The Country Perspective Show, Episode 5: Ranking The C-Level Mainstream Country Artists

In episode five of The Country Perspective Show podcast, I spend the entire episode discussing what I consider the C-level mainstream country artists. It’s a continuation of my series of ranking all the mainstream country artists, as I ranked the A and B artists the last two weeks. The reason I have to spend an entire episode on the C artists because there’s a lot of mediocrity in mainstream country music. And what better place to put them than at the C level?

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7 thoughts on “The Country Perspective Show, Episode 5: Ranking The C-Level Mainstream Country Artists

  1. ron12274 August 10, 2015 / 11:52 am

    I noticed you included quite a few artists I consider pretty irrelevant today, Shania, Faith, Gretchen wilson etc.
    Also I can see why you’d put the Band Perry at C+ level but I disagree that they’ve struggled at radio. Every single they had off their last album went #1 or #2 except Chainsaw which still made the top 10


    • Josh Schott August 10, 2015 / 11:53 am

      People complained last time I didn’t cover every artist, so this time I covered the obscure artists too to keep people from complaining.


      • ron12274 August 10, 2015 / 12:09 pm

        ok. lol. then you have to throw in Diamond Rio, Tracy Lawrence, Clint Black, JoDee Messina, Terri Clark, John Michael Montgomery. In other words your podcast will be 3 hours long


        • Josh Schott August 10, 2015 / 12:25 pm

          Haha tell me about it. Don’t be surprised if this feature disappears, the ranking of the mainstream country artists.


  2. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria August 10, 2015 / 1:31 pm

    Damn right there’s a lot of mediocrity in mainstream country these days! 😉

    You know, I actually agree with you on most of these. I would move Blake down to a C- because I’m so fucking sick of his douchey personality and the shit he’s been putting out over his last two albums. But I think—as I said last week—his divorce could actually produce some decent music (from both him and Miranda). Maybe living a country song will force him to make one for once.
    “‘He put out this song’—‘Oh, but look at his pretty face.'” You hit the nail on the head there, Josh…It annoys me so much when people only listen to artists’ music because they want to have sex with them. -__-
    I juggled between a C- and a C for Nettles, but I’m going to agree with you on a C. If she didn’t have as good a voice as she does, I’d have her at a C-, so that was the saving grace for her.
    However, I’d grade Farr a C-. I absolutely hated “Redneck Crazy,” and although “Suffer In Peace” was decent, I’m not going to move him up to a C just yet. Especially if he keeps releasing shit like “Better In Boots” to radio.
    Yeah, I never got the Kip Moore and Little Big Town love. Although, not all current mainstream country sounds like “generic 80’s rock”…just anything besides country.

    I haven’t listened to any of Clare Dunn’s material besides “Move On,” so I can’t fairly grade her, but based on what you said about her music, I’d probably end up giving her either a C- or a D+.
    I assume you meant “forgettable” instead of “unforgettable” when you were talking about Gloriana’s latest album. 😉
    Chesney is a C in my eyes. Yes, he made absolutely loads of beach songs; yes, he has tarnished his image with them; but to be honest, I didn’t think he was that bad at beach songs, and look, is this grading about the image of the artist, or the quality of their music? Chesney’s put out quite a lot of good stuff (see what I did there? 😉 ) over the course of his career, which kind of counters the fact that “his schtick gets old after a while.” But yeah, I’d bump him up only to a C.

    Certainly going to be a lot of fun listening to you bash the D and F artists, Josh. Can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Megan Conley August 10, 2015 / 2:17 pm

    My favorite part of this was the comparison of Gretchen Wilson to a “rent-a-cop version of Miranda Lambert.” That’s perfect, that’s all she is. I agree about most of these–I might move Keith Urban up slightly because he has put out a lot of great songs, especially on his albums. I think his problem is what he chooses to release to radio. His latest single is complete shit, as was a good portion of his last album. Before that, he put out better music. I actually really like Gwen Sebastian and think she could have potential, but you’re right, she remains pretty forgettable and ignored. Kasadee and Danielle are both extremely talented and deserved to win The Voice, but they have released mediocre, forgettable albums. They are both better than the music they are releasing. Ok, what goes on in this annoying Brett Eldredge video? The song is obnoxious enough, so I can only assume it is just as annoying.

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  4. Kevin Davis August 10, 2015 / 6:52 pm

    I’ve accused Chesney’s beach music of 2002-2005 as being an important predecessor to the bro-country of 2010-2015, and the lines of influence are rather obvious. I agree that Chesney has had some great songs, such as “Don’t Blink” from 2007 and “There Goes My Life” from 2004. But, unfortunately, the bad material outweighs the good material, and you are justified in ranking him as a C-minus artist.

    I can quibble about LBT, but I am very disappointed with their latest album. I have been a fan since their breakout album, The Road to Here, with “Boondocks,” and I was happy to see “Tornado” as a single at #2 on Country Airplay in 2013. As for “Girl Crush,” it is a good song, but it didn’t deserve #1 on Hot Country. That was simply media-contrived hype and controversy. Nonetheless, I would still rank them in the B-minus range.

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