Modern country music has never been my bag. Like most pop music on the radio, I’ve always felt it was over-produced garbage. I dabbled in some alt-country back in the 90s, a little Cowboy Junkies, maybe some Son Volt. Up until about six months ago, there was no country music in my library. Maybe I could stretch the definition and call Neko Case a country artist, but it’s a definite stretch. Last summer I was listening to the KEXP Music That Matters podcsast. The description for that show stated that it was all country. I swiped left to delete the episode, but then I remembered why I was listening to music podcasts in the first place. DON’T BE THAT GUY!
He sounds like a country artist. But he’s not singing stuff you might normally hear on Kicker 101. His song “Turtles All the Way Down” is is about drugs, religion and big cosmological questions…..but mostly about drugs. This song had some of my favorite lyrics of last year. He’s also playing Jazz Fest on April 30th. I’ll be in the front row.
Zoe Muth’s “Mama Needs a Margarita’ ended up on my top ten songs last year. This is another very traditional sounding country song. It has lyrics about roadhouses, dancing, tequila and a two-timing spouse. It’s equal parts melancholy and uplifting because it’s so damn good.
Rose isn’t a country artist, and some would probably peg this song as more of a rockabilly stomper. “Blood on Your Bootheels” sure sounds country to me. I first heard this song on NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast, and if I heard this on a country station, I’d start tuning into the part of the dial. But something tells me that a song inspired by Trayvon Martin doesn’t really have a place in today’s pop country landscape.
Enjoy and support live local music.