Randy Houser’s Instagram Post Sparks Debate; Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert Weigh In
With live music in a traditional setting off the table for the foreseeable future due to the continued rise in…
Randy Houser; Photo by Tatiana Houser, Jason Aldean; Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images, Miranda Lambert; Photo by Ben Tusi
With live music in a traditional setting off the table for the foreseeable future due to the continued rise in coronavirus cases across the United States, a few of country music’s biggest stars are weighing in on the current COVID-19 guidelines that have been set in place around the country.
Randy Houser sparked the conversation on Sunday (July 12) when he shared a photo showcasing an airplane full of people wearing masks placed side-by-side with a picture of an empty theater.
“Anybody see a problem,” he wrote, alluding at the fact that people can wear masks on crowded airplanes, but are not allowed to gather in live music venues.
His post garnered over 1,400 comments and nearly 15,000 likes, with many fans weighing in on whether or not concerts should be happening amid the pandemic.
Country superstar Miranda Lambert was quick to share her thoughts, writing, “I effing do!”
Houser was swift to respond to Lambert, admitting, he is “just tired of stepping in all this bullsh**.”
Three-time ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean also got in on the conversation.
“No shit dude! No concerts or people going to their everyday jobs but let’s pack em in airplanes like sardines breathing recirculated air. Makes complete sense to me,” Aldean wrote alongside an eye roll emoji.
Houser responded calling it “double standard mixed signal bullsh**.”
They aren’t the only ones who feel there is a double standard when it comes to entertainment and travel. Clint Black weighed in on the conversation on Twitter, questioning, “Do you think we should end all commercial flights unless or until all other businesses are treated equally?”
“Maybe we should see if we can sing to people packed into planes? As musicians, we know what it feels like to be non-essential to society,” he added. “Do you feel it’s wrong to allow people to pack into poorly ventilated planes, but not well ventilated theaters? Asking for 1,0000,000, friends.”
The lack of live music and events isn’t just hurting the artists, their bands and production crews. In early June, NPR published the results of a survey conducted by National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) that concluded that 90 percent of independent venue owners, promoters and bookers claimed they would have to close their doors permanently if they are unable to secure government funding in the next few months. Members of the NIVA that were polled include The Bowery Ballroom in New York City, Troubador in Los Angeles, 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
There isn’t an easy answer as to how live music can continue in these unprecedented times, however, several artists, such as Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker, recently performed as a part of a drive-in concert series in Nashville. Other artists, like Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton, are turning to drive-in theaters to host live-to-tape concert events around the country.
Meanwhile, American Airlines and United have returned to full capacity flights, sparking outrage from some travelers.
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.