The first country music cassette, or album for that matter, that I ever purchased was Faith Hill's "It Matters To Me" album. That, in my opinion, was Faith's last country music album.
I ordered the compact disc last week, and it was really great to be able to listen to it in the car for the first time since 1997, when I had a cassette deck in my 1985 Volvo.
It made sense that she veered more towards pop, and maybe someday, she'll return to recording music like on that album.
But what about Tim McGraw? His first few albums were much more country than the current batch. And his image was much more of a rugged country boy. Now, the image has changed towards a guy who wears expensive clothes and happens to sport a cowboy hat.
Is there a perception that there's something wrong with the rugged cowboy image or did McGraw feel it didn't fit him?
It's important to remember that unlike, say, George Strait, McGraw wasn't a cowboy or rancher prior to embarking on a music career. He likely dressed western early in his career, because that's what everyone else was doing.
But country folk don't wear Armani clothes, and country singers have always done a great job of showing their modesty, at least publicly.
McGraw's new image fits his new music. With other singers, it's obvious that their attire fits their music. Even when Alan Jackson may wear a suit in album covers, but you can tell he'd rather be wearing a flannel shirt and goin fishin'.
Obviously, fashions for country singers have changed from the days of Nudie Suits to contemporary looks. I kind of miss the 'western wear' era of the 1990's because that's how it was when I started listening. But maybe that doesn't fit into everybody's image. And for me, style is more important than substance.
Country Weekly recently did a poll for the 10 Most Beautiful Women in the genre. Carrie Underwood earned the top spot while Hill and Shania Twain were No. 2 and No. 4 , respectively. Personally, I think Kellie Pickler and Sara Evans should have been higher than No. 5 and No. 7, respectively.
Country and American Idol fans have debated this, but I think Pickler looks better with short hair. What do you think?
While I enjoy reading CW, I don't understand why they waited until the July 16 issue to provide coverage on the CMA Festival, which took place June 7-10. What's more, it wasn't even the cover story. Funny, since this was the most well-attended festival in its history. I looked at a CW from 2000 that devoted much more space to the festival. However, I've got to give them kudos for some great photos of the festival and interesting write-ups on fan club parties.