Friday, November 20, 2009

WTF People!?! Country Music

What can I say about this genre that hasn't been said as of late. It seems that everybody has gone and joined the country music bandwagon and who can blame them. Back in the day the only way country music stars could reach audiences outside of their genre was in side projects like Kenny Rodgers Smokey and The Bandit Movies, Monday Night Football featuring Hank Jr.'s theme music, or to the lesser known extent of Billy Ray Cyrus' role in the quasi-decent western drama Doc (which by the way was a poor man's version of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and Little House on the Prairie.) But like I said, that was back in the late 80's early 90's. But now, it's like if you're country, your like a friggin' rock star. With such big acts and huge up-and-comers coming into the country scene, it's REDONKULOUS on how big country is.

Lets start in the beginning of the decade with probably my favorite country singer, Toby Keith. He's probably in my opinion the last American Bad Ass since he took stride with his controversial song "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" and his thoughts on the September 11th attacks and promoting his brand of patriotism. I am in total agreement on what he promotes as far as most of his songs to include "Beer For My Horses", a ode to how things were done to those that terrorized honest citizens (that and a cameo featuring Willie Nelson isn't that bad either.) Also his dedication to help those that serve in the Armed Forces by performing at USO's all over the world to lift morale is an awesome endeavor as well. But to that accolade we can practically contribute most if not all of today's country music artists for their patriotic efforts in song from Alan Jackson's "Where Were You" to Darrel Worley's "I Just Came Back From A War" and etc.

Now that's just one facet of country music, and I'm not complaining about that. And as you all know with all WTF's here, there's always something there that just left of center and all sorts of, well, WTF-ish about it. That my friend is the "
jump the shark" complex. Don't know what jumping the shark means, just follow the link. And there has been plenty of acts that seem to have done it well and then some not quite. One of which that falls on the latter is Kid Rock. Seriously, someone like Kid Rock is actually getting airplay on country stations?!? Not only that, but was at this years CMA's trying to get all countryfied and all... that in among itself is deserving of a WTF?!? Kid Rock himself is deserving for a WTF, but that's for another time. An example of doing well, quite well as a matter of fact, is Darius Rucker. You just can't touch him right now. WHO WOULD'VE FIGURED HOOTY FROM HOOTY AND THE BLOWFISH WOULD STILL BE ON THE RADIO!?! None the less, becoming the new thing in country. From Hooty and the friggin' Blowfish to country rock star?!? I don't friggin' get it?!? All I know is Kid Rock, stick to the trailer park sounds; Darius, keep up the good work. Best to both and steady the course.

Now artists aren't only jumping the shark to country; but country artists are, and well, has been, jumping the shark to mainstream pop culture. From old examples of Garth Brooks attempt to alt-rock with his pseudo Chris Gaines to the latest example Taylor Swift. And boy-o-boy can I talk about Taylor... She's young, hip, and her blend of country and pop crossover is such an unbelievable feat that hasn't been done since Shania Twain back in the 90's with her country/adult top-40 efforts. Seriously, Taylor Swift is everywhere; from MTV to CMT; from country stations to top-40 stations; from Radio City Music Hall to Radio Disney; it's a pandemic on how huge this 19-year-old sensation is. With two highly successful albums and a horde of fans that can rival other acts, she's on the fast track to a highly successful music career. Who knows, this might be a new trend. Kenny Chesney might be the next Sammy Hagar. Hell; he's practically this generation's Jimmy Buffet when it comes to his country in my opinion.

And you know what?!? This kind of stuff was previously unheard of where if you were a fan of country you were a black sheep among popular culture. Now if you don't know crap about country, you're pretty much out of the loop. Some of the most profound musicians from other genres of music (mainly rock) attribute some of their influences to country greats such as Johnny Cash, Lynard Skynard, Charlie Daniels, and the list goes on and on. My personal favorite for the record has to be Alabama. It was my first live country experience besides going to bars and such. I was there for their final concert in Pittsburgh back in 2003 and it was EPIC. My first country concert and to say anything, NOTHING AND I MEAN NOTHING COMES CLOSE TO ALABAMA!!!

And that's WTF's up people...

BootLeG sampler.. signing out...

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