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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Citizen of Nowhere

    Year end listing of the CMT videos

    This has been posted in the Carrie voting thread - and the great news there is that "Remind Me" may have come out top of the list

    Here though, I thought it might be interesting to use the list as a general review of the year.

    There were 220 submissions. I've watched almost all of them on YouTube (I can't access most of CMT). There were only two of them that I couldn't track down at all. Obviously the list is skewed in three ways - first to artists who were releasing a new song this year, secondly to those who can afford to have a video made, and thirdly to those who consider it worth submitting to CMT. Nevertheless, I found it interesting as a guide to what's current.

    As I can't watch CMT (and there is no equivalent channel over here), it came as a pleasant surprise - firstly in terms of CMT's willingness to show such a wide range of Country Music (I understand all of these have been aired on CMT Pure, even if, in some cases, only rarely), and, secondly in terms of the number of artists (or their promoters) who think the CMT audience might appreciate their work. In both senses, the channel seems more adventurous than the notoriously narrow play lists of terrestrial commercial radio.

    I'll mention some that stood out for me (alphabetically), but won't post these videos, to avoid making the thread too full. Some, in any case are very well known.

    ~~Adele, "Rolling in the Deep". One of three artists from my part of the world targeting Nashville, the others being David Bradley, and Mumford and Sons
    ~~Alison Krauss & Union Station, "Paper Airplane". A beautiful voice, some of the best musicians around, and an interesting "retro" styled, sepia tinted video.
    ~~Ryan Beaver, "How About You". Great song & interesting voice (but the split-screen video didn't do a great deal for me)

    ~~Crystal Bowersox "Farmer's Daughter". Heartfelt, dramatic and provocative.

    ~~Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter "You and Tequila". This can't go wrong for me. A wonderful song (actually, a revival, from Deana Carter's album some years back), with great chemistry between the two singers. Deservedly already honoured as a video of the year.
    ~~The Civil Wars,"Barton Hollow". Discussed in other threads - this the one I prefer from their two submissions.
    ~~Jenny Goforth, "Running Red Lights". Interesting Mainstream debut, from a Taekwondo Black Belt and instructor

    ~~Emmylou Harris,"Goodnight Old World". Interesting lullaby, written for her granddaughter, it contrasts the world weary view of an adult with the wonder of a baby.
    ~~Sierra Hull, "Chasin' Skies". The rising star of Progressive Bluegrass has as many as five submissions (not counting her guest appearance on Dale Ann Bradley's video). I posted a couple in the catch-all Taylor Swift thread , so I'll go this time for an instrumental which shows her prodigious mandolin playing.
    Sarah Jarosz, "Run Away". The rising queen of Texas music, whose hypnotic eyes made this video for me!

    ~~Shooter Jennings "Outlaw You". Another stinging attack on Mainstream Country, which may annoy some of you - but at least it's only the male singers he has in his sights!
    ~~~~Kid Rock featuring Angaleena Presley & T.I. Joined here by "Holler Annie" and a Rap artist, this "good cause" song has raised a lot for charity
    ~~Little Big Town, "Shut Up Train". A great Hillary Lindsey song, dramatically led by Karen Fairchild, and starkly photographed in black and White. Like Bowersox, this group deserve far more exposure than the industry seems to give them.
    ~~Jennette McCurdy, "Generation Love". Again, like Kid Rock's, this is a "good cause" song, here from a young actress who seems to give real support to the message she sings about.
    ~~Brad Paisley with Carrie Underwood, "Remind Me" Carrie showing she's a perfect duet partner, and also giving some fine expressive acting in her visual interpretation. One to watch, perhaps, for those critics who say she can sing, but lacks "soul" in her entertainment presentation.

    ~~Pistol Annies "Hell on Heels" Again, already discussed. For me, one of the very best debut acts of the year
    ~~Richie Owens & the Farm Bureau,"Rye Whiskey". I didn't expect to find psychobilly influence on CMT, but this video has some! Certainly the oldest song among this year's submissions, given a new treatment. The lead singer is Dolly Parton's cousin and former band leader.

    ~~Mindy Smith and Daniel Tashian, "Taking You With Me" Mindy's a favorite of mine, but I had to hunt for this one - not because it's not around, but because most sites won't let it play to foreign internet addresses, because of movie rights. I did get it though.

    ~~Sunny Sweeney, "Staying's Worse Than Leaving". Borchetta's taken Sunny to the Mainstream, and, for me, this lacks the extraordinary power of her debut release - but enough remains to make it enjoyable.

    Now some from my personal list that I'd like post. They may be new to many fans, but I hope you enjoy some of them!:

    ~~American Graveyard, "The Common Ones". Something of a surprise that this Austin based Red Dirt band would submit their video to CMT, but this really shows Nashville a side of the Country scene that rarely gets Mainstream exposure.

    ~~The Black Lilies, "Two Hearts Down". If any of you remember the now disbanded group, Robinella and the CC String Band, who made a big impact on the Progressive Festival scene a few years ago - this is Cruz Contreras (Robin Ella's former husband) with his new band. A murder ballad in the traditional style, this has a very striking video, with "Day of the Dead" imagery.

    ~~Will Hoge, "When I Get My Wings". This video, with it's sensitive portrayal of the elderly widower, really brought a lump to my throat. I think Will Hoge is one of the best singers currently knocking at the doors in Nashville. I've also watched his Opry debut, where you can see how much it meant to him. He had a great reception from the audience, and Vince Gill came out to play with his band.

    ~~Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit. "Alabama Pines". A former member of one of my favourite bands, the Drive-by Truckers, Jason is a major force on the AMA circuit. This song is more traditional Country in sound, but still has Truckers echoes, in its theme of small town misfits, and the punchline verse about freedoms fading away, like a name that no one uses, "No one gives a damn about the things I give a damn about" Haunting!

    ~~The Malpass Brothers, "Memory that Bad". For those who complain that traditional Country Music can't be heard, here's some retro styling, lovingly performed with real respect and great musicianship

    ~~Sean Patrick McGraw, "What I'd Do". Maybe not the most visually innovative video - but this a great song, from a singer with very strong prospects. Graduating from Hard Core Hillbilly music, through taking the Glenn Frey part in an Eagles' tribute band, to semi-finalist on a TV talent show, to 200 gig a year touring, several songwriting awards, and the respect of several critics - this is definitely a guy to watch. (And it's an interesting reflection on the breadth of Country Music today that Liz Rose and Nathan Chapman can be behind both Taylor Swift and a singer like this!)

    ~~Lindi Ortega, "Black Fly". Lindi Ortega is a major figure in Canadian Alt. Country, and this video brings in a plethora of "Southern Gothic" imagery - swamps, a baby alligator, carnival masks, shaving a husband in a drunken stupor. Talented modern music and a striking video.

    ~~Trampled By Turtles. "Victory". A crossover act, who've entered Progressive Bluegrass, this is the stronger of their two submissions. For me, this video tries a bit too hard to be artistically innovative - but they are certainly an interesting group.


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