April 28, 2013 |
Veterans and newbies coexist peacefully, if sometimes noisily, at Stagecoach, where aspiring youths and occasionally oldsters looking for fresh horizons get spotlight time in the early going, before the tried-and-true acts take over in the evening. Florida Georgia Line, the group from - surprise! - Florida and Georgia just won the title of new artist of the year at the recent Academy of Country Music Awards, and got a shot on the Mane Stage in front of the majority of festival attendees.
August 9, 2013 |
Willie Nelson didn't get labeled an outlaw for nothing. Having turned his back on the Nashville-based country music establishment that tried to reign him in as a performer in the 1960s, Nelson hit his stride in the 1970s with a series of singles and albums made pretty much exactly the way he wanted them made. But that was hardly the end of the story for his idiosyncratic ways. After scoring his first No. 1 country hit as a performer in 1975 with "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" and returning to the top spot on the country chart that year in tandem with Waylon Jennings with "Good Hearted Woman," Nelson helped usher in a new era of maverick country music.
April 6, 2009 |
The 44th Academy of Country Music Awards swung political, personal, playful and patriotic on Sunday and ultimately opted for popular in bestowing its top honor on "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood, naming her entertainer of the year over veteran male performers George Strait, Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban. "I've had a lot of good moments in the past four years," the Oklahoma-born Underwood said at the climax of the three-hour event at the MGM Grand Arena, "but this one takes the cake."
March 29, 2014 |
The characters in Brandy Clark's songs aren't necessarily where they thought they'd be in life. There's the woman buying pharmaceuticals out of some guy's trunk in "Take a Little Pill. " There's the woman living for religion and lotto-winning dreams in "Pray to Jesus. " And there's the married woman, in "What'll Keep Me Out of Heaven," standing in front of a hotel elevator, contemplating a rendezvous with a married man. "Ten floors up he's waiting with Champagne and candlelight," Clark sings, her voice leaking both hope and preemptive regret, "What'll keep me out of heaven will take me there tonight.
April 9, 2013 |
If presidential politics ever involved time travel, President Obama might be in a little trouble. If an election between Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama were held today, 58% would vote for Reagan over Obama, according to a survey of 1,000 Americans age 18 and older conducted by Kelton Research for the National Geographic Channel. Though when the field is narrowed to people ages 18-34 -- those either too young to have known Reagan as president or too young to remember much -- the gap shrinks to 51% in favor of Reagan.
April 10, 1989 |
For some of us, one of the more satisfying moments in recent country music history came 2 years ago during the Academy of Country Music Awards show. There the members of Alabama sat in aisle seats, smug looks on faces, sporting sequined Admirals' uniforms and other suitably respectful attire, waiting to snork up their yearly pile of awards. And there they continued to wait, as new-traditionalists such as Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakam walked by with all the trophies. Maybe it was cruel to enjoy their discomfiture but it can't be any more cruel than what Alabama continues to do to country music, evidenced most recently by the group's deposit of treacly effluvium Friday evening at the Pacific Amphitheatre.
April 27, 2014 |
Jason Aldean's purest, most Jason Aldean-ish song -- and therefore, perhaps, the one that got the biggest response during the singer's headlining set Saturday at Stagecoach -- is "1994," from his album "Night Train. " A ready-made crowd-pleaser set at the perfect beer-hoisting tempo, it's got crunching hair-metal guitars, a bouncy hip-hop beat -- and lyrics made up in large part of the titles of songs by another country singer, Joe Diffie. Aldean is a bro-country veteran with huge hits stretching back to 2005, five years before Luke Bryan (who'll close Stagecoach on Sunday)
April 4, 2014 |
Broad of shoulder and booming of voice, Bob Romeo is a memorable guy with a seemingly memorable job title: chief executive of the Academy of Country Music. Based in Encino, it's one of that genre's two principal trade groups along with Nashville's Country Music Assn.; both seek to promote the style through concerts, festivals and, most visibly, televised award shows. But although they have their differences, the organizations are commonly known by acronyms - ACM and CMA - that can lead to confusion.
April 9, 2013
Roll over, Hank Williams, and tell Patsy Cline the news: Nashville has a new top music awards show. Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards show on CBS drew 15.4 million viewers, according to early data from Nielsen (final ratings won't be published until Tuesday). It was the first time since at least 1987 that the ACMs beat the same season's airing of its rival, the Country Music Assn. awards telecast on ABC. Last November, the CMAs crooned for 13.7 million viewers. This was also the largest audience for the academy show in 15 years.
August 26, 2011 |
With the huge rise in popularity of young female country stars such as Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood taking home Grammys and other awards and climbing to No. 1 on Billboard charts, it's difficult to imagine a time when the women of country music did not appeal to such a wide audience. But before Swift, Underwood and Miranda Lambert, there were a handful of women like Dolly Parton paving the way for female country stars. "Dolly created a very powerful and realistic role model picture of artist and songwriter for aspiring young female country artists.