It’s shocking how Modernity destroyed country music in about a decade. The sound coming from Nashville even in the early 2000’s sounded similar to Alan Jackson and Diamond Rio from a decade prior. Now though? A few years ago, Tom Petty called modern country “bad rock with a fiddle.” It seems to have gotten progressively worse since Petty’s 2013 interview comment – with the rap, auto-tune and meaningless and hollow lyrics that appeal to the very lowest common denominator.
Country music is a Southern institution and more importantly, it’s genuine and authentic – elements missing from practically all genres of Current Year music. The genre’s authenticity is (or was) its lasting appeal. It had a distinct approach to songwriting that used acoustic instrumentation and honest blue-collar storytelling – sometimes funny, sometimes hauntingly tragic.
But, the most important aspect of country music was how it touched your soul – or, as David Allan Coe once sang, “Boy, can you make folks feel what you feel inside?“
I can still listen to Tim McGraw’s 1994 heart-breaker “Don’t Take The Girl” or Vern Gosdin’s truly emotional gut-punch “Chiseled in Stone” and feel the trauma and the loss. Those are unforgettable songs that still get air-time on country music radio today. And why? Because they’re not fake. They don’t sound like they came off the assembly line in the increasingly sterile country capital of Nashville.
Country music used to mean something. When Hank Williams was sober enough to perform across the South, he was singing from his soul. His heartfelt ballads had meaning. The same goes for the great legends of country music that followed The (original) King Of Country Music: Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, etc. You could relate to what they sang about because they were singing something real.
I usually hate using abstractions like “something real” as a description – but, we’ve clearly come a long way from Keith Whitley’s forlorn and relatable “I’m No Stranger to the Rain” to Little Big Town’s newest airhead non-judgmental anthem “Happy People” – it’s essentially Country’s feminized clarion call to remain normified and not judge anyone. Consider it Country’s contribution to our suicidal and plebeian zeitgeist.
Conversely, you can feel the genuine fondness from Don Williams in his 1980 hit “I Believe in You.” When it comes on the radio, much like his “Tulsa Time,” you instantly recognize the song and it triggers an emotion. Sam Hunt? Not so much. If someone put a .357 magnum to my head and asked me to name one of his songs and they’d spare my life, I’d tell them I’m looking forward to catching up with Jerry Reed and the Possum. Keep it a closed casket by the way.
Modern “Country” – if someone could even call it that, abandoned its wholesome (though not always) and homespun aesthetic, as well as, any shred of emotional complexity. The production is the sleekest of the sleek, recycling production techniques that makes nearly every hit song sound like a mindless (and heartless) creation designed for more radio airplay.
Or, in the case of someone like Luke Bryan (or the the wiggerish Sam Hunt) – it’s a Frankenstein pop-rap-country abnormality that is simply female masturbatory assistance. From his 2011 album, Tailgates & Tanlines, came the traditional and wholesome ballad “Country Girl (Shake it for Me)” (end sarc). If there was ever the perfect illustration of the negrofication of country music it would be this steamy bucket of hog slop. The chorus below and slick music video:
Country girl, shake it for me girl,
Shake it for me girl, shake it for me
Country girl, shake it for me girl,
Shake it for me girl, shake it for me
Lyrically, this is about as impressive as Taylor Swift’s (another charlatan) repetitive “Out of the Woods.” They’re both catchy for sure – but only a mouth breathing dead-eyed normie would call this music.
In the case of Sam Hunt, his sewage is nowhere near anything that someone over 30 would consider country music – not rational people anyway. His music is coarse negro seduction tacked on with a fake “southern” (in actuality, think black voice) accent meant to give thots the shivers. Below is a snippet from his “Body Like A Back Road” – note: this trash was number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and stayed at that spot for sixteen consecutive weeks.
We’re out here in the boondocks with the breeze and the birds
Tangled up in the tall grass with my lips on hers
On a highway to heaven, headed south of her smile
Get there when we get there, every inch is a mile
Body like a back road, drivin’ with my eyes closed
I know every curve like the back of my hand
Doin’ fifteen in a thirty, I ain’t in no hurry
I’ma take it slow just as fast as I can
As if his negrofication wasn’t complete, he even used “I’ma.” For those unaware, POC utilize “I’ma” to a whole new level of laziness (and usage of contractions). Instead of “I’m going to,” they use, “I’ma.” For example, instead of saying “I’m going to use my EBT card to purchase groceries for my family,” they will use, “I’ma us mah EbT card ta purchase sheeit fo’ muh motha fuckin family.”
In any event, it wouldn’t be a bold prediction to hear grunting at the CMT Music Awards in twenty years (more like ten).
Similar to Swift’s transformation, country has mutated to club. The genre has shifted toward a different demographic than even a decade ago – from men (and some women) to teenie boppers, sorority girls and casual “fans.” Country is now “generic” white people music that could be confused with pop, club and rap (or also the God-awful “beach” scene perpetuated by Kenny Chesney). Acts like Hal Ketchum, Joe Diffie and John Anderson have now long been replaced with the nihilism and hedonism of Kacey Musgraves, the white trash that is Florida-Georgia Line or the white negro womanizer Sam Hunt.
They’re not stories nor do they express any sort of artistic vision, their purpose is to give drunken or distrait consumers some vapid and easily digestible jangle to devour while chugging Bud Light at a tailgate.
Modernity murdered Country Music. Just another nail in our collective coffin. George Strait and Alan Jackson sang about it years ago with their song “Murder on Music Row” – they saw the handwriting on the wall even back in 2000.
Nobody saw him running from sixteenth avenue.
They never found the fingerprint or the weapon that was used.
But someone killed country music, cut out its heart and soul.
They got away with murder down on music row.
The almighty dollar and the lust for worldwide fame
Slowly killed tradition and for that someone should hang
(oh, you tell them Alan).
They all say not guilty, but the evidence will show
That murder was committed down on music row.
For the steel guitars no longer cry and fiddles barely play,
But drums and rock ‘n roll guitars are mixed up in your face.
Old Hank wouldn’t have a chance on today’s radio
Since they committed murder down on music row.
They thought no one would miss it, once it was dead and gone
They said no one would buy them old drinking and cheating songs (I’ll still buy’em)
Well there ain’t no justice in it and the hard facts are cold
Murder’s been committed down on music row.
Oh, the steel guitars no longer cry and you can’t hear fiddles play
With drums and rock ‘n roll guitars mixed right up in your face
Why, the Hag, he wouldn’t have a chance on today’s radio
Since they committed murder down on music row
Why, they even tell the Possum to pack up and go back home
There’s been an awful murder down on music row.
Don’t listen to it. Starve them of listeners. Don’t watch the CMT Awards. Let’s go back to our roots and leave this bastardization of OUR music behind. That’s the first step in retaking everything back.
A scourge to communists, scallywags, hipsters and feminists, Silas Reynolds calls anywhere south of the Potomac his home. He has a penchant for muscle cars, firearms and 80’s action movies.