As 2014 comes to a close, the Country Universe staff has been collectively impressed by the number of quality albums that were released this year. How many of those albums, however, will we still be listening to in twenty years? We have that benefit of hindsight for the year 1994, and we’ve compiled our twenty favorite studio sets from that year. At their time of release, some of our favorites were comeback albums from veteran artists, some were from current artists reaching new artistic and commercial peaks, and some were debut sets from artists that went on to become mainstays on country radio or in the Americana music scene that was just coming together twenty years ago. What they all have in common is that each and every one of them still sounds great today, and they collectively show the wide breadth that the country music landscape was transforming into Read More
100 Greatest Men: The Complete List Known affectionately as the Man in Black, Johnny Cash is a figure who has towered over popular music, casting a long shadow over the history of both country and rock and roll. He was born and raised in Arkansas, and was writing songs from the age of twelve, inspired by the artists that he heard on country radio. Unlike many of the legends of his time, he did not pick up a guitar until much later, purchasing one while he was in the Air Force. After his time in the service, Cash married and settled down in Memphis, Tennessee, working odd jobs while focusing on his music at night.
Updated for 2009 While the Grammys have honored country music from the very first ceremony in 1959, they did not begin honoring by gender until 1965, when the country categories were expanded along with the other genre categories. This year, the 45th trophy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance will be awarded. In a continuation of our Grammy Flashback series, here is a rundown of the Best Country Vocal Performance, Male category. It was first awarded in 1965, and included singles competing with albums until the Best Country Album category was added in 1995. When an album is nominated, it is in italics, and a single track is in quotation marks. As usual, we start with a look at this year’s nominees and work our way back. Be sure to vote in My Kind of Country’s Best Male Country Vocal Performance poll and let your preference for this year’s race be known! Read More
One year after the Dixie Chicks popped up on the Time 1oo, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people, their producer Rick Rubin has been included in the 2007 list. It’s only fitting then that the accompanying essay is written by Natalie Maines: I didn’t know what to expect at our first meeting. When I asked other people what he was like, the word guru consistently came up. I had horrifying visions of banjo meditation and a Dixie Chicks album inspired by a sense of inner peace. I wasn’t up for either of these things. To my relief, neither was he. Rick, 44, is a man of few words who exudes confidence without arrogance. He has a natural intuition when it comes to music. What would seem like an opinion coming from someone else is simply fact when Rick says it. Rick doesn’t tell you how you Read More