Monday, March 26, 2007

Carrie does SNL

There's no doubt in my mind that Carrie Underwood may end up as big as Shania - the difference is, she'll do it without going pop. I think as she gets a firmer grasp on just who she is as an artist (yes, I said artist, 'cause that's what she's becoming as opposed to "just" being a singer), her music, while easily mass-appeal, will become more country, not less. The fact that she a) has golden pipes and b) is ridiculously beautiful certainly helps. But she's a star - and is going to just get bigger and bigger - because she's got talent.

Check out her performance of "Before He Cheats" from this week's Saturday Night Live; she joins a fairly lofty list of country artists who got the call to perform on the Saturday night institution:
Anne Murray (twice)
John Prine
Willie Nelson (three times, including one stint as host/musical guest)
The Dirt Band (Emmylou Harris's band)
Charlie Daniels Band
Rosanne Cash
Randy Travis
Dolly Parton (as host/musical guest)
Garth Brooks (three times, twice as host/musical guest - one of those times he performed as Chris Gaines)
Dwight Yoakam
Faith Hill
Dixie Chicks
Keith Urban

That's it, in the show's 30-plus-year history. (Worth noting is that Johnny Cash hosted the show in the early '80s, but was not the musical guest that night.) Which means that Carrie's now part of a fairly exclusive fraternity, and good for her. I can't wait to hear what her sophomore album sounds like.

Wait, are you saying "Before He Cheats" is something other than a pop song? Because I watched SNL too and I saw her sing two pop songs...perhaps with a rural bent, but pop songs all the same.

And I'm not slagging off the fruits of Nashville's labor in the modern era, but to honestly call it country music while having any reverence at all for the origins of the genre is just plain silly.
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