WARNING: If you like Luke Bryan you may want to avoid this article. Most of my examples are about him because he happens to be the most annoying of them all. Sorry. Not sorry.
Sooooooooo I’ve had a little problem with country music the past couple of years. “Artists” (if I should even call them that…) are singing songs about beer, trucks, and tight blue jeans instead of something that attracts the deeper, more intellectual mind. These one-dimensional songs about drinking a beer in the mud while your KC lights light up your easy girlfriend’s face are getting old. How many times can someone rewrite the same song? Too many.
Country music has evolved from singing songs about family, hard work, morals, cheating, God, and small towns that they actually came from… to big trucks, hot girls in bikinis, having lots of money, small towns they wish they were from, and most importantly… BEER. It has gone from just a guitar, fiddle, or banjo and a voice… to every rock instrument you can think of with some computer generated sounds thrown in as well. From wrangler jeans for the men and classy dresses for women, to skin tight overpriced leather pants, and body hugging mini dresses, emphasis on mini… I wouldn’t be shocked if on next year’s CMAs or ACMs Luke Bryan walks on stage in a dress. I’m pretty sure he and I share a few of the same statement pieces.
Sadly, there are dozens of contributors to the pop country genre in today’s society who win awards for and boast about their 100% pop and 0% country mega-hits. Then there are those who started out as country as can be but are crossing over to pop country in the blink of an eye. Blake Shelton with his new rap infused single, Luke Bryan with his painted on designer jeans and repetitive lyrics (beer and trucks beer and trucks beer and trucks), and Tim McGraw, who actually wrote a song in the 90’s called “Back When” with lyrics that say “I’m readin’ street slang for dummies cause they put pop in my country, I want more for my money the way it was back then…” and is now one of the main contributors to the pop country industry. Come on Tim!
Finally, real country artists are starting to speak out. Collin Raye recently said in an interview with Fox that he is “really depressed at how it has dumbed down to basically just a one dimensional ‘lets party in the truck, gonna drink some cold beer.’”
I couldn’t agree more Collin. If Luke Bryan sings (whoops I almost typed “writes” there. That would’ve been a good one!) one more song about beer I’m going to lose my mind. You like beer, trucks, and slutty girls. We get it. Write about something meaningful. And get a new stylist while you’re at it. (The link for Collin’s interview is posted at the very bottom of the page)
As you all know, I am from Texas and am very proud of that. One of the many perks of living in Texas is having red dirt or “Texas Country” radio stations. If you are in the DFW area I recommend 95.9 The Ranch. They play songs by artists who actually write their music, sing about more meaningful topics than beer, and I’m pretty sure none of them wear black sparkly skinny jeans. Ackhmm… Luke… As a general rule, their songs have country roots and do not incorporate anything that distracts from the lyrics. But if your lyrics are as surface-level as “country girl shake it for me,” “little Conway, little T-Pain. Might just make it rain,” or my personal favorite… “Girl hand me another beer!” I can understand why you might need a deterrent…
Over the years, some red dirt artists have released some pretty funny pop-country hating, Nashville producer bashing, real country music. I could provide for you the music videos of my favorite deep, meaningful, and heartfelt red dirt songs, but I thought these were even better for this post…
(I did not make any of these videos! All the credit goes to the video creator.)
“Cause you had to say something for people to listen, but now they just do what they’re told. Well it’s all about idols, pretty blonde hair and how many trucks you can sell out here in AM country heaven and FM country hell.”
“He’s all about image cause image pays the bucks, but if he’s country, well then country really sucks. What happened to the outlaws who weren’t afraid to cross the line? What happened to the workin’ man who sang the truth about their troubled lives?”
“They call god-all-mighty Nashville ‘Music City USA,’ but get out of the city to where the farmers play, you’re into real music country without them city ways.”
George Strait is from Texas and gives all the credit to his success to it. He is one of the few to stay true, and stay popular in the “country” world. “For the steel guitars no longer cry and the fiddles barely play, but drums and rock ‘n’ roll guitars are mixed up in your face. Ol’ Hank wouldn’t have a chance on today’s radio since they committed murder down on music row.”
So there you have it. Country music is dying and I’m not the only one who thinks so.
Enjoy the rest of your Monday! Sorry Luke Bryan fans!
Thanks for the videos, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCrWp1kPHtw, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNEniwpNmU0, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xI_WohVAnU, and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny3K9irFC5k