A Tale of Two Countries

Country music is going to the dogs. Let us pray for Alternative country and western singers and songwriters who can save it from the Left.

If politics is downstream from culture, it seems the primary strategy for injecting leftist politics into conservative America has been infiltrating the conservative culture.

Brian Parsons writes in the American Thinker:

Just recently, I took my wife to a local country music concert to celebrate her birthday. I was surprised by the number of people drinking Bud Light there.  Given the conservative market backlash to Bud Light’s transgender beer campaign, I expected many more people to choose no shortage of alternatives.  A friend observed that they saw a thirty-pack of Bud Light at the local grocer for twelve dollars.  This is why it was odd to see people pay twelve dollars for a single Bud Light tallboy.

One Bud Light drinker, in particular, stood out.  This person was among the first to stand for the Memorial Day tribute of the national anthem played on the fiddle with the American flag waving on the jumbotron.  This same person also knew all the words to Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue.” At that time, I realized that many Americans are blissfully unaware or apathetic to current affairs and are just here to catch a good time.

Country music presents an interesting metaphor for modern America: traditionally family and faith-oriented, now shallow and self-interested.  It has always been a storytelling art form that celebrates a simpler life, God, family, and traditional morals.  With the recent mainstreaming of country music came a melding of pop, rap, hypnotizing beats, and repetitive lyrics emphasizing superficial topics like sex and alcohol.  I have heard it called country rap or crap, and that’s an apt description.  Songs I would place in this category are often the least melodious or creative but were the first to get the youth up and dancing at the concert.

I heard a recent SiriusXM interview with Hall of Fame songwriter Steve Wariner, in which he grieved the loss of storytelling in country music and the promotion of cliches like whiskey in every tune. I can relate to this sentiment.  I enjoy many crap songs for the mindless anthems they are, but I also find myself irked by the lip service to country themes without much depth to them. In one of the latest radio hits, “Good Time” by country artist Niko Moon, the listener is treated to cliched lines such as “like a bobber on a wet line, we just tryna catch a good time,” an homage to classic country songs like “Fishin in the Dark” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band that repeats throughout the chorus.

What irks me most about the shallowness of these kinds of lyrics is that they are a cosplay of a genre that celebrates an authentic heritage.  Putting on a pair of cowboy boots while twerking no more makes you a cowboy than putting on a dress makes you a woman.  Cowboys exist, and many still fight to maintain their traditional values nationwide.



3 Responses

  1. This is very sad but is a continuation of the cross-over hits of decades ago, after pop music discovered the money made by the country industry. I visited Nashville in the ’70s while hitchhiking through. The Ryman had just shut its doors. I visited again a few years ago and the Ryman was just re-opened. But the difference in Nashville was most plain at Tootsie’s. It was just a quiet bar with a room in the back where the songwriters congregated. I was sitting in there listening while another cowboy songwriter tried to steal my girl by the bathrooms. It’s sure different now: crowded, multiple loud venues, the partying college crowd… sigh.

  2. Forget Nashville and Branson. For the real deal come down to the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia on a Saturday night through the summer and fall. “Old time mountain music” at the base of Clinch Mountain in beautiful Southwest Virginia.

  3. I too thought it was a wasteland but I recently discovered the supremely talented and thoughtful, Sarah Jarosz and, by accident, Sara Bareilles and the incredible Chris Thile and his band. They blend country and folk in the best possible way.
    The harmonies and instrumental talent they have can make an hour go by in minutes. Matching them in talent and sublimity is Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Rawlings being one of the most fantastic guitar players I have seen.
    Sadly, most of the people I talk to have no idea who they are . That’s America for you, you can be famous and nobody’s ever heard of you.

    So, my friend Brian, all is not lost, there is some beautiful musical creativity out there but it will never make mainstream media because it’s too spiritual and soothing for the great unwashed.
    Spend a little while on “You Tube” scrolling for these artists and you’ll find so many more who can make you stop what you’re doing and just listen in pure enjoyment.
    Sarah Jarosz is my favourite at the moment.

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