True Fans of Country Music Must Be a Bit Upset These Days

posted in: Eban's Blog, Eban's Thoughts, music | 0

I am sitting on the couch today nursing a pretty bad sore throat and cough and sinus situation today. In other words, I have a cold. I am attempting to get some writing done on my upcoming shows as well as the next Riff-Cast. To say the cold is making this a bit more of a chore than it should be is a understetment.

I have resigned myself to a less than 100% productive day. I am plugging away, but the bug is fighting me all the way.

If you are asking what any of this has to do with the title of this post, be patient.

The necessary but disingenuous disclaimer

You see, I have never been a fan of country music. I guess this comes from growing up in an area that was so steeped in the love of country music and my natural tendency to rebel at anything thrown my way. I know it is cliché to say I like all types of music except one particular type. Actually that is a lot like, “Only the Sith deal in absolutes,” but I digress, the statement is mostly true in my case.

I have always used another overused turn of phrase, “But I do like (insert Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, or any other of the old school country folks that it is hipster to like). They are cool.” If I do this in front of you now, you have me cold. Admissions suck.

What the hell happened?

So, back to the story at hand. I am here on my couch typing away in a less than effective manner and I have Palladia on in the background. It just so happens today is country day, or so it would seem. Since it is background, I have left it on all day.

I saw a bit of a show with Brad Paisley. I also caught several videos shown between shows. Right now it is Crossroads with John Mayer and Keith Urban. Watching this, I have come to a conclusion of sorts. True country fans must be a bit upset these days.

In all these years of completely ignoring country music something strange has happened. It appears that country music has turned into rock and pop with steel guitars and violins added to make it country. The overdriven guitars are there. The dance rhythms are there. I don’t hear Johnny, or Willie, or Waylon, or Hank, or Patsy, or Dolly. I hear Nickelback and Britney with the aforementioned violins and steel guitars.

Even the look is very much alternative rock with cowboy boots and hats added.

I have no horse in this race as I am not a country music fan. True fans, however, must be a bit upset. This mashup that is calling itself country must make them sad. This stuff I am hearing today owes more to Zeppelin, Bad Company, and bad dance tunes, or worse yet, Nickelback and Creed, than the  legends of the country genre mentioned before.

Go figure.

Any thoughts from actual country fans out there? I am really curious about this.

By the way, John Mayer can play the guitar like a maestro. He is good.

Although not country in the truest sense, I do love Graham Parsons. Pic by Reading Tom

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