Loud Music is a $40 Fine

Just my personal blog.

December 17, 2007

The Next Great Nashville Band

The producers of American Idol had a little free time, and decided to find out who the next great American band would be, so naturally enough they created a show called The Next Great American Band. It’s been airing on Fox on Friday nights for the last couple of months (and Friday night is a horrible night for this show; it should have been on on Monday or Tuesday).

Anyway, it’s similar to Idol, in that you have a dozen performers (in this case, bands), three judges, a host, and the American telephone-voting public.

Friday night was the penultimate episode, and the final three are bands called Sixwire, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, and The Clark Brothers. What I find the most interesting is that the bands came from all over the country: California, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Florida, and Nashville. And the three finalists are all from Nashville.

The Clark Brothers are by far the best of the three (they’ve been the band to beat from day one). Sixwire is good as well. While Denver and the Mile High Orchestra isn’t quite my cup of tea, their musicianship is top notch. The funny thing is, living here in Nashville, I’ve never heard of any of them.

My prediction for next week’s finale is that the Clark Brothers will win, followed by Sixwire, with Denver and the Mile High Orchestra coming in third. I’m not sure this show has enough of a viewership to propel one of these groups into Carrie Underwood stardom, but it should be enough to get at least the Clark Brothers (two of whom used to play with Underwood) noticed.

Honorable mention goes to Cliff Wagner and the Old #7, a bluegrassy band from California, who got booted off way too early.

I’d like to see this show come back next year. From the outset, the talent was top notch; you didn’t hear any sour notes from anyone. It always amazes me how bad some of the final four or five sing sometimes on American Idol. The producers didn’t play any silly games by highlighting bad auditions, and and the series didn’t drag on for months and months showing auditions.

My favorite show in this genre still has to be Nashville Star, since those performers are also expected to write music and to some extent play an instrument. That’s partly what made The Next Great American Band interesting to me; the bands were allowed to play original music. American Idol should take a cue from Star and Band and allow their performers to sing original songs at some point during the competition.

So, next week is the season (or series?) finale. Good luck to The Clark Brothers.

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