I had never watched the CMA Awards in their entirety, and I really still haven’t but I watched a lot more out of curiosity this year, and not just to make fun out of the band that I’ll call Pascal Cats, so as not to be too mean. Even though the sound was absolutely terrible from a TV perspective (and Twitter nation pronounced it no less a disaster in person), it is not my intent to be a musical snob and decry the escalating modernity of what once was truly country and western music.
Brad Paisley CAN play a mean guitar and Miranda Lambert has a great set of pipes, and even though I believe that Loretta Lynn pretty much blew everyone else off the stage, I don’t think anyone can say that the talent well has been capped and is nothing more than a nostalgia trunk show. I will say that auto-tune apparently plays an important role in some of these folks recorded output based on their next-door-neighbor approach to tunefulness, but I’m really trying not to be mean..
Where I’m really heading is somewhere down the way from the Ryman is an alley called alt-country/americana/new country that artists seem to consigned into, if their sound is too folky, or actually too country. Lucinda lives down there, along with Tom Russell, Rosanne C, Patty Griffin and a host of folks who folks who either hearken back (Jamey Johnson) or dabble brilliantly (Robert Plant & Elvis Costello), and then there are people who seem other-worldly (Gillian Welch) or ethereal (Julie Miller)…which brings me to my main point finally – there are records/albums/CDs so wonderful and pure and something i just can’t describe – you have to let the recording speak for itself. The artists listed in this paragraph have all made such recordings and some of them do get recognized by larger audiences, but many are often niched and appreciated from a distance.
This year’s album was recently released here in the US and features a couple of Nashvillians who don’t sing one song written in the last ten years, and I promise you, is the best piece of country you’ll hear inside or outside the CMAs..The name of the duo is Kort – one part Lambchop leader Kurt Wagner with this whiskey voice paired with the pure as branch water voice of Cortney Tidwell. The songs are timeless, the harmonies divine and in some cases will break your heart. Just buy the dang thing..please*
*I do not know either artist, nor do I receive compensation in any form for saying any of this (as if somebody would pay me). I just love good music, and frankly, I don’t give a damn what category…