Snap! Crackle! …Country!

Is there any greater juxtaposition than the number of people who say they hate pop music versus the amount of pop music sold? I mean, it stands for “popular” music. So why all the animosity? It’s the natural ebb and flow of entertainment. Something gains popularity and spawns spin-offs of itself until the spin-offs become a new thing and the perpetual cycle of unoriginality continues.

I like to think of music as a flower. The genre is the center and each little variation of that style is a petal. So if country is in the middle, one petal is country-rock, one petal is pop-country, traditional, island, and so forth.  Each can retain its individual beauty while commingling with all the other flowers, or genres in this case, making a beautiful arrangement of art.

Country music is in an epoch of renaissance but it’s nothing new. Sorry to tell ya’ll, we’re not special. Rock-N-Roll begat punk, alternative, metal, glam, hairband, soft-rock, stadium rock and yes, pop-rock. But alas! we haven’t heard much from rock music in a while. That’s because it’s been absorbed into country to be rebirthed. Which brings me to my point, (yes, there is one eventually).

People come to country to be able to write and perform honest real sh** people! That’s what we’re known for. I have been interviewing a lot of pop-country singers lately who all agree that they were drawn to country music for its authenticity. Sound counterintuitive? It shouldn’t. Country music is home. When the petal of country-rock has blossomed into more rock than country it will break off to begin anew as its own genre again. And those artists will be considered rock, or pop, or hip-hop, respectively.

Most of the artists we claim have “sold out”, a term I abhor, all started as straight country. Eric Church and Brantley Gilbert have gone rock, Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown are beachy, Luke Bryan and Taylor Swift lean towards pop, Florida Georgia Line ….well, I rest my case.

There’s nothing wrong with a little cross pollination to explore new sounds. We used to be confined to what was on the dial. In that case I could see the argument against terrestrial radio only playing pop, but we have internet now. There are new artists making the kind of music you want to hear, I promise. The only caveat is you have search out and actually support them. BUY thier music! If enough people like what you like then record labels and the radio stations in their pockets won’t be able to ignore. Money tends to peek their interest.

Everything comes back around so don’t turn on your whole genre because you don’t like a part of it. Not all pop music is the devil. In some cases it brings fans that might’ve otherwise assumed country was still about ex-wives and dead dogs. When we all know that now it’s about misogyny and alcoholism.

Real country music will always remain in all its melancholy glory. So if you try something that’s not your cup of tea just add a little whiskey. If it still doesn’t fit your fancy just go to straight whiskey.



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