Discussion: Giving Thanks

On the eve of Thanksgiving, it’s a good time to say what we’re thankful for.  Keeping the focus on country music, here are some things that are inspiring gratitude on my part:

New Channels of Distribution

The days of wandering around in the wilderness after you’re dropped from a major label are long gone.  Today, even superstars like Toby Keith and icons like Dolly Parton are selling their music directly to the people.   The great talents don’t need middlemen.

Great Singers on the Radio

Carrie Underwood.  Toby Keith. Jennifer Nettles.  Gary Allan.   They’re plain great singers, making even ordinary material sound better than it is.   Thankfully, they’re often working with excellent material, with powerful results.


There’s simply no way to navigate CMT and GAC anymore without having your mute button handy.   The good shows can be recorded automatically (I’m looking at you, GAC’s Master Series) and the bad ones dodged.   I’d make a snarky comment about CMT’s lack of music programming, but the reality is that I’ll take Nanny 911 and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition over Crossroads: Def Leppard/Taylor Swift any day.

What are some country music miscellanea that you’re thankful for this year?


  1. I’m thankful for the songs. Especially those that come along at just the perfect time. I won’t go into detail, but “If You’re Going Through Hell” couldn’t have come at a better time in my life.

  2. I’m thankful that Sara Watkins’ solo album is coming out! Maybe her album will be like the sequel to Why Should The Fire Die?…

    I’m also thankful for Lee Ann Womack because I love Call Me Crazy.

  3. I am thankful that first-rate artists like Patty Loveless are still making timeless music, even in a marketplace that all too often favors the trendy. I am thankful that even in this enviroment, she still makes a living doing what she loves so much, and still gets her soul-nourishing music out to the people.

    I am thankful that Patty Loveless follows her heart and stays true to her vision, and in so doing, connects deeply with her fans.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  4. Jamey Johnson for recording my favorite album in years.

    Chris Knight for continuing to crank out music about real people and real lives. For writing songs that dont describe people who live in rural areas as just hard working, Jesus loving, truck driving folks.

    Hayes Carll for writing “She Left Me For Jesus” and “Bad Liver and A Broken Heart”.

    Randy Rogers Band and Wade Bowen for releasing solid, Red Dirt albums.

    Gary Allan for cutting songs that are just cool.

    Rodney Crowell for the blistering “Sex and Gasoline”. Perhaps the album isnt the most comfortable listen, nobody in our society wants to talk about the way we objectify young women, but at least he wrote about it in a smart, intelligent manner. It’s no “Houston Kid”, but it’s still solid.

    Bruce Robison for writing another batch of songs other artists will record and make into hits.

    Jason Boland and The Stragglers for “Comal County Blue”

    Miranda Lambert for not only being my dream date, but also cutting really good music.

    Jack Ingram for (hopefully) breaking away from the Pop-Country mold with “That’s A Man”.

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