My favorite country artists are of the more outsidery vein, Merle Haggard, Bob Wayne, and the man, the myth, the legend himself, Johnny Cash.
My father once told me that real country had died and what was played on the radio was just 50's rock'n'roll sung with an accent. He left out the pedal steel guitars, but the idea's the same.
Fast forward two decades and country music is just bro-pop singing about how great they have it. The beauty of Hank Williams, the power of Johnny Cash, and the musicianship of Chet Atkins...
There is none of this to be found in mainstream country. It's just become a me too pile of worthless music that doesn't even deserve to be called art. Yeah, Toby Keith, I'm looking at you. Red Solo Cup isn't as deep as My Headband from Glee.
(See above if you want to understand my distaste for bro-country.)
Because of that, if I'm even slightly distracted, the songs don't connect. With the latest from Whiskey Gentry, honestly, it took about four or five listens and asking the opinions of others.
Because it was only the music that was connecting and not the stories. If I'm listening to an album for music, it's not going to be modern country. I'll pick up a Chet Atkins record at The Record Exchange or even pop on John 5. His chicken pickin' is amazing.
So, there wasn't an immediate reaction like when I first heard Merry Go Round, by Kacey Musgraves. My system is flawed, which is why I took more time to get to this one.
In the end, when there was pure silence, I could hear the stories and feel the the pedal steel guitar. That's all it took for this record to be a rollickin' good time.
Like the Blues, it's a great way of delivering bad news or just complaining about one's station in life. If you do it with a danceable beat and a happy voice, people will listen.
Formats: LE Vinyl/CD/Digital