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Tag: Brad Paisley (1-10 of 39)

The Beatles Grammy Salute performances: The good, the bad, and the tacky from John Mayer, Brad Paisley, Pharrell, Adam Levine and more

“I was wondering if it was seemly to tribute yourself,” said Sir Paul McCartney in the most quotable moment from last night’s prerecorded CBS special, “The Beatles: The Night That Changed America—A Grammy Salute.” Naturally, it was “a couple of American guys” who convinced him that awards-show-style indulgence was called for on the 50th anniversary of The Ed Sullivan Show bringing Beatlemania to these United States. But when Paul—and, let’s not forget, Ringo Starr—finally performed, they did it with such earnestness, good humor, and energy that all the self-congratulation seemed crowded out. The bummer was that the Yanks who covered Beatles songs in the two hours leading up to this casually historic finale missed a big fat opportunity to inject more tacky, over-the-top American spirit into the proceedings. The lusty screams of young women in cat-eye glasses seemed distant indeed.

Although we must recognize Adam Levine and John Mayer for bringing a louche, careless, cruise-ship vibe to “Ticket to Ride” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” respectively. Especially Mayer, who, with his appealing voice and hobo-stylist look, took his bittersweet selection to an irreverent climax, trading guitar faces with Keith Urban, his sleekly metrosexual partner. Honorable mentions go to Katy Perry, who gave “Yesterday” a literal representation in the form of her retro dress, with its yards and yards of flowery fabric (fashion scolds attacked this choice when they first spotted it on the red carpet); and the louchest of them all, Joe Walsh, who popped up in a couple places, wailing on his guitar and reminding everyone that rock excess endures even when it disdains mind expansion—and that this can be groovy, too. READ FULL STORY

The five worst singles of 2013, courtesy of the Wanted, Ray J and more

It’s not as easy as you might think to find five truly god-awful songs from one year—then agree on all of them, as the EW music staff recently did. The most terrible songs not only irritate your ears, they invade your cultural space and insult your intelligence. We believe these five very much fit the bill.

1. “Accidental Racist”
Brad Paisley feat. LL Cool J
This schmaltzy loaf of country pop equates slavery’s “iron chains” with rap’s “gold chains,” and the Confederate flag with the “do-rag.” Smarmy gimmicks don’t come any stupider: READ FULL STORY

The 10 Best Country Albums of 2013

Jason-Isbell.jpg

It’s tough to say what constitutes a country album these days. 2013 was a year that saw arena-filling acts feud over pop’s influence in the genre, Nashville stars record with Norwegian pop Svengalis, and a country-rap collaboration become the longest-running No. 1 country hit of all time. Ten gallon hats and Wrangler jeans now feel out of place in a sea of trucker caps and wallet chains.

Plus, the rise of Americana, a somewhat amorphous genre that’s not considered fully folk, fully rock, or fully pop — but one that shares so many roots (and so much instrumentation) with county music — has further blurred the lines. Much of what we call “Americana” or “singer-songwriter” today falls more into the classic “country” category in storytelling and song structure than the pop-infused output of Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, or certainly Taylor Swift.

In short, the genre is something of a mess right now. It’s telling that the country format is both more popular and more criticized than it has been in decades. I spent quite a bit of time this year writing about country’s problems (the aforementioned feuds, the lazy lyrics, the lack of women on the radio) but even so, I’m happy to report that there was great music to be found. A lot of it. Music that has me hopeful for 2014. Some mainstream albums broke the mold, and more than a few shining stars from Nashville’s fringes made a major impression.

So, taking all of that into account — and taking into account that we all might have different definitions of what constitutes a country album — here are my picks for the genre’s ten best discs this year. (Spoiler alert: Luke Bryan, Tyler Farr, Justin Moore, Jake Owen, and Thomas Rhett definitely didn’t make the cut.) READ FULL STORY

CMA Awards: Best and Worst of the Broadcast

The real winners were announced Wednesday night at the 47th Annual Country Music Association Awards. But here are a few more honors from the telecast you should feel free to weigh in on:

Best “Suck it, haters” Taylor Swift moment ever: So not only did George Strait, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Brad Paisley, and Rascal Flatts — all people for whom Swift opened at the start of her career — come out onstage to present the 23-year-old with the Pinnacle Award, there was also a video including kind messages from Mick Jagger, Justin Timberlake, Carly Simon, Julia Roberts, and Ethel Kennedy, among others. Watch it below. It’s might have been the best acceptance speech of Swift’s career, as she paid respect to each of the artists onstage with her.  READ FULL STORY

CMA Awards co-host Brad Paisley talks preparations, George Jones tribute, and poking fun at country-music feuds

For the sixth straight year, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will cohost the CMA Awards, airing tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. (See our predictions for who we think will win, and who we’d vote for.)

There’s a long list of performances, which include Taylor Swift collaborating with Alison Krauss and Vince Gill, Dave Grohl joining the Zac Brown Band,  and George Strait and Alan Jackson paying tribute to the late, great George Jones. Back in August, when Paisley began talking to exec producer Robert Deaton about this year’s show, one of their first conversations was about how the broadcast would honor Jones. “It ought to be the best you can have with those two doing it,” Paisley told EW last month. “They’re the heirs to the torch. If anybody’s close to the stratosphere that George Jones was cruising in, it’s them. That’s who it needs to be.”

Fans will also tune in to see what Paisley and Underwood come up with for their opening monologue. When we spoke to Paisley, he expected them to have fun with the genre’s current identity crisis, epitomized by Brown referring to Entertainer of the Year nominee and fellow performer Luke Bryan’s bro-country chart-topper ”That’s My Kind of Night” as ”the worst song I’ve ever heard.” ”You’ve got people in our industry all fired up on each side of that issue, and then you’ve got me — I’m just happy about it,” Paisley says, laughing. ”It’s like I’m this sadist when we’re writing this show. I’m like, ‘Oh, that looks painful… That’s great!”  READ FULL STORY

How country music went crazy: A comprehensive timeline of the genre's identity crisis

Are you aware that Nashville is currently embroiled in an outright civil war?

The country music genre has gone through quite a transformation in the past couple years, adopting the electric guitar sounds of nearly-defunct rock radio, the rap-infused cadences and AutoTune normally reserved for hip hop, and, most controversially, the pop elements left behind as that genre gravitated toward electronic dance music. And attitudes have become ever more contentious between traditional and modern-country fans in 2013. Lately, the frustrations have reached a boiling point.

The straw that broke the camel’s back arrived two weeks ago, when Zac Brown called Luke Bryan’s No. 1 single “That’s My Kind of Night” the “worst song I’ve ever heard.” That remark caused Jason Aldean to hop on Instagram and tell Brown, “trust me when I tell u that nobody gives a shit what u think.” The country community quickly took sides in the debate, and the resulting feud has catapulted country music’s identity crisis straight into the spotlight.

These days, pop-country is more popular than ever — but also more despised than ever. Stars like Brown, Alan Jackson, Kacey Musgraves, and Gary Allan have begun publicly expressing unhappiness with their format, which this year has become an increasingly homogenous platform for men (a few weeks ago, Carrie Underwood was the only solo female in the Top 20) singing about trucks and beers and girls and then more trucks.

Tensions have been brewing all year long (and really, much longer than that) — and there’s been no shortage of public feuding among the genre’s A-list. As country fights to figure out what it should look and sound like, its biggest stars are airing some very honest (and sometimes harsh) opinions. Here’s a timeline of country’s wild, crazy, and sometimes mud-slinging year:

January 23: Blake Shelton calls classic country fans “old farts” and “jackasses”
While speaking in a GAC special, The Voice coach angered thousands of elderly country fans when he remarked, “Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, ‘My God, that ain’t country!’ Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do, and they don’t want to buy the music you were buying.” The comment caused a controversy that endured for weeks and helped spark this year’s debate about traditional-country vs. pop-country.
tumblr_lzra85ej5d1rp44uwo1_500_zpsfb76f65e READ FULL STORY

CMA nominations 2013: The snubs and surprises

Kacey-Musgraves-Review

Now that the 47th Annual CMA award nominations have been announced, here are a few thoughts on who made the cut, who was sorely left out — and the things that just don’t make much sense:

SURPRISE! Kacey Musgraves The Nashville newcomer scored six nominations (five for her own music, one for co-writing Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart”), which tied pack-leader Taylor Swift. Musgraves may not have the sales power of Swift, but she clearly has the industry support. Not many Best New Artist nominees also find themselves competing for awards like Best Female Artist or Album of the Year, a category that her disc Same Trailer Different Park absolutely deserves to win.

SNUB: Carrie Underwood An acclaimed album, four number one singles, and a 110-date arena tour (not to mention her new Sunday Night Football duties) were not enough to finally earn the perennial CMA Awards host her first Entertainer of the Year nomination. Annoyingly, this snub has been going on for a while. Methinks there must be record label politics holding her back. How else do you explain Jason Aldean, whose recent singles have floundered, sneaking into the category ahead of her? READ FULL STORY

CMA nominations 2013: Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton lead the way

In case you were wondering: It’s Taylor Swift’s world, and we’re all just marking time until she writes a song about each one of us, then collects an award for every one.

Swift is up for both Entertainer of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year in the 2013 Country Music Association Awards, whose nominations were announced this morning by Sheryl Crow and Florida Georgia Line.

The CMAs—not to be confused with the ACMs or the CMT Awards—are the biggest deal in country music, and will be hosted once again by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, live on ABC on November 6.

Swift has won Entertainer of the Year, the awards’ highest honor, twice before. She’s the only woman nominee in this year’s field in that category, which is rounded out by Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, George Strait, and Luke Bryan. Shelton, Aldean, and Bryan will also be competing for Male Vocalist of the Year in a list that also includes Keith Urban and Eric Church. Swift will go up against Underwood, Kacey Musgraves, Kelly Clarkson, and Miranda Lambert in the Female Vocalist of the Year category.

Swift has a total of five nominations this year (including her participation in Tim McGraw’s “Highway Don’t Care”); Florida George Line check in with four, while Kacey Musgraves is up for a total of five (her four as a performer plus an extra one for her songwriting credit on Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart,” up for Song of the Year). Blake Shelton is up for a total of five prizes as well.

Check out the nominees in all 12 categories below.  READ FULL STORY

Performers and speakers announced for George Jones' funeral, plus how to watch it

Plans have been announced for George Jones’ public funeral, taking place Thursday at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The service will include music from Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Vince Gill and Patty Loveless, Charlie Daniels, The Oak Ridge Boys, Kid Rock, Ronnie Milsap, Travis Tritt, Tanya Tucker, and Wynonna. Kenny Chesney will speak, as will Former First Lady Laura Bush, Grand Ole Opry VP&GM Pete Fisher, Governor Bill Haslam, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Barbara Mandrell, and CBS News’ Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer.

The service, which will begin at 11 a.m. ET, will be broadcast live on CMT, GAC, RFD, and FamilyNet, as well as local Nashville stations. Those not near a TV can watch online at opry.com., or listen in at wsmonline.com or by tuning their radio dials to WSM 650AM and SiriusXM Willie’s Roadhouse (Ch. 56).

Read more:
George Jones tributes: Brad Paisley, Jimmy Buffett, Alan Jackson, and more play covers — VIDEO
George Jones: The Essential Playlist — LISTEN
Goodbye, Possum: The Oak Ridge Boys’ Joe Bonsall remembers George Jones
Legendary country star George Jones is dead at 81

George Jones tributes: Brad Paisley, Jimmy Buffett, Alan Jackson, and more play covers -- VIDEO

Since the April 26 passing of George Jones, country music artists and fans have been in mourning. But as we all know, music heals, which is why set-lists included tributes to the Possum over the weekend. Here are some that have made their way to YouTube. Jones’ funeral will take place May 2, at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, and be open to the public.

Brad Paisley, “Bartender’s Blues,” “The Race Is On,” “She Thinks I Still Care,” “This is Country Music” (his song, with new Jones-centric lyrics)

READ FULL STORY

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