From the mailbag:
Kevin in Georgia writes: With the reduction of mainstream radio playlists, the consolidation of media and record labels, and the greatly lowered number of songwriters actually getting cuts in Nashville, is there really any point to trying to break into the business if you're not willing to kiss corporate ass or make friends with douchebag up-and-coming singers?
Kayla in Texas asks: My boyfriend is a good-looking white rapper inspired by Sam Hunt and Colt Ford. What's the best way for him to break into the country music business?
Me: Record a half-dozen YouTube videos of him covering country artists he's never heard of and won't sound anything like ….and wait.
Josh in Ohio writes: How do you balance performing, songwriting, running businesses, and having a family with your true loves of ego and alcohol?
Me: Well, Josh. If you care to drive your anonymous ass down to Nashville and ask that to my face, I'll give you a little insight. I'll put my foot so deep insight your ass, you won't ask me something like that again.
Vanessa in Washington State wants to know: Do you think the success of Chris Stapleton will open the doors for authentic, gritty country music and should songwriters anticipate that shift by writing more story-driven and emotional songs?
Me: I know, Vanessa, I'm worried too. I'm hoping this is just a trend like the great credibility scare of the late 80s. Nashville righted the ship then, and they'll do it now. Don't you fear. There may be a few months of hard twang, whining steel, earnest lyrics, and a general lack of flash, but in no time at all, this town will get back to its roots and deliver the pandering, trend-driven, sexy pop music we know and love. Stay strong, y'all!!