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 That Lonesome Song?
The double-disc Guitar Song doesn’t come out until September 14, but early comments from those who’ve heard it are promising. “Macon” seems an encouraging sign that Johnson won’t fall into the rut of simply trying to remake That Lonesome Song over and over again. Billboard has more details:
Johnson wrote or co-wrote nearly all of the tracks, collaborating with Bobby Bare, James Otto, Rivers Rutherford, Buddy Cannon Vicky McGehee, Shane Minor, Charlie Midnight and Alabama’s Teddy Gentry, among others. Bill Anderson co-wrote and guests on “The Guitar Song’s” title track, while Randy Houser and Mac McAnally also appear on the set. “The Guitar Song” also includes covers of Kris Kristofferson’s “For the Good Times,” Mel Tillis’ “Mental Revenge,” Vern Gosdin’s “Set ’em Up Joe” and the Keith Whitley/Don Cook/Chick Raines co-write “Lonely at the Top.”
Ashton Shepherd, Gretchen Wilson, or neither?
“Work Hard, Play Harder” is already Gretchen’s biggest hit since “All Jacked Up,” so we’ll see how much higher it climbs and what happens with that momentum when she starts pushing her next single. Shepherd is still in the studio with Buddy Cannon working on her next album. Wikipedia says a single will be out in July.
Brooks & Dunn solo?
Hold your horses, cowboy. They’ve still got some awkward touring to do together.
What about Strait?
“I Gotta Get to You” climbed as high as #3. Wikipedia says “The Breath You Take” is the next single. Ugh.
Chris Young set for a breakthrough year?
As I predicted back in January, Young has already had a huge 2010, with tons of favorable press and his first ever multi-week #1 in “The Man I Want to Be.” Now they’re rereleasing “Voices,” an underperforming 2008 single that was the subject of derision in one of Country California’s earliest posts. I wish they’d go with “The Shoebox” or “It Takes a Man” or “Rose in Paradise” instead.
Who will rule the summer?
We still don’t know. Now I’m just praying it won’t be Uncle Kracker.
More from Joey + Rory?
The simply-titled Album #2 is due later this year.
What’s next for Taylor Swift?
Swift is already a pop phenomenon based in the country format, and she has already seemingly won everything there is to win. Where’s her next challenge? And as she continues on her path toward world domination, what role (if any) will country music play in her future?
That’s what I wrote in January. While you couldn’t exactly say that Swift’s star is on the decline – she’s still one of the most popular figures in all of music – there have been some signs that some of her glittery magic might be wearing off, including the previously inconceivable Swift shutout at the fan-voted (!!) CMT Music Awards. But Swift-mania should be ramping back up as her new single and album come out in the second half of the year.
Will Lambert release “The House That Built Me” as a single?
Yes, thank goodness. And she’s been rewarded handsomely for doing so.
New music from Ashley Monroe?
One can always hope. Jason Aldean’s cut of “The Truth” (written by Monroe and Brett James) looks to be headed for the top of the charts, which should certainly help the cause.
Please, can we get on this?
Dierks Bentley bluegrass album?
It’s pretty darn good.
Joe Diffie bluegrass album?
It won’t be released until August, but I just got the advance recently and it’s pretty darn good too. Expect to see a review coming up in the next couple months.
Bucky Covington bluegrass album?
Word is that Bucky’s been boning up on his banjo skills.
New music from The Steeldrivers?
Fans who were understandably disappointed by the departure of vocalist Chris Stapleton should be pleased to learn that the band’s upcoming sophomore album – Reckless, due out September 14 – features the original line-up. In the meantime, new lead singer Gary Nichols seems to be doing a pretty fair job out on the road:
Sarah Buxton releases a whole album?
It actually happened! Then the label got shut down.
Elizabeth Cook with Don Was. How great?
I have a review of Welder coming up at The 9513 pretty soon. It’s good, but scattered.
(The review, I mean. Ba dum bum. But seriously…)
What have you enjoyed so far in 2010? What are you most looking forward to in the second half of the year?