Today, everyone is focused on politics in Nevada and who won the popular vote. Politics schmolitics. You put a bunch of donkeys and elephants in the same room, you just get big piles of crap.
Well, we thought we’d do our own caucus in the country music community with the focus not on votes, but on positive actions. Here are our winners of the Lovin’ Lyrics Country Caucus 2020.
- Ava Paige, Jason Matthews and Bryan Wayne
These three people are some of the most talented singer/songwriters but that’s not all they have in common. They are all fighting a much more personal battle than getting their music heard. They are each fighting health battles.
Ava, a teenager, was diagnosed with leukemia last year. Instead of letting it win the fight, she is determined to be a sur-thriver. She spends her days in treatment and her free time is spent writing songs with some of country’s best writers, singing on Nashville stages and even singing the National Anthem for the Nashville Predators. She is a sur-thriving boss.
Jason, a hit writer with cuts including “Must Be Doing Something Right” (Billy Currington) and “Break Down Here” (Julie Roberts) has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments after being diagnosed with throat cancer a year ago. With the support of his biggest fan (and wife) Debbie, his resolve is strong to continue doing what he loves the most. Not only has this past year strengthened his desire to write and perform at his best, it has also strengthened his faith in God.
Bryan, best known for writing the Tommy Shane Steiner hit, ”What If She’s an Angel” is using his own diagnosis with terminal ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) to spread awareness of the disease in a positive way. Several of his friends, including Ashley Gorley, Neil Thrasher, Bonnie Baker, Jason Blaine, Joanna Janet, James Otto and Big and Rich came together in 2018 to perform his songs and knowing he would be losing his voice, Bryan recorded an album, “While You Wait” for his family so they would always be able to hear it. He currently promotes various causes related to ALS and shares his story with the world. He wants others to know that while yes, it is deemed as terminal, you can still live your life positively.
- The Oak Ridge Boys, Travis Tritt and Tanya Tucker
These artists have all proven one thing - fans have not given up on country music and want to hear what radio won’t play. Just ask the thousands of attendees of their shows.
The Oak Ridge Boys (Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban) are constantly busy proving that good music and great entertainers have staying power. The Country Music Hall of Famers are on the road more nights than most current Top 40 artists (125 nights or more), sometimes 2 shows a day, including a Christmas tour, playing to sold out venues night after night. When they aren’t on the road, they’re in the studio recording new music or making television appearances and radio interviews. They are currently spokesmen for AARP and helping fight fraud.
Travis Tritt is also a busy son of a gun - he is on a sell out acoustic tour (which I can honestly say is a MUST SEE show. His voice is stronger than ever), he’s recording not only a brand new album, but making guest appearances on other artists songs including Hot Country Knights and Cory Marks. He also was a judge on TV’s “Real Country” along with Shania Twain and Jake Owen which showcased up and coming “real country” artists.
Tanya Tucker ... a new kick ass album and multiple recent Grammy awards. Enough said. She wins.
- Mickey Guyton
Mickey Guyton, one of the best and overlooked female voices in country music, left mouths hanging open, tears rolling down faces and industry executives asking themselves what the hell were they thinking with her emotional performance at this years Country Radio Seminar. The song, “What Are You Going to Tell Her”, co-written by Victoria Banks, is a matter of fact story of struggles that Mickey and other females deal with every day. Many artists were trying to make a lasting impression last week but this was the moment that won CRS. Well radio, what are you going to tell her now?
- Cash Creek (Kimo Forrest, Monty DeVita and James Blaylock)
As if these guys didn’t have enough going on between writing and recording their own music, their weekly podcast “Cash Creek Club”, their once a month live show at Music City Bar and Grill - “Cash Creek Club Live” with superstar headliners like T. Graham Brown, Wade Hayes, Heidi Newfield, Tim Rushlow and Richie McDonald among others and Kimo touring the country as guitarist with country supergroup, Alabama, they have now started their own record label, CCB Nashville and have been working to help new artists like RT Johnson, Angela Oliver, Mercy Shine and others establish their own budding careers. These guys are ALWAYS a positive influence in a not so positive industry. It’s great seeing artists support each other.
- KFrog’s Heather Froglear, WGAR’s Carletta Blake, CountryAF’s Cody Clark, Country Superstars 102.3’s Marty Young, KRTY’s Indiana Al and KOKE FM’s Rita Ballou
Now y’all know how I feel about today’s country radio, I rarely listen anymore because of the corporate politics and behind the scenes BS, the lack of variety, blah blah blah. That being said, I love a lot of the dj’s, PD’s and Music Programmers. They usually have no real control over what is and isn’t played yet these are some of the best when it comes to supporting new signed and unsigned artists. They talk about them on social media, bring them in for local shows and tell their listeners how much they personally like their music. They can’t buck the system on the air but they subtly find ways around it off the air and myself and many others appreciate them for it.
HLE Radio’s Brian Carpenter, Hunter Logan, Randy Finchum and Steve Roberson
HLE Radio is an independent Christian Country internet radio station that is keeping faith alive in an environment where it was once part of the everyday playlist but has since become a rarity. They showcase music and artists with a positive message.
- WQDR 94.7 FM Raleigh, NC
This is our local large market station based in Raleigh, NC. WQDR plays the gamut, Top 40, classic country and even local unsigned artists. What? Did she say UNSIGNED artists? Yes, she did. They have a Homegrown Country show on Sunday nights showcasing NC local artists. What a concept! They dare to play unsigned artists ON THE AIR and still are nominated and WIN multiple ACM/CMA large market station awards. See? You CAN still be a great station and play outside the corporate playlist.
- Country Watch and The CM Beat
Country Watch and The CM Beat are just like us, independent music bloggers. They simply love music, support those who create it and want to shine the spotlight on the artist, not themselves. Nicki (CW) and Emily (CMB) work hard to showcase great new music, spend hours doing it because they love it and simply want to help. Thank you both.
There ya have it. See? Much better than political monkey poo flinging. I like our Caucus better.