The Great Ranch Rebellion of 2017

ICYMI: People are super (not just regular, this is like Hulk level) mad at The Ranch (KFWR 95.9 FM) for integrating “mainstream” artists in to their rotation as of last week. I was bored with the stale Nashville v. Texas debate, so I’m glad the drama llama brought me something new to talk about this weekend. If you don’t know what I’m talking about click here (because I do not plan to explain the situation in depth, just share my comments/opinions on it:)

So let’s start with the violent death threats…I can’t even…this has been an increasing phenomenon since the internet and social media became integrated in our everyday lives. Threatening the sitting President and the like because your civil rights are being encroached upon, maybe I can see the anger and being so passionate that violence and death are the outcomes, but even then, not really. You are grown ass adults upset about a radio station’s format change…GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER!

With the change in hands of who manages the music in rotation a few years ago we saw Justin Frazell and Shayne Hollinger take over the reigns of music selection. For me, this has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. I’ve seen and heard some of the best music to come out of this genre in the last fifteen years with this change. On top of that, just in the last year DJ Ben Ryan has started his show “The Sunday Sendoff” showcasing new and little known talent. Shayne also has a Sunday night niche broadcast with Americana Underground. The title of that one is pretty self-explanatory. The Ranch also sponsors several “talent shows”, contests and concert series throughout the year that spotlight the little known artists we otherwise would not see. Not to mention every single artist that Justin has on both the broadcast and television version of Texas Red Dirt Roads.

Not a Ranch sponsored event, but in the same vein, I spent my Sunday night at the Live Oak Music Hall watching a round robin sing-a-long with Courtney Patton, Jason Eady, Wade Bowen and Ben Danaher. So, while y’all were sitting behind a keyboard, being a warrior behind the screen, I was out seeing real live music, which is what brought me to the conclusion I want to draw on all of this “scandal”:

We are so amazingly luckily to live where we do and be able to see what we see with all of these artists and musicians and singers and songwriters and we should be counting our blessings to even have The Ranch at all.

What the station and its DJs have done for this scene is beyond important and I feel like most of you are forgetting that and looking Chuco The Ranch horse in the mouth on this one. Name five artists you love and then tell me how you found out about them. I would be willing to bet you either heard them on The Ranch, at a Ranch event, or from someone who found them from one of these ways as well. The station is more influential in your love of this music than you think. If hearing some Chris Young in between my Grady Spencer and Sean McConnell is what it takes to continue hearing those beautiful tunes, then I’ll deal.

In our present world where being offended and bitching when you are is the new norm I believe we have another “scandal” blown way out of proportion here. It’s not like Justin and Charla are spinning Florida Georgia Line on your morning commute. It’s just a little more George Strait and Garth Brooks with your Turnpike and Six Market and I promise you are going to live.

So, just maybe instead of losing your shit you should sit down and write The Ranch a thank you note for all they’ve done for you and those artists you love, because whether you see it or not you are lucky to be in the position you’re in with the music you love and that’s something that’s actually worth writing down your opinion about.


“Fourteen Years” -Courtney Patton

“Why I Left Atlanta” -Jason Eady

“Who I am With You” -Chris Young

“Ship Inside a Bottle” -Ben Danaher