Video Premiere: Maggie Chapman, “Golden Girl”

Maggie Chapman

At only sixteen, Maggie Chapman is making a name for herself in the Nashville music scene. She’s currently signed to Creative Nation, the small publishing and management company co-run by country songwriter Luke Laird. “I’m not just saying this because we’ve signed her — but she’s literally one of the best songwriters I’ve sat in […]

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Amy Ray: Goodnight Tender

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Amy Ray Goodnight Tender (Daemon) 4 out of 5 stars Country, bluegrass, folk, gospel, Appalachian music. . . Amy Ray has at least tangentially dipped her toes into those styles between albums with the Indigo Girls and, to a lesser extent, her solo releases of which this is her fifth. But here she dives into […]

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With A Rebel Yell: An Interview With Amy Ray

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Amy Ray is a rebel. The South is her heritage and rule-breaking is her birthright. As the darker half of Indigo Girls (with Emily Saliers), Ray has always infused her songs with a certain measure of defiance, either personal or political — or both sewn into one seamless, artistic tapestry. That’s the folk singer way, […]

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Lee Brice, “I Drive Your Truck”

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The Country Music Association Song of the Year is often a tear-jerker, with the award for that song going to the writers, not to the artist who recorded it (though the artist often has a hand in the writing). Very seldom does a song about tractors or tailgates or taking a roll in the hay […]

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Brandy Clark: Second Chances

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Brandy Clark looked to be right on trend when the video for her rockabilly-goosed track “Stripes” premiered on July 4. There were scenes of her pistol-cocked confrontation with a cheater in the act, mussed-hair mug shot poses and attempts to cope with life in lock-up, including an insultingly orange prison suit. Exactly a week later, […]

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Masters Of Songwriting: Dean Dillon

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Dean Dillon is accepting a BMI Icon award on November 5, and for this legendary country music singer and songwriter perhaps best known for his songs for George Strait and Kenny Chesney, it’s well-deserved. Dillon talks confidently about his songwriting career, mentions a few of his favorite lyricists, and gives his honest opinion about the […]

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Bob McDill: The State of Country

Bob McDill

If there were an Ambassador of Country Music, Bob McDill would be your guy, and I would have Don Williams as his envoy. The two would travel the world, and I’d have them in Syria negotiating a treaty. McDill would tell the one about getting two Nashville singers to sing in unison–you know, you’d have […]

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Great Quotations: Jason Isbell

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“I like rap. I like country music. I like anchovies. I like waffles. I feel like somebody’s always trying to put anchovies on my waffles.” -Twitter and Facebook status update ninja Jason Isbell  

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Natalie Maines Says Country Music Lyrics Lack Subtlety

Natalie Maines

Natalie Maines is over country music. Particularly and specifically the explicit or obvious style of songwriting that leaves nothing to the imagination and everything said out loud. You might think that, in addition to her own history in the genre, country would be in the former Dixie Chick’s blood, what with her being the daughter […]

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No Regrets: A Q&A with Craig Campbell

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We started digging on Craig Campbell a few years back when he stopped by our office to perform a few cuts from his self-titled debut album. Since then, the rural Georgia singer-songwriter has forged a nice career as something of a neo-traditionalist in today’s world of pop country. Earlier this week, Campbell dropped his new […]

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The Third Time’s A Charm At CMA’s Triple Play Awards

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“This definitely doesn’t suck,” said Eric Paslay, one of the twelve songwriters who received trophies at yesterday’s CMA Triple Play Awards. Held during the CMA Songwriters Luncheon at Marathon Music Works, the Triple Play Awards honored those musicians who penned three chart-topping country hits in 2012. For newcomers like Paslay, who topped the charts with […]

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Daniel Romano: Come Cry With Me

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Daniel Romano Come Cry With Me (Normltown) Rating: 3 out of 5 stars Country music is a genre, of course, but it’s also a geographical location: we expect at least some degree of physical southern roots or innate twang birthright from its ardent preachers, particularly those brave enough to wear a Nudie-inspired suit on stage […]

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