Wednesday Open Thread: Blog Roll Call

I have a tendency to blog in a vacuum.   The combination of work and school makes updating and maintaining my own site a challenge, so I don't get as much time as I'd like to comment on the other awesome country music blogs.

Thankfully, Leeann is the best ambassador Country Universe could possibly have, and I always smile when I read her comments on a blog that I've just discovered for the first time.  It's just one of the reasons she's so indispensable around here!

Anyway, today seems like a good day to send out some love to some sites already on my blog roll.  Hopefully, you'll learn about some new, great sites out there and share some that I've missed in the comments.    When I started doing this four years ago, I felt like a voice in the wilderness, and now I feel like a voice in the crowd.  I like the latter a lot better!

Country Mike

Mike's blog is a great addition to the stellar Country Standard Time site, keeping the focus on both music and current events in the industry.  As a fellow northeastern guy who also took good-natured ribbing for my country music preference in high school, I'm happy he keeps waving that flag!

Country Music Central

Cowboybleau's site is the place to go for mainstream country music fans.   Many country blogs, including my own, tend to have their own niche, and rarely is that niche contemporary country music.   At Country Music Central, you get the much-needed perspective of a writer who embraces today's biggest artists, while also respecting the history that came before them.   I love seeing things from his vantage point.

Country Music Mood

This is a blog for the iPod generation!  In addition to covering country music news, Heather compiles themed lists that are perfect for mp3 players.  So far, she's produced lists about everything from rednecks to anniversaries, and for every milestone in life.     Also, her running coverage of Nashville Star has helped shape my view of the contest as a whole.

Gaby Thinks Too Much!

In addition to a snarky sense of humor to go with her B.S. detector, Gaby is also the go-to gal for the lat

est Carrie Underwood highlights.  As a fan of Underwood from the very beginning, I'm happy to have a blogger like Gabby out there, even if I spend far too much time hitting the replay button on the “I Know You Won't” performance she found.    It sure beats that Vitamin Water commercial!


This is the best presentation of country music that I've ever seen on the internet.   Concise, up-to-date, and in narrative form, with an added dose of humor for extra kick.    Plus, we share a common history in that we both had a childhood crush on Olivia Newton-John, so I might be his only reader who got the “A Little More Love” reference.  And it gets me nowhere…

iCF Music

This has always been one of my favorites.   Songs that have fallen through the cracks are brought to the forefront, giving readers the chance to catch great music they might have missed.   Which gets expensive, my friends, as his taste is impeccable.

Nashville 95

A healthy combination of country music and Nashville-related items, this site makes me sentimental for the years I spent living in the Athens of the South.  Anybody who lives in Nashville now, or gets there from time to time, should check in regularly.

Nashville Now

Mike began updating again after doing a lot of soul-searching about what he wanted his blog to be.  I highly recommend reading his post, “I'm Back, and Why I Went Away”.  I only wish I could be so candid and articulate about the “why” behind the many what's that I do.

The 9513

The most comprehensive country music resource out there.   If it's not on The 9513, it probably didn't happen.  With a diverse group of talented writers who are always willing to challenge the conventional wisdom, they're the water cooler of the country music blogosphere.

Squinty Dan's

This is probably my favorite blog discovery this year.   Dan's musical insights are always worth reading, but his personal reflections truly enrich the site.   Always thought-provoking, his writing is interesting, no matter what the topic is.

Still is Still Moving

All Willie, all the time!



  1. Thanks, Kevin!

    Well, this is a great topic! I love to read blogs; it’s addictive.

    Of the ones Kevin has mentioned, I especially enjoy:
    –the9513: Though I don’t always agree with their assessments, I learn a lot. I’ve picked up a lot of great music due to their recommendations. Likewise, I’ve stayed away from or confirmed my dislike of certain other artists.:) Like Kevin said about ICF, they’ve cost me a lot of money in the past six months.:) And I’m more than happy to spend it.

    –Squinty dans: Dan is super amusing and I like to see a young guy who is so connected with what’s happening in today’s world. He is extremely articulate, funny and I find that I agree with him quite a bit. Like Kevin, he is one of my favorite discoveries this year. (yeah, yeah…mutual admiration society and all…)

    –Gaby’s blog amuses me and I especially like her snark as well, especially on live blogs.:)

    –ICF music: I don’t know his real name, but I am always interested in his recommendations and musings.

    –countrymusiccentral: While we often don’t agree, I am always interested in what Cowboy Blue has to say about today’s country music. I admire his effort and willingness to research topics.

    –Aside from Dan’s blog, my other new favorite is Miss Kitty’s blog. She is an English professor who also loves country music. In fact, she is teaching a class on country music at a college this summer. Her blog is funny, insightful and, of course, very well written. When I realized how much I enjoyed her blog, I started from the beginning of the archives and read up to the present. It was as though I was reading a book of short stories about a very engaging character. The coolest part is that the “book” continues, hopefully, indefinitely.:)
    It’s at:

    By the way, it turns out that her sister, who is an architect, is hillarious as well.

  2. Good call on Miss Kitty! I love when she writes about the crazy excuses she gets from her students, having been on the receiving end of quite a few doozies myself!

  3. Often times, when I’m reading Miss Kitty’s blog and find myself laughing aloud, Bill will ask what I’m laughing about and I have to say, “Oh nothing…just a blog that I’m reading.” The things that I’ve read to him have amused him as well.

  4. Cowboy-blow at Country Music Central gave Jypsi’s debut 1.5 stars, so I won’t waste my time on anyone with such poor judgement and taste in country music. I can give folks leeway for personal taste issues, but that was off the map. He had no idea “House of the Rising Sun” was a classic rock song by Eric Burdon and The Animals in the 1960’s. Nuff said……

    The rest of your recommendations were pretty interesting. The 9513 is definitely my water cooler and I’m such a curmudgeon I try hard not to wear out my welcome over there. That blog is like the Daryle Singletary song “Too Much Fun” when exchanges get spirited.

    Your series here on the Top 100 Women of Country was extremely interesting and informative, setting this blog on a much higher plane of existence than most. Your daily discussion topics are also interesting, but my brain’s usually too lazy to generate comments informed enough to be worth typing in…

    The blogs I visit daily are The 9513, CMT, this one, Country Standard Time, and Roughstock, and that’s enough! (lol)

  5. Thanks for the mention, Leeann.

    I’ve only recently expanded much beyond The 9513 and CMT. Other daily reading now includes this blog, Squinty Dan, and Melodic Sunburst (, all of which came to my attention via comments made on my own young blog. I fear I’ll have to start reading Miss Kitty now, too.

  6. thanks for the shout out kevin! I have totally been reading most of those on your list as well, all great blogs!

    i need to get back to writing for my own random blog, I have been super busy of late researching and writing for several scientific blogs….not nearly as much fun as snarky country music writing ;)

  7. I tried bustin’ Miss Kitty’s chops on her post about Carrie but she decided my reply didn’t warrant posting. Heh! Go figure! I was tongue-in-cheek though so it’s all good.

    My darling daughter attends a D2U small town GA so naturally her blog piqued my curiosity. My DD has a blast with her liberal profs and they end up falling in love with her by the end of the semester. She actually got the first A a certain prof has handed out in five years because she always does her homework and debates with passion and intelligence. Not bad for a jockette trading her body for an education.

    My Blogger account is all messed up though. Can’t seem to get it straightened out even though I’ve held one since they kicked off about six – eight years ago.

    I read alot of these sites but you’ve definitely given me some new ones to check out. Thanks for that. Can never have too many country sites!

    Rick? You mean the Animals were a real band? he-he! Just kiddin’! Who was better, the Animals or War? Don’t “Spill The Wine” dude! ;-)

    But there I was, I was taken to a place, the hall of the mountain kings
    I stood high upon a mountain top, naked to the world
    In front of every kind of girl, there was
    black ones, round ones, big ones, crazy ones…

    Now those were some inspired lyrics right there boy!

    Inspired by ‘shrooms! Heh!

  8. Ah, excellent work, Kevin and Leeann. Very natural-sounding. You will be receiving your checks in the mail shortly. ;)

    But seriously, those are some wonderful compliments y’all threw my way, and I can’t tell you how thankful I am for them. So I think I’ll just deflect some of the praise:

    Kevin, you are a class act. That you chose to write this post at all speaks volumes; that you clearly put the same thought and energy into this essentially selfless effort as you do on topics that might interest you more personally says even more. If that made sense. Whatever. You the man.

    (In the interest of giving credit where it’s due, The iCF Music Mystery Blogger did the same thing recently with his blogroll – so he, too, is the man.)

    Leeann, everything Kevin said about your ambassadorship is true. I’ve been amazed at the rapport you’ve been able to build with country music lovers all over the map; The 9513 alone should give you special recognition for outstanding contribution to discussion threads!

    Most of the country blogs I lurk on were highlighted in the post, but I’d like to throw out another endorsement for John’s Country, California. He hasn’t been going for very long but I already think he might be one of the sharpest bloggers I’ve ever encountered. No matter what he’s talking about, he always hits the nail on the head. And again that link is:

    Jordan Stacey’s always got something interesting to say about mainstream country as well (when he updates), and bears a mention here:

    Whoops, sorry for another long comment!

    P.S. Love the picture you chose for this post. Very “We Are The World.”

  9. I check out this site, Squinty’s and the 9513 every day. I’d also suggest I Am Fuel, You Are Friends for more of the indie/rock scene. If you get a chance, you could also supplement your blog viewing with my new one. It’s a quick read (no read at all actually – just Photoshop based humor that takes dead aim at rock, rap, indie and commercial country music, among other things). Keep up the great work!

  10. Oh yeah, Photocrap is awesome. Didn’t mention it in my comment because it’s not exclusively about country music (then again, neither is my blog), but I’ve got a big web-crush on it.

  11. Well Kevin,

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention Roughstock (since the front page is the blog) but I remember you shouting out to my old blog The Lost Highway so I’m not gonna go all ‘diva’ on ya for not mentioning me. LOL.

    I too operate in a vacuum and rarely get outside of your blog and the 9513 while working on Roughstock so I must say thanks for the links to these other blogs to keep an eye on.

  12. Matt B,

    I caught that Lost Highway wasn’t updating anymore while doing this open thread, actually. I’m going to do a “Part II” later this week when I update the blogroll to include those sites I’ve missed. Roughstock will definitely be on there!

  13. No worries. Like I said, you mentioned it before :) The same content (and a lot more) is now @ Roughstock. Especially when we finish the site overhaul.

  14. Matt, I apologize for not mentioning it too. It was late.:) Like lost highway, I enjoy your site too. I haven’t tried to comment because I wasn’t sure if one has to pay to join or something? I’ve been meaning to ask you about it.

  15. Don’t forget Stacy’s Music Row Report! Stacy is a mature Nashville journalist who went from privileged insider to bitter outsider as the key players in country music changed over the years. Stacy will show up at – and plug in her column – any Nashville event that sends her an invitation. No event is too minor. Check it out!

  16. I forgot about Stacy and the Roughstock site!
    She is good cuz she’s not out to impress anyone. LOL!

  17. Thanks guys for mentioning my blog, appreciate it. In responce to Rich, I already commented on your disapointment and while you say personal taste is acceptable on your part it is on my part as well. Sorry to disapoint you, but thats honesty. As far as “House Of The Rising Sun”, I already admitted I didn’t do enough research into it. I knew I had heard something like it, but neglected to take the time to look into it. I appologize for that and I have made sure I would not make that mistake again on any future projects.

  18. This site, CMT and the 9513 are the only country music-related blogs I read on a regular basis. The rest are news, politics, law, jazz and baseball sites.

    At one time I read the Stacey Harris site but it’s too much like reading National Enquirer. Embittered is the right word for describing her writing. I wonder how much of her trouble is of her own making

    I do check Joe Sixpack’ Slipcue site every month – it’s probably the best site for reviews of albums from country music’s past (back when countrry music was country music).

  19. Thanks for the mention and kudos for recognizing some great reads; I have pretty much all of these guys set up in my feed reader. There are so many, we eventually had to create a links page to keep our blogroll from becoming unwieldy. Good job to everyone who got a mention in round one and I look forward to round two.

  20. I don’t believe it to be coincidental: Kevin uses his full name and writes cogently and with insight while those of you taking potshots can’t seem to do either.

    Jim’s comments about Stacy Harris make no sense. Music Row insiders are not privileged but they are key players. Key players don’t change unless they lose their jobs. And how could someone who loses his/her job cause Stacy or anyone else to become bitter?

    Stacy and I receive a lot of the same Music Row invitations and she doesn’t always show up. Jim, are you saying there is something wrong with thanking someone for an invitation? Something wrong with not prioritizing the invitations we receive (assuming they don’t conflict)?

    And, if all of this bothers you, why do you encourage others to read Stacy’s Music Row Report?

    As for lJ, he/she should know that Stacy left Roughstock years ago- when the site was sold and the new owner wanted her to sign a contract that would have given him her copyright. Stacy is a multimillionaire. She doesn’t need to impress anyone!

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