The comments sections on several articles about Linda Chorney, the woman who gamed the system and social networked her way onto the final Grammy ballot in the Americana category, tend to be pretty negative, although Chorney's publicist, husband and a few friends are trying to staunch the flow of irate bile that has gushed like BP's Gulf well last year.
Lonesome, Onry and Mean has been following Americana music since long before we first went to work in country radio in the early Seventies, and we've never witnessed anything quite as shameful as Chorney's calculated internet march to the Grammy ballot. We were revolted by our first listen to Chorney's tepid folky Emotional Jukebox. We can think of a handful of women in Houston who could kick Chorney's musical ass with one arm behind their backs.
Still, we wanted to gain some perspective on Chorney and took to watching YouTube videos of the 51-year-old folkie. We're even more depressed by these revolting developments now.
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Take a look at this one and tell me: Do you think Lucinda Williams plays house concerts? Do you think Shelby Lynne makes mushy intros like Chorney's here? And forget about the music, which seems like it would be Oprah's pick of the week for its new age sheen and vacant, over-wrought school-girlish poetry about love and feelings.
One telling moment: when Chorney explains that she's glad to play this venue (obviously someone's glitzy home) because tonight she's not going to be background noise. It only takes one listen to the insipid song she's singing to realize why she is and will always be background music. The question is: Why hasn't anyone told her this? Why hasn't anyone told her, "Honey, we love you, but you're in the wrong line of work"? Background Noise should be the title of Chorney's next album, if she makes one.
No, Linda C., this is not the way the big kids do it, the big kids who've played 200 gigs a year and slept in their vans and sold thousands of albums and t-shirts to make ends meet until their music finally caught on and they had paid their dues and earned their public acceptance and success.
Come on, lady, do the right thing: Withdraw your nomination. You know it's the right thing to do. But somehow we get the idea you want this so bad and are so delusional about your own talent and career that you'll play this for everything it's worth. Sad. Very, very sad.