No one is indicting Christianity here.
I myself am an athiest but for the three minute increments I hear Johnny Cash or Kris Kristofferson sing gospel I am a believer.
I guess I just like it when they sing those songs because I know they have played with fire all of their lives and when they talk about redemption you know they mean it in a way only they can really understand. It isn't some schmaltzy attempt to sell records to people the record companies know will buy anything with the name "Jesus" in the title.
By the way, that song "Drugs or Jesus" is kind of odd. Alcohol is a drug and Jesus drank that all of the time. Maybe the song should have been called "Drugs and Jesus"!
I'm not saying they are bad songs, I'm just saying they are pre-fabricated pop-songs the same as any Celine Dion or Fantasia Burrina song.
Of course it does not sound like pop to you because the producers put in thinks like steel guitar and fiddles, but the truth is, most of these songs could be done as R&B songs or pop-rock songs and no one would ever think it was a country song if they hadn't heard it done that way. It's actually pretty common for songwriters to demo a few different versions of the same song when trying to shop them to singers.
This is why "pop" is such a taboo word around here. Because when independent songwriters are writing songs and whoring them out to whoever will take a turn on them they do not have any personal attachment to them so by the time they are heard there is very little of the original connection to the song that you hear when a singer/songwriter makes his own music and does not comprimise his/her vision of what it is.
Take the song "I'm already There" for example. This demonstrates exactly what I'm talking about. The same song recorded two different ways to appeal to two different pop audiences. Even the recording isn't that different, there were just changes to a few elements. There are tons of examples like this. Even "country" singers release more pop versions of their songs for different radio formats. Shania is infamous for this.
Back in the day when music crossed over (Willie Nelson etc...) it was because it was so undeniably good that other audiences appreciated the beauty of it for what it was. It crossed over on it's own merit instead of through some calculated coporate scheme.
You couldn't do that with songs like "Folsom Prison Blues", "He Stopped Loving Her Today", "If you've got the money, I've got the time" etc... without it sounding gimmicky.
Again, I'm not saying that anything is wrong with pop-country except that I hate having to explain that it isn't enough for me to say "I play country music". I always have to follow it up with "but not like, corporate country music on CMT More like Johnny Cash or something etc....."
I hope this explains the differences in a concise manner. As a musician, artists and producer I have worked on Country Music, Pop, Hip-hop, Punk Rock and Chorale music. I love them all and studied them all intensely. I'm not spitting venom here, just letting you know the difference.
Last edited by WillieCash; 01-22-2007 at 03:25 PM.
I'm not sure what you're asking -- I do agree that the subjects of some current country songs share many of the same themes as older country songs, but I don't know if that's really been at issue here -- which is what makes me think I'm not answering the question you meant to ask...
There we go people! Nice mature "debates". Nothing wrong with that at all. It was the personal attacking that was out of line. Great reading others mature responsible takes on everything. Gives us all something to think about.
I Believe Happiness Is Something We Create!
I understand what you mean by having to explain the music you play. I have the same problem sometimes only opposite - I listen to (what I call) Country music - but not the older stuff that our parents grew up on - not that anything is wrong with that, it is just not what I listen to.
Ok here's a question - Do you know who Deric Ruttan is? If not, you should check out his website and read his bio. http://dericruttan.net/
Last edited by michelle98264; 01-22-2007 at 01:28 PM.
I saw the site but could not listen at work. I will check him out at home.
I do have to say that his name appears as a songwriter on nearly all of his songs on the 2003 record. That is a step in the right direction. The pictures look a little "pretty-boy" for me but I will give him a shot for sure.
Did you check out my site? I am curious what a radio-country fan thinks of my music. It's not exactly Country or pop-country or radio country or alt.country. I call it West Coast Country. Take a listen if you want. I will send you the link if you care for it.
I will check it out - send me the link. I may not be able to see or hear everything from my work computer but if not, will try again from home.
My point here is the Outlaw era at least had very similar subject matter as the Old country whereas today I personally see drastic differences between the subject of old country and Pop country. At the end of the day the heart of country was still there in my opinion with Outlaw country. Willie had a great point as well about how today's country is produced as well.
Now todays pop country has obviously been widely accepted and promoted by Nashville $$$.. I think it is ironic that the people who are not promoted and are not accepted at all are the bands who are sticking to the country music roots and have the old country or outlaw country sound and in many cases have lived what they are singing about. It is these great artists who are being overlooked yet once again because Nashville is raking in the big bucks off of their fabricated artists.
I am expecting that some of you will say that the subject matter of Pop Country is similar to Old and Outlaw Country but, ask yourselves how many of these artists have lived and know what they are singing about.
Also to add to what I just said in my previous post regarding the sound, subject and look of country music. A friend of mine wrote and recorded a song called "If it Ain't Broke" and it makes a lot of sense. Coutntry music wasn't broke except maybe in Nashville's eyes where it wasn't profitable enough. Trashville fabricates whatever it has to so it can make more money and a great deal of the artists give in and do what they are told in fear they won't get their paychecks or get any support. A prime example is Hank Williams III. How many of you have heard his music and guess who his label is.. Curb.. He is one guy who stuck to his guns and wrote and recorded the music that he wanted to record and found himself in a huge legal battle with his label because he wouldn't give in to them and give them control over HIS music. Guess how much tour support he gets.. NONE.. Guess how much support he got while recording his latest album entitled "Straight to Hell" none.. He did everything on that project by himself and it cost him 700 bucks and the end result was in my mind one of the best albums of 2006. Some of you may not like his music but you have to admire the dude for not selling out. That to me is the attitude that Country music needs to have again.
ok guys i got my tickets from the fan club too... where are your seats? are they gold or just reg vip ticx??? we can all be pals !!!! lol
Possibly true.. I see your point. That would be quite a bit of research.. I guess my point was that many of these artists are singing songs they know nothing about.I suspect if we dissected the lyrics of a handful of new songs and a handful of old songs, we'd come up with a handful of similar, basic themes. Relationships; people behaving badly; people being heroic; the government failing to live up to expectations; the virtues of getting drunk; the evils of sobering up... it's all there, then and now. The presentation has been sanitized, in many many cases, to reflect the mood of the buying public. And thus we come to the bottom line, "buying public."
I understand that completely which is why I dislike Nashville more than their fabricated money machines. I have a feeling Country was profitable but not as profitable as Pop which is why they started to follow in the Pop Music footsteps.Nashville doesn't make music to please people -- they make music to sell it. I think, since it wasn't selling, you really can't say country music wasn't broken. If this were a perfect world, and all music were free, and musicians somehow magically survived without any money at all, this would be a very different conversation. But the fact of life as we know it is: if it's not profitable, the labels won't support it.
[/QUOTE]You know, I've heard enough stories about Shelton to make me doubt him on a number of levels. I don't have first hand knowledge, and I'm not going to repeat any stories, so please don't ask. Let's just say the phrases "Back away from the shotglass" and "Learn to be more diplomatic" might serve him very well...
You can like or dislike Shelton but the fact remains that he stuck to his guns and didn't sell out. I have personally met Shelton on a few different occasions and they have always been positive experiences.
Its just sad sad sad... I can't remember who it was but I saw some video of some little blonde who had much better looks than talent with a Les Paul slung over her shoulder that she couldn't play lick on and gasonline a fire all in the background.. It was so pathetic..so WHAT is the big deal with all these overly made-up, underage girl singers?!
Ironically your remark is the first negative comment I have heard about Shelton. I'll put it to ya this way. I saw Hank and his Damn Band back in October and he played for damn near 3 hours straight which included his Country, Hellbilly and Assjack set. If you haven't watched him perform before lets just say most of us would be exhausted halfway through the Country set. After it was all said and done he hopped down off the front of the stage and literally talked with every one of his fans, Signed autographs and took pictures with every single fan there. The rest of the band did the same thing including his guitar tech who is a hell of a musician himself.That's actually the first ameliorating (or even vaguely complimentary, to be honest) thing I've ever heard about Shelton -- maybe someday the scales will tip in my mind!