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Author Topic:  New Country IRONY
Dave Dube


Post Posted 21 Apr 2018 6:15 am     Reply with quote

After watching the video for "That ain't country" (Jeff Garden put up a link for it along with his tab for Paul Franklin's parts) I was struck by the the greying, heavily tatted, singer Aaron Lewis. I took a minute to look him up.

Stranger than fiction.

Aaron is the front man for a hard rock group, Staind.
Here he is singing about Hank Jr, Waylon, Willie, Charlie Daniels, etc. and complaining about country singers that don't play country music!

If that isn't ironic enough, there is the Rolling Stone interview in which he calls out Luke Bryan among others!
A rock star is calling out a Nashville "country" star for being bogus. How the times have changed!

https://www.rollingstone.com/country/features/aaron-lewis-on-being-too-country-and-future-of-staind-w442257

I'm in mind of Jason Boland's lyrics for "Pearl Snaps."

Cheap bourbon whiskey and pearl snap shirts
Are two things that stay the same
So when the world starts spinnin' and your head hurts
There's cheap bourbon whiskey and pearl snap shirts...

------------------------------------------
Edit: Hear and see Lewis speak for himself on the subject

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSL89r_7-Cs
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Ken Boi


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 21 Apr 2018 8:47 am     Reply with quote

My first time hearing his name and listening to his song. I'll say his song "That Ain't Country" is better than most of the new stuff posing as country music today. They at least have a PSG. But I'll stick to Dale Watson, Asleep at the Wheel, David Ball for current artists I'd rather listen to.
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Dave Dube


Post Posted 21 Apr 2018 10:33 am     Reply with quote

I agree that song is better than any 10 Luke Bryant or Jason Aldean songs. With first-class country musicians and arrangement on it, he is able to make a convincing country song.

It just blows my mind that a hard rocker is successfully putting down the so-called country music that Nashville has embraced. The world is truly upside down.

Seems like all Nashville wants to sing about is "the party" and chasing girls. Eternally 16...

It's just BS formula music that the industry is pushing, just like it was pushing disco in the 70's. They hope the people want what they get, rather than insist that they get what they want. The actual music (instrumentation and arrangement) itself just doesn't do it for me, either.

To me "red dirt country" is the new Bakersfield. (The place we go when Nashville gets stupid.)

Just my humble 2 cents worth.
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Earnest Bovine


From:
Los Angeles CA USA
Post Posted 21 Apr 2018 10:42 am     Reply with quote

You can't be authentic (authentically ethnic) unless you only know how to do one thing.
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Dave Dube


Post Posted 21 Apr 2018 11:26 am     Reply with quote

The cattle are lowing...

That would have been witty reparte if anyone had actually commented on that aspect. Unfortunately that was not the case.

Ethnic? So country music is ethnic? I'd think it was melting pot music, hardly single-source, but that is a digression from the main point.

I will type it slowly for you

Very Happy

The irony is that one would expect to see country musicians take some kind of stand against soft-rock country, but rock musicians are a group one wouldn't reasonably expect to hear it from. This guy is naming names and calling them out. I don't think that is common behavior for country musicians, "murder on music row" notwithstanding.

I'm sure all of us realize that good musicians play in multiple genres. Heck even bad ones do! Look how many rockers play bluegrass in their free time. Jon5 comes to mind--a far cry from Marilyn Manson's music.

Eat mor chikin!!! Very Happy
---------------------------------
Edit: Ethnic. Country Music? Rock music? Aaron Lewis? I honestly don't know what ethnic has to do with anything in this conversation.


Last edited by Dave Dube on 21 Apr 2018 12:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jon Irsik


From:
Wichita, KS USA
Post Posted 21 Apr 2018 11:28 am     Reply with quote

Aaron Lewis may front a rock band but he grew up listening to hardcore country and knows how to play it. When his CD ‘The Road’ came out a few years ago it was by far the best country release I’d heard in a while, chock full of hot Telecaster and Paul Franklin on steel.

He had been doing acoustic shows with just himself and his bus driver, Ben Kitterman, on steel. I saw him locally and he had a great country band with Mr. Kitterman on steel and dobro...a fine player, I might add.

He makes the current crop of country “artists” look like The Backstreet Boys, in my opinion.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 21 Apr 2018 11:29 am     Reply with quote

On a road trip to Canada one time, the country band I was in was on a parallel tour with a hard rock band, playing the same little towns. Sometimes even the same clubs. They saw us once or twice and we saw them. One night they did a GREAT rock version of Sit Here And Drink. We couldn’t get away with a country version of Iron Man...

My hat’s off to Mr. Lewis.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 21 Apr 2018 2:42 pm     Reply with quote

Dave Dube wrote:

It just blows my mind that a hard rocker is successfully putting down the so-called country music...


Hard rockers have been putting down country music since the days of Bill Haley and Carl Perkins. Oh Well Back then, anyone who liked country was thought to be hillbilly. The majority of fans were poor, people of the earth. They were hard working farmers, miners, and those who earned mostly meager wages. So, one could easily term it as "ethnic music" based on income. Smile

The "popification" of country started in the '60s with artists like Patsy Cline, Ray Price, and Marty Robbins, and it soon became epidemic with newer artists like Glen Campbell, Bobby Goldsboro, and Sonny James. By the '90s, the closest we had to real country was Randy Travis and George Strait. And except for Merle Haggard (who was pro classic-country, but sorta "anti steel guitar"), most other singers and groups were closer to country rock than to old classic country.
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Dave Dube


Post Posted 21 Apr 2018 3:00 pm     Reply with quote

Yeah Donny, but they were not putting country music down for not being country enough! That is the point! 180 degrees different attitude. How times have changed.

This guy is giving them hell for destroying the meaning of the genre. I think he said "choking the life out of country music" and he was naming names. In my limited experience I have never heard of a country star calling out people by name for screwing up the genre.

Compared to today the nineties seem like the good old days of country music.
---------------------------------
re: ethnic. I'd consider country music has far transcended the hillbilly stereotype of the 60's. We have had plenty of urban cowboys since the 90's, and not just rural transplants. Likewise there are plenty of well-to-do people who like country music. It doesn't appear to be limited to any region or social class. So I just don't get that perspective.
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post Posted 21 Apr 2018 5:56 pm     Reply with quote

Your Boland quote is good, but I'm reminded of the Chris Cummings song:

"We're pulling singers out of cowboy hats
We're making Possums out of mere Stray Cats
Ain't got the talent? We've got your back
We're pulling singers out of cowboy hats"
_________________
Many play better than I do. Nobody has more fun.
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Dave Dube


Post Posted 21 Apr 2018 6:41 pm     Reply with quote

Good one Don. I'm going to have to look for that Cummings song.
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post Posted 21 Apr 2018 7:05 pm     Reply with quote

Dave Dube wrote:
Good one Don. I'm going to have to look for that Cummings song.


Ironically, Dave, while the lyrics are right on, the music is not "old country". Here it anyway, I like it regardless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hijwLdTsG48
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 22 Apr 2018 9:43 am     Reply with quote

On the other hand, singers and writers and pickers could just record trad country songs with trad country lyrics and trad country sounds and licks instead of “modernizing” for the market and then tearing each other apart (in song and in print) for not having any talent or appreciation for music history.

.....and not make any money, like Blues and Jazz purists.
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Dave Dube


Post Posted 23 Apr 2018 10:05 am     Reply with quote

Yeah Fred, musicians have to eat. The corporations are calling the shots so if a guy or gal wants to make a living playing music in Nashville I guess they have to follow along. Of course there isn't anything wrong with people playing whatever they want. The only issue is when they mislabel it. It does harm to the genre they are co-opting. I remember having to listen to 40 minutes of "they might be giants" and other drek before I could get to one decent rock song. That was it for me. I let that genre go. Country radio is in the same place now.

It seems to me back in the late 60's and early 70's there were outspoken artists who refused to go along with Nashville and said so. Didn't want the new christie minstrels singing background and ochestral arrangements. Bakersfield got big because some musicians didn't cooperate with Nashville and a lot of consumers liked what Bakersfield had to offer better than what Nashville was pushing.

You refer to Blues and Jazz as purist music that doesn't pay well. I would say Bluegrass music is also a purist form of music. It was closely defined and vocally enforced during the life of its creator. Instrumentation is well defined, as is the acoustic format (the osbornes were one of a few rare exceptions to that). Now this music was niche music in the 60's and 70's. Hillbilly music. Yet the IBMA has done a fine job of promoting the genre. There is respect for tradition yet there is plenty of timely new music being created within that format without changing it to something else. The genre itself has grown and become very successful. Recording sales grew mightily. Apparently they are making money playing it. Imagine if they had started out with the resources and clout that mainstream country music had.

This thread started out just musing that of all the people in the world you might expect to say that country isn't "country enough" you sure wouldn't expect a rock star to be saying it. Well at least I wouldn't. As a matter of fact Donny pointed out that in the past they would've been more apt to ridicule country artists for being hicks. I was further amazed to see that Lewis was naming names. I don't see country artists doing that.

I just pointed out what is. Funny thing is that there are way more than two ways for Nashville to go with country music. Maybe an octopus wouldn't have enough "other hands." Just like there were way more choices than to cram disco music down our throats back in the day. It sure hurt demand for live music in lots of places.

I was surprised that in LA people think that country music is ethnic music, apparently based on locale, social class or income level. Seeing how there are bankers, IT professionals, lawyers, doctors, engineers, scientists, university professors, school teachers, tradesmen, students, etc. from all over the USA, Canada, Europe, the British Isles, Scandinavia, Australia, and Asia, just in this forum alone, I'd say that that the interest in country music transcends geographical and income limitations.

I know back when this forum started people were calling down hellfire and thunder on Garth Brooks for wrecking country music, yet he put steel guitar and fiddle into the ears of a new generation of people who are now also disappointed. Maybe Alan Jackson saw it coming when he sang "Gone Country." He certainly did by the time of "Murder on Music Row."

Jason Boland sings a song (pearl snaps) about a world that has not only changed but in many ways has reversed itself, "The saints are all sinners and the sinners are saints..." in his neck of the woods there is still good country music being written. So just like back in the day, we just say "no" to Nashville and support those who are making good music. It is all we can do. Pay our money and make our choice.

Sorry for the long post but that about sums it up. Can close this. I'm out of wind.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 23 Apr 2018 1:42 pm     Reply with quote

You said it well, Dave.

Bitching out every popular artist in the genre in song and in print is probably not going to change much. Ultimately, it is up to the artists themselves to “take back the music”. Someone always manages to show up in time to reconnect country to its roots, and get popular doing it.

Too late for Hank III. Brad Paisley gave it a good shot. Luke? Jason? hmmm....I know there is a Jedi Hillbilly out there.

An Emmylou Jr. would have been good....
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 23 Apr 2018 3:13 pm     Reply with quote

I might even retract my hat’s off comment, now that I understand Dave’s point a little better.

It is indeed ironic that a genre that was condescended by all others for being “too hillbilly” decidedly strove for decades to shed that stigma, and is now being accused by a famous someone from outside the genre for not being hillbilly enough.

I wonder how rock bands would feel if a country guy did a song about how much modern rock sucks?
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