Day 33: The Coronavirus Countdown – 100 Days of Great Music

The staff of the College Football America Yearbook is on the road every weekend of the college football season, shooting games and gathering information for the following year’s book. That means a lot of driving and listening to a lot of music.

Earlier this year our College Football America Yearbook publisher Kendall Webb and our director of editorial content Chuck Cox put together ‘The Coronavirus Countdown – 100 Days of Great Music.’ Each of them sat down and compiled a list of 100 great albums. Their goal was not to select the ‘100 greatest albums of all time.’ It was simply to select 100 great albums to write about as they passed the time during quarantine and shelter-at-home orders.

This 2020 college football season will be unprecedented in so many ways. It’s very likely none of us will be on the road for games because, like most people, we’re trying to stay healthy. And we hope you are too.

So, for the next 100 days, we’re going to publish their countdown here at CollegeFootballAmericaPR.com (the list was originally published on Webb’s personal site, kendallwebb.net). Consider it the ultimate playlist for the ultimate college road trip — music for every taste, from every genre and from every decade of the modern era of music. When the staff of the College Football America Yearbook is back on the road, you can bet these will be some of the tunes we’re listening to.

And, if you missed the previous installments of our series, just click here to head to the Coronavirus Countdown — 100 Days of Great Music home page.

Here’s Day 33

It’s all country here today as our picks line up with a country duo that debuted in 1987 and a progressive female country artist that released her major-label debut in 2013.

About halfway between those two debuts another artist debuted in 1999 with a solid album in the traditionalist vein. Brad Paisley’s “Who Need Pictures” staked a claim to the same ground that Alan Jackson and George Strait had plowed in the two decades a prior — a modern spin on traditional country that was just palatable enough for casual country fans to digest. But where Jackson and Strait were known for a relatively tame stage presence, Paisley was a legitimate guitar slinger who served as his own lead man. In another throwback to tradition, Paisley often included an instrumental on his albums featuring his considerable talent on the guitar along with comic outtakes. He wasn’t afraid to ham it up with aging legends like “Little” Jimmy Dickens, Bill Anderson and George Jones in cameos. His enthusiasm was infectious, and while that debut album stands as one of the better debuts of the past 20 or so years, his 2000 album “Time Well Wasted” is a masterpiece. It’s also your bonus pick of the day.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Kacey Musgraves

Same Trailer Different Park (2013)

Why I Love It

It’s only natural that I would love an artist from East Texas. I would love Kacey Musgraves and her music if she was from East Jesus Nowhere. This gem of a debut album showed most of her contemporaries how songwriting is done. It’s an album that paints a picture of living in a small town in the Bible Belt with vivid insight and honesty. Even in this day and age, a new female country artist singing about smoking marijuana and same-sex relationships is pretty damn revolutionary. Kacey is still following her arrow and going strong. I bet she will be for a long time to come.

Album Highlights

“Merry Go ‘Round,” “Blowin’ Smoke” and “Follow Your Arrow”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

Kacey Musgraves hails from the same general East Texas neck of the woods where I grew up and where Chuck spent some time in high school and still lives to this day. So, pardon our inherent bias pulling for the hometown girl, but the good news is, Musgraves has the talent to back it up. This is a phenomenal debut that hinted at the success to come which includes a Grammy win for Album of the Year last year for “Golden Hour” released in 2018.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Foster And Lloyd

Foster And Lloyd (1987)

Why I Love It

If you’ve followed our previous posts, then you know I’m a sucker for country-rock. Foster And Lloyd’s updated take on the form took country radio by storm in 1987 when this debut album hit the shelves.

I was immediately hooked, and it remains one of my favorite country albums from the late ’80s. The album produced three Top 10 hits and a fourth that cracked the Top 20. The duo’s fortunes slipped after their second album failed to connect with the public, and Radney Foster would later go on to a successful solo career while releasing another definitive document — 1992’s “Del Rio, TX, 1959.” But this is where it all started for both Foster and his partner, Bill Lloyd, and it still stands as one of the classics of late ’80s country.

Album Highlights

“Crazy Over You,” “Sure Thing” and “Texas In 1880”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

Like the Desert Rose Band earlier on our list, Foster and Lloyd came along in the late 1980s with a debut album full of catchy hits and quality country music. I vividly remember hearing the lead single, “Crazy Over You” for the first time. I was a fan from the word go. I also loved that Foster and Lloyd didn’t look much like country artists. “Texas in 1880” is one of my all-time favorites. Nice one, Kendall.

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