The Country Way of Life Magazine – Editor’s Welcome

June 28, 2019

Well howdy! Welcome to this summer 2019 edition of A Country Way of Life, the paper version.

My name is Jonny Brick and I am on a mission to convert more people to the temple of country music. Whatever your denomination, it is a holy congregation, so hop on board.

In early 2015, I found myself in a tat shop in Greenwich which for some reason was playing country music by men like Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban. Because I could not distinguish between a Kenny and a Keith, I decided when I got back home to educate myself about American country music. I had no idea that commercial country was beginning to appeal in a big way to the urban areas of America like Los Angeles and New York, thanks to slick performers like Thomas Rhett, Brett Eldredge and Kelsea Ballerini. The more I listened to contemporary country music, the more I found myself wanting to learn about the genre as a whole.

In March 2016 I attended my first country music festival at the O2 Arena. Country2Country has grown and grown since it began in 2013, in tandem with the growth of country music as an exportable product. Yes, I call it a product: it’s ‘ka-ching’ with twang. The goal of commercial country music is to make money by being a true story with a good melodic and lyrical hook.

I hope to tempt listeners of pop music to country, as well as discussing what isn’t so great about the developments of the genre. I come at it from a musical and sociological viewpoint, conscious of the genre’s rich history which Ken Burns is exploring in an HBO series in 2019 called Country Music. As a musician and songwriter I appreciate the artform of country music. I hope to speak with writers, broadcasters and performers to help a general fan understand the business of country, one which Marty Stuart has described as a man ‘with a briefcase in one hand and a guitar case in the other’.

I am based in the United Kingdom, which has always been a marketplace for country stars since the initial expansion of the genre began. Going into 2020, many acts based in Nashville are making regular stops to the UK and, arguably, are happier playing to our crowds than those back home. Broadcasters like Baylen Leonard, Bob Harris, Shiona McCallum and Chris ‘Country’ Stevens are all flying the flag for country music over here with their passion and depth of knowledge.

I hope to add to the conversation about country music from a neutral stance, unafraid to offer criticism and tempering any praise with caveats. My own favourite acts range from Chris Stapleton and Eric Church to Abby Anderson and Maren Morris. I appreciate the poppier acts like Dan + Shay while saluting the more traditional voices like Mo Pitney and Josh Turner. I have a passion for country music made by UK acts, which is why I produce a weekly UK Country Top 40 Chart Countdown to shine a light on independent musicians who deserve to be heard. I also attend songwriters rounds, EP launches and festivals such as Buckle & Boots and The Long Road, which are places for country fans to congregate, drink, socialise and discover new music.

Online fans can swap recommendations, post videos of them singing or dancing, and transcribe their chats with new country acts looking to promote themselves amid the hundreds of other acts. Country music consumption is about discovery, reminding me of Steve Lamacq’s tagline to his BBC 6Music show: ‘On a quest to find your new favourite band.’

A Country Way of Life is active on Twitter @CountryWOL and Instagram @CountryWayOLife. The Facebook group is A Country Way of Life. I hope not to preach but to beckon, not to order but to stimulate, not to lay down the law but to examine existing laws. It is an exciting time to be a country music fan outside of the heartland and key market of the US, and I hope you can saddle up on your horse and ride with me into the sunset.


The Country Way of Life Magazine – Summer 2019

June 24, 2019

A 48-page digital magazine full of all things country.

The Summer 2019 edition features:

  • Buckle and Boots 2019
  • On the Majors: Yola and Twinnie represent UK country on the big labels
  • This Bar Believes…: A debate on legacy artists and their place in country music
  • Kaching with Twang: Thomas Rhett, Maren Morris and Songwriters
  • Aaron Watson: Red Bandana
  • Two Ways Home: Breaking the Silence
  • Country Way of Life Playlist: entries from Liv Austen and Megan O’Neill
  • Rounding up EPs from Danny McMahon. Kezia Gill, Katy Hurt and Jake Morrell
  • Under the Apple Tree Live Tour

To get the magazine, follow A Country Way of Life on Facebook or Twitter @countrywol.


The UK Country Top 40 Chart Countdown: Fortnight Commencing June 24 2019

June 23, 2019

To hear this Top 40 as a Spotify playlist: go here.

40 NEW The Fatherline – Before The Trend Set In

39 Emily Faye – Little Bit Of You ft Jake Morrell

38 Gasoline & Matches – Tequila’s a Healer

37 Binky – Drug In My Head

36 Danny McMahon – Boys Cry Too

35 NEW Anna Krantz – Leo Sun

34 Hannah Paris – Never Bring Me Down

33 Laura Oakes – The Middle

32 RE-ENTRY Holly Rose Webber – Let It Out

31 Stuart Landon – The Shape I’m In

30 Two Ways Home – As I Leave

29 Clara Bond – Does Your Girlfriend Know You’re Single

28 RE-ENTRY Worry Dolls – Tidal Wave

27 Megan O’Neill – Lonely Weekend

26 Izzie Walsh – Sidelined

25 Ward Thomas – One More Goodbye

24 Kezia Gill – Dead Ends and Detours

23 Wildwood Kin – Never Alone

22 The Blue Highways – Play Johnny Play

21 Liv Austen – Detour

20 Remember Monday – Drive

19 Katy Hurt – Natchez

18 Jade Helliwell – Stormchaser

17 Gary Quinn – Bumpin Into You

16 Lisa Wright – Tennessee

15 Backwoods Creek – When I Grow Up

14 Foreign Affairs – You’ve Got a Friend In Me

13 Jake Morrell – Freewheelin

12 Robert Vincent – Lady

11 Twinnie – Better When I’m Drunk

10 Roseanne Reid – Amy

9 Morganway – Let Me Go

8 Holloway Road – Lightning

7 The Southern Companion – Cigarette Row (Five O Clock Freedom)

6 Ferris & Sylvester – Flying Visit

5 The Adelaides – Good Love

4 The Shires – Ahead Of The Storm

3 The Wandering Hearts – Wish I Could

2 Jessie Buckley – Glasgow (No Place Like Home)

1 Yola – Love All Night (Work All Day)

The podcast for this Top 40 will be available on June 30 2019.

The next chart will be for the fortnight commencing July 8 2019.


The UK Country Top 40 Chart Countdown: Fortnight Commencing June 10 2019

June 9, 2019

To hear this Top 40 as a Spotify playlist: go here.

Bubbling Under: Anna Krantz – Leo Sun

40 Clara Bond – Does Your Girlfriend Know You’re Single

39 Demi Marriner – Learn To Love

38 O&O – Tears in the Rain

37 Elles Bailey – Little Piece of Heaven

36 Binky – Drug In My Head

35 NEW Jess Thristan – What The World Needs Now

34 Danny McMahon – Boys Cry Too

33 Hannah Paris – Never Bring Me Down

32 Emily Faye – Little Bit Of You ft Jake Morrell

31 NEW Stuart Landon – The Shape I’m In

30 Two Ways Home – As I Leave

29 Gasoline & Matches – Tequila’s a Healer

28 The Shires – Ahead Of The Storm

27 Megan O’Neill – Lonely Weekend

26 Laura Oakes – The Middle

25 The Blue Highways – Play Johnny Play

24 Ferris & Sylvester – Flying Visit

23 Wildwood Kin – Never Alone

22 Izzie Walsh – Sidelined

21 Liv Austen – Detour

20 Jessie Buckley – Glasgow (No Place Like Home)

19 Morganway – Let Me Go

18 Remember Monday – Drive

17 Ward Thomas – One More Goodbye

16 Foreign Affairs – You’ve Got a Friend In Me

15 Kezia Gill – Dead Ends and Detours

14 Roseanne Reid – Amy

13 Twinnie – Better When I’m Drunk

12 Jake Morrell – Home

11 Katy Hurt – Natchez

10 The Southern Companion – Cigarette Row (Five O Clock Freedom)

9 Jade Helliwell – Stormchaser

8 Lisa Wright – Tennessee

7 Backwoods Creek – When I Grow Up

6 Holloway Road – Lightning

5 Robert Vincent – Lady

4 Gary Quinn – Bumpin Into You

3 The Wandering Hearts – Wish I Could

2 The Adelaides – Good Love

1 Yola – Love All Night (Work All Day)

 


The UK Country Top 40 Chart Countdown: Fortnight Commencing May 27 2019

June 2, 2019

Bubbling Under: Stevie O’Connor

40 O&O – Tears in the Rain

39 Roseanne Reid – Amy

38 Elles Bailey – Little Piece of Heaven

37 NEW Clara Bond – Does Your Girlfriend Know You’re Single

36 The Blue Highways – Take Me Away

35 Emily Faye – Little Bit Of You ft Jake Morrell

34 Shannon Hynes – Someone To Drink With

33 Megan O’Neill – It’s Not Living if it’s Not With You

32 Demi Marriner – Learn To Love

31 Holly Rose Webber – Let It Out

30 Danny McMahon – Boys Cry Too

29 The Shires – Ahead Of The Storm

28 Two Ways Home – As I Leave

27 Binky – Drug In My Head

26 Wildwood Kin – Talkin About a Revolution

25 Robert Vincent – Lady

24 Hannah Paris – Never Bring Me Down

23 Ferris & Sylvester – Flying Visit

22 Lisa Wright – Tennessee

21 Holloway Road – Lightning

20 Jessie Buckley – Glasgow (No Place Like Home)

19 The Wandering Hearts – Wish I Could

18 Liv Austen – Detour

17 Morganway – Let Me Go

16 Laura Oakes – Groove is in the Heart

15 Backwoods Creek – When I Grow Up

14 Katy Hurt – Natchez

13 Ward Thomas – One More Goodbye

12 Foreign Affairs – You’ve Got a Friend In Me

11 Gasoline & Matches – Tequila’s a Healer

10 Kezia Gill – Dead Ends and Detours

9 Remember Monday – Drive

8 Izzie Walsh – Sidelined

7 Twinnie – Better When I’m Drunk

6 Jake Morrell – Home

5 The Southern Companion – Cigarette Row (Five O Clock Freedom)

4 Jade Helliwell – Stormchaser

3 The Adelaides – Leave

2 Yola – Love All Night

1 Gary Quinn – Bumpin Into You

NB The chart has now reverted to a fortnightly countdown. The radio show will fall on the middle weekend. The chart for f/c May 27 2019 was broadcast on June 2 2019. The next chart, for the f/c June 10 2019, will be broadcast on June 16 2019.