Tag Archives: John Mayer

Album Review: Aaron Watson, The Underdog

Aaron Watson the Underdog

Aaron Watson
The Underdog

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The narrative surrounding Aaron Watson’s The Underdog makes it an album that is easy to root for: Buoyed by more than a decade of goodwill and fan support and a deft pre-release promotional push, the album surprised many with its #1 bow atop Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, surreptitiously around the same time that erstwhile Sony Nashville CEO Gary Overton made his controversial remark about how artists who don’t get played on country radio “don’t exist.” The Underdog, the twelfth album from a traditional-leaning Texas singer-songwriter known as much for his humility as for his music, provided a perfectly timed counterexample to Overton’s short-sighted arrogance.

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Concert Season: Who Are You Going to See?

taylor-swiftI 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? 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh6WKvQaCK4
(Save your ears, don’t listen)

I’ve also been tuning into rock radio, a rarity for me, to see what’s popular these days. Lo and behold, wouldn’t you know, Taylor Swift is also a rock artist (in addition to being a country, pop and heavy metal artist).  She’s regularly squeezed in between All American Rejects and Green Day on my local station. And let me tell you, nothing sounds more rock than a re-mix of Love Story. Don’t you agree?

But you have to give credit where credit is due. This girl has everyone fooled. Re-mix, re-package, throw in a few guest appearances with John Mayer and Def Leppard, form a friendship with Miley Cyrus, and suddenly, wow, you appeal to every demographic (under the age of 20). I gotta admit, I’m impressed. I’m also curious how a tall, gangly misfit, with a precocious attitude, who can’t sing, has made it work.  So, I’m headed to a concert tonight and will report back here because I actually know that many of you consider Swift a guilty pleasure. Wish me luck.

But no worries. I also have a number of saner concerts scheduled later this summer.  I’ve already got tickets to see Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith and Buddy Miller; as well as tickets to see Gary Allan and LeAnn Rimes (if she doesn’t cancel, which she’s done on  me twice).  I’m also still holding out for Bob Dylan/Willie Nelson tickets, but I’m sure that one is going to work out.

Summer concert season is around the corner.

Who are you planning on seeing in concert this summer?

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James Otto, “These Are the Good Ole Days”

Attempt #2 to follow up “Just Got Started Lovin’ You” finds Otto eschewing nostalgia to a groovy beat that sounds like something John Mayer might do at his sunniest and most simplified. There’s nothing really “country” here, and the fairly unique theme isn’t quite done justice by the song’s predictable lyrics. But it’s a reasonably enjoyable number anyway, and Otto remains a talent to watch.

Written by Shannon Lawson & James Otto

Grade: B-

Listen: These Are the Good Ole Days

Buy: These Are the Good Ole Days

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