The Hodgepodge: Final of the Year, Feature Ideas & Open Thread

The holiday season is getting ready to go into full swing with Thanksgiving next week. Not to mention, Derek and myself are going to start working on our year-end award lists and nominations. So this will be the final Hodgepodge of 2015.

It’s hard to believe how fast a year can go by and how much can happen when you look back at it all. Country Perspective has grown even bigger and has reached more readers than I ever imagined, so I thank you all for your support and kind words. This is what keeps us motivated to continue to write and bring you exciting content. Speaking of that I’ve been contemplating new features to introduce to the blog in 2016. I want to expand the variety on here and I’ve already got a couple of ideas I’m seriously considering. But I would love to hear from you too. What is something you would like to see? I would love some feedback.

By the way a new writer is already set to join us next year. But you’ll have to wait until January to find out…

We plan on reviewing a few more albums and singles in the next couple of weeks. Let us know what you would love to see covered most that we have not yet. No, we will not review the Old Dominion album. Please suggest good music.

You can basically treat this Hodgepodge as an open thread to discuss whatever you want to discuss in country and Americana right now. Also you can throw out some questions for Derek and myself that we will do our best to answer. You guys know how these Q&A Hodgepodges work. Just don’t ask us something impossible or go over five questions (Each reader can ask up to five questions). Again thank you for reading the Hodgepodge in 2015 and we look forward to bringing it back again in 2016.

Upcoming/Recent Country & Americana Releases 

  • The last major album release of the year appears to be the debut album of Cam on December 11. It’s titled Untamed and is highly likely to be the final review of the year.
  • Alan Jackson released a three-CD box set called Genuine: The Alan Jackson Story. It features his biggest hits and a few unreleased songs. It’s exclusively available through Walmart and in my opinion is a great Christmas gift for any country fan.
  • Shovels & Rope just came out with a surprise of their own. Through Dualtone Music, they’re releasing a collaborative project on November 20 titled Busted Jukebox Volume 1. NPR announced it and debuted the music, which you can stream here. It’s covers of some of their favorite songs and they explain in the NPR piece the meaning of each song for them and how they came about. The guest artists who join them are very talented and include the likes of Lucius, Shakey Graves, The Milk Carton Kids and JD McPherson. I definitely suggest giving it a listen.
  • Next Friday is Black Friday and that means there will be some great Record Store Black Friday Day releases. For those that collect vinyl there are some country and Americana releases that will catch your eye. Some of the ones that stood out to me (click on each for more info):

Great Music Currently at Country Radio

The very best of country radio right here in a nice playlist. In order for a song to be added to the list, it must currently be in the top 60 of the Billboard Country Airplay chart, so this will be updated weekly.

Throwback Thursday Song

Keith Whitley – “When You Say Nothing At All” – One of the artists we can thank for bringing back traditional country in the late 80s and someone who died way too young, Keith Whitley is an artist everyone should appreciate. I plan to dig into his catalog more over the holidays.

Non-Country Suggestion of the Week

Eagles of Death Metal – This band has been in the news lately for all of the wrong reasons. They were the band playing on the stage at the Le Bataclan in Paris when terrorists attacked it last week and left hundreds dead and injured. The band was able to escape unharmed, but their merchandise manager and others they knew did not. Right now they are obviously recovering from this traumatic event. I recently checked their music out and they are a very talented group. The origin of how they formed and came together is quite interesting. Obviously it’s not about the music right now with them, but some day again it will. And it should be, as they make great music and I recommend giving it a listen.

Tweet of the Week

Yeah I don’t have anything else to add. This song will be a top contender for our Worst Song of the Year award.

iTunes Review That Rocks

Old Dominion Sucks

This was left under the new Old Dominion album. See why I’m not reviewing this? Those other great artists got reviewed though and you’re much better off listening to their albums than anything Old Dominion has ever touched.

Thanks for reading and be sure to weigh in below! 

45 thoughts on “The Hodgepodge: Final of the Year, Feature Ideas & Open Thread

  1. Ben November 19, 2015 / 11:06 am

    Any chance you can review Cole Swindell’s Down Home Sessions II?


    • Raymond November 19, 2015 / 11:13 am

      I actually prefer Alison Krauss version of When You Say Nothing At All. What’s your take on that song and Alison Krauss music as a whole.

      If there is another question. What do you think of these two song I can’t decide my take on the song cause I have been hearing these 2 songs on the radio a lot lately.
      Kellie Pickler Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You
      Carrie Underwood Just A Dream.


      • Derek Hudgin November 19, 2015 / 11:29 am

        I like “Just a Dream.” It’s a well written song and I think Carrie knocks it out of the park. I’m not as crazy about “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You” but I think it’s a good song from Kellie Pickler overall.

        I prefer Whitley’s version of “When You Say Nothing At All” and I’ve heard Chris Young cover Whitley a few times, and Young’s covers are quite good. He covered “Don’t Close Your Eyes” at the Opry and it’s very well done.


      • Raymond November 19, 2015 / 11:38 am

        Really I honestly like Alison Krauss version more because she has a voice of an angel.


      • Josh Schott November 19, 2015 / 12:04 pm

        To clarify, each reader is allowed to ask five questions. So each of you are allowed to ask five questions.

        I love this song, regardless of who is singing it. It’s a very romantic and passionate love ballad that demonstrates the true emotion of country music. Alison Krauss is a very talented musician who has never properly gotten the spotlight she deserves. But while the mainstream never gave her that it’s very evident that the music community holds her in high regard, as she has worked with many legends. Her music is timeless and something every should listen to.

        “Didn’t Know How Much I Loved You” is a song I hated at first. Really I didn’t like Kellie Pickler at first either. But with time this song and Pickler have grown me and I generally enjoy both now. PIckler still doesn’t seem to know what she wants to be as an artist though. But hopefully we get more albums like 100 Proof.

        “Just A Dream” is one of Carrie’s more underrated and forgotten songs, but it’s well done and Carrie’s vocals are really on point. Her catalog is deeper than people think, but in their defense she released some pop-y singles for a while and this soured a lot of people.


    • Zack November 19, 2015 / 11:19 am

      I highly doubt it. He did say to suggest GOOD music 😉

      But yeah, I honestly hate the Old Dominion album more so than Thomas Rhett’s honestly

      Speaking of….since you’re taking suggestions, here’s some that I think you guys would enjoy:

      Ward Thomas- “From Where We Stand”
      Christian Lopez Band- “Onward”
      Drew Holcomb- “Medicine”

      Don’t care either way but still sort of interested in your thoughts:
      Josh Thompson- “Change”

      Man, I love year end lists and I’m excited it’s that time of the year. 2015 has been a phenomenal year for country music (and that’s an understatement). I’ve already made my lists. This is a rundown of what I’ve made so far:

      Top 70 Albums (excluding Cam for now obviously)
      Top 50 Songs
      Top 20 Singles (including mainstream and Texas)


      Anyway, it’s looking like another great year for country music with new stuff from Randy Rogers Band and the Brothers Osborne kicking things off.

      I don’t know if I have any specific questions other than those album recommendations up top…..Perhaps something will come to mind later!

      I bought the new Alan boxset a couple weeks ago. As an obsessed collector, I had to have those bonus tracks haha. In all seriousness though, it’s worth the money. You get pretty much all of his singles and there’s a cool booklet that comes with it as well.

      Still need to listen to that Shovels and Rope album. I’ve heard awesome things about it (actually I guess that could be another request as well…..)

      Love the Keith Whitley song as well. He’s definitely an underrated artist. I sometimes wonder where country music would be if he had had a longer career……

      Liked by 3 people

      • Josh Schott November 19, 2015 / 12:14 pm

        Well I found out some bad news in regards to reviewing the Ward Thomas album. It was released in 2014, so therefore it is ineligible to be reviewed. The Deluxe version came out this year and that was what made me think it was eligible. Still it’s a great album and I suggest everyone to check it out. Very powerful vocals and songwriting. Fans of First Aid Kit, Maddie & Tae and Dixie Chicks will really enjoy this group. Hopefully they come out with another album in 2016 and I can praise it a lot. Also their cover of “Man in the Mirror” is fantastic.

        I’ll keep those other two in mind. I’m assuming you’re referring to Josh Thompson’s newest EP? If so, I did listen to it and I thought it was good. Better than what he’s been putting out and something to build on for his next album. My biggest advice to him though is to get away from Show Dog Universal and find a better label.

        Derek and myself are currently putting together the year-end lists. Our lists aren’t this extensive. Haha! But the worst songs nominees list is the longest.

        That Alan box set is on my wish list for sure. Right now though the top thing on my wish list is that Waylon Jennings live album. I gotta have that. Haha

        Yeah I wonder the same thing about Whitley. It’s a shame he died so young. But his entire life was filled with danger and it was bound to catch up with him. He no doubt impacted a lot of traditional artists, more than he ever realized. Whitley, Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakam saved the genre when it needed it most.


    • Josh Schott November 19, 2015 / 11:56 am

      Probably not a good chance. I’m sure he’ll release a single from it though and we’ll review that. That’s his whole goal with these EPs. He just want throw out a few songs, see which one people like the most and release that as a single. I’m sure he’ll release an album in 2016 and we’ll tear that apart plenty I’m sure.


  2. Josh Schott November 19, 2015 / 12:16 pm

    Just announced! New Vince Gill album coming in February. Will feature Ashley Monroe, Cam and Little Big Town. I can’t wait to hear this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Raymond November 19, 2015 / 12:26 pm

    Ok my final two questions are what did you think of these 2 mainstream newcomers who didn’t quite break out. Here they are
    Edens Edge (Amen, Too Good To Be True
    The Farm (Home Sweet Home, Be Grateful)
    These were two acts that I just loved. Wish they would’ve broken out.


    • Josh Schott November 19, 2015 / 1:54 pm

      I’ve never heard of either, so I really can’t say.


      • Raymond November 19, 2015 / 1:56 pm

        Check em out both had a rather unique style with their debut album. Both groups are intresting to see the very least.


  4. ellie November 19, 2015 / 4:23 pm

    What do you think of the new Chris Young album and what is your favorite Chris Young song.? I love his song Flowers from his first album.


    • Josh Schott November 19, 2015 / 4:42 pm

      We’re going to have a review on that soon. My favorite Young song is “Tomorrow.”


    • Derek Hudgin November 19, 2015 / 5:57 pm

      “Tomorrow”, “The Man I Want to Be”, and “The Dashboard” are my top 3


    • NoahHibiscusEaton November 19, 2015 / 7:26 pm

      Since releasing “Neon’ (the album, not the title track, which is a genuinely excellent track)…………..Chris Young has been the Daughtry of mainstream country music.

      That is to say, much like Chris Daughtry, Young has one of mainstream country’s best male voices, but wastes his potential on the most banal, interchangeable material and production humanly imaginable.


      At the very least, “I’m Comin’ Over” ditches the bro-country pandering half of “A.M.”………….but virtually the entire album tries to Xerox “What I Am To You” off that same album. The only track that really stood out to my ears and broke the monotony was “I Know A Guy” and rates near the best of his efforts to date. I think “Sober Saturday Night” and “What If I Stay” potentially could have been show-stoppers, but are both weakened by their production treatments and just don’t live up to their potential.

      Other than that, yeah…………another serviceable but forgettable Daught…………errrrr, I mean, Chris Young…………album.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. lorenzofloris96 November 19, 2015 / 4:40 pm

    recently I rediscovered some old songs and I’d love to know how would you grade them:
    Promise Broken by Gary Allan, Still in Love With You by Travis Tritt and Without You by Keith Urban.

    Also, with all this Chris Stapleton talking I think you should definitely review The SteelDrivers’ song “Where Rainbows Never Die”.

    I’d also like to congratulate with you both for the great work and effort you put in this website this year. Definitely worth reading!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Josh Schott November 19, 2015 / 5:03 pm

      Thank you!

      “Promise Broken” – 8.5/10 It’s a solid heartbreak ballad.
      “Still In Love With You” – 9/10 This is Tritt at his best right here. Plenty of fiddle and steel guitar with some solid songwriting.
      “Without You” – 8/10 This is definitely one of Urban’s better songs. He strips away all of the unnecessary production and actually sings and plays guitar.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria November 19, 2015 / 5:56 pm

    What do you guys consider the best and worst country songs ever? You don’t just have to pick one, I’m happy with a list; it’s hard to truly determine stuff like that.


    • Derek Hudgin November 19, 2015 / 6:04 pm

      Some of the best (in my opinion): He Stopped Loving Her Today, Folsom Prison Blues, The Dance, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry

      Some of the worst: Achy Breaky Heart, 1994, Break Up In a Small Town,


    • Josh Schott November 19, 2015 / 6:16 pm

      Derek hit a lot of my answers, so I’ll just tack on..

      Best: “Luckenbach, Texas”, “Pancho & Lefty,” “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” “I Saw The Light,” “Jolene” & “Sunday Morning Coming Down” to name a few

      Worst: “Cruise,” “That’s My Kind of Night,” “Donkey,” “Stuck Like Glue,” “Boys Round Here,” “Aw Naw,” “Red Solo Cup,” “Achy Breaky Heart (it deserves to be mentioned twice)” and of course anything by RaeLynn.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lisandro Berry-Gaviria November 19, 2015 / 6:18 pm


      BTW, great job with the site this year, both of you. I always enjoy reading and commenting.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Amanda November 19, 2015 / 7:01 pm

    Hi Josh and Derek!! I was just curious to what both of you consider to be the best mainstream country songs and singles from this past year.

    Here are a few of my preferences:

    Best mainstream single of 2015:

    -“Better Than You Left Me”, Mickey Guyton
    -“Burning House”, Cam
    -“I’m Comin’ Over”, Chris Young
    -“Head Over Boots”, Jon Pardi
    -“I Met A Girl”, William Michael Morgan
    -“Country”, Mo Pitney
    -“Boy and a Girl Thing”, Mo Pitney
    -“Somebody Else Will”, Mickey Guyton
    -“Send It On Down”, Lee Ann Womack
    -“She Don’t Love You”, Eric Paslay
    -“Smoke Break”, Carrie Underwood
    -“One Hell of an Amen”, Brantley Gilbert
    -“Nothin’ Like You”, Dan + Shay
    -“Stone Cold Sober”, Brantley Gilbert
    -“Fly”, Maddie and Tae
    -“Shut Up and Fish”, Maddie and Tae
    -“Biscuits”, Kacey Musgraves
    -“Dime Store Cowgirl”, Kacey Musgraves
    -“On To Something Good”, Ashley Monroe
    -“I Got the Boy”, Jana Kramer
    -“Riser”, Dierks Bentley
    -“Stay a Little Longer”, Brothers Osborne
    -“Mr. Misunderstood”, Eric Church
    -“Country Nation”, Brad Paisley
    -“Diamond Rings and Old Barstools”, Tim McGraw
    -“Traveller”, Chris Stapleton
    -“My Mistake”, Cam

    Best mainstream songs (non-singles) of 2015

    -“Why Baby Why”, Mickey Guyton (this song is absolutely incredible.)
    -“Good Ole Boys Club”, “High Time”, “Late to the Party”, “Pageant Material”, “Cup of Tea”, and “Fine”, Kacey Musgraves (The whole album really deserves to be here, but this are the standout tracks that are just incredible. Kacey is by far, my favorite country artist. I’m 19 and want to be a country singer, and she is my biggest inspiration.)
    -“If the Devil Don’t Want Me” and “I’m Good at Leavin”, Ashley Monroe
    -“Just as I am” , Brantley Gilbert
    -“Back on the Backroads”, Jon Pardi
    -“Waitin’ On A Plane”, “Smoke”, “Sierra”, and “After the Storm Blows Through”, Maddie and Tae
    -“Clean Up On Aisle Five”, Mo Pitney
    -“Choctaw County Affair” and “Dirty Laundry”, Carrie Underwood
    -“Boomerang”, “Dance In the Rain”, and “Last Song”, Jana Kramer
    -“Half Broke Heart”, Cam
    -“The Blade”, Ashley Monroe
    -“I Buried Your Love Alive”, Ashley Monroe
    -“Mayflowers”, Ashley Monroe

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott November 19, 2015 / 7:39 pm

      Everything from Stapleton, plus “Dime Store Cowgirl,” “Riser,” “Burning House” and “Head Over Boots” are amongst my top favorites.


    • Derek Hudgin November 19, 2015 / 8:21 pm

      A couple of my favorite mainstream singles/songs:
      “Burning House”
      “Dimestore Cowgirl”
      “I Got The Boy”
      Any of Traveller’s 14 songs
      “Shut Up and Fish”

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Amanda November 19, 2015 / 9:17 pm

    Thanks!! You guys are awesome and I love your blog!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ryan November 19, 2015 / 10:36 pm

    Any chance you guys will review the new Cody Canada and Mike McClure live album?

    I love reading your site to discover new music. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Josh Schott November 19, 2015 / 10:42 pm

      Thanks! Glad you reminded me of this, as I had forgotten about it with all of the news happening lately. We’ll definitely give this heavy consideration for review. Derek is a big fan of Cody Canada.


    • Derek Hudgin November 20, 2015 / 8:55 am

      I liked the live album. We may type up a blurb about it, but I can’t imagine doing a full fledged review like we would a normal album. 35 songs all recorded live at an acoustic concert, most of which are already recorded in Mike and Cody’s catalogs. We’ll see, especially since it’s slowing down review wise.

      I saw Mike and Cody live about a month ago at Eskimo Joe’s in Stillwater and it was a great show! The album captures their show well

      Liked by 1 person

  10. pete marshall November 19, 2015 / 10:37 pm

    Hey Josh & Derek:
    What your favorite cd’s of 2015 and your worst cd’s of 2015?


    • Josh Schott November 19, 2015 / 10:43 pm

      You’ll be seeing our thoughts on this in a few weeks. Trust me we’ll have a lot to say about these, so stay tuned.


  11. pete marshall November 19, 2015 / 10:52 pm

    Is Toby Keith’s “35 MPH Town”, and Old Dominion “Meat and Candy” good cd’s to listen to?


    • Josh Schott November 19, 2015 / 10:54 pm

      Keith’s is an okay listen. Avoid Old Dominion at all costs.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Derek Hudgin November 20, 2015 / 9:46 am

      I’ll echo Josh. I reviewed Keith’s album with a favorable grade. It’s your average Toby Keith album. I’d say if you like any of his other albums, you’ll probably like the new one.

      Old Dominion’s sucks. It’s a boring collection of the same type of bro songs weve heard time and time again

      Liked by 1 person

  12. pete marshall November 19, 2015 / 11:31 pm

    I recommend you guys should listen to JJ White cd back in 1991 it was good.


  13. Ron November 20, 2015 / 9:12 am

    I’m wondering your thoughts on the show Nashville and the music associated with it. It seems like at least in the first season there was an effort to marry the two and some of the songs did get some airplay. The past few seasons its just been pure soap opera with the music taking a back seat so I can understand why the town is not embracing the show any longer


    • Josh Schott November 20, 2015 / 12:07 pm

      I’ve never watched Nashville before and have only read about it in passing. What you’re saying about it is pretty much the same thing I’ve heard from others who have watched it. The problem I see with this type of show is finding a balance between making it interesting and imitating real life. Personally I find the real life situations in Nashville and Music Row entertaining and dramatic enough to keep me satisfied. Haha


  14. michael rozyla November 20, 2015 / 10:58 am

    Old Dominion made a pop record. how its considered country..( maybe the twang in his voice makes it country?) I would like someone to explain to me. Its like CMT music having a Adele video on recently .. Great voice,but how is this associated with country?

    keep on fighting the fight..


    • Josh Schott November 20, 2015 / 12:08 pm

      I’ve been ignoring CMT for years now. They no longer care about country music. All they care about is making trashy reality shows. The days of it being a reliable purveyor of music is long gone.


  15. southtexaspistolero November 20, 2015 / 11:40 am

    Meh. I liked “Just A Dream” better when it was called “Travelin’ Soldier” and sung by Bruce Robison. (The Dixie Chicks version was exquisite, too.)


    I see you posted the Eagles of Death Metal clip. Do you like other kinds of metal too? I’m a big fan of a lot of that stuff, from Black Sabbath all the way to Kamelot & Symphony X. Not real big on the stuff with the Cookie Monster vocals, though.

    Which era of country music do you think was the best? I would have to say it was from 1968 till about 1989.


    • Josh Schott November 20, 2015 / 12:19 pm

      I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of metal, but I do enjoy some forms of it, mostly old school metal. Some of my favorites are Black Sabbath, Metallica and Deep Purple. Probably my favorite metal album would be Black Sabbath’s Paranoid.

      Country artist Chris King brought this discussion up on Twitter a few months back and my answer then was basically the same as yours. I will always argue the sweet spot to me is from the late 60s to the early 90s, as it covers two my favorite eras: outlaw movement and neotraditional country of the 80s. I would go as far back as the late 50s with the Bakersfield sound (which produced some of my all-time favorites), but the Nashville sound in-between it and the outlaw era prevents me from doing it.


  16. Zack November 20, 2015 / 1:29 pm

    One more request:

    I think you guys might like Rayland Baxter’s “Imaginary Man”


  17. Danik Gillespie November 20, 2015 / 8:30 pm

    Hey guys, what did you think of Dean Brody’s “Gypsy Road”? I found it pretty good, shoutout from Canada here.


    • Josh Schott November 20, 2015 / 9:17 pm

      I didn’t listen to a lot of it, but what I’ve heard of it sounded really good.


  18. Zack November 21, 2015 / 12:33 am

    I personally thought it was good. If you take out “Bring Down The House” it would be a lot better, but it’s still a strong album. I give it like a 7.5/10


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