10/6/18 Pandora Data

Before I get into all of the words and numbers, here’s Alan Jackson’s cover of Wild Horses from last week’s Muscle Shoals all-star album for some background music.

Pandora, which was recently acquired by Sirius XM, recently made a truckload of data available to the public, though Next Big Sound.

There are all sorts of goodies, from geographic data to social media engagement statistics.

Let’s start with the (at least nominally) country acts on the 100-song, all-genre Pandora Top Spins Chart, for the week dated October 5th:

22nd Luke Combs, “She Got The Best Of Me”

24th Kane Brown, “Lose It”

27th Chris Stapleton, “Millionaire”

28th Florida Georgia Line, “Simple”

35th Dan + Shay, “Speechless”

37th Russell Dickerson, “Blue Tacoma”

39th Dustin Lynch, “Good Girl”

40th Dierks Bentley ft Brothers Osborne, “Burning Man”

41st Midland, “Burn Out”

43rd Jordan Davis, “Take It From Me”

47th Kelsea Ballerini, “I Hate Love Songs”

55th Blake Shelton, “Turnin’ Me On”

56th Scotty McCreery, “This Is It”

58th Riley Green, “There Was This Girl”

62nd Garth Brooks, “All Day Long”

65th Eric Church, “Desperate Man”

70th Tyler Rich, “The Difference”

76th Jake Owen, “Down To The Honkytonk”

78th Michael Ray, “One That Got Away”

87th Cody Johnson, “On My Way To You”

90th Luke Combs, “Beautiful Crazy”

98th Chris Young, “She’s Got A Way”

99th Kenny Chesney ft Mindy Smith, “Better Boat”

Much has been said about the recent lack of radio airplay for country women, but a quick look at the above shows that female artists are also having trouble on the streaming chart. The Next Big Sound posts the audience for each audience, by gender, over the last 30 days. Roughly 52% of Pandora users are female, as of 2015. Here are gender stats for the Pandora audience of various artists, as of Thursday (keeping in mind that this is only a snapshot of the last month, and data changes quickly):

Kane Brown 83% Women, 17% Men

Scotty McCreery 70% Women, 30% Men

Blake Shelton 69% Women, 31% Men

Miranda Lambert 69% Women, 31% Men

Dan + Shay 68% Women, 32% Men

Rascal Flatts 67% Women, 33% Men

Carrie Underwood 65% Women, 35% Men

Lady Antebellum 64% Women, 36% Men

Kelsea Ballerini 64% Women, 36% Men

Brothers Osborne 63% Women, 37% Men

Brett Eldredge 62% Women, 38% Men

Tyler Rich 62% Women, 38% Men

Dierks Bentley 61% Women, 39% Men

Keith Urban 60% Women, 40% Men

Kacey Musgraves 60% Women, 40% Men

Florida Georgia Line 59% Women, 41% Men

Chris Young 58% Women, 42% Men

Loretta Lynn 58% Women, 42% Men

Dolly Parton 58% Women, 42% Men

Luke Combs 57% Women, 43% Men

Willie Nelson 57% Women, 43% Men

Shania Twain 57% Women, 43% Men

Russell Dickerson 57% Women, 43% Men

Riley Green 56% Women, 44% Men

Little Big Town 55% Women, 45% Men

Michael Ray 54% Women, 46% Men

Tim McGraw 54% Women, 46% Men

Thomas Rhett 53% Women, 47% Men

Dustin Lynch 53% Women, 47% Men

Brent Cobb 52% Women, 48% Men

Midland 52% Women, 48% Men

Jake Owen 51% Women, 49% Men

Dallas Moore 50%-50%

Jordan Davis 50%-50%

Nikki Lane 51% Men, 49% Women

Luke Bryan 52% Men, 48% Women

Sunny Sweeney 52% Men, 48% Women

Garth Brooks 52% Men, 48% Women

Marty Stuart 54% Men, 46% Women

Chris Stapleton 54% Men, 46% Women

The Steeldrivers 55% Men, 45% Women

Jason Aldean 55% Men, 45% Women

Jon Pardi 58% Men, 42% Women

Sam Hunt 58% Men, 42% Women

Mindy Smith 58% Men, 42% Women

Lee Ann Womack 59% Men, 41% Women

Barnyard Stompers 60% Men, 40% Women

Eric Church 61% Men, 39% Women

Bri Bagwell 61% Men, 39% Women

Wade Bowen 63% Men, 37% Women

George Strait 63% Men, 37% Women

Pat Green 67% Men, 33% Women

Jompson Brothers 67% Men, 33% Women

Randy Rogers 68% Men, 32% Women

Kenny Chesney 68% Men, 32% Women

Cody Jinks 69% Men, 31% Women

Alan Jackson 75% Men, 25% Women

Joshua Hedley 76% Men, 24% Women

Hank Williams, Jr 82% Men, 18% Women



10/5/18 New Albums

Here’s a few:

Eric Church, “Desperate Man”

T.J. Hernandez, “Who I Am”

Tyler Resch, “Highways & Honkytonks”

Judah Kelly, “Real Good Time”

Michael Martin Murphey, “Austinology – Alleys of Austin”

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, “Poor Until Payday”

George Ensle, “Home”

Missy Raines, “Royal Traveller”

Canaan Bryce, “Hwy 287”

J Shields and The Honey Spoons, “Damn Good Alibi”

Heather Morgan, “Borrowed Heart”

J.P. Harris, “Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing”

Town Mountain, “New Freedom Blues”

The Old Time Snake Milkers and Hoot and Holler, “Milkers and Hollers”

For King & Country, “Burn the Ships”

Hymn For Her, “Pop ‘n’ Downers”

Jim Wyly, “The Artisan”

Various artists, “Average Joes Entertainment: 10 Years”

Philippe Bronchtein, “Me and The Moon”

Will Hoge, “My American Dream”

Tim Thurman, “Tim Thurman – EP”

Nick Nichols, “Hometown USA”

The Misty Mountain String Band, “Kentucky Bound”

The Patrick Brothers, “The Old Steam Engine’s Gone”

Panhandle Dirt Band, s/t

The Sweet Jelly Rolls, “Smokin’ Darts & Breakin’ Hearts”

Jared Waggoner, “Borrowed Time”

Whiskey Crossing, “Southern Soul”

Rudi Ekstein, “Carolina Chimes”

The Bonfire Choir, “Neon Room”

Mando Salas, “Forever”

New Songs:

Hank Williams, Jr, “Take A Knee, Take A Hike”

Sydney Adams, “I Don’t Care”

Ben Fuller, “Dirt Road to Nahville”

Alexa Kishner, “Moving On”

Lauren Alaina, “Ladies in the 90s”

10/4/18 Hal Bruni, Today’s Featured Artist

The Last Honkytonk Music Series visits Kent Black’s BBQ in San Marcos, Texas the last Sunday of every month. Since I’m a transplant from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the series is in honor of Wayne Mills, who was a staple of the Tuscaloosa music scene for years, the series is like a slice of home. As luck would have it, this past Sunday’s guest was Hal Bruni , and it turns out that we have Tuscaloosa friends in common.

In addition to his many originals, he played a number of choice covers during his three-hour set. If you’re a fan of Wayne Mills, Dallas Moore, Kyle Wilson, Jamey Johnson, Chris Stapleton, Willie,Waylon, and Johnny, you’re in luck.

Last month, he released a 6-song EP, but it’s just the first of three: Painkillers: The S&M Sessions, Vol. 1.

For my YouTube list, I picked The Ballad of Shaky Jake

10/3/18 Coffee, Country, and Cody

The long-running WSM radio show has over ten years worth of episodes available on Spotify: WSM’s Coffee, Country, and Cody

There are nearly 700 episodes posted on Spotify, from 2007 through the present.

There’s a 2008 episode with the Steeldrivers, and on October 12th, the Steeldrivers’ 2010 album “Reckless” will be available on vinyl for the first time.

In other news, the Opry City Stage at Times Square closed after just 9 months. Opry management originally envisioned a whole chain of these things, even internationally.

Irlene Mandrell released a new song: You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Heartache

Terie Lei Moore released a new song: White Pine Creek

Also, I read that Rachel Messer is a contestant on The Voice this year. Here’s one of her originals from last year: This Old Heart

Janelle Arthur and Deana Carter are among the cast of the upcoming movie Runnin From My Roots,

Pollstar article on tour numbers


10/2/18 Ameripolitan Finalists

I don’t know how many different sets of awards I’ve posted about this year. Anyway, there are lots of good indie acts to check out, so let’s get to it.

2019 Western Swing Groups

The Western Swing Authority
The Western Flyers
Big Cedar Fever
The Lucky Stars

Big Cedar Fever plays in San Marcos a lot. Here’s one of their videos.

2019 Western Swing Females
Grace Adele
Wendy Newcomer
Cheryl Deserée
Stacey Lee Guse

2019 Western Swing Males

Kyle Eldridge
Justin Trevino – Official
Farmer Keenan
Coby Carter

2019 Outlaw Groups
Mike and the Moonpies
The Pine Hill Haints
The Rhyolite Sound
Andrea & Mud

2019 Outlaw Females

Rebecca Jed
Sarah Borges
Summer Dean
Sarah Gayle Meech

2019 Outlaw Males

Ray Wylie Hubbard
Billy Don Burns
Dallas Moore
Steve Griggs

Dallas and Ray Wylie both play here in San Marcos and New Braunfels a good bit. Dallas recently did shows at three area venues in one day ! Here’s Ray Wylie’s new video: Easy Money Down In Texas

2019 Honky Tonk Groups

Two Tons of Steel
Country Heroes
The Lawrence Peters Outfit
Dan Whitaker and The Shinebenders

Two Tons plays here quite often (especially at Gruene Hall).

2019 Honky Tonk Females

Malin Pettersen
Whitney Rose
Tommy Ash
Bonnie Montgomery

2019 Honky Tonk Males

Zephaniah OHora
Jesse Daniel
Pat Reedy
Casey James Prestwood

2019 Rockabilly Groups
The Delta Bombers
Shaun Young & The 3 Ringers
The Desperados-WildRecords
Colton Turner Band

2019 Rockabilly Males

Marcel Riesco
Pat Capocci
Jimmy Dale
Levi Dexter

2019 Rockabilly Females

Cherry Rat Engelbrecht
Abby Maharaj
Tammi Savoy
Ruby Ann

2019 Musicians
Katie Shore Music
Kevin Smith
Ashley Kingman
Kenny Vaughan
Deke Dickerson
Joel Paterson
Mike Bernal
Rose Sinclair



9/29/18 IBMA Awards

Yes, more awards… This time, it’s the biggest of the bluegrass awards. Here’s the full list: Bluegrass Today link. Please do take the time to look up the various winners, nominees, and participants. I’ll post just a few choice videos, but all of these people are good.

The Travelin’ McCourys released a fun album earlier this year that we listened to on our road trip to South Dakota. Here’s a fun video of the IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year with Dierks Bentley and friends: Jackson ( by Johnny Cash) – Dierks Bentley, Elle King, The Travelin’ McCourys and Trombone Shorty

IBMA Song of the Year: Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers – “If Id Have Wrote That Song”

Balsam Range won the IBMA Entertainer of the Year. Here’s one of my favorites of theirs from several years ago: Somewhere In Between.

9/28/18 New Albums

Oh, no ! Not this again ! 🙂

Loretta Lynn, “Wouldn’t It Be Great” – CMT announced that Loretta Lynn will receive an “Artist of a Lifetime” award at the upcoming “CMT Artists of the Year” special.

Various Artists, “Muscle Shoals … Small Town, Big Sound”

Mountain Home Music, various artists, “Come See About Me: A Benefit for the IBMA Trust Fund”

The Louvin Brothers, “Love And Wealth: The Lost Recordings”

The Earls of Leicester, “Earls of Leicester Live at the CMA Theater in the Country Music Hall of Fame”

Foghorn Stringband, “Rock Island Garage”

Katie Cole, “Things That Break, Part 1”

Nobody’s Girl, “Waterline”

Stanley Records, “Take Me To Town: An Australian Alternative Country Complilation (featuring 47 acts on 3 CDs)”

Stephanie Urbina Jones, “Tularosa”

The Black Lilies, “Stranger to Me”

Amy Ray, “Holler”

Deanna Wheeler, “Deanna Wheeler”

Tony Joe White, “Bad Mouthin'”

Jon Smith, “Run From The Radio”

Matthew Taylor, “Rush The River”

Michigan Rattlers, “Evergreen”

All Them Witches, “ATW”

Kin Faux, “Kin Faux”

Casey Daniels Band, “Memories”

Robbie Walden Band, “When The Rooster Crows”

Masey McLain, “To The Dreamers”

Haley McMillan, “Warrior EP”

Justin Rose, “Justin Rose”

Joey Wray, “Joey Wray”

Ronnie Dean Tinsley & The Dark Horse Rodeo, “Ain’t Livin’ On Luck”

Bryon Simpson, “A Couple Of Things”

Brian Paddock, “Under New Management”

Mark Leach, “Where I Wanna Be”

The Random Strangers, “Old Habits”

The Pistol Annies released the first three songs from “Interstate Gospel,” and NPR First Listen has a feature on Eric Church’s new album, “Desperate Man.”

9/27/18 Bluegrass Updates

The IBMA World of Bluegrass is this week. The awards are tonight, so I’ll probably make a post about the winners this weekend. Bluegrass Today has good coverage.

On Tuesday night, the Steeldrivers were one of the bands on the bill at the Grand Ole Opry. They’ve played the Opry over 50 times. The Steeldrivers’ 2008 Opry appearance was televised, and songwriter John Brocksmith was thoughtful to upload the video. Fans of Charlie Daniels will also want to see that video to see Charlie singing a Flatt & Scruggs cover with the group, and there’s also an Opry promo for Carrie Underwood between songs. This week’s Opry appearance was also special, because they brought out surprise guests Bill Murray and John Prine to sing Prine’s definitive song “Paradise.” There’s some history to soak in. Opry historian Byron Fay wrote an article in 2012 about the opening of the Grand Ole Opry House on March 16th,1974. Note that Jim & Jesse McReynolds performed “Paradise” as part of that grand opening evening. Bill Murray’s history with the Steeldrivers includes the 2010 movie “Get Low.” The Steeldrivers (which included Chris Stapleton at the time) not only performed four songs on the soundtrack, but also appeared in the movie.

The Mark O’Connor Band announced dates for their Christmas tour with Brandy Clark, who shared their bill this summer at the “Americana at the Ryman” series. The O’Connors regularly perform the bluegrass standard “Ruby,” so I’ll note that the Osborne Brothers performed that song at the Grand Ole Opry House grand opening show.

Just for fun, I made a playlist of some bluegrass covers of songs that were originally performed in other styles. Here’s a 20-song collection: Bluegrass Covers. Some of these are pretty bad and some are pretty good, but most importantly, some are pretty funny.