Monday, September 01, 2014

Sometimes, I'm a country boy

The other day, a friend asked me for help in obtaining tickets to an upcoming concert featuring somebody named Brantley Gilbert. She did this even though "you do not strike me as a country music listener". It's true, I'm drawn more to R&B, blues and what's known as "soul music", but I do enjoy some country and western. The problem is that when the movie "Urban Cowboy" came out way back in 1980 and John Travolta taught us that any jackass in a Stetson could self-identify as "country", country and western music's balls fell off. "Country" became a lifestyle option instead of a way of life and George Jones, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette and Johnny Cash faded away and were replaced by the likes of Randy Travis, Travis Tritt and Vince Gill. Songs stopped telling stories of woe and hardship and instead expounded on cliches found on bumper stickers. If these guys get drunk, you'll never find them heart-broken over some cheating bitch in a ramshackle, dive bar saloon, not when they have a perfectly good suburban ranch-style house with a backyard and a loving wife and children. Not one of these candyassed pretty boys would ever dream of shooting a man in Reno just to watch him die. Sure, once in a while some blowhard will rattle his plastic saber and talk about kickin' ass on behalf of 'Murica, but no self-respecting coal miner's daughter would turn around and sing a song about plastic goddamned cups. So, no, I'm not a fan of what they call country music today, but I do enjoy the twangy, old-fashioned, whiskey-tinged tales of woe that used to be the foundation of country & western music.
Besides, look how cool I look in this hat:

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