- Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee” has gone digital gold (500,000 downloads) in just 7 weeks to become the fastest-selling digital single ever by a solo country male vocalist. There’s no accounting for taste.
- Miranda Lambert is in the studio working on her next solo album. We have to specify “solo” because, according to a radio interview earlier this month, there will be a Pistol Annies album as well.
- In the latest batch of Country Weekly album reviews, Ronnie Dunn, Joe Ely, and the Tom T. Hall tribute record all get three stars, while Brad Paisley’s latest gets four.
- In the game of “Where Will Former The 9513 Writers Pop Up Next?” whack-a-mole, old pal Sam Gazdziak debuted at Country Standard Time with his own review of that new Tom T. Hall tribute record.
- The Doobie Brothers and Luke Bryan team up for an episode of CMT Crossroads set to air June 24, and “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)” is reportedly among the songs performed. Yikes.
- The 1-to-10 Country Music Review and Country Universe both reviewed American Idol winner Scotty McCreery’s “I Love You This Big,” with the former’s Ben Foster concluding that the young singer “deserves a better song” and the latter’s Dan Milliken writing:
But the song isn’t a great deal worse than a lot of the forgettable 90′s schmaltz it models itself after, and at least it doesn’t end with the Jesus reference I was expecting from the title (which would have been a shameless rip-off of Jimmy Wayne’s sappy-sweet hit “I Love You This Much”). For his part, McCreery just sounds like Josh Turner’s young, starry-eyed demo singer who also sometimes rubs his signed copy of John Michael Montgomery’s Greatest Hits like a rabbit’s foot the morning of a big trig test. He’s got a few nice moments of tone and phrasing, and the rest just says, “I haven’t found my own voice yet.”
- In recent interviews, Kellie Pickler has made much of her desire to take her music in a more traditional direction. Now you can hear her new single “Tough” here. Pickler has called it her favorite thing she’s sent to radio and described it as having a “kind of dirty hillbilly [sound].” Think she’s on the right track?
- The Civil Wars’ acclaimed Barton Hollow album is $3.99 at Amazon MP3 today.
- Peter Cooper covered Foster & Lloyd’s reunion and It’s Already Tomorrow for The Tennessean.
- Prediction: In hindsight, Julie Roberts will find this song and video only slightly less embarrassing than her cover of “Girl Next Door.” But if it allows her to stick around and record more like “Unlove Me” and “You Ain’t Down Home” somewhere down the line, I’m all for it.
- If you can’t get enough of the A.V. Club’s Nathan Rabin on country, check out his Bakersfield Sound article in the “Gateways to Geekery” series — a series that aims to give newbies the right starting point into various fields of interest made unapproachable by the devout fandoms that form around them. Rabin explains why the Bakersfield Sound might require such bridge-building:
Country music conjures up an unfortunate set of imagery for many: pick-up trucks, Confederate flags, mullets, and tallboys of Bud Lite for starters. The intelligentsia has historically found the genre easy and fun to ridicule, dismissing it as the soundtrack of ignorance—hillbilly idiocy in musical form. Country can be a daunting field for neophytes to get into because it brings so much cultural baggage with it, most of it negative, and because the homogeneous pabulum you hear on contemporary country radio doesn’t provide much incentive to go beyond the stereotypes or preconceptions.
- CMT’s Craig Shelburne can usually be counted on for solid new music playlists. His latest is brimming with tracks by Alison Krauss, Brian Wright, Ben Hall, The Dirt Drifters, The Roys, and a bunch of other artists I should probably check out given my affection for all of the aforementioned.
- Speaking of Brian Wright, American Songwriter posted a fine video of him performing “Loaded Gun.”
- Sunny Sweeney, Jake Owen, Heidi Newfield, Lee Greenwood, Vince Gill, and a bunch of the usual (legendary) suspects are all on the Opry tonight. Tune in at WSM Online starting at 7PM CST.
- Here’s the new music video for Jacob Lyda’s “I’m Doing Alright.” Spoiler alert: He sings in the middle of a field, in a barn, and from the back of a pickup truck within the first 30 seconds. Overachiever.