Jimmy Wayne

Pop Goes Country – A Cover Song Report Card

November 15, 2011 // 40 Comments

Cover songs can be a hot topic at just about any given time. We recently got to hear a somewhat underwhelming OneRepublic cover by Faith Hill, which Kevin recently reviewed. Other recent attempts include Sara Evans’ pop-country reworking of Rod Stewart’s “My Heart Can’t Tell You No,” as well as last year’s polarizing Beyoncé cover by Reba McEntire.

Since cover songs are so much fun to talk about, I thought I’d weigh in on a few well-known cover songs from the past few years – the good ones, as well as a few that we would rather forget. My criteria is simple: A good cover song should bring something new to the table, and the song should be treated in a way that is well-suited to the artist as well as the genre. This list focuses specifically on country covers of non-country songs.

Album Sales Update

May 23, 2009 // 20 Comments


* Rascal Flatts, Unstoppable – 669,000
* Keith Urban, Defying Gravity – 349,000
* Jason Aldean, Wide Open – 241,000
* Dierks Bentley, Feel That Fire – 189,000
* Martina McBride, Shine – 89,000
* John Rich, Son of a Preacher Man – 89,000
* Rodney Atkins, It’s America – 72,000
* Jake Owen, Easy Does It – 70,000
* Eric Church, Carolina – 66,000
* Randy Travis, I Told You So: Ultimate Hits – 59,000
* Randy Rogers Band, Randy Rogers Band – 57,000
* Pat Green, What I’m For – 54,000
* Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel, Willie & The Wheel – 50,000
* Billy Ray Cyrus, Back to Tennessee – 29,000
* Jason Michael Carroll, Growing Up is Getting Old – 26,000
* Dean Brody, Dean Brody – 5,000

Jimmy Wayne, “I’ll Be That”

May 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

After Wayne’s strangely soft rock-esque single “I Will,” it seemed anything a bit more country and a bit less melodramatic would move him in a positive direction. Meet “I’ll Be That”: a catchy summer track that does just that.

It’s not a particularly interesting song, but by design, it’s not supposed to be. “I’ll Be That” serves its purpose as a pleasing sing-a-long with a decent hook, packed with sweet albeit unoriginal promises: “The one that’ll stand and fight for you/A safe place you can run to/The truth in the words ‘I do’/I’ll be that to you.” Stacked against the crop of male regulars on country radio, Wayne has one of the better, more soothing voices, so the song automatically gets an added boost. Of course, it’s a little difficult to pick Wayne’s voice out from the over-produced chorus, but as clamoring radio releases go, it could be worse.

Single Review: Jimmy Wayne, “I Will”

January 5, 2009 // 16 Comments

Miley Cyrus’ boyfriend, Justin Gaston, survived two rounds of NBC’s Nashville Star this past summer; the L.A. underwear model failed to turn his golden-boy good looks into a John Rich recording session. If Gaston’s sniffing around Nashville for a musical muse, he shall look no further. He bears a striking resemblance to Jimmy Wayne, that emotive purveyor of power-pop country. The pair share an ability to trade in their pretty-boy carriages and a connection with Taylor Swift (Gaston’s the Romeo in “Love Story”; Wayne records for Valory, an imprint of Big Machine). Wayne’s glorious fist pumps and gaudy wailing made the video for “I Will” such a mess. The audio portion of the package fares no better.  “I Will” is in an overanxious rush to go nowhere, with crashing guitars and admissions of codependency.  Wayne is a capable vocalist; proof positive was his debut single, “Stay Gone.” But he’s straining Read More

Discussion: SoundScan Sound Off

December 17, 2008 // 30 Comments

In this era of rampant piracy and economic recession, things aren’t looking good for the music industry.   We don’t post too often about the business side of the music business here, as we tend to keep the focus on the music.   But the reality is that these numbers matter.  If Little Big Town’s second Equity album had performed as well as the first, the label might still be in business. It’s not all doom and gloom, as many artists go on to make their best music once they leave major labels.   But this Christmas, you can guarantee that some artists and record executives will be bracing for the New Year, while others are embracing it. Here’s a look at some totals for albums released in 2008, ranked by total sales (rounded to the nearest thousand): Taylor Swift, Fearless – 1,519,000 Sugarland, Love on the Inside – 1,179,000 George Strait, Troubadour Read More

Discussion: Country Universe Giveaway/Darius Rucker, Learn to Live

November 18, 2008 // 38 Comments

While a number of artists from different musical genres entered into the country rodeo this past year, no Nashville newcomer was more successful than Hootie & the Blowfish frontman, Darius Rucker. His debut country disc, Learn to Live, topped the country album charts in its first week of release, in large part due to its lead single, the #1 smash, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It.” Country Universe is offering a free copy of Learn to Live to our loyal readers. To be considered, leave a comment and tell us your favorite #1 country song of 2008. Billboard #1 country songs in 2008: Taylor Swift – “Our Song” Brad Paisley – “Letter To Me” Rodney Atkins – “Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy)” Carrie Underwood – “All-American Girl” Alan Jackson – “Small Town Southern Man” Trace Adkins – “You’re Gonna Miss This” George Strait – “I Saw God Read More

Jimmy Wayne, “I Will”

October 25, 2008 // 21 Comments

With all due respect, this is the most unintentionally hilarious video of the year. The song is so fiercely un-country that it makes “Bob That Head” sound like Bob Wills, and the screen adaptation exacerbates that problem by setting the story at an upscale fashion shoot, of all places. What does it say that the same genre that once gave us “Coal Miner’s Daughter” now implores us to sympathize with a pretty upper-middle class girl who lacks the self-confidence to sex it up for the camera? I guess I’ll let you decide. In any case, the awkward little details of this video are really too enjoyable to spoil, but suffice it to say that the concept seems utterly disconnected from the song, the direction does nothing new (note the Flattsian “dozens of golden spotlights behind the singer during the chorus” effect), and the dialogue…well, just watch it. Altogether, the piece Read More

Jimmy Wayne, Do You Believe Me Now

August 24, 2008 // 11 Comments

Jimmy Wayne Do You Believe Me Now Jimmy Wayne is one of the comeback kids of 2008 after a long, hard road to country music success. Once he arrived in Nashville, he had minor songwriting success before landing a record deal two years later. But after the release of his self-titled debut disc and four subsequent Top 40 hits, record label affairs caused Wayne to move from Dreamworks to Valory Music, subsidiary of Big Machine. Do You Believe Me Now is the first release from Jimmy Wayne in almost five years. In that time, the landscape of country radio has changed, but the lead single from the project (the title track) has just achieved Top Five status on the Billboard charts. It’s a realistic look at losing the battle of a lover’s heart, and Wayne gives it a convincing turn. But the first track also highlights the detriments that make Read More