Quotable Country – 01/18/15 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source. I think that my songs keep getting simpler, and I’m trying to find the least amount of words to get across what I’m feeling. I’m definitely a better singer than I was, so that allows me to write in different formats. I’m just going with the flow of life. As long as I keep searching and staying true to myself, my songs will not necessarily advance, but they will go somewhere else. I’m willing to follow them. ● --- Justin Townes Earle to … [Read more...]

Album Review: Blake Shelton – Startin’ Fires

Blake Shelton - Startin Fires

This review was originally published at the late, great The 9513 in December 2008, before Shelton had joined the Opry, married Miranda Lambert, become a perennial CMA Male Vocalist winner, or found wider pop culture stardom as a personality on NBC's The Voice. Savvy observers of mainstream country recognize Blake Shelton as one of the format's finest interpreters of a song. On his fifth studio album, the Oklahoma native and beau of firecracker Miranda Lambert (a connection alluded to by the … [Read more...]

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

henley shirt

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!

this week

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 afterthebeep.libsyn.com/rss. This thing's so new that it … [Read more...]