End of the Year AMA & Wrap Up Post for 2016


This is the final post on Country Perspective for 2016! It’s been an interesting year to say the least, with plenty of highs and lows. It was a pleasure to write on this blog for another year and I look forward to continue writing for the foreseeable future. I thank each and every one of you for reading, commenting, sharing our posts and supporting Country Perspective in general. Your thanks and readership is what keeps me going. And of course the great music!

As as a way to say thanks and put a ribbon on the year that was 2016, I decided to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything). Basically it’s just like the Q&A Hodgepodges. Ask me anything you want, whether it be music I didn’t get to, upcoming music, music in other genres, etc. Note: I prefer to be asked about recent music and not something released ten years ago. I’ll leave this up for a few days so it gives you all a chance to swing on by and I’ll answer your questions. Feel free to use this as a general discussion post too.

I have some cool ideas for 2017 and have already compiled quite an upcoming release list. Again I thank you all for reading. I wish you all a Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus or any other holiday you choose to celebrate.

See you in the comments below!

ICYMI our award winners and top albums of the year:

51 thoughts on “End of the Year AMA & Wrap Up Post for 2016

  1. Nadia Lockheart December 16, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    I don’t have much in the way of questions, but mostly to reiterate my fullest gratitude for y’all continuing to dedicate such tireless blood, sweat, tears and elbow grease to keep this fruitful community going! =D

    If not for Country Universe, I would not have become knowledgeable of quite a few independent country and Americana releases that even Trigger of Saving Country Music either doesn’t have the time to cover or overlooks. I hope y’all understand exactly how instrumental your efforts are even if they may at times feel limited in the broader scheme of things with regards to re-shaping the industry and returning music to the listener first and foremost and all! =)


    I’ll be blunt: while 2016 was a solid year for the roots genres in terms of enjoyably consistent and well-produced independent country releases, I felt like there just weren’t many “total knockouts” like there were in 2015. And I think much of that can be attributed to there being quite a bit of a throwback tendency to a lot of music released this year. As a whole they were fabulous throwbacks in terms of how they were produced and their songwriting was up to the task too, but it just lacked that something extra to make them timeless, at least to my ears. Or they lacked a broader potency. Still, albums like Dori Freeman’s debut and, say, Cheryl Desere’e’s were a joy to listen to all the same.

    It got much more frustrating, though, when you get to mainstream country. Honestly, what I will say is that 2016 releases had far fewer absolute nadirs compared to 2013-2015. I do think the floor was higher as a whole this year compared to the last several. The problem with mainstream country is much like music as a whole in 2016: the ceiling was nonetheless lower as well in that there weren’t as may memorable cuts, and so much in-between was monochromatic, drab and lacked flavor. Much like drowsy trap-flavored Rhythmic music and tepid tropical house dominated Top 40 radio this year, country radio in 2016 got notably sleepier in its attempts to offer more “maturity” to listeners who got sick and tired of bro-country romps. But just because the tempo got turned down doesn’t make the music better instantaneously. And it just resulted in a homogeneous blur to a wide degree.

    And, again, throwbacks were notable in mainstream country in 2016. Granted they are much welcomed musically, but I felt like the songwriting failed to keep up as a whole. Jon Pardi’s “California Sunrise” most notably, but also William Michael Morgan’s “Vinyl” and Mo Pitney’s “Behind This Guitar”. Each of their releases had great moments, but otherwise failed to offer much interesting lyrically. Between the three, I’d say Morgan’s appealed to me the most but I do feel all three can do better, and Jon Pardi already has.


    Honestly, by around early November, I found myself turning most of my attention to EDM again because that is the other major musical community I am engrossed with and am directly a part of. I think it’s probably a direct visceral response to the lethargy that permeated 2016 and the sadness I feel regarding our social climate that has summoned me back to dance primarily more than anything. It seems like the most peculiar juxtaposition, but I’ve said before how I cherish music like I understand chakras: where each chakra represents a core part of our being and the sum of those parts adds up to the whole of all we are. I embrace that contrast and I demand it be maintained as I obviously resent all of those watered-down synthetic elements endemic to corporate EDM leeching into the tap waters of this musical community. But as has been said repeatedly here, we’re music fans first and foremost and it is great to enjoy something like Beyonce’s “Lemonade” in the same breath we like Lori McKenna’s “The Bird & The Rifle”.

    So don’t be alarmed if I go through cycles of coming in and out over the next year or so as I hop to and fro between communities! I genuinely appreciate Country Perspective as much as ever! =D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 16, 2016 / 4:48 pm

      Thanks so much for reading, Nadia! I appreciate the kind words of support. Very well said summing up the year of roots in 2016. I really agree with you in regards to the throwback sounds and the three mainstream artists you mention. It’s a nice step in the right direction in terms of sound, but now they need to step it up lyrically and as we know with major label expectations this will be a harder goal to see accomplished. The best you can hope for is the success of someone like Pardi with “Dirt on My Boots” being able to follow it up with something deeper like “She Ain’t It.”

      I think another underrated thing that hurt mainstream this year was Dierks Bentley’s turn for the worse in quality. An artist who usually released quality singles for the last couple years released downright terrible singles this year. It’s pretty awful when “Black” is the best single he’s had all year. The only reason it wasn’t more noticeable was the throwback comeback and both McGraw and Church carrying the torch for quality on the radio charts. I’m slightly more hopeful heading into 2017 that things will get better in the mainstream, although new Sam Hunt music will be coming soon and I don’t have any hopes for Brantley Gilbert’s new album in January.

      Hey that’s completely understandable if you drift in between the EDM community and the country communities. Come around when you feel like it. I may review country and Americana, but it’s no lie when I say I listen to everything. If anything it makes me appreciate and look at country music even better. Variety is the spice of life as they say. Right now I’m looking forward more to Run the Jewels new album more than any other new country release in 2017. In fact one of the new things I’m considering in 2017 is doing reviews of stuff outside country occasionally just because I want to do a better job of putting country into perspective next to other genres and the fact that I’ve wanted to maybe tackle other genres when the mood strikes.


      • Nadia Lockheart December 16, 2016 / 7:41 pm

        Dierks Bentley’s album was easily the single most disappointing release of 2016 to my ears, arguably across ALL genres. =(

        And I’m glad you pointed that out because “Black” perfectly personifies what was wrong with music in 2016 as a whole in the mainstream. “Black” was by no means the worst album released this past year, not even in mainstream country. But it does epitomize how dreadfully lethargic music as a whole was across the terrestrial radio board. When Florida Georgia Line of all people suddenly sound lifeless, and even frickin’ music advertised as EDM sounds lifeless, you know you have a huge problem on your hands. I swear, a part of me almost wants Bikini Kill and other riot grrrl acts to re-band, become as famous as ever again and make some intense noise after all of this! =/

        I go to line dances and roots music events, and I also go raving. I think what makes me go back and forth between communities more heavily is that I like to country music for lyrical depth and I turn to EDM musically for an out-of-body release, vitality and rejuvenation. Country music is best when it comes to introspective phases, and EDM is best when you need something more kinetic and spiritually indescribable. I think it was around 2013 when I got really disenchanted with shallow lyrics in dance and I wanted something more narrative-centric and emotionally intimate. But now I’m in another phase where I’ve grown disenchanted with the lethargy and banality on country radio and I need more pulse again. It’s just matters of the heart in cycle! =D

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Leon Blair December 16, 2016 / 4:00 pm

    I’m always interested in music you didn’t have time to cover so thoughts on any of the following albums (could be grades, short opinion..etc)? Pick however many you want. Could be 1, could be all 5

    – Matt Woods – ‘How To Survive’
    – John Paul White – ‘Beluah’
    – Reckless Kelly – ‘Sunset Motel’
    – Shane Owens – ‘Where I’m Comin’ From
    – Courtney Marie Andrews – ‘Honest Life’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leon Blair December 16, 2016 / 4:00 pm

      Btw, happy holidays Josh. Looking forward to 2017.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Josh Schott December 16, 2016 / 4:48 pm

        Thanks Leon! Happy Holidays to you too!


    • Josh Schott December 16, 2016 / 4:57 pm

      Woods – Can’t really give a fair opinion on it, as I only had one listen of it. From what I heard it certainly wasn’t bad, but it certainly didn’t stand out as much based on one listen compared to his previous album.

      JPW’s Beulah – Really enjoyed this album. It’s a shame I couldn’t really come up with enough thoughts for a full review because it’s a solid all around album. The good thing is I won’t be letting this happen in 2017, as I have a new idea for reviews. But yeah I definitely would have recommended it and I’d give it a 8/10.

      Reckless Kelly – Unfortunately this one came right during the madness of the fall release schedule. I actually wanted to go through RK’s entire catalog before I heard this new one and I just never got the time. The latest single off it was good though.

      Shane Owens – I still want to listen to this one. I’ve heard good things.

      Courtney Marie Andrews’ Honest Life – I’ve given this one a bunch of listens and I thought it was really good. The Linda Ronstadt comparisons Andrews is getting is really appropriate, as there’s a real smoothness about her style that’s easy to take in. Fantastic voice and top notch songwriting. This was another one I was angry I didn’t get a chance to cover because I could have written a review on it and I just ran out of time. I would have graded it either 8 or a light 9/10.


  3. Amanda December 16, 2016 / 7:23 pm

    Hope you have an amazing holiday season, Josh! I have enjoyed reading your blog, you are such a fantastic writer. You are funny, insightful, and have a great knowledge of country music. I have been wondering what your opinion of two recent singles is: RaeLynn’s “Love Triangle” and Gary Allan’s “Do You Wish It Was Me”. Thanks again! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 16, 2016 / 8:06 pm

      Thanks Amanda! I really appreciate the kind words and your support!

      As for those two singles: I’m actually going to do a full review of “Love Triangle” in January, in fact I plan on it as one of my first of the New Year. I’ll say this so not to give away the review: it’s definitely the best single and song of RaeLynn’s career so far. It’s the kind of song she should have released from the beginning and I’m glad she’s proving critics like myself wrong by releasing a single like this one.

      As for Gary Allan’s “Do You Wish It Was Me,” I think disappointing would be the best word to describe it. I don’t understand why Gary and his label are still gunning for airplay. I mean Josh Turner has been able to reach the top 30 again, but I don’t foresee it going above #20. Songs like these just don’t suit Gary and they’re simply trying to force something that isn’t there both for radio and sonically fitting Gary. The subpar lyrics and the wishy washy production really damper any momentum the song tries to make. What sucks even more is his singles failing are only delaying his album more. I saw him live in 2015 and he performed two great new songs and nobody gets to hear them because he’s not reaching the label’s absurd goals.


  4. Raymond December 16, 2016 / 7:52 pm

    Josh, thank you for this site. You always offer such intresting takes on songs and while we may not always agree, I love your writing style and your promotion of so many great artists

    In regards to 2016, I am shocked that this year we saw so much good music. If there is another thing is the fact that Florida Georgia Line made better music than Dierks Bentley this year, heck even Cole Swindell made better music, yeah it was nothing great but nothing to get all worked up about. Really the only big breakthrough we saw was with Maren Morris. We did see Old Dominion and Kelsea Ballerini both cement there place in the genre. The women of mainstream country particularly Miranda Lambert, Brandy Clark and Jennifer Nettles shined with their new albums. Sam Hunt went on the downlow basically ever since “Breakup In A Small Town” (yeah “Make You Miss Me” was released but no). On the unfortunate side we saw Maddie & Tae and Cam both lose their momentum with radio and both have to start fresh. While somehow Granger Smith still gets radio airplay. We also saw the collaped momentum of Jana Kramer and Randy Houser (also possibly Chase Bryant as well although he wasn’t all that relevant to begin with).

    What is intresting is that outside of Cassadee Pope (thanks to Chris Young) Chris Lane and Granger Smith no other new country artist saw their first #1 on Billboard. Heavy hitters like Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan saw multiple #1s this year along with Jason Aldean as all 3 of them made up a large part of radio airplay this year. Tim McGraw was on country radio non stop (seriously when was the last time he was not in the Top 30 someway)

    If they are some questions I have is this. I know you’re opinion on Taylor Swift and Leann Rimes as country singers, well recently Country Universe has been doing something called “A Country Music Conversation” and they highlighted both artists (along with many, many more). My question for you Josh is this. What were your overall opinion of the singles released from Taylor Swift album Speak Now in a general music sense (“Mine”, “Sparks Fly”, “Back To December”, “Mean” and “Ours). The other question is have you looked into Leann Rimes music after she started fading from radio, because if you haven’t I’d highly recommend you do, songs like “What I Cannot Change” and “What Have I Done” are simple marevelous masterpieces that radio unfortunately ignored.

    Josh, thank you for a great year for this blog. I check back constantly every day as I am glad there is a critical voice in mainstream country music. 2016 has been an interesting year and in my opinion I feel like mainstream country music is slowly going in the right direction as it seems the good stuff is really starting to stick and the bad stuff is making less of an impact.

    So excited for next year and who in the mainstream country will be back (hopefully Lady Antebellum and hopefully they finally get back on track with what made them good). Also plenty of albums to cover Lauren Alaina, Little Big Town, Rhiannon Giddens and Sunny Sweeney (love this girl so much)

    Bring on 2017 for country music I am ready! Sorry for the super long post!😅


    • Josh Schott December 16, 2016 / 8:24 pm

      Thanks for reading and the kind words, Raymond!

      As for Taylor Swift and Lee Ann Rimes, I have diverging opinions. Swift is an artist I’ve grown to respect a lot more nowadays and looking back at her pop country singles in general I’m not sure why I criticized them so much. Maybe it’s the benefit of hindsight and hearing a lot worse music recently on country radio or perhaps being better at putting myself in the song’s shoes. Regardless I look at her country career as a whole in a much better light now. Now for those singles: “Mine” is a good song. A little too fluffy for me to really enjoy. But it’s a love song I can listen to. 6 or 7/10. “Mean” is one of those songs that used to really annoy me because of radio overplaying it. So it’s hard to judge it fairly. In a vacuum it’s biggest positive is the banjos and light country production. Probably one of her most country singles, especially when this is when she started to get big. 7/10, maybe 8. “Sparks Fly” is too light for my tastes and not really targeted at me, so I really can’t fairly rate it. “Back to December” is probably my least favorite single of the ones mentioned. The production is too weak and the song tries too hard to be serious. 4/10. “Ours” might be my favorite of the Speak Now era. It’s a love song that doubles as step off song to people who like to meddle in others lives. What’s great is how Swift is able to approach in a more mature manner. Good proof that Swift can get deep when she wants to and isn’t just catchy love songs, which is why she became such a superstar. She may not be the most versatile, but she’s more of a dynamic artist than she appears. 8/10

      As for Rimes, I just don’t think I’ll ever get into her music. Just don’t like her voice. I’ll give her newer music a shot though maybe.


      • Raymond December 16, 2016 / 8:44 pm

        One last thing since I did bring up Taylor Swift the one song I swear that has never been covered or talked about is “Fifteen”. I would like to know your opinion on that song, I know that it talks directly about teenage girls so it might not be fair to judge quickly, but if there is one thing I have always loved about the song is how it goes from giving advice to Taylor herself reflecting in the past and what she and her friend did wrong.

        Sorry for the inconvenience, it kinda slipped my mind!


        • Josh Schott December 16, 2016 / 8:56 pm

          The production is good. Another song that just isn’t intended for me. For who it’s intended for though, it’s a nice message for teen girls and why Swift has so many fans. Her ability to appeal to both children and adults on a personal level is invaluable.


  5. warthog123 December 16, 2016 / 8:29 pm

    Merry Christmas, Josh.

    Just wondering what your thoughts were on Kiefer Sutherland’s “Down in a Hole” album. I really enjoyed it, and none of the sites I follow reviewed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 16, 2016 / 8:38 pm

      Thanks Warthog! I did listen to that back when it came out and I remember it being better than I expected it to be. It’s a little dry in spots, but overall I found it to be really solid. Sutherland’s voice won’t be for everyone, but I enjoy it. I would definitely recommend to others to check it out too.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jason Scott December 16, 2016 / 9:43 pm

    Such a big fan of the work you and all the other writers here do to shine a light on real country music. 🙂

    What albums are you most looking forward to in 2017? What artists should I be on the lookout for?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 17, 2016 / 12:27 am

      Thanks Jason! Love your work too!

      Of the albums officially announced I’m looking forward to: Natalie Hemby – Puxico, The Band of Heathens – Duende, Valerie June – The Order of Time, Ags Connolly – Nothin’ Unexpected, Nikki Lane – Highway Queen, Rhiannon Giddens – Freedom Highway, Jaime Wyatt – Felony Blues, Sunny Sweeney – Trophy and The Mavericks new album.

      Of the ones I expect and are rumored: Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Wade Bowen, Whitey Morgan, Turnpike Troubadours, Chris King and First Aid Kit.

      There are a lot of artists to keep an eye on and lookout for. Jaime Wyatt and her new album is one you don’t want to miss, trust me. Shelley Skidmore is very promising and Candi Carpenter shows a lot of potential based off her first single. I haven’t heard much about him lately, but Rick Elliott is another. His 2015 EP was fantastic and is one of the most promising traditionalists rising up. I think Trent Harmon could have a breakout 2017, as he’s getting traction at radio. I’m hopeful for Runaway June too.


  7. Matt Perkins December 16, 2016 / 11:47 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks so much for all of the hard work you guys put in to the blog – it’s one of my favorites anywhere on the web, and I’ve discovered so much new music that I would have never heard of without being a country perspective reader.

    I’m curious to find out what some of your favorite covers of non-country songs by country/Americana artists are. I really enjoyed Sturgill Simpson’s version of “In Bloom” by Nirvana on this year’s album, and have always had a soft spot for Dolly Parton’s version of “Stairway to Heaven.” Thanks again and keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 17, 2016 / 12:38 am

      Thanks for reading Matt! I’m glad we could help you find awesome music.

      Great question! I saw Sturgill live earlier this year and he did two more awesome covers: Led Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks” and Randy Travis’ “Diggin’ Up Bones.” Was an absolute treat to hear Sturgill nail these two great songs in person. Speaking of Parton too I love her cover of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire,” as well as The Beatles’ “Help!” Dwight Yoakam has always impressed me with his covers: Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me,” Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” Ray Price’s “Heartaches By the Number,” Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” CCR’s “Who’ll Stop The Rain” and recently his bluegrass cover of “Purple Rain.” And then Morgane Stapleton’s cover of “You Are My Sunshine” on Southern Family blew me away. Finally one of my absolute favorites: Brandi Carlile covering Radiohead’s “Creep.” Might be my favorite version of the song because it’s that great.


      • Robert December 17, 2016 / 11:00 am

        I was happy to hear Dwight Yoakam’s “Purple Rain” on the radio in Texas. He’s one of my very favorites.

        In the bizarre “country-covers-non-country” category a few years ago was The Cleverly’s take on “Gangnam Style” and Bruce Hornsby/Ricky Skaggs/John Anderson’s take on ” Super Freak.”

        Anyway, for 2017, a few albums I’m looking forward to are Andrew Pope, Eric Strickland, Anthony Smith, Kendell Marvel,etc. Alison Krauss is working on a new album of classic covers, as is Crystal Gayle.

        Merry Christmas to all & best wishes for another year filled with good music that the radio won’t play.


        • Josh Schott December 17, 2016 / 11:29 am

          Thanks Robert! I never knew about those covers, but I’m oddly intrigued. Haha


        • Matt Perkins December 18, 2016 / 9:06 am

          I also love the Hornsby/Scaggs Super Freak. I was a little bummed that they never sang the bridge (“She’s alright/She’s alright/That girl’s alright with me…)

          Liked by 1 person

      • Matt Perkins December 18, 2016 / 9:09 am

        Thanks Josh! Now I’ve got a lot of listening to do. Speaking of Morgane Stapleton, when I saw Chris Stapleton in concert this year, he did a version of Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Know How it Feels” as a sort of Texas style shuffle that really blew me away. I would love him to record it at some point

        Liked by 1 person

  8. OlaR December 17, 2016 / 8:13 am

    Josh, thank you for Country Perspective!
    Too all writers…merry christmas!
    Grumpy OlaR will be back 2017. Well…

    2016: was not the turn-around-year but the quality & diversity of aussie country was high & with new releases by James Blundell, Adam Brand & Aleyce Simmonds 2017 will see a good start.
    I lost my hope for canadian country music. Songs -too bad to be a LoCash album track- are massive hits in Canada.
    2017: will radio play more female artists? More traditional country? Older artists? The same format a-list stars? We’ll see.

    Opry member Jeannie Seely will release a new album soon (Written In Song – 01/13) & she sounds great!

    First new artist for 2017: Wade Proctor. His EP (four tracks) was released 12/09. The “melancholic” midtempo track “Texas Tonight” is my current #1 song.

    My Top Tracks Of The Week:
    #1 – Wade Proctor – “Texas Tonight”
    #2 – Drew Taylor Band – “Pickup Soul”
    #3 – Ryan Laird – “Love’s Long Gone”
    #4 – Jill Johnson – “Given Up”
    #5 – Matt Kimbrow – “Can’t Let You Go”
    #6 – Aleyce Simmonds – “The Keeper”
    #7 – Jill Johnson – “When It Pours It Rains”
    #8 – Bryan Kent – “Tennessee Neon”
    #9 – James Robert Webb – “Put It In Drive”
    #10 – Roo Arcus – “Cowboys & Sunsets”
    On The Rise: Amber Lawrence feat. Catherine Britt & Funny Lumsden – “Cheers To The Girls”
    On The Rise: Billy Bridge – “Heartbreak Town”
    On The Rise: Norlina – “Through My Radio”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 17, 2016 / 11:27 am

      Thanks for reading and your support, OlaR! Don’t forget Kasey Chambers is another Aussie country artist with a new album coming too.


      • Robert December 17, 2016 / 11:45 am

        Since I see Catherine Britt’s name on the above list, I’ll mention that several years ago, she recorded a song called “Lonely” that she wrote with Chris Stapleton.


        • Amanda December 17, 2016 / 1:46 pm

          Catherine Britt is awesome. I love her album “Too Far Gone”.


  9. KQ December 17, 2016 / 11:51 am

    Thanks for the site, Josh! I’ve only been reading for a couple months, but damn they were a good couple of months. Between rants of Bryan, Rhett, Aldean and others it’s been fun. I’ve always taken note of your recommendations, but I haven’t actually taken the time to listen to them… until this morning. I listened to “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” this morning and damn… I loved every minute of it. Now I’ll have to check your other recommendations. So like everyone else has said before, thanks a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 17, 2016 / 12:11 pm

      Thank you KQ! I’m glad you found us and I’m even happier to hear we’ve helped you find great music.


  10. Will December 17, 2016 / 6:09 pm

    Thanks for another great year Josh. I remember when you first started this blog, and I’m so glad to see what it turned out to be. The question I have for you is what do you think the best mainstream country song of the the last ten years was. I’m not talking about a song by someone who is signed to a mainstream label like Brandy Clark, but a song by a mainstream artist that actually hit the Top 10 on the radio charts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 17, 2016 / 8:25 pm

      Thanks for reading, Will! As for your question, it’s a tossup between three songs for me: Jamey Johnson’s “In Color,” George Strait’s “Give It Away” and Strait’s “Living for the Night.” That last one in particular is in my mind one of Strait’s most underrated singles. There are probably others that belong in the conversation, but these three instantly come to mind.


  11. Alexander Grant December 17, 2016 / 9:26 pm

    I just wanted to say how much I enjoy and look forward to reading your blog. Your blog has opened my eyes to music that I would have never known existed and inspired me to create my own blog. Happy Holidays and I look forward to reading your work in 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 17, 2016 / 10:33 pm

      Thanks Alexander! Glad to hear it!


  12. heyyyhector December 17, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    A couple mainstream country questions….
    1. Which artists that got significant success this year do you see losing their success or begin to decline in 2017?
    2. Do you see the next big A-list superstar in any current B-list artists (Eldredge, Lynch, Morris, LOCASH, etc.)?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 17, 2016 / 11:06 pm

      1. Granger Smith immediately comes to mind. He’s having airplay success, but the sales aren’t backing it up. Unfortunately I think William Michael Morgan is another. Chris Lane should fade away hopefully.

      2. Maren Morris has A-list potential. But she’s also in danger of falling out of radio’s favor too. Old Dominion is sticking around and has a chance to go A list.


  13. Johnver Anareta December 17, 2016 / 10:16 pm

    Hello Country Perspective! Do can you guys make a review on Hillary Scott & The Scott Family “Love Remains” album. I just want to know your comments and reaction to this and the next upcoming Lady Antebellum record. Thanks a lot! God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 17, 2016 / 11:09 pm

      Well we’re done reviewing for 2016. However as for that album, for a gospel album it’s certainly good. It’s not really my cup of tea, but certainly enjoyable for those who enjoy that type of music. I’m not sure what the new Lady A album will be like. Ideally it builds on Scott’s and Charles Kelley’s albums. Thanks for reading!


      • Johnver Anareta December 18, 2016 / 5:51 am

        Thanks! Wait I have a few more question can you grade Scott’s album from 1-10 and what do you expect from Lady A next record based from their solo projects. Also Do you think Scott’s album will win on the Grammys?


  14. Frank the Tank December 19, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    First off, thanks for all the hard work! I really enjoy the site.

    1st Question: What are your thoughts on Caleb Klauder’s new album (“Innocent Road”). I discovered him by chance at a folk music festival this past summer and I can’t get enough of this album. It’s actually my favourite of the year.

    2nd Question: I’m one of those people who hasn’t quite come around on Chris Stapleton. There’s no doubt that he’s very talented, but I couldn’t really get into “Traveller.” Is he someone who is much better live? He’s coming to my city in March, so I’m debating whether to attend or not (Lindi Ortega is opening for him, which makes it more likely that I will go).



    • Josh Schott December 20, 2016 / 2:40 am

      Thanks Frank! Glad to hear.

      1. I haven’t heard that album yet. I’ll have to give it a listen.

      2. You should definitely go. I have yet to see him live yet, but everyone I know who has loved him live. All of the live videos I’ve seen of him are great. With Lindi opening, that’s a definite yes. Awesome ticket you won’t regret.


  15. Jess December 20, 2016 / 6:39 pm

    First I have to say- thank you for creating such a great blog where people like myself can cruise in and see what’s going on, what’s new and coming out soon. I craved for such a long time for information you provide on these overlooked artists and searched endlessly for a Pandora type service that I could discover some of these lesser known country, independent, and americana artists. Well between your blog and Spotify I’m gladly satisfied!

    My question- are you going to bring back The Hodgepodge in 2017? I really enjoyed reading your opinions each week and also your quick summary of upcoming music being released each week. If there was some announcement on it going away I missed it; this was my favorite part of your blog.

    Thanks again!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 20, 2016 / 7:44 pm

      Glad to hear, Jess! Thank you for reading! As for the Hodgepodge, stay tuned. It’s not necessarily being done away with, but rather reimagined. I can say that it’s features will be staying. At the beginning of the new year I’ll be able to explain it better.


      • Jess December 20, 2016 / 9:36 pm

        Hey I can deal with that! Keep the new music rollin’!

        Merry Christmas!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. AndyTheDrifter December 20, 2016 / 6:50 pm

    Hey Josh,

    I don’t comment as much as I intend to, but I just want to say I read your blog daily and think you guys do a terrific job.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 20, 2016 / 7:15 pm

      Thanks Andy! I appreciate it!


  17. seak05 December 21, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    Hey Josh, just wanted to say thanks for doing this, I enjoy the site, and happy holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 21, 2016 / 3:04 pm

      Thanks for reading and following, seak! Appreciate the support!


  18. Raymond December 21, 2016 / 7:14 pm

    I have a few more questions.

    Are you going to cover Lauren Alaina album next month since there isn’t a lot of albums coming out that time.

    Also would love to know what you thought of Shania Twain’s biggest hits like “Man I Feel Like A Woman”, “Forever and For Always” “Any Man Of Mine” and “You’re Still The One”?


    • Josh Schott December 21, 2016 / 9:00 pm

      Plan on it, although there are several releases for January actually. You’ll see when I release the album schedule in January.

      Well as I’ve said before I’m not really a fan of Shania, so I’m not the best to judge her music. With that said, I find those ones you mentioned to be okay. They’re catchy, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to hear any of them.


  19. jmartin103 December 21, 2016 / 10:50 pm

    A little late with my comment, but thank you so much for all your hard work on here, Josh! I was already a mostly traditional country fan before coming to this site, but your work has inspired me to listen to better country music, and to explore other artists’ work, such as the Turnpike Troubadours’ debut album, which is just amazing! Their song, “Come As You Are”, is good too. 2016 hasn’t been the best year of improvement in country music, but it’s better than a lot of improvement lately, with Sturgill Simpson’s debut album, as well as Jon Pardi and William Michael Morgan’s debut albums. Miranda Lambert’s comeback was pretty damn solid, too. I truly enjoy reading your posts and hope you keep up the good work! Happy holidays, and looking forward to more posts in 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 21, 2016 / 11:01 pm

      Thanks for reading jmartin! I appreciate your support!


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