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Eric & Country Music


Zuke

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"I'll challenge anyone here to explain why todays country music is anything other than generic watered down country pop."

Amen!!!!!! If George Jones (referred to by Sinatra as America's 2nd greatest singer...and I'll give you 2 guesses who Ole Blue Eyes thought was #1!) or Hank Williams or Faron Young came along today - well, they don't look good in a hat or in tight jeans, so they'd be sh*t out of luck!

There certainly IS, however, a ton of money to be made in today's "country"....proof of that -it's no coincidence that The Eagles' first comeback single was calculated to go straight up the country charts. My opinion about their music aside, Henley and Frey can smell money, and know how to make it! Nothing wrong with it....but, to paraphrase MJ above, it doesn't mean we have to like the music.

(Hell, even Big Al Anderson of one of my all-time faves, NRBQ, quit the band to go to Nashville and write songs...and he's making tons more money doing it than he was playing in that band! Eric could certainly do as well, if not better!...)

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If you want to hear really good new country singer/songwriters, check out people like Hayes Carll, Duane Jarvis, Kim Richey, Steve Earle, Joe Ely, the Bottle Rockets ... I could go on and on.

There's no dearth of good songwriting; just a lack of a forum to present them to a large audience.

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Rich - I'm familiar with every one of those artists.....even saw Joe Ely open for The Clash....and hardly any of them are ever on the C&W charts, because those charts no longer deal with what I consider real country music. As you say, there's no forum to present their music.(Ditto Wayne Hancock, Dale Watson, The Derailers, Red Meat, Hank Williams III, etc.)

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BTW, lest anyone feel too sorry for poor chart-topping Jimmy Buffet - He's been pulling in $40-50M a year for at least the past 5-6 years, from his dozens of restaurants (Margaritavilles & Cheeseburgers In Paradise), sandals (which, I understand, bring in several million per year), CD sales (via his restaurants & gift shops), parrothead merchandise (& licensing), casino in Biloxi, etc. Hell, he just bought another friggin' casino from Trump in Atlantric City, for over $300M! He was listed in Rolling Stone as #6 or 7 in income within the music industry for 2006.....obviously an excellent businessman!

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There is absolutely nothing country about me, but there is so little music for your average white girl today that I have given in to listening to a little country.

I like Mary Chapin Carpenter, Alison Krauss, Leann Rimes and a few others.

Do you have a favorite country performer ?

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The problem is with society. All that matters is image. Image sells. It always has. Unfortunately, image sometimes becomes more important than the music.

It's the public who buys, though, and everyone is going crazy trying to appeal to them. And the public buys "American Idol watered-down crap." If that's what sells, that's what will be pushed.

:) --Darlene

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Bessieboo-

I only occasionally run across a country song I like. Josh Turner and Paul Brandt have great voices and I really like Josh Turner's "Long Black Train"

and Travis Tritt's "Where Corn Don't Grow". Dolly Parton's "My Tennessee Mountain Home" reminds me of my grandparents and great-grandparents and what it was like to growing up (porch swings,"lightening bugs" everyone going to church together,etc)--that one brings a tear sometimes.

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I started out in radio in 1975...at a country music station...At first i was disappointed that i couldn't play rock on the radio...But it wasn't long before i was infected with a love for country music that still lives today...The songs i write today are mostly country songs...If by some chance i should make it as a songwriter...country music would be the only genre where i'd even have a ghost of a chance...

I think Eric Carmen is so good at capturing the essence of a genre...like he did with songs like "She Did It"...I believe he'd have little trouble becoming one of Nashville's hottest writers.

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I'll listen to country before I'll listen to what passes today for rock or pop. As Eric stated, the rockers and songwriters have moved to country - they gotta eat ya know.

Besides, percentage wise there are more good country arrangements than there are in rock and pop and it's far more melodic, which is what floats my boat the most.

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JohnO said:

Yep, forgot the books......Anything else that's making JB money?

Well, now that you mention it... I was in "Linen and Things" with my gal today getting new sheets for our new bed :lol: ... and saw a display near the "kitchen accessories..." of "Official Margaritaville Drink Blenders" :lol:

I think Jimmy is really not "wasting away" in Margaritaville... more like milking it for all that it's worth! :lol:

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"...country music is totally different now than it was when i was a kid(1960s)..its more acceptable now cause they've rocked up the sound and production,yet alone some good songwriting..in other words,its a different ballgame now!!! lol,chris"

Agreed that it's totally different now, and "more acceptable," in terms of sheer sales. Has it gotten better, though? IMO, and in the opinions of most who dug country long before it it was "cool" (and when it was essentially a guilty pleasure that many refused to own up to), it's gone way, way downhill! To me, all of the emotion (and most of the better lyrics) have been totally drained out of it, all in the name of business and sales! In other words, pretty much the same thing as has happened to rock & roll music and soul music/R&B. It's been grossly watered down.....

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"watered down?..you betcha,could'nt agree more..so how does one explain how it got so huge nowadays?..."

Does the term "lowest common denominator" mean anything to you, or targeting multiple audiences (as some may view LCD as an insulting term, and it's not meant to be)? Why even try to appeal to the hardest of hard-core old-time C&W fans, when, if you also toss in elements of pop music and rock & roll-lite, you can also possibly snag audiences for those types of music? This is exactly how The Eagles got so damn huge. They took elements from C&W, folk-rock, arena rock, etc., and created a combination that's really none of the above, BUT they snagged lots of fans from all of those genres when they did this. (And their musical talent/songwriting skills of course played a huge part, too.) Of course, they also alienated the hard-core/purist fans and critics when doing this, but I suspect they've been crying (more likely laughing) all the way to the bank for years over this......It's capitalism, pure & simple, and if you can get away with it, more power to you! For every bearded geek critic/hard-core fan lambasting you in print, you'll probably have a thousand ecstatic fans who hang on your every word/lyric/riff, and who pay $200 for nosebleed arena seats to see you!

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Our local country radio station has Rex Allen Jr. substituting for the afternoon dj this week. He's played a bunch of that old country music that's not on any program director's list. When a caller asked why they don't play these all the time, Rex pretty much said he was getting away with murder...

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