The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [April 4]

Cole Swindell You Should Be Here

Each week I take a look the Billboard Country Airplay chart and grade the top 30 songs. The grading format I use each week is every song will receive either a +1, -1 or a 0. These will then be tallied up for an overall score, or pulse of the current top thirty country songs, with the highest possible score being a +30 and the lowest possible score being a -30. How do I determine if a song is rated a +1, -1 or 0? The rating it received on the site or myself will determine this. If it hasn’t been rated yet, then I will make the call. Songs rated between 7 and 10 receive a +1. Songs rated a 5 or 6 receive a 0. Songs rated 4 or lower receive a -1.

The goal of this exercise is to evaluate the current state of mainstream country music and determine if it’s improving or getting worse. Let’s take a look at this week’s top thirty…

  1. Cole Swindell – “You Should Be Here” -1 
  2. Rascal Flatts – “I Like The Sound of That” -1 (Up 1)
  3. Florida Georgia Line – “Confession” (Up 1)
  4. Brett Eldredge – “Drunk on Your Love” -1 (Down 2)
  5. Chase Bryant – “Irrelevant Song A Label is Pushing That Nobody Cares About”-1 
  6. Old Dominion – “Snapback” -1 (Up 1)
  7. Chris Young & Cassadee Pope – “Think of You” (Up 1)
  8. Dierks Bentley – “Somewhere On A Beach” -1 (Up 2)
  9. Dustin Lynch – “Mind Reader” -1 (Up 2)
  10. Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind” +1 (Up 4)
  11. Lee Brice – “That Don’t Sound Like You” -1 (Up 4)
  12. Blake Shelton – “Came Here To Forget” -1 (Up 4)
  13. Maren Morris – “My Church” +1 
  14. Chris Stapleton – “Nobody To Blame” +1 (Down 2)
  15. Thomas Rhett – “T-Shirt” -1 (Up 2)
  16. Luke Bryan – “Huntin’, Fishin’ & Lovin’ Ever Day” -1 (Up 2)
  17. Jon Pardi – “Head Over Boots” +1 (Up 2)
  18. Kenny Chesney – “Noise” 0 (Up 3)
  19. Brantley Gilbert – “Stone Cold Sober” -1 (Up 1)
  20. Keith Urban – “Wasted Time” -1 (New to Top 30)
  21. Chris Lane – “Fix” -1 (Up 1) [Worst Song]
  22. Eric Church – “Record Year” +1 (Up 1) [Best Song]
  23. Frankie Ballard – “It All Started With a Beer” +1 (Up 1)
  24. Jake Owen – “American Generic Country Love Song” -1 (Up 3)
  25. Justin Moore – “You Look Like I Need A Drink” +1 (Up 1)
  26. David Nail – “Night’s On Fire” -1 (Down 1)
  27. Dan + Shay – “From The Ground Up” (Up 2)
  28. Canaan Smith – “Irrelevant Song A Label is Pushing That Nobody Cares About”-1
  29. Jason Aldean – “Light’s Come On” -1 (New to Top 30)
  30. Kip Moore – “Running For You” +1

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -10

The pulse dropped one spot this week. 

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Carrie Underwood – “Heartbeat”
  • Zac Brown Band – “Beautiful Drug”

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Keith Urban – “Wasted Time”
  • Jason Aldean – “Light’s Come On”

Song I Predict Will Be #1 Next Week:

  • Rascal Flatts – “I Like The Sound of That”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind” – Up 4 from #14 to #10
  • Lee Brice – “That Don’t Sound Like You” – Up 4 from #15 to #11
  • Blake Shelton – “Came Here To Forget” – Up 4 from #16 to #12

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Zac Brown Band – “Beautiful Drug” – Out of the Top 30
  • Carrie Underwood – “Heartbeat” – Out of the Top 30
  • Brett Eldredge – “Drunk on Your Love” – Down 2 from #2 to #4

Songs I See Going Recurrent & Leaving The Top 30 Soon:

  • Florida Georgia Line – “Confession”
  • Brett Eldredge – “Drunk on Your Love”
  • Chase Bryant – “Irrelevant Song A Label is Pushing”
  • Chris Stapleton – “Nobody To Blame”
  • Maren Morris – “My Church”
  • Brantley Gilbert – “Stone Cold Sober”
  • Chris Lane – “Fix”

On The Hot Seat:

  • None

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Sam Hunt – “Make You Miss Me”
  • William Michael Morgan – “I Met A Girl”
  • Carrie Underwood – “Church Bells”
  • Eric Paslay – “High Class”

Comment: This is a case of same old shit, different week. While the rest of country music embraces Stapleton, radio dismisses him. I can’t say I’m surprised. But Stapleton is further proof that country radio is meaningless and those with true talent do not need it. Only the likes of Lynch, Bryant, Lane, Ballard, Ballerini and the rest of the B and C-level artists “need it.” They need it so they can convince some asshole in a suit they’re marketable, so he can turn around and tell a bunch of gullible mainstream fans they’re great and they matter. The ultimate truth is country radio is a house of cards that continues to get closer to collapse. I look forward to the day it dies. It can’t come soon enough. You can dismiss my argument as sour grapes, but deep down you know over half of the artists listed above are disposable hacks. They’re not true artists who have paid their dues and honed their craft. They’re pretty people with marketable personalities who are willing to bend over backwards for suits on Music Row and cater to their word. I feel bad for every artist with talent on big labels not named Chris Stapleton because the machine will eventually get them. The great news though is you don’t need country radio. Nobody needs it because the amount of talent in country and Americana outside of the radio bubble is immense and it will never die.

Few other thoughts: Maren Morris’ “My Church” losing airplay is once again is an absolute joke and should have went on to be #1. Instead room is made for Lee freaking Brice’s “That Don’t Sound Like You.” It’s a whiny, douche-y song that should have went recurrent months ago, but since Curb Records has scared away every smart artist in Nashville to the point that Brice is their only artist slightly close to marketable left that they have to resort to behind the scenes payola to continue to prop this forgettable song up the chart. Why else would Curb be picking up the scraps from other labels? They’re an absolute joke of a label and they represent the true corruptness of Nashville. I can only hope Mo Pitney gets the hell out of there as quickly as possible before they torpedo his career before it begins.

Nobody talks about this artist, but why would you? I’m referring of course to Dustin Lynch, who manages to have about every song of his rise up to the top of the airplay charts, yet who the hell cares about this guy outside of radio? His cowboy hat is about as sincere as the lyrics in his songs. If Lynch stopped making music tomorrow, the world wouldn’t notice because we’re too busy thinking about artists that actually matter. Then you have Brantley Gilbert’s “Stone Cold Sober.” This song flat-lined weeks ago and yet here it is still sitting in the top 20. The song should have never even cracked the top 30, but once again we have a label propping up a zombie song that should have went bottoms up.

Finally country radio continues to ignore female artists. I see all of these articles talking about how radio is starting to be more inclusive to female artists and this is a load of bullshit. Once Morris drops out of the top 30 there will be zero solo female acts. Sure Carrie Underwood will be back in the top 30 in a couple of weeks, but we all know by now how her runs on the Billboard chart go: rises up really fast to the top ten, slows down, reaches the top three and then goes recurrent. Just like an assembly line! I guarantee “Church Bells” won’t reach #1. But I bet Kelsea Ballerini’s “Peter Pan” will because her label will pony up the money needed for it. This is why I scoff at the likes of Ballerini helping the cause of females at country radio. We need talented female country artists, not any female country artists (we just need talent period, men and women, of course). Ballerini is Disney pop that panders to the bros, her label and radio executives. She has made this clear from the start. The same goes for Jana Kramer, who inexplicably released a great song and is now back to putting out crap like “Said No One Ever.” Miranda Lambert has went missing from radio and if I were her I would just give them the one finger salute like Kacey Musgraves did. If you’re a female artist who wants to make actual music and not kiss some guy in a suit’s ass to make it, you shouldn’t bother with country radio.

If you’re an artist and you have any kind of self-respect, you will not play the country radio game. You will be making real art that captures the hearts and minds of people everywhere. You will be a true artist, damn commercial expectations. Because as one great movie taught us, “If you build it, they will come.”


As always be sure to weigh in on this week’s chart in the comments below.

57 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [April 4]

  1. dale April 6, 2016 / 11:29 am

    Yeah, but if you want to get anywhere and make money , an artist needs the big labels backing them or they aren’t going to get nowhere, it just depends on how much a label wants to invest in their artist and which one they think will make them the most money. I think the record labels and radio programmers all need to be investigated, cause there is no way radio is playing singers like Luke , Carrie, Jason , Cole Swindell as much as they do and others songs that should have been off the charts a long time ago. Without getting paid to or some other major incentives.


  2. Raymond April 6, 2016 / 11:37 am

    I have a question Josh. Are you implying that acts like Chris Lane, Kelsea Ballerini Chase Bryant Frankie Ballard are talentless hacks? Also I’m surprised you have a lot of hate towards “Peter Pan”. I kind of like the song as the metaphor for Peter Pan works very well, and it also shows a lot of maturity from Kelsea Ballerini as a vocalist. I do agree for there to be more women in country music it has to be quality music like “My Church”, “Mayday”, “Unlove You”, and past songs last year like “Burning House” “Little Toy Guns” “Better Than You Left Me” (Josh Mickey Guyton will have a new song out in May I hear) and “I Got The Boy”.

    So do you think Kelsea Ballerini is a talentless hack like do you see any potential in her?

    Also On The Verge just announced their new act, Tucker Beathard. His song isn’t bad not good but not bad.


    • Josh Schott April 6, 2016 / 11:49 am

      I think Bryant is and at best an expendable talent. Ballard is pretty above average and another artist I don’t think would be that missed. He can make good music, but it’s not like he’ll be remembered a decade from now. Lane is absolutely talentless in my mind.

      Ballerini is talented, but in the wrong genre. She’s a great fit in pop. I have the same problem with her as I did with Taylor Swift. Now that Swift is pop, I actually don’t mind her at all. I would say the same of Ballerini if she made the Swift move. “Peter Pan” is the mature song pop music needs. It just isn’t country. That’s pretty much the root of my problem with her.


      • Raymond April 6, 2016 / 11:59 am

        I think Chase Bryant is plenty talented I’ve seen videos of him in concert and he has guitar skills oddly reminiscent of Keith Urban. Same thing with Frankie Ballard I find plenty talented it’s just a shame he doesn’t sell all that well. Chris Lane seems well I’ll be nice and say mediocre.

        I hear “Peter Pan” as pop-country, not pure pop, like the production sounds like early Taylor Swift like something similar to “Fifteen” or “White Horse”. I hope you realize Josh that in order for Ballerini to move to pop she’ll need to reach the level of popularity that Taylor Swift and Sam Hunt have also her label has to promote music to pop and since her label is an exclusive country label I seriously doubt Kelsea Ballerini ever goes pop.


      • Jmarsh April 6, 2016 / 3:07 pm

        I mostly agree with this. When I first heard Ballerini, I thought she was talented….and not at all country music. Peter Pan is a well written pop song that is misclassified. The real problem is people like Thomas Rhett and Sam Hunt whose songs are awful bad regardless of what genre they are classified.


  3. Amanda April 6, 2016 / 11:40 am

    This week, I’m gonna do something a little different with the top 30.

    Excellent songs:

    10. Tim McGraw, “Humble and Kind”
    13. Maren Morris, “My Church”
    17. Jon Pardi, “Head Over Boots” (best song)
    22. Eric Church, “Record Year”

    Good songs:

    7. Chris Young and Cassadee Pope, “Think of You”
    14. Chris Stapleton, “Nobody to Blame”
    23. Frankie Ballard, “It All Started With a Beer”
    25. Justin Moore, “You Look Like I Need a Drink”
    27. Dan + Shay, “From the Ground Up”
    30. Kip Moore, “Running for You”

    Decent/listenable songs:

    2. Rascal Flatts, “I Like the Sound of That”
    3. Florida Georgia Line, “Confession”
    5. Chase Bryant, “A Little Bit of You”
    16. Luke Bryan, “Huntin’ , Fishin’, and Lovin’ Every Day”
    18. Kenny Chesney, “Noise”
    19. Brantley Gilbert, “Stone Cold Sober”
    26. David Nail, “Night’s On Fire”

    Bad songs:

    1. Cole Swindell, “You Should Be Here”
    4. Brett Eldredge, “Drunk on Your Love”
    8. Dierks Bentley, “Somewhere on a Beach”
    9. Dustin Lynch, “Mind Reader”
    11. Lee Brice, “That Don’t Sound Like You”
    20. Keith Urban, “Wasted Time”
    24. Jake Owen, “American Country Love Song”
    28. Canaan Smith, “Irrelevant Song a Label is Pushing that No One Cares About (aka Hole in a Bottle)”
    29. Jason Aldean, “Lights Come On”

    Absolute bullshit garbage songs:

    6. Old Dominion, “Snapback”
    12. Blake Shelton, “Came Here to Forget”
    15. Thomas Rhett, “T-Shirt” (tied for worst song)
    21. Chris Lane, “Fix” (tied for worst song)

    That being said, your rant is excellent, Josh. Country radio is bullshit, a complete joke. I spent nearly my entire Saturday with a stack of country CDs nearly as tall as me, burning mixed CDs so I don’t have to listen to country radio on my commute to college.


  4. southtexaspistolero April 6, 2016 / 12:18 pm

    That was a fine rant. 10/10 would read again.

    In all seriousness, there isn’t a thing there that I can argue with. I would say I’ve been over country radio and mainstream country music for some time, but as I’ve put it before elsewhere, I remember a time when one could actually turn on the radio and hear good music. And I miss that. It’s not hard to find good music and support it, but I still worry about the health of the genre when, as it is now, the mainstream component of it is flooded with trash. I would really rather not have the genre discounted for the likes of Florida-Georgia Line and Luke Bryan the way that some people discount ’80s metal for the likes of Poison and Winger. Granted, that’s a personal thing, I know, and good metal is still out there even though it isn’t as big as it was in the ’80s and very early ’90s, but there’s another thing to consider as well: the possibility of the genre imploding in the mainstream like rock did in the wake of the grunge movement. You had post-grunge, the whole rap-metal thing, and before anyone knew it, the playlists of the “active rock” stations across the land were mostly if not all populated by songs that were at least 15 years old. I think such might be easier to manage now, what with radio not being the only game in town anymore, but just the same I’d rather not find out. I’d like to see good musicians with solid musical identities be able to support themselves and their families without having to work at Walmart or wherever part-time.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Justin W Adams April 6, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    Agree with everything you said but one thing. While artists should be putting out music that shows artistic expression and give radio the one finger salute, you’re ignoring the fact that the music industry is all about money. Artistic expression doesn’t make money as much as number one singles and albums. If it wasn’t all about money I think you would see better music out there


  6. Louis Knoebel April 6, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    Yeah, without a doubt a 10/10 post here. Nothing much else to add here other than fantastic takedown! I was done with mainstream country awhile ago. I only hope that the truly talented (because there are some in there, such as you noted with Mo Pitney) can get out while they can.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Raymond April 6, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    Also Josh the pulse score is -10. Remember you had “Heartbeat” at a 0 and neither of the two new entries are a 0 or a -1 so the pulse fell down a spot. Just an observation of mine.


  8. Ron April 6, 2016 / 2:01 pm

    Great rant. I’m very disappointed Maren Morris stalled out especially considering how fast her song climbed. I figured it was on a track similar to Cam’s Burning House and headed at least top 3. The amount of crappy generic songs filling the radio by newer young male artists that most people couldn’t pick out of a lineup continues to be a problem.
    At least Jennifer Nettles continues to climb for the moment as she gets jumped by every male artist on the planet


  9. OlaR April 6, 2016 / 2:31 pm

    “Saving Country Music” & “Taste Of Country”: Merle Haggard has died.

    More of the same week after week. Is the Chase Bryant label still pushing “Little Bit Of You” because the labelheads believe in the song or because there is no new material on the way? “Little Bit…” is 51 weeks old. The song should be gone & forgotten.
    The other side: Luke Bryan & Co. release four singles in one year. One bad song against four bad songs.
    Maren Morris & Chris Stapleton without bullets after 14 (!) weeks & Stapleton after 22 weeks is a bad joke.
    With Urban, Shelton, Chesney, Rhett, Bryan & Aldean moving up the charts, there is no place for Morris or Stapleton. There is Jon Pardi, but how long? William MIchael Morgan can’t crack the top 30 after 26 weeks.

    “Billboard Canada Country National Airplay”:
    1 – Brett Eldredge (lost spins, still enough to reach the top spot)
    2 – Old Dominion
    3 – Cole Swindell
    4 – FGL (down from No.1)
    5 – Maren Morris
    8 – Gord Bamford (highest canadian artist)
    Dierks Bentley is up to the 9 (16 last week)
    Rascal Flatts is up nine places (No.15)
    Luke Bryan moves up 11 places (No.20)

    “Billboard Top Country Albums”:
    1 – Chris Stapleton
    2 – Joey & Rory
    3 – Sam Hunt
    4 – Thomas Rhett
    5 – Loretta Lynn
    Highest Debut: 10 – Margo Price

    Jana Kramer “Said No One Ever” (Lyrics) Part 1: “Wish you’d talk more about yourself, said no one ever / Treat me to a motel, said no one ever / Show me your prison cell, said no one ever / Yeah, love is always real on reality TV / Sucks to be rich, said no one ever / Oh, I love politics, said no one ever / Make the beat more slick, said no one ever / My Heisman and my Grammy came so damn easy.”
    (Lyrics according to “Taste Of Country”)


    • Amanda April 6, 2016 / 2:49 pm

      Man, that Jana Kramer song is just depressing and awful. And I’m a fan of hers.


    • Becca April 7, 2016 / 12:32 am

      I just want to know what those songwriters were thinking when they came up with that one. They couldn’t possibly have been like “Yeah, all of these random lines sound great and totally make sense! A country hit!” And it’s easily the worst song off her album. She completely killed any momentum she had coming from “I Got the Boy.”


      • Amanda April 7, 2016 / 12:41 pm

        This is a really great song…said no one ever. 😦 Those were my thoughts the first time hearing the song. I was very disappointed.


  10. AndyTheDrifter April 6, 2016 / 5:00 pm

    Brilliant rant. While I don’t give a rat’s derriere about radio, it makes me a little sad that the days when it was possible for actual country artists who make intelligent music to receive mass exposure are probably long gone. Only us music nuts who are willing to actively seek stuff out are ever going to hear anything with substance.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jason April 6, 2016 / 5:39 pm

    Spot on. Miranda may have new music in the works, and if it sounds anything like “Sweet By And By” I’ll be sure to buy it.

    What about Chris Lane? I don’t know one person who enjoys that song, let it just keeps rising. Same for “Hole In A Bottle” and “Little Bit Of You”. And who exactly is asking for Rascal Flatts? Labels just push garbage that nobody wants, but they’ve already put all their chips into banking on their success. Too bad sales for all four of the songs I just mentioned are abysmal.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Adam McGurk April 6, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-you are completely wrong about country radio. I work at the largest/most popular mid-market country station in the nation. There is no payola. Nobody in country radio is that stupid. And you said that there will always be great Americana, etc…musicians. You may be right, but nobody will EVER hear of them. Why? Because the way country music has been going for about 3 years (the way this website hates) is the only reason country is the most popular genre of music in America.

    Country music shouldn’t have to stick to its roots in order to progress.


    • Raymond April 6, 2016 / 9:52 pm

      “Country is the most popular genre in America.” That’s a joke. Oh in case people didn’t know country radio is in Billion dollars of debt. So how is country radio is doing that well when they are ignoring one of the greatest talents and sellers in Chris Stapleton. Did I mention of how last year of how on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 there was a total of 4 songs marketed as country (“Kick The Dust Up”, “House Party”, “Girl Crush”, and “Take Your Time”). So country music is definitely not very popular but Chris Stapleton is, he’s even outselling established Pop stars, his sales are amazing and radio needs to take notice if they want any chance of staying relevant.


      • Adam McGurk April 7, 2016 / 11:49 am

        1. I don’t know what you’re talking about, because while radio is dying (for the likes of pandora, spotify, et. al) country radio is certainly not “billions of dollars in debt.” In fact, there are actually more country radio stations than any other music genre station in America. And Rolling Stone (granted a month or two ago) “annoited” country music as the most popular genre in America. And if you look at the billboard top 100, that is not one genre, that is every genre that is getting airplay, and pop stations are formatted VERY differently than country stations, and so of course there would not be many country songs there.
        2. Ahhh, Stapelton. The enigma of country. Montevallo (Sam Hunt) and Anything Goes (Florida Georgia Line) have outsold Traveller (Chris Stapelton). And do you know when his only (while HUGE) spikes in sales were? After the CMAs and after the ACMs. Do you know what the most searched phrase on Google was after the CMAs? “Who is Chris Stapelton?” Very few people care about him or his music. They bought his album because they thought “it got awards, so it must be good.” I listened to the whole thing once and that was MORE than enough. It is just drudgery from start to finish. I do like the song “Traveller” on it.

        For what it’s worth (which is not much) I think Eric Church should have won Male Vocalist, Mr. Misunderstood should have won album of the year, and Raise Em Up should have won single of the year.

        Those are just my opinions, I think it’s good to have parity in opinion and not to just have an echo chamber. That’s why I come here, because almost always the opinions here are different than mine.


        • Jason April 7, 2016 / 9:45 pm

          Chris Stapletons album was released in early to mid 2015. Both Montevallo and Anything Goes had six month head starts. On top of that, Chris Stapleton got popular because he actually had the platform for more people to hear him. And nobody cared about his music and it only got popular when it won awards? Funny, it’s like the same thing happens to ALL albums that win awards. And if so many people searched Chris Stapleton, then I think people cared about who he was.


      • Raymond April 7, 2016 / 1:13 pm

        Um it’s been reported that iHeartMedia and Cumulus radio are billions of dollars in debt.

        Also people continue to buy Stapleton’s music, he has stayed in the Top 15 all genre for his album Traveller something Sam Hunt and FGL can’t claim. If few people care about his music he wouldn’t still be #1 constantly on iTunes Country Album. So he has a large audience and a lot of people want to hear his music.


    • Louis Knoebel April 6, 2016 / 9:58 pm

      Well I can tell someone is a little hurt for not being the one to launch Chris Stapleton’s success into the stratosphere….

      Liked by 3 people

      • Adam McGurk April 7, 2016 / 11:53 am

        No, I’m really not. I don’t like his music overall, I only like two of his songs-What Are You Listening To and Traveller. I’ll take Eric Church and Brantley Gilbert over Chris Stapelton every day. We were playing “Nobody to Blame” in heavy and were getting more complaints about that song than any other song in our currents.


        • Amanda April 7, 2016 / 12:47 pm

          Chris Stapleton is not my favorite artist by any means, but he is good and has lots of talent. Same goes for Eric Church. Both are better than at least 90% of the garbage played by radio. I used to be a huge Brantley Gilbert fan in my high school years, but I’ve discovered and rediscovered lots of great music since then, and kinda forgot about Gilbert. To each their own, I guess.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Louis Knoebel April 6, 2016 / 10:07 pm

      Btw, couldn’t happen to notice you say that country music is popular. However, nowhere do I see you say that country radio is in great shape 😉

      Wonder why? (I don’t really)


      • Adam McGurk April 7, 2016 / 11:55 am

        No, definitely, country radio (radio in general) is dying out due to spotify, pandora, etc…the only thing radio has over streaming services (as long as they do it right) is bringing the artist to town. It’s hard to do right, but if you do it right, you will have listeners for life because they will begin to trust you.


    • Scott April 6, 2016 / 10:14 pm

      Most of what you’re calling country isn’t country. It’s pop and r&b music with southern accents. But hey it looks like the radio is pretty butt hurt about an actual country artist winning all these awards while being virtually being ignored but radio.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Adam McGurk April 7, 2016 / 11:58 am

        The only reason Stapelton won those awards is because his label (Mercury Nashville) has the voting block that can essentially win any award for anybody they want to completely get behind.

        And what you call r&b and pop with southern accents is what I call country music progressing. To each his own I guess.


    • Raymond April 6, 2016 / 10:19 pm

      One more thing is the reason why “Nobody To Blame” is stalling out, is it because country radio didn’t break out Chris Stapleton so there not going to allow him to be heard. Sheesh! You guys handle the obvious (Chris Stapleton) worse than a crappy Sam Hunt song handles being country, and that’s just sad and pathetic. Oh right Chris Stapleton outsells him too. There is no excuse other than you guys are but hurt and bitter.


      • Adam McGurk April 7, 2016 / 12:01 pm

        Actually Montevallo has outsold Traveller…
        And I’m not “butthurt” (Very mature by the way). I don’t particularly like Stapelton’s music.


        • Raymond April 7, 2016 / 1:04 pm

          Traveller is outselling Montevallo right now since Chris Stapleton is projected to sell over 60,000 copies of Traveller. You might not like Chris Stapleton’s music but he will bring more radio listeners than the likes of Chase Bryant.


          • Adam McGurk April 7, 2016 / 1:14 pm

            That is definitely true. I’m not a Chase Bryant believer. I don’t think he’s anything special.


        • Raymond April 7, 2016 / 1:22 pm

          But then why does radios support Chase Bryant who’s song isn’t selling well at all. Yet Chris Stapleton is going to have the Top selling album. I mean radio shouldn’t be based solely on sales, but when you have an act sell as well as Chris Stapleton has, he should become a major part in radio (regardless of your taste in music because there is a large market for Chris Stapleton evident by his sales). If Chris Stapleton gets played on radio he should help radio becoming more relevant.


          • Adam McGurk April 7, 2016 / 2:18 pm

            1. To be honest, I don’t know why Bryant is doing as well as he is, but just because an artist doesn’t sell, doesn’t mean you should discount him.
            2. Stapelton HAS been doing well on the radio. The reason he didn’t go #1 is because he was a victim of his own success. Radio crashed Nobody to Blame in heavy too fast and burned the audience. If he comes with Traveller for his next single, it will go #1 guaranteed.


        • Raymond April 7, 2016 / 2:31 pm

          But he sells so awfully bad Chase Bryant shouldn’t have a Top 5 song, while an artist like Chris Stapleton sells so much more and not even him artists like Maren Morris sell well too. They should be hitting the Top 10 possibly Top 5, not struggling to stay on the charts. Also I’m not discounting him, just his song has sold so bad it doesn’t deserve a Top 5 peak at all.

          Also If Stapleton was doing well on radio he wouldn’t be getting passed by near irrelevant artist Lee Brice. It didn’t burn the audience though because the research for it isn’t that bad and the song is selling well. Take your own opinion on Chris Stapleton’s music and play what people in general want to hear.


    • Cobra April 7, 2016 / 7:53 am

      Actually, yes, country music SHOULD have to stick to its roots to progress. It SHOULD be connected to its roots to be called country.
      And just because something is popular doesn’t mean that it’s good.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Adam McGurk April 7, 2016 / 11:59 am

        You are right-just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s good. What makes country good today is the quality.


        • southtexaspistolero April 7, 2016 / 12:02 pm

          No. Just, no.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Adam McGurk April 7, 2016 / 12:23 pm

            Just because country has changed content doesn’t mean it has changed quality. Not everything should sound like Haggard, Williams, Kris, or George (thank goodness!).

            Again you are entitled to your opinion while I am to mine. What you see as a problem, I see as something that gets me through a really hard day or makes a good day better.


        • southtexaspistolero April 7, 2016 / 12:56 pm

          Just because country has changed content doesn’t mean it has changed quality.

          Nobody ever said it was, but if you think “Sun Daze” is as good as or better than “Mama Tried,” then there really is nothing more to discuss.

          Not everything should sound like Haggard, Williams, Kris, or George (thank goodness!).

          Nobody ever said that it should.

          Again you are entitled to your opinion while I am to mine.

          Translation: “I don’t really have any arguments to make here, so I’m just going to prop up more straw men.”

          Liked by 4 people

          • Adam McGurk April 7, 2016 / 1:10 pm

            1. Oh yay!!! I can play your game too!
            If you think “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose” is as good as “Record Year” there really is nothing more to discuss.

            See how easy that is?
            2. But all I see around here is that rhetoric…the old stuff is better quality. Or the new stuff has to sound like the old stuff to be as good.
            3. My overarching argument is thus-if country wasn’t as popular as it is right now, we wouldn’t have near the diversity in sound as we do.


        • Raymond April 7, 2016 / 1:09 pm

          Quality lyrics like this

          “Stick the pink umbrella in your drink.”

          “Yeah I’m calling Dibs on your lips, on your kiss.”

          “She got a body and she’s naughty”

          “That good ish.”

          You wanna hear quality lyrics how about the latest song from Jennifer Nettles, how about Ashley Monroe or how about Mickey Guyton “Better Than You Left Me.”

          Liked by 1 person

          • Adam McGurk April 7, 2016 / 1:20 pm

            1. Listen to Confession (or Dirt for that matter), not Sun Daze.
            2. Listen to Peter Pan, not Dibs.
            3. Listen to Riser, not Somewhere on a Beach.
            4. Not sure what that line is from.

            The good music is out there, you just have to sift through the bad. You’ve ALWAYS had to do that.


        • Raymond April 7, 2016 / 1:27 pm

          Get lyrics that don’t talk down to it’s audience and sound authentically country. Oh yean and that line from 4. It’s from the quality artist Chris Lane and his pop song Fix.

          Also when the bad overwhelmingly outweigh the good, there will be more demand for good music. Not every song has to be a pure quality song, But country music was always based on making people think. I mean I don’t mind the mindless uptempo songs, but when they’re are so much of those people will get burned out. Quality music should win out, I mean not every song has to be quality music but there should be a balance.


        • southtexaspistolero April 7, 2016 / 7:19 pm

          If you think “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose” is as good as “Record Year” there really is nothing more to discuss

          What the hell does that even mean?

          But all I see around here is that rhetoric…the old stuff is better quality. Or the new stuff has to sound like the old stuff to be as good.

          No you don’t. You just say that because it suits your flimsy argument. I’m sure the proprietors of this website agree.

          we wouldn’t have near the diversity in sound as we do.

          Uh, what? As I’ve said before, that simply isn’t true, considering it all seems to be about girls, trucks and beer, lather, rinse, repeat.

          Liked by 1 person

    • southtexaspistolero April 7, 2016 / 12:02 pm

      the way country music has been going for about 3 years (the way this website hates) is the only reason country is the most popular genre of music in America.

      And with all due respect, the way you tout this as a good thing just shows you to be part of the problem.


    • Jason April 7, 2016 / 9:40 pm


      You’re telling me that when labels push Chris Lane, Rascal Flatts, Canaan Smith, and Chase Bryant up the charts, that it isn’t stupid? The sales of these songs are abysmal. How is that not just grasping at straws even though there’s clearly nothing there? Seems pretty stupid to me.

      And about these complains you get about Nobody To Blame, you probably get those complaints because people who listen to radio are spoon fed Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, etc, and when they are finally presented with another option, they hate it because they’ve never heard anything like it and they’re not used to it. Basically, people like you cause artists like Stapleton to be overlooked or cast off by the average radio listener.

      Country is doing well? Then why do the country awards shows keep bombing? Why, all year, has the most interesting thing (besides Chris Stapleton, ironically) at these shows been a pop singer absolutely bombing a simple solo? Is that popular? Country is a laughingstock now because of garbage like that. If country is so popular, then why are there exactly zero country albums from 2016 in the top 40 iTunes Charts? And if Chris Stapleton is the problem, why is his album number 1? Why, even in the country charts, is the highest charting album an EP at number 19? Literally, the only country doing remotely well is Chris Stapleton.

      Nobody has ever heard of these types of artists who stick to their roots? Explain Kacey Musgraves, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, and Maren Morris getting popular out of absolutely nowhere.

      Your argument is totally wrong, simply for the fact that this kind of country is resurging. That’s why Chris Stapleton is so popular; that’s why these websites exist, and that’s why the artists that get pushed onto radio are now shoveling out the most country country songs on their records to ride the trend, just like they always do. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at Luke Bryan, who was a promising up and coming star with his first two albums. However, he jumped on the bro-country bandwagon with Crash My Party, and radio ate it up. Two years later, he hops on the EDM craze, with songs off of Kill The Lights ranging from EDM to R&B. Any songs that managed to sound country were either boring as hell or written by a 10 year old who’s only concept of southern life is from, well, mainstream country radio. Luke Bryan sees that Chris Stapleton is popular, so they release whatever song sounds the most country. Why isn’t there an adverse reaction to this from your listeners? Simple; they’re used to the same cliches read off like a laundry list in this song (for God sakes, it’s called Huntin’ Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day. Of course it’s a laundry list of cliches). Besides, it’s Luke Bryan, and he’s a megastar, so of course his music must be good…

      Country music shouldn’t have to stick to its roots. There should always be diversity. But is it really to much to ask that for every Luke Bryan, there should be a Chris Stapleton, or for every Jason Aldean there should be a Mo Pitney? Why can’t we have a selection instead of just being spoon fed the same old song about trucks, beer, tailgates, and hot girls? What’s wrong with having variety instead of a hundred songs that sound like they’re pulled straight from an R&B album?


  13. petemarshall724 April 7, 2016 / 12:14 am

    Great rant and I agree that Chris Stapleton and Mureen Morris should be heard on country radio. We all need real country music on country radio not pop and R&B on our country radio.


  14. Ron April 7, 2016 / 9:49 am

    I don’t know what a TUCKER BEATHARD is but his new single is flying up the chart


    • Raymond April 7, 2016 / 10:10 am

      Tucker Beathard is the latest new artist who got the precious On The Verge treatment you know the one that launched Sam Hunt, Cam, Chris Janson, Michael Ray, and Maren Morris. They also tried to launch Raelynn (remember her) as a star. But Josh, Raelynn apparently was let go of Big Machine Label. Thoughts?


    • Adam McGurk April 7, 2016 / 12:24 pm

      Listen to his song 20-10 Tennessee. It is really, really good.


  15. jess April 7, 2016 / 11:10 am

    My biggest thing that I don’t get. Why is radio even relevant anymore.

    With all the technology that has been shoved in our faces, there is zero reason for radio to exist. Technology is with us 24/7. It’s in our cars, in our offices, in our homes. It goes with us in the fucking bathroom.

    It takes zero time to setup for your phone to hookup and play in your car whether that’s with a cassette tape or in a fancy new car. Businesses are not playing the local radio stations, but a pre selected playlist that is suited to customers.

    I keep reading how upset you are that Maddie & Tae aren’t doing great on radio or even that Cam has sputtered out. THEY DONT NEED RADIO. THEY NEED EXPOSURE. I think by now even you would agree that people on the radio are a fucking joke! If you are an artist. A true artist. And you venture into mainstream radio… that’s a death sentence to your career. Because day one. The suits will rip you down piece by piece, and at the end of it all you’ve become a star, but are no longer an artist.

    I can’t speak to other markets, but I know here in Charlotte we will never hear Sturgill on the radio. We rarely hear Stapleton and when we do it’s soo out of place. There is zero platform here for the likes of Isbell or any Red Dirt/Texas artist.

    AND THEN YOU GET DAYS LIKE TODAY. News breaks that Merle Haggard has passed. And the radio DJs are freaking out, fawning over what a great artist he was and how awesome his music, yadda yadda blah blah blah. Then they PLAY a Merle Haggard song. AND THEN. it ends. cut short by the way. AND IN COMES OLD DOMINION WITH SNAPBACK.


    I hate the radio. I’ve hated the radio. I refuse to listen to it. Fuck you people and your charts and your money and your bullshit. They want to appeal to the hardworking middle class?? Fucking play someone that’s got heart, that’s paid their dues, they’ve busted their ass in every bar from here to there. play someone who’s worn, tired, talented, humble, and GRATEFUL to be here. I think that’s what is so big about Stapleton. We can connect with someone like that. I swear to God, FGL are two dudes they pulled out of the back of bar somewhere, dressed em up, shoved mics in their hand, and pushed them out on stage. Why in the FUCK is that appealing.

    BELIEVE ME. People NEED someone that’s worked. Hard. We cannot connect to these pukes that have had their way paid by either daddy’s money or the label. it is so fucked up.

    The end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amanda April 8, 2016 / 10:36 am

      AMEN, Jess! Your comment was spot-on.


  16. Zack April 7, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    “Country music shouldn’t have to stick to its roots in order to progress.”

    Way to say that on the day that Merle Haggard died. I can’t wait until radio collapses, because believe me Adam McGurk, it will.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. heyyyhector April 10, 2016 / 1:58 pm

    When will we see a review/tearing into of Cole’s new track w Dierks, “Flatliner”. Worse than Fix imo.


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