Charlie Cook On Air: Fighting In The Family

Charlie Cook

Charlie Cook

I did not have a brother growing up. I did not have anyone to fight with or one up every day. I do have a younger sister but, I’m guessing, fighting with her was not as satisfying as with a male sibling would be.

Without this firsthand knowledge I am still chalking up the very public “fight” between Zac Brown and Luke Bryan’s current song, “That’s My Kind of Night,” as fighting amongst brothers. In the end you want to still be friends and you certainly are not out to do any long-term harm to the relationship but you are making a point. With brothers it is, “I am the strong one.” With Zac? Who in the heck knows?

Often in the middle of a comment, I realize I am going in the wrong direction and stopping would be the best solution to what is sure to be a, “darn, I was so close to getting out of that situation.” Most statements that start with, “I really like ‘so and so’ but…” end badly.

I am not judging what Zac said about Luke’s song because he should be able to voice his opinion on anything he wants. He was so precise about this particular song that it is…actually fun for us who then get to comment on the brouhaha.

You might remember earlier this year, Ray Price had some choice comments about Blake Shelton. It had something to do with Blake’s head being too big to fit in any size hat.

I saw Blake in concert last week in Charleston, W.Va. and any ole hat would fit this most down to earth performer in the business. I chalk Mr. Price’s comments up to not correctly interpreting Blake’s statement that provoked the response. Additionally, this was not brothers fighting. This was more like getting lectured by your grandfather. (So that I’m not the next target, let me say that Ray Price is one of my all-time favorite singers and he too gets to say whatever the heck he wants.)

The format has evolved. The target is the ticket buying, music buying, radio listening consumer and they are ALWAYS right.

If Zac thinks, “this is the worst song I have ever heard”, he can ease the pain by trying a couple of other formats today where there isn’t a real live musical instrument in sight.

I love how Jason Aldean and Justin Moore have weighed in and come to Luke’s defense. Funny because Zac didn’t actually attack Luke so much as the song itself, but on Music Row, that is like saying your baby is ugly, because everything mastered and released is the “best song ever done.” Which of course is BS.

I like how the format is drawing lines and defining itself as broad. You can have songs about pick-ups and daisy duke shorts (and please Zac, do not wage a war on daisy duke shorts, come on, dude), as well as songs about losing a family member and pining after a loss. We can have songs about drinking and being a redneck, and songs about unrequited love. Actually there really are a lot of drinking songs in the format. Man who has that much time to drink, seriously?

Luke, the most recently crowned Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year, can withstand some playful criticism of one song. I, quite frankly, wish someone would tell him he moves like a white guy on stage. That would be more useful criticism.

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of MusicRow.)


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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at

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