Country Perspective’s News & Announcements for 2016

Happy New Year! 2016 is now here and a whole new year of country and Americana music waits. I can’t wait to dive into the new music! But first I wanted to welcome everyone back, in addition to taking care of some news and notes.

  • First and foremost we are proud to announce we’ve added a brand new writer to Country Perspective and many of you regular readers should recognize him. Longtime commenter and writer of This is Country Music, Zack Kephart, has joined Country Perspective and will be writing reviews and doing features. Derek and myself are glad to have him aboard. With the addition of Zack we will be able to bring even more reviews and features to you in 2016.
  • The biggest change to the site we’re making in 2016 is the grading system for our reviews. Reviews are of course the bread and butter of Country Perspective. I realized by the end of 2015 that the current way we graded music just wasn’t satisfactory and didn’t do a good enough job of distinguishing the quality of music. There were way too many 10/10 grades handed out in 2015 and this largely falls on my own shoulders, as I got carried away at times.
  • So two new tweaks have been made to our grading system. The first change is all 10/10 reviews from here on out will be based on a collaborative agreement between Derek, Zack and myself. All three of us must agree an album is 10/10 for it to get it. If we can’t come to a unanimous decision, it will not be a 10/10. Only the truly phenomenal albums will get a 10/10. The second change is there will no longer be any .5 grades. In other words only whole numbers, 0-10, will be used to grade the music. Here is also a definition of what each number means:

10 – Phenomenal

9 – Great

8 – Really Good

7 – Good

6 – Decent/Above Average

5 – Average/Middle of the Road

4 – Mediocre

3 – Bad

2 – Terrible

1 – Horrendous

0 – Horrifically Bad & The Worst of the Worst

This grading system should be more clearly defined for everyone and help you understand where we’re coming from with our grades. If you have any questions about this, just ask in the comments below and I would be happy to answer them.

The Hodgepodge, The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music and Americana Rundown all return in 2016 and continue on their current schedule. All three of us though are discussing new ideas and features for the future and hope to bring some to light soon. We’ll be sure to let you know when those are ready. And if you have any suggestions we would be glad to hear them.

That’s all I have. As I said above I can’t wait to dive into new music. Tomorrow expect a post where I detail all of the confirmed and rumored projects in country and Americana in the upcoming year. As always thanks for reading Country Perspective! Let’s have a great 2016!

12 thoughts on “Country Perspective’s News & Announcements for 2016

  1. Zack Kephart January 4, 2016 / 12:17 pm

    Happy to be on board!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Amanda January 4, 2016 / 5:28 pm

      Welcome to Country Perspective, Zack! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Eddie666 January 4, 2016 / 12:54 pm

    Happy new year to all! Can’t wait for some reviews, the xmas break is to long man! Haha!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Raymond January 4, 2016 / 12:56 pm

    Don’t you guys have to review Cam Untamed first before you guys delve into the 2016 releases,

    Anyways looking ahead to 2016 in January there should be new singles on the radio from Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Jennifer Nettles also has a new song out.

    Since I’m not sure you guys know for newcomers they are a lot of songs from newcomers like Tara Thompson, Maren Morris, Brooke Eden, and Jordan Rager. Overall the goods out weigh the bad. Also Sony should have some new Jake Owen, Chase Rice, Kenny Chesney and Miranda Lambert songs. So there’s a lot of good I think heading into the mainstream.

    Also congrats to Zack for joining Country Perspective his writing style on This Is Country Music is really solid. So I have a good feeling about 2016 in country music.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Shelly Mullins January 4, 2016 / 2:36 pm

    Welcome Zack! I look forward to reading (and pitching) you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria January 4, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    Congrats Zack!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cobra January 4, 2016 / 9:55 pm

    Congrats Zack. Looking forward to new releases, reviews, and features in 2016.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Nadia Lockheart January 4, 2016 / 10:10 pm

    Yay! Welcome to the staff, Zack! I always appreciate your contributions and concur you will fit the aspirations and vibe of this site hand in glove! =D


    Secondly, I have to unequivocally give your new grading rubric my stamp of approval.

    Though this is one of my favorite musical review sites bar none along with Saving Country Music, The Guardian’s Grady Smith, The Needle Drop, Todd In The Shadows and the since tragically defunct Engine 145……………….if I had any real nitpicks, it would be the grading rubric up to this point in time.

    Granted everyone is different and, thus, the metrics they use to evaluate material. But it just seemed often the way albums and songs were credited were a bit too hot or cold sink-faucet in style and context. The idea that you’d have as many as half a dozen tracks tied for “Worst Current Song” on many weekly chart overviews and, in contrast, a perfect 10/10 score being handed out so liberally to albums just seemed too much.

    The idea of a consensus-based 10/10 coronation easily resolves the latter issue, and I think a consensus-based “Worst of the Worst” 0/10 coronation also makes perfect sense and would resolve the former. It would provide more nuance to the overall listings and also help in ranking annual best and worst-of lists.


    I’ll continue to comment and support this site! Happy New Year to all! ^__^

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Robert T. January 5, 2016 / 10:47 am

    Just had a quick suggestion:

    How about a weekly or bi-weekly feature that reviewed popular country songs from the past (1960s-2000s)? It may give readers a chance to rediscover those artists that either aren’t on country radio anymore or don’t make music anymore.

    By the way, love the site. Country Perspective is one of the best music reviewing sites.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scotty J January 5, 2016 / 5:32 pm

      I like this idea and maybe it could be an artist feature type thing. It could highlight a particular act from the past and offer up a few of their best offerings which would help educate people on some of the great and near greats of the past. YouTube is so perfect for this type of feature.

      Can think of a few acts like John Anderson, Kathy Mattea, Pam Tillis and my personal favorite Johnny Rodriguez that would be perfect for this.

      Sometimes we need reminding that good ol’ mainstream country used to feature so many good, solid acts.


    • jess January 5, 2016 / 8:08 pm

      I second this idea


  9. Ron January 5, 2016 / 2:16 pm

    Some good news, Just heard Chris Stapleton is going to be the musical guest on next week’s SNL

    Liked by 1 person

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