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Bourjaily: The Decline of Country Music

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October 20, 2010

Bourjaily: The Decline of Country Music

By Phil Bourjaily

Last time I tried listening to a country station I heard “Drinkin Beer and Wastin Bullets:”  an ode to the simple joy of getting hammered on light beer* in a deer stand and drunkenly spraying lead--specifically Winchester 100-grain bullets--across the landscape.

It’s meant to be taken lightly, I know, but it exemplifies the aggressively dumbed-down lyrics that come out of Nashville these days which contribute so much to the ongoing decline of mainstream country music.

While I was never a hardcore country fan I discovered country radio in the late 80s and listened to it throughout the 90s. I could station-surf in the car on my way to go hunting and regularly find songs by “New Traditionalists” like Patty Loveless, Dwight Yoakam, George (“All my exes live in Texas”) Strait and Randy Travis as well as Allison Krauss and the Mavericks. Their songs were styled after old-school country and written with clever word play and some wonderful lyrics. It was intelligent music for grownups. It’s gone and I miss it.

If you need to get “Drinkin Beer and Wastin Bullets” out of your mind, check out Ray Price in this clip of “Crazy Arms/Heartache by the Numbers.” He was 83 when it was filmed last year. Ray can still sing, he radiates pure class, and his pedal steel guy can play, too.

*which is, I guess, technically beer, but not really.

Comments (90)

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from krwheeler wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I don't know what stations you're listening to, but I hear a lot of good stuff having to do with God, love of country, family strength, and all the things that make country livin' good. I change the station when "drinking" songs come on. I can do without the "drunk redneck" stereotype being pushed.

I've only been a country music fan since '98 or so. Mostly because the country station is the only one that reliably reaches my house/town. But I can't listen to "modern rock" anymore. It's mostly junk.

By the way...I've never heard of the song that you're talking about.

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from WVOtter wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I'm also not the worlds biggest country fan, but I always felt the turning point was Shania Twain's MTV version of "country music". Kind of set the bar for moving away from traditional topics and personalities. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. I can't say I have anything to complain about when I hear Zac Brown or Brad Paisley.

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from WVOtter wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I'll say this though. I work in a place where we get one radio station and it's ALL modern pop...and I've got coworkers that turn it up and sing along. You'd pray to be in solitary with "Drinkin' Beer and Wastin' Bullets pumped in 24/7 over that gibberish.

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from MJC wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Myself, I enjoy Cash, Jennings (Waylon and Shooter), Nelson, Kristofferson and George Jones. Mostly Outlaw Country, I guess.

I wouldn't want to emulate the lifestyle most of the songs are about but the emotion in that stuff is second to none. If 'Sunday Morning Coming Down' doesn't make your heart ache a little you aren't human.

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from Amflyer wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Call me drunken Ira Hayes, but I do get a bit misty when I hear "He Stopped Loving Her Today. As far as today's country music, any time you can add a drum track to a song and play it on a top forty station, or a steel guitar track and play it on a Country station, it AIN'T Country.

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from Brian Jackson wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I've listened to country all my life, but I don't think I've ever heard "Drinkin' Beer and Wastin' Bullets". I do tend to stick to the more classic country of Hag, Waylon, Cash, etc. Though I do enjoy the new Billy Currington song "Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer". Mostly because it kind of pokes fun at all the "I'm a bad a** hard workin' man" that was all the rage on country for a while.

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from Proverbs wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Right on, Phil! However, I would say most of today's music is dumbed-down, not just country.

To KRwheeler: From the mid-80s to 90s, nearly every country song seemed to be enjoyable. The dogs were few and far between. Today, I'd say that has flip-flopped. There is some really good country music on the airwaves, but you've got to suffer through the drivel to get to the good stuff. That's why God showed us how to make CD changers and MP3 players.

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from idduckhntr wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Phil, you forgot a couple of the true greats like Ian Tyson and Chris Ledoux. I had the great pleasure of knowing Chris and he was one hell of a cowboy and just a joy to be around.

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from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

not as good as ole hank williams jr. (i got a shotgun a rifle and a 4 wheel drive) or david allen coe (well i was drunk the day my ma got outa prison, i went to picker up in the rain, but befor i chould get to the station in my pickup truck, she got runed over by a danged old train!!)

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from IowaGuy wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Not much of a country fan, will listen to some of it.

Funny, grew up as "country" as anyone on a small Iowa family farm, Dad and Grandpa had the pick-up radio stations set to AM country; George Jones, Johnny Cash, Eddy Arnold, Red Foley, etc Me, I installed a tape deck and had B-52's, AC/DC, the Clash, the Ramones playing when driving grain wagons into town. had to show Grandpa how to turn off the tape deck and turn on the radio after Highway to Hell starting blaring on day!

Listen to what you enjoy!

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from firedawg wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

"Drinking Beer and Wasting Bullets" is a lighthearted take on something the artist (Luke Bryan) takes seriously. He is a good ol' boy from south GA and a class act. Last year he was the NWTF sportsman of the year or something along those lines. But if you want some real country music listen to Jamey Johnson's new album, it has the same heart and soul that all those old Waylon, Jones, and Cash records had. It is the real deal

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from huntnow wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Actually Phil, to be more specific, country music has been in the crapper for a few years now. I guess all we can really do is keep the old country gold around and wait. My truck is full of Waylon, Cash, Hank, etc. You have to look around a bit to get the good stuff. Country radio doesn't like anything with heart and soul anymore.

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from tkbone wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

The fact that country music has an "entertainer of the year" rather than an "artist of the year" tells you pretty much what you need to know about how much it's been dumbed down. The songs are mass written in an office by a team of songwriters who drive foreign sedans to work and drink lattes all day, then they're mass-marketed through no-talents with "the look" who can't play a chord or note on the guitar they carry as an accessory or even sing very well.

You can find good, authentic modern country music (like some of those previously mentioned) but you really have to go out of your way to find it.

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from Bass2Buck wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Maranda Lambert, Hank Jr., Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings are great

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bass2Buck wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

dont forget about David Allen Coe

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from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

It's too bad that all the old greats, Ernie Ford,Cash Jim Reeves and others don't get air time much anymore, I really don't care much for the later guys, but what do I know I am pushin 70!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I'm with MJC!
All the country singers he mentioned I've seen in concert,some of the best were, Waylon and Willie, along with Jessie Colter and Dolly Parton. Hank Williams Jr. always puts on one heck of a concert too.

Phil- I espescially liked Ray Price's, "I Won't Mention It Again," and "For The Good Times."
One classic though that the "working man" could easily relate too was Johnny Paycheck's, "Take This Job And Shove It!"

Faron Young's, "Hello Walls," still resonates in my head too.

Quite frankly, I don't think today's country singers can relate to the hardships of country living that country people had to endure and make sacrifices for. That generation wondered where their next meal was coming from, and farmers (country people) had to make do with the simplicities of life without the luxury's.Back then, mid 60's, I remember most of the expressways weren't even built, but were in the planning stages.
Decades ago,instead of a John Deere, they had probably at most a mule and a plow, and their music reflected these hardships that most people could relate to.

For example,I saw an article that mentioned, "Carrie Underwood Is Country Music's Fitness Queen." It's all about the outward appearance, yes I know, eye candy sells. But ...most of todays country singers bad day, is a bad hair day.

I too agree whole heartedly with "krwheeler" about the content and the message that todays country/pop and rock continue to crank out.

krwheeler-
Just as mike plotner made a reference to Hank Jr. ... Get ya some of that! "We say grace, we say mam, if ya ain't into that, we don't give a damn!"

Proverbs-
That is exactly why I'm gettin' an MP3 player!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from John L wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Go to westernjubilee.com and pick up some Don Edwards, David Wilkie, Red Steagall etc for real cowboy poetry and music.
It's a small recording studio in Colorado Springs that puts out some really genuine music, not Nashville crap.
They put out a CD of Michael Martin Murphy "Lone Cowboy" that has some of the best writing and solo singing ever.

Go to Amazon.com and get Brenn Hill "Trail Through Yesterday" and "Call you Cowboy" for some really good road music. Good writer and singer.

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from mcdlacrosse9 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Take a listen to Aaron Watson. New stuff with an old sound.

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from Bluetic wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

That new stuff just doesn't have the same soul. I'll take Waylon and Cash over Chesney and Paisley any day.

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from Del in KS wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Amflyer, I wonder how many young folks even know who Ira Hayes was.
I still listen to some of the old stuff like Johnny Cash.

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from Tom-Tom wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Phil--two great posts in one day. Take an "Atta' Boy" out of petty cash. As for Country music, I'll take Loretta and Reba over the Dixie Chicks any day. A ballad by Tom T. Hall or Bobby Bare can have you reaching for a long neck as well as anyone. Hank Jr. is my idea of a soul singer, ie. Family Tradition.

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from John L wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Del, I know who Ira Hayes was.
Who remembers?

Mother Maybelle
Little Jimmie Dickens
Stringbean
Grandpa Jones
Jimmie Rodgers
Minnie Pearl
Marty Robbins
Merle Travis
Bill Monroe
Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs
Ernie Ford?
Roger Miller (one of the best songwriters ever)

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from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I like country music. Most of the artists today have drug it down hill. Most of the country I like it pre 2000.

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from etexan wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

In the words of an old George Jones song..."Who's gonna fill their shoes?" Looks like nobody will.

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from etexan wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Ira Hayes was a Pima Indian who helped raise the flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, WWII.

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from weswes088 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I recently discovered that song as well, but in this case I fell in love with it. It runs through my head every time I go out deer hunting now.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Amen to every word of this post. Haven't listened to country radio since the 90's. It's almost unbearable now. Very few artists even play their own instruments anymore. To me country music is all about "twin fiddles and a steel guitar". The era you mention was the end of it all, if you ask me, and we're really talking if we go back to the days of Buck Owens, or even back in the early days of radio.

The only recent "country" that I like now is more towards old-timey string band and bluegrass styles. Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, Old Crow Medicine Show, Oakhurst, Yonder Mountain String Band, etc.

Y'all hop on the Youtube and check out Gillian Welch and OCMS doin' a cover of 'The Weight' by The Band.

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from Mark-1 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Today’s C & W is Rock. Don’t be fooled thinking otherwise. Can’t stand the content, but I love the musical production/engineering. It’s flawless.

I noticed there is a very strict formula in today’s pop country music. Very seldom is there not solos by a guitar, a fiddle, a harmonica, a bottleneck/slide guitar, a steel guitar, and a piano. I don’t know how the producers do it, but they work all those solos into a 12-bar song.

BTW Country artists are by far a wilder bunch than rock musicians.

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from basset hound wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Tennessee Ernie Ford-Shotgun Boogie, this could be F&S theme song for the shotgun blog.

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from Carney wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

MHO = 99% of country music sucks and the 1% that doesn't, well I don't want to listen to it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

listen to jamey johnsons cd. as well as dierks bentyly bluegrass cd. also joey and rorey and miranda lambert are good

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from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I have an o/u and a semi auto. The semi is my newest so I shot it all summer. Went back to the o/u one trip and I never knew that it kicked so much.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from elijahsamuelburnett wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

guys seriousely what the heck. todays country is no more that a bunch of blond girls singing through a computer to make them sound good. theyre singing POP under a falsely named country label thats just the female singers if you listen to jason aldeans song 'shes country' youll find that its more hard rock than anything its bad and almost disgraceful if youre from the south wich i am i use to listen to the thrue country music before it died to pop i still listen to true country like george jones,conway twitty, andalan jackson other than them i think country music is just making us sound like a bunch of stupid good for nothin hick that cant do anything but drink beer and party

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from elijahsamuelburnett wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

and most of the lyrics aint even country anymore

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from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Amen.

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from kansasjeff wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

From when I was a kid I still remember listening to old country on the AM radio in my grandpa's pickup on nights when he took me racoon hunting. great singers like those mentioned above. also every now an again a Ray Stephens song thrown in to make us laugh. Todays country music is just a bunch of pop music with a steel guitar thrown in.

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from Joseph Bishop wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Yeah, winchester 100grns out of his '06 I believe. Absolutely shamefully really. Light beer, and managed recoil ammo?

I only ran into it on youtube digging for some good country music I haven't heard. It really sounds like a CD filler song, and I'm surprised (and sorry) you heard it on the radio.

There are still good country songs that come out every year, but the genre is getting watered down do to popularity. I'm now sure that Hank ain't done it anything like the way things are now.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Del

Most have no idea who Ira Hayes is without looking at Bing or Google. Heck, many don't know who Johnny Cash is! LOL

'Alabama' got it right. If you're going to play in Texas, you better have fiddle in the band.

I been jammin' on some Skynyrd, CDB, and ZZ Top today. A little Meat Loaf too.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

So what do I like that is "like" country music? I like the second generation Texas swing (a little) like Asleep at the Wheel. Marshall Tucker's "Desert Sky" is the epitome of that second generation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmOhBn-llbE

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from sgaredneck wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Country music (or what is sold to the dumbed down masses as) is mostly just flaccid lowest-common-denominator dribble that someone in a songwriting room in NashVegas cranked out. It's so formula-driven it's scary. Have lots of friends in 'the biz' and quietly they will all concede that they don't like much of the newer stuff, but they keep playing it because that's what they think people expect to hear.

IMO two of the only new country folks out right now that have anything listenable are Jamey Johnson and Zac Brown. Apart from that give me Willie, Waylon, Merle, Hank Jr. or Sr., Cash, or some good ol' southern rock like the Allmans, Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker, Wet Willie, or Charlie Daniels.

Mark-1,
The production out of Nashville has been near-flawless for a while, especially with the advent of computer-based editing/recording (i.e. ProTools) and auto-pitch plugins. When you see some of these artists perform live you wonder what the hell happened.

Most hit records are made by a small select group of musicians and producers. The record companies will not tolerate not producing a hit. If you look at session musician credits, you will see the same cast of characters on many different records. This is not by accident. The musicianship is often spectacular, but it would have to be to help propel some of the personalities that are being sold as stars.

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from sgaredneck wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Phil,

Best I can tell that's Jim Loessberg playing steel for Ray. Jim is indeed one of the best of the steel players out there.

S Ga

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from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

One time in my young life, I spent many hours on the road between New Orleans, La and Palestine, Tex. About 10pm, I would tune in to WBAP 820 AM out of Fort Worth, Texas and listen to the Bill Mack "All Night Open Road Show!"

THAT, my friend, was country music.

Bubba

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from ALJoe wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I agree whole hearltily. I grew up on country music, but today's music is not country. You know it is a bad day when all you can find on the radio is Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts. I may make a lot of people mad, but they are not country.

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from Clem Snide wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Bubba, you said a mouthful re Bill Mack. He was a true gentleman and one of the best disc jockeys this country ever knew. With me it was late Friday night trips home from Denton to Tyler when I was in graduate school at North Texas. One other thing: country music used to be made by poor Southern white people like Hank Williams along with a few sympathetic blacks like Charlie Pride who had actually lived what they sang. When the number one female country star is a prosperous lawyer's daughter from Toronto, something is wrong, wrong, wrong.

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from Clem Snide wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I meant Hank Williams SENIOR, of course.

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from Clem Snide wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Kinky Friedman calls Garth Brooks "The Anti-Hank." With good reason.

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from Drew YoungeDyke wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

There are a few - very few - good maintstream country artists out there: George Strait, ZBB, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson and ... well, that's all I can think of. However, all those guys from the older days are still making music, it's just not played on the NashVegas Radio kabal. For instance, Raul Malo, lead singer of The Mavericks, is playing an acoustic club near me, Chris Knight regularly puts out albums and tours, and Red Dirt / Alt-Country guys like Stoney LaRue, Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen and CCR write and play their own fairly intelligent country and country-rock songs. You just can't find it on FM anymore

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from Drew YoungeDyke wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Oh yeah, and Jamey Johnson.

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from uplander12 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I second the Red Dirt scene. Some really good stuff coming out of there. It's the Anti-Nashville scene. Went to a Randy Rogers show a couple weeks ago and it was excellent. Also if you ever have a chance to see Reckless Kelly live, it will change your life.

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from uplander12 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Oh, and I can't believe that nobody has mentioned Robert Earl Keen. One of the best songwriters out there.

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from tkbone wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I give you plus one on Robert Earl Keen, but it's a far bigger tragedy nobody mentioned Steve Earle.

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from sho4me1 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

It is almost criminal to use the word 'country' in conjunction with the music they are playing on what is considered 'country' radio. Now if you want to hear some REAL COUNTRY, in the tradition of Haggard, Cash, Frizzel & Williams (Sr. of course), then you need to listen to this good ol' boy from Austin, TX, Mr. DALE WATSON. Let me tell you, if you want to get back to the roots of where country music all started then do yourself a favor a listen to Dale. Driven by the corporate disdain coming out of Nashville, Dale has devoted his life & music to keeping alive the roots of what made country music great. With lyrics like 'Mr. DJ, won't you please play, a real country song', 'Help me Merle, I'm breakin' out in a Nashville Rash, andd 'Rock & Roll hits of the '70's are country hits (or S***) today', seemingly scream out to injustice of what has been coming out of Nashville for the past 2 decades. I personally couldn't tell you the names of the artists, (if you want to call them that) or the titles of the songs on the radio today, I gave up way back when Garth Brooks started swinging like an ape and smashing guitars and Shania Twain started dressing like a prostitue. Sorry Nashville, you need to work harder to win us back...

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from duckcreekdick wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

My vote goes to Earl Thomas Conley.

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

play a country song in reverse and what do u get???????
U get your woman back, your dog back, your truck back, your house back, your manhood back etc. :P

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from dale freeman wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

What was the one about the guy who saw the world thru "rose colored glasses"?

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from Dcast wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Ahhh you guys are just aging yourselves! I still hear people talk how Elvis, Nelson, and Cash among many others were the outlaws of their days. But you guys have forgot in your young age that you were the people that you talk of today. Cash and others made country music history and changed the way it was before your time. I don't know if Elvis would be considered country but he had songs that were just as conteroversial and light hearted. Cash had his songs and what can you say about Ole' Willie other than pass it to the left! Just remember your generation took country music in a different direction to the previous generation and my generation is taking a diferent direction then yours. I will start knocking and stop listening new age country music when I hear Lil Wayne rapping about shooting a M'Fer on the local country radio!

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from etexan wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Quoting Waylon Jennings on Shania Twain "She's cute as a bug but, if that's country music I'm a Mongolian aviator."

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from Longbeard wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Gee, Phil, you trying to pick a fight? First Petzel barely mentions the words "election guide" and all hell breaks loose. Now yer bad mouthin' Nashville? Next thing we know, yer gonna be saying NASCAR ain't really racing anymore!

But seriously, let's not forget Jerry Jeff Walker!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from straightshooter wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

As others have mentioned, there is still some good country music out there. It’s just harder to find.

Nothing makes me miss home and Dad more than Montgomery Gentry’s "My Town" and "Something To Be Proud Of."

Listen to Jeff Bates “Long Slow Kisses” and you’ll swear it’s Conway Twitty singing to his lover about messin up and askin for forgiveness.

Luke Bryan’s "We Rode In Trucks" takes me back to those days when “It was huntin' and fishin' and football games. Then it was girls, and everything changed.”

If you ever played football, the video for Kenny Chesney's "The Boys of Fall" is a must see. Makes me think I can put on the pads for one more game.

And patriotism is still a big part of country music. If Trace Adkins “Arlington” and
Toby Keith’s “American Soldier” don’t make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, you don’t have a pulse.

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from nc30-06 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

The country song that grates on me is the "Big Green Tractor". I like John Deere, and own one, but this song just is silly and sucks.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Click, change the station! LOL

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from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Good lord give me country music from the song of 1961 and Bobby Bare 'Five Hundred Miles' till a few years ago and Mary Chapin Carpenter and Alison Krauss came on the seen. The rest after that is crap. It's not country. jmo

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from focusfront wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Phil:

Good job listing Patty Loveless first. She had (has) the best country voice there ever was. Most of what passes for country music these days is really truck stop/ small town saloon music. They get by with calling it country because nobody lives in the country any more. Nobody plows rocks like Loretta and Dolly's daddies did any more.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

george strait is the man!!!

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago
from ingebrigtsen wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago
from philbourjaily wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I should have also given props to Alan Jackson and to Lyle Lovett's first album.

Focusfront -- Patty Loveless can still sing. Here's here version of "Crazy Arms":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9WA8CIuors

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RidewithNBF wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

If you've got XM/Sirrius - get on Bluegrass Junction. That's the real deal.

Also - check out youtube for Jerry Reed and Rodney Crowell. Goood Stuff.

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from dale freeman wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

For God's sake;
Has everyone forgot "Patsey Cline"?

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from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Mr. Freeman!
Did you bow your head and say AMEN when you mentioned the Queen's name??
There are two current artists that I would really like to hear try some of Patsy's tunes.
Holly "Daddy's Hands" Dunn and Gretchen "Don't Make Me Take These Earrings Off!" Wilson!
Don't think they "sound" like Ms. Cline, but I think they would do justice to the "sound"!

John Conlee - "Rose Colored Glasses", "Miss Emilie's Picture"
Don't like his hair, but Travis Tritt - "Where Corn Don't Grow"
Tom T. Hall - "Black Fox"
Gene Watson - "Love In the Hot Afternoon"
Witnessed Ray Price live at the Rio Palm Isle in Longview, Texas. There is nothing like tripping the light fantastic to Ray and "Crazy Arms" or cuddling up on the dance floor with Judy S. to the strains of "I Won't Mention It Again"!
How about the "Blue Schottise(sp?)" or "Cotton Eyed Joe"!
Used to hang out in the "ice houses" of Central Texas around Pfluegerville, Texas and go to "Arkie's Dessau Hall" on Friday nights to dance and listen to "The Moods of Country Music"! HER name was Jan H.!!! WOW!!! What memories!!!

Bubba

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from PA009 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

although i do enjoy listening to country i do agree it is nothing like older country. also I'm 16 and know who Ira Hayes was. just saying because i thought that was kind of neat

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from Joel Panian wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Great post. I'm 24, listened to country music all my life, and so much of the stuff out now that I hear on the radio just sounds (and looks) like they put boots and a cowboy hat on some rockers. Maybe the lyrics are tainted with some "country" themes, but for me it's not the same.

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from BlackCrowes wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I lived in Nashville for a long time. Country music has nothing to do anymore with "music", rather just how much money the labels can make. Dress up some no-talent clown in a costume and if they can mass market him to the public, the cash rolls in, regardless of how crappy the gig. There was an old Brady Bunch episode (ouch, I just dated myself) where Greg got a record contract and became a dude named Johnny Bravo, just because the fancy suit fit. Try listening to Unknown Hinson, or some Hank3.

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from Carl Huber wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I have to put the blame on TV and Hollywood. Sixtey-seventy years ago America was much more regional. The music reflected this and moved across the land alot slower be it Country, Western, R&R, Jazz, The Blues or whatever. Fast forward to today and regional dialects have been homogenized and all you have to do to be famous is go into rehab get arrested or get out of a Limo and show your Hot Pocket. We all liked our Bad Boys but I believe most of the stories were after the fact!

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from Elk2010 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Seems to be quite a few who like the old timers, and I do ,too! Just don't get any better than Merle Haggard or Ray Price. I would certainly rank George Strait up there with the best. Other than him, Alan, and a couple of others, there's not much to listen to. Basically, I would just quote a song that didn't get much playing time a few years back, "It ain't country musi, it's just bad rock and roll". But, having said that, the real problem here is, DRINKING AND SHOOTING". Do we really want to endorse that? Kinda like DRING AND DRIVING to me.

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from jeffisutherland wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Where I live, we only have one country music station. Unfortunately they focus on the newer stuff instead of the classics, which is what I prefer. But hey, at least it's not hip-hop.

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from papawrandy wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

CMT is owned by MTV!I agree everyone

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from papawrandy wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Sorry,I hit the submit button early.I was trying to say I agree that everyone should try Chris Knight(Down the River) and Reckless Kelly

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from kendixkd wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

Back in the 50's and later . Used to listen to the all night station in Del Rio Texas.There tower was in old mexico,could build it higher outside the U.S.

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from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

Clem Snide,

Ever hear Bill Mack advertise the auto dealership in Decatur, Texas?
There was a salesman there, Asa Johnson. Bill would always end the ad with, "...if you see my friend, Asa Johnson, tell him Bill Mack sent you!"
In 2002, my wife spotted a vehicle she wanted to look at. We wheeled into a used car dealership in Decatur, Texas to look at the auto and were warmly greeted by none other than Asa Johnson. When he introduced himself, I laughed and said, "Bill Mack sent me!" and told him I had listened to Bill Mack for years. I thought the man was going to GIVE us the vehicle! Treated the wife and I like royalty. Absolutely amazing!!!!

Bubba

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from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

P.S. - nearly 300k miles, and I still love that old rattlin', diesel p/u. Tailgate beat all to pieces, but it has Asa Johnson's name on it!!!

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from cas0905 wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

jamey johnson and rebel son

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from Brian Robinson wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

New Country is terrible,, it is basically pop music with trailer trash lyrics. I miss Waylon, Merle and that generation that actually had something to say.

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from RES1956 wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

Did anyone even mention Patsy Cline? Granted, country music has evolved and so has the fan base. There are some excellent artist out there, but what concerns me is that my senile dementia will not allow me to remember all of them, maybe, because they all sound so much alike.
Hell, there are newcomers who sound like some of the bonafide greats. Maybe hearing loss from too many rounds of skeet just makes them all sound alike,,,,

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from pandora wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.

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from BlackCrowes wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

S Ga,

Just read your post....funny comment on the same studio musicians working most everyone's recordings. I think Audley Freed plays lead and solo's for at least half of those mass produced things. He ain't on tour with them, so that computer really rocks during the show. My favorite joke is the hootie and the blowfish guy...listening to the music, it's just hootie...but in the video they show him wearing boots at least 5 times, so I guess that makes it country!

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from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

'Neck,

Speaking fo formula driven drivel, if you chained me up and forced me to listen to Kenny Chesney I would barf my self to death, sexy tractor my big old butt...

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from hunt and fish wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Even so country music is still better than the hip hop/rap and the pop crap.

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from hunt and fish wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

i also hate how a lot of the country songs sound like they're trying to have more of a pop style beat with country lyrics (those are usually the ones singing about getting drunk and such)

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from MJC wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Myself, I enjoy Cash, Jennings (Waylon and Shooter), Nelson, Kristofferson and George Jones. Mostly Outlaw Country, I guess.

I wouldn't want to emulate the lifestyle most of the songs are about but the emotion in that stuff is second to none. If 'Sunday Morning Coming Down' doesn't make your heart ache a little you aren't human.

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from Amflyer wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Call me drunken Ira Hayes, but I do get a bit misty when I hear "He Stopped Loving Her Today. As far as today's country music, any time you can add a drum track to a song and play it on a top forty station, or a steel guitar track and play it on a Country station, it AIN'T Country.

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from Proverbs wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Right on, Phil! However, I would say most of today's music is dumbed-down, not just country.

To KRwheeler: From the mid-80s to 90s, nearly every country song seemed to be enjoyable. The dogs were few and far between. Today, I'd say that has flip-flopped. There is some really good country music on the airwaves, but you've got to suffer through the drivel to get to the good stuff. That's why God showed us how to make CD changers and MP3 players.

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from idduckhntr wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Phil, you forgot a couple of the true greats like Ian Tyson and Chris Ledoux. I had the great pleasure of knowing Chris and he was one hell of a cowboy and just a joy to be around.

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from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

not as good as ole hank williams jr. (i got a shotgun a rifle and a 4 wheel drive) or david allen coe (well i was drunk the day my ma got outa prison, i went to picker up in the rain, but befor i chould get to the station in my pickup truck, she got runed over by a danged old train!!)

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from Bass2Buck wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Maranda Lambert, Hank Jr., Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings are great

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from shane wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Amen to every word of this post. Haven't listened to country radio since the 90's. It's almost unbearable now. Very few artists even play their own instruments anymore. To me country music is all about "twin fiddles and a steel guitar". The era you mention was the end of it all, if you ask me, and we're really talking if we go back to the days of Buck Owens, or even back in the early days of radio.

The only recent "country" that I like now is more towards old-timey string band and bluegrass styles. Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, Old Crow Medicine Show, Oakhurst, Yonder Mountain String Band, etc.

Y'all hop on the Youtube and check out Gillian Welch and OCMS doin' a cover of 'The Weight' by The Band.

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from elijahsamuelburnett wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

guys seriousely what the heck. todays country is no more that a bunch of blond girls singing through a computer to make them sound good. theyre singing POP under a falsely named country label thats just the female singers if you listen to jason aldeans song 'shes country' youll find that its more hard rock than anything its bad and almost disgraceful if youre from the south wich i am i use to listen to the thrue country music before it died to pop i still listen to true country like george jones,conway twitty, andalan jackson other than them i think country music is just making us sound like a bunch of stupid good for nothin hick that cant do anything but drink beer and party

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from Drew YoungeDyke wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

There are a few - very few - good maintstream country artists out there: George Strait, ZBB, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson and ... well, that's all I can think of. However, all those guys from the older days are still making music, it's just not played on the NashVegas Radio kabal. For instance, Raul Malo, lead singer of The Mavericks, is playing an acoustic club near me, Chris Knight regularly puts out albums and tours, and Red Dirt / Alt-Country guys like Stoney LaRue, Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen and CCR write and play their own fairly intelligent country and country-rock songs. You just can't find it on FM anymore

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from WVOtter wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I'm also not the worlds biggest country fan, but I always felt the turning point was Shania Twain's MTV version of "country music". Kind of set the bar for moving away from traditional topics and personalities. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. I can't say I have anything to complain about when I hear Zac Brown or Brad Paisley.

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from WVOtter wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I'll say this though. I work in a place where we get one radio station and it's ALL modern pop...and I've got coworkers that turn it up and sing along. You'd pray to be in solitary with "Drinkin' Beer and Wastin' Bullets pumped in 24/7 over that gibberish.

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from huntnow wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Actually Phil, to be more specific, country music has been in the crapper for a few years now. I guess all we can really do is keep the old country gold around and wait. My truck is full of Waylon, Cash, Hank, etc. You have to look around a bit to get the good stuff. Country radio doesn't like anything with heart and soul anymore.

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from tkbone wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

The fact that country music has an "entertainer of the year" rather than an "artist of the year" tells you pretty much what you need to know about how much it's been dumbed down. The songs are mass written in an office by a team of songwriters who drive foreign sedans to work and drink lattes all day, then they're mass-marketed through no-talents with "the look" who can't play a chord or note on the guitar they carry as an accessory or even sing very well.

You can find good, authentic modern country music (like some of those previously mentioned) but you really have to go out of your way to find it.

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from Del in KS wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Amflyer, I wonder how many young folks even know who Ira Hayes was.
I still listen to some of the old stuff like Johnny Cash.

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from John L wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Del, I know who Ira Hayes was.
Who remembers?

Mother Maybelle
Little Jimmie Dickens
Stringbean
Grandpa Jones
Jimmie Rodgers
Minnie Pearl
Marty Robbins
Merle Travis
Bill Monroe
Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs
Ernie Ford?
Roger Miller (one of the best songwriters ever)

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from kansasjeff wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

From when I was a kid I still remember listening to old country on the AM radio in my grandpa's pickup on nights when he took me racoon hunting. great singers like those mentioned above. also every now an again a Ray Stephens song thrown in to make us laugh. Todays country music is just a bunch of pop music with a steel guitar thrown in.

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from Joseph Bishop wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Yeah, winchester 100grns out of his '06 I believe. Absolutely shamefully really. Light beer, and managed recoil ammo?

I only ran into it on youtube digging for some good country music I haven't heard. It really sounds like a CD filler song, and I'm surprised (and sorry) you heard it on the radio.

There are still good country songs that come out every year, but the genre is getting watered down do to popularity. I'm now sure that Hank ain't done it anything like the way things are now.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Del

Most have no idea who Ira Hayes is without looking at Bing or Google. Heck, many don't know who Johnny Cash is! LOL

'Alabama' got it right. If you're going to play in Texas, you better have fiddle in the band.

I been jammin' on some Skynyrd, CDB, and ZZ Top today. A little Meat Loaf too.

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from Carney wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

So what do I like that is "like" country music? I like the second generation Texas swing (a little) like Asleep at the Wheel. Marshall Tucker's "Desert Sky" is the epitome of that second generation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmOhBn-llbE

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from sgaredneck wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Country music (or what is sold to the dumbed down masses as) is mostly just flaccid lowest-common-denominator dribble that someone in a songwriting room in NashVegas cranked out. It's so formula-driven it's scary. Have lots of friends in 'the biz' and quietly they will all concede that they don't like much of the newer stuff, but they keep playing it because that's what they think people expect to hear.

IMO two of the only new country folks out right now that have anything listenable are Jamey Johnson and Zac Brown. Apart from that give me Willie, Waylon, Merle, Hank Jr. or Sr., Cash, or some good ol' southern rock like the Allmans, Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker, Wet Willie, or Charlie Daniels.

Mark-1,
The production out of Nashville has been near-flawless for a while, especially with the advent of computer-based editing/recording (i.e. ProTools) and auto-pitch plugins. When you see some of these artists perform live you wonder what the hell happened.

Most hit records are made by a small select group of musicians and producers. The record companies will not tolerate not producing a hit. If you look at session musician credits, you will see the same cast of characters on many different records. This is not by accident. The musicianship is often spectacular, but it would have to be to help propel some of the personalities that are being sold as stars.

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from ALJoe wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I agree whole hearltily. I grew up on country music, but today's music is not country. You know it is a bad day when all you can find on the radio is Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts. I may make a lot of people mad, but they are not country.

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from Clem Snide wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Kinky Friedman calls Garth Brooks "The Anti-Hank." With good reason.

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from uplander12 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I second the Red Dirt scene. Some really good stuff coming out of there. It's the Anti-Nashville scene. Went to a Randy Rogers show a couple weeks ago and it was excellent. Also if you ever have a chance to see Reckless Kelly live, it will change your life.

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

play a country song in reverse and what do u get???????
U get your woman back, your dog back, your truck back, your house back, your manhood back etc. :P

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from etexan wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Quoting Waylon Jennings on Shania Twain "She's cute as a bug but, if that's country music I'm a Mongolian aviator."

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from Brian Jackson wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I've listened to country all my life, but I don't think I've ever heard "Drinkin' Beer and Wastin' Bullets". I do tend to stick to the more classic country of Hag, Waylon, Cash, etc. Though I do enjoy the new Billy Currington song "Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer". Mostly because it kind of pokes fun at all the "I'm a bad a** hard workin' man" that was all the rage on country for a while.

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from firedawg wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

"Drinking Beer and Wasting Bullets" is a lighthearted take on something the artist (Luke Bryan) takes seriously. He is a good ol' boy from south GA and a class act. Last year he was the NWTF sportsman of the year or something along those lines. But if you want some real country music listen to Jamey Johnson's new album, it has the same heart and soul that all those old Waylon, Jones, and Cash records had. It is the real deal

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from Bass2Buck wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

dont forget about David Allen Coe

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from 2Poppa wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I'm with MJC!
All the country singers he mentioned I've seen in concert,some of the best were, Waylon and Willie, along with Jessie Colter and Dolly Parton. Hank Williams Jr. always puts on one heck of a concert too.

Phil- I espescially liked Ray Price's, "I Won't Mention It Again," and "For The Good Times."
One classic though that the "working man" could easily relate too was Johnny Paycheck's, "Take This Job And Shove It!"

Faron Young's, "Hello Walls," still resonates in my head too.

Quite frankly, I don't think today's country singers can relate to the hardships of country living that country people had to endure and make sacrifices for. That generation wondered where their next meal was coming from, and farmers (country people) had to make do with the simplicities of life without the luxury's.Back then, mid 60's, I remember most of the expressways weren't even built, but were in the planning stages.
Decades ago,instead of a John Deere, they had probably at most a mule and a plow, and their music reflected these hardships that most people could relate to.

For example,I saw an article that mentioned, "Carrie Underwood Is Country Music's Fitness Queen." It's all about the outward appearance, yes I know, eye candy sells. But ...most of todays country singers bad day, is a bad hair day.

I too agree whole heartedly with "krwheeler" about the content and the message that todays country/pop and rock continue to crank out.

krwheeler-
Just as mike plotner made a reference to Hank Jr. ... Get ya some of that! "We say grace, we say mam, if ya ain't into that, we don't give a damn!"

Proverbs-
That is exactly why I'm gettin' an MP3 player!

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from John L wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Go to westernjubilee.com and pick up some Don Edwards, David Wilkie, Red Steagall etc for real cowboy poetry and music.
It's a small recording studio in Colorado Springs that puts out some really genuine music, not Nashville crap.
They put out a CD of Michael Martin Murphy "Lone Cowboy" that has some of the best writing and solo singing ever.

Go to Amazon.com and get Brenn Hill "Trail Through Yesterday" and "Call you Cowboy" for some really good road music. Good writer and singer.

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from Bluetic wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

That new stuff just doesn't have the same soul. I'll take Waylon and Cash over Chesney and Paisley any day.

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from etexan wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Ira Hayes was a Pima Indian who helped raise the flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, WWII.

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from Mark-1 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Today’s C & W is Rock. Don’t be fooled thinking otherwise. Can’t stand the content, but I love the musical production/engineering. It’s flawless.

I noticed there is a very strict formula in today’s pop country music. Very seldom is there not solos by a guitar, a fiddle, a harmonica, a bottleneck/slide guitar, a steel guitar, and a piano. I don’t know how the producers do it, but they work all those solos into a 12-bar song.

BTW Country artists are by far a wilder bunch than rock musicians.

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from basset hound wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Tennessee Ernie Ford-Shotgun Boogie, this could be F&S theme song for the shotgun blog.

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from Carney wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

MHO = 99% of country music sucks and the 1% that doesn't, well I don't want to listen to it.

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from wisc14 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

listen to jamey johnsons cd. as well as dierks bentyly bluegrass cd. also joey and rorey and miranda lambert are good

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from elijahsamuelburnett wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

and most of the lyrics aint even country anymore

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from sgaredneck wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Phil,

Best I can tell that's Jim Loessberg playing steel for Ray. Jim is indeed one of the best of the steel players out there.

S Ga

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from Clem Snide wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I meant Hank Williams SENIOR, of course.

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from uplander12 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Oh, and I can't believe that nobody has mentioned Robert Earl Keen. One of the best songwriters out there.

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from tkbone wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I give you plus one on Robert Earl Keen, but it's a far bigger tragedy nobody mentioned Steve Earle.

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from duckcreekdick wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

My vote goes to Earl Thomas Conley.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Good lord give me country music from the song of 1961 and Bobby Bare 'Five Hundred Miles' till a few years ago and Mary Chapin Carpenter and Alison Krauss came on the seen. The rest after that is crap. It's not country. jmo

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from focusfront wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Phil:

Good job listing Patty Loveless first. She had (has) the best country voice there ever was. Most of what passes for country music these days is really truck stop/ small town saloon music. They get by with calling it country because nobody lives in the country any more. Nobody plows rocks like Loretta and Dolly's daddies did any more.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

george strait is the man!!!

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from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

It's too bad that all the old greats, Ernie Ford,Cash Jim Reeves and others don't get air time much anymore, I really don't care much for the later guys, but what do I know I am pushin 70!

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from Tom-Tom wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Phil--two great posts in one day. Take an "Atta' Boy" out of petty cash. As for Country music, I'll take Loretta and Reba over the Dixie Chicks any day. A ballad by Tom T. Hall or Bobby Bare can have you reaching for a long neck as well as anyone. Hank Jr. is my idea of a soul singer, ie. Family Tradition.

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from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I like country music. Most of the artists today have drug it down hill. Most of the country I like it pre 2000.

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from etexan wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

In the words of an old George Jones song..."Who's gonna fill their shoes?" Looks like nobody will.

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from weswes088 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I recently discovered that song as well, but in this case I fell in love with it. It runs through my head every time I go out deer hunting now.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Amen.

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from Clem Snide wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Bubba, you said a mouthful re Bill Mack. He was a true gentleman and one of the best disc jockeys this country ever knew. With me it was late Friday night trips home from Denton to Tyler when I was in graduate school at North Texas. One other thing: country music used to be made by poor Southern white people like Hank Williams along with a few sympathetic blacks like Charlie Pride who had actually lived what they sang. When the number one female country star is a prosperous lawyer's daughter from Toronto, something is wrong, wrong, wrong.

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from Drew YoungeDyke wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Oh yeah, and Jamey Johnson.

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from sho4me1 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

It is almost criminal to use the word 'country' in conjunction with the music they are playing on what is considered 'country' radio. Now if you want to hear some REAL COUNTRY, in the tradition of Haggard, Cash, Frizzel & Williams (Sr. of course), then you need to listen to this good ol' boy from Austin, TX, Mr. DALE WATSON. Let me tell you, if you want to get back to the roots of where country music all started then do yourself a favor a listen to Dale. Driven by the corporate disdain coming out of Nashville, Dale has devoted his life & music to keeping alive the roots of what made country music great. With lyrics like 'Mr. DJ, won't you please play, a real country song', 'Help me Merle, I'm breakin' out in a Nashville Rash, andd 'Rock & Roll hits of the '70's are country hits (or S***) today', seemingly scream out to injustice of what has been coming out of Nashville for the past 2 decades. I personally couldn't tell you the names of the artists, (if you want to call them that) or the titles of the songs on the radio today, I gave up way back when Garth Brooks started swinging like an ape and smashing guitars and Shania Twain started dressing like a prostitue. Sorry Nashville, you need to work harder to win us back...

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from Longbeard wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Gee, Phil, you trying to pick a fight? First Petzel barely mentions the words "election guide" and all hell breaks loose. Now yer bad mouthin' Nashville? Next thing we know, yer gonna be saying NASCAR ain't really racing anymore!

But seriously, let's not forget Jerry Jeff Walker!

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago
from philbourjaily wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I should have also given props to Alan Jackson and to Lyle Lovett's first album.

Focusfront -- Patty Loveless can still sing. Here's here version of "Crazy Arms":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9WA8CIuors

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from dale freeman wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

For God's sake;
Has everyone forgot "Patsey Cline"?

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from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Mr. Freeman!
Did you bow your head and say AMEN when you mentioned the Queen's name??
There are two current artists that I would really like to hear try some of Patsy's tunes.
Holly "Daddy's Hands" Dunn and Gretchen "Don't Make Me Take These Earrings Off!" Wilson!
Don't think they "sound" like Ms. Cline, but I think they would do justice to the "sound"!

John Conlee - "Rose Colored Glasses", "Miss Emilie's Picture"
Don't like his hair, but Travis Tritt - "Where Corn Don't Grow"
Tom T. Hall - "Black Fox"
Gene Watson - "Love In the Hot Afternoon"
Witnessed Ray Price live at the Rio Palm Isle in Longview, Texas. There is nothing like tripping the light fantastic to Ray and "Crazy Arms" or cuddling up on the dance floor with Judy S. to the strains of "I Won't Mention It Again"!
How about the "Blue Schottise(sp?)" or "Cotton Eyed Joe"!
Used to hang out in the "ice houses" of Central Texas around Pfluegerville, Texas and go to "Arkie's Dessau Hall" on Friday nights to dance and listen to "The Moods of Country Music"! HER name was Jan H.!!! WOW!!! What memories!!!

Bubba

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from BlackCrowes wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I lived in Nashville for a long time. Country music has nothing to do anymore with "music", rather just how much money the labels can make. Dress up some no-talent clown in a costume and if they can mass market him to the public, the cash rolls in, regardless of how crappy the gig. There was an old Brady Bunch episode (ouch, I just dated myself) where Greg got a record contract and became a dude named Johnny Bravo, just because the fancy suit fit. Try listening to Unknown Hinson, or some Hank3.

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from Elk2010 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Seems to be quite a few who like the old timers, and I do ,too! Just don't get any better than Merle Haggard or Ray Price. I would certainly rank George Strait up there with the best. Other than him, Alan, and a couple of others, there's not much to listen to. Basically, I would just quote a song that didn't get much playing time a few years back, "It ain't country musi, it's just bad rock and roll". But, having said that, the real problem here is, DRINKING AND SHOOTING". Do we really want to endorse that? Kinda like DRING AND DRIVING to me.

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from jeffisutherland wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Where I live, we only have one country music station. Unfortunately they focus on the newer stuff instead of the classics, which is what I prefer. But hey, at least it's not hip-hop.

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from Brian Robinson wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

New Country is terrible,, it is basically pop music with trailer trash lyrics. I miss Waylon, Merle and that generation that actually had something to say.

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from BlackCrowes wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

S Ga,

Just read your post....funny comment on the same studio musicians working most everyone's recordings. I think Audley Freed plays lead and solo's for at least half of those mass produced things. He ain't on tour with them, so that computer really rocks during the show. My favorite joke is the hootie and the blowfish guy...listening to the music, it's just hootie...but in the video they show him wearing boots at least 5 times, so I guess that makes it country!

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from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

'Neck,

Speaking fo formula driven drivel, if you chained me up and forced me to listen to Kenny Chesney I would barf my self to death, sexy tractor my big old butt...

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from IowaGuy wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Not much of a country fan, will listen to some of it.

Funny, grew up as "country" as anyone on a small Iowa family farm, Dad and Grandpa had the pick-up radio stations set to AM country; George Jones, Johnny Cash, Eddy Arnold, Red Foley, etc Me, I installed a tape deck and had B-52's, AC/DC, the Clash, the Ramones playing when driving grain wagons into town. had to show Grandpa how to turn off the tape deck and turn on the radio after Highway to Hell starting blaring on day!

Listen to what you enjoy!

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from mcdlacrosse9 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Take a listen to Aaron Watson. New stuff with an old sound.

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from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

One time in my young life, I spent many hours on the road between New Orleans, La and Palestine, Tex. About 10pm, I would tune in to WBAP 820 AM out of Fort Worth, Texas and listen to the Bill Mack "All Night Open Road Show!"

THAT, my friend, was country music.

Bubba

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from dale freeman wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

What was the one about the guy who saw the world thru "rose colored glasses"?

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from Dcast wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Ahhh you guys are just aging yourselves! I still hear people talk how Elvis, Nelson, and Cash among many others were the outlaws of their days. But you guys have forgot in your young age that you were the people that you talk of today. Cash and others made country music history and changed the way it was before your time. I don't know if Elvis would be considered country but he had songs that were just as conteroversial and light hearted. Cash had his songs and what can you say about Ole' Willie other than pass it to the left! Just remember your generation took country music in a different direction to the previous generation and my generation is taking a diferent direction then yours. I will start knocking and stop listening new age country music when I hear Lil Wayne rapping about shooting a M'Fer on the local country radio!

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from straightshooter wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

As others have mentioned, there is still some good country music out there. It’s just harder to find.

Nothing makes me miss home and Dad more than Montgomery Gentry’s "My Town" and "Something To Be Proud Of."

Listen to Jeff Bates “Long Slow Kisses” and you’ll swear it’s Conway Twitty singing to his lover about messin up and askin for forgiveness.

Luke Bryan’s "We Rode In Trucks" takes me back to those days when “It was huntin' and fishin' and football games. Then it was girls, and everything changed.”

If you ever played football, the video for Kenny Chesney's "The Boys of Fall" is a must see. Makes me think I can put on the pads for one more game.

And patriotism is still a big part of country music. If Trace Adkins “Arlington” and
Toby Keith’s “American Soldier” don’t make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, you don’t have a pulse.

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from nc30-06 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

The country song that grates on me is the "Big Green Tractor". I like John Deere, and own one, but this song just is silly and sucks.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Click, change the station! LOL

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago
from RidewithNBF wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

If you've got XM/Sirrius - get on Bluegrass Junction. That's the real deal.

Also - check out youtube for Jerry Reed and Rodney Crowell. Goood Stuff.

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from PA009 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

although i do enjoy listening to country i do agree it is nothing like older country. also I'm 16 and know who Ira Hayes was. just saying because i thought that was kind of neat

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from Joel Panian wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Great post. I'm 24, listened to country music all my life, and so much of the stuff out now that I hear on the radio just sounds (and looks) like they put boots and a cowboy hat on some rockers. Maybe the lyrics are tainted with some "country" themes, but for me it's not the same.

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from Carl Huber wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I have to put the blame on TV and Hollywood. Sixtey-seventy years ago America was much more regional. The music reflected this and moved across the land alot slower be it Country, Western, R&R, Jazz, The Blues or whatever. Fast forward to today and regional dialects have been homogenized and all you have to do to be famous is go into rehab get arrested or get out of a Limo and show your Hot Pocket. We all liked our Bad Boys but I believe most of the stories were after the fact!

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from papawrandy wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

CMT is owned by MTV!I agree everyone

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from papawrandy wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

Sorry,I hit the submit button early.I was trying to say I agree that everyone should try Chris Knight(Down the River) and Reckless Kelly

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from kendixkd wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

Back in the 50's and later . Used to listen to the all night station in Del Rio Texas.There tower was in old mexico,could build it higher outside the U.S.

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from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

Clem Snide,

Ever hear Bill Mack advertise the auto dealership in Decatur, Texas?
There was a salesman there, Asa Johnson. Bill would always end the ad with, "...if you see my friend, Asa Johnson, tell him Bill Mack sent you!"
In 2002, my wife spotted a vehicle she wanted to look at. We wheeled into a used car dealership in Decatur, Texas to look at the auto and were warmly greeted by none other than Asa Johnson. When he introduced himself, I laughed and said, "Bill Mack sent me!" and told him I had listened to Bill Mack for years. I thought the man was going to GIVE us the vehicle! Treated the wife and I like royalty. Absolutely amazing!!!!

Bubba

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from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

P.S. - nearly 300k miles, and I still love that old rattlin', diesel p/u. Tailgate beat all to pieces, but it has Asa Johnson's name on it!!!

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from cas0905 wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

jamey johnson and rebel son

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from RES1956 wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

Did anyone even mention Patsy Cline? Granted, country music has evolved and so has the fan base. There are some excellent artist out there, but what concerns me is that my senile dementia will not allow me to remember all of them, maybe, because they all sound so much alike.
Hell, there are newcomers who sound like some of the bonafide greats. Maybe hearing loss from too many rounds of skeet just makes them all sound alike,,,,

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from pandora wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.

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from hunt and fish wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Even so country music is still better than the hip hop/rap and the pop crap.

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from hunt and fish wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

i also hate how a lot of the country songs sound like they're trying to have more of a pop style beat with country lyrics (those are usually the ones singing about getting drunk and such)

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from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I have an o/u and a semi auto. The semi is my newest so I shot it all summer. Went back to the o/u one trip and I never knew that it kicked so much.

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from krwheeler wrote 3 years 26 weeks ago

I don't know what stations you're listening to, but I hear a lot of good stuff having to do with God, love of country, family strength, and all the things that make country livin' good. I change the station when "drinking" songs come on. I can do without the "drunk redneck" stereotype being pushed.

I've only been a country music fan since '98 or so. Mostly because the country station is the only one that reliably reaches my house/town. But I can't listen to "modern rock" anymore. It's mostly junk.

By the way...I've never heard of the song that you're talking about.

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