View Full Version : So help me, I'm starting to actually LIKE some country music in my old age!

El Chuxter
02-01-2005, 04:44 PM
Not all of it, of course. 99% of what's called country still sucks.

But for the past week or so, I've been listening almost exclusively to Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Hank Williams Sr. Man, I don't care what label you want to slap on 'em, those dudes can tell a story! And Willie has to be the most underrated guitarist in history.

The good stuff (read: the stuff that doesn't get played on "country" stations) isn't really all that distinguishable from great blues or folk music.

I don't believe there's been any line in music history as bluntly powerful as Johnny's "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die." Unless maybe it's Johnny's "If I hadn't-a shot poor Delia, I'd-a had her for my wife."

Seriously, if you're going to bash country, pick up (at least) American Recordings by Johnny Cash. One of the best albums ever!

James Boba Fettfield
02-01-2005, 05:52 PM
I went through a similar experience. Except it was with Merle Haggard. There was a little Hank Sr. and some Johnny Horton and Statler Brothers and some Elvis...

I blame those Classic Country cd's. I was going through them recently and rediscovering my favorites.

Too bad most everyone else does not know the good country, just the bad Toby Keith stuff. So when I hear someone bash country I think of only how ignorant they are. There's more to country than that Shania Twain garbage.

"I turned 21 in prison doing life without parole"

02-01-2005, 05:55 PM
You're lucky El Chuxter...I thought you meant modern country music.
Johnny Cash was the man.

02-01-2005, 06:18 PM
Not all new stuff is bad. Well the stuff that t hey play on the radio is. I'd try checking out Robbie Fulks. http://www.robbiefulks.com

Plus there are a lot of alt.country bands that are pretty good. Jayhawks, Wilco, Lucinda Williams, etc.

02-01-2005, 08:24 PM
Heck J. Cash was the man. Aint nothing wrong with it. I listen to Garth Brooks once and awhile.

02-01-2005, 10:06 PM
The only way I listen to country is if the artist is a hot babe. So I'm superficial...sue me. :o

02-02-2005, 12:38 AM
I enjoy some Buck Owens and as a kid I took in some of the old greats like Hank, Waylon, Willie, Merle, Johnny, et. al.

Kenny Rogers, Oak Ridge Boys, Statlers, Alabama, all those bands from back in the day were all on my parents' "play list" (Casette and 8 Track ;) )

Today it's not too much of my cup of tea but I won't knock it, there are some great tunes in there for sure.

I have to agree with Jaymz though in as much as I HATE some of that stuff today. I'm not even talking about the hot chicks or whatever, because that's a given, but all these neo-country dudes like Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, others etc etc etc I just despise. Garbage.

El Chuxter
02-04-2005, 02:22 PM
Caesar, Garbage is more techno-pop than country. :p

I first discovered Cash right after Unchained came out, about 7-8 years ago. I'd heard "The Wanderer," "Delia's Gone," and "Drive On" and thought he had a great voice, and then I read somewhere that his backing band was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I've always been a huge Tom Petty fan, so I had to check it out. I think I played it nonstop for a few days at the time, then shortly after picked up American Recordings, which is even better.

Willie came shortly afterwards, and for several years those were the only two country artists I ever listened to. Then it dawned on me about a year ago that Cash's "Why Me," Willie's "The Pilgrim (Chapter 33)," and Janis Joplin's "Me and Bobby McGee" were all written by one guy and found out Kris Kristofferson is (although a bit more limited as a singer) one of the best songwriters America's produced. I've been trying to branch out from that point.

I'm not as familiar with Merle Haggard or Waylon Jennings as I know I should be.

I always try to be open to any musician if they're good at what they do. And like I said before, when you get down to it, the labels "blues," "country," "folk," and "rockabilly" can all be used to describe the same thing. And, unfortunately, a lot of how artists are classified is based on their skin color. Like how Jimmie Rodgers wrote songs that were structured like blues numbers, but he's considered the father of country music. Or Mississippi John Hurt, who sounds nothing like any other "blues" musician (except maybe Taj Mahal or Keb Mo, when they're trying to emulate him decades later). It's all music. Unless it's Toby Keith. Then it's poop.

02-04-2005, 03:23 PM
Wilco? I thought they were rock.

I think the only time i can really get into country is when i'm
A. depressed.
B. Intoxicated
That being said, i'll agree that 99% of new country sucks, but i'll stick with the classics: Johnny, Waylon, Hank and co. The new stuff blends the lines of pop and rock too much that it really isn't country.

02-04-2005, 04:13 PM
What happens when you play a country song backwards?

You get your dog back, your car back, your wife back.... :D :beard:

02-04-2005, 04:50 PM
when you get down to it, labels "blues," "country," "folk," and "rockabilly" can all be used to describe the same thing.

Wha!? :eek: Hardly. While they might have the same roots, it'd be a stretch to put Sydney Bechet; John Lee Hooker; Son House; Memphis Slim; Peter, Paul & Mary; Waylon Jennings; and Faith Hill all in the same discount bin. VERY distinct kinds of music across that spectrum despite having the same ancestors. Blues I love. Jazz I like. Real R&B I love (not that garbage urban crap they call it now). Rockabilly is great sometimes. Swing is cool to a point. Country...that twangy down-home stuff just doesn't do it for me personally. Maybe you had to grow up in the Red State South to truly appreciate it. I don't know.

El Chuxter
02-04-2005, 05:45 PM
I didn't mean all those labels can always describe all music. But there are quite a few artists who can fall into more than one of the traditional categories, depending on how you look at them:

Mississippi John Hurt
Elvis Presley
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup
the Band
the Grateful Dead
Jimmie Rodgers
Hank Williams
Charlie Daniels
the Eagles
Steve Earle
Carl Perkins

That's just a few. Even look at two of the giants of their genres, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles. No one's ever going to convincing argue Ray wasn't soul and Willie isn't country. But one had his most critically acclaimed album singing country & western and the other his most acclaimed album teaming with a legendary R&B producer and singing soul and reggae songs. Can you guess which? Here's a hint: it wasn't Willie who recorded Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music.

My point is just that the lines aren't nearly as clearly drawn as the industry makes them out to be.

Even if you disagree, I hope you'll at least concede that Janis' version of "Me and Bobby McGee" freakin' rocks. :D

02-04-2005, 06:15 PM
Even if you disagree, I hope you'll at least concede that Janis' version of "Me and Bobby McGee" freakin' rocks. :D

I'll concede to that.

02-04-2005, 08:53 PM
IMy point is just that the lines aren't nearly as clearly drawn as the industry makes them out to be.

Well, no, of course not. Unless we want to peruse all the CDs in nothing but alphabetical order, it helps to herd artists into one genre or another. It's not always fair or accurate, but most of the time its close enough to give the consumer an idea what they're buying. I mean, even if Ray Charles digresses into more "traditional" country for a song or even a whole album, if I'm a big enough Ray Charles fan to realize that a new album came out, I probably won't be too disappointed. But I do recall back in the day when Paul Simon went on the road with Graceland, quite a few older baby boomers (like my mom) were disappointed that he wouldn't be singing the classic tunes from Central Park. Sting's foray into the Dream of the Blue Turtles turned off more than one teenage fan of the Police. But more often than not, those genre labels are stuck onto the artists instead of the work they do so one would find Dream of the Blue Turtles in with ROCK instead of Easy Listening at first.

Even in my own RealPlayer jukebox, I find it ten times easier to just lump artists into one category or another instead of meticulously going through every single song and giving it its due. Just try to categorize the Fleetwood Mac library! :eek: Is it Pop? Rock? Easy Listening? Blues? All of the above? None? Yikes!

02-05-2005, 08:01 AM
Just try to categorize the Fleetwood Mac library
Don't tempt me :beard:

Is Roger Miller a country act??? that'd be a good example of the blurring of the lines in the whole folk/country/blues

What about Big Rig music, like Red Sovine???

And just a quick aside- Chux- at a yard-sale this summer I bought a CD of a solo performance by Mississippi John Hurt for 2 dollars- it is really interesting to listen to old 78's of his stuff from the 30's and then follow the evolution of those tunes- that dude kicked almost as much butt as Lonnie Johnson (who if you haven't heard, you must, I command you, 'specially the stuff with Eddie Lang, that stuff is SICK)

02-06-2005, 02:23 AM
I've not yet heard any of Lonnie Johnson's work but I did see him play live with Aerosmith at a concert I attended a few years back.

02-06-2005, 05:04 AM
Yearrrgggh, Caesar, don't confuse the old boy- I was talking about the Original guy, who was "big" in the 20s and 30s, and passed away in a most un-bluesman fashion, dyibg finally of old age in the late 70's

He was an acoustic master, his playing was pretty much like really werid jazz, but it sounds a lot like Delta blues, too, in the forms- he was playing blistering solos in 1924, beating the supposed "invention" of the solo by a few decades.... look into him and you might like it

02-06-2005, 11:27 PM
Oops. Sorry. :nerv: :nerv: :nerv:

Well anyway, I know this isn't a Blues thread but I'll stand by my thread and say I enjoyed the contemporay man of the same name. And his father, Donnie. (Was it is father or his brother ? I can't recall).

Nothing more to see here, move along. :beard:


Mad Slanted Powers
02-26-2005, 08:47 PM
When I was but a child back in the 1970's, my parents usually had the country station on. I didn't much care for it and would rather listen to the pop/rock station. The music must have stuck with me though. I enjoy a lot of the old country music from the 70's and before. Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Tanya Tucker, etc. I'm almost tempted to order during those infomercials for the classic country collections. Hearing the old songs bring back memories I guess. Also, I think a lot of it is just familiarity. Most modern country doesn't do it for me. Once in a while I'll turn on the bluegrass or classic country channel on the digital cable music and that sounds much better.

At this point, I think the only country CD I own is Johnny Cash 16 Biggest Hits, though I guess the Best of Commander Cody might qualify as country too.

02-27-2005, 07:00 AM
Actually, I am sort of guilty of this same sort of thing... when I was a wee lad Gordon Lightfoot was HUGE up here in Canada... for years hearing even a bit of his warbling folk-sey stylings made me cringe...

For some reason, a few years ago, I started wondering if his stuff was as bad as I remembered, and after taking a cassette out of the library I somehow got hooked- it really was as bad as I recalled, but the nostalgia thing posty333 noted somehow had me worse than I could have imagined....

I now have over half of his catalogue and am somehow compelled to complete my collection....

And I wouldn't call him "country", but he is pretty much the Canadian cultural equivalent... a couple of weeks ago me and a buddy who went through the same sequence of re-discovery actually got together and listened to nothing but Lightfoot for a whole afternoon, even.....

There, I've said it


Mad Slanted Powers
02-27-2005, 08:40 PM
Ah yes. Gordon Lightfoot takes me back as well. I only know a few of the hits, but they are good songs that certainly trigger some emotion and nostalgia when I hear them.