It was late July 2014 when, while browsing the internet and looking at various country music reviews, I stumbled upon a website called Country Perspective. For the life of me, I can’t remember how I found the site, but I’m glad I did. Because a couple of weeks later, Josh posted an announcement that he was looking for another writer to join the site. After giving it some thought on if I wanted to devote the time and make a long-term commitment (assuming I’d be accepted), I reached out and expressed my interest in joining. The rest, they say, is history.
I’ve always had an affinity for writing. In college I began writing screenplays and ended up writing three feature length screenplays along with some short films. Also included with that were two blogs which had short lives and a personal website that acted more like an online resume more than a blog, but I’d do an occasional movie review or something along those lines on the site. I’m not a full-time writer, but having it as a hobby/part-time side gig is awesome.
My first article published on Country Perspective was a call-out to mainstream country about bringing women back to the forefront. Taylor Swift had recently announced her move to pop, and it left a gaping hole in country music, and I offered up 5 options (aside from Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and Kacey Musgraves) on who could fill that gap. One year and 2 days and 91 posts later, I’m still here and not ready to leave anytime soon.
As a writer and reviewer, I like to think I’ve grown and improved over the past year. I quickly learned that to write a thorough album review, I’d have to shut the rest of the world off for 45 minutes and simply listen and take notes. And the more I listened and reviewed and read others’ reviews, the more I was able to pick up on. The production and instrumentation were probably my weakest area on figuring out what nuances and qualities of the production compliment the lyrics well. Drawing out the stories and subtext from lyrics took a little work, but it’s honestly one of my favorite parts of listening to music and reviewing it, figuring out the story and sharing it. One of my most favorite reviews I’ve written was for Diamondwolf’s Your Time Has Come. The depth and complexity of the lyrics in some of the songs made the review fun to write. Also, as a writer, I felt challenged to improve my writing, especially in that review, in order to articulate my thoughts on the album accurately.
I’ll keep this short because I don’t like the prattle on about myself, but I enjoy being a part of Country Perspective. I’ve seen the site grow in readers and in the respect we have among other writers and blog runners. While I can’t take any credit for the creation of our hit features like The Pulse, The Hodgepodge and the podcast, I’m proud to be a partner and contributor to a site that’s become a staple to many of you who come looking for country music coverage beyond the mainstream. I’ve had a lot of fun interacting with artists, fellow bloggers, and readers.
Here’s to another year, and a better year (because there’s always room for improvement) at Country Perspective!
Upcoming/Recent Country Music Releases
- Tomorrow, the long-awaited debut album from Maddie and Tae will be released. Start Here is streaming on NPR if you want to listen to it early.
- As announced last week, Carrie Underwood will release her next studio album, Storyteller, on October 23rd.
- The Josh Abbott Band will release their fourth studio album in November. Front Row Seat is described by Abbott as a concept album and an honest look at the singer’s divorce. The album’s lead single is called “Amnesia”.
- Michael Ray has announced his next single will be “Real Men Love Jesus.”
- Danielle Bradbery’s next single will be called “Friend Zone.”
- The Voice winner and country music singer, Jake Worthington, will release his debut EP this October.
Today in Country Music History
- In 1974, Charley Pride records the Johnny Duncan-penned “I Ain’t All Bad.”
- The Dixie Chicks’ album, Home, is released in 2002.
- In 2005, CMT released a list of the “20 Greatest City Songs” with Merle Haggard’s “Okie From Muskogee” coming in at number 1.
Today’s Country Music history facts come courtesy of RolandNote.
Throwback Thursday Song
“Jackson” by Johnny Cash and June Carter. This is one of country’s most famous duets, and for a good reason. From John’s deep baritone to June’s higher register, their voices complement one another perfectly. Sit back and enjoy this Opry performance of “Jackson” from 1968.
Non-Country Suggestion of the Week
Andy Grammer’s Self Titled Debut. Last week, I had the chance to see a free concert from Andy Grammer. The only song I knew from Grammer before the show was “Honey, I’m Good”, which I still think is an obnoxious song. I was pleasantly surprised by the rest of his music and quite frankly, Grammer’s a good entertainer on stage. He can beat box well, can play a variety of instruments, and sings nicely live. It was a good show. So his debut album, the one without “Honey, I’m Good,” is my non-country suggestion for this week.
Tweet of the Week
Life is too short to waste 3 minutes on a Florida-Georgia Line song.
— Reginald Spears (@ReginaldSpears) August 21, 2015
And all the people said, “Amen!”
Two iTunes Reviews That Made Me Laugh
These were both left under The Band Perry’s “Live Forever.” Based on sales and early response, The Band Perry pop experiment doesn’t appear to be working as well as some may have hoped. These two people weren’t fooled at all.