Feb 21, 2017
Feb 17, 2016
Chris Stapleton - Nobody to Blame
It's a surprise to see this still climbing the charts, but an absolute blast and a shock to hear it come on country radio. It's like a guy showed up in boots to a black tie affair, but Garth it ain't. While it's far from the best song on Chris' highly awarded Traveller, it's a hell of a song, and a glimmer… no, it's a high beam on a moonless night.
Maren Morris - My Church
Some will focus on the name-dropping and hand clapping and not give this a fair shake, but it's a cool tune. Bluesy, stomping, and honest. Can't help but love the gospel flair in the chorus, tying the whole theme in perfectly. More like this, country radio! Less like "Dibs."
Tim McGraw - Humble and Kind
Simple and affecting. Some may hear this as sappy and calculated, but I hear sincerity. And Tim doesn't have to put out stuff like this. He could still be chasing trends a'la' his misguided "Truck Yeah" era, but the fact that he's chosen to follow his own path and bring mature music to a sophomoric format is a credit to his standing as one of the few remaining artists with ties to the soul of real country music.
Bonus: Big & Rich ft. Tim McGraw - Lovin' Lately
A surprisingly catchy effort from a pair who's flown under the radar in recent years with middling songs nobody remembers 5 minutes after they end. "Lovin' Lately" is anthemic and ear-worm worthy, in a good way. The melody is the thing.
Old Dominion - Snapback
Old Dominion is single-handedly keeping bro-country from truly breathing its last breath. This song has been the source of umpteen memes on Farce the Music and probably will spawn more. It's a straight up piece of crap. Slangy, cocky, sexually harassing. If Robin Thicke and Pitbull showed up on the remix, I would not be shocked in the least.
Cole Swindell - You Should Be Here
I applaud Cole for attempting to bring a bit more depth to country radio, but he should have tried harder. Or less hard, as the case may be. Based on real life or not, "You Should Be Here" sounds contrived and focus-group tested. "Bros Cry Too" would be a more apt title, as it drops all the tropes like drinking and hanging out …into a song about death. Maybe my cold black soul has just become too jaded, but an ASPCA commercial has an infinitely higher chance of dragging a tear out of my eye than this.
Michael Ray - Real Men Love Jesus
Michael has a pretty nice voice, but I'm tired of listing songs and I'm tired of people telling what real men should do. I love Jesus, but a lot of people whose manhood you wouldn't dare question just think Jesus was a pretty cool guy There are ways to say this same thing without painting so broadly. Also, the song has little or nothing to do with the title itself. Jesus is just kinda shoe-horned in there with beer and dirt and barbed wire tattoos or whatever. I'm all for Jesus songs being on country radio, but proclaim Him… live His Word loudly… just don't use Him as a selling point for a middling pop-country song.
Jul 27, 2015
1. There's no right or wrong way to write songs.
JR: Bullshit! There's a right and a wrong. There's first place and there's losers. This songwriting tip is akin to saying little Johnny deserves a trophy for being on the damn team, even though he can't hit a slider and his throw to the plate is suspect, and his team came in third place. This country's a bunch of whiners and enablers and I'm sick of it. Sit your ass down with just your guitar and a pad …and your 6 best songwriter friends, and write a classic! Don't experiment. Don't f*** around with a proven formula. This ain't Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and "you being you" don't pay the Audi lease.
2. Write from the heart.
JR: Again with this sissy crap. Yeah, go ahead… get out your My Little Pony notebook and your gel pens. Sprinkle some potpourri around the room. Turn on some Enya and pour your little feelings out in glittery bits of subpar Dead Poets' Society nonsense. Cry a little while you do it, you little wuss. Now, if you want to make real art, the kind that sells millions and makes drunk b**ches dance, listen to me. Write from the ballsack. That's it.
3. Don't fake it.
JR: Did Johnny Cash shoot a man in Reno? Hell no! Do I put the moves on college girls in pickup trucks after leaving frat parties? Not that you know of! So let's dispense with this tip quickly. Be as fake as you want. Writing a song isn't the same as giving a legal deposition - which motherf****ers lie on anyway; I'm here to tell you from experience. Hell, I write rap songs for a certain artist from a country north of here and nobody can even tell. Do I have "beef" with rappers? (Yes, but for purposes of this article:) No. Do I party with scantily clad stoned girls? Well, maybe these aren't the best examples… but you get my drift, Pedro. I've got about as much street cred as Jeb Bush, but I drop them bars like B.I.G. (rest in peace, my homey). So, do what you gotta do, especially if you started from the bottom. Play a part. Lie. Make dem Franklins. I'm out!
*Not actually written by John Rich
Dec 17, 2014
Here are some bizarre country (and 1 rock) music-related products,
memorabilia and whatnot you can buy or gawk at this holiday season.
|Really disgusting Luke Bryan panties|
|Mama failed. ("Mama Tried" thong)|
|Autographed baseball from renowned stars of the diamond, Rascal Flatts|
|Autographed Big & Rich panties.|
|Florida-Georgia Line prayer candles. You're going to hell if you buy these.|
|A vintage Aaron Tippin muscle shirt which is actually pretty awesome|
|A hideous personalized Brantley Gilbert shirt|
|Lady A earrings for the girl or progressive fellow with three ears|
|A Megadeth bib for the headbanging rugrat in your life|
|This Scotty McCreery fried chicken ad|
|And... this "A Country Boy Can Survive" inspired taxidermy sculpture|