Tag Archives: Eli Young Band

Album Review: Eli Young Band–Fingerprints

Rating: 6/10

So, walking a line between being a reviewer/critic and being a fan is not easy, and it’s something I’ve always tried to balance. I’ve always tried to separate my favorite stuff from stuff that might be the “technical” best, but I’ve also never been afraid to admit being a fan of something or of a particular artist. At the end of the day, I am both, and there are times that call for both–when I reviewed John Moreland, I had to be a critic and acknowledge the greatness in the songwriting even if it might not be relatable to everyone, and when I reviewed the latest Zac Brown Band album, I wrote as a fan who had mixed feelings about their return to their roots. With the Eli Young Band, I think it is right to write as an unashamed Eli Young Band fan, a fan who did like their early Texas sound better but was admittedly happy with them right up until the God-awful Turn it On EP. I was just hoping they’d get back to themselves with this release and stop chasing trends–and they said openly that they went into this record responding to songs that fans resonated with the most, so credit to them for that. So now, as a fan, did this album resonate with me and take the band back to their sound that I grew to love?

Well, it did in places. IN fact, overall, I think the Eli Young Band went in completely the right direction with this, and it’s probably that benefit of the doubt that makes this a 6 rather than a 5 because honestly, of these eleven tracks, I enjoy five of them and could do without six. But there’s nothing inherently awful in the other six, it’s just that they’re bland and mediocre, and Eli Young Band is capable of releasing better. It’s the strength in the promising half that outshines the mediocrity in the rest, and that’s what I want to focus on.

So, the album starts out strong with “Saltwater Gospel” and “Fingerprints.” Admittedly, I was not a “Saltwater Gospel” apologist when I first heard it, but I’ll freely acknowledge I was wrong; the message here is more clever than I gave it credit for, pointing out that you can be close to God on the beach or out in nature without going to church. I really have no idea why I objected to this before because this is pretty much my entire philosophy on the subject, but I’m here for it now. “Fingerprints” is a sex song, more specifically a sex song between two people in a troubled relationship or perhaps exes, that can’t let go; it’s the writing and more so the production in this that make it stand out. There’s something intense about the production that just adds to this and makes it really interesting. And then, well, basically there’s almost nothing noteworthy for eight tracks. I make no exaggeration here when I say that the first time I listened to this album, it was late at night, and I nearly fell asleep here–and the only reason I didn’t was the wonderful “Skin and Bones” breaking up the boredom here. This is a very nice love song; the woman is literally a part of him, “she’s in my skin and bones.” There’s some very nuanced and thoughtful writing in this as well; it’s impressive. I can’t stress enough that when these songs are good, they’re pretty awesome. So anyway, then it’s back to bland and sleepy for awhile until we get to the last two, “God Love the Rain” and “The Days I Feel Alone.” The former is another sex song, this time of the tender variety, detailing a night spent waiting out a storm. The chorus here cleverly uses “she” to talk about both the woman and the rain to say things like “she’ll heal your heart, feed your soul, cover you, and make you grow, bring you back to life, and wash away the pain. God love the rain.” Carolyn Dawn Johnson is featured here–yes, I didn’t know she was still around either, what a cool thing to discover–and she adds something special to it. Normally, I prefer duets to feature both artists more–well, to be fair, this is not credited as a duet–but the gentle harmony she brings to this track says more than giving her a verse. “The Days I Feel Alone” deals with life on the road and the pressures of the distance in relationships; this one is another highlight and is said to be a personal one for Mike Eli. I do probably have some bias toward this because I can relate to a good chunk of it, but it’s one I enjoyed.

Now, let’s talk about all those sleepy tracks for a moment. I said I gave this a 6 because there’s nothing downright awful there, just bland. “Old Songs” was going for a nice, nostalgic feel, and “Never Again” was going for another “Fingerprints,” but it ended up being a more pop-infused and less interestingly written version. “Once” was going for a nice theme too, saying that a man can only make some mistakes one time before he loses the woman. There are glimpses of potential even on these bland tracks, and while I still stand by my earlier comment that the Eli Young Band is capable of much better–indeed, there’s much better on this record–they’re certainly headed in the right direction.

This record is both a disappointment and a relief to me as an Eli Young Band fan. It’s disappointing because it’s not a triumphant return to their early days, and in that respect, it reminds me 100% of ZBB’s album. However, it’s a relief because the Eli Young Band strayed arguably much farther off their path than ZBB, and I’ll just be brutally honest here and say I had little hope of them returning. So it’s nice to see some good, and even great songs here, and it’s cool to see them listening to their fans and trying to go back to something with more substance. I won’t lie and say they succeeded throughout the record, but this is significant progress for the Eli Young Band, and there are some standout moments here too that have me hopeful for their future.

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Album Review: Kody West Shows Promise on Debut Album Green

Rating: 8/10

Sometimes, all of us get sick of this whole drama-infused reviewing music thing. There’s pressure from other critics, publicists, readers…it’s hard to find words for each new album, to express your opinion when you know it’s heavily in the minority, to stand out in the crowd of other people trying to stand out doing the same thing, and it’s understandable why lots of blogs have shut down or gone on hiatus recently. And then, out of the blue, you find some new, cool music from a guy like Texas country artist Kody West, and you remember the reason you do this in the first place–to bring people’s attention to artists like this, and maybe help to give them the same cool discovery you just experienced. It’s a joy like no other, and for me, there’s a certain, more specific joy when it comes to the Texas and Red Dirt music running through this region I call home, and when I get to present new and promising artists rising up in this scene. And “promising” is perhaps the best word to describe the debut album by Kody West. Green.

One of the definite high points on this record is the instrumentation. Sonically, it’s much like the early records of the Eli Young Band, flawlessly merging country and rock, traditional and contemporary, into something real and raw, yet still quite new and refreshing, that indefinable thing that seems to be the hallmark of Texas and Red Dirt music. This record sets itself above many other similar-sounding ones, however, in that there is a variety. “The Prayer” is straight-up country, and there’s lots of steel guitar in “IN the Morning” as well. Then there are more rock-leaning songs like the ever-building “Million Miles” and the title track, which except for its heartbroken lyrics about a couple whose love has burned out over the years, is really anything but country. The variety in instrumentation throughout the album speaks to West’s desire to correctly interpret the songs and the lyrics, and for the most part, that works very well. It also serves to provide something for everyone, from those who like the more country side of Texas music, to those who prefer it to sound like hard rock with honest lyrics.

Speaking of lyrics, there are some strong standouts here too. I mentioned “Green,” the title track, and it is probably the most well-written song here, belying Kody’s twenty-one years as it paints a picture of a couple sleeping in different rooms and miserable after many years together–“it takes a long time to forget what caused a lifetime of regret, and the days slip slowly by, we can run, but we can’t hide.” “Ledges” immediately follows this, as West tries to be a better man; his vocals work well with the instrumentation and lyrics to capture the desperation in both these songs. Another place where the instrumentation and lyrics match perfectly is the dark, slightly sinister “Ogygia,”–the imagery in this one is just great, as West sings about the shadow that follows him around and haunts him. It’s a little hard to explain this in writing, as it relies on metaphors and that dark vibe; it’s really just one you should hear because it’s one of the best on the record. “Million Miles” merges the instrumentation and lyrics well also, although after all that building, when the electric guitars finally do come bursting forth, you wish the solo had gone on longer. One of the more country moments that stands out is “Love me Too,” where West wonders if a woman would return his love–there’s more of that excellent steel guitar here as well.

This is a debut, and it does suffer a little from some of the same things that often plague debut records–you can tell Kody West is still trying to develop his sound and stand out in the ever-growing Texas scene. I think he’s well on his way to doing that with the interesting melodies and variety in instrumentation, but tracks like “For the Last Time” and “IN The Morning” feel more like representations of the style, as opposed to representations of West–I actually quite enjoy the former despite this, but I don’t hear the same passion in these that I do on other tracks. The latter also feels a little underdeveloped lyrically, even though it’s got a lot of that aforementioned steel guitar. “Melody,” the album closer, also feels somewhat out of place, as if it were thrown in as an afterthought. Again, I enjoy this song and its message of faith, but it really doesn’t go with the rest of the album or add much to it.

If you were looking for something new and fresh in Texas country, I suggest starting with Kody West. If you like more country rock instrumentation, this album is definitely a great place to start. There are some nice lyrical moments too, especially on the title track, “Ledges,” and “Ogygia.” This record shows a lot of promise for Kody West–it’s not perfect, but it’s a debut, and Kody West is a name you should keep your eye on.

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Artists I Wish Would Take a Hint From Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley was one of the first artists that got me into country music. He may not be your favorite–and that’s okay–but you can’t argue with songs like “Who Needs Pictures,” “we Danced,” and certainly “Whiskey Lullaby.” He was one of the people that I heard on the radio in the late 90’s and early 2000’s that made me fall in love with this genre. He really disappointed me on his last two albums; they weren’t terrible, but they just weren’t Brad Paisley. You could tell he was trying to be something he was not. His guitar play was noticeably lacking, and he seemed to be veering toward chasing radio success. On his latest album, Love and War, he has gone back to being himself, and that’s just refreshing. There was a discussion on SCM about whether or not Brad will make it into the Hall of Fame, and all that remains to be seen, but he can’t do anything better than be himself, and that’s what he has done on his latest record. It got me thinking and talking about a lot of the artists that got me into country in the first place. A lot of them made some fine music earlier in their careers but have since started to kill their legacies by chasing short-term success and promoting mindless singles to radio. They could learn from Paisley, as well as Tim McGraw, who has also returned to form recently. Zac Brown Band could easily be talked about on either side of the conversation here, but I’ll reserve judgment until May 12th and hope I can include them in with Paisley and McGraw. Anyway, let me know if there are any artists you’d add to this list, as these are just the ones whose decline in quality over the years has personally bother me the most.

Dierks Bentley

Why, why can’t we get back the Dierks Bentley of “Up on the ridge” and “Riser?” Yep, “riser” was released in 2015; even then, he hadn’t sold out. There’s not even any point in him selling out this way–he was getting airplay anyway. Black is certainly not the most terrible album I’ve heard in recent memory, but it’s one of the most disappointing because I really thought we could count on Dierks Bentley. This is what he is capable of.

Blake Shelton

I own a Blake Shelton album called Loaded: the Best of Blake Shelton. Ironically, that album was released just prior to the beginning of his stint on The Voice, and so, essentially, it really is the best of Blake. Anyway, that record is great. But people won’t remember that; he’s done his best to eradicate all that in the past five years with the majority of his singles. I remember when I first heard “Austin,” and it blew me away. Same goes for “Don’t Make Me.” Blake does a lot for traditional country and music of substance from his chair on The Voice, and I just wish he’d take his own advice because if he did, I think he could be remembered for more than his reality show and his obnoxious tweets.

Keith Urban

Those of you that are shocked I own a Blake Shelton album, brace yourselves for this…I own no less than six–yep six–Keith Urban records…I’ll give you a moment to digest the fact that I’m not a Sturgill apologist, yet I own six Keith Urban records…now then. Keith Urban was a prime example of what good pop country is supposed to be–right up till the single “Little Bit of Everything” and his American Idol run (coincidence, Blake?). He used to write much of his material as well, and whether you enjoyed it or not, he was real. Keith Urban might be the most disappointing artist in the mainstream for me because he is just simply better than the crap he is releasing to radio–and it’s not as if he was ever especially traditional in the first place, so I don’t exactly see radio not playing him if he went back to more meaningful material. It literally boils down to laziness in his case, and that’s unfortunate.

Kenny Chesney

He is better than this too, even if you’re sick of beach music. His last record was absolutely boring and lifeless. Even Chesney sounds bored. I miss the days of “There Goes my Life” and “Old Blue chair.” Like Brad and Keith, even if Kenny isn’t your favorite, he used to at least be himself.

Eli Young Band

I remember when Eli Young Band were a cool Texas band releasing equally cool new music instead of shit like “Turn it On.” Yeah, that is basically all.

Honorable Mentions

  • Josh Turner–His last album wasn’t quite disappointing enough to piss me off on this level, it was mainly just boring, but if he releases more like this, he’ll make the list.
  • Little big town–I wish they’d get back to themselves, but I didn’t enjoy them enough when they were themselves to be as annoyed by them now. Also, The Breaker was a small step in the right direction.
  • the Band Perry–I don’t think them coming back to themselves is even possible at this point, so I don’t see the point listing them here.

The 51st Annual ACM Award Nominees, With Commentary

This morning, (2/1), the nominees for the 2016 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards were revealed on CBS the Morning and ETOnline.com. The ACM Awards will take place on April 3rd at the MGM Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas and air on CBS. For the first time in several years, Blake Shelton will not be one of the hosts–this year it will be Blake’s former co-host, Luke Bryan, along with Dierks Bentley. This seems an unlikely pair to say the least, but we’ll see on April 3rd. Here are the nominees, along with predictions, preferences, and some personal commentary.

Video of the Year

“Biscuits”–Kacey Musgraves, directed by Mark Klausfeld, produced by Nicole Acacio
“Burning House”–Cam, directed by Trey Fanjoy, produced by Trent Hardville
“Girl Crush”–Little Big Town, directed by Karla Welch and Matthew Welch, produced by Amanda Prunesti
“Mr. Misunderstood”–Eric Church, directed by Reid Long and John Peets, produced by Megan Smith
“Riser”–Dierks Bentley, directed by Wes Edwards, produced by Jennifer Rothlein
Prediction: “Burning House” or “Riser”
Preference: none

New Male Vocalist of the Year

Good to see the ACM’s breaking down this category again, as for the past several years it has been simply “New Artist.”

Brett Eldredge [no]
Chris Janson [no]
Thomas Rhett [really?]
Chase Rice [hell no]
Chris Stapleton [thank God]
Prediction: Chris Stapleton
Preference: Chris Stapleton…I would prefer Chris Stapleton anyway, but out of these, do I really have a choice?
Note: When is Thomas Rhett going to stop getting nominated for New Artist awards?

New Female Vocalist of the Year

Kelsea Ballerini [no]
Cam [yes!]
Mickey Guyton [good]
RaeLynn [oh God no]
Prediction: Cam or Kelsea Ballerini
Preference: Cam
Note: Only four artists here…what happened to including more women? This is the only category to be missing an artist….and if we can nominate Thomas Rhett, surely we can nominate Ashley Monroe or Jana Kramer. Many more if they knew how to think outside the box…Jamie Lin Wilson anyone? Having said that, I’m impressed with the inclusion of Mickey Guyton, it is well deserved.

New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year

A Thousand Horses [ok]
Brothers Osborne [good]
Maddie & Tae [yes]
Old Dominion [please]
Parmalee [no]
Prediction: Maddie & Tae
Preference: Maddie & Tae
Note: I am sorry that Maddie & Tae and Brothers Osborne must be in the same category with the likes of Old Dominion. Maddie & Tae really deserve this award and should win it…they deserve to be the Duo of the Year, but this would involve de-throning Florida Georgia Line.

Vocal Event of the Year

“Hang Over Tonight”–Gary Allan featuring Chris Stapleton, produced by
Gary Allan and Greg Droman, MCA Nashville
“Home Alone Tonight”–Luke Bryan featuring Karen Fairchild, produced by Jeff Stevens and Jody Stephens, Capitol Nashville
“Raise ’em Up”–Keith Urban featuring Eric Church, produced by Nathan Chapman and Keith Urban, Hit Red Records/Capitol Nashville
“Smokin’ and Drinkin'”–Miranda Lambert featuring Little Big Town, produced by Frank Liddell, Chuck Anilay, and Glenn Worf, RCA Nashville
“Wild Child”–Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter, produced by Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney, Blue Chair Records/Columbia Nashville
Prediction: “Raise ’em Up”
Preference: “Wild Child” out of these, but there are better nominees by far.
Note: Why is “Hang Over Tonight” being nominated for anything? This was not successful commercially or critically, has stalled Gary Allan’s entire career, and cost him millions of fans…but let’s nominate it for an ACM, makes perfect sense. “Home Alone Tonight” is trash, “Smokin’ and Drinkin'” is just there, and the others are decent. Terrible list altogether. The CMA nominated Willie and Merle’s collaboration album at least.

Single Record of the Year

Interestingly, or stupidly, the Song of the Year and Songwriter of the Year nominees are not out yet and should be announced “in the coming weeks”…Song of the Year has traditionally been about critical acclaim, and Single Record was for commercial success, but lately they have become somewhat interchangeable.

“Burning House”–Cam, produced by Jeff Bhasker, Tyler Johnson, and Cameron Ochs, Arista Nashville/RCA Records/Kravenworks [excellent]
“Buy me a Boat”–Chris Janson, produced by Brent Anderson, Chris DuBois, and Chris Janson, Warner Music Nashville [no]
“Die a Happy Man”–Thomas Rhett, produced by Dan Huff and Jesse Frasur, The Vallory Music Co. [to be expected, but hell no]
“Girl Crush”–Little Big Town, produced by Jay Joyce, Capitol Records Nashville [yes]
“I’m Comin’ Over”–Chris Young, produced by Corey Crowder and Chris Young, RCA Nashville [decent]
Prediction: No idea…this could go to Cam, Thomas Rhett, or Little Big Town, if we’re talking commercial success. All three would deserve it based on this.
Preference: “Burning House” or “Girl Crush”
Note: The only thing I’m certain of here is that Chris Young has absolutely no chance.

Album of the Year

I’m Comin’ Over–Chris Young, produced by Corey Crowder and Chris Young, RCA Records [lol]
Montevallo–Sam Hunt, produced by Zach Crowell and Shane McAnally, MCA Nashville [never]
Mr. Misunderstood–Eric Church, produced by Jay Joyce, EMI Records Nashville [yes]
Tangled up–Thomas Rhett, produced by Dan Huff, Jesse Frasur, and Chris Destafano, The Vallory Music Co. [absolutely horrifying]
Traveller–Chris Stapleton, produced by Dave Cobb and Chris Stapleton, Mercury Records [yes]
Prediction: Traveller
Preference: Traveller
Note: Glad to see Eric Church with a nomination here, and disappointed in the lack of women. Thomas Rhett’s Tangled Up is even worse than Montevallo which is saying something…some good nominees, but a bad category overall. At least Stapleton is now a front runner, after his upsets at the CMA’s. But Kacey Musgraves should definitely have a nomination here. The fact that Chris Young’s boring effort is here is completely laughable.

Vocal Duo of the Year

Brothers Osborne [good]
Dan + Shay [no]
Maddie & Tae [yes]
Joey + Rory [good]
Florida Georgia Line[no]
Prediction: Maddie & Tae…going out on a limb.
Preference: Maddie & Tae
Note: I don’t think Florida Georgia Line will do it again…they’ve slipped in popularity. Also, never underestimate the power of the sympathy vote for Joey + Rory, cancer is a powerful thing. I’m glad to see Joey + Rory with a nomination too, but they shouldn’t get the win…that right belongs to Maddie & Tae, and enough splitting of the votes may happen here that we will see them take it.

Vocal Group of the Year

Wow, what an awful category.

Eli Young Band [no]
Little Big Town [yes]
Old Dominion [for the love of God]
Rascal Flatts [no]
Zac Brown Band [not after this year….”Beautiful Drug” is not worth any recognition, even if the group is]
Prediction: Little Big Town…they’ve become the Miranda Lambert of the Vocal Group category.
Preference: Little Big Town
Note: Can we give it to Turnpike Troubadours?

Male Vocalist of the Year

Jason Aldean [no]
Dierks Bentley [good]
Eric Church [yes]
Brett Eldredge [lol]
Chris Stapleton [yes]
Prediction: Eric Church or Chris Stapleton
Preference: Chris Stapleton, but I’d be happy with Eric.
Note: No Blake Shelton…interestingly, Blake Shelton was shut out entirely from this extravaganza.

Female Vocalist of the Year

Kelsea Ballerini [no]
Jana Kramer [good]
Miranda Lambert [duh]
Kacey Musgraves [good]
Carrie Underwood [good]
Prediction: Miranda Lambert–like with the CMA’s, I’m not an idiot.
Preference: Carrie Underwood
Note: Glad to see Jana Kramer with a nomination…if we could have replaced Kelsea with Ashley Monroe, this would have been a pretty fair list.

Entertainer of the Year

Jason Aldean [no]
Garth Brooks [good]
Luke Bryan [duh but no]
Eric Church [good]
Miranda Lambert [good]
Prediction: Luke Bryan, with an outside chance of Garth Brooks
Preference: Garth Brooks

Random Thoughts of the Week: The Top Five Signs of Hope for Mainstream Country

2015 has been the year of the sellout in country music. The two most disappointing sellouts of the year for me were easily the Zac Brown Band and the Eli Young Band, the former with the release of the EDM single “Beautiful Drug” to country radio, and the latter with the terrible single “Turn it On” and the subsequent EP, as well as the horrible “country remix” of “Honey, I’m Good” with Andy Grammer. Keith Urban was a close third, using his talent to give us the brilliant “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” a song that personally pisses me off about as much as “Kick the Dust Up” because Keith Urban knows better. Easton Corbin used his George Strait-esque voice, previously used for “A Little More Country Than That,” to record an album full of bro country pickup lines. Brett Eldredge, though never really carrying a torch for traditional country, was never really working aginst us until his recent r&b album Illinois. Danielle Bradbery has remade herself into a wannabe pop star for the sake of reviving an already struggling career. Even the legendary Alabama sunk to the low of releasing “Southern Drawl,” a desperate attempt to be cool that failed in every respect, coolness especially. And now, Eric Paslay’s new single, “High Class” seems to have finally pushed everyone off the deep end with its blatant metro-bro bullshit lyrics and style–and this coming from the person who obviously knows better, as “She Don’t Love You” so effectively proved. In times like these, people start saying we should forsake country altogether and start calling ourselves Americana fans, that we should just surrender our beloved “country music” to these sellouts, country carpetbaggers, and metro-bro douchebags, and go listen to Americana. They say that all hope for “country” as we knew it is lost.

Well, here are some signs of hope, in no particular order of importance.

Dierks Bentley

Dierks Bentley is not selling out, as his latest single, “Riser,” has proven. I will be incredibly shocked if he succumbs to the trends, as he has no reason to. He has found the perfect balance between quality and airplay and doesn’t seem to care that he often does not get the recognition he deserves. He has made quality music throughout his career and has no reason to change that now; he’s found a formula that works for him even in this country radio climate.

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood is not a traditional country artist, but she’s here because she defines what actual pop country should sound like. She takes the best of pop and country and blends them well, offering songs that both display depth in storytelling and are radio-ready. Although I was not as impressed with her new single, “Smoke Break,” as many, it certainly does not follow the current trends, and her new album, Storyteller, could be a factor in turning back the tide of mainstream country music to a real pop-country sound–what we have now is straight pop poorly disguised and incorrectly labled as country.

Cam

True, Cam has only given us two singles and an EP so far, but the reason she’s in my top five signs of hope for mainstream country is that On the Verge supported her. Her first single, “My Mistake,” was a nice pop country blend, but “Burning House,” the sponsored single, is a completely acoustic, traditional country song. The fact that this program supported an artist like that signals change. Cam’s debut album cannot come soon enough!

Chris Stapleton

Some would argue whether Chris Stapleton is mainstream, but I don’t see why. He’s on a major label and has even received some airplay. Traveller is nominated for Album of the Year by the CMA, and Stapleton is nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year. Stapleton with three nominations is a sure sign of hope.

Maddie & Tae

I have written a lot about these ladies, but I’ll say it again–they can bring those that think “country” = Sam Hunt and Kelsea Ballerini back to country. Radio has actually given them a shot. They’ve proven they’re not afraid of fighting for country; they’ve spoken out against drum machines and their debut single was “Girl in a Country Song.” The fact that Scott Borchetta and Big Machine are behind them and that they’re actually getting played is a huge sign of hope.

Despite all the selling out, there are still a lot of reasons to hope for mainstream country, perhaps now more than ever. More and more independent artists are seeing success in album sales that mainstream Nashville can’t ignore. Country legend Merle Haggard, a name-drop in many of today’s songs, is openly speaking out. Represented above are established artists and newcomers alike, fighting for real country music. I didn’t even mention Mo Pitney, Ashley Monroe, Kacey Musgraves, Jon Pardi–the list goes on. Not to mention Tim McGraw’s new album will unashamedly be titled Damn Country Music. I wasn’t thrilled by the lead single, but the album title certainly intrigues me. The point of all this is that mainstream country is far from hopeless–in fact, after years of fighting, we are finally seeing numbers on our side, artists speaking out, and more traditional artists being signed and getting airplay. In short, although it is happening slowly, we are seeing results. Why should we give up now? The day we leave our own fight and run to Americana is the day that country music will be lost.

Tomato of the Week: Jamie Lin Wilson

I featured her friend and fellow Texas country artist, Courtney Patton, last week, so this week, I am covering Jamie Lin Wilson. Check out her full article on Female Friday!

Random Country Suggestion: Randy Rogers Band–Burning the Day

A great album from one of my favorite Texas/Red Dirt bands.

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No non-country suggestion, just go listen to these glaring signs of hope.