I’m going to keep this simple. Below, you’ll find a brief selection from the couple-hundred country music 45s I chose to rip after my west Texas storage shed discovery a few years ago. In order to foster healing, understanding, and general RTH good vibes, I’m asking Mod to listen to each of these trackssss, and explain to all of us why he thinks they suck. Here we go:
Sure, a lot of classic country music is pretty sad stuff. But when you can put over a lyric like this one without a whiff of pretense… man, I dunno. Freakin’ George Jones can make me goddamn cry.
I used to have a problem with the “same-ness” of much classic country. Over time, I grew to appreciate the genius of the songwriters who were able to work within that same-ness to produce music that still moved me. BUT: here’s a track produced and co-written by the great Billy Sherrill that expands the traditional country music form to include pop-ish elements like bridges, turnarounds, and so forth. If nothing else, you should appreciate the fact that your precious Elvis Costello is a huge Billy Sherrill fan.
Okay, so country music doesn’t feature too many sick bass and drum breaks. But holy shit, the stuff they give the guitar player! And the pedal steel guy, and the piano man. Anyhow, this Bob Wills track pretty much blew my guitar-pickin’ mind.
… and of course, the fact that our precious rock and roll descended so directly from country music’s demon seed ought to count for something — right?
Anyhow, those are four tracks pulled out of my west Texas haul that — just maybe — might convince you that country music is worth listening to. But if you’re still in the naysayers column, at least do us the courtesy of dissecting these trackssss so we all can better understand the source of your anti-country-music bias.
I look forward to your response.