CMA Awards: Bro-country vs. Bra-country

I can’t say whether the tides are changing in country music but if you use the recent CMA Awards as any sort of example of what country music is like today, you may notice who wasn’t there.

Remember back in the early to mid-2010s when “bro-country” became a thing? Artists like Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and others all had hit songs that were somewhat generic and formulaic with lyrics about drinking or dancing girls or backroad parties. Obviously there was success in that subject matter, but there was also a lot of pushback from traditional country music fans and well-known country artists.

Fast forward to 2019, the 53rd annual CMA Awards airing on ABC and featured no, not bro-country, but a heavy dosage of bra-country. The women of country music! Get it? Bra… women… women wear bras? It’s just a little diversion from bro-country to remind us all that bra-country is great! The CMA Awards was hosted by the amazing trio of Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, and Carrie Underwood and if you didn’t get a chance to see the fantastic opening number, here it is.

I’m sure fans were happy to hear and see a lot of more traditional country being showcased, celebrating legendary women in country music, and not hearing the likes of Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, and Jason Aldean… none of whom were in attendance.

If you want to read a full recap of the show performances click here.

Concerning those CMAs, I was really only surprised by a couple things…

  1. Garth Brooks winning Entertainer of the Year. Grady Smith says it best here…

Actually, that’s it. I was surprise by one thing. Garth. Over Eric Church and Carrie Underwood. Come on! Like Grady is, I’m also a fan of Garth Brooks, but it definitely seemed like he just swooped in and took the award away from others who genuinely deserved it.

I also don’t like Kacey Musgraves, there, I said it. But she’s a big part of the bra-country movement and if the future of country music is how the CMAs looked this year… I’m back in! I love most of the women featured on the show, plus I love Eric Church, Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert (I almost dated her, you know), Dierks Bentley, and plenty of others.

Have a good weekend, y’all!

-Out of the Wilderness

Sunday morning playlist

I’m pretty much obsessed with Spotify these days. For a long time I was a “free” member. That’s where you can download songs and play them, but it was always on shuffle, you can’t back up to previous songs, or skip 4 or 5 songs ahead. You also can’t select a song to listen to it. So a few months ago I became a supscriber and I haven’t
regretted it for a second! Since then I’ve put together a playlist I listen to when I need to reflect, to worship, to be calm. If you’re interested in songs that help remind us of how big God is, yet how
personal He is, and how much He loves us, take a listen to my most recent worship playlist.

King of My Heart – Kutless

Sun & Moon – Phil Wickham

In Awe – Hollyn

Holy (Wedding Day) – The City Harmonic

Come Thou Fount – MercyMe

How Great Thou Art – Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill

There Is A Fountain – Selah

Clear – Needtobreathe

This Blood – The Prestonwood Choir

Canary Cage – The Whistles & The Bells

-Out of the Wilderness

The dancers in Keith Urban’s “The Fighter” music video

Keith Urban has two music videos for his latest song “The Fighter.” The song is a duet with Carrie Underwood. The first video features Keith and Carrie with clips of a lone female dancer. The second video, dubbed the Dancers Version, leaves Keith and Carrie out visually but adds in a male dancer along with the female from the first video. You’ve probably already seen it, that’s why you’re here but click here for the video on YouTube. The pair was most recently seen on stage at the ACM Awards in Las Vegas as part of Keith and Carrie’s performance, but who are these dancers, anyway?
Lindsay and LyleTheir names are Lindsay Richardson (left) and Lyle Beniga (right). The pair are an item, as my parents would say. And they were also part of the Tennessee Kids (Justin Timberlake’s band and dancers for the 20/20 Experience tour).

[click here for more about Keith Urban’s new video “We Were”, the post will open in a new window]

Lyle Beniga
Starting with Lyle, he’s got quite the dance resume. He’s danced with A-list artists who are known for their own dance skills: Justin Timberlake, Usher, Jennifer Lopez. Adding to that list, he was part of a Michael Jackson tribute that aired on MTV. So yeah, dancing in any professional capacity as it relates to Michael Jackson is definitely saying something! A few more fun facts:

  • His hometown is Waldorf, MD.
  • College major was engineering.
  • He has his own clothing line.
  • You can follow him on Instagram here, and Twitter here.

Here’s the Michael Jackson tribute performance, although I can’t tell which one is Lyle.

Lindsay Richardson
Moving on to Miss Lindsay Richardson now:

  • She’s a dancer, a yoga instructor, and an actor. Her dance resume includes Justin Timberlake, Tinashe, Justin Bieber, and Britney Spears, just to name a few.
  • Her hometown is Berlin, Vermont.
  • Her first concert was Hanson. In an mmm bop they’re gone.
  • She has two dogs named Bruce and Charlie.

You can follow her on Instagram here, and Twitter here


Lindsay posted a couple of videos of Keith’s take on using her and Lyle for this video. Take a look by clicking these links.
Part 1 and Part 2

These two dancers are amazing! Keep an eye out for them in all types of forms: live, music videos, and who knows where else! And since you made it down this far, you might as well check out my children’s book and pick up a copy! 🙂

-Out of the Wilderness

God is able

A phrase that’s been on the front of my mind lately is one you’ll hear in sermons, in songs, or written on posters or in sympathy cards. It comes from Ephesians 3:20.

God is able.

image

If you’re like me, though, every once in a while you might ask yourself, “What is He able to do, exactly?” I think the Sunday School answer is everything. But that doesn’t necessarily help me when I’m stuck in traffic and frustrated, or when I make a mistake at work, or when I say something that’s not exactly encouraging to someone. Or for you, maybe you’re losing patience with your kids, or lost out on a big work project, or didn’t do so hot on a recent test. Or maybe you just accomplished something significant, or did get that big work project. There’s still a need for God even in those situations, right? It could almost be anything at all that points us to a need for something more.

What has made the phrase relevant in my life recently is acknowledging that I sometimes get caught in this cycle:

Feeling discouraged <turns into> thinking something will or won’t happen <turns into>  doubt <turns into> unhealthy behavior <turns into> guilt.

So I’ll admit, then, sometimes I wonder about it. “Is God able?” I’ll ask. Is He actually able to help me with what I’m doing today? Using the cycle above, is He able to keep me from diving into discouragement, etc?

Then recently it dawned on me: Yes, He is. Because His ability to “do” isn’t constrained by and doesn’t rely on my belief that He can. He can. He can. That’s it. He can. It’s like wondering if a beagle howls. Or a dolphin jumps. Or if grass is green. The answer is yes, yes, and yes. Whether I believe it or not, the grass is still green. A dolphin will still jump. A beagle will still howl.

And God is able.

So I’m thankful today that even in my wavering ups and downs where for one minute I’m singing How Great Thou Art and the next I’m quoting one of my favorite lines from Rescue Dawn – “God, why don’t You help us when we need You most?” – God is still there, and He is still able.

-Out of the Wilderness

It’s Him or Me

How often are you faced with a choice that alters your future, and maybe the course of other lives, as well? Sure we all make choices every day, even tiny ones that seem insignificant but could determine where we are in a year, or 5 years, or 25. Like when I get caught at a red light, or just miss the elevator, or win tickets to a concert, how do those events alter the course of my life? Or do they at all? Maybe, maybe not. It’s the butterfly effect. There’s a song by Norah Jones called “Man of the Hour” that begins with a pretty big decision, “It’s him or me…” so she’s deciding between “a vegan and a pothead.” But I’m a firm believer there’s always a secret third option, which Norah takes and it’s a dog! Of course it’s a dog. Like Carrie Underwood sings, “The more boys I meet, the more I love my dog.”

Norah’s decision affected the lives of 2 guys, herself, and the dog, so I’d say it was a pretty important choice. Then she decided to sing about it, which I’m very happy about. It’s a lighthearted affirmation that dogs are always a good choice.