Country Music Roundup: Feuds, feuds everywhere

This Week’s News 

If the infighting at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland wasn’t enough, now we’ve got two new country music feuds on our hands. Let’s start with the Texas-related one.

Last week, Granger Smih (AKA Earl Dibbles, Jr.) referred to the Texas country scene as “the minor leagues” in an interview with The Boot, saying “I had singles — on-the-radio singles — I had a radio tour a couple times … [We] had been running in the minor leagues; that’s really what it is.”

inger Granger Smith attends the 2016 iHeartCountry Festival at The Frank Erwin Center on April 30, 2016 in Austin, Texas. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman

inger Granger Smith attends the 2016 iHeartCountry Festival at The Frank Erwin Center on April 30, 2016 in Austin, Texas. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman

The comments went unnoticed until the weekend, when Wade Bowen and other artists voiced their opinions on Smith’s remarks. Bowen was the most vocal, responding to Smith on Instagram with “Love my life! Cheers to the minor leagues!!”

Love my life! Cheers to the minor leagues!! @earldibblesjr @grangersmith

A post shared by Wade Bowen (@wadebowen) on

The mini-feud got so much traction that Bowen decided to clear the air in an interview with Saving Country Music, even though Bowen and Smith never specifically attacked each other.

“It was never meant to be a negative statement towards anybody,” Bowen told SCM. “I’m so happy and content with my life. I think that really just what I wanted to get across to everyone.”

Switching gears to everyone’s favorite country music couple feud, Miranda Lambert just released “Vice,” the new single from her upcoming album.

Miranda Lambert performs at the 2016 iHeartCountry Fest Saturday, April 30 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. (Suzanne Cordeiro/Austin Amrican-Statesman)

Miranda Lambert performs at the 2016 iHeartCountry Fest Saturday, April 30 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. (Suzanne Cordeiro/Austin Amrican-Statesman)

It’s pretty straightforward that this is a heartbreak song, but Lambert doesn’t explicitly reveal if it was her infidelities or those of ex-husband Blake Shelton that ended their marriage. The lyrics “Another vice, another call, another bed I shouldn’t crawl out of” could be read two ways: either Lambert is owning up to her own mistakes, or she’s simply singing about how she’s dealing with the fallout of a relationship. Either way, it’s a hell of a lot more of an easier listen than Shelton’s “She’s Got a Way With Words.”

One thing’s for sure, though— just as the influence of Gwen Stefani can be seen throughout Shelton’s “If I’m Honest,” the East Nashville sound of Lambert’s new boyfriend Anderson East can be heard all over this song, with a touch of sonic cues from Rush’s “Tom Sawyer.” Think Margo Price with a synthesizer.

This Week’s Best New Song

Fort Worth outfit Grady Spencer & the Work released the new music video for “By Now,” from their latest album “The Line Between.” I caught a show from these guys at the Saxon Pub about a month ago and was blown away by the mix of country, Americana and roots rock. The video  for “By Now” was filmed in Fort Worth, and the song showcases the musicianship their fans know them for. This group’s going places.

 

This Week’s Best Country Show in Austin

Drake will undoubtedly be the biggest concert draw of the week, but country fans can check out the Randy Rogers Band at Nutty Brown Cafe this Saturday as they play a Hawaiian Luau. Doors open at 6 p.m. and there will be island drinks a plenty, just in time for National Tequila Day.

This is the Country Music Roundup, a weekly blog where we’ll give you the latest news in country music releases and local country shows. For a more in-depth analysis of the genre and where it’s headed, check back with our weekly Gone Country blog every week.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Let me know on Twitter @jakeharris4 or by email: jharris@statesman.com.


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