Willie Nelson

Sunday Selections: November 29, 2015

November 29, 2015 // 3 Comments

  Despite the fact that it’s the year’s biggest shopping weekend, this week offers a fairly paltry slate of new releases to get excited about. Fortunately, there are still plenty of newsworthy items to discuss after the tryptophan stupor wears off!

CMA Awards 2015 – Staff Picks & Predictions

November 1, 2015 // 14 Comments

The 49th Annual Country Music Association Awards will be handed out on Wednesday, November 4. Once again, the ceremony is hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.

Here are the personal picks and predictions from the Country Universe staff.

2015 CMA Nominations

September 9, 2015 // 21 Comments

Throughout 2015, there have been rumblings of a backlash against the prevailing trends at country radio, and that backlash is certainly reflected in the year’s crop of CMA nominees.

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:

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