Recently the Country Music Association (CMA) announced their nominee's for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist, Female Vocalist, Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Song of the Year and all the rest of the categories. And as it turns out, even an old dog like me recognized a few of the names!

I don't really watch many of the 'country' awards show these days. I prefer what I call the 'real country' folks, you know, the artist's who do truly keep it country. They don't need labels like 'Bro-Country' or 'Rap-Country' or simply re-label 1980's rock and roll (And by the way, I like a lot of 80's rock and roll...but that doesn't mean it's country).

So anyway, I thought 'OK, just for fun, I'm gonna have my own personal awards show for 'Real Country Music'. Well, not actually a show, but here's my nominee's for the '2016 Randy's Real Country Music Awards'. You'll notice there's only two categories, '2016 Classic Country Artist of the Year' and '2016 New Real Country Artist of the Year'. It's 'cause I'm lazy. Here we go...

2016 Classic Country Artist of the Year (Classic Country Artist's who have released new 'real country' music in 2016) And the nominee's are:

1) T.G. Shepard 'Country Duets And Legendary Friends'-OK, first off, it was actually released in late 2015 but this album is so doggone good it may be in the running for several years to come.

2) Gene Watson 'Real. Country. Music.' Well, the title of the album pretty much says it all. And why in the world is this guy not in the Country Music Hall of Fame?

3) Loretta Lynn 'Full Circle' Wow, at 80+ years old the 'Coal Miner's Daughter' still has it. This is stone-cold 100% great.

4) Mark Chesnutt 'Tradition Lives' One of the finest real country singers of the past 30 years delivers big time on his new album. Crank it up to 11 on this one.

5) Lorrie Morgan 'Letting Go...Slow' Lorrie delivers her familiar real country voice in a beautiful way. And any album that contains a great song called 'Jesus and Hairspray' is on my 'must-have' list.

And finally, 6) Any and every album that Willie Nelson releases this year. 'Nuff said.

2016 New Real Country Artist Of The Year (The artist's that are new (at least to me) that are keeping it real (and real good) country) Oh, and you can learn more about these new artist's by just clicking on their names and going to their websites. Now,  the nominee's are:

1) John Riggins His 'Lonesome Old Guitar' single was a great surprise for me. This harkens back to when a country song reached into your heart, not blast your ears.

2) Jake Worthington 'Just Keep Falling In Love' came out late in 2015, was a great country song. I wondered if he could follow it up. Well, he answered that question with 'How Do You Honky Tonk?' Keep an eye (and ear) on this young man.

3) Adam Fears 'Golden Gravel Road' is a song that real country music is all about...or should be.

4) Stephanie Quayle If this lady can follow up a great single called 'Drinking With Dolly' with more real country, the future is indeed bright!

and finally 5) Marcus Lindsey  OK, for my money (and there isn't much) Marcus' 'One Less Fool In Amarillo' is the best single by a new real country artist this year. Pick up the self title album and listen to 'If Jesus Lived In Texas', it's killer good.

So there you go, the first annual (if I remember next year) Randy's Real Country Music of the Year Nominee's. Maybe I'll call them 'The Randy's'. Or maybe I'll just twist the cap off a fresh, perfectly chilled Grain Belt Longneck and crank up some fantastic real country music!

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