Andrew West Griffin brings us the news that the Dixie Chicks are touring this summer. Over Christmas I finally liberated my copy of their 2002 album Home that a family member had been holding hostage. What a great record, and what a great year it was for country music.
I'm still maintaining that Martina McBride's new album Timeless is the best thing to happen to country, and actually indicates how mainstream "classic" country has become, since the album's been certified platinum. What's remarkable about this album is that Martina doesn't try to update the tracks--the album actually reproduces that "sound" by using vintage recording equipment and doing it the old fashioned way--I think I read that only two mics were used that had been made after 1960.
It was a good year for Toby Keith, too, IMHO. Toby got sorta tiring to listen to there for a while, but I love "Honkytonk U," "Big Blue Note," and "Ain't As Good As I Once Was." All of these latest hits return Toby to a more self-conscious bombast that winks at listeners and tells them he doesn't really believe his own hype.