Your Take: What Is Country Music?

Karlie Justus Marlowe | February 21st, 2009

In movies, country music is flashy Nudie suits, thick accents and troubled childhoods. In Nashville, it’s barrooms, cash cows and demo tapes by the dozen. In pop music circles, it’s hokey, old-fashioned and the quintessential line “I like all music…but country.”

Country music can arguably be all (or none) of these things, but they still don’t explain what inspires some of the fiercest fan loyalties of all genres, why Hank Williams Sr.’s songs still sound relevant, or how the steel guitar manages to turn the feeling of pain into a lonely, haunting sound.

So what is country music?

There is no easy answer. Country music is in a state of constant flux as, to borrow from Tracy Lawrence’s “Time Marches On,” the only thing that stays the same is everything changes.

Jim Malec has been known to put artists on the spot during his interviews for The 9513 with a similar inquiry. Randy Houser had an interesting response:

Country music is truth. Of all genres of music, country music is the one that’s not so much about the beat as it is about hittin’ you right where it hurts the most in your heart and in your gut. Sometimes it hurts and sometimes it feels good. Sometimes it makes you laugh or cry or whatever, but I think it’s the last genre of music that’s all about a man telling you what he’s been through and where he’s been. And the truth.

So now it’s your turn: How would you define country music? How would you explain the genre, its artists and its songs? And if you had to choose one song that illustrates your reasoning, what would it be?

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  1. [...] weeks ago you came up with some great definitions for the genre of country music, which she echoes here. Do you agree with O’Brien’s observation? Does being a country [...]
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  1. Nicolas
    February 21, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Country music = Sara Evans <3

  2. Stormy
    February 21, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Country music is one of the last voices for the working class, particularly the rural working class who are often portrayed in contemporary media in the broadest of sterotypes.

  3. Razor X
    February 21, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Country music is one of the few genres which actually has something to say, where the lyrics take precedence over hooks and beat, and it doesn’t — or at least didn’t until recently — rely on technological tricks to sound good; artists had to actually be able to sing and play their instruments well.

  4. SW
    February 21, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I’d agree with Razor’s first thought, but as for being able to sing/play well, that’s not required. Country music is about telling a story. Putting thoughts or feelings above beat or melody. Nobody I know thinks “High Cost of Living” has a beautiful melody, and everybody believes it puts lyrics above all else. Country is the only genre of music, in my less than humble opinion, that puts lyrics above the other aspects of song. Even in circles of “non-country” fans if you play a country song and let somebody listen, really listen to it, you’ll hear them say something about how the words make them feel or how the words hit them. Nobody says, nor ought they, ‘this song makes me want to dance without any regard for the lyrics’ when they listen to country music. Leave the beat supremacy to other forms, country is about a story, and the only way humans have to tell stories is with words. Country music is the way those stories come to life in music.

    Lot’s of rambling, but I’m hungover and a passionate country fan.

  5. Stormy
    February 21, 2009 at 11:10 am

    The best songs in all genres tell a story.

  6. Paul W Dennis
    February 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Over thirty years ago, the legendary songwriter Harlan Howard described country music as “Three Chords and The Truth”

    To that I would append melody, harmony, (usually) fiddle & steel and a band that does not drown out the lead vocalist

  7. BLL
    February 21, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Country music is the news set to music. It’s real life with harmony and steel.

  8. Chris N.
    February 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm


    Country music is characterized by:

    — Lyrics that reflect its audience’s actual lives rather than the audience’s aspirations (exception that proves the rule: Kenny Chesney)
    — A general tendency toward logocentrism
    — Music rooted in styles and instruments brought over by European immigrants to Appalachia
    — Earnestness and a lack of self-reflexivity

    And like every genre of music, it is defined differently by each listener and that definition is permanently subject to change.

  9. Dan Milliken
    February 21, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I’ve always liked how Ben put it in some festival review he did (Stagecoach, I think). He basically opined that in country music, the lyrics are the substance and the beats/grooves/riffs just serve to provide context to the story, whereas it’s the other way around in, say, rock music (and in my opinion, a lot of pop, too). That makes a lot of sense to me, especially given how minimalistic country music has traditionally been from a compositional standpoint (again, “three chords and the truth”).

    But even when the musicality gets more complex, I think that model still holds true of genuine country music. The example I go back to is “Galveston.” The music is at least as much ‘pop’ as ‘country,’ but you know that the soaring melody and production would feel meaningless without the narrative; they’re just not the primary actor. Contrast that with, say, the Stones’ “Satisfaction,” where the primary actor is the pulse and the wily riffs, and the lyrics, while awesome, serve only to give your brain the same idea that your body has already picked up from the music.

    One of my professors said it well: “rock acts primarily on the body, folk acts primarily on the mind.” I would add that country acts primarily on the heart – at its core, it’s about images and ideas that evoke emotional responses and memories from us.

  10. Dan Milliken
    February 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    “Wily” isn’t the word I meant to use for the riffs. I meant “wild.”

  11. Hollerin' Ben
    February 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm


    Hey thanks man, the full gist of the quote was that the lyrics are the substance, and the lyrics are substantive.

    The pet definition of country music that I’m working with right now is an expansion of the famous “Three Chords and the Truth” definition.

    I’d say that country music is “a postmodern examination of everyday American life in plain language set to simple musical structures that are familiar as being reminiscent of traditional American folk and pop music.”

    “Three Chords and the Truth” though less clear, sounds better.

  12. Baron Lane
    February 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    In 1964, Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain “hard-core” pornography, or what is obscene, by saying that he couldn’t define it, but that “I know it when I see it . .”

    I adopt that approach to country music. But I know it’s NOT Taylor Swift…

  13. Hollerin' Ben
    February 21, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    wait, quick revision “an existential examination of postmodern American life in plain language set to simple musical structures that are familiar as being reminiscent of traditional American folk and pop music”

    there we go.

  14. JCH
    February 21, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Country music is a complex web of multifaceted factors…or was it three cords and the truth? Damn.

  15. Bobby
    February 21, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I think that country music is, ideally, music that has something to say; specifically, it describes an easily identifiable situation for the everyday man or woman. It can be about falling in or out of love, trying to keep the family farm in the black, riding in trucks, looking back at your upbringing, or just having a good time.

    Even Taylor Swift’s material has an unmistakable lyrical core that her demographic can identify with, and she has a strong sense of imagery to make her lyrics more effective; even though she applies a pop sheen to the sound to make it more marketable, she doesn’t resort to trite lyrics (usually), so her music is at least somewhat country because of its lyric sensibilities, even if the sound says otherwise. As streamlined, and formulaic as Rascal Flatts material is, their songs still at least sort of strive for describing identifiable situations such as finally finding the one you love, or hanging out with the guys at Sonic.

    As far as melody and production are concerned, I think that country is a hard sound to identify since it’s taken on so many adaptations. Steel, fiddle, Dobro, mandoin, etc. are clearly country instruments, although none of them is particularly necessary to make a song country. There’s plenty of room to experiment, and so long as the lyric can shine through, the sound isn’t as big of a factor.

    Ideally, country doesn’t resort to diluting all semblance of emotion to a couple of well placed clichés. It doesn’t resort to bragging about material goods, nor does it stoop to crass womanizing. While it can easily be about frustation with something, a country sone holds out with some ray of hope that life will get better; a country narrator won’t want to kill themselves or anyone else, nor will they want to vent by releasing a string of profanities, death threats, and so on (well, except a few cowpunk acts).

    No matter what the production and melody settle on, a truly country song should leave a listener thinking, “Oh yeah, I know what they’re talking about”, even if it’s something as ordinary as liking your chicken fried and cold beer on a Friday night.

  16. Steve M.
    February 21, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    I would argue that it would be easy to define what is not country-like almost anything in the Top 40.

  17. Rimrock
    February 21, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    For me it’s simple, it’s gotta’ have a fiddle and a steel guitar! Murder On Music Row (Larry Cordle) by George Strait w/Alan Jackson says it all!!!

  18. Steve Harvey
    February 22, 2009 at 6:29 am


    You realise that precludes Folsom Prison Blues from being considered country?

  19. Vicki
    February 22, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Country music has got to be real. Its all about the story that touches everyone in some way. It’s the surprise ending “He Stopped Loving Her Today”, or another great one “Fancy”. It tells a story or it makes you feel in someway. The best country songs make you cry, make you relive that moment in your own life. But Country can make you laugh too-“Bird of Paradise”, Paisley’s, “I’m Gonna Miss Her”. It just plain makes you feel.

    The opposite? Pop/Rap-it’s all beat, repetitive phrases over and over and half the time I don’t know what in the world they are saying.

  20. J.R. Journey
    February 22, 2009 at 9:08 am

    To me, country music is really the last bastion of song. It’s the only genre of music left where the lyric is still king – to those of us who are lyric connoisseurs. Two songs that illustrate my point would be Rosanne Cash’s ‘Seven Year Ache’ and her father’s ‘Cry, Cry, Cry’.

  21. Baron Lane
    February 22, 2009 at 9:58 am

    @Ben: does a definition of a music, who’s strength its simplicity and commonness, that includes the words “existential” and “postmodern” preclude it from being a good one? ;)

  22. Isabelle
    February 22, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I agree with all the people saying that country music has to do with story telling. I read once that a good country song takes out a day or a situation of a person’s life and tells it. I think this describes good country music best!
    The lyrics are uplifting or an impulse to think about something.

    Older (and also some newer) songs talk about love, heartbreaks and drinking a lot. There are also many songs about trains.

    To me the lyrics are the most precious of country music and I never get tired of it (unlike some pop songs they play over and over until you can’t hear them anymore).

  23. Jeff
    February 22, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Country music is something that represents people who live a simpler, truer way of life.

    Ketch Secor from Old Crow Medicine show said that most music labeled “Americana” is actually country, and folks like Carrie Underwood and Kenny Chesney represent that sort of red/white/blue fist pumping “Americana” better.

    Son Volt’s “Windfall” mentions “switchin over to AM, looking for a truer sound”, and I think that sums it up well.

  24. Stormy
    February 22, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Jeff, not to mention “It sounds like 1963, but for now it sounds like heaven.”

  25. Jake Jackson
    February 22, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Country music is the last genre that shows true roots in faith.

  26. Chris A
    February 22, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    The Harland Howard quote, hands down, is the best definition, but I always liked how Kenny Rogers once defined country music, “it’s anything county people will listen to.”

    I think a key distinction in this whole discussion is county music versus good (or great) country music. I’m not not about to pick sides in the Taylor Swift (or Kenny Chesney) debate as to whether or not she (or he) sings country music, but I don’t think anyone can deny her (or his) appeal to the core county music demographic and the fact that, like it or not, she (and he) is/are broadening what country music is. The debate should then focus on whether or not it’s good (or great) country music.

  27. Chris A
    February 22, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    I forgot the name the song that I feel illustrates my point. That song would be “Here You Come Again”. But for the fact that Dolly Parton sang it, there was nothing country about it when she released it in 1977, but it was (and still is) a GREAT country song.

  28. ALJID
    February 22, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Country music is real life written in a piece of paper and given some melody. For me, the truest form of country music sounds more like a melodic conversation between the narrator and his audience…

  29. Dan Milliken
    February 23, 2009 at 12:57 am

    I disagree with the Kenny Rogers quote, at least how it’s been presented. “Anything country people will listen to” (which I assume means anything country fans will listen to) encompasses a very, very wide swath of material. A lot of Taylor Swift’s fans are also big fans of Colbie Caillat and the Jonas Brothers and Kelly Clarkson. And honestly, Taylor’s music isn’t a far cry musically from much of theirs. Does that mean they’re country, too, since certain country music fans (Taylor’s) like listening to them? I really think we get into trouble when we let “country” mean anything that’s marketed as “country.”

  30. Dan Milliken
    February 23, 2009 at 1:03 am

    Also, I don’t think “Here You Come Again” is a country song just because Dolly Parton sang it.

    Consider: If Lil Wayne were to come out with a cover of “I Walk the Line” and changed nothing about the arrangement or the delivery, but rap fans bought it because they like Lil Wayne, would that automatically make it a rap song?

  31. JD
    February 23, 2009 at 6:12 am

    What is country music?

    Unfortunately, whatever the radio market tells us it is.

  32. Chris A
    February 23, 2009 at 9:11 am

    I agree “Here You Come Again” is not a country song just because Dolly sang it, but looking back with 30 years of perspective, I would argue it is a great country song.

  33. Jim Malec
    February 23, 2009 at 9:13 am

    If Lil Wayne came out with a cover of “I Walk The Line” I would kill myself using only the liner notes from his album. It would a long painful death.

  34. Chris N.
    February 23, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Country is what me and Dale Watson say it is.

  35. Deb
    February 23, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Country to me is Loretta Lynn not just in music but her life.

  36. Mike Parker
    February 23, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I think the first thing that has to be addressed is that genres are not mutually exclusive. Just because something is country, doesn’t mean it’s not rock. I could probably sit here and argue Nickleback’s “Rockstar” as a country song- I won’t, don’t worry.

    Beyond that, country music is music that is concerned with emotion rather than motion. Country music wants to make you laugh, cry, drink, or salute a flag. It wants to bring people together rather than to convince everybody they are all misunderstood outsiders. Country music is music that caters to people who live a simpler life, or wish they could live a simple life. It’s not just one thing, it’s many.

    It includes everything from Ricky Lynn Gregg, James Bonamy, and John Rich- whether we like it or not. We can find attributes in the Eagles, CCR, Skynyrd, and even Kid Rock and make an argument that what they’re doing is Country.

  37. Sabrina
    February 23, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Country music is music of the soul. Heartache,tears and laughter,joy and pain, all of these things.

  38. Sal
    February 24, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Whether it’s new or old country music, to me it all seems like escapism to another time. It embodies the cosmic-loneliness and landscape of another era, before, as John Hartford put it, “it looks like an electric razor where the court house used to be.” It’s also music from the soil that helps us feel more connected to our environment and the people physically around us. It complements the highs and lows of life and the beautiful scenery this great country has to offer. Country music has evolved with our culture, but every new traditionalist that comes along with an instrumentally spare, heartbreaking album just reminds me that there’s no need for the frills in music and in life. Speaking of frills, forget what I said and remember Kristofferson’s no-nonsense answer, “If it sounds country, man, that’s what it is.”

  39. Patty Umg
    February 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    to me country music is a man named randy houser. while i love brooks and dunn and rascal flatts, i really like him. enjoy! i promise you won’t be disappointed.

  40. Linda
    February 28, 2009 at 1:56 am

    Country music is natural. It uses real instruments (no drum programming) with singers who can actually sing. The singing is most important, not a filler for a good beat or hook. The music is what it’s supposed to be: an accompaniment to singing. The singer’s voice sounds natural, not electronic. Country music uses a fiddle, acoustic guitar, and steel guitar.

  41. rich
    March 6, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Country music is where the “artist” lists the names of their hairdresser, make-up artist and clothing supplier on their CD. It is the music where the “artist” shows up at the studio and their manager gives them lyric sheets and a band of musicians they have never even met before start plaing the songs. Country music is all business and an extreme few musicians who actually play an instrument proficiently or write their own songs ever have success. Country music is big money and big hair and cowboy hats. It is absolutely the same as rap music… all show and no substinence. Bluegrass and folk have remained pretty pure but country music is now an embarrasement.

    Look back to the 1960’s and 1970’s and no one was having success in country music due to their looks – only their tallent. But now not a single person can have a break out or success without first being good looking. Image is king, not tallent.

    Now since “alt-country” never really took hold to the extent that some folks became real wealthy from it, there is a movement invented just by producers, Clear Channel and record labels to invent the “Americana” identity. This is ONLY an advertising and marketing ploy. What a joke. It is just another way for the Nashville power base to try to invent a new cash flow machine.

    And then their is the manditory right wing only politics of country music which is discusting.

  42. Caleb Stempel
    April 3, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Country music isn’t Taylor Swift. A true country singer doesn’t remix her singles so they’ll be successful on pop radio like she does. Likewise, country music isn’t Rascal Flatts. I feel that Rascal Flatts is a boy band that failed as pop and thus has become labeled as country. Today, the real country doesn’t get a lot of radio play. If Randy Travis ever gets a top 40 hit, I’ll be surprised because country radio is destroying the genre. Most of what we hear on the radio isn’t country, its country pop. I love Keith Urban, but his music isn’t country. Some, focus on some, of Brad Paisley’s music is county, but not all the radio singles. Just because the lyrics dance on the theme of country music doesn’t make it country.

  43. Corbin
    April 23, 2009 at 11:03 am

    My girlfriend hates country music but loves Taylor Swift. To quote Ray Scott, “she thinks country music’s hokey and all the songs are sad.” I love the sad songs because they are often more lyrically powerful. I cannot stand a song with no lyrical substance (Anything Keith Urban, most Kenny Chesney).
    It’s not that I don’t like upbeat songs, I recognize Brad Paisley’s novelty songs are at least semi-clever. But songs like “Sweet Thing” and the sort make me throw up in my mouth a bit.

    The point I was getting at with this was to agree with the comment above me that even non-country fans will be impacted if they stop to actually listen to the lyrics of a good country song.

    But the majority of music listeners don’t want music to stimulate their mind to think about things. They want bubble gum pop that makes them feel happy or, in country music, oversimplified anthems such as “Shutting Detroit Down.”

  44. merlefan46
    April 23, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I often use these two songs as an example of country music. I tell them to listen to Vern Gosdin’s Chiseled In Stone then listen to Kenny Chesney’s The Good Stuff.

  45. Dave Wollenberg
    April 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Country’ music isn’t country without pedal steel, banjo, dobro, or mandolin. Bells, are definitely NOT country! See Gary Allan’s ‘Best I ever had,’ or, ‘Watchin’ airplanes.’ Even Josh Turner sold out with a bell on, ‘Another try.’ Some folks really HAVE committed ‘Murder on Music Row.’ Peace.

  46. Jon
    April 29, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Hello, Taylor Swift, goodbye Johnny Cash.

  47. Chuck C.
    May 5, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I was a teenager in the ’50s and ’60s, drinking beer to Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line” and dancing to Ray Price, Hank Thompson, etc. I miss that music, and today’s “country” stations don’t fill the bill. They label themselves as “new country”, and that’s fine. But they should realize there wouldn’t be any “new country” without the folks who laid the foundation — George Jones, Ernest Tubbs, the Carter Family, Porter and Dolly, Hank Snow, Buck Owens, Leroy Van Dyke and all the rest. Country music to me tells a story. It’s true to life and makes you want to laugh, cry, love your wife/girlfriend, pet your dog, drink a beer or salute the flag. Few of today’s “country” songs do that, and I believe we’re the worse for it.

  48. Dave Wollenberg
    June 28, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Actually, I’m sick of any country act who drops their ‘r’s’ when they sing. The upshot is, they don’t do it when they talk! They’re disrespectin’ the English language! Let’s hear those r’s enunciated well! Peace.

  49. iAmaBanana
    February 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Country music is the only music genre out there for everyone, but not everyone is willing to give it a chance. Country music is ground-breaking music that teaches lessons, touches people’s hearts, and relates to people. It’s not at all about drunk cowboys whining, trucks, trains, tractors, and beer; it’s all about real life – happy times, sad times, love, pain, joy, etc. In short, country music, both new country and classic country, (and yes, “new” includes artists like Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, etc.) is the greatest kind of music there is.

  50. stormy
    February 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Diadatic writing is almost always bad writing.

  51. iAmaBanana
    April 27, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I may not be a good writer, Stormy, but at least I’m not arrogant like you. ;)

  52. Stormy
    April 27, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Songs that beat you over the head with a message are bad–see also what happened to Martina’s career.

  53. iAmaBanana
    April 28, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    ^ And the arrogance continues.

    February 27, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Well, I personally think that country music is the music of the simple family man or woman that has some relation with God and with the countryside. I would consider that 95% of todays country music is actually very similar to the country music in the 80’s and 70’s and 60’s, because really the lyrics and the stories have the same point: give simple songs, with relation to God, family and the countryside. I mean, look at Easton Corbin he gets to be the next George Strait. They still give tribute and respect to the famous singers of the past, just listen to This Is Country Music, by Brad Paisley.

    And really that is another reason to why country is distinguishable from other genres. I mean, do any pop artists today even have a scent of what it was back then? NONE of the famous pop artists of the past except for Michael Jackson have any influence in todays pop artists, and in my opinion, thats why they are terrible. ABBA, Phil Collins, the Bee Gees, and so on, have no memory in pop today. Even the Bee Gees have more memory with country, with the song they wrote, Islands in the Stream, recorded by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

  55. Stormy
    February 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    NONE of the famous pop artists of the past except for Michael Jackson have any influence in todays pop artists, and in my opinion, thats why they are terrible.

    Lady Gaga is pretty much singing Madonna on her new single. Firework has a lot of Go-Gos in it.

  56. Barry Mazor
    February 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Oh, Eduardo. Everybody wonders how “they” dare not repeat or salute what we loved our junior year in high school.

    Well, they dare.

  57. zacbrownfanforever
    March 10, 2011 at 6:16 am

    What is country music? To me country music is a lifes story. Its a philosiphy. Every country song is unique in its own way…each one tells a story.. like a autobiography, none are the same. Sure country singers may sing about trucks small towns or dogs…..but ya know what? Thats not the main point of country music!!!!! True country songs speak from the singers heart weather it be about our troops over sea, parties, relationships gone bad, partyin on a saturday night, the american way or even death. To those who want to really know what country music listen to a song called “this is country music” by brad paisly …. to those who think country musi c is nothing but “wangy twangy crap about nothing” i seriosly suggest you back off; your messing with the most loyal fanbase in the world

  58. Waynoe
    March 10, 2011 at 9:07 am

    If country music is JUST about telling a story, which seems ot be the most oft-used description, then if you tell a real-life story set to rap or hard rock music, does that automatically make it country then?

    Although it is highly subjective, part of the definition has to do with the presentation and not just the lyrics. Although that is a wide moat, it is what it is. That’s why there is so much debate about some songs not “sounding country” that are considered by modern corporate radio as country.

  59. Barry Mazor
    March 10, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    And not all songs everyone considers country really “tell stories” anyhow. Plenty, from the ’20s to today, evoke a mood or emotion or maybe just a tone, without any narrative line or situational details anybody could call a story in progress. Storytelling has certainly been a special strength of country over time–but it doesn’t, can’t, work as a definition. Also, as Waynoe’s saying–there are stories in lots of other styles and formats, worldwide, too.

  60. ryan and lindsay
    March 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    country is better than punk. agreed?

  61. Stormy
    March 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Which country band am I comparing to which punk band?

  62. Braden
    May 28, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Country music is fun and emotionally moving at times. It can make you jump around or tear at your heart strings. But it has changed over the years and not for the better I’m afraid. It has become too cliche and stereotypical. Big corporations create country singers, give them new fake names and have them sing songs full of country cliches and stereotypes. Hollywood and pop culture may present country music using stereotypes but they are almost always true. I like country singers that are original, write their own music and don’t sound like they searched a redneck dictionary for stale country terms to put in their songs. Why do country singers today have to worry about their image so much? Why does a male country singer have to wear a cowboy hat every where he goes, even indoors? Country singers have become as fake as any other genre.

  63. Marcus
    May 16, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Country is the tales of the life in the south and west. It’s a story to tell the world what those people lived and experienced. They use the most simplest instruments, guitar, fiddle, banjo, harmonica, jaw harp and washboard. Country singing was a family and a cultural thing. It was folk singing, because the folk would sing it. Two important things about country is the lyrics and the instruments, that’s what makes it country. It’s not a matter whether it’s jazzed up, or fast it’s still country.
    But when you start adding heavy metal licks and all kinds of instruments that are not used in country, how in god creation you call that country. if rock n’ roll is a rose and it looks like a rose and smells like a rose, and country is a tree, how can you call the tree a rose.
    What is next, metallica is going to be the next country band. People don’t decide what music is, it’s the record industry. They tell the radio stations what you will hear. If they want hard rock station to play traditional country they do.
    The record industry calls music the way they want for record sales not for the type of music. That’s why they don’t use the term country any more, it’s new country. No limits to it. It’s what ever you want it to be.

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  • paulthorntooblessed
  • duhksbeyondtheblue
  • kelleymickwee
  • sandrarhodes
  • candi staton