Is Country Music Dead?
(I don’t usually post blogs as they tend to be long and wordy and I don’t do long and wordy. But I’m interested in responses to this and to recent comments made by Ryan Bingham.)
It’s about as close as I’ve ever seen it, and I’ve seen it close. Back in the day, it always got lost, but it was usually an awakening, the nadir a canary in the coal mine, and it came back with a vengeance. A recent quote by country music’s recent great hope, mainly thanks to a good movie, Ryan Bingham, seems to me to bring up the question once again, as many felt he was the new real thang in Country. The quote: “I just don’t get that. I wouldn’t call what we do country music,” Bingham tells Spinner. “I grew up in Texas and New Mexico and I do wear a cowboy hat a lot, so I guess if you wear a cowboy hat people automatically think you play country music.” (http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/ryan-bingham-burns-country-bridge). As an aside, I saw him on Letterman the other day, and not only was it not country IMO, it was not good. I’ve said before that the huge blanket of the label “Americana” has allowed a relief valve for those discontented with the direction of country, diluting the force that would put country back on track. True or not, I do believe that country music is about as close to deceased as it’s been in American history, and it’s a damn shame for a true American art form. (BTW, I’m not talking bluegrass, which at times seems a bit overly healthy.)