Song Review: Blake Shelton – “God’s Country”

The short version: It may take a few listens to warm up to, but “God’s Country” is a welcome return to form for Blake Shelton. Writers: Devin Dawson, Michael Hardy, Jordan Schmidt Rating: 7/10 The long version: I’ll admit I’ve been one of Blake Shelton’s harsher critics. Of course, it’s not like that criticism was… Read More Song Review: Blake Shelton – “God’s Country”

The Musical Divide Takes Over The John Deery Band’s Playlist

John Deery of the John Deery Band kindly asked if I would like to “take over” one of his Spotify playlists recently. His three biggest current playlists include, “Best Of Southern-Rock & Greatest Classic Hits,” “Honky Tonk Jukebox – Best Country Music Playlist,” and “Best Of Americana,” the playlist I was asked to take over.… Read More The Musical Divide Takes Over The John Deery Band’s Playlist

EP Review: King Calaway – ‘King Calaway’

The short version: (insert fire emoji here later) Favorite tracks: All of them! Least favorite track: None of them! Rating: 10/10 The long version: Y’all. Let’s put aside those authenticity arguments away for this particular review, because today, we’re dealing with something special. No, there were no recordings or YouTube videos of King Calaway prior… Read More EP Review: King Calaway – ‘King Calaway’

Album Review: George Strait – ‘Honky Tonk Time Machine’

The short version: While it’s scattershot in some places, ‘Honky Tonk Time Machine’ is nonetheless a welcome return for King George Strait. Favorite tracks: “Some Days,” “Sometimes Love,” “Blue Water,” “Old Violin,” “Sing One With Willie (w/ Willie Nelson)” Least favorite track: “Código” Rating: 7/10 The long version: Sadly, an eventual exclusion of country music… Read More Album Review: George Strait – ‘Honky Tonk Time Machine’

Pop Goes The Country Vol. 10: Marty Robbins – “A White Sport Coat” (1957)

Pop Goes The Country is an ongoing feature where I explore country music’s biggest crossover hits Last week on ‘Pop Goes The Country,’ we explored the beginning of the rockabilly movement and its effects on country music. The next few volumes of this series will be split between talking about big rockabilly numbers and big… Read More Pop Goes The Country Vol. 10: Marty Robbins – “A White Sport Coat” (1957)

By The Way, Brandi Carlile Is Dominating 2019

I’m sure no one wants to hear the “real country” debate get brought up again. To some, this issue is about the sound of the country music genre and little more. From a broad perspective, it also looks at representation. Therefore, whether artists identify as “country,” “Americana,” “roots,” or whatever else, it doesn’t exclude them… Read More By The Way, Brandi Carlile Is Dominating 2019

Pop Goes The Country Vol. 9: Sonny James – “Young Love” (1956)

Pop Goes The Country is an ongoing feature where I explore country music’s biggest crossover hits. After weeks of discussing cowboys, boogie tunes, war and government conspiracies, it’s time to move on to something else with this feature. Considering this feature is meant to explore country music’s biggest crossover hits, it should come as no… Read More Pop Goes The Country Vol. 9: Sonny James – “Young Love” (1956)

Song Review: Brad Paisley – “My Miracle”

The short version: Brad Paisley’s new single is fairly predictable all around, but you could certainly do worse I guess.   Writers: Brad Paisley, Gary Nicholson Rating: 6/10 The long version: As a fan, it’s sad watching Brad Paisley’s recent radio struggles. As a critic, it’s understandable and happens to everyone, but it doesn’t make it… Read More Song Review: Brad Paisley – “My Miracle”

Album Review: Lauren Jenkins – ‘No Saint’

The short version: While there’s still the mystery of who Lauren Jenkins is, ‘No Saint’ is a compelling listen in all regards. More than that though, I’d say this album’s importance to the genre equally matches my enjoyment of it. Favorite tracks: “No Saint,” “Give Up The Ghost,” “Blood,” “Maker’s Mark And You,” “Running Out… Read More Album Review: Lauren Jenkins – ‘No Saint’

Pop Goes The Country Vol. 8: Tennessee Ernie Ford – “Sixteen Tons” (1955)

Pop Goes The Country is an ongoing feature where I explore country music’s biggest crossover hits. It’s no secret that country music’s reliance on authenticity and story-telling is one of its richest qualities. Even if one can’t directly relate to drinking their life away or whatever other sad topic country music touches, there’s still value… Read More Pop Goes The Country Vol. 8: Tennessee Ernie Ford – “Sixteen Tons” (1955)

Song Review: Dustin Lynch – “Ridin’ Roads”

The short version: “Ridin’ Roads” resumes Dustin Lynch’s hot streak of mediocrity, but at least there’s some passable elements to this. Writers: Dustin Lynch, Zach Crowell, Ashley Gorley Rating: 4/10 The long version: I’m not one to question artistic intentions, but at this point, it’s clear Dustin Lynch is aiming to release country music backed… Read More Song Review: Dustin Lynch – “Ridin’ Roads”

Album Review: Maren Morris – ‘GIRL’

The short version: Most of the problems from ‘HERO’ carry over to Maren Morris’ sophomore album, ‘GIRL.’ Favorite tracks: “Great Ones,” “A Song For Everything,” “GIRL,” “Shade” Least favorite tracks: “RSVP,” “Make Out With Me” Rating: 5/10 The long version: Maren Morris. To some, that name is synonymous with everything wrong with current mainstream country… Read More Album Review: Maren Morris – ‘GIRL’

Song Review: Runaway June – “Buy My Own Drinks”

The short version: Runaway June prove that not all fun songs have to center around mind-numbing drivel on “Buy My Own Drinks.” Writers: Naomi Cooke, Jennifer Wayne, Hannah Mulholland, Hillary Lindsey, Josh Kear Rating: 7/10 The long version: It’s a shame that an act like Runaway June haven’t quite caught on yet. Granted, this is… Read More Song Review: Runaway June – “Buy My Own Drinks”

Pop Goes The Country Vol. 7: Jean Shepard & Ferlin Husky – “A Dear John Letter” (1953)

Pop Goes The Country is an ongoing feature where I explore country music’s biggest crossover hits. Thus far, with the exception of maybe Tex Williams’ “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette),” the crossover hits discussed in this feature have rarely reflected their respective time periods. In other words, in wasn’t what the song said that catapulted… Read More Pop Goes The Country Vol. 7: Jean Shepard & Ferlin Husky – “A Dear John Letter” (1953)