender roles, but my guess is it’s just a simple, one-off number. I don’t know if this will be enough to entice radio back to her side – I still haven’t figured out exactly why they jumped ship so quickly in the first place – but it’s a pleasant enough release. Grade: B Listen: One of the Boys More Gretchen Wilson: Carrie Underwood Joins the Five Million Club Best Country Singles of 2005 Read More

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