the G-man wrote:
The Taylor Swift Why the Hate thread has left me thinking. Many people we clamoring for "talking about what you like, not tearing down what you don't." So I thought we could put up songs that we like and let other members see what good music is...My first song is from a country artist ...Garth Brooks...
That's ironic. For a lot of fans of more traditional country, as well of "outlaw" or "alt" country, Garth Brooks is seen as being one of the main progenitors of the sad state of the genre since the 1990s.
Some of Brooks' songs are admittedly pleasant, but for my money, "good" country is guys like: Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams (I, II and III), Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard and, of more modern artists, Dwight Yoakam, Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and James McMurtry (some of whom are admittedly country rock or alt country).
Well, I have never been a fan of traditional country music. I grew up in the era you describe as watered-down country...
And in ten or twenty years someone will be defending Taylor Swift to you with the same argument.
My main point is that every generation of music, including country music, thinks the new stuff tended to "ruin" the "real" stuff. Hence my mentioning it as irony.
There is also the inherent fact that rock music is ultimately a blend of country and blues created by a kid named Elvis (along with a few others). Since the rock genre is a hybrid, the line between rock and country (and rock and blues for that matter) is often blurred and will always be blurred.
I, personally, think Brooks and Swift tended to land more on the pop or rock side. That doesn't make them bad. It just makes them less "country" as a genre than stuff that harkens back to the old (sometimes pre-rock) days.
Also, it reminds me of an article I read recently (wish I could remember where), in which the author said that there is actual country being played on the radio. However, it's being put out, not by "country" artists, but by bands like Mumford and Sons
, the Head and the Heart
, the Lumineers
and other so-called "alternative" acts.