Willie Nelson

Single Review: Kacey Musgraves, “Dime Store Cowgirl”

August 10, 2015 // 10 Comments

“Dime Store Cowgirl” Kacey Musgraves Written by Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Musgraves Despite a slew of industry awards and sales figures that dwarf those of male artists who receive ten times the airplay, Kacey Musgraves has yet to connect with country radio. Plenty of thinkpieces have been logged about #SaladGate, Musgraves’ social mores, and the disconnections between critical favor, sales, and radio’s callout research, but there are increasing murmurs that it is Musgraves’ refusal to play politics with the powers-that-be at radio that has kept all but one of her singles (“Merry Go Round,” her debut single and lone top 10 hit) from missing the top 20. This is hardly a new phenomenon, and it is, unfortunately, indicative of contemporary gender politics both within and beyond country music that Musgraves might be penalized for not behaving in the ways that a woman is expected to behave. That context Read More

Daily Top Five: Country Reissue Wish List

July 15, 2015 // 15 Comments

There are so many new concepts going on in country music reissues.  Two disc deluxe editions of classic albums.  Box sets of an entire artist’s catalog, with the CD’s in miniature LP replica sleeves.  Digital issues of concert recordings.  (Wolfgang’s Vault is a thing.  Check it out.)  Two albums on one CD, or carefully curated collections of singles.   Bear Family box sets that give you everything.  Even 180 gram vinyl records are coming out at a rapid clip. So I’m wondering what your wish list is.  What reissues would you rush out to buy or download on day one? Here’s my top five list: Dolly Parton, The Complete RCA Albums Collection: 1968-1986 Willie Nelson,  Deluxe Editions of Nineties Classics: Across the Borderline, Spirit, Teatro Shania Twain, The Complete International Remix Collection: 1995-2006 Kay T. Oslin, Clean Your Own Tables: The Early Years Trisha Yearwood, Rarities and Unreleased Tracks: 1992-2012  

Daily Double Top Five: Most Played Tracks

July 7, 2015 // 14 Comments

Back in the day, we used to do iPod checks.   Seemed so current at the time! Now, we’re gonna ask you to go to Spotify or your phone or whatever, and just let us know what you’re listening to the most. Two Daily Top Fives Today:  Your five most played songs from a 2015 album, and your most played country songs of all time. Here are my lists, sticking to one song per artist:

Daily Top Five: Gender Swap

June 30, 2015 // 19 Comments

Some of the most interesting country covers are ones where the artist doing the cover is of a different gender than the artist that recorded the original. What are your five favorite “gender swap” covers? Here’s my list: Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson, “Pancho & Lefty” (Original Artist: Emmylou Harris) Sammi Smith, “Help Me Make it Through the Night” (Kris Kristofferson) Patty Loveless, “When the Fallen Angels Fly” (Billy Joe Shaver) Merle Haggard, “No Time to Cry” (Iris Dement) Reba McEntire, “Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands” (Lee Greenwood)

Daily Top Five: Murder Monday

June 22, 2015 // 29 Comments

Not only is the alliteration kind of fun, Murder Monday seems appropriate, because who doesn’t want to murder Monday? What are some of your favorite  murder songs? The murder came as a delicious surprise in  the song that I’ve chosen as my first choice. Old Crow Medicine Show, “My Good Gal” Vince Gill, “Molly Brown” Johnny Cash, “Delia’s Gone” Willie Nelson, “Time of the Preacher” Gillian Welch, “Caleb Meyer”  

Daily Top Five: Better With Time

June 9, 2015 // 9 Comments

As we grow older, our tastes change and some would even say that they mature. Such is the case with me, as you’ll see in the list below. There was a time when I did not like these artists (gasp!) and a time when I didn’t like these songs. However, something made them grow on me to the point that I absolutely love them now. Which artists and songs have grown on you over time? Here are my lists: Artists: Willie Nelson Dwight Yoakam Emmylou Harris Miranda Lambert Sturgill Simpson Songs: Josh Turner, “Another Try” Vince Gill, “Go Rest High on that Mountain” Dierks Bentley, “What Was I Thinking”  George Strait, “Troubadour Randy Travis, “Before You Kill Us All”

Daily Top Five: Most Essential Albums

May 26, 2015 // 27 Comments

Suggested by longtime reader and commenter  Jonathan Pappalardo: What are the five most essential albums in your collection? I love this question! Here’s my list: Dixie Chicks, Home Reba McEntire, For My Broken Heart Patty Loveless, When Fallen Angels Fly Trisha Yearwood, Hearts in Armor Linda Ronstadt, Heart Like a Wheel Was going to try to do some equal opportunity attempt and squeeze in an album by a male act.  But even without repeating artists, the next seven or eight would still be female artists. So here are my five most essential albums by male artists, for the record Johnny Cash, American III: Solitary Man Dwight Yoakam, Gone Todd Snider, The Devil You Know Willie Nelson, Phases and Stages Alan Jackson, Like Red on a Rose

The Best Albums of 2014

December 31, 2014 // 10 Comments

2014 was a banner year for country music albums.   In addition to the predictably solid entries from the Americana, folk, and bluegrass scenes, some excellent albums also surfaced from the unlikeliest of sources: mainstream, radio-friendly contemporary country artists! Here are our twenty favorite albums from 2014.   Fingers crossed that 2015 is as good or better than this year has been. #20 Jennifer Nettles That Girl KJC #8 | LW #16 A confident, intelligent solo project that washes away all of the bitter taste left by Sugarland’s preceding studio album, The Incredible Machine.  Nettles manages to remind us what was so appealing about the trio-turned-duo in the first place, while also staking out her own musical territory that has room for independence anthems alongside wry, humorous commentary on society and, of course, palpably vulnerable heartbreak numbers.  – Kevin John Coyne Recommended Tracks: “Me Without You”, “Know You Wanna Know”, “Jealousy”

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