Saturday, February 16, 2013

What is "country" music? (a series)

I have mentioned here before how much I love music. I know some would find it quite odd then that my main pickup has had NO radio for over a year and my other pickup has no radio but there is a multi artist cassette that is stuck in the player and plays constantly. There are several great songs on it with my favorite being Cee Cee Chapman singing "Rainbow Rider" which was later released by Tanya Tucker. "A trailer behind an old white Eldorado, a red western sunset a blue mountain range."  I thought Cee Cee was a great singer and enjoyed her songs even though she was not a songwriter. However few people have even as much as heard of Cee Cee before the last 30 seconds.

  What is really odd lately is that even though Griselda currently has NO radio Carrie Underwood singing "Two Black Cadillacs" still plays from her speakers several times a day! That was a joke based on the fact that on most country music stations these days a small playlist repeats over and over to the ever so closed minded general public. Now I can appreciate Carrie Underwood's voice and actually like some of her songs but her political stances pretty much sicken me. Oh by the way the reason I have not gotten in a huge hurry to replace my stereo is as a man I cannot properly check cows and have music invading my brain at the same time!

Lately I have come across two fellow ag bloggers with posts about todays music scene, specifically today's country music scene. At PNW Rancher Erica Beck laments "Whose going to fill their shoes" as she blogs about the future of the beef industry . Another great blogger Carrie Mess also talks of today's country music scene at  

I will certainly agree with both of these great ladies and bloggers that country music has become a bit too "pop" lately and lack some of the old down home feel that many of us grew up with. While I empathize with their views I actually embrace the new artists and new sounds. I will try and explain my stance over the next 3-4 blog posts.  I can already tell that this little diatribe on today's country music is going to go long so I will break it into several parts. Hey good news! More daily posts! 

I have loved Waylon Jennings since the first time I heard him. So many of his songs hit home with me and I love the instrumental portion as much as the lyrics.I doubt anyone would disagree that Waylon is a "classic" country artist but at one time that was not the case. I mean really how can you NOT love this? Between the guitars and the lyrics...WOW!

Now, Waylon's son Shooter Jennings while not nearly as well known also has made some great music. His unconventional style and in your face lyrics are something I appreciate. Here he talks about his father and his struggles and adds some commentary of his own about today's music scene. I love the fiddles and drums in this song as well as the lyrics. "They took the outlaw concept and repackaged it" Here is "Outlaw You" Conventional? No. Country music? I say Yes!

 So here we have 3 examples of country music that were unconventional given their individual timing. Now, none of these songs are probably what I would call soulful country music and certainly not traditional but I enjoy all three just the same. My next post will continue on this subject and why I like today's variety but also despise some aspects of today's music scene. Just to stay with my original intent of this blog I am going to share a picture of #1421 with her first heifer calf #3421 enjoying today's sunshine here on the ranch. Speaking of sunshine here is a song that I enjoy and recently found. Is this some down home soulful country? Nope, but it is a fun and feel good song that also captures some spirit of enjoying country life and what it has to offer. I mean hey, who would have ever thought I could open my mind enough to enjoy a song that even has some "rapping" in it? Enjoy "The Lacs" which stands for "loud ass crackers" and "Country Boys Paradise" I mean with lyrics like "little string bikinis and corona flip flops, me and my buddies standing on the toolbox, ladies it's ok to take your tops off" how can this not be "country"? This "twang" from about the 2:08 point in the video is just heaven in my opinion and that is not because of the video! To be continued.....