This is one of those situations where we should all just hit the ground and thank god for the internet because without the internet none of us would know about Zach Bryan or really that entire genre of "outlaw" country music. We needed the internet to find them because the gatekeepers who rule things like the CMAs and country music radio NEVER play their songs. Even without power of the big whigs at CAA and executives in Nashville real artists are still able to produce moments like this
The music is too good to keep down, but not good enough to win a single award. That's just the way the country music industry works. You sign with the right labels, you kiss the right rings, and you're set for life. You can sing the same AI generated song for a decade before you transition into hosting reality TV shows to find the next singer who can perform an AI generated song.
Music taste is extremely personal and extremely subjective. I am hardly a music expert. I couldn't tell you one single thing about how to write a song or play an instrument and even my dog hates my singing. I judge music by one metric and it's "does this song give me a feeling" and nobody gives out more feelings in the year 2022 than Zach Bryan. I mean that literally. The guy has put out more songs this year than most artists will in a lifetime.
Zach Bryan released "American Heartbreak" in May. That album has 34 fucking songs on it. That's really like three albums by traditional standards. Then, a few weeks later…"Summertime Blues"…an EP with 9 songs. Then "Starved" was released. Then last night…two more new singles. The fact that this guy was shut out of every award just proves that he's not "in" the club in Nashville. That industry crowns people who have a certain sound, a certain look, and it's always going to be Morgan Wallens, Luke Bryans, Blake Sheltons, etc. Descendants of the Garth Brooks printing machine. If you like that music that is fine because like I said…music preference is deeply personal. There's no wrong answer. Having said that…there is clearly a "right answer" to song writer of the year and it's the guy who released about 150 songs.
Zach Bryan saying he wants to do what is effectively a protest concert is becoming a lovely trend started by my favorite artist of the last 20 years…Sturgill Simpson
The best ones seem to be strategically pushed out by the powers that be in Nashville and I don't understand why.
I think I want to organize my own festival. The Sad (Cow)boy Concert. We'll hold it at some old fucking warehouse or something and invite Sturgill, Zach, Tyler Childers, and the rest of the guys and just jam out. No awards. No tuxedos. Peyton Manning isn't invited, but Willie Nelson is.
Here are the new releases from the Barstool Chief Country Music Star Of The Year Award Winner, Zach Bryan