When it comes to politics, the country couldn’t be more divided, at least in the last couple of years, with the impeachment fiasco, etc., but I think the country will eventually get over it. I have to agree with Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R., Wis.), who was a manager during the Clinton impeachment trial. “As far as relationships in the Capitol, they’ll be repaired but it will take longer than usual.”
When it comes to music, there seems to be a lot more harmony (no pun intended). Musicians just like music. And most of them are into what’s happening in and out of their chosen genres. So that’s why some country singers continue to put their heads together with artists from the rap, pop and rock worlds. While they might seem like strange bedfellows at first, the music they’re creating is thoroughly likable.
The trend isn’t all that new. As far back as 1993, U2 recruited Johnny Cash to record a song Bono wrote called “The Wanderer.” Cash and Bono had even written a tune together back in 1988 called “Ellis Island”,” but it was never recorded.
In 1997, Toby Keith’s Dream Walkin’ album has a Sting duet on it, “I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying.” And on and on: Kid Rock and Sherly Crow (2001), Tim McGraw and Nelly (2004), Sugarland and Bon Jovi (2005). In 2007, Reba McEntire released her Duets album that featured duet partners from Kelly Clarkson to Justin Timberlake to Don Henley. The 2009 CMT Music Awards opened its broadcast with Taylor Swift and T-Pain rapping a “Thug Story” duet.
Which brings us to right now. CMT Hot 20 countdown gives an inside look at some of the most unique collaborations with artists from the worlds of pop, rap and rock in today’s country music.
“Meant to Be” Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha
Album: Rexha’s All Your Fault: (2017)
“God, Your Mama, and Me” Florida Georgia Line and Backstreet Boys
Album: FGL’s Dig Your Roots (2016)
“Say Something” Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake Album: Timberlake’s Man of the Woods (2018).
“The Middle” Maren Morris, Zedd, and Grey Album: TBD
“The Champion” Carrie Underwood and Ludacris Album: Cry Pretty
“Take Back Home Girl” Chris Lane and Tori Kelly Album: Lane’s Take Back Home (2017)
“Palace” Sam Smith and Cam Album: Smith’s The Thrill of It All (2017)
Thomas Rhett and Nick Jones current collaboration, song and album TBA
Recently a friend of mine attended a Garth Book’s sold-out show at the Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. He is a sixties rock ‘n’ roll artist and thought he would take a shot at attending a country show. Much to his amazement, Garth not only performed his classic country hits, but covered several of the Beatles songs, Long Winding Road, Let it Be, & Nowhere Man.
He said the songs were covered extremely well and opened up his eyes to the fact that Garth can perform any style he sets his mind to.
Yea, when it comes to harmony, politics have a lot to learn from today’s musicians….