Monday 16 August 2010


Do you ever notice in the music business when someone’s career is on the wane they release a country album. And the funniest part is every time an artist does this, they always release some quote in their PR release that says that country music was always in their roots, or heart…or intestinal tract. Something to the effect that, despite clawing at the back of pop and rock for years, country music was always their true calling. Funny that. The latest to do so is Josh Kelley – I don’t know who he is either. He is married to someone famous and has now decided that country music is his destiny. Jessica Simpson also went down this path, not successfully unfortunately for her, as did Jewel – although she always smacked of country anyway.

I’m not sure what this says about country fans, or moreover, people’s perceptions of country fans…'Don’t worry, country fans will listen to just about anything? Or country fans don’t care if you came from guitar riffs and ripping the heads off bats, if you sing about heartbreak in a truck, they’re down with it!' 

For shame! I think good ol’ country fans see through all this b*llsh*t and aren’t being so willing to let just anybody through the gate anymore. Saying this, it is a known fact that country fans are the most loyal of any fan base out there. Something I’ve always liked about the genre, being a loyalist myself. I must admit however, it took me a long time to get on board with country music. And don’t get me wrong, I’m still very selective. I think I’m more of a watered down country listener, or extremely discriminatory. If there are too many references to trailers, honky tonk, or Jesus, you’re going to lose me. I’m sure in the eyes of the true country fan, my appreciation for pop-infused country is utter blasphemy. But shucks, at least I’m trying.

My sister and I used to listen to Kenny Rogers when we were little and had The Gambler on heavy rotation on our eight-track player (yes I’m that old). I think we loved it so much cause it told a story as most country songs tend to do. The best ones of course end in someone telling someone else to shove it! Then of course there was the uber ebullient Dolly Parton. I challenge you to not love Dolly Parton. Anyone that giggles like that, has their own amusement park and is that open about the fact that their chest is inflated to the size of watermelons is one fun chick. In the last decade or so, I think it was when I saw the Dixie Chicks sing live, it was ‘Earl had to do die,’ or something like that -  I was won over once again.  Let’s be honest, Natalie Maines can not only sing, but anyone that tells the President to shove it and refuses to back down even after receiving death threats garners my admiration.

The thing about country music, love it or hate it, the artists and fans alike just seem like they’re having more fun than everyone else. I’m not sure if it’s the laid back lifestyle they promote in their songs coupled with the rebellious attitude set to strings and beer, but there is something that appeals to my inner party girl. Not only that, but unlike let’s say pop music where everyone gives off the impression that they’re trying very hard to be this or that – these days, it’s ‘I’m a bad ass dirty whore that blasphemes everything in the name of art, or I’m so street it hurts' -  country musicians ooze country and aren't trying to be anything other than that. In fact, one gets the distinct impression they go to bed with their boots on and floss with hay. And in this day and age, where so many artists seem unsure of who they hell they are, that's impressive.

Then again, I’ve always had country music deep in my gall bladder.

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