I read the list of Country Music Association nominees this week, and I was surprised! I don't even listen to country radio anymore, and even I recognized most of the names on the list.
If I didn't know better, I'd think it was 1998, not 2008. What happened? Is the talent pool a little shallow? (That's a rhetorical question.)
Here's the list. Tell me if you don't agree that we've suddenly taken a voyage back in time.
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
Big & Rich
Brooks & Dunn
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
Little Big Town
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Cowboy Town - Brooks & Dunn
Good Time - Alan Jackson
Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates - Kenny Chesney
Troubadour - George Strait
Carnival Ride - Carrie Underwood
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Don't Blink - Kenny Chesney
Gun Powder and Lead - Miranda Lambert
I Saw God Today - George Strait
Stay - Sugarland
You're Gonna Miss This - Trace Adkins
SONG OF THE YEAR (Songwriter's award)
Good Time - Alan Jackson
I Saw God Today - Rodney Clawson, Monte Criswell, Wade Kirby
Letter To Me - Brad Paisley
Stay - Jennifer Nettles
You're Gonna Miss This - Lee Thomas Miller, Ashley Gorley
MUSICAL EVENT/MUSIC VIDEO
Don't care; these are needless categories.
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
Jerry Douglas, dobro
Paul Franklin, steel guitar (they still use those in country?)
Dann Huff, guitar
Brent Mason, guitar
Mac McAnally, guitar
NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Let's start out by mentioning the categories that need to be done away with.....(this will also serve to shorten the awards ceremony):
MUSICAL EVENT (what the heck does that mean anyway?)
MUSIC VIDEO (I don't watch 'em; therefore, I don't care.)
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR (They're scrounging to even come up with 5 nominees this year - The Wreckers aren't even together anymore. How about we just roll this one into the VOCAL GROUP category?)
Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let me say now that of the singles/albums/songs nominated in their respective categories, I only recognize about two or three, and the only album I purchased was the George Strait one.
So, I say, let's get rid of the SINGLE OF THE YEAR category, and just give George Strait the award for ALBUM OF THE YEAR (since that's really the only one worth buying anyway, in my humble opinion. Alan Jackson's might be okay, I guess. I don't know - haven't heard it; sorry).
Now. NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR. The only one I recognize is Kellie Pickler, and that's only because I watch American Idol. So, since I don't know any of these people, let's get rid of this award also.
We'll keep the SONG OF THE YEAR category, because this is the only piddly little award that actually recognizes songwriters. You know, those people without whom the artists would be releasing recordings of simply dead air. I must say, however, when did we start requiring a committee to write one simple little song? You know, I could even get on board with two writers, but three? If you need three people to write a song, I think you need to go find some better writers.
I wish to retain the VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR award, simply because I think it would be hilarious and ironic for the Eagles to win. They are one of the very few artists who are actually releasing country records nowadays.
As for the other categories that we'll keep, I don't care. Anyone can win. Pick one and get it over with.
Country music has lost its soul. I don't listen to "country" radio, and I won't be watching the CMA's.
There was a time when I got excited about country music. I'm over it. Maybe someday the wheels will turn, and somebody will "re-re-invent" country music; you know, like back in 1998, when Alan, George, Randy, and those guys were hot, and the music was, too. I like to think that that may happen. I'm sort of pessimistic, though.