Pop Goes The Country

In the past few months I have been less than mobile but I think (crossing fingers) that sticking point may change in the next few days. I’ll be broke as a cabbage but being mobile gives us opportunity.

During this period of me being the Walking Man of Bellevue, sometimes the only places I can get to are the ones where I hoof it. And the places where I can get to without having a coronary always play Pop Country music, something I have not really ever listened to in my entire life. Even when I was a disc jockey spinning country vinyl back in the mid-80s, my tastes always ran more to the

If you remember this show and Ralph Emery, you win absolutely nothing.

Austin Lounge Lizards, Emmylou Harris, John Anderson, Dolly Parton, Alabama, John Prine, Johnny Cash, Waylon and Willie but the poppy stuff even on that time frame was not something I really embraced. It was noisy and my job to make sure those folks out there who couldn’t live without Barbara Mandrell sleeping single in a double bed got their slightly naughty pop twang on.

It has been interesting. Very little of today’s pop country sparks much feeling in me either. I think every pop country act right now should light a candle for The Eagles and Linda Ronstadt for paving the way. Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, take note, Linda is your godmother.

There are artists that I do appreciate though. In listening to all of this not by choice has made me realize a few things about pop country artists. Ronnie Dunn, although he has been around awhile, has a haunting, aching voice that reminds me of home for some reason. I’m sure it’s the song “Cost of Living” that has put him in my radar recently as it is about Union City and the loss of Goodyear but it does speak to me. I have trouble deciphering Lee Brice from Luke Bryan and although I really do not like what I call the Catfish Song, I do admit that Bryan’s music is catch. I can’t really remember Brice’s that much, I just see his name a lot.

I hear this music not by choice but I’ve gotten used to it because it plays in the background. It’s why I come home to my apartment and listen to Miles Davis or OCMS to clean the cobwebs out.

In my humble opinion, The Band Perry and Little Big Town should also light numerous candles to Fleetwood Mac on a daily basis as I truly believe that it’s not that much different in musical and harmonic structure.

Now kids, I realize that Taylor Swift makes a whole lot of money singing about her love life but I am just too old and tired. I think once she starts singing stuff that I’m not 30 years removed from, she and I will be fine. Maybe not, who knows.

I will admit, and if I lose more cool points than I’ve already lost in the last two years that is more than okay, that I do like Keith Urban’s “For You” song a whole lot. It reminds me of my grandfather storming the beaches of Saipan and a whole lot of my friends that who have gone overseas with their National Guard units over the past few years. I think it’s well done. There really isn’t any reason that songs hit you, they just do.

I listen to NPR when I’m in the car and Radio Lightning, but this has been branded into my brain due to circumstance. Some of it I like, some of it I don’t as is the way music does.

Remembering my radio days and those first few years of old, tired radio station owners who thought that country music was the way to make music, I can’t help but wonder because so many of them aren’t with us anymore what they would think about today’s country.

Just things I’m thinking about today.

3 comments for “Pop Goes The Country

  1. December 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    1. Crank up yon Spotify
    2. Listen to The Damn Quails, Turnpike Troubadors, and Randy Rogers Band
    3. Repeat step 2

  2. Peck
    December 29, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    While I agree with most of your comments in this article, the fact that you include the pop-schlock horseshit recorded by Alabama with the work of such artists as John Prine,Emmylou Harris, Waylon and Willie, Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash is puzzling to me, if not down-right distrubing!

    • December 30, 2012 at 11:40 am

      I honestly don’t like Alabama as much as I do the others (although I did like Take me Down pretty well). They used to give the radio station a lot of giveaways and were always kind to us. That’s why I included them. They were nice about it if that explains anything. 😉

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