My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Talking to the stars: Best country blog posts of the year?

In July of 2007, a wonderful thing happened to me.  I was already a hard-core country music fan by then.  I was a steadfast reader of the CMT blog and their news section.  I also tried to keep up with country music through various google alerts – and still do.  But one day while searching for some particular tidbit of information, I stumbled upon the Granddaddy of Country Blogs, The 9513.  I found an early mailbag, and after reading, I decided to poke around the site.  I found intelligent reviews and well-thought editorials, all crawling with comments from just the kind of country fans I had been looking to interact with.  (I still love the CMT blog, but the regulars there are a bit untamed.)  From my new discovery, and mostly thanks to the daily news roundups, I began exploring the wealth of country music journalism all over the web, all suited to my own tastes, and even beyond that.  I was soon reading Country Universe, the Photocrap blog (now Farce the Music), and even found the Country California site before John Maglite sold it to C.M. Wilcox, who took the humor to another level.  There was also many more, and you can find them on this site’s blogroll.

There was something for everybody already by then, but I still jumped right in with my own comments.  It wasn’t long until I was bitten by the blogging bug, and the idea struck me for this site.  Knowing I couldn’t do it on my own, I set out to scoop up as many of the great writers as I could, and get them on my side, before the other blogs wanted them.  We started in December of 2008, with a simple idea: to write about the music we loved.  It became evident that mainstream country wasn’t going to accomodate us on a daily basis, so we sat out to write about the rich history of country music, alongside the latest releases.  And by March of this year, My Kind of Country was a genuine country music blog property, thanks in no small part to the big blogs lending us their readers.  Thanks again, you guys.  But enough about us.

We’ve all been very fortunate this year to be able to read a rich tapestry of entries from countless writers in the country blogosphere.  We’ve read scathing reviews and glowing ones, we’ve listened to candid and revealing interviews, and of course the oft-needed bitching and moaning to get things back the way we want them.  Country blogging has run the gamut this year and I’m so very proud to have been a small part of it.  I also look forward to what the new year will bring, as online literature continues to grow, and we drag country music, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.  Here’s to you, the pioneers of country blogging.  You are my heroes.

When I started thinking about reviving this post – an idea from the mind of C.M. Wilcox – I knew, like everything else in life, that I’d need the help of my friends to compile a truly worthy list.  So I sent out an email to every country blogger in my address book asking them their favorite blog posts of the year.  The consensus seemed to run towards interviews as personal favorites, with country blogging heavyweights Brady Vercher, Leeann Ward, and Blake Boldt all citing various interviews as the best articles of the year.  Here’s a few of the choice picks for best country blog posts of the year.  These are just what we came up with as a preliminary list.  With your help, we’d like to create a complete list of the 50 greatest posts from the past 12 months.  So be sure to jump in the comments section and tell us your picks so we can add them to the final ballot.

Charlie Louvin: Exclusive Pre-Grammy Interview – The 9513 – by Juli Thanki

A Conversation with Kathy Mattea – Country Universe – by Kevin Coyne

Heart, soul, and talent: Connie Smith’s recipe for great country music - My Kind of Country – by Razor X

Does Swift Have Tubb Appeal? - Country California – by C.M. Wilcox

Giving The People What They Want: Nashville’s Changing Music Business – The 9513 – by Chris Neal

John Rich: The Interview – The 9513 – by Jim Malec

‘All White’ Darius Rucker Parody – Farce The Music – by Trailer

What would you add to the list?  What writers and blogs have you discovered this year and made part of your daily reading?

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27 responses to “Talking to the stars: Best country blog posts of the year?

  1. Dan Milliken December 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    This is a great idea. I’m bummed I wasn’t among the address book elect, so I could have contributed when my memory was fresher! That’s what I get for my hermit-y ways, though.

    I know I’d nominate Chris N.’s “War on Loudness” piece for The 9513 and collectively mention Wilcox/Trailer’s Fake News feature, which has grown into a dependably awesome, shrewd source of country music commentary and humor.

    I also remember loving CM’s review of Bucky Covington’s “Gotta Be Somebody.” And Kevin’s of Darryl Worley’s “Sounds Like Life to Me.” Those are just fresh in my mind for whatever reason. There have been several posts I’ve loved by different writers throughout the year, though, so I’ll have to some thinking and get back to ya.

    • Leeann Ward December 16, 2009 at 6:59 pm

      There have a bunch of blog posts in the last year. My problem is remembering which ones were from this year and which were from 2008. One interview I particularly loved, along with those listed above, was Juli Thanki’s George Jones interview at the9513.

      BTW, for posterity’s sake, John Maglight and CM Wilcox is actually the same person. :)

      • J.R. Journey December 16, 2009 at 8:16 pm

        Yeah I was just trying to keep that on the D.L. for now. ;) And to further clarify, I don’t think Country California was ever sold. That was my feeble attempt at humor. I guess it failed.

      • Razor X December 16, 2009 at 9:15 pm

        I also enjoyed the George Jones interview, as well as Sam Gadziak’s interview with Dolly Parton at The 9513 and Juli Thanki’s interview with Patty Loveless, also at The 9513. And then there was Leeann’s interview with Joey + Rory at Country Universe, and Paul’s conversation with Gene Watson at The 9513.

      • CMW December 16, 2009 at 9:18 pm

        BTW, for posterity’s sake, John Maglight and CM Wilcox is actually the same person. :)

        Wait… what!?

        Did you get the suggestions I sent by email a couple weeks back, J.R.? (Also, I liked your feeble attempt at humor.)

    • J.R. Journey December 16, 2009 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks for all the suggestions, Dan. I thought you were in my address book too – I know I’ve sent you an email or two in the past. Don’t know how I missed you …

  2. ACountryFan December 16, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    I’ve got to admit I’m not big on the country music blogs. I start seeing them pop up everywhere and groan about yet another one coming about. Up until I discovered MKOC and CU, I was really only visiting CMT and then various fan sites on some artists (because lets face it, half the fan sites are better than official sites), but there arent as many “fan sites” for country artists, so I just happened to stumble across CU one day, and started reading it and havent really stopped ever since, lol!!!! I found MKOC from there as well and added it to my daily readings, and they are the only two “Blogs” I really enjoy reading, and that truly welcome all the comments and bantering back and forth in such a respectful way.

    I dont know if I could pinpoint a certain piece I loved on each, though. I really really enjoy reading the reviews and seeing the comments to follow- it’s nice to see some that agree, and some that disagree. It’s nice to see a little variety, and I love that it isnt the same people featured on the sites all the time.

    I do read up on the Nashville Gab though sometimes :D I was a little disappointed when Country Nation went away, and Nashville Gab helped me fill my CM “news” needs. Anyone know of any other CM news sites as well that might be interesting?

    You guys are great on here, I love it :)

    • Leeann Ward December 16, 2009 at 9:08 pm

      Awesome, Country Fan.

      JR,
      I wondered if you were kidding, but I wasn’t sure. Sorry to ruin it, but I wouldn’t want history to be distorted for those who didn’t know the “inside” joke.:)

    • Razor X December 16, 2009 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks, ACountryFan. It’s really nice to know that you’ve enjoyed what we’ve been doing. I have to admit that there have been times that I’ve had reservations that certain things we were doing wouldn’t appeal to anyone other than ourselves, but I’ve been proven wrong in almost every case. We’ve got a great group of readers and we really appreciate everyone’s support.

  3. J.R. Journey December 16, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    @CMW: I did get your list, but they were buried in the threads of my gmail. Didn’t see them until I just went and looked. I updated the post to include two of your choices, and I’ll be sure to add all of them, along with anything else you suggest, to the final list. My goal was to get up to 50, and it’s looking very promising that I’ll get that many picks.

  4. Pingback: Best Blog Posts of the Year | Country California

    • Razor X December 17, 2009 at 7:11 am

      Definitely. I’d forgotten about that one.

      • Leeann Ward December 17, 2009 at 3:30 pm

        Yes, I have to give a huge nomination to the Fake News Series. I can’t even comprehend how Wilcox’s and Parkman’s minds work, but it’s all so hilarious and even insightful.:) I like CMW’s This Week in Country Music History too. Heck, I pretty much just nominate the whole site. CC has caused me to buy so much music that it’s ridiculous.

        I also officially nominate that Drew L. Wilson article that Brody linked to.

  5. Chris N. December 17, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    The “Fake News” at Country California usually features more truth than the real news. My favorites of the year include:

    “Busy Day After All Nashville Area Grandfathers Die”

    “I Owe It All to the Fans, Says Egomaniac”

    “Song About Country Pride to be Released”

    And perhaps not as insightful but a guilty pleasure nonetheless, “Martina McBride Won’t Stop Cracking Dead Baby Jokes”

  6. Jim Malec December 17, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Self nominating is really egotistical, but there was an interview I did this year that, because of its subject, kinda flew under the radar. That was unfortunate, because it was my favorite interview ever.

    http://www.the9513.com/billy-ray-cyrus-the-interview/

  7. Pingback: Academy of Country Music Alters ACM Awards Categories; Rodney Carrington’s Christmas Tribute to the Troops | The 9513

  8. CMW December 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks to the people mentioning Fake News.

    If we’re talking series as well as posts, I think one of the great underappreciated ones is Brody’s daily news roundups, which have made The 9513 my first morning pit stop for years now. I can’t imagine getting the news any other way, and I know the same is true for a lot of other people. Preparing those 5 times per week is a big commitment.

    Another one I mentioned via email was Occasional Hope’s “Emotional truth: sentiment and sentimentality in country music” posted here at MKoC. Also agree on the War on Loudness, Drew L. Wilson on Haggard, Joey + Rory interview picks.

  9. Leeann Ward December 17, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I should also add that one of the wonderful things about the News Roundup is its true generosity. It not only links to major articles, but it also spotlights various articles from other country music bloggers. I know we all appreciate the shout outs and the exposure.

  10. Jen in Tenn December 17, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    The post that introduced me to California Country:

    God Requests That He Not Be Thanked for CMA Awards

    http://www.countrycalifornia.com/god-requests-that-he-not-be-thanked-for-cma-awards/

    I might just read it again and laugh until my face hurts.

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