Your Take: Drugs or Jesus
On Monday, Brody included a roundup of country music’s Grammy winners, ranging from Diamond Rio and Patty Loveless to Patty Griffin and Marty Stuart. It was the winner for Country Album of the Year, however, that surprised many country music fans: The award, which included nominees Jamey Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum and Zac Brown Band, went to Lady Antebellum, perhaps the most pop-leaning of the five.
While some were upset, commenter Kyle thought the trio was a good representative for country music, and a “gateway drug” into the genre and its artists:
Eh, you could do a lot worse than Lady A
They’re not my favorites, but honestly, they’re good ambassadors for country music. They’re “hip” enough but unassuming, respect the craft of Nashville songwriting, and they at least have country themes to a lot of their songs.
They’re a good “gateway drug” for country music – they’re accessible, have a ‘country-lite’ sound and feel, and they at least have country themes to a lot of their songs.
Some of their crossover fans will look deeper into the genre and its history, and new country fans will be born. Honestly, I’d much prefer someone like them be the face of the industry than a “redneck rocker” like Aldean… which would create a whole different breed of next-generation fan.
The “gateway drug” theory has been thrown around quite a bit in the last few years, in regards to pop and rock-leaning artists who serve as an easy transition for pop and rock fans into the country music genre.
What are your views on the “gateway drug” theory? What characteristics does a “gateway drug” artist have? What artists do you think fit this description, and do you think they’ve successfully transitioned fans to other artists within country music?
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