Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Country Crossovers

I'm a big fan of the CMT Crossroads, the show that brings us things like Jason Aldean and Bryan Addams singing "Summer of '69," "She's Country," "Heaven," and "Johnny Cash" together. The fun in that simply blows my mind. Also, of course Jason Aldean, my favorite new artist, likes and works well with Bryan Addams...I loved Bryan Addams - had his album Reckless on tape. Yeah, tape. Remember those? I had tons of 'em.

Friday, June 18, they CMT's hosting Keith Urban with John Mayer. That should be excellent, and I can't wait to watch it afterwards on (no cable). Another brief note...I wish cable companies would let you order by channel. My husband and I would order CMT and NFL Sunday Ticket, though on sad days like today when football season isn't quite starting up, yet (though our fantasy league is..., we think we would want the basketball and baseball games, too, maybe. But not really.

So what's this all about anyhow?

What an exciting day it was when Darius Rucker realized that he's country. He's always been country - and we've all been waiting for him to discover it and hop radio stations. Welcome home, Darius.

For the past few years, our country radio has the occasional visit from folks like Jewel, Uncle Cracker, Cheryl Crowe, and Kid Rock. (Rock - his name is that?) The closest of all of those to being an actual country singer is Cheryl Crowe - she's got a bit of the style. Kid Rock even has a drippity drop of country in him. But for the most part, these guys are pop artists - or if you prefer - rock artists. I like CMT Crossroads because it shows how different country and rock are. There is a sound in country that only exists in country (and Darius Rucker - pre country days). Some say it's a twang, some say it's in the steel guitar or the fiddle - neither of which is strictly necessary to make it country.

When I listen to country radio, albums, the new and amazing satellite radio, I know a country song from a NOT country song. Jewel's songs which have come into country radio could just as easily have been released on a soft rock or mix station, easy listening perhaps? as country. The only difference is that today, unlike yesterday, country radio says 'yeah, sure, we'll play you some Jewel.' I like Jewel, I like Kid Rock, I almost like Uncle Cracker but not quite. I think J's new song "Satisfied" is beautiful, but when I saw it in the top 20 music videos on, I was a bit annoyed. Is that why Jason Aldean doesn't fill all of the slots like he should - because they needed a spot to stick Jewel and Uncle Cracker. Of course that was a ridiculously biased statement, but what is this blog here for anyway?

My point. Let's keep country in country and put that rock back where it belongs - on the pop rock station - not clogging up my cmt countdown when I want country. To quote Brooks and Dunn, Play Somethin' Country.

1 comment:

  1. I still don't get it. What, precisely, is country then?

    Do you have to be from a geographic locale (i.e. no Michigan Kid Rocks)?

    Or must you promise to sing about a specific, more or less defined lifestyle?

    I like the last definition. It sticks with subject matter. It's always tough to define a genre (what's elegy?), but I think when we read a line of a poem in a certain meter, we expect that poem to be about a certain (more or less broadly defined) subject: dactylic hexameter? Epic! Iambic pentameter? Sonnet! Elegiac couplet? Love/death!

    So, then, one what specific grounds are these rock stars not country? And why do you imply that a rock star can't have a country *song*? Or a country star have a pop-rock or R&B song?

    Need I mention the erstwhile Carrie Underwood, who at some point become an R&B artist?


Opinions are welcome.