My Kind of Country

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

Category Archives: Blurbs

A thank you note to The 9513

Sometime in the first half of 2008, I was browsing the web for country music news, and stumbled upon The 9513’s daily news roundups.  That first article I read wasn’t easy to track down, but I found it, remembering it having to do with CMT Can You Duet winners Caitlin & Will, because at the same time I was led to Country California and C.M. Wilcox’s (then using the pen name John Maglite) musings about the duo’s future at country radio with their similarities to Lady Antebellum. Right then, Country Universe was in the midst of their 100 Greatest Women countdown, so I had the good fortune of discovering 3 excellent country music-related sites in quick succession, all thanks to The 9513.

From the comments on articles and the forum discussions (remember the comment corral?), I got to know many great people, and after seeing the common ground some of us had, I had the brainstorm to create this humble blogsite, with contributors pulled directly from The 9513’s readership. We launched here in December 2008, with 3 writers. (Chris Dean has since departed to attend college, and is now a missionary in Italy. We wish him luck, and await his return.) From the same pool I plucked my first 2 fellow contributors later came this site’s greatest assets: Razor X and Occasional Hope.

So, thanks to The 9513, we were off and running. But their contributions to our success were far from finished. Brady and Brody Vercher’s daily news roundups sent many new readers our way, and I can’t thank them enough for loaning us an audience. It’s hard to put into words the feeling a green blogger like myself got when I saw my name and my words linked from their news roundups, the column that started it all for me. That first mention must be how country singers feel when they debut on the Grand Ole Opry. More than allowing us to spin-off and sending us readers, the excellent crop of talent at The 9513 influenced me to start on the path to the job I have today as a columnist for American Noise. With the likes of Jim Malec, Blake Boldt, Juli Thanki, Chris Neal, and so many others, setting a standard I could never reach. They continue to up the bar, and I keep trying to catch up.  I’m saddened to see the site retired, and the three of us here at My Kind of Country want to thank the Verchers for creating and maintaining the standard for country music websites, for countless hours of entertaining reads, and for being the stalk from which we sprouted.

– J.R. Journey

Like all its readers, I’ll miss reading The 9513 as part of my daily routine. The breadth of its coverage, from mainstream to bluegrass to Americana/alt-country, means it really did cover the whole of country music in a way no other site could really equal. More than that, though, I feel I can say it changed my life. I would never had begun blogging myself if I hadn’t found the 9513 in, I think, the spring or early summer of 2008. Before that, I felt pretty isolated as a country fan, because I knew hardly anyone in real life who shared my tastes in music at all. The 9513, and the associated forum that started in the summer of 2008, made me feel like part of a community, and that gave me the confidence to write about the music I love. And when I accepted J.R.’s invitation to join the team here, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of their links to many of our posts.

– Occasional Hope

I originally found The 9513 via a Google search, and it quickly became my favorite country music website. The quality of the writing was always superb, and I admired the fearless honesty that characterized their music reviews. More importantly, I forged a lot of new friendships with the people who frequented the site. I never imagined that it would lead to the opportunity to write for this blog. I greatly improved my knowledge of country music thanks to The 9513 and will miss it terribly. Its absence will create a void that will be impossible to fill, despite our best efforts to do so. So to Brady and Brody I offer a heartfelt thanks and my best wishes for your future endeavors.

– Razor X

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Messin’ with my mind

Music has always been a very personal experience for me. And if that sounds a bit redundant or hokey to you, I cannot apologize. I’ve never been one to wear my heart on my sleeve, but you better believe it doesn’t hang out far from my ear. My current state of mind is usually pretty easy to decipher from the recent songs on my playlists. Yeah, I’m pretty transparent like that. My brain has been wired to seek out melodic poetry to state my feelings. I don’t lock myself in a room and blast the twang from my speakers, even when emotions hit harder than usual.  When I begin to feel a little overwhelmed, I like to think I strike a nice medium somewhere in between insane and indifferent. But I guess that’s for the people around me to call.  Still, there are times in life when only your favorite songs will understand the way you feel.

With all that in mind, I invite you to join me on this trip to ex-lover-land with these quintessential country songs.

Dolly Parton – Here You Come Again

Dolly’s husband Carl Dean first recognized the potential in her first pop hit, telling her “that song right there is a million seller.”  Sure enough, when Dolly released it in 1977, it became her first million-selling single.   A somewhat cheesy electric piano intro first grabs your attention, but it’s not long before Parton is pouring one of her strongest vocals ever onto these lyrics that tell of a ex-lover’s effect on her state of mind.  ‘All you gotta do is smile that smile, and there go all my defenses‘ she sings, as her mind stays completely aware of the dire situation her heart is putting her in once again.  But she doesn’t care, her senses are all full up, and the mind will just have to suffer the consequences of the heart’s decision.

Randy Travis – Diggin’ Up Bones

Even though others started the New Traditionalist revival of the 1980s before him, no one better exemplified the sound than Randy Travis.  His debut album Storms of Life is essential listening for any country fan, and personally, I can’t get enough of it.  His second #1 single finds him revisiting a failed marriage through pictures, old love letters, the rings, and even a negligee’, all of which he finds while going through the ‘lonely bedroom of our recent broken home‘.  Allowing the rhythm section to the front separated this kind of traditional country from its old-school counterparts, and created a template for modern traditionalism that has yet to be reestablished.  This was not your father’s country music, but you can both sure enjoy it together, and I dare you not to sing along with those repeating harmonies.

Ronnie Milsap – Back On My Mind Again

I cannot say enough about Ronnie Milsap and his influence on my listening habits.  As one of the first out-of-my-generation acts whose catalog I fell headlong into, his smooth crooning and the diversity of his songs gave me my first real footing into the deep well of country’s backlog of superlative artists.  This contemporary gem is a hybrid of a country shuffle and Urban Cowboy-era countrypolitan.  Following another failed relationship, Milsap sings of recharging his batteries, pulling himself back together, and even starting over with someone new.  Yet none of this can keep thoughts of his ex off his mind.

Emmylou Harris – Blue Kentucky Girl

Loretta Lynn also recorded this Johnny Mullins-penned track, but Harris’ has been in my library lately because of our spotlight artist coverage this month.  Featuring one of the most memorable choruses in memory, this sweetly demure song simply says ‘I don’t care why you left, just come on home’.

Trisha Yearwood – Woman Walk The Line

Even if it didn’t have a cold opening – those get me every time, I swear – this Emmylou Harris co-write would still have grabbed me immediately.  It’s got the kind of immediate one-two punch most ballads only hope to deliver.  In the first couple of lines, we’re instantly transported to the barside table of our narrator as she attempts to ‘do some drinking’ and ‘listen to the band’ to forget the man who’s out doing her wrong.  But that’s all she’s there to accomplish.  Any attempt at picking her up, or even keeping her company, is an exercise in futility. Behind a stone-country arrangement (maybe her most traditional country recording), Yearwood’s masterful vocal breathes new life into this song inspired by Johnny Cash’s signature hit.  Bringing Harris along on harmony, Yearwood proves she’s ‘as good as what you’re thinking‘.  Better, even.

Patty Loveless – Here I Am

Jesus said “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”  Patty Loveless said “Don’t do it darlin, don’t you dare look in there … Cause you know I’m right there waiting for you in the bottom of your glass”  And while they were probably speaking of different life situations, both speak of the folly in looking back.  Playing the part of the all-knowing and all-seeing jilted lover, Patty’s soaring song paints her as the perfect pragmatist, before concluding that pride diminishes with age, oh, and by the way, come back and get me if you want to.

Travis Tritt – Anymore

Power ballads don’t get much more powerful than Travis Tritt’s 1991 mega-hit that also spawned a video trilogy sequence about the life of disabled veteran Mac Singleton and Annie.  Chomping at the bit from the beginning, the acoustic guitar leads the verses as Tritt lets his feelings flow out.  By the time the big, big chorus begins, he’s resolved that he’s ‘got to take the chance or let it pass by‘.  Electric guitars ring and drums bang as Tritt admits ‘I can’t keep pretending I don’t love you anymore‘ in his most passionate vocal.

Miranda’s “Revolutionary” EP

Dead FlowersOkay, this is pretty cool. Most people already know that Miranda Lambert’s new album, Revolution, comes out in just a few weeks on September 29th. However, this is new: On September 8th (tomorrow), you can go to Best Buy and buy Dead Flowers, a small EP of a few songs:

“Dead Flowers”
“Take It Out on Me”
“I Just Really Miss You”
“Nobody’s Used to Be”

The first one we know- the last 3 were all bonus tracks for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend offered from different stores. If that weren’t enough, the EP only costs $1.99 and it comes with a coupon for $2 off Revolution when it comes out. Is that a deal or what? I just had to share this deal- of course as a poor college student, I just have to bum a ride to Best Buy…

I am a simple man

Ever have a song just hit you like a ton of bricks?  Sure, you have.  That’s what we’re all looking for when we listen to music.  But sometimes a song just says what you’re thinking – which is a different epiphany altogether.  You have thoughts in your head that you just can’t illustrate with your own vocabulary, and the whole mess is just eating away at your brain?  Well, like most of us, you’ll turn to your country music stash to try and make sense of things.  I know I’d be lost without it.  So this is just a short personal post to get something off my chest. Isn’t it funny how publishing a couple hundred words for a couple hundred people to read is therapy these days?  Therapy is one thing that’s gotten cheaper since the 90s at least.  Everybody blog their blues away!

Anyway, in the course of my day as a radio ad salesman and doubling as a used car salesman at my Dad’s car lots, I encounter a helluva lot of people.  A lot of these people give me a headache, naturally.  I can totally relate to Al Bundy these days.  I just want to come home, plop on the couch, stick my hand down my pants and hope there’s boobies on TV. Okay, maybe that’s stretching the analogy a bit, but any child of the 90s will get my point.  (You people 10 years younger than me can catch Married…With Children on TV Land these days.  Just another sign of my fading youth – Roseanne and Married…With Children, the shows of my childhood, are now ‘classic TV’.  But that’s another post.)  Where was I?  Oh yeah, jaded salesman.  So when any workingman comes home from work, he wants to relax, right?   Grab a glass of whiskey (or beer for you lightweights) and just veg – that’s the idea.

Like I said, this is a personal post, so I’m dedicating this recommendation to one reader – one who only reads because this is my blog anyway.  Open your ears to this country song – no, Ricky Van Shelton doesn’t sing as pretty as David Archuleta, but he holds his own.   The rest of you, I hope you enjoy the performance – it’s really great. These lyrics are my plea…

Another shot for Blaine Larsen

blainelarsenOne of my favorite singers to come along in the past few years is Washington native Blaine Larsen.  In 2004, he released his first album on the small Giantslayer Records, under the wing of the label’s owners Tim Johnson and Rory Lee Feek, now of Joey + Rory fame.  The next year, the 19 year-old had an album out on BNA, the same tracks from his debut, with one single added.  It turned out to be the hit ‘How Do You Get That Lonely’, which was written by Rory Lee Feek and Jamie Teachenor and became Larsen’s only top 20 country hit to date, rising to #18.  He would release three more singles from his first 2 albums over the next couple years, with little success.

I first heard Blaine Larsen on the radio one day in 2005.  I remember thinking he was a great singer and also that it was nice to hear a mature voice on the radio.  His richly defined baritone and the powerful single ‘How Do You Get That Lonely’ definitely had my attention.  A couple days later the video was playing on CMT and I saw this skinny blonde kid, obviously younger than I am but sounding like a seasoned veteran.  I got over that initial juxtaposition and have been impressed with this guy ever since.  I kept expecting him to hit big with one of his singles, but despite some mild success – three top 40 hits – he hasn’t had that initial breakthrough yet.

Now Blaine Larsen has been signed as the flagship artist for the newly-founded Treehouse Records.  His first single ‘It Did’ is up on his MySpace page and is going to radio sometime this month.  Maybe this new deal with the label firmly behind him is just what Blaine Larsen needs.  Here’s wishing him good luck.

Also, check out this choice track from his sophomore album, ‘Lips of a Bottle’, featuring Gretchen Wilson.

Happy Independence Day

Here’s a selection of some of my favorite songs about America.  They’re not ‘God Bless the U.S.A.’, but they all make a statement about the state of our nation.  And though most of these tracks are 20 years old or more now, their message still rings true.   So Happy Independence Day and enjoy some great country music on this, our nation’s birth day.

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Something with a twist to it

Billy Yates

Billy Yates

Some of the most memorable country songs are the ones which surprise you, the story song with a twist in the tale, or the song which suddenly goes in a direction you really weren’t expecting. Sometimes the effect is desigend to make you laugh; sometimes it may bring you to tears; there are some songs which simply stop you in your tracks in shock the first time you hear them.

That happened to me the first time I heard the Billy Yates/Monty Criswell song ‘Flowers’, on Yates’ self-titled first album in 1997 (also notable for the first version of the song ‘Choices’, subsequently recorded by George Jones). ‘Flowers’ has also been covered by former Nashville Star winner Chris Young and (with a few lyrical changes) by Australian Adam Harvey, yet even knowing the twist to come, it has never lost its force for me. One of the reasons this song is so effective is that it breaks a lot of the conventions of country songwriting. Instead of the usual verse-chorus pattern, we have a series of hookless verses with the chorus sung through twice at the very end. The title does not appear until the very last word of the song.

Rather than spell out the story here, I suggest you listen to the song yourself if you haven’t heard it before (and try to avoid looking at the tags).

A surefire way to make the listener cry is to not reveal until late in the song that the subject has died. For instance, Rebecca Lynn Howard and Trisha Yearwood both recorded ‘Melancholy Blue’, written by Harlan Howard and Tom Douglas; in this song the protagonist is wandering restlessly unable to get over someone, but it is presumed that he has just left her until the last verse, when she visits his grave. The vocal is imbued with sadness before that, but the impact on the listener is doubled by being delayed.

Even in a song whose subject is as well known as ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ (written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman) it is only halfway through that it is truly obvious that the reason the protagonist has stopped loving the woman who has left is that he has finally proved himself right when “he said ‘I’ll love you til I die'”. Similarly, although there must always be a sense of looming doom in a Vietnam-era story featuring a soldier, it is only at the end of Bruce Robison’s ‘Traveling Soldier’ (most famously recorded by the Dixie Chicks) that the young man’s death is announced. It is perhaps almost as much of a shock to the listener as to his unfortunate sweetheart.

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More than one outlet

chrisgainesHank Williams recorded under the guise of Luke the Drifter in the early 1950s, Garth Brooks was Chris Gaines, and George Jones as a rockabilly singing duck.  These are just a few of the alter egos country music has created.  An alter ego is a second self – ‘the other I’.  So what drives a recording artist to create an entirely new persona to market themselves?

A young singer, just out of the marines, migrated from Missouri to California in the early 1950s and began recording under the name Terry Preston. Ferlin Husky had created the stage name because he thought his given name was too rural-sounding.  While he never had any success with the Preston alias, Husky would go on to create a comic foil in the form of Simon Crum.  Crum was even signed a separate contract and had several hits of his own.

Likewise, George Jones began his career in 1955 with a string of hits for the small Starday label.  After a move to Mercury in 1956, George began experiementing with a rockabilly sound (which was wildly popular at the time) as Thumper Jones.  And though he had no real hits to speak of as a rockabilly artist, this chapter is still a necessary footnote in George Jones’ catalog.  During his crazier, no-show years, Jones was also known to create characters for himself too.  Legend has it that he performed an entire show in the voice of a duck character that sounded a lot like Donald Duck.  Later, Jones referred to him as Dee-Doodle Duck.  The duck didn’t score any hits for Jones either.

Luke the Drifter was born as a stage name for Hank Williams to release gospel recordings without hurting his popularity on the honky tonk – and therefore mainstream – circuit of the time.  So it’s not as glamorous a tale as one would imagine. (Or as sad a southern heartbreaking tragedy, however you think the name should have evolved.) Unlike Husky, and even Jones at the time, Hank Williams was a giant figure in country music.  His legend was already in place and that gave him the creative leeway to create another side of himself to market to the fans.  This other side of Hank Williams, a soft-spoken singer recording mostly recitations and spiritual numbers, was in stark contrast to the tortured soul depicted in Hank’s country numbers.  As a defining figure in the genre, Williams was at liberty to present more of the other side of his character in this new man, Luke the Drifter.

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YouTube Finds

Once in a while I still marvel at technology – even things we take for granted now – like YouTube.  It’s been just over 4 years since 3 former PayPal employees created the video sharing site, but it seems that it’s always been there now.  What would we do without music videos and all these great performances from past awards shows, interviews, and all the other great videos we now have at our immediate, constant disposal?  I’m still amazed sometimes by it all. 

So, I want to share with you two of my favorite YouTube finds in the last few months – and invite you to share your own in the comments.

From The Judds Farewell Tour, 1991.

The 1995 CMA Awards.

What are some of your favorite YouTube finds lately?

Just a recommendation …

terriclark1I’ve written about this song on various occasions before in comments on other sites.  But, here is my official recommendation for ‘Nashville Girls’. The track was recorded back in March 2008 for Terri’s album, In My Next Life – scheduled to be released April 29, 2008.  It features guest vocals from Reba, Sara Evans, and Martina McBride.

Steel guitars kick off this clever novelty number all about Nashville girls, how they’ll never go out of style and why they ‘have big hair for a reason’ even imploring them to ‘tease them curls, jack em up to Jesus’.  We all cried when Tammy Wynette died – and Terri admits it here.  And how dare her L.A. friends laugh at that.  So here’s to Loretta, Dolly, Patsy, Emmylou, Jessi, June, Tammy, and all the other fine ladies that made country music great.  How could they go out of style?

The singles from the album, ‘Dirty Girl’ and ‘In My Next Life’ barely cracked the top 40 on the U.S. country charts peaking at #30 and #36, respectively.  However, both did well in Clark’s native homeland of Canada.   The former going all the way to #1.  So, in November 2008, the singer announced she was leaving BNA Records to pursue her career in Canada and hinted at the prospect of creating her own label.  Maybe the song will surface one day on her future albums.  Until then, here’s my recommended track for the weekend.

Listen to Terri Clark with Reba, Sara Evans, and Martina McBride – ‘Nashville Girls’

Remembering March 16, 1991

rebapeoplecoverIn the early morning hours of March 16, 1991, a plane crashed into Otay Mountain in southern California. The crash, which left no survivors, occurred shortly after the Hawker Sidley aircraft had taken off from Brown Field, a private airport about 15 miles southeast of San Diego.  In addition to the pilot and co-pilot, Jim Hammon, Reba’s tour manager, and band members Kirk Cappello and Joey Cigainero, keyboardists; Paula Kaye Evans, background vocalist; Michael Thomas and Terry Jackson, guitarists; Tony Saputo, drummer, and Chris Austin, a vocalist who also played fiddle and acoustic guitar, were lost.

Reba herself had spent the night in San Diego to rest up and planned to meet her band the following night for a show in Indiana.  In the aftermath of the tragedy, she was scheduled to perform on the Academy Awards that year, only 9 days after the crash.  She sang the song ‘I’m Checkin’ Out’ from the Meryl Streep flick Postcards from the Edge.  Many music insiders criticized her for going back to work so quickly.

In the People magazine exclusive interview, she explained her decision to go forward with her career:

We were wondering what to do. I was wanting to cancel everything until July. I said, “I’m just not going to go back out there. It’s too much, I can’t do it without them.” I told Debbie I had to make a decision. And she looked at me, just like Jim would have done, and said, ‘Are you thinking about quitting?’ ”

I said, “Well, no, but I don’t know when I can go back.” And she said, “Jim Hammon worked all this time to help get you where you are today. He’d kick your butt if you thought about quitting.” And I hugged her neck and said, “I needed that, you’re right.” I know Jim would tell me, “Now, Reba, you know those fans expect that out of you, and you can’t quit; you’ve worked too hard and too long, and you’ve got to get back up there.”

I’ve got a very good calm that Jim wants me to go back out there. I know Kirk and Joey and Terry and Tony and Chris and Michael and Paula Kaye, they’d want me to, too. So my first time to perform again is on the Academy Awards, and I’m going to sing a song called “I’m Checkin’ Out” from Postcards from the Edge. I’m going to do it for the band. They’re checking out. They’ve got a new place to dwell.

formybrokenheartReba then channeled her pain into her next album, the landmark release For My Broken Heart.  The album is a collection of songs of loss, loneliness, heartbreak, and pain.  And the grief surrounding the recording can be heard on every track, but particularly the album closer, ‘If I Had Only Known’.  Reba dedicated the entire album to her lost loved ones, but this song more than any other addresses the sorrow of losing someone all too quickly without ever saying goodbye:  ‘If I had only known/It was my last night by your side/I’d pray a miracle would stop the dawn/And when you smile at me/I would look into your eyes/And make sure you know my love for you goes on and on/If I had only known’.

To me, this is the mark of a true artist:  one who can face adversity and the worst of heartache and then turn that tragedy into a timeless work of art.  The loss of these 8 talented musicians was a blow to the entire country music community, but their legacy lives on.  Every time someone takes solace in the songs on For My Broken Heart, their memory lives on.

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Remembering March 5, 1963

patsyclinecrash1a1

Forty-six years ago today, on one of the darkest days in country music history, a private plane carrying Opry stars Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins, and Patsy Cline, as well as Cline’s manager Randy Hughes,  crashed near Camden, Tennessee, killing all on board.  They were returning from Kansas City, where they had taken part in a benefit concert for the family of Cactus Jack Call who had died in an automobile accident.  Hawkshaw Hawkins was married to Jean Shepard who is still a regular performer on the Opry.

Cline’s musical legacy is well known, but Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins are unfamiliar names to many people today.   Here are some examples of some of the great music all three of them left behind:

The person making the introduction in this next clip is Little Jimmy Dickens, who is currently the longest serving member of the Opry, having recently celebrated his 60th anniversary as a cast member:

FYI: Comment Threading

Just as a notice: WordPress.com upgraded how comments work.  I altered the settings so you can now directly reply to a comment. Your new comment will be under the comment you replied to. Just hit the link that says “reply” on the comment that you want to reply to.

I’ll demonstrate how it works in the comments of this post.

Rare tracks: Sara Evans

Since the recent discussion about Sara Evans generated a lot of comments, I wanted to share this track which many of you may not have heard.  It appeared on a 1998 tribute album to Dwight Yoakam.  This is the sort of thing I’d like to hear Sara sing all the time.  Hope you enjoy it:

The Distance Between You and Me
sara

A mess and a blessing …

As you all stop by the My Kind of Country blog today, you may notice that the pages are changing as you read.  We’re trying to get the header tweaked to match the new theme.  Designing the header turned out to be more work than I realized.  But, it wasn’t done by me.  I tried.  Photoshop is not one of my skills.

So I want to give a special shout out to my good buddy Meg Morrow.  Meg has been helping out with My Kind of Country from the beginning – you just don’t see her name because she hasn’t written anything.  But she’s there – proof-reading and correcting our many typos and generally being a blessing to me.

So, thanks Meg for all you’ve done.

 

Meg with Miss Reba at 2 Worlds 2 Voices Tour stop in Minneapolis, October 2008.

Meg with Miss Reba at the 2 Worlds 2 Voices Tour stop in Minneapolis, October 2008.

Free Download! Neko Case – ‘People Got A Lotta Nerve’

You have probably seen this on The 9513, but here is a free download of Neko Case’s new single, “People Got A Lotta Nerve”.

From Neko’s Myspace page:
“The promotion will run from January 13 to February 3, 2009. Five dollars will be donated [to the Best Friends Animal Society] for every blog post and one dollar for every user of iLike that adds the song to his/her profile.”

Neko Case's upcoming album, Middle Cyclone

Neko Case's upcoming album, Middle Cyclone

Personally, a friend recommended her to me, and I’ve been planning on getting her new album Middle Cyclone, that comes out on March 3rd, mostly because of the cover.

I have to say, this song has convinced me I do like her, since I haven’t really heard any of her music before this. She’s not very country, but it’s here anyway, just because it’s for a good cause and it’s good music. Any song that mentions Killer Whales and Elephants and still makes sense is a good song in my book. (It’s a very small book.) Her album also gets my “Coolest Album Artwork” award, mostly for the sword.

Download here!

Enjoy!

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.

Things Are Tough All Over

barackobama2I just finished watching President-elect Barack Obama give a speech at George Mason University – ok, I admit, I only caught it because it pre-empted the Price Is Right. But I still watched and listened intently as the future leader of the free world apparently had something to say.

During his 20 minute speech, he talks about his plans for our struggling economy and his unprecedented policy for fixing it. I won’t go into what I think the speech was about, because honestly, I didn’t understand all of it. But one quote that did stand out to me was when the President-elect said “A world that depends on the strength of our economy is now watching and waiting for America to lead once more. And that is what we will do.” The rest of it sounded a lot of like what I learned of the FDR New Deal programs in the 1930s. And that really brings home the seriousness of the situation our country is facing to someone who’s only heard horror stories of the Great Depression as depicted in movies and novels. Things are certainly tough all over.

So what country star would you like to hear write and/or sing a song about the looming financial crisis?

P.S. You can’t say Alan Jackson. Let’s be original here.

CMT Insider – 2008 In a Nutshell

katiecook2I just wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a special edition of CMT Insider this weekend titled ‘2008 In A Nutshell’.

I tape the show to my DVR each week, and never miss an episode – I am an uber Katie Cook fan. And I think this week’s is the best episode of the show ever. They recount the biggest stories of the year including Dolly postponing her tour due to her boobs, Taylor Swift’s 27-second breakup with Joe Jonas, Shania’s return to the CMAs, and all the other big country music news stories of the year.

This episode also features some hilarious comments from comics Ralphie May (a hilarious guy – you must check him out if you haven’t seen his specials on Comedy Central), Cledus T. Judd, Etta May, and many more. Kudos to CMT for this episode. Be sure to catch it this weekend. It repeats several times, and you can check the showtimes here.

Happy New Year!

new-year-imageweb1

Have a safe and Happy New Year!  From all of us at My Kind Of Country. And may you have a wonderful 2009 …