Articles and Interviews
The likelihood of The Wreckers making a name for themselves on the country scene appeared at odds with reality. Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp - the duo who are The Wreckers - were total unknowns in country music, although Branch carved out a successful career on her own on the pop rock side of the musical spectrum. Not even Branch anticipated a great response when "Stand Still, Look Pretty" finally came out this year after delays caused in part by the birth of Branch's daughter. But in one of the biggest surprises of the year, The Wreckers have done just that with a number one single in "Leave the Pieces" and a strong selling album. ...
Editorials and Country Musings
2006 proved to be another difficult year for the entire music industry. The same culprits - downloading and at times unexciting music - contributed to a less than stellar bottom line. But despite belt tightening, not all was glum country- wise. Several acts moved onwards and upwards in 2006. Brad Paisley gained more of the acclaim he richly deserved. Alan Jackson earned credit for going against the grain once again with musically spare albums ("Like Red on a Rose" and "Precious Memories") ...
When it comes time in the next year for the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association to name the best new artists and horizon award winners respectively, at this point at least, they're going to have a lot of trouble finding a winner, maybe even enough worthy acts to nominate. That's because half-way through this calendar year, there have been few new artists releasing music at least on major labels, and few more seem to be on tap for the rest of 2006. And thus far, none are particularly exceptional. ...