Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Selected Country Music Artists Fortunes in 2008

I review what artists will do what in 2008.

Alan Jackson will do well in 2008. His album Good Times comes out March 4 and based on the reaction to his new single Small Town Southern Man on places like Country Universe and elsewhere the album should sell well. Small Town Southern Man should earn single and song of the year nominations. Could Good Times be country album of the year?

Even in this tough time for female artists in country music, Ashton Shepherd will make it. She may not be as successful as Carrie Underwood, but she does not have to be to enjoy a rewarding career.

Taylor Swift is not the greatest singer, but neither is Tim McGraw. He succeeded by making mostly good songs choices. Taylor’s has great potential as a song writer. If she realized this potential on her next album, due in 2008, she could have something. Taylor is also the master of using social media to mobilize and gain fans. This fan base should aid her in her efforts for success.

Faith Hill will leave country music, as she has stated, to make a more soul filled pop album. I wonder if this will be as successful as she thinks, because pop music may in a serious rut in 2008.

Brad Paisley and Keith Urban will have it out for the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award. Since Urban has won previously, Paisley would seem to be next in line. With Sugarland, Josh Turner, and Carrie Underwood coming up behind him, he had better hope he wins in 2008.

Sugarland will continue their ascent to super-stardom and earn a nomination for CMA Entertainer of the Year. Their song “Stay” will earn single and song of the year nominations.

Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith will start fading. Chesney will use this as an opportunity to create more traditional, yet daring, country music.

Josh Turner will continue to rise in the eyes of fans, critics, and award show voters.

Brooks & Dunn will, as they have said, release solo albums. Brooks & Dunn the duo will continue, but their popularity will fade.

Miranda Lambert will either become a star or become frustrated by her inability to get country radio to play her music; with the key being how she mobilizes her fans through social media.

The Dixie Chicks will return to country music in 2008. Why? It is the illogical thing to do. It will also cause the mainstream media to pay a great deal of attention to them, thereby helping them sell albums. Also country music is their natural home, and both sides are probably ready to forget if not forgive.

Gretchen Wilson will disappear for the year while she tries to revive her fading career. Amazing how fast she sank after seemingly being the new voice of women in country music.

Jewel will have a tough time in her bid for country music stardom unless she has more up-tempo songs than the ones I heard on her MySpace page. It will not help her that other pop artists will come flocking to country music and not be really as serious about a real career in country music as she is.

Julianne Hough (two-time winner of Dancing with the Stars) and Lady Antebellum will join Ashton Shepherd as break out new artists in 08.

Martina McBride will fade quickly unless she gets more daring with her music. Her last album was bad, and her great voice wasted. She should make a gospel album, but I sense she is still intent on trying to become a bigger star.

George Strait, Garth Brooks, or Shania Twain will make a daring album of music.

Carrie Underwood will have continued success, but find a building backlash to her success. Then her record label will announce Kelly Clarkson will be making a country album putting both of American Idols biggest star alumni in the same genre and on the same label.