Ralph's Reviews: State of Country Music Address

More rhythm, beat and rock sound… less twang. Not neccessarely a bad thing.


Every generation of Country music has gone through the “that’s not country” saying, and it has all been Country all along. Artists like George Jones, Billy Ray Cyrus and now Florida Georgia line, fought for airtime, but once they got their music played they became embraced by country music fans for the most part.

Country music fans have been known as the most loyal fans in music. I think that will not change. Some fans, especially traditional country fans may resist the ‘NEW Country’ of today and there may be some fans that are lost, but those that are lost will be replaced by open mnded people and  younger generation of Country fans and artists.


Tritt/Cyrus feud. In 1992 Billy Ray Cyrus released his single ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ Travis Tritt who had a single from 1991 titled ‘Here’s a Quarter’ (Call Someone Who Cares) Cyrus accepted his 1993 ACM award for Favorite Country  Single by saying “Call Someone Who Cares, a jab at Tritt. This all started when Tritt called ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ “Frivolous”  Some believed Cyrus did not fit in country, but Cyrus had a #1 hit. Just goes to show good music can be found in any genre especially country music.


Most recently noted Zac Brown said of Luke Bryan’s ’That’s My kind of Night’  “This new song is the worst song I’ve ever heard” Strong opinion, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. Brown and Bryan hugged it out on stage, and Zac said him and Luke are friends. It is obvious that there is resistance of what is being called ‘pop country’ Brown and Bryan hugged it out on stage, and Zac said him and Luke are friends.


I think today’s ‘NEW’ country is a sign that country music has evolved, it is no longer considered boring or not cool. Country music is finally cool because it is more up tempo, has a new sound and still tells stories. It also makes you fell good listening. I respect traditional classic country and we would not have 'NEW' country without those who paved the way. It is important to remember and respect the icons of the industry, and I make sure I never lose track of that. I believe that in order to respect today’s country, you have to respect the icons before it that created such a platform to begin with. I like Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, George Jones, Dolly Pardon, etc. I respect their era of music. They truly mastered their craft. I also know George Strait, Garth Brooks, and many more including Reba McEntire, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Martina McBride as women who had a strong impact o country music. But, now the new crop of artists such as Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Carrie Underwood, and Miranda Lambert are the faces of country music today.


I will close with some final statements. Florida Georgia Line is a refrshing new feel to Country music. Today’s country is still country. It has a different sound, faster sound, but still tells a good story. I believe good music is good music no matter the genre. So, if country, pop, and hip hop crossover a little, if the music is good, no complaints from me. Many country songs now get a remix with a pop or hip hop artists this is a strategy y=that makes twice the money for the same song. If the ‘NEW country was not country it would not be selling, it would not be listened to, and radio would be forced to ban it from airplay, but for the most part that I just not the case. It sells, so it I s here to stay. There are also plenty of traditional artists out there, you are still getting the best of both worlds and the radio stations that fight it and try to keep these songs off their station suffer in ratings. Just is proven. Enjoy good music, and don’t judge too much at first, let it sink in first. I grew up on country music, and have an open mind and still am a country guy. Country rocks and is a big party.