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Author Topic:  The death of Country Music
Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2019 4:45 pm    
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Fred Treece wrote:
Consumer demand is worthy of consideration of course.


Fred, it's more than a consideration, especially regarding live music. I checked in with some local steel players around here regarding New Years Eve - every one was staying home.

Just about a month ago my wife and I made a 2-hour (each way) trip to hear forum members John DeMaille and Larry Jamieson. Established band, long-time venue only 1 mile from the Interstate, great dance floor, good food. Good weather, Sunday afternoon, and I'd estimate there were only about 40 people there. My wife is 70, I will be also in a month, and I think there were maybe 5 people younger than us, we were the kids of the crowd.

Music is always changing, and it's a generational thing. We - and I include myself - tend to blame "the music" for changing, but reality is that it's the demand that changed. Those of us who like what we like are dwindling. For every venue booking a Weldon Henson or Amber Digby, there's a dozen who have switched genres or have shut down entirely. And that's because they no longer get 300 people a night, 5 or 6 days a week like it used to be.

(I'll add that for us, that afternoon was well worth the ride!)
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 15 Jan 2019 1:07 am    
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Quote:
But a steady diet of junk food music is not healthy for society, and those who produce it are corrupt, unimaginative, nefarious, greedy venomous charlatan bastards...


Yeah, they have no morals Fred. Don't read those lyrics if you don't want to throw up.

The first time we did it I was scared to death
She snuck out in that cotton dress
Jumped on in and we drove to the lake
Put her hand on my knee and said I can?t wait
I had everything we needed in the bed of my truck
Turns out my baby loves to...

[Chorus:]
Fish, she wants to do it all the time
Early in the morning, in the middle of the night
She?s hooked and now she can?t get enough
Man, that girl sure loves to fish

After that that?s all she wanted to do
But that was okay ?cause I did too
She always wants to go down by the dam
And I love how she looks with that rod in her hand
If they ain?t bitin? she don?t give up
Turns out my baby loves to...

[Chorus:]
Fish, she wants to do it all the time
Early in the morning, in the middle of the night

She?s hooked and now she can?t get enough
Man, that girl sure loves to fish

I love to see her silhouette reflectin? off the water
With her hooks and her sinkers and her pretty pink bobbers
The first time I saw her I knew I was in love
?Cause I found a girl who loves to...

Fish, I love to see her lyin?
There on the bank ?neath the full moon light
Man, I can?t even believe my luck
I found a girl who loves to...

[Chorus:]
Fish, she wants to do it all the time
Early in the morning, in the middle of the night
She?s hooked and now she can?t get enough
Man, that girl sure loves to fish
Yeah, I know she loves to fish
Psst, you awake, let?s fish
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 18 Jan 2019 5:45 pm     The Death Of Country Lyrics too
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Quote:
Yeah, they have no morals Fred. Don't read those lyrics if you don't want to throw up.

Joachim, it is quite possible that songwriters are running out of lyrics as well as musical ideas. I don’t suppose even the best musicians in the world could make that Fish go down any easier. But in an attempt to get the taste of it out of this thread, I’ll post a few lines written by a real songwriter, somewhat loosely regarding the topic at hand...

Outside the streets are on fire in a real death waltz
Between what’s flesh and what’s fantasy
And the poets ‘round here don’t write nothin’ at all
They just stand back and let it all be
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 19 Jan 2019 3:14 am    
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That's a great piece of music, Fred! "Jungle Land" by Springsteen. I had not heard it before.
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post  Posted 19 Jan 2019 4:03 am    
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A good palette cleanser, Fred. It does point up that this 'country' music suffers from a lack of poets.

Kids flash guitars just like switchblades
Hustling for the record machine
The hungry and the hunted
Explode into rock 'n' roll bands
That face off against each other out in the street
Down in Jungleland

I too hadn't heard it before, Joachim, before I started listening to the Boss. It comes from a tradition that flows through Woody Gutherie and Bob Dylan.
Country has in its roots folk music and it lost its direction. Country needs poets. It lacks a boss; it has a group of people directing it.

Country seeks comfort in the known--songs about, well, Joachim's example, a chord of fate that runs through it. Jungleland looks at it differently:

Beneath the city, two hearts beat
Soul engines running through a night so tender
In a bedroom locked in whispers
Of soft refusal and then surrender

and the poet screams in his anguish and I almost see the shadow of

in the dime stores and bus stations
people talk of situations
read books repeat quotations
draw conclusions on the wall

Who wants to listen to that when you can have the complete hour laid out in familiar form to which one will pay little attention? This country music lacks a sense of adventure.

A good song takes a good song to begin with.

Andy DePaule wrote:
Not sure what can be done to get back to the real thing.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 1 Feb 2019 6:54 pm    
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Fred Treece wrote:
...It really is up to the artists themselves to carry on the traditions and creative standards of quality that made the art form great in the first place.

Consumer demand is worthy of consideration of course. Art is not for its own sake, and only a purist fool wants to live a bum’s life deliberately defying popularity. But a steady diet of junk food music is not healthy for society, and those who produce it are corrupt, unimaginative, nefarious, greedy venomous charlatan bastards...


They also have a bad side. Laughing

I read once that any artist that stops doing what they want to do, and starts doing only what sells, is really no longer an "artist". At that point, they become a mere contractor producing whatever the public wants, whatever makes the most money the fastest.
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Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 4 Feb 2019 5:21 am    
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Bob, your father-in-law saying minors are just not country is funny. I love old guys with rock solid opinions like that - to some extent, I'm a lot like that myself, and always have been haha.

I would cite a couple examples to challenge him with however:

https://youtu.be/V8mO6JVAShw

https://youtu.be/V41gDDWEPso


Last edited by Bobby Nelson on 4 Feb 2019 5:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 4 Feb 2019 5:49 am    
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This has been an ongoing theme in my mind since at least the late 70s - not only with country music, but that's another topic all together.

A lot of folks will cite it's first hint of decline with the Nashville sound. And, although I can maybe agree theoretically with this assessment, A lot of wonderful music came out of the Nashville sound:

https://youtu.be/imafHIq2210

https://youtu.be/9-hBAwaH6CI

I have a more impending theory, based in my own historical recollections - as such, not definitive scientific analytical fact: My theory says that business moguls in Hollywood wanted to steal country music after the movie Urban Cowboy, because they saw it as a new cash cow. There was the phenomenon in NYC, that before the movie, cowboy hats weren't allowed in NYC restaurants, and after, everyone in NYC was wearing one, to cite an example of what I'm getting at. Country music started sounding like pop music about this time. This is also about the time the music industry dropped the "& Western" half of the moniker I grew up around, and is why I still refer to the music I like as "Country & Western" to differentiate.

So, in comes George Straight, Randy Travis, Reba, among others, who kind of brought it back to where it came from, and belongs (in my humble opinion), and they did a great job of it.

But Hollywood was not to be outdone, so they reformatted their thinking with cold business-like analysis and precision, and decided that they had to have stars that looked, and sounded like George Straight.

Things have gone way beyond the original incursion, into places where I can't even identify what this new country is or where it might even be remotely called country - but all the male vocalists still sound like George Straight.

Like I said, it's not scientific, but it's how I saw things - and yes: I am one of those old hard-bit country boys who grew up in the woods and see Shania Twain as much more of a lap dancer than country music star.
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Alan Shank


From:
Woodland, CA, USA
Post  Posted 13 Feb 2019 3:15 pm    
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I just discovered a whole slew of real country music on iTunes, with loads of pedal steel and fiddle; among the artists:
Leona Williams
Weldon Henson
Monte Good
Montana Rose
Kimberly Murray
Darin Warner
Steve Maynard
Jolie Holliday

One of the labels is called "Hillbilly Renegade Records".
BTW, Heather Myles does a song called "Nashville's Gone Hollywood"; of course, there are lots of songs like that, like those of Dale Watson referred to in another post.
It's there, you just have to search for it.
Cheers,
Alan Shank
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 13 Feb 2019 7:30 pm    
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Alan Shank wrote:
I just discovered a whole slew of real country music on iTunes, with loads of pedal steel and fiddle;

Good find, Alan.

Going underground in search of “real country” is a point that has previously been made in this thread. Maybe it is just a matter of time before the next Waylon and Willie break through and give mainstream country the kick in the butt it needs, but don’t hold your breath. Now that the producers have given record companies that 8.7% share of the market, they are going to hold on for dear life. Also, the average under-30 who claims to be a country music fan hates “that twangy sh*t”.
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Alan Shank


From:
Woodland, CA, USA
Post  Posted 13 Feb 2019 10:28 pm    
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Fred Treece wrote:
Alan Shank wrote:
I just discovered a whole slew of real country music on iTunes, with loads of pedal steel and fiddle;

Good find, Alan.

Going underground in search of “real country” is a point that has previously been made in this thread. Maybe it is just a matter of time before the next Waylon and Willie break through and give mainstream country the kick in the butt it needs, but don’t hold your breath.


I don't really care whether mainstream country gets a "kick in the butt", or not, since I never listen to radio, anyway. I burn CDs of this music I've found (and there's lots more where those came from) and put them in my CD player in my car. No ads, no songs I don't like, no DJ. Actually, I don't drive that much, either, but late in the evening I put on the headphones and listen with complete concentration.
Cheers,
Alan Shank
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