May 24, 2023
Nov 30, 2022
May 5, 2021
Oct 7, 2020
Let’s dispense with the introductory paragraph. You know the deal by now. Jerks!
10. William Lee Golden (of the Oak Ridge Boys)
Had women who touched his beard arrested. When fans requested for him to ‘say something!’ In his deep voice, he just whispers “I’m not the deep voiced one, dumbass.”
9. John Conlee
The former mortician talked about embalming bodies in great detail between songs in concert. Refused to perform “Rose Colored Glasses” until all the women on the front row showed their boobs.
8. Juice Newton
First person to utter “country music has to evolve.” Once spit her gum in Crystal Gayle’s hair.
7. Lee Greenwood
Would only go onstage if he was announced as “His excellency, the most patriotic American to have ever lived.” Chews loudly; can’t stand the sound of other people chewing.
6. Hank Jr.
Hit on women with the line “Do you wanna be one of my rowdy friends?” Performed exactly 2 songs sober during the whole decade (this may be true). Used bandmates shirts when the tour bus ran out of toilet paper.
5. Rosanne Cash
Insisted on driving her own tour bus so she could tailgate Yugos. Dipped during interviews. Tour rider sheet only said “I’m not going to tell you; you should just know.”
4. Mark Miller (of Sawyer Brown)
Frequently trashed his hotel room and had to be reminded that he owned the bus he was sleeping in. Came on stage with a forty ounce and threw the bottle into the crowd when it was finished. Sang a dirty version of “Out Goin’ Cattin’” if he noticed lots of kids in the audience.
3. Mickey Gilley
Rode the bull at his bar on ‘easy’ level, but claimed to be the champ. Constantly clicked his pen at business meetings. Called George Strait a “Mickey Gilley wannabe” to his face.
2. Janie Fricke
Referred to herself as the “Frickin’ Queen of Country.” Never returned casserole dishes she borrowed. Sprayed the crowd with Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers during her encore. Tipped hairstylists with unsold merch.
1. John Schneider
Open hand slapped a fan who said “for a country singer, you’re a pretty good actor.” In real life, always drove way under the speed limit. Ate Funyuns before every face to face interview. Accused Waylon of riding his coattails. Anyone he considered less attractive than him was instructed to maintain a 6 foot distance.
May 9, 2018
Mar 30, 2018
Jan 6, 2017
Dec 30, 2014
Being mentioned here while still outside the top 50 may seem like a slight to these albums, but in a year I listened to 200+ new albums and sampled countless others, these were all worthy of hours of play each. Also, it was a consistently strong year for music (if not as full of stone cold classics as some) so there was a lot of good stuff to choose from. This is just one guy's opinion (next year FTM will likely begin having a composite list from our 3 contributors plus me), so sometimes it's not about actual quality of an album, but how it affected me on an emotional, critical and intellectual level. These are all very strong releases.
Very Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):
Very Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):
Sunny Sweeney - Provoked
Parker Millsap - s/t
Counting Crows - Somewhere Under Wonderland
Shovels & Rope - Swimmin' Time
Eric Church - The Outsiders
Rodney Crowell - Tarpaper Sky
Dierks Bentley - Riser
The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams
Justin Townes Earle - Single Mothers
Willie Nelson - Band of Brothers
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - Give the People What They Want
TV on the Radio - Seeds
Nickel Creek - A Dotted Line
Miranda Lambert - Platinum
Sundy Best - Bring Up the Sun
Rosanne Cash - The River & The Thread
YG - My Krazy Life
Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End
Eli Young Band - 10,000 Towns
Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy
Jenny Lewis - Voyager
Mar 19, 2014
From last week's overwhelmingly awesome Couch by Couchwest festival, here's Rosanne Cash and The Thread with "A Feather's Not a Bird," from her newest album The River and The Thread.
Oct 22, 2013
Brandy Clark's 12 Stories is the cure for the common country song. Sorry, that was a terrible opening line, but I'm gonna leave it in here because it might make this review stick in your head for better or worse.
While her vocal style may recall a bit of Trisha Yearwood or Rosanne Cash and her writing may bring to mind Miranda Lambert or Kacey Musgraves (both of whom she has written with/for), Brandy is an artist unto her own.
She's kept all the best songs for herself …and good for her! The debut single, "Stripes" is a witty kiss-off that mixes infidelity, fashion and revenge into what would almost be a novelty song with a less lived-in vocal. In a world where females make up less than 15% of the country chart, "Stripes" would be a welcome (and welcomed(!), if only the mass of country radio's audience had a chance to hear it) entry into the testosterone-apalooza.
"What'll Keep Me Out of Heaven" might be the best pure country song of 2013. It's an old-school cheating song with modern sensibilities. Clark goes through a near real-time analysis of the desires and implications inherent in a potential hotel room hook-up, and it is captivating.
"Take a Little Pill" is my favorite cut on 12 Stories. It'll never ever ever ever get anywhere near country radio because it's far too close to real life. Here, Brandy explores pharmaceutical healing in an age where the fine line between necessity and easy-out are crossed with little regard for the consequences.
12 Stories is the rare album where every song is as catchy as it is intelligent. Its over-arching theme seems to be similar to that of bro-country - escape; however, Brandy explicitly tells you what harsh realities are being numbed away or ignored, and what the repercussions may be in the end. It's a stunning debut that begs more than critical praise - it deserves a big stage from which to remind a wide audience about the beauty and ugliness of real life.