CMA / AMA Best Artists – My View

So the Country Music Association and the Americana Music Association have recently released their nominees list for their respective awards and in an attempt to figure what passes for country music nowadays and what the heck “Americana” means I am going to compare a category they share…sort of.

CMA Entertainer of the Year
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
Rascal Flatts
George Strait
Keith Urban

CMA Male Vocalist of the Year
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
George Strait
Josh Turner
Keith Urban

CMA Female Vocalist of the Year
Alison Krauss
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Reba McEntire
Carrie Underwood

AMA Artist of the Year
Joe Ely
Lucinda Williams
Patty Griffin
Todd Snider

Being good, progressive minded folk the Americana place the boys and the girls in one “artist” category. The CMA naturally plays it like a broken record with Chesney and Rascal Flatts nominated for the millionth time. I have a question, to qualify for EOTY shouldn’t you be entertaining? And I don’t mean in a comedic sense. And what is the difference between “Entertainer of the year” and Vocalist of the year” I mean all the nominees are vocalists,that’s what they do to entertain, sing. Is the CMA rewarding acrobatics, ripped biceps and hair gel as a separate category?

I like George Strait and think his 07 release “It Just Comes Natural” is good but not great. I like Brad Paisley somewhat but think he’s choosing the corn-ball and schmaltz cuts that are beneath him and his fine guitar playing to chase the dollar. I think Miranda Lambert is the best thing to happen to country in a long time and she has the good sense to cover excellent songwriters like Gillian Welsh. Alison Krauss is the one crossover artist here but she had to soften her bluegrass roots and get a make-over to get acceptance by the CMA crowd. Britney 2…er..I mean Carrie Underwood has the pipes but not the soul or courage to be interseting.

Joe Ely is a Texas legend and should when in any category he’s in. And even though I love Lucinda, I think “West” was a weak effort and shows that moving to L.A. will kill even a dignified soul.

I will use the CMA boy/girl dichotomy and ignore the useless EOTY category and play nice and not add other deserving artists like Elizabeth Cook and Wayne Hancock into the mix, and say:

Male Artist of the Year: Joe Ely

Female Artist of the Year: Miranda Lambert

10 Replies to “CMA / AMA Best Artists – My View”

  1. Nice to know someone else has the same opinion i do about the new Lucinda album. West was a weak effort and the critics couldn’t fall over themselves fast enough to praise it. For cryin’ out loud it has a seven minute song about a blow job.

  2. Chip, I guess once your an sweetheart your always an sweetheart, even when you stop doing (see Neko Case).

    I give Lu credit for doing something different and challenging, but the release sounded cold and detached. And that takes quite a bit of effort to do with her her excellent pipes and approach to most material.

    It’s not stopping me from seeing her at Town Hall, though…

  3. I felt the same way after hearing Williams’ album. But, I did go back and listen to a previous album to see why she was adored, and ended up liking what I heard from Car Wheels On a Gravel Road.

  4. Brody – Car Wheels On a Gravel Road is Lu’s Pet Sounds or Red Headed Stranger. Her best which she co-produced and features a stunning line up of musicians with appearances by Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris.

    Her Oct 2nd show here in New York, the one I have tickets for, will be a full performance of the album!

  5. Thank you! Miranda Lambert IS the GREATEST thing to EVER happen to country music!!
    I am sooo glad to see her finally get the recognition she righfully deserves!!

  6. If Miranda doesn’t win Female Vocalist of the Year it would be a travesty!!!!! Not being nominated for Album of the Year was tragic enough….Ya gotta love those Texas talents! She’s smokin’!

  7. It seems that the Miranda Lambert fan club has been linked to my site. I hope Miranda starts to take away some of that Underwood attention.

  8. Thanks for Miranda’s nod!!!!! We all know she deserves it! Want to help more… call or plead w/ your local radio station!

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