Friday, January 18, 2008
If you're not a Country Music fan, then skip this post.
And I mean the REAL thing, not that white-suburban-pop crap that you hear on KIX 106 (or 95.3 The Rebel, for that matter). As Dennis Miller used to say 10 years ago when he was still funny, I feel a rant coming on.
Tonight, as I helped Lauren set up her new computer, she broke out some CDs that she had made, and it was country hits going back to the 50s, and I almost wept when I heard classics like THE GRAND TOUR by George Jones and SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN, the Kris Kristofferson gem made famous by Johnny Cash.
As much as I would like to blame the current crop of country artists (save for George Strait, Alan Jackson and Brad Paisley) but I know it's not really their fault. That responsibility falls at the feet of country radio programmers, who wouldn't know good music if they were inundated by it.
Look at what they did to poor Sara Evans; she recorded one of the great albums of the 90s in country music, THREE CHORDS AND THE TRUTH, loved by critics, but hated by the brain-dead radio people. They told her she needed to glam up and sound like the Dixie Chicks if she wanted to get on the radio; faced with continuing her art and starving, or staying alive in the business, she took the only action she could, recording BORN TO FLY. she looked fabulous and sounded like the Chicks, and she got great airplay.
Now, you folks know I love the Chicks for their sound, their looks, and, most of all, their courage, but why did we need someone else doing that style of material? Now, Sara Evans is just another country sound-alike, and it's a damned shame.
Fortunately, there's always Country Legends WMC79, but they are sometimes too heavy on the 80s. For the hardest of the hardcore, there is Bashful Bob at WEVL on Wednesday from 10 AM to Noon with Sho-Nuff Country, which spans Country from the 40s to the 70s, and it is magnificent.
And, I might add, on occasion, we are blessed by the appearance of the only REAL country band in these parts, the one, the only Papa Top's West Coast Turnaround, led by that well-known singer, reporter and director Chris Davis. if you love GOOD country music (especially from Bakersfield!), you should see them on one of there all-too-infrequent appearances.
Wait! Their MySpace page says they are having a CD release party at the Hi-Tone on February 8, you should go. No, really, you need to hear them and see them and have a beer with them; you'll be glad you did.