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Post new topic Where should country music have gone?
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Author Topic:  Where should country music have gone?
Dustin Rhodes


From:
Owasso OK
Post Posted 11 Jan 2018 11:43 am     Reply with quote

scott murray wrote:

I've also come across a certain attitude among bluegrass players who think they're hot sh!t and aren't much fun to try and make music with. mandolin players especially!


A good guitar playing friend of mine went to bluegrass jams a few times and hated it because they had lots of unspoken rules and it seemed very much like a cool kids club.
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Douglas Schuch


From:
St John, US Virgin Islands
Post Posted 11 Jan 2018 2:35 pm     Reply with quote

The reality, as much as us lovers of classic country music hate to admit it, the decisions are made not by studio execs, but by the buying public. There is lots of great classic country music still being released these days (albeit more from Texas or Canada than Nashville lately). But the reason pop country is so dominant is because that is what people (besides you and I) buy, request, listen to on the radio, etc. Don't like it? Don't listen to it. We have more listening options today than at any point in history! Part of the beauty of the internet and the tech of today is we can listen to tons of EXACTLY what we like. I do.

The thing about music is, whatever is currently popular, there are always alternatives. I've never listened to what was the current popular music. As a teen, I listened to bluegrass. In my twenties, classic jazz. In my thirties, Afro-pop and obscure Brazilian (not bossa nova). I don't care what teens listen to these days, so long as they don't play it so loud in their car that it drowns out my stereo in my house!

Problem solved....
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Joseph Napolitano


From:
New Jersey, USA
Post Posted 11 Jan 2018 7:02 pm     Reply with quote

Bob Bestor wrote:
Country music is still going places. Popular country is just one branch. I'm headed to to see Marty Stuart tomorrow night and in messing around on youtube, getting myself lathered up for the show, came across two acts entirely new to me that on first view I really like. Great new country music is out there, you just have to hunt for it. Neither of these clips are straight up, classic country, but the influences are there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7xPpYBa6pg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGC0NyuJEiw
Anyone know who's playing the MSA in the Nikki Lane video ? He sounds great!
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Bob Watson


From:
Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 2:20 am     Reply with quote

Dustin, this is a great thread and has produced some interesting comments that cover a lot of aspects of the various ways that C&W has evolved. I think Dave Mudgett hit the nail on the head when he mentioned authenticity. The "cookie cutter" pop that's been a popular trend coming out of "Music City" for the last few decades is created to make money, not art, and therefore by design lacks authenticity. For some sad reason, it appeals to a wider audience than what most of us on this forum consider "real country music". Once in awhile something good slips through the cracks, and although its not mainstream, there is still a lot of great C&W being created, and some of it even has pedal steel on it!

Cool
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Mark Hershey


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 7:09 am     Reply with quote

Douglas Schuch wrote:
The reality, as much as us lovers of classic country music hate to admit it, the decisions are made not by studio execs, but by the buying public. There is lots of great classic country music still being released these days (albeit more from Texas or Canada than Nashville lately). But the reason pop country is so dominant is because that is what people (besides you and I) buy, request, listen to on the radio, etc. Don't like it? Don't listen to it. We have more listening options today than at any point in history! Part of the beauty of the internet and the tech of today is we can listen to tons of EXACTLY what we like. I do.

The thing about music is, whatever is currently popular, there are always alternatives. I've never listened to what was the current popular music. As a teen, I listened to bluegrass. In my twenties, classic jazz. In my thirties, Afro-pop and obscure Brazilian (not bossa nova). I don't care what teens listen to these days, so long as they don't play it so loud in their car that it drowns out my stereo in my house!

Problem solved....


It's like that scene in Ghost World where Steve Buscemi's character is so emotionally touched by the old time acoustic delta blues man on stage. To him the music is authentic but the place is almost empty.

Then Blues Hammer (the head lining act) takes the stage which is just an awful modern rock blues band and the place packs up with kids and go absolutely crazy for the music.
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Howard Parker


From:
Clarksburg,MD USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 7:41 am     Reply with quote

scott murray wrote:

I've also come across a certain attitude among bluegrass players who think they're hot sh!t and aren't much fun to try and make music with. mandolin players especially!


As a bluegrass player I'd suggest you just try to find another group/jam, etc. or maybe just find out what makes em' tick.

h
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scott murray


From:
Asheville, NC
Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 11:07 am     Reply with quote

I focused on bluegrass for a few years. I know what makes 'em tick... some of them are just snobs about bluegrass and think playing fast makes them better than your average musician. like Dustin said, it's a cool kids club.

as for the state of country music being decided by the buying public, that's only partially true. at some point, producers and execs made a conscious decision to phase out traditional country elements like steel guitar and fiddle. it happened in the early 60s and again in the late 70s or so. when the record companies decide what country should sound like and then shove that sound down the public's throat for a decade or so, you have the current state of affairs. when "country" sounds like bad 80s rock, and the audience is offered fewer and fewer examples of true country sounds then you have a band like Bon Jovi being accepted as a country act and you've got a thousand guys singing about their pickup truck or some other stereotype and people thinking that's what country music is
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Last edited by scott murray on 12 Jan 2018 11:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Howard Parker


From:
Clarksburg,MD USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 11:13 am     Reply with quote

Well..

That's been contrary to my 30 years in the fray. No one could ever accuse me of being "cool", even when I was a kid! Very Happy

hp
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Last edited by Howard Parker on 12 Jan 2018 11:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bill McCloskey


Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 11:13 am     Reply with quote

Snobs about bluegrass? Thank goodness that doesn't happen in country music. Smile
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Bill McCloskey


Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 11:14 am     Reply with quote

But you have always been one of the cool kids Howard
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Howard Parker


From:
Clarksburg,MD USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 11:16 am     Reply with quote

I think not! Laughing

h
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Barry Blackwood


Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 11:18 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't think line dancing has been the scourge of country for at least 20 years now

Really. OK..
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Andy Jones


From:
Mississippi
Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 9:19 pm     Reply with quote

Figure I'll throw in my 2 cents.
For my taste,real classic country music was made from the late'50s to the early'70s.There have been a few good tunes later,but very few,IMHO.Stupid lyrics,no melody,obnoxious overdone guitar licks,and seriously lacking in steel guitar and fiddles.I won't address the shabby dressed,unshaven,tattoo covered,fresh out of drug rehab "artists"in this post.
Me being a huge shuffle fan,I search YouTube frequently for classic country music.There are several channels that have literally thousands of songs posted of folks you never heard of,lots of them passed away.Most of them are pretty much nothing but some are real jewels.Fiddles and steel are the order of the day.Ralph Mooney and Buddy Emmons are easily recognized on many of the songs.

Like many of you,I listen to all types of music.I'm a big fan of big band,ragtime,Dixieland jazz,bluegrass,Southern gospel,and swing.

This so-called"country music"of today sucks and will always suck.However,as some of you have pointed out,there are many good artists putting out really good traditional country music today.You just have to look for it.
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Dustin Rhodes


From:
Owasso OK
Post Posted 13 Jan 2018 3:48 pm     Reply with quote

Andy Jones wrote:
Figure I'll throw in my 2 cents.
For my taste,real classic country music was made from the late'50s to the early'70s.There have been a few good tunes later,but very few,IMHO.Stupid lyrics,no melody,obnoxious overdone guitar licks,and seriously lacking in steel guitar and fiddles.I won't address the shabby dressed,unshaven,tattoo covered,fresh out of drug rehab "artists"in this post.
Me being a huge shuffle fan,I search YouTube frequently for classic country music.There are several channels that have literally thousands of songs posted of folks you never heard of,lots of them passed away.Most of them are pretty much nothing but some are real jewels.Fiddles and steel are the order of the day.Ralph Mooney and Buddy Emmons are easily recognized on many of the songs.

Like many of you,I listen to all types of music.I'm a big fan of big band,ragtime,Dixieland jazz,bluegrass,Southern gospel,and swing.

This so-called"country music"of today sucks and will always suck.However,as some of you have pointed out,there are many good artists putting out really good traditional country music today.You just have to look for it.


This thread was for constructive opinions. If you think country stopped after the 70s this likely isn't the thread for you.
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Bob Bestor


From:
Oregon, USA
Post Posted 13 Jan 2018 5:40 pm     Reply with quote

Joseph Napolitano wrote:
Bob Bestor wrote:
Country music is still going places. Popular country is just one branch. I'm headed to to see Marty Stuart tomorrow night and in messing around on youtube, getting myself lathered up for the show, came across two acts entirely new to me that on first view I really like. Great new country music is out there, you just have to hunt for it. Neither of these clips are straight up, classic country, but the influences are there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7xPpYBa6pg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGC0NyuJEiw
Anyone know who's playing the MSA in the Nikki Lane video ? He sounds great!


Looks like his name is Tony Martinez. I agree. Great touch, great sound.

Great new country music is out there. It's just not on the radio.
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post Posted 14 Jan 2018 6:54 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
This thread was for constructive opinions. If you think country stopped after the 70s this likely isn't the thread for you.

Dustin, are you strict. I can even imagine young musicians saying what Andy said. You can easily be influenced by an aera and build up on this.
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robert kramer


From:
Nashville TN
Post Posted 14 Jan 2018 8:28 am     Reply with quote

I wanted it to go - in part - in the direction of my original inspiration: Ray Price’ s “Night Life.” When I was starting out in Miami - a lot of the musicians were jazz based but could make more money in the C&W clubs. They were well versed in changes and would sneak them in the country songs. Every once in awhile you would hear a blues/jazz based song on the radio like Lynn Anderson’s “Keep Me In Mind” or Charlie Rich’s “I Take It On Home.” When I came to Nashville in 1981 - this was still happening and I was lucky enough to see and work with musicians that apparently could play any style - especially jazz - at the drop of a hat including the great steel players we talk about every day on this forum. By the early ‘90’s - Southern Rock was seeping in and rock guitars took over the world and the bandwith were the steel was living. There are still pockets of goodness around - just as good or even better than the good old days around (like the Jumpers or 45 RPM or anywhere a good steel player sets up and plays a Mel Street song or “Night Life”) - but for the most part my hope of a blues/jazz based country music with changes is gone. Tuning in to “Country” radio or a crawl down lower Broadstreet in Nashville will confirm this.

(I forgot to say - this doesn’t apply to Texas)
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Dustin Rhodes


From:
Owasso OK
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 6:30 am     Reply with quote

Joachim Kettner wrote:
Quote:
This thread was for constructive opinions. If you think country stopped after the 70s this likely isn't the thread for you.

Dustin, are you strict. I can even imagine young musicians saying what Andy said. You can easily be influenced by an aera and build up on this.


Part of the reason for making the thread was to move beyond the strict purist mentality and discuss what level of evolution would be acceptable to remain true to country music and what artists people see as good examples of that.
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Bill Sinclair


From:
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 7:43 am     Reply with quote

Dustin Rhodes wrote:

This thread was for constructive opinions. If you think country stopped after the 70s this likely isn't the thread for you.


Yeah, I especially liked your constructive comments about bluegrass. Laughing Lighten up, man. Smile I do understand that you don't want this thread to auger into the gripe session that most every other thread about modern country music becomes but I can appreciate Andy's 2 cents. It's been an interesting thread.
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 8:16 am     Reply with quote

I'm sorry anyone had a bad experience with bluegrass, but like jazz, it's the place to go if you want to be challenged to be a better player.
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Dustin Rhodes


From:
Owasso OK
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 8:19 am     Reply with quote

Clyde Mattocks wrote:
I'm sorry anyone had a bad experience with bluegrass, but like jazz, it's the place to go if you want to be challenged to be a better player.


Oh I think in the case of my buddy it was just a hard group to break into.
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Dustin Rhodes


From:
Owasso OK
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 8:20 am     Reply with quote

Bill Sinclair wrote:
Dustin Rhodes wrote:

This thread was for constructive opinions. If you think country stopped after the 70s this likely isn't the thread for you.


Yeah, I especially liked your constructive comments about bluegrass. Laughing Lighten up, man. Smile I do understand that you don't want this thread to auger into the gripe session that most every other thread about modern country music becomes but I can appreciate Andy's 2 cents. It's been an interesting thread.


I started off saying how they have a great community aspect that helps keep the genre alive and then recounted a single story of a friend who found a local group unfriendly. Hardly an indictment of the genre.
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Bill Sinclair


From:
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 9:11 am     Reply with quote

I started off saying how they have a great community aspect that helps keep the genre alive and then recounted a single story of a friend who found a local group unfriendly. Hardly an indictment of the genre.[/quote]

Fair enough. I should have gone back a page for a memory refresh before commenting. For the record, I've encountered bluegrass snobs and tradition-be-damned progressives and everything in-between. It's like every genre, I guess.
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Bill Sinclair


From:
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 9:15 am     Reply with quote

Bill McCloskey wrote:
But you have always been one of the cool kids Howard


Howard (the smiling mustache) Parker was the first pedal steel player I ever played in a band with. He's Mr. Cool in my book.
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Curt Trisko


From:
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post Posted 20 Jan 2018 9:44 am     Reply with quote

I have an opinion on this that I don't think has been expressed yet.

Like the guy that started this thread, I'm in my early 30s. I was around country music as a kid when artists like Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson were really popular. Until several years ago, my musical interests were in alt-rock. What brought me to classic country and it's newer derivatives is the fact that it feels authentic, like Dave said above.

The good stuff is music made by middle-of-life people for middle-of-life people. It is the fact that they draw from that artistic "well" that gives it its identity just as much as telecasters and twangy vocals. This makes it different than a lot of other genres of music whose purpose is to provide escapism to its listeners. "Real" country music does not provide you an escape from your day-to-day reality - instead it turns you inward to feel it more acutely.

So I think the future of country music isn't in artists who are retro, stylistically speaking. That stuff may sound and look charming, but it's not satisfying. Instead, it's in the artists who can draw from the same artistic "well" as the classic stuff, but make it relatable to its equivalent audience today. In other words, when Merle Haggard was 40 years old in the late 70s, his songs were most relatable to people who were about the same age then. How would he have written his songs if he was a 40-year-old in today's age? That's where country music should grow.

Unfortunately, that age bracket doesn't buy as much music or attend as many concerts as the younger generation, so that's where the commercial apparatus of country music is going to be focused.
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