Where Did Country Music Go Wrong?
By Peder Fish
When you think of country music, you probably think of trucks, beer, and women. You're not wrong, but before that, country used to be so much more. Pop country has drowned out the true meaning of country music. So what exactly happened, and how can you enjoy country music again?
Right now, especially in Marin, a lot of people have given up on country music. Artists such as Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Carrie Underwood, and Kane Brown have corrupted the true meaning of country music. They are not country artists, they are “pop country” artists. Pop country is its own sound but unfortunately it's a mainstream sound with the loss of an open range of sound or a “honky-tonk bar” guitar riff.
This has affected the music festival Country Summer, as this year's lineup is not worth the $89 ticket price. The only artist worth seeing at Country Summer is Toby Keith, so don't waste your time with Little Big Town or Tyler Farr.
The true roots of country music date all the way back to Hank Williams Senior. Yes, it's a bit old for some of us, but Hank paved the way for future artists. Musicians like Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Townes Van Zandt, and his son Hank Williams Jr. carried on the legacy of true country music. Any true country music connoisseur will appreciate all of these artists.
Now how did country become this bad? Well it may have started in the early 2000’s with the rise of Sirius XM Radio. Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, and Taylor Swift received a lot of popularity and recognition on the radio and became very popular very quickly. Once other artists realized that pop country sells, the contagious disease caught ahold of the other artists who claimed they were “true”. This corrupted country music for a very long time.
Now, as corrupt as pop country is, there are some current artists that haven't strayed away from the true country sound.
Chris Stapleton is the best country artist currently. His latest album “From a Room: Volume 1” won a Grammy for best country album, which it was well deserved. Besides Stapleton, there are a few other artists to keep an eye on, some you might know and others a little more off the beaten path.
Along the lines of Stapleton, Artist Cody Jinks has been on the country scene since 2008; his last album “I'm Not the Devil” debuted at number 4 on the country album charts. Jinks is not well known in the mainstream game which is not surprising, he despises pop country. Jinks has a deep baritone sound and has stayed true to the country roots doing tributes to Merle Haggard and Hank Williams Jr.
I have here the rankings of the Greatest Country artists of all time and the best artists currently, I also have some rankings of country bands like southern rock and bluegrass and the link to my 35 hour country playlist. I hope y’all give it listen.
Greatest country artists of all time
- Townes Van Zandt- Rake
- Merle Haggard- Pancho and Lefty (feat: Willie Nelson)
- Johnny Cash- Folsom Prison Blues
- Waylon Jennings- Luckenbach Texas (feat: Willie Nelson)
- George Strait- Amarillo By Morning
- Willie Nelson- Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys
- Lyle Lovett- North Dakota
- Hank Williams Jr.- Family Tradition
- David Allen Coe- Jack Daniel’s, If You Please
- Hank Williams Sr.- So Lonesome I Could Cry
- Chris Stapleton- Tennessee Whiskey
- Cody Jinks- Hippies and Cowboys
- Alan Jackson- Drive
- Toby Keith- Beer For My Horses
- Paul Cauthen- Saddle
- Kenny Chesney- American Kids
- Hank Williams III- Country Heros
- Jamey Johnson- That Lonesome Song
- Luke Combs- Can I Get an Outlaw
Best Bands all time Country/Bluegrass/Southern Rock
- Lynyrd Skynyrd- Freebird
- Alabama- Dixieland Delight
- Brooks and Dunn- Red Dirt Road
- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- Free Falling
- Charlie Daniels Band- Long Haired Country Boy
- Montgomery Gentry- Where I Come From
- Foggy Mountain Boys-
- Dixie Chicks-
- The Allman Brothers Band-
- Steve Miller Band- The Joker
Best bands currently
- Old Crow Medicine Show- Shack #9
- Alabama Shakes-
- Trampled by Turtles- Codeine
- Whiskey Myers- Virginia
- Zac Brown Band- Toes
- Yonder Mountain String Band- 40 Miles From Denver
- Railroad Earth- Mighty River
- Greensky Bluegrass- Miss September
- Shooter Jennings