Monday, February 25, 2008

Articles about Alan Jackson

With the imminent arrival of Alan Jackson’s new album “Good Time” there are articles about Alan and the albums starting to appear. Music journalism veteran Chet Flippo of compares Alan Jackson’s songwriting to that of Ernest Hemmingway stating:

“In some ways, Jackson has become the Ernest Hemingway of country music. In writing, that is. Not necessarily in lifestyle. At Hemingway's best, he told stories very simply, getting directly to the point.”

Flippo point is that Alan Jackson also tells stories in his songs that are simple and get directly to the point.

Flippo also says:

“There isn't another male country artist of any age right now who can match him (Jackson) for what he does best. And that's to write, sing, record and perform country songs of consistent high quality and relevance.”

The New York Times had a find
piece on Alan and his up-coming album “Good Times” Times writer Kelefa Sanneh states in the article:

“There’s no question that Mr. Jackson is a country kingpin, respected even by the impatient young singers who complain that the country industry relies too heavily on proven hit makers like him. But outside the world of country music, Mr. Jackson is often viewed less respectfully, not as an American original but as a Nashville clone.”

Mr. Sanneh could not be more correct. Alan is beloved and respected inside the country music industry, but not outside of it. Why else would Alan have won 16 Country Music Association Awards while only winning 1 Grammy Award.

One day those outside the country music world will come to understand how great Alan’s music is. I eagerly await March 4th when I can get a copy of "Good Time".

Monday, February 18, 2008

Spring Training is Here

The Twins opened spring training in Fort Myers, Fl. yesterday. After one of the busiest and most controversial off-season in their history, the Twins will now start playing some baseball.

There are a lot of questions about this team, and now we will start getting some answers. I always enjoy the start of a new baseball season. It signals the end of winter and the start of spring. It also means I can some more baseball cards to players during spring training.

I will be writing more about the challenges that await the Twins this year. However, one problem they don’t have is their ace pitchers won’t be leaving via free agency at the end of this year. Cleveland ace C. C. Sabathia has told the Indians he is done negotiating with them and will become a free agent. Cleveland could lose Sabathia without getting anything but draft picks in return. I guess they should have traded him to the Mets for prospects.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Grammy Awards

The Gammy Awards were held yesterday and they continue to give the Grammies for country music to acts that did not deserve them. Usually the Grammy voters either go for a big-selling crossover country artist or an artist who is out of the mainstream. An actual mainstream, non-crossover country artist almost never wins.

Example, George Strait and Alan Jackson have never won a Grammy for Best Country Male Vocalist. Neither have Brad Paisley, Clint Black, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Travis Tritt, and Josh Turner. Garth Brooks and Dwight Yoakam have only won one apiece.

Vince Gill has won eight times. I love Vince Gill but he does not deserve eight wins, but the Grammy voters have become fixated on him.

Patty Loveless, Martina McBride, Pam Tillis, and Miranda Lambert have never won a Grammy for Best Country Female Vocalist while Reba McEntire has won only one.

Mary Chapin Carpenter has won four times, Shania Twain and Faith Hill twice. All of them were cross over artists whose music is more pop than country. Giving an award to a traditional female country artist seems almost to never cross Grammy voters mind.

This year winners were Keith Urban, who seems to known more for being Nicole Kidman’s husband then anything else, and former American Idol champion Carrie Underwood. I think Urban and Underwood make fine music, but they were not the best of this year’s nominees. Alan Jackson and Miranda Lambert were.

That does not matter to Grammy voters who think little of mainstream country music. All these voters want to push mainstream country music aside.