Monday, January 21, 2013

January 2013 State Of Country Music

As January flows along as slow as a frozen river, so does the state of mainstream country music.  With the New Year upon us, I had hoped that some new songs would be released worth listening to.  Never fear, however, because there are a whole slew of substantial releases on the Americana/Red Dirt/Texas side.

As I look through the Billboard Country Songs chart, I am disheartened by how many songs are about trucks, beer, and nothingness.  Given the amount of these types of songs being churned out of Nashville in the past few years, it does not help country's image.  The stereotype of simple, hayseed people will never cease if the genre continues to process this image.

I'd love to call out the horrible songs and artists on the mainstream chart, but I'd rather spend my time giving credit to the artists who are doing excellent work.  Songs that I'm digging on the mainstream chart are Gary Allan's "Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)," "Merry Go 'Round" by Kacey Musgraves, 

"Say Goodnight" Eli Young Band, and "Mama's Broken Heart" by Miranda Lambert.

Looking at the Texas Regional Radio Report, the songs and artists are superb.  Reckless Kelly's excellent "Pennsylvania Avenue"

 is spending a second week at #1, followed by another fine entry "I'll Sing About Mine" by the Josh Abbott Band.  The latter is actually a song about the state of mainstream country radio.  

Other Top 10 favorites on this chart include "Worth The Fight" by The Departed, "Travelin' Kind" by Stoney Larue, Mike Ryan's "The Cold One," and the Eli Young Band appears on this chart, as well.  The Texas chart is full of exceptional compositions.  Chris Knight's "In The Meantime" checks in at #19, a tune that is about real people who live in the country, not the ones singing about trucks, tractors, and beer.  Kacey Musgraves checks in on this chart at #69 and one of my personal favorites, Micky & The Motorcars comes in at #72 with their brand new song "A Thousand Tears."

Some people in the Texas music industry feel that their genre is in a slump.  There are some less than stellar songs right now, but it's nothing like the depression going on over in Truckville.  Many of the Texas artists sound a lot like mainstream; however, the edgy artists who aren't considered "country" but more of roots rock/Americana, are doing the best work.  The Departed, Reckless Kelly, Micky & The Motorcars, Turnpike Troubadours, Josh Abbott Band, Chris Knight, Stoney Larue, the list is endless.  These artists don't sound like anyone else, their sound is unique, the songs are about real life, and they don't adhere to "rules" set by the Nashville music processing machine.

If you're in a mid-Winter funk, do something different and treat your ears to some new, refreshing music.


  1. Definately right on the point! I pretty much like both old & new. :-)

    1. Thank you! I love both old and new, too, it just has to be good :)

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