The Problem With Award Shows: The Artists Who Should Win And Don’t

Country Music Awards: Who Isn’t Winning That Should? Every time the nominees list for a country award show is announced, there’s always a little bit of controversy. Each fan gets angry if their favorite hasn’t been included, for example the snubbing of Carrie Underwood at this year’s ACM Awards for Entertainer of the Year, or when an artist gets nominated that people feel haven’t earned their place, for example Kacey Musgraves for Female Vocalist of the Year at the very same awards. Everyone has their own idea about who deserves that coveted award, because it’s a simple matter of aesthetics. However, for me, there are a few that pop up again and again as snubbed, and they are as follows. This is just a small selection of a few artists I would like to see winning or being nominated for major awards, and you are welcome to suggest more in the comment section below! Too Many Men? The problem with mainstream country is that the scene is crowded with male solo artists. In comparison, the female and group categories are not picking from such a huge list of artists, and thus we get a very similar selection for each awards show. The duo categories are usually so lacking that Sugarland, who haven’t released an album since 2010, continue to be nominated in each award show on a near-constant basis. They’ve been on hiatus for a good year or more, yet is there any other major label duo who is a clear choice for that nominee spot? True, the award shows should be about good music period, but the fact is they’re part of the corporate machine, and there is simply no other duo that springs to mind to fill that position. However, the male categories are always crowded, and well-known yet still smaller acts like Lee Brice get somewhat forgotten among the rabble. Then there’s a personal favorite of mine, Eric Church, who is now beginning to be recognized, but still encounters the problem of often being nominated and rarely winning. Acts such as Darius Rucker who are hitting #1 on Country Radio get ignored entirely (to my knowledge Darius didn’t even go to this year’s ACMs). Not the Right “Sound”? As for women, Miranda Lambert seems to be on a roll of late winning awards, and clearing up at last year’s CMA Awards. But the Pistol Annies, the band she’s a member of, remain firmly in her shadow, and as far as I know they haven’t been nominated for a single major country award yet (correct me if I’m wrong!). In fact, I feel if it weren’t for Miranda, they wouldn’t be invited to every show, and they certainly wouldn’t have performed with Blake Shelton at the ACMs in April. Ashley Monroe too, also a member of the Pistol Annies, perhaps explained by her more traditional-orientated output, is hugely critically acclaimed and not awarded. But if we’re looking for less traditional sounds that are more likely to be nominated, Continue reading The Problem With Award Shows: The Artists Who Should Win And Don’t

Show Review: Lee Brice In Fort Smith

Lee Brice and Brian Davis Make It Hard Not To Love Em’ After Their Show! Last week Lee Brice made his way to the Natural State! He played at the Convention Center in Fort Smith, Ark. on Friday, January 25. Brian Davis opened the show and started the party with his acoustic set. He played all his rocking songs he is known for, but then tried to tell the crowd that ballads weren’t really his thing. I strongly believe he should rethink that, because I was truly impressed with his performance of “Against the World.” Like I said, this was only an acoustic set. I can’t wait to catch him with his full band! Brice hit the stage after his good friend, Davis and the party continued! He sang “Beer,” “She Ain’t Right,” “Hard to Love,” “Picture of Me,” the hit he wrote “Crazy Girl” that most have heard from the Eli Young Band, a new one that will be on his next record, “Whiskey Use To Burn” and more! Brice wasn’t about to leave the stage without singing his #1 hits and I don’t think the fans would have let him! The crowd sang along word-for-word to “A Woman Like You” and you could hear the thank you in Brice’s voice when he let out the lines “you make the best fried chicken, I love the sound of your name!” As soon as the opening notes to “I Drive Your Truck” filled the room, the mood shifted. Yes, everyone was stilled excited, but it was a different kind of excitement. Everyone had their eyes on the stage, while some pulled their loved one close. The people who stood in the back all night, moved closer. It was a great thing to see. Everyone thought the show was minutes away from ending when Brice started “Love Like Crazy,” even me! But we were wrong! He finished his breakout hit and left the stage. His drummer blew everyone away with what seemed like a 10 minute solo and then the band and Brice was back! He played a few more songs and then Brian Davis came back on stage to finish the night with Hank Jr.’s “Family Tradition!” The night was great and the show even better! Brice fully entertained his fans and I’m sure gained some more while in the process! Brice will be doing his thing on the road for a few more weeks and then he will be joining his friends Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley for the Locked and Reloaded Tour! Current Lee Brice Tour Dates and Tickets!

Lee Brice Talks ACM Nomination, Touring, Writing and More

Lee Brice Fills HaleighT In On His ACM Award Nomination, Being On Tour, Writing Music and More! The CMNB Team was lucky enough to check in with the talented Lee Brice recently, and he had a lot of interesting stuff to tell us! He discussed his current ACM Award Nomination (vote here through Feb. 4th!), his current single, “I Drive Your Truck” that he is doing great on the charts, working on new music, and hitting the road with the awesome Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert on their upcoming Locked and Reloaded Tour! I have to say that Lee was a super nice guy, and he put on one heck of a show! If you haven’t checked him out yet, be sure to do so soon! You can find his music on iTunes and upcoming tour dates below! Watch: HaleighT Interviews Lee Brice In Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Current Lee Brice Tour Dates and Tickets!

Vote Lee Brice for 2013 ACM Award Newcomer

YOU Can vote for Lee Brice for an 2013 ACM Award for New Artist of the Year! You can help Lee Brice win an ACM Award for New Artist of the Year! Last week the Academy of Country Music announced the nominees for three fan voted newcomer categories! These feature groups for male vocalist, female vocalist and group or duo. The individuals in these 3 categories will be narrowed down via fan votes, and the remaining folks with the most votes will be in the running for the New Artist of the Year category! Guess what? The talented CMNB favorite, Lee Brice needs your help! He is currently in the running in the newcomer category for male vocalist and you can help him be one of the New Artist finalist! Voting opened today, and you can weigh in here. The 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will be broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 7th, 2013 at 8:00 PM ET/delayed PT on the CBS. Current Lee Brice Tour Dates and Tickets!

Lee Brice I Drive Your Truck Video: Review

Lee Brice Gets Intense with “I Drive Your Truck” Video: Review. This song is one of my favorites of the past year for its deep meaning and emotional intensity, so I was excited to finally see the video. The main structure of the video follows the narrative very closely at times – a man who isn’t Lee Brice but looks suspiciously like him – is standing by a truck that holds everything described in the first verse, before driving it along some back roads and around a field, and handing the keys back to (presumably) his wife. In fact, it is the most song-faithful music video I have seen in a long time, and there are benefits and perhaps disadvantages to this. The Video. Because I like literal videos, unless there is scope for really playing with confusing meanings and images, I liked the faithfulness of this video to the original song. This song would not suit doing something else with the video because of the emphasis on the emotion and story, so the video needs to reflect that. Even the sunset/sunrise dusty filter on the camera is how I imagined it, and perhaps is a cinematic representation of how people think of the rural South, the farms and back roads. It certainly adds something to the setting! The video movement is very slow at first which fits the pace of the song, cutting between the leading man simply staring into the truck and Lee Brice gently singing the song, not looking at the camera as if it’s too painful, and apparently standing in a field of wheat. A lot of work has been done setting the whole thing up to really represent an actual story and make the song really come to life. I have to commend the director on the subtle but very effective change in pace as the song builds momentum leading up the chorus. To add to that, as soon as the chorus kicks in Lee Brice is suddenly playing with his band in the wheat field, which taps into country music’s video focus on physically playing the song. There perhaps could have been scope for slightly more airtime of the narrative rather than Lee, but I suppose it’s him the video is promoting. Also, there could have been a montage of ‘memories’ which would have perhaps helped reinforce the meaning of the song, but that’s quite over-used so perhaps they decided to keep it very simple and let the song do the talking. I do think the actor in the narrative could have been a little more physically dynamic, and produce a wider range of expressions, because he appears a little more numb than the song suggests and dealing with loss provides a variety of different emotions that could have been shown here. However, I think I’m just being really picky, and the video works really well as it is. The Emotion. During the bridge, the slow motion takes on fast and aggressive movements in Continue reading Lee Brice I Drive Your Truck Video: Review

Lee Brice I Drive Your Truck Video

The Official Music Video For Lee Brice’s “I Drive Your Truck.” If you haven’t heard Lee Brice’s latest single, “I Drive Your Truck,” then it might surprise you what it is actually about. What do they say? “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” Well the same goes for song titles. For a complete run down of the song check out a review by our guest contributor Vickye here. But for the quick recap, it is a song about someone dealing with the loss of a very important person the only way they know how. The video for “I Drive Your Truck” premiered today and let me tell you it is a tear jerker! The song is already emotional on its own, but the added visuals had me close to losing it. Brice has a few intense scenes and it is just all around a great video. You can find “I Drive Your Truck” on Brice’s latest album Hard 2 Love. Watch it below and tell us what you think! Current Lee Brice Tour Dates and Tickets!

Lee Brice: I Drive Your Truck Single Review

Lee Brice “I Drive Your Truck” Straight To A Country Hit? – Review. Lee Brice missed out on being honoured as winner of the New Artist Award at the 2012 CMA Awards, but that’s to no detriment of his music. He’s not new to the scene as the nomination suggests, but released an album in 2010, Love Like Crazy that managed to get to number 9 in the charts. I’ll be honest in saying that I’d never heard of him until the release of “A Woman Like You” that shot in to the number 1 country spot, with its follow-up “Hard to Love” coming in at number 4. His new release “I Drive Your Truck” is certain to do well, and I predict a solid number 2 for this country/pop belter that really pulls at the heartstrings. The Story Behind the Single. Lee has previously said that he’s dedicating this song to his granddad, and that when he heard it he just ‘had to record it’. With that background information it’s easy to make sense of a certain interpretation of the song, the lyrics telling the story of a man driving the truck of a loved one who is no longer with them, and trying to cope with the sudden news of death. It’s a theme which is universal, even if not everyone copes with death by driving that person’s old truck, and Lee recognizes that, “people got their ways of coping, oh and I got mine”. Lines such as “that flag and stone ain’t where I feel you anyway” are particularly heartbreaking and I know will be endlessly quoted by people who relate to that very same sentiment. Why This Single Is So Great. Lyrically it’s fantastically crafted, (so hats off to the songwriters Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington and Jimmy Yeary) and is definitely worth listening to properly and pouring over the lyrics for this reason. Musically, it’s a driving kind of song (appropriate) with its ‘driving’ beat and downwards guitar strumming, piano adding a more delicate and softer approach and providing the main riff. There’s also a pedal steel guitar in there to offset the pop/rock feel that is evident through a lot of Lee Brice’s music, for a more country element. Essentially, it’s a power ballad, which is what really makes this song work and emphasizes the feelings of intense emotion and desperation when a loved one dies. Predictions for Lee Brice… This is one of the best lyrical efforts I’ve heard in a long time, and the instrumentation and Lee’s meaningful and slightly straining vocals (great for the song’s mood) are only there to support the lyrics, but only in that they don’t overpower the meaning of the song. With “I Drive Your Truck“, it’s all in the specific details and imagery that makes it so universal and beautiful, because as they say, “it’s always the little things.” Fantastic song, and I can see big things to come both for Lee and this release, as it Continue reading Lee Brice: I Drive Your Truck Single Review

Lee Brice “Hard 2 Love” Hits Number One

Lee Brice “Hard to Love” Tops Billboard Country Song Charts. “Hard to Love” by Lee Brice hit No. 1 on Billboard Country Song charts, making Lee’s second consecutive chart-topper in 2012. Following in the footsteps of “A Woman Like You,” Lee’s new song is soaring in digital sales and getting close to platinum. Jeff Tuerff, Curb Records VP/Marketing, is proud to have Lee on their label. “With an ACM award for Song of the Year (“Crazy Girl,”), a CMA Nomination for New Artist of the Year and two number one singles under his belt, Lee has firmly cemented his position as one of the hottest new artists in country music.” -Jeff Tuerff You can find “Hard to Love” and “A Woman Like You” on Brice’s sophomore album, Hard 2 Love. And keep checking back with us for more news on Lee Brice. WATCH “Hard to Love” Official Music Video: Current Lee Brice Tour Dates and Tickets!

Lee Brice Hard 2 Love Video

The Official Music Video For Lee Brice’s “Hard 2 Love”. Lee Brice released his new album, Hard 2 Love, last week with some great reviews! “Hard 2 Love” the title track is his second single from the album. His first single, “A Woman Like You,” had a great amount of success and was fully embraced by fans, making it a #1 hit! The catchiness of this song will surely and hopefully leave Brice with another #1 very shortly! Here is the official video for “Hard 2 Love!” Below is the album track listing! ENJOY! Hard 2 Love Track Listing: 1. Hard 2 Love 2. A Woman Like You 3. That’s When You Know It’s Over 4. Parking Lot Party 5. Don’t Believe Everything You Think 6. I Drive Your Truck 7. See About A Girl 8. Friends We Won’t Forget 9. Life Off My Years 10. Seven Days A Thousand Times 11. Beer 12. That Way Again 13. One More Day Hard 2 Love is available now! Current Lee Brice Tour Dates and Tickets!

ACM Concert – Salute To The Military

The ACM Concert – Salute To The Military Raised A Large Amount of Money To Support Our Military! The ACM Concert – Salute to the Military, presented by NRA was a huge success! Some of country music’s hottest stars came out to perform for a great cause. The free, open-to-the-public celebration for military families and country music fans was part of THE ACM EXPERIENCE that took place on Saturday, March 31 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. Military ID holders were invited to a reserved section at the concert, which included a very special onstage moment as three worthy military-inspired charitable organizations received donations from NRA Country Cares and ACM Lifting Lives. Folds of Honor Foundation accepted $20,000, Wounded Warrior Project received $20,000 and Nellis Air Force Base Youth Programs was presented with $10,000. The memorable evening featured performances by ACM Song of the Year winner Lee Brice, Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers, Bradley Gaskin, JT Hodges, Kip Moore, Craig Morgan, John Rich, ACM Vocal Duo of the Year winner Thompson Square. The show was hosted by Robin Meade, singer and anchor of HLN’s “Morning Express with Robin Meade.” THE ACM EXPERIENCE was the first-ever, free, open-to-the-public country music lifestyle event created for fans during The Week Vegas Goes Country. The fan-focused three-day event included the ACM BBQ Throwdown, ACM EXPO, the Ram Ride and Drive and more!