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Thread: This Is Country Music? Singers Weigh In on Endless Debate

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    Carrie Guru Claire2004's Avatar
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    This Is Country Music? Singers Weigh In on Endless Debate

    This Is Country Music? Singers Weigh In on Endless Debate

    "It ain't hip to sing about tractors, trucks, little towns and mama / Yeah, that might be true / But this is country music ... and we do."

    If you stop and listen to the words of to the title track of Brad Paisley's 2011 album,This Is Country Music, you'll find that the singer-songwriter isn't coming down on one side or the other of what sound defines our beloved genre. Instead, he focuses on the lyrical content. On the flipside, George Strait and Alan Jackson lament the "drums and rock 'n roll guitars" that disqualify a song as 'country' in their 2000 state-of-the-industry message, "Murder on Music Row."

    Country singers, for the most part, agree with the messages in both of those songs. While they're all here to sustain and grow the format that they love, the whole debate about what country music is can wear on them. Most recently, Vince Gill caused a stir when he admitted his embarrassment over some of what broadcasts on the country airwaves.

    "For me, [country music] lost its traditional bent pretty severely," Vince toldPittsburgh newspaper the Post-Gazette. "I would love to hear someone write a song like 'He Stopped Loving Her Today' rather than 'You're hot, I'm hot, we're in a truck.' It's just mind-numbing to me."
    More at: This Is Country Music? Singers Weigh In on Endless Debate - The Boot

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    Carrie Guru epicamends's Avatar
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    Okay, Eric Church, a bit of redemption for you. I totally agree with this quote:

    my disagreeing with his inference that we had to make music sound like it was 1974. The evolution of music is good. You pay homage to who got you there, and then you take it somewhere else.
    This is exactly what Carrie does. She pays homage to those who came before her, like Dolly and Loretta, but she is her own artist with her own vision, and uses her other influences to help shape her country music.

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    The "debate" will always be endless because you can nitpick this song or that song from 99.9% of ALL country artist and say it isn't country.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan supercarriefan's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting, Claire. The article was really interesting.

    I think Vince Gill made a great point. It isn't so much the stylistic changes that bother me, but the lyrical shift. Vince is getting at songs being so superficial these days. I think part of the reason The House That Built Me blew up like it did is because it isn't superficial. It is about real, honest feelings about one's past. I think country music could use more songs that have that honesty. Instead, we are stuck with Kip singing about his truck and Luke constantly singing about pretty women and tailgates. We need more songs like Alan's latest single So You Don't Have to Love Me Anymore.

    I worry that, for the most part, country music today isn't creating an real imprint. There aren't a lot of songs playing on country radio today that people are going to look back at 20 years from now, and say "oh wow...what a great song!". Of course, there are a few songs like that, but they are the minority.

    I don't think for a minute that artists are recording these songs because some artists are. However, the label is often burying them as album tracks because they don't fit the mold that country radio has.
    Nashville's songwriters are some of the best out there, yet their talents are being wasted on writing formulaic stuff for country radio. I'm sure there are all kinds of amazing songs out there that haven't seen the light of day because the country labels thought they were too risky.

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    Junior Carrie Follower dsfox2009's Avatar
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    Idk about everyone else, but here is my two-cents on the matter. Yes, I can see where Brad's coming from in terms of lyrical content. Yes, I can see where others are coming from saying that the instruments used play a factor. But my opinion is this...while both of those components do SOMETIMES make a song "country", at the end of the day the mood and direction of the songs in question are what make them country. Yes, you don't hear very many fiddles in genres other than country. BUT it does happen at times, and does not automatically make the song country. At the same time, just because the lyrics discuss a certain subject does not make a song country. It's all about what the finished product makes the listener feel at the end of the day. Pop music? Makes you want to get up and dance. Rock music? Easiest way to get rid of anger and frustration, in my opinion. Country music? Idk about you guys, but it makes me feel like I am home. I can always find something to relate to in every country song that I hear in some way or fashion. It's all about living life and real-life situations that can happen to everyone. No fiddle/banjo/steel guitar needed, and it isn't necessary to throw in lyrics about pickup trucks and horses. Alright...rant is officially over :P
    Lstname89 likes this.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Carrieflattsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercarriefan View Post
    Thanks for posting, Claire. The article was really interesting.

    I think Vince Gill made a great point. It isn't so much the stylistic changes that bother me, but the lyrical shift. Vince is getting at songs being so superficial these days. I think part of the reason The House That Built Me blew up like it did is because it isn't superficial. It is about real, honest feelings about one's past. I think country music could use more songs that have that honesty. Instead, we are stuck with Kip singing about his truck and Luke constantly singing about pretty women and tailgates. We need more songs like Alan's latest single So You Don't Have to Love Me Anymore.

    I worry that, for the most part, country music today isn't creating an real imprint. There aren't a lot of songs playing on country radio today that people are going to look back at 20 years from now, and say "oh wow...what a great song!". Of course, there are a few songs like that, but they are the minority.

    I don't think for a minute that artists are recording these songs because some artists are. However, the label is often burying them as album tracks because they don't fit the mold that country radio has.
    Nashville's songwriters are some of the best out there, yet their talents are being wasted on writing formulaic stuff for country radio. I'm sure there are all kinds of amazing songs out there that haven't seen the light of day because the country labels thought they were too risky.
    100% agree with all of this.
    supercarriefan likes this.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan bigbluegrl23's Avatar
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    wait, does Miranda really believe that Taylor Swift's fan would think to then go buy her music? LOL taylor swift's fans are way more concerned with Justin and One Direction.
    Becca

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    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    I'm just glad Carrie didn't get any flak in this article the way she usually does
    pklongbeach likes this.

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    Insane Carrie Fan Gator's Avatar
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    ^^Agree. I don't think Kellie benefited much with her association with TS, so I don't see where ML would be helped here either.
    pklongbeach likes this.

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    Obsessed Carrie Fan cole's Avatar
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    I say thank God country music is how it is now. Else, it would have gone downhill. If artists can't relate to the times, they won't sell records. You can change with the times, or get left behind.

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    Insane Carrie Fan liveasong's Avatar
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    More recently, Miranda Lambert praised Taylor Swift and her efforts to grow the spectrum of country music. While she doesn't consider the 22-year-old to be a "country singer," Miranda gives props to the content.

    "Taylor Swift is a pop singer, but she really helped country music," the Texas native explained in an interview with W Magazine.


    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH!

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    Quote Originally Posted by liveasong View Post
    More recently, Miranda Lambert praised Taylor Swift and her efforts to grow the spectrum of country music. While she doesn't consider the 22-year-old to be a "country singer," Miranda gives props to the content.

    "Taylor Swift is a pop singer, but she really helped country music," the Texas native explained in an interview with W Magazine.


    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH!
    Why Ms. Miranda, what truth you speak!!!
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    Insane Carrie Fan liveasong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lstname89 View Post
    Why Ms. Miranda, what truth you speak!!!
    Miranda doesn't hold back! She really speaks her mind!

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan bigbluegrl23's Avatar
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    how do you call someone a pop singer and then say they helped country music in one sentence?
    Becca
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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Zman312's Avatar
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    lol, Miranda Lambert is something. She is dissing Taylor and praising her at the sametime. I love how she is on the TS band wagon now... lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbluegrl23 View Post
    how do you call someone a pop singer and then say they helped country music in one sentence?
    Becca
    Shh, just go with it...

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    Insane Carrie Fan liz278's Avatar
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    I got to say I agree with Vince Gill. I can hardly listen to country radio right now. I can only stand a few minutes because it all starts to sound the same. I love when Carrie comes on because she is a breath of fresh air. I love Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban because they don't fall into the mold of trucks, drinking or whatever else it is that most of the WGWCH sing! Their songs have a story to them, especially Alan Jackson.

    I agree with Miranda that Taylor is a pop singer, but I don't agree with the comment about Taylor helping country music by her making country singers less country bumpkins. Because most of Taylor's fan base is pop. The majority of them do not listen to country music as a whole (before anyone says anything, yes there are some that are country fans). Just look at her tour, the majority of singers she had join her on stage were pop singers. She knows who her fan base would love to see.

    There is another thread about the relavancy of #1s, and I guess we will see where this all goes. I hope that the listeners revolt against this - I would like if I listen to country radio to at least hear more than WGWCH all the time!

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan supercarriefan's Avatar
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    Miranda is basically saying that while Taylor's music is essentially pop, she is still appearing at country events (ACM, CMA, etc), and her fans are tuning in. While watching these events to see Taylor, they may hear something else they like.
    Miranda wasn't "dissing" Taylor...she was simply stating the facts: Taylor is a pop singer. Many of us think that very thing here at CF. So glad some of you used Miranda's comments to poke fun at her .
    Carrieflattsfan likes this.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    If you love Country Music, you'll know real when you hear it. Other people's idea of what's real might not be the same as yours - but it's all out there, and it's the variety that makes it strong
    bearball49 likes this.

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    I am old enough to have seen the evolution of all genres of music. My aunt babysat me and always had the local country station on in the kitchen. My folks never got into country, grew up in the big band era and were fans of Easy Listening type music. I grew up watching Elvis, Chubby Checker, The Supremes and The Beatles. There is nothing left of the oldies that I grew up with, but it never stopped me from listening to music. In the 70's I drifted from rock and pop over to country and loved Don Williams, Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers,Loretta Lynn, Lynn Anderson and Barabara Mandrell to name just a few. I must admit I drifted away from coubtry in the mid 80's as all of the music seemed to have a sameness to it. Then came Garth and I was back. All of the music has been good, but without that innovation every now and then, the industry wiuld die. Why would people bother to buy music if all the artists had the same sound? Like so many others, my taste is pretty eclectic. I still listen to my oldies, love Johnny Cash and lots of old country artists...but I still listen to what is current more than anything else. I do know that if country had not evolved in the late 80's when Garth came along, I would not have come back to country. We need the roots of country, but the influences of other genres to keep the music fresh. As far as the lyrics, country has always been about storytelling and as long as it continues to tell stories, people will listen.


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