With the warm summer weather comes a flurry of new music from country music’s heavyweights. From Nashville to Calgary to everywhere in between, country artists know that summertime is where timeless hit singles begin. 2012 should be no different than years past, but somehow this year is still without its song of the summer.
2012′s been an underwhelming year for country in the United States. Tim McGraw‘s battling Curb Records and therefore has two singles out (the excellent “Better Than I Used to Be” and the awful “Truck Yeah“). Alan Jackson racked up another top-seller with Thirty Miles West and Kenny Chesney‘s on the road promoting Welcome to the Fishbowl. Carrie Underwood‘s new record tanked. Brad Paisley‘s MIA (but he did rock the White House on the 4th of July). Lady Antebellum continues to move away from country and into adult contemporary.
The biggest smashes at radio this summer have been Luke Bryan‘s “Drunk on You” and “Woman Like You” by Lee Brice. Sure, Eric Church‘s “Springsteen“is a great song to hear on a warm evening, but Chief is from 2011. It’s nice to see Kip Moore try to repeat “Somethin’ Bout a Truck” with “Beer Money,” but time will tell if he can escape one-hit-wonder status.
In Canada, Dean Brody‘s April single “Canadian Girls” set up the release of his third album, Dirt. Brody’s pushing a new song, the mediocre “Bob Marley” at radio right now and compared to the magic of “Roll That Barrel Out” or “Little Yellow Blanket,” Brody’s come up short. High Valley‘s new album is a triumphant return to strong harmonies and superb songwriting. Johnny Reid‘s performing with Theo Fleury (yes, the retired hockey star) at the Calgary Stampede next week. Paul Brandt‘s enjoying his position as Canadian country’s next Ian Tyson. North of the 49th, country music is thriving, especially with the 2012 CCMA Festival in Saskatoon shaping up to be the association’s biggest awards gala ever.
With July well underway and the window of opportunity closing for the country world to capitalize on country music’s high season, who knows if Nashville and Canadian country will be able to turn things around. This is shaping up to be the first year without a sure-fire summer anthem from country music.
How do you feel about the state of country music in 2012? Leave your opinion in the box below and make your voice heard!