Friday, July 21, 2006


I like country music. There. I said it. But, like most music, there are subcategories within the genre that I dislike. I am not a fan of overusing the slide guitar. Bluegrass gets grating FAST--the exception being Alison Krauss. I don't like anything that twangy, whiny or nasal. But mainstream country music I do enjoy. And as I have gotten older, and the form become more mainstream and/or cross over, I find that I actually seek out country music radio stations. And I love the top 20 video count down on CMT as much as I enjoyed the VH1 rock and roll version 15 years ago.

Country music is one of the most universally relatable music forms out there. Who among us has not experienced love that won't wait, love gone wrong, love gone right, temptation, depression, love of nature and love of country (regardless of which boob is in the White House). Are there really people out there who sit still when hearing Charlie Daniel's "Devil Went Down to Georgia?!" And everyone loves Johnny Cash!

Country music is anthematic. So is my other favorite form, rock-n-roll, but rock anthems are usually anthems to rock. Or protest. Country anthems are anthems to every day life. Check out Gretchen Wilson's "Red Neck Woman." That song makes every woman living in rural America, or brought up lower middle class just stand up and cheer. And how about Sara Evans "Suds in the Bucket", a song about an 18 year old woman who takes off with her lover, leaving suds in the bucket, and clothes hanging out on the line. Her prince drove up in a white pick up truck. Love it!

Country artists SING. They don't scream. The music may express anger, but isn't angry. That is my problem with recent rock, alternative music, and definitely rap. Those artists may have very valid and interesting things to say. For me, the way they choose to convey those ideas is enough of a turn off that any potential message is lost.

Now, of course, you have your sellouts. Look no further than Brooks and Dunn. The biggest ass kissers of country music establishment there are! They win everything at every awards show. I can't stand them. Give me bad-ass Toby Keith any day of the week. That man thumbs his nose at EVERYTHING. Well, everything except his country. He is a red state in and of himself, and what he did to the Dixie Chicks is ridiculous, but I love the attitude present in his music. "Whiskey Girl" is great, and so is "Beer For My Horses."

So, guilty pleasure no more! I am going to stand up and be counted as the shit kicking, red neck, country music loving woman I am. Bring on your slings and arrows. There's probably a country song waiting to be born of just that.


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