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Peter Cooper of The Tennessean says Fake News is "something like country music’s version of farcical newspaper The Onion, or like an all-country online cousin to The Daily Show." Join our mailing list and we'll send you an immediate (free!) e-book download, featuring some of our favorite Fake News stories of the past four years.

Wherein we do our best to be serious, to sometimes unintentionally hilarious effect.

The 20 Best Country Live Albums of All Time, Part II

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The bottom half of the countdown included some Texas, some Bakersfield, some folk, some bluegrass, and even a little mainstream. The top half strikes a similar balance with an entirely different set of artists. Read on for the 10 Best Country Live Albums of All Time, as decided on by the panel of experts inside my head. Oh, and don't forget to weigh in with your own favorites in the comments! 10. In Person - Charley Pride When it comes to audience-performer connection, this one ranks … [Read more...]

The 20 Best Country Live Albums of All Time, Part I

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I wanted to do The 400 Best Country Live Albums of All Time, but Country Universe stole my thunder, so I whittled it down to a lean list of 20 favorites. Here are numbers 20-11, with the top 10 to follow tomorrow. Agree? Disagree? Like to pick fights? Be sure to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments. 20. Live at Stubb's - Reckless Kelly When I first got this disc, it stayed in my car CD player for at least a month or two. Even with Bulletproof landing near the top of my 2008 … [Read more...]

Checking Up on 2010

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Now that we're almost halfway through the year, I thought I'd check up on how things have developed so far, with updated commentary on the original Questions for 2010 I posed back in January. Without further ado: Will Lady Antebellum prove it? I don't think they have, but their sophomore album is selling in huge numbers, so who am I to judge? I wonder how long they'll be able to sustain this sort of momentum with the songs being as unmemorable as they are. How will Jamey Johnson follow … [Read more...]

Danny Gokey Is the Worst

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Some singers instantly elevate whatever material they touch, putting even the simplest of truths over with such raw, unimpeachable conviction that they become almost startlingly potent. Danny Gokey isn't that kind of singer. He's the kind who makes most any song he applies his pipes to sound worse through injudicious application of vocal tics and tricks borrowed from Michael Bolton, the kind who presents himself as the gaping absence of personality at the center of his own album. On … [Read more...]

Country Music: It’s Easy to Be Cynical

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The late-night situation is being talked about everywhere else, so why not on a country music blog? After getting the shaft from NBC and Jay Leno (who, in this one-time Leno fan's opinion, should have retired gracefully when all hell started breaking loose), Conan O'Brien concluded his brief stint as Tonight Show host with class last Friday night, urging his disappointed fans to ward off cynicism: All I ask is one thing, and I'm asking this particularly of young people that watch: Please do … [Read more...]

Time Warp: Best Albums of 2007

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A "Best Albums of the Year" list begins as a ranked summary of recent releases, then becomes a historical artifact in itself, a window into what seemed most important at the time. The hope is that these lists will age well, that we won't look back several years from now and marvel at our own shortsightedness. Taken collectively, they probably do a pretty good job - where there's consensus, there's probably some lasting quality. On an individual level, though, how am I to know if my top picks … [Read more...]

Questions for 2010

jamey-johnson

There's no doubt that many stories will take me by surprise in the year ahead, but there are also quite a few I see coming. Some of the looming questions as we enter 2010: Will Lady Antebellum prove it? "Need You Now" went some way toward establishing them critically, but the hype is still ahead of the horse for this trio. Will their next album prove the early accolades well-deserved or leave them still one step behind their press? How will Jamey Johnson follow That Lonesome Song? As … [Read more...]