The wonderful story of “Wagon Wheel”, from Big Bill Broonzy to Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup to Bob Dylan to Old Crow Medicine Show. What this article, written in 2011, misses is the latest twist on the story: Darius Rucker turning the song into a mainstream country hit. This is how retromania used to work, back when they called it tradition, and I guess it still does.
Archive for the ‘country’ Category
“Driving across America, I’ve learned when I scan the radio dial and hit the wimpier brand of hair metal, I know I’ve found country radio.”
—Holly Gleason, in the Nashville Scene’s 13th Annual Country Music Critics Poll.
As a follow-up to my post about women in country, here’s another great one. If this doesn’t make the charts I may give up all hope.
Thomas Rhett’s “Something To Do With My Hands”. Eric Church has some competition for the title of Best Country Rocker. Funny, too.
Back in January, American Idol alum Kellie Pickler released her third album,100 Proof. Opening with “Where’s Tammy Wynette”, the album’s a fascinating throwback to the country style of the late 60s and early 70s. Despite being the best country album of the year so far, it doesn’t fit stylistically with country radio at the moment, and it hasn’t sold well. So today, in their infinite wisdom, and just as Pickler is coming into her own as an artist, Sony Nashville dropped her (and people wonder why Sony has been losing so much money lately). Here’s hoping that some forward looking label, like Big Machine, picks her up. I just hope she doesn’t end up on some sleepy “Americana” label—her music’s too vital for that.
File this under things that should have been obvious but for some reason weren’t. I always figured that once the country audience moved from rural areas into the suburbs and the cities, it would come to more closely resemble the mainstream pop audience, and that both sides of the equation would become more accepting of the other. It’s something that’s been going on for years, but the people in the country music business, who you would think would know about these things already, apparently had to commission a study to find out about it. The contemporary country audience is as wealthy, as well-educated, and as tech-savvy as the pop audience, something that even country radio programmers and others in the industry seem to be surprised at. Which can’t help but make me wonder what they believed up until now. Do they really think the country audience falls for all that small town, simple life blather, or sees it as anything else but a romantic fantasy? Does country radio really think its audience is that stupid? Had they convinced themselves that they really were pitching hokum to a bunch of hicks? Considering how the business treats most fans, that would certainly be less surprising.
If this post is any indication, very. I suppose the same thing could be done with hip-hop and rock and indie fans, but when country fans set their iTunes to shuffle, all they get is country (and the occasional pop hit).
When it comes to lusting after celebrities, maybe so.
In preparation for their first US tour in nearly a decade, Cornershop goes country. Trucker country, at that.