My Kind of Country

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

Tag Archives: The 9513

CD Giveaway: Eric Church – ‘Carolina’

carolinaUpdate: And the winners are … Caroline and Lanibug – comments number 1 and 8.  I’ll be getting in touch with you via email to get your shipping information – so check those inboxes.  Congratulations to these two ladies, and look for more giveaways to come next month as we have a very special feature planned for our April spotlight artist series.

Two major albums hit the stores this week.  One is Martina McBride’s long-awaited tenth studio album, Shine.  The other is the sophomore album from our March spotlight artist, Eric Church titled Carolina.  C.M. Wilcox (of Country California fame) recently reviewed the album over at The 9513.  So rather than make a futile attempt at following a fabulous writer like C.M. Wilcox and write a review of my own, I just decided to give away the album myself, and let you all make up your own minds about it.  Write your own review, so to speak.

The idea is simple:  comment with your favorite Eric Church song, why you’re a fan of Eric’s, or just tell us why you think you should get a copy of this album.  Two winners will be chosen at random, and each will receive a copy of Eric Church’s Carolina.  Deadline to get your comment posted is Sunday March 29 at 11:59 PM.  Good luck!

And if you just can’t wait, you can pre-order the CD from Eric Church’s official site and even listen to samples of all the tracks. Or you could of course get in your car, go to the local Wal Mart, and just buy the CD that way.

25,000 and counting …

25000_worldwide1I just wanted to post and thank everybody who’s ever visited the site.  Less than 3 months after launching, we passed 25,000 hits early today.  We’re very grateful you all like what we’re posting – and we hope you keep coming back to make the next 3 months even more successful.  And a very special thanks to the guys at The 9513 for including us in so many of their daily news round-ups. And to Kevin at Country Universe, CM Wilcox at the awesome Country California blog and every other site who’s linked to us. Thanks for lending us your readers.

Keep checking back as we spotlight Eric Church throughout March, and for a very special interview with a true country music legend coming soon. And thanks again for visiting. You guys are the greatest.

War and Religion: Some Thoughts on Trace Adkins’ ‘Til The Last Shot’s Fired’

traceadkins1Ever since Trace Adkins released his most recent album, X, last November, I’ve been intrigued by the song ‘Til the Last Shot’s Fired’, and I wanted to explore a few aspects of the song.  Most of the debate I’ve seen so far over at The 9513 has centered on the appropriateness of the West Point Cadet Glee Club’s choral singing at the close of the song, but I want to look at a couple of aspects of the substance of the song itself.

The song is written by Rob Crosby, a one-time recording artist who had some modest chart success in the 90s before settling down as a professional songwriter, and songwriter/producer Doug Johnson.  Crosby has recorded ‘Til The Last Shot’s Fired’ himself, on his 2007 independent release Catfish Day; you can hear a clip of his version here. While I always like to hear a songwriter’s original version, I must admit I much prefer Trace Adkins’ vocal on this track.  Trace’s deep baritone voice is capable of bringing real gravitas to a song, when he finds one worthy of it.  He certainly does that here.

‘Til The Last Shot’s Fired’ may not be the very best song on X (I would give that honor to ‘Sometimes A Man Takes A Drink’), but it is the most interesting.  Often in country music, the subject matter of war and soldiers is limited to an expression of patriotic pride.  I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with that per se, but it is only part of the story, and this song treads less familiar ground. 

One of the things that particularly strikes me about this song is the fact that of the four wars it references, at least two of the protagonists are fighting on the losing side, and another is questionable.  The Civil War soldier we ‘meet’ first is quite definitely on the Southern side.  Both songwriters are from the south, Carolina and Georgia respectively, so perhaps that was the natural emotional choice for them.  The death of the young man killed in the D-Day invasion, who is the second person Trace voices, is less complicated – the U.S. was clearly on the right side, morally speaking, as well as the victorious one, in World War II.  Finally, two further wars are referenced more briefly: Vietnam, which was one of America’s less successful military excursions, and Afghanistan, which is a conflict still to be fully resolved.  Only one of these young men could truthfully be said not to have died in vain.

If this was a deliberate choice by the writers, and the phrase, “I’m still hoping, waiting, praying, I did not die in vain,” suggests it might be the very heart of the song’s meaning, then why did they include WWII as one of their examples?  This soldier’s death is a personal tragedy for his family, but one which would normally be presented as being worth the sacrifice.  Are the writers really suggesting here that no death in war is worthwhile?  This makes the use of the army cadets’ choir all the more puzzling.  I’m still not sure quite what the writers intended to convey here.

The other unusual thing about this song is its use of religious imagery.  Most country songs about religious belief and life seem pretty firmly grounded in Protestantism, with a particular focus on Baptist beliefs.  I was very surprised, the first time I heard this song, to hear the chorus callling on “sweet mother Mary”.  I’m not sure if this was a deliberate personal choice by the writers, or what it signifies to them, but it certainly struck me as unusual to hear something I would associate with Catholicism.  It also strikes a bit of a dischord with the final track on X (and its leadoff single), ‘Muddy Water’, where the protagonist seeks baptism in the river.  I wonder if this factor might affect the song’s chances on radio if it is released as a single?

What do you think of this song in particular?  And do you have any other war songs worth listening to?

Listen to Trace Adkins – ‘Til The Last Shot’s Fired.

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The 9513 1st Annual Country Music Awards

This is the last day to be heard, so be sure to cast your vote for The 9513′s 1st Annual Country Music Awards.  Just click the icon above.  And be sure to read the rules, and remember, you only get one vote, so make it count.

Update:  Your votes have been counted, and you can check out the results over at The 9513 blog.

Country First

2008-weblong-awardsThis is a reminder that everybody’s favorite country music blog is representing country music as a finalist in the 2008 Weblog Awards. Don’t forget to go vote for them here, and then go back every 24 hours and do it again. The 9513 was my introduction to country music blogs and how great they can be. Their site also lead me to other now must-read sites like Country 9513Universe, Country California, PhotoCrap, the GG Column, and at least a dozen others.

The9513 Last FM Group – Chart Update

95132 The9513 Last FM Group has a new chart update posted, summarized by yours truly. If you haven’t joined this group yet, head on over and join up with us now. And here’s my little run-down of the happenings on our very own country chart, 9513 style:

Membership is still climbing on the9513′s Last FM group – we are up to 35 members and counting. And King George still reigns supreme on the9513 group chart this week., holding the #1 artist spot and 3 of the top 20 albums.

Standing behind the King, we find Sugarland, Garth Brooks, Lee Ann Womack, and Brooks & Dunn in the top 5. Scrolling down, we find one of the most eclectic mixes of artists I’ve seen on our group chart, Artists like Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, Wynonna Judd, Coldplay, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Barenaked Ladies, Rosanne Cash, Merle Haggard, and hundreds more make appearances.

Brad Paisley’s 5th Gear is the top album with 9 listeners. Josh Turner, Brooks & Dunn, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban occupy the #2 through #5 spots. Some other great albums members are listening to include Trisha Yearwood’s Heaven, Heartache, and the Power of Love, Coal by Kathy Mattea, Julie Roberts’ self-titled debut, and my favorite Tim McGraw album, Set This Circus Down has 7 listeners.

Kathy Mattea charts nearly every track from her concept album, Coal this week. Her best showing is ‘Sally In The Garden’, digging up 5 listeners. The top 3 tracks all have 8 listeners, but Taylor Swift rides her ‘White Horse’ to the front; while Lee Ann Womack’s ‘Last Call’ and Sugarland’s ‘All I Want To Do’ are right on her heels. Swift’s ‘Love Story’ and Jimmy Wayne’s #1 radio hit ‘Do You Believe Me Now’ round out our top 5. Some really great tracks are scattered among some real crap (but that’s just this writer’s opinion, of course) in the track chart. A sample of the really great tracks include Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson’s ‘Sweetest Waste Of Time’, Reba McEntire’s ‘Lonely Alone’, ‘I’ve Come To Expect it From You’ from King George. Also, Joe Diffie’s ‘In Another World’ and Dolly Parton’s ‘Here You Come Again’ are certainly worth listening to.

The entire chart can be seen here.

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