Opinion: Modern country is the worst musical genre of all time

I seriously can’t think of anything worse. I grew up listening to country music in the late 80s and early 90s, and a lot of that was pretty bad. But this new stuff, yikes.

Who sees some pretty boy on a stage with a badly exaggerated generic southern accent and a 600 dollar denim jacket shoehorning the words “ice cold beer” into every third line of a song and says “Ooh I like this, this music is for me!”

I would literally rather listen to anything else.Seriously, there’s nothing I can think of, at least not in my lifetime or the hundred or so years of recorded music I own, that seems worse.



@hilde45: Are you still in Austin? An old San Jose friend of mine has been playing Country & Western (as he likes to call it ;-), Western Swing, and related musics in Austin for about forty years now---Cornell Hurd. Ever seen him live? He’s a great songwriter, some of his recorded by Junior Brown and The Skeletons/The Symptoms/The Morells (same band, different names)---a great Roots Rock band out of Springfield Missouri. Their fans include Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe, and Elvis Costello. Their drummer was Bobby Lloyd Hicks (R.I.P.), later in Dave Alvin’s band The Guilty Men, their bassist Lou Whitney (also R.I.P.) a well known (amongst musicians) Roots Rock recording engineer/producer, whose credits (over 1,000!) include Dave Alvin, Exene Cervenka, Jonathan Richman, The Del-Lords, and.....Cornell Hurd.


@stuartk: The first time I saw Kenny Vaughan live was also with Lucinda, on her Car Wheels On A Gravel Road tour, at The Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. Leading her band and playing acoustic guitar and singing harmony was Jim Lauderdale, himself very much a part of the Americana scene (he hosts the Americana Awards Show), with lots of his own albums, and one he made with Buddy Miller, Emmylou Harris’ guitarist, harmony singer, and band leader. Buddy is my current favorite producer, sort of the Dave Edmunds of the 2000’s.


@patrickdowns: There is one Bluegrass album you may have missed (a lot of people did), and it’s a doozy! Wires & Wood by The Johnny Staats Project. Johnny won a mandolin and guitar competition, and came to the attention of Bluegrass fiddle superstar Tim O’Brien, who appears on the album. Joining Johnny and Tim are Sam Bush (mandolin), John Cohan (upright bass), Jerry Douglas (dobro. Jerry is favorite currently active living musician), Sara Evans, along with others. The song flow alternates between instrumentals and ones with vocals. A fantastic album! Johnny was offered tour support to promote the album, but declined, as his $ guarantee was less than his day job as a UPS driver paid. ;-)


The genres of Traditional Country (which I call "Hard" Country), Bluegrass, Folk, Singer-Songwriter, and even Country Blues---like Lucinda Williams---overlap, some music having a foot in different camps. One such album is The Houston Kid by Rodney Crowell. The Houston Kid is, I currently feel, THE best album I have ever heard. A perfect album (even The damn Beatles can’t claim THAT), and an absolute masterpiece. Joining Rodney on one song ("I Walk The Line Revisited") is Johnny Cash, Rodney’s one-time father-in-law (Rodney was married to Rosanne Cash). If you don’t already have this album, do yourself a HUGE favour and buy it. Sorry LP purists, it has been released on CD only.

As Justin Townes Earle (RIP) once said, "I liked country music before they decided to take the blues out of country music."

Shout-out to yogiboy for sharing those PBS links. I saw part of the Burns series on country music, and have always meant to finish it. I did get the box set of CDs from it, and the ones from his jazz series. Ken Burns is a national treasure!