The Current Pulse of Texas Country Radio [Nov. 7]

texas-flag

Each week we take a look the Texas Regional Radio Report chart and grade the top 30 songs. The grading format I use each week is every song will receive one of the following scores: +5, +4, +3, +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5. 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 +150 and the lowest possible score being a -150. How do I determine the score for the song? The review grade it received on the site or myself will determine this. If it hasn’t been reviewed yet, then I will make the call. The grade it has received or I would give it determines its Pulse score. The grading key: 10 [+5], 9 [+4], 8 [+3], 7 [+2], 6 [+1], 5 [0], 4 [-1], 3 [-2], 2 [-3], 1 [-4], 0 [-5].

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

  1. Jerrett Zoch and The OSR Band – “Everything I Need” (Up 2)
  2. Flatland Cavalry – “One I Want” +3
  3. Micky & The Motorcars – “Sister Lost Soul” +2 (Down 2)
  4. Whiskey Myers – “Lightning Bugs and Rain” +2 (Up 1)
  5. Jon Wolfe – “Boots on a Dance Floor” -2 (Up 3)
  6. Jesse Raub Jr. – “She Can Forgive” +3 (Up 1)
  7. Zane Williams – “Bringin’ Country Back” -1 (Up 3)
  8. Roger Creager – “Wanna Wanna Bar” -3 (Up 1)
  9. Reckless Kelly – “How Can You Love Him (You Don’t Even Like Him)” +2 (Down 5)
  10. Casey Donahew Band – “Kiss Me” -3 (Up 1)
  11. Curtis Grimes – “From Where I’m Standing” (Up 1)
  12. Jamie Richards – “Second Hand Smoke” +1 (Up 2)
  13. Josh Ward – “Broken Heart” +3 (Up 2)
  14. Sam Riggs – “High On A Country Song” -3 (Down 1) [Worst Song]
  15. William Clark Green – “Old Fashioned” -2 (Up 1)
  16. Green River Ordinance – “Simple Life” -1 (Down 10)
  17. Troy Cartwright – “Busted” +3 (Up 1)
  18. Kevin Fowler – “Texas Forever” (Up 3)
  19. Jake Worthington – “How Do You Honky Tonk” +1 (Down 2)
  20. Pat Waters – “Like A Radio” 0
  21. Deryl Dodd – “The Ride” +2 (Up 1)
  22. Case Hardin – “Sign of a Fool” +3 (Up 1)
  23. Kaleb McIntire – “Find Another Baby” -2 (Up 2)
  24. Cody Jinks – “I’m Not The Devil” +4 (Down 5) [Best Song] 
  25. Brandon Jenkins – “Shadow of a Broken Heart” (Up 1)
  26. TJ Broscoff – “Should’ve Been Mine” -1 (Up 1)
  27. Luke Robinson – “She Drinks Alone” +1 (Up 1)
  28. Sean McConnell – “Holy Days” +2 (Up 1)
  29. Mike Ryan – “New Hometown” (Up 1)
  30. Reverend’s Daughter – “Caroline” (New to Top 30)

The Current Pulse of Texas Country Radio: +16

The pulse improve four spots this week. 

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Kyle Park – “Rednecks with Paychecks” -4

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Reverend’s Daughter – “Caroline”
    • Reverend’s Daughter is a five-piece Texas outfit that originally formed in 2010 and later evolved into their current iteration. They cite multiple genres as influence and many artists, including Nickelback for some reason. Not sure if they’re serious or just being smartasses (I would hope the latter). Nevertheless their current single “Caroline” immediately catches my ears with some slick harmonica work and features some nice pedal steel throughout. The song itself though is pretty generic and not very memorable to my ears. It sounds like something I’ve heard many times before when pitched by indie artists. So together it makes for a pretty average affair. 5/10

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Jon Wolfe – “Boots on a Dance Floor” – Up 3 from #8 to #5
  • Zane Williams – “Bringin’ Country Back” – Up 3 from #10 to #7

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Kyle Park – “Rednecks with Paychecks” – Out of the Top 30 & Done
  • Green River Ordinance – “Simple Life” – Down 10 from #6 to #16
  • Reckless Kelly – “How Can You Love Him (You Don’t Even Like Him) – Down 5 from #4 to #9
  • Cody Jinks – “I’m Not The Devil” – Down 5 from #19 to #24

Songs I See Leaving The Top 30 Soon:

  • Cody Jinks – “I’m Not The Devil”
  • Green River Ordinance – “Simple Life”

On The Hot Seat:

  • Sean McConnell – “Holy Days”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Josh Abbott Band – “Live It While You Got It”
  • Dalton Domino – “July”
  • Kimberly Dunn – “Traffic”
  • Turnpike Troubadours – “Come As You Are”

 

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

The Current Pulse of Texas Country Radio [October 31]

micky-and-the-motorcars

Each week we take a look the Texas Regional Radio Report chart and grade the top 30 songs. The grading format I use each week is every song will receive one of the following scores: +5, +4, +3, +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5. 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 +150 and the lowest possible score being a -150. How do I determine the score for the song? The review grade it received on the site or myself will determine this. If it hasn’t been reviewed yet, then I will make the call. The grade it has received or I would give it determines its Pulse score. The grading key: 10 [+5], 9 [+4], 8 [+3], 7 [+2], 6 [+1], 5 [0], 4 [-1], 3 [-2], 2 [-3], 1 [-4], 0 [-5].

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

  1. Micky & The Motorcars – “Sister Lost Soul” +2
  2. Flatland Cavalry – “One I Want” +3
  3. Jerrett Zoch and The OSR Band – “Everything I Need” 0
  4. Reckless Kelly – “How Can You Love Him (You Don’t Even Like Him)” +2
  5. Whiskey Myers – “Lightning Bugs and Rain” +2
  6. Green River Ordinance – “Simple Life” -1
  7. Jesse Raub Jr. – “She Can Forgive” +3
  8. Jon Wolfe – “Boots on a Dance Floor” -2
  9. Roger Creager – “Wanna Wanna Bar” -3
  10. Zane Williams – “Bringin’ Country Back” -1
  11. Casey Donahew Band – “Kiss Me” -3
  12. Curtis Grimes – “From Where I’m Standing” 0
  13. Sam Riggs – “High On A Country Song” -3
  14. Jamie Richards – “Second Hand Smoke” +1
  15. Josh Ward – “Broken Heart” +3
  16. William Clark Green – “Old Fashioned” -2
  17. Jake Worthington – “How Do You Honky Tonk” +1
  18. Troy Cartwright – “Busted” +3
  19. Cody Jinks – “I’m Not The Devil” +4 [Best Song]
  20. Pat Waters – “Like A Radio” 0
  21. Kevin Fowler – “Texas Forever” 0
  22. Deryl Dodd – “The Ride” +2
  23. Case Hardin – “Sign of a Fool” +3
  24. Kyle Park – “Rednecks With Paychecks” -4 [Worst Song]
  25. Kaleb McIntire – “Find Another Baby” -2
  26. Brandon Jenkins – “Shadow of a Broken Heart” 0
  27. TJ Broscoff – “Should’ve Been Mine” -1
  28. Luke Robinson – “She Drinks Alone” +1
  29. Sean McConnell – “Holy Days” +2
  30. Mike Ryan – “New Hometown” 0

The Current Pulse of Texas Country Radio: +12

The pulse debuts this week. 

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • N/A

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • N/A

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • N/A

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • N/A

Songs I See Leaving The Top 30 Soon:

  • Kyle Park – “Rednecks With Paychecks”

On The Hot Seat:

  • Sean McConnell – “Holy Days”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Dalton Domino – “July”
  • Kimberly Dunn – “Traffic”
  • Reverend’s Daughter – “Caroline”
  • Turnpike Troubadours – “Come As You Are”

 

Notes: What do you think? I told you I would be replacing the Past Pulse with something similar. It made too much sense to finally give the Texas chart the pulse treatment. The Past Pulse was originally created to serve as a comparison to the current mainstream radio chart, but quickly proved to be a hilarious exercise. Of course the Past Pulse was going to blow away the current one. So basically the Past Pulse grew to be a nostalgia trip down memory lane and quickly lost its original purpose. I also tried the Pulse of Americana, but neither iterations of that wasn’t going to work because it wasn’t an even comparison (one chart was for album sales and the other was airplay, but didn’t list specific songs). This is the perfect comparison with the mainstream chart and I think will perfectly serve the original purpose I had with the Past Pulse.

Now for the original chart, this is about where I expected it. As you can see its not all roses and sunshine with Texas radio either. But it’s positive and that’s something that has only happened once on the mainstream chart pulse. There is one big issue I immediately have with it though: where are the women artists?! There’s not a single female artist in the entire top 30. This is an absolute joke. I may give mainstream radio a lot of shit for trotting out the same female artists every year, but at least they play some women on the radio. Of course this is further proof once again that all women in country music are having issues getting a fair shake, whether if it’s in Nashville or in Texas. Hopefully Texas Radio improves on this front soon.

 

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

The Hodgepodge: Good Songs from Sub-Par Country Artists

This past week was super busy for me and I haven’t had much time to think about this week’s opener. I haven’t spent much time around the blogosphere and didn’t really find anything current that I could provide a unique voice to or a new angle on the topic. Obviously the biggest news in country music this week was Jason Isbell and Alan Jackson going 1-2 on album sales which is huge, and I’m happy for both artists on that achievement.

Like I said, since I don’t have a new or unique perspective to provide for that story line, this week’s opener won’t be too involved. The mainstream pulse is still rather bad, and upcoming releases don’t look to improve it much, if at all. I’m going to look at some sub-par artists; country singers and groups that I predict will get a C grade or lower in Josh’s updated grades which he’ll provide via The Country Perspective Show podcast. I’m going to list a few songs from these artists that I think are good songs, be it past single releases or album deep cuts.

Jason Aldean – One of my favorite singles from him is “Amarillo Sky.” A cut off My Kinda Party called “Church Pews or Bar Stools” is a nice, honest look at small town life and chasing dreams. But “The Truth” might be his best song he’s ever recorded.

Luke Bryan – Did you know Luke wrote “Good Directions” that Billy Currington recorded? As for Luke’s recorded singles, “Do I” from Doin’ My Thing is pretty dang good, even “Drink a Beer” showed some effort to have a bit of depth. But I admit that my favorite song of Luke’s is “We Rode In Trucks.”

Miranda Lambert – I classify Miranda as sub-par simply because the Platinum era has been full of mediocre to bad singles. Obviously the recent “Roots and Wings” is a great song, and singles like “Over You” and “The House That Built Me” are two very strong country songs. I’m also quite fond of “White Liar.”

Florida Georgia Line – Yes, even these two jokers have a few good songs. A guilty pleasure of mine from this duo is “Tip It Back” from their debut album; I think it’s a decent blue-collar, end of the work week drinking song. I don’t mind their cover of Black Stone Cherry’s “Stay” and even an EP cut called “Black Tears” is a good song they’ve written. Though, “Dirt” may forever reign as their best song.

Jake Owen – Mr. “Real Life” made some good country music before getting a number one with “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.” His early singles like “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You” are fantastic. An album cut called “Life of The Party” isn’t half bad, and who can forget “What We Ain’t Got?” But Jake Owen’s first top-ten single is an absolute gem. Let’s remember “Startin’ With Me.”

Blake Shelton – Years ago, Blake was making some great country music, but a change in producers turned the page to pop country crap. “The Baby” stands as one of his most heartbreaking country songs, and even his cover of George Jones’ “Ol’ Red” isn’t that bad either. However, Shelton’s debut single, “Austin”, is arguably his best song.

Brantley Gilbert – Brantley Gilbert has been in the middle of the road for pretty much his whole career. Even with douchetastic singles like “Small Town Throwdown” and “Bottoms Up,” Gilbert’s had some decent offerings like “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” and “More Than Miles.” But Gilbert’s first album, A Modern Day Prodigal Son, is better than his other two combined. Listen to “Picture On the Dashboard” and “The Best of Me” and you probably wouldn’t believe it’s Brantley. I thought the title track from that first album is an honest, well written song too. Unfortunately, a live recording is all I’ve tracked down on YouTube.

See? Even the bad have some good in them! This is just a small selection I’m choosing to highlight. For the most part I wanted to focus on artists who had a bit deeper catalog to choose from, and artists who seemed to have strayed far from their early quality. If you are curious about my opinions on other artists I didn’t highlight here, I’ll entertain a few questions as long as they stick with the topic at hand: good songs from bad/sub-par country artists. And, as always, I’d love to hear some of your favorites from these artists too.

Upcoming/Recent Country Music Releases

  • Rick Elliot released his debut EP earlier this month. Two of the songs on the EP have been reviewed on the site with high praise. We will have a review on the EP soon.
  • Texas Country artist Kyle Park will release a new album this fall called The Blue Roof Sessions. Park currently has a new single out called “What Goes Around Comes Around.”
  • As reported by Saving Country Music, Canadian Country artist Corb Lund is working on a new album with producer Dave Cobb at the helm. The album will be called Things That Can’t Be Undone.
  • Brett Eldredge will release his second studio album, Illinois, on September 11th.
  • Alabama will release their first album of new music in over a decade on September 18 and it’s titled Southern Drawl.
  • Cassadee Pope just released a new single called “I Am Invincible.”

Today in Country Music History

  • Singer Neal McCoy (1958) and songwriter Gordie Sampson (1971) celebrate birthdays today.
  • In 1958, Johnny Cash began recording his studio album Greatest! which included the chart topping song “Get Rhythm.”
  • George Jones had the number one song in 1983 with the Merle Haggard penned “I Always Get Lucky With You.”

Throwback Thursday Song

“Waiting on June” by Holly Williams. As Holly says at the beginning of the song, “Waiting on June” was written about her grandparents from her mother’s side (not about Hank). This is simply a beautiful story song from her critically acclaimed 2013 album The Highway. The writing and descriptions in this song are excellent, and I personally think Holly has one of the more captivating singing voices in country music.

Non-Country Suggestion of the Week


AC/DC’s Highway to Hell. This is one of my all time favorite albums. Highway to Hell is great rock music, and the last studio album AC/DC made with original lead singer Bon Scott before his death in 1980. The opening guitar riffs on the title track are fantastic and Scott’s voice is well suited for rock. While AC/DC had two of their best songs (in my opinion) in the post Bon Scott era, I would have loved to see where AC/DC would be if Bon Scott hadn’t passed prematurely.

Tweet of the Week

That’s a good way of looking at country radio today!

An Album Review That Will Make You Angry

Jason Gottfried from a publication called The Independent in the Southern Utah, Northern Nevada area wrote a scathing review of Alan Jackson’s Angels and Alcohol. Now, I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion; I’m very much a “to each their own” type of person. However, I can’t help to think that this review and Gottfried’s descriptions of Alan Jackson are quite misguided. I’ll leave a few snippets from the review linked above, but you really should read this in its entirety to get the full effect of how Alan Jackson’s music is equivalent to McDonald’s hamburgers:

All you dudes who love country music (or say that you do, at least) are getting your feathers all ruffled already. Take it easy. The fact that you can read alone sets you head-and-shoulders above your peers.

With $75 million burning a hole in your pocket, I’d hope that no matter how hopelessly mediocre your talents might be, you’d still be able to purchase the right dudes in Nashville to record your music and make it sound good. Other than the session players, there’s just not much going on here musically. Frankly, the best thing about Alan Jackson’s “Angels and Alcohol” is that it’s only 39 minutes long.

This track would be great if the theme—that being a drunk isn’t really the best approach to life overall—were genuine. However, it’s hard to take a guy who’s built an empire upon the graves of dead alcoholics seriously.

Well, Jason, it’s hard to take anyone who seems to write terrible reviews for shock value seriously.