Some Days The Song Writes You

Music from the perspective of a country radio DJ

Phil Vassar – “Don’t Miss Your Life”

It’s been five years since Phil Vassar last put a single into the top 10 of the charts, and nearly a decade since he was last able to consistently get into the top 20. In the time since then, his level of commercial success has been erratic to say the least, with singles making it as high as #2 and stalling as low as #53.

His latest offering talks of a man whose life has been so consumed by work that he’s missing many of the little things in life and doesn’t realize it until the ever popular character, Wise Old Man, sits next to him on a plane and talks about the things he’s missed himself.

A song like this has equal potential to either be touching and well done, or horribly schmaltzy. Fortunately, Vassar trends closer to the former than the latter.

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Saturday moment of Zen

Four out of five experts agree that Guy Clark makes everything better. The fifth yelled at me to get off his lawn.

Nashville just doesn’t get it

For those who don’t know, my day job includes working as a DJ for a small market country radio station. As a result, I have access to some promotional materials and trade magazines most of you will never see if you even knew they existed at all. I’m not the music director or program director here, so none of them come directly to me, but I sometimes find them laying around the studio and look through them. Sometimes I’ll run across something I want to comment on. This is one of those times.

Nashville Music Guide, April 2012This afternoon during my regular shift, I noticed a magazine that was left in the control room called Nashville Music Guide. I’ve never seen a copy of it before, but I seem to recall having heard of it somewhere before and I have no doubt it carries at least some weight within the country radio business. The cover story was about the Grascals, so I picked it up and thumbed through it a bit. Even just scanning a few articles, I noticed a few things that I think are very telling about the current mindset of mainstream country music. Take, for example, a list of a few current and upcoming singles that included this blurb about Justin Moore’s next single, “Til My Last Day“:

Justin is back with another unapologetic Southern Rock anthem which includes a strong slide guitar solo. The Country singer belts out lyrics which are perfect for the ‘Country boy’ singer, who stays true to his roots in nearly every tune he releases.

If I wrote that exact same paragraph, it would be meant as a short summary of why the song stinks, yet here the exact same words are being used to promote it. How does this happen?

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Introduction

Welcome to my new music site. I intend for this to be a source of reviews, commentary and discussion of music, both mainstream and independent. I will focus mainly on country and Americana music, but not exclusively. Occasionally I’ll venture into other genres when something catches my attention. For the time being, this is a one man operation, but I’d be interested in possibly adding additional writers over time. If you would be interested in writing, by all means email me at alacy52[at]gmail.com

I encourage discussion and debate in the comments, but ask that everyone be respectful toward each other.

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