One-of-a-Kind New Country Singer Carves His Own Niche

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Already named to The Boot's prestigious "Ones to Watch 2015" list, Brant Smith is poised for a breakthrough year and he wants you to know he's doing it his way. Our correspondent sat down with Bryant to find out what makes him stand out among this year's crop of stubble-chinned warblers. "Most debut artists don't get as much control over their music as Prestige Nashville has given me, but they saw something edgy and different in me and just handed over the reins," said Scott, molding a stray … [Read more...]

Stayin’ alive in 2-0-1-5

Since I opted out of the race to the bottom months ago, some have reached out to say: Okay, Wilcox. We get it. You removed all the ads. The Amazon affiliate links are helping dogs now. You've removed all financial incentive to kowtow or chase quick hits, so you're free to only write about what you actually find interesting and/or exciting. But does enacting your principles necessarily mean taking a vow of poverty? That seems like a dangerous precedent to set for the future of online music … [Read more...]

Quotable Country – 01/11/15 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source. I'm hardly an expert, because I haven't been there for a long time. But the [Portable] People Meter ratings methodology [of terrestrial radio] punishes unfamiliar music, by and large. That's my understanding. So radio used to be an active medium, and now it's turned into more of a passive medium. ● --- SiriusXM tastemaker John Marks on terrestrial radio. Heard today, though, what the full-on novelty of “Bird of Paradise” most clearly … [Read more...]

This Week in Country Music History: Podcast Launch!

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I wanted to get Country California's After the Beep podcast launched. I also wanted to do another This Week in Country Music History. So, I decided to complete both tasks in one fell swoop. Listen to the podcast version for my impeccable delivery and some bits not included in the text below. If I can be so bold, I'd also recommend subscribing to After the Beep via your pod-listening program or app of choice. The feed can be found at This thing's so new that it … [Read more...]

Quotable Country – 01/04/15 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source. I love a good old apple cider with some apple pie and vanilla ice cream on top. I know you can have that year-round, but whenever you can have it at Christmas time with the cider, it makes it a little more Christmassy. ● --- Even Scotty McCreery's holiday food picks are personality-free. With his headphones on, the Wichita man sang Blake Shelton's song "Boys 'Round Here" out loud. Passengers around him complained to the flight … [Read more...]