Mar 31, 2011

R.I.P. Mel McDaniel

Best Songs of 2011: 1st Quarter Report

Click the song titles to listen.

1. Kasey Anderson and the Honkies - Exit Ghost
(tie) Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Codeine (free & legal mp3 download of this song at the link)

3. Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears - She's So Scandalous

4. Hayes Carll - Bottle in My Hand

5. Left Lane Cruiser - Pig Farm

6. Chris Young - Tomorrow

7. Raphael Saadiq - Stone Rollin'

8. Alison Krauss & Union Station - My Love Follows You Where You Go

9. Austin Lucas- Thunder Rail

10. Ponderosa - Devil on My Shoulder

11. Sunny Sweeney - Staying's Worse Than Leaving

12. Amos Lee - Flower

13. Drive-by Truckers - Mercy Buckets

14. John Popper & the Duskray Troubadors - Champipple

15. The Decemberists - Don't Carry It All

Mar 30, 2011

Bonus Awkward Gary Levox Photo of the Week


Top 10 Things Going Through Atlantic Records Execs Minds When They Signed Gwyneth Paltrow to a Country Record Deal

10. Cha-ching!

09. She won't require as much Autotune as Rebecca Black, anyway.

08. Homina homina homina

07. Maybe she can get me her husband's autograph!

06. Where did I leave my damn keys?

05. Well, we'll save on the photo touchups for the album art.

04. Geez, it's not like she sings as bad as Bob Dylan.

03. When it doesn't sell, we'll claim anti-Liberal actress bias.

02. Crack cocaine

01. Crystal methamphetamine

Mar 28, 2011

Snap Judgments: Promo Only Country Radio April

Click the song titles to listen.

Bridgette Tatum - Hillbilly Rockstar
Huh? I was expecting a chick. Holy sh*t, according to the Google, it is a chick! She sounds more manly than Bryan White or Gary LeVox could ever hope to. This sounds like the Lost Trailers under a new name or something. Hillbilly Rockstar is in the vein of "Holler Back" and "She's Country" with the modern rock production and some nods to something more urban. It's kinda catchy and I'm guessing by the placement at the head of this comp, that somebody's putting a lot of promotional cash behind this band. That doesn't make it a good song. Seriously though, I'm gonna have to see some nude pics or medical documentation regarding this person's sex before I believe they are female. (kidding, but still...)

Chris Young - Tomorrow
Chris strikes while the iron is hot with another winning single. It's early to say so, but he's something of a modern Keith Whitley, albeit with less of the stone country sound. It's a song you'll swear you've heard a million times before, but Chris invigorates it with his killer vocals and confidence. I love it. If you're wondering who's going to fill the shoes of Alan Jackson or George Strait, look no further. I don't have "man crushes" but if I did...

Toby Keith - Somewhere Else
Toby has been on a steady slide to Nashville's B-list… not that he cares. He hasn't hit the top of the charts in who knows when, but this song might change that. This is an earworm of a loser anthem. Toby actually sounds like he's having fun for a change (though I thought he sounded enthused on Trailerhood, which underperformed). Good stuff.

Colt Ford - Country Thang
Already reviewed this. Won't listen again.

Keith Urban - Without You
Downtempo and earnest. Not exciting me though. Good enough for background music and selling ads though.

Jody Booth - Gold Digger
Perversely, I was hoping this was a cover of Kanye West's "Gold Digger." I wanted to see how he tackled the troublesome "-igger" rhyme. It's not. It's not bad though. Jody's got a rich, 90's country sounding voice and a lot of potential. I don't think the lackluster chorus does the verses or his voice much justice, but overall…decent.

Gretchen Wilson - I'd Love to Be Your Last
Simple, heartfelt and beautiful. If this isn't Gretchen's comeback hit, she won't have one.

The Doobie Brothers - World Gone Crazy
For a supposed foray into country, this sounds way too much like what used to be called soft rock. Oh, right…. still, this is cheesy as hell. Too much so even for country radio. Some 50-something guy on P90X dating a girl his daughter's age and driving a Miata somewhere will love this… but not me.

She's got a nice voice and it's a sexy song, but the chorus seems half-hearted and the production is too pop for my preferences. Not all that memorable.

Eli Young Band - Crazy Girl
Texas country dolled up for Nashville. Sounds like a hit to me. Also sounds like something that doesn't excite me in the least, but I guess I won't change the station if it comes on.

Ronnie Dunn - Bleed Red
Meh. Nice sentiment and Ronnie's voice is always great, but aside from the cool plunking piano notes, the tune is a bore. (*follow up - it's growing on me)

Eric Church - Homeboy
I'm at a loss on this one. This should be the moment for Eric to capitalize on his recent successes with something that knocks it out of the park and vaults him onto the A-list. Instead, it's an awkwardly conceived take on a brother who's slipped into rebellion and hip-hop culture. It is catchy though, and the theme will resonate with a lot of listeners.

This may be a tired theme, reflecting on those who have passed on, but it's a genuinely affecting song much in the way Jamey Johnson's "In Color" was. Snapshots and details, rather than rote Hallmark card prose, give this real emotion and Moore's performance is pretty strong. I love to pick on Justin, but I can't do it this time out.

This begins our portion of the Promo album in which I've never heard of any of these people. There's an obvious political pecking order to these things, with the superstars and handpicked up-and-comers leading the way. The B, C and D-listers always round out the collections. Tonja has a good enough vocal performance here, but the song is dull and won't be getting much Clearchannel airplay.

Levi Hart - Borderline Crazy
No. Clever title, but that's all this has to offer. They don't even use that cute wordplay to craft a memorable hook. Bad 90's country come to town.

River Road - Something I Can Wrap My Arms Around
This is catchy and pretty well written. Sounds like a cross between Restless Heart and some 90's hat act. Not bad, but the band sounds canned and flat.

D.J. Miller - Whatever it Takes
This begins the portion of the review where I get slackjawed and sleepy because of the general mediocrity of the songs. DJ sounds good, but this is nothing new by any stretch of the imagination. A middling "proclaiming my love" ballad that drew my first yawn.

Brice Beaird - Old Rock Church
James Tayloresque. "esque" might be an understatement. Is this James using a fake name? Good lyrics, nice change of pace, but I'm not a huge JT fan. Still, bonus points for not sounding like 1997 rehashed. Very nicely shot video too!

Awkward Gary Levox Photo of the Week

Mar 25, 2011

YouTube Gems: Paul Thorn "Pimps and Preachers"

This guy inspires me. So awesome. Can't wait to see him at the Beale Street Music Festival next month.

Mar 22, 2011

Floater Rising

Hell, what is there to say about Gary Floater that hasn't already been said? He's an American icon, a country visionary and a lover of lot lizards. There's not another Texas country singer who's had a greater influence on the art of contemporary song. Gary started out singing for love of money, but soon found a true outlet for the soul in his music.

Floater Rising is new tribute to the legend.

Or as his website puts it, a new tribute album, Floater Rising, is in the can and it drops April 1st, 2011.

Pre-order "Floater Rising" now and, as a bonus, Gary will include
random objects from his trailer in your package!

I have been deemed worthy of hearing the second tribute to Mr. Floater before you, and I'm here to say that out of all the albums I've heard this year, it certainly ranks among the top 50! From the poignant country philosophies of "That's What I'm Gonna Do" to the culinary poetry of "Pull Over (I Want to Eat That)," you'll be treated to Gary's homespun wisdom and his mastery of songwriting.

"Coach's Song" is every bit the powerful ode to high school football that Chesney's "The Boys of Fall" never was. And that's not a threat, it's a fact.

The coup d'étit of this collection is "Americana Me," a manifesto of Gary's alt-country credibility and a love song to the sub-genre he loves most. If you doubt it, I guarantee he'll punch you right in the mouth.

Buy this album. It's Sh*thead Dam good!

Maybe if enough FTM readers buy the CD, Gary will grant me that ever elusive interview someday. Here's to hoping!

Top 10 Things It Would Be Better To Spend Your $10 On Than Chris Brown's FAME Album Today

10. A Candom

09. Llama poop dog tag

08. LeAnn Rimes drivers license

07. (Find $7.50 extra) and buy this

06. Take a ten dollar bill from your wallet and use in place of Charmin

05. So five minutes ago

04. Autographed Rascal Flatts Glossy photo

03. This Trace Adkins approved t-shirt

02. Boxing gloves to punch yourself in the face with

01. Take a ten dollar bill from your wallet and light it on fire

(*NOTE: In all seriousness, the best place to spend $10 rather than on Chris Brown's album is:


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