This is going to be a short rant having to do with my thoughts on (the genre formerly known as) Country Music, so if you're not interested, I understand if you want to spend the next few minutes of your life doing something more productive.
So anyways, let's get down to the nitty gritty. I'm proud of the era in which I grew. It was Willie, Waylon, Merle, & Cash in their prime. Hank was just entering his outlaw phase, and I'd go into my sister's room when she'd leave for school, put on those huge honkin' earphones, and sing along to Family Tradition, Country Boy Can Survive, and so on. That period molded me into who I am today...not all bad, but not all good!
Aside from some of the negative influence, Country Music, I think, is special. It's all about the story. For instance, a friend of mine, who attends college in the cultural melting pot of Miami, decided to invite a few guys of different nationalities over for "Country Night." He cooked a Southern meal and played for them some staple Country. He said they loved it. Why? ...because it told a story. Yes, those stories may include a dog, a truck, momma, prison, and drinking, but they have the ability to make you laugh and cry all in a three minute period.
Why all this, you ask? In the last few years, Country Music has made quite a transformation. Now, I'm not opposed to all of the changes. I'm glad there were guys like Willie, Waylon, Merle, and Cash who shook things up years ago, and in recent years, Garth Brooks has left his mark on the genre as well as guys like Urban and Paisley who are taking things in another direction. However, there is a line, at least in my mind, before we abandon the roots of Country Music. I'm sickened at what I here some "Country" stations playing, and CMT...don't get me started! I'm so sick of Country Fried Home Videos, Trading Spouses, Nanny 911, and World's Strictest Parents! Come on!...and the CMT Awards might as well have been called the Taylor Swift Show!...and Can You Duet should be renamed "Can You Sing a Pop Song and Look Like A Rock Star." And this CMT Pure channel is almost as bad. They have bands on there that don't even own a steel guitar or a Telecaster...how rediculous!
My point is...why don't they just create a new genre for what they're doing instead of piggy-backing off of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into defining real Country Music? Nobody is messing with Rock-n-Roll...they called it Alternative. Nobody is messing with R&B...they called it Pop. I don't care what you call it as long as it's not Country, cause I don't think Waylon would have done it that way. I'm stepping down from the soapbox now, but I'll leave with this line from an Eric Church song..."any song sung by George Strait is Country at its' best."
Apparently others feel the same...enough to print up some t-shirts