So What Of The New Music Of 2013?


So, as everyone’s adjusting to the idea of it being 2013,
and the coming events of the new year, I thought I’d take you through some of
the new artists and new releases of 2013, and what I’m most looking forward to
etc (as if I’m a tastemaker, ha). Read away for the lowdown.

Albums I’m Looking Forward To:

  • Ashley
    Monroe – Like A Rose

I began listening to Ashley back in about 2007 on MySpace, then my life moved
on and I forgot about her, only to rediscover her every so often as the
credited songwriter on an album sleeve, and finally when the Pistol Annies were
formed. Their 2011 album, ‘Hell On Heels’ was amazing and I really hoped that
Ashley would also consider making her own music again. The announcement came a
few months ago when Ashley posted a new song, the title track, on her Twitter,
stating that her album would be released 18th December. I loved the
new song and was excited to hear the record BUT then Ashley and Vince Gill (who
happens to be her producer) wrote a new song and the release date was pushed
back until 5th March. I was gutted, but I am now counting down the
days until I can finally hear this long-overdue life-affirming release from
such a prolific songwriter of country music.

  • Kacey
    Musgraves – TBA

I’ve never watched Nashville Star (occupational hazard of living in the UK) so
I had never heard of Kacey Musgraves before this year, and although I had
vaguely heard the name, it wasn’t until the beginning of December that I
finally listened to ‘Merry Go Round’. That’s it, I was hooked, I researched
her, wrote articles, bought the track and if my iPhone was counting the number
of times I have played it, it without exaggeration would be in excess of 70 or
80, at least. My favorite country release of the year. Very little album
information has been released so far but it does at least seem it will be this
year it comes out, although that is little consolation for someone like me who
absolutely cannot wait. Watch this space.


Continue ReadingSo What Of The New Music Of 2013?

What’s 2013 Set To Hold In Country Music? I Have A Go At Making Some REAL Predictions…


Well, we had my summary of 2012 in country music, and after
querying it on Twitter, apparently people would like my take on what’s in store
for the bright new year. I’m going to predict things at random. Mostly they’re
educated guesses, but we all need a few totally off-the-wall predictions,

  • Hillary Scott’s baby will be a boy. I have no
    idea what is telling me this, but something is.
  • Another country star will get pregnant. I think
    Carrie and Miranda (who have often been asked about kids) are more set for
    2014/15, but a country star somewhere is bound to get pregnant.
  • As for Taylor Swift relationship drama, I think
    after a couple of months the relationship with Harry will be over (although
    judging by her most recent tweet, “…’til you put me down.” It may already
    be), and she will have another two more relationships before the year is out,
    with a couple of other people she’s romantically linked with in the media but
    it doesn’t come to anything. Taylor has learned that relationships = publicity
    so I think her record label will be onto her to keep in the public eye in this
  • Kellie Pickler’s 2012 album ‘100 Proof’ wasn’t
    very well promoted by her label, who she then split from last year, but now she
    has signed with Black River Entertainment I think she will release a brand new
    single, totally out of left field and blow everyone away.
  • Kristian Bush will release an EP of acoustic
    sessions and a few songs he’s been working on, whilst Jennifer is off on
    maternity leave with her baby. It just makes sense and I really want it to


Continue ReadingWhat’s 2013 Set To Hold In Country Music? I Have A Go At Making Some REAL Predictions…

Billboard: 2012 End Of Year Country Charts Examined


So it’s now 2013, and a brand new year for country music,
but I bet you’re still thinking about 2012 and wondering who really came out on
top in 2012. Billboard have compiled a few end of year charts, but they’re a
little hard to find and on separate pages, so I thought I’d put them all
together in one article, with a little of my own two cents about the results.
I’ve taken the first 25 from each chart, but they all go up to #50 or #100 so I
suggest you check out the links for each chart for more information.

Top Country Artists

  1. Taylor Swift
  2. Jason Aldean
  3. Luke Bryan
  4. Lady Antebellum
  5. Carrie Underwood
  6. Eric Church
  7. Zac Brown Band
  8. Blake Shelton
  9. Toby Keith
  10. Kenny Chesney
  11. The Band Perry
  12. Tim McGraw
  13. Miranda Lambert
  14. Rascal Flatts
  15. Lionel Richie
  16. Lee Brice
  17. Hunter Hayes
  18. Scotty McCreery
  19. Brantley Gilbert
  20. Little Big Town
  21. Jake Owen
  22. Dierks Bentley
  23. Kip Moore
  24. Josh Turner
  25. Eli Young Band


Continue ReadingBillboard: 2012 End Of Year Country Charts Examined

2012: A Year In Country Music

Happy new year guys!

Where did the year go? It seems like only yesterday we were
ringing in 2012, and now it’s 2013 already. It’s been a big year for country
music, with plenty of awards, tours, albums and scandals that set social media
alight with gossip and chatter. But 12 months is a long time, and I suspect
there’s a lot we’ve all forgotten, so here’s my summary of some of the biggest
news of 2012 in country music.

Where do I begin? Country stars were getting domestic this
year, with engagements, marriages and new country heirs being born left, right
and center. Jake Owen was pretty busy as he did all three in 2012, getting
engaged to and marrying Lacey Buchannan in the spring/summer and welcoming
Olive Pearl on Thanksgiving. Jennifer Nettles also gave birth in early
December, to Magnus Hamilton, and her high-profile pregnancy was even made a
joke of at the CMAs. In addition, Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum announced
her pregnancy towards the end of the year, due sometime next summer.

Aside from that, Hillary also got married this year, as well
as her band member Dave Haywood, and a whole host of other country stars such
as Thomas Rhett, Angaleena Presley of Pistol Annies and Hannah Blaylock of
Eden’s Edge, and on the list of engagements, there were Lee Brice, Tom Gossin
of Gloriana, Ashley Monroe of Pistol Annies and Kelly Clarkson.

We also had a few deaths this year sadly, and these included
the late Earl Scruggs, Andy Griffith and Kitty Wells, who will all be sorely
missed and remembered.


Continue Reading2012: A Year In Country Music

Was LeAnn Rimes Drunk On The X Factor? The Drama Continues… (Vickye’s take on it)


She’s been through the mill a bit the last few years, LeAnn
Rimes has. After her extra-marital affair, divorce, re-marriage, and battles
with her new husband’s ex-wife have been played out very publicly in the media
(including on the show the latter is a star of, The Real Housewives of Beverly
Hills), you’d think that no more drama would come to her and she’d fade from
the press a little. But perhaps her time in the negative spotlight hasn’t faded
just yet.

On Wednesday LeAnn performed on The X Factor USA with Carly
Rose, a 13-year-old contestant with a big voice. The performance was a sham
from start to finish, if I’m honest. LeAnn came on (a little wobbly), grinning,
and while Carly seemed to have done okay with the song before LeAnn arrived,
both were honestly shocking after her appearance. Vocals were out of key,
timing was over-played with, harmonies were horrible and nobody seemed to know
when they were coming in. Both were attempting to improvise and they didn’t
even seem to have met yet. It was generally a shambles and when I heard it I
wanted to turn it off because the singing (from both) was that bad, While you
could argue that Carly is only 13 and that exempts her, I would say why is she
in this competition? I think it’s ridiculous to allow children under the age of
16 to participate, they are not emotionally ready for such a hard career (cause
it’s hard graft you know), they need to finish school and it’s overall a bad
idea because they are children and we’ve all seen what happens to child stars!

You could argue that LeAnn being a child star hasn’t exactly
ensured a perfect upbringing, and she hasn’t been short of dramas in her life,
particularly as she had to book herself into rehab for stress recently. So that
brings me on to my next point. Many celebrities will have a shot of whiskey or
something to calm their nerves before a performance. It’s standard practise for
some and we only have to look at people like Hank Williams and George Jones to
know that many musicians are alcoholics. People like Eric Church are regularly
drunk on stage. But that’s possibly not so much the issue here. I think there
has been a big reaction because LeAnn is female. It seems more uncouth in today’s
society still for women to be drunk. I think there is also the issue of LeAnn
singing with the girl. It was not her performance, and you could say that she
isn’t setting a very good example for such a young girl if she is drunk on


Continue ReadingWas LeAnn Rimes Drunk On The X Factor? The Drama Continues… (Vickye’s take on it)

Hunter Hayes’ ‘Somebody’s Heartbreak’ Is First Live Video – Review


This is a bit late, I know. Not my fault this time.

Hunter Hayes has had a pretty good year. His second single
off his self-titled debut album on a major record label, ‘Wanted’, has so far
garnered sales of nearly 2 million, he won a CMA for Best New Artist, and he’s
just been nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist also. So maybe his record
label thought it would be a good idea to release the video for his new single,
‘Somebody’s Heartbreak’ as a live video. Oh dear.

Live videos have always been a feature of music videos in
all genres, as they’re cheap, easy and show the act’s live prowess, often a
‘test’ of true artist authenticity, depending on the genre of course. Generally
within modern country music they feature as the video for the last single from
an album, for successful acts that’s usually fourth or fifth, as with Taylor
Swift, etc.

However, this is only Hunter’s third single from this album,
and with ‘Wanted’ being such a big hit, it almost feels like his second.
Certainly I think this was far too early in the album cycle and his career to
consider a live video. He is a big artist and therefore will no doubt have
about five singles, so this feels a little weird in his cinematic progress.
Live videos are meant to say “I had all these songs out, they did really well,
now look at my amazing tour and how good I am doing it all live, people are
lapping this stuff up”. Perhaps I’m a little cynical. But I feel like I want
more new visual material from someone like Hunter before I get him trying to
prove his prowess in the live field. Perhaps his record company are trying to
promote him as a live act, perhaps they are selling less tickets than expected.
However, I find that hard to believe, as he is supporting Carrie Underwood, who
is kind of a little bit popular.


Continue ReadingHunter Hayes’ ‘Somebody’s Heartbreak’ Is First Live Video – Review