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.


@joshindc: Wynn Stewart; now THERE’S a name you rarely see mentioned! I have a 2-LP collection on Bear Family Records of his 1958-1963 Challenge Records recordings. He was part of the Southern California Honky-Tonk/Rockabilly scene, and was a favorite of Merle Haggard. Dwight Yoakam of course loves him.

Also rarely mentioned is Lefty Frizzell, another favorite of Merle. I learned of Lefty when The Band included his 1959 Country & Western hit song "Long Black Veil" on their 1968 debut album, Music From Big Pink (Johnny Cash had recorded the song in 1965, but I didn’t hear it back then). Yes, as the rest of the Rock world was still being psychedelicized by Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, etc. etc., The Band included a Lefty Frizzell song on their 1968 debut! Six months earlier Dylan’s John Wesley Harding was released by Columbia Records, itself a very Country-influenced album (recorded in Nashville).

As you say, there are of course plenty of others, including George Jones (Gram Parsons’ favorite singer), Buck Owens (a huge influence on Yoakam). The list is actually quite long, that is if your musical taste includes the genre.

Garcia played a few Lefty tunes in his day. The acoustic folk country was part and parcel of the psychodelic scene in SanFran of the 60"s. Even the Stones got into the act with Factory Girl and Prodigal Son a little bit later

 Another outstanding current songwriter-singer. Gillian Welch, right there with Lucinda


You’re all dirty dopers


 modern R and B which is pure tripe trash, 

modern rap is indescribable, if I did these anti Constitution people in here who censor our first amendment would flip a switch, and you would not have the pleasure of being forced to read my poor punctuation, lack of paragraph rants with my 4th grade skills.  It’s just trash. 

rap in the 80’s when political, and actually told a story is much better

@jpwarren5: When I saw The Dead (and The Airplane) live in the Summer of ’67 they sounded just like their debut album, which I at the time liked a lot. They still sounded like their choice of drugs was cross-tops (what my friends and I called the little white pills mentioned in Dave Dudley’s "Six Days On The Road") washed down with a quart of beer.

They sounded completely different on their 1968 album Anthem Of The Sun and 69’s Aoxomoxoa, which were very psychedelic (acid had sure influenced their music). While Jerry had a background in Hillbilly and Bluegrass (there are pics of him playing banjo in ’65, I believe it was), you didn’t hear it in the music of The Dead until 1070’s Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty, and even more so in Jerry’s first side project (as far as I know), Old & In The Way (which I bought when it was released in ’75).

But in 1968 the Rock band playing pure Country/Hillbilly was The Byrds, with the release of their Sweetheart Of The Rodeo album (which contains songs written by Dylan, Merle Haggard, Woody Guthrie, and The Louvin Brothers. Anthem Of The Sun and Aoxomoxoa sure don’t ;-) . Bassist Chris Hillman invited Gram Parsons to replace the departed David Crosby, and he did. It is said the album sold poorly, but everyone I knew had it in ’68.

Gram Parsons is given the lion’s share of credit for the Sweetheart album, but Chris Hillman deserves at least as much. Prior to joining The Byrds in 1964, Hillman had in the late-50’s started out playing mandolin in a Bluegrass band, and his band The Hillmen (a quartet whose other members included future Country music star Vern Gosdin) had a single album released in 1963. By the way, Chris’ solo Bluegrass albums on Sugar Hill Records are fantastic, as is his latest album, produced by Tom Petty.

Before joining The Byrds, it was Folk music Parsons was playing, not Country, Hillbilly, or Bluegrass. Parsons is also given credit for discovering Emmylou Harris, but it was, again, Chris Hillman. Chris had heard Emmylou in a Folk club in NYC, and knowing Gram was looking for a singing partner for his upcoming solo album, told Parsons about her. The rest is, as they say, history.

In 1969 Hillman and Parsons had taken their Country/Hillbilly leanings even further than the Sweetheart album, when they both left The Byrds and started The Flying Burrito Brothers. Future Eagles member Bernie Leadon eventually joined the group, and Gram left after their second album to go solo.

In the mid-80’s Hillman started a new Country music group, The Desert Rose Band, Joining him was a fantastic singer and musician named Herb Pederson, formerly of the Dillards. The DRB were very successful, producing a lot of great music and hit records.

You are spot on regarding Gillian Welch JPW. And you audiophiles who might consider listening to this music we are discussing if it was available in high end audiophile recorded sound quality, Gillian’s albums on her own Acony Records label are just what the doctor ordered. Her partner David Rawlings has a couple of solo albums, but they are unfortunately not so hot (imo).