I often hear people complain- country today isn’t real country, it doesn’t even sound like country anymore. I’ve said it myself many times. It just sounds like rock with fiddles.
But what is real country? Easy:
Country is whatever style of music is popular, played by country musicians.
That’s really all there is to it. Let’s go back in time and look at some country greats. Jimmy Rodgers? Folk singer. Hank Williams? Blues. Patsy Cline? Jazz. Johnny Cash? Rock and Roll. By the eighties, people were doing disco country, and if Kid Rock hadn’t blown it, rap- country would exist today. Right now country is a mix of classic rock and post-grunge, and surprisingly, people still listen to it.
You’re probably saying but you skipped Merle Haggard, George Jones, Tammy Wynette and Porter Waggoner! Porter Waggoner? You’re right, that was the best era of Country. Honky Tonk. Really the best contribution country ever made to the world of music was taking that polka-beat that arrived here via Mexico, and pairing it with a Telecaster. Sadly, Honky Tonk is kind of a lost art. Kind of like how Rock and Roll is now a lost art. Now we have Rock. Which is:
Whatever kind of music popular with white men, played on electric guitar.