Tag Archives: Kenny Chesney

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

Billboard Country Airplay and Country Albums Chart (November 14th)

Billboard Country Airplay

1. Old Dominion–“Break up With Him” (up 1)
2. Cole Swindell–“Let Me See Ya Girl” (up 2)
3. Florida Georgia Line–“Anything Goes”
4. Carrie Underwood–“Smoke Break” (up 1)
5. Chris Young–“I’m Comin’ Over” (up 2)
6. Dan + Shay–“Nothin’ Like You”
7. Blake Shelton–“Gonna” (up 1)
8. Luke Bryan–“Strip it Down” (down 7)
9. Jason Aldean–“Gonna Know We Were Here” (up 2)
10. Kenny Chesney–“Save It for a Rainy Day” (down 1)
11. Cam–“Burning House” (up 1)
12. Tim McGraw–“Top of the World” (up 1)
13. Brothers Osborne–“Stay a Little Longer” (up 1)
14. Parmalee–“Already Callin’ You Mine” (up 1)
15. LoCash–“I Love This Life” (up 4)
16. Big & Rich–“Run Away With You”
17. Jana Kramer–“I Got the Boy”
18. Thomas Rhett–“Die a Happy Man” (up 2)
19. Kelsea Ballerini–“Dibs” (down 1)
20. Randy Houser–“We Went” (up 2)
21. Brad Paisley–“Country Nation”
22. Sam Hunt–“Break Up In a Small Town” (up 1)
23. Granger Smith–“Back Road Song” (up 1)
24. Hunter Hayes–“21” (up 1)
25. A Thousand Horses–(“This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial” (up 1)
26. Chase Bryant–“Little Bit of You” (up 1)
27. Dierks Bentley–“Riser” (up 1)
28. Lee Brice–“That Don’t Sound Like You” (up 1)
29. Zac Brown Band–“Beautiful Drug” (up 1)
30. Rascal Flatts–“I Like the Sound of That” (entering top 30)

  • new #1: “Break Up With Him,” aka the douchebag anthem
  • next week’s #1 prediction: “Let Me See Ya Girl”
  • Chase Rice’s “Gonna Wanna Tonight” finally, mercifully fell out of this chart after a year

Billboard Top Country Albums

1. Carrie Underwood–Storyteller [debut]
2. Blake Shelton–Reloaded: 20 #1 Hits [debut]
3. Luke Bryan–Kill the Lights
4. Thomas Rhett–Tangled Up
5. Don Henley–Cass County
6. Sam Hunt–Montevallo
7. Sam Hunt–Between the Pines: Acoustic Mixtape [debut]
8. George Strait–Cold Beer Conversation
9. Eric Church–The Outsiders
10. Jimmy Fortune–Hits & Hymns [debut]
11. Toby Keith–35 Mph Town
12. Jana Kramer–Thirty One
13. Various Artists–Now That’s What I Call Country, Volume 8
14. Colt Ford–Answer to No One: The Colt Ford Classics [debut]
15. Kelsea Ballerini–The First Time
16. Zac Brown Band–Jekyll + Hyde
17. Little Big Town–Painkiller
18. Brett Eldredge–Illinois
19. Jason Aldean–Old Boots, New Dirt
20. Carrie Underwood–Greatest Hits: Decade #1
21. Alabama–Southern Drawl
22. Florida Georgia Line–Anything Goes
23. Brantley Gilbert–Just as I Am
24. Kane Brown–Closer (EP)
25. Chris Stapleton–Traveller

  • Carrie Underwood’s Storyteller debuts at #1
  • Sam Hunt’s “acoustic mixtape” Between the Pines debuts at #7
  • Kelsea Ballerini’s The First Time moved up to #15 this week from #28

Source: Billboard

Billboard Country Airplay and Country Albums Chart (November 7th)

Billboard Country Airplay

1. Luke Bryan–“Strip it Down” (2nd week at #1)
2. Old Dominion–“Break Up With Him” (up 2)
3. Florida Georgia Line–“Anything Goes”
4. Cole Swindell–“Let Me See Ya Girl” (up 1)
5. Carrie Underwood–“Smoke Break” (up 3)
6. Dan + Shay–“Nothin’ Like You” (up 3)
7. Chris Young–“I’m Comin’ Over” (up 3)
8. Blake Shelton–“Gonna” (up 3)
9. Kenny Chesney–“Save It For a Rainy Day” (down 2)
10. Chase Rice–“Gonna Wanna Tonight” (down 8)
11. Jason Aldean–“Gonna Know We Were Here” (up 1)
12. Cam–“Burning House” (up 1)
13. Tim McGraw–“Top of the World” (up 1)
14. Brothers Osborne–“Stay a Little Longer” (up 1)
15. Parmalee–“Already Callin’ You Mine” (up 2)
16. Big & Rich–“Run Away With You”
17. Jana Kramer–“I Got the Boy” (up 1)
18. Kelsea Ballerini–“Dibs” (up 1)
19. LoCash–“I Love This Life” (up 1)
20. Thomas Rhett–“Die a Happy Man” (up 1)
21. Brad Paisley–“Country Nation” (up 2)
22. Randy Houser–“We Went” (up 2)
23. Sam Hunt–“Break Up in a Small Town” (down 1)
24. Granger Smith–“Back Road Song” (up 2)
25. Hunter Hayes–“21”
26. A Thousand Horses–(“This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial” (up 1)
27. Chase Bryant–“Little Bit of You” (up 1)
28. Dierks Bentley–“Riser” (entering top 30)
29. Lee Brice–“That Don’t Sound Like You” (up 1)
30. Zac Brown Band–“Beautiful Drug” (entering top 30)

  • new #1: “Strip it Down”
  • next week’s #1 prediction: “Break up With Him”
  • Brett Eldredge’s “Lose My Mind” went recurrent and fell from #6 to out of the top 30
  • The Band Perry’s “Live Forever” fell from #29 to #32
  • Dierks Bentley’s excellent “Riser” and Zac Brown Band’s EDM “Beautiful Drug” enter the top 30 this week

Billboard Top Country Albums

1. Luke Bryan–Kill the Lights
2. Thomas Rhett–Tangled Up
3. George Strait–Cold Beer Conversation
4. Don Henley–Cass County
5. Sam Hunt–Montevallo
6. Toby Keith–35 Mph Town
7. Kane Brown–Closer (EP)
8. Jana Kramer–Thirty One
9. Eric Church–The Outsiders
10. Zac Brown Band–Jekyll + Hyde
11. Brett Eldredge–Illinois
12. Alabama–Southern Drawl
13. Jason Aldean–Old Boots, New Dirt
14. Maddie & Tae–Start Here
15. Little Big Town–Painkiller
16. Jason Boland & The Stragglers–Squelch
17. Florida Georgia Line–Anything Goes
18. LeAnn Rimes–Today is Christmas [debut]
19. Brantley Gilbert–Just as I Am
20. Alan Jackson–Angels and Alcohol
21. Chase Rice–Ignite the Night
22. Stoney LaRue–Us Time [debut]
23. Various Artists–Now That’s What I Call Country, Volume 8
24. Carrie Underwood–Greatest Hits: Decade #1
25. Zac Brown Band–Greatest Hits So Far…

  • Luke Bryan’s Kill the Lights remains at the top
  • George Strait and Don Henley show no signs of slowing down, at #3 and #4
  • Stoney LaRue’s fan tribute album Us Time debuts at #22

Source: Billboard

Billboard Country Airplay and Country Albums Chart (October 31st)

Billboard Country Airplay

1. Luke Bryan–“Strip It Down” (up 1)
2. Chase Rice–“Gonna Wanna Tonight” (up 3)
3. Florida Georgia Line–“Anything Goes” (up 2)
4. Old Dominion–“Break Up With Him” (up 1)
5. Cole Swindell–“Let Me See Ya Girl” (up 2)
6. Brett Eldredge–“Lose my Mind” (down 5)
7. Kenny Chesney–“Save It for a Rainy Day” (down 4)
8. Carrie Underwood–“Smoke Break”
9. Dan + Shay–“Nothin’ Like You” (up 1)
10. Chris Young–“I’m Comin’ Over” (up 2)
11. Blake Shelton–“Gonna”
12. Jason Aldean–“Gonna Know We Were Here” (up 2)
13. Cam–“Burning House” (up 3)
14. Tim McGraw–“Top of the World” (up 1)
15. Brothers Osborne–“Stay a Little Longer” (up 2)
16. Big & Rich–“Run Away With You” (up 2)
17. Parmalee–“Already Callin’ You Mine” (up 2)
18. Jana Kramer–“I Got the Boy” (up 3)
19. Kelsea Ballerini–“Dibs” (up 1)
20. LoCash–“I Love This Life” (up 2)
21. Thomas Rhett–“Die a Happy Man” (up 4)
22. Sam Hunt–“Break Up in a Small Town” (up 5) [biggest gainer, sadly]
23. Brad Paisley–“Country Nation”
24. Randy Houser–“We Went”
25. Hunter Hayes–“21”
26. Granger Smith–“Back Road Song” (entering top 30)
27. A Thousand Horses–(“This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial” (up 1)
28. Chase Bryant–“Little Bit of You” (up 2)
29. The Band Perry–“Live Forever”
30. Lee Brice–“That Don’t Sound Like You” (entering top 30)

  • new #1: “Strip it Down”
  • next week’s #1 prediction: “Strip it Down”
  • Maddie & Tae’s “Fly” and Keith Urban’s “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” fell from #9 and #13, respectively, to out of the top 30
  • Granger Smith’s terrible bro anthem “Back Road Song” enters at #26
  • Lee Brice’s mediocre “That Don’t Sound Like You” enters at #30 this week
  • Chase Rice’s terrible, bland, unforgettable “Gonna Wanna Tonight” has literally been on this chart for a year…

Billboard Top Country Albums

1. Luke Bryan–Kill the Lights
2. Toby Keith–35 Mph Town [debut]
3. Jana Kramer–Thirty-One [debut]
4. Don Henley–Cass County
5. George Strait–Cold Beer Conversation
6. Thomas Rhett–Tangled Up
7. Sam Hunt–Montevallo
8. Kane Brown–Closer (EP)
9. Alabama–Southern Drawl
10. Zac Brown Band–Jekyll + Hyde
11. Jason Boland & The Stragglers–Squelch [debut]
12. Brett Eldredge–Illinois
13. Eric Church–The Outsiders
14. Maddie & Tae–Start Here
15. Little Big Town–Painkiller
16. Florida Georgia Line–Anything Goes
17. Jason Aldean–Old Boots, New Dirt
18. Brantley Gilbert–Just as I Am
19. Alan Jackson–Angels and Alcohol
20. Josh Thompson–Change: the Lost Record Vol. 1 (EP) [debut]
21. Various Artists–Now That’s What I Call Country, Volume 8
22. Chase Rice–Ignite the Night
23. Alabama–Angels Among Us: Hymns and Gospel Favorites
24. Zac Brown Band–Greatest Hits So Far…
25. Kelsea Ballerini–The First Time

  • unfortunately, Luke Bryan is back at the top of this chart
  • four albums debuted on the chart this week…incidentally, the only one really worth checking out is Squelch

Source: Billboard