This is a poorly kept secret, but I am a HUGE fan of country music. I love Merle Haggard and George Jones and and Johnny Cash. I’m also big into newer artists like Robert Earl Keen and Drive By Truckers. Unfortunately, these are all artists that you will never, ever hear on Mainstream Country radio. That is because Nashville has been taken over by an insidious cult of programmers, producers and record label hacks that are following a very specific formula.

Watch this video called “Why Country Music was so Awful in 2013” to see what that formula is.

You see, there are two kinds of music artists. On the one hand, you have the kind that is passionate about their music and would rather sell fewer records than compromise their integrity. On the other hand, you have paint-by-numbers “bands” that record what their label tells them to based on focus groups and popular trends. It’s a very cynical trend in music. Just find some people who can kinda sorta play instruments, half way carry a tune, and aren’t repulsive to look at. Then give them a list of acceptable chords progressions and another list of acceptable topics for lyrics. BAM! A hit country record.

It’s not just country. It’s the same process by which we got Nickleback on Rock radio.

Getty Images
Getty Images

I want to be very clear on this next point: if you like this kind of music, you…YOU!... are to blame for this abomination. If you would describe yourself as a Luke Bryan fan or have ever so much as enjoyed a single second of anything Florida Georgia Line has ever done, you actually hate country music. You do. You’re a country music-hater. Why you gotta be hatin’? You have such a poor grasp of what music is, in fact, you should probably choose something else to listen to. Audio books or those Sounds of Nature relaxation CD’s perhaps. In fact, if you even know who Tyler Farr is, your probably beyond all hope so your best move would just be to turn your radio to static and listen to that. I’d have more respect for your taste in music if you did and maybe, just maybe, Nashville would quit catering to your infantile tastes and I might finally get to hear Hayes Carll on the radio.


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