A genre plagued in recent years by criticism and critique in the eyes of musicians and consumers alike, country music has been in need of a revival for more than a few years. With criticism of cross over tunes and pop culture’s infiltration of what was once clean cut and simple, what was once a culture of pearl snap shirts and jeans has succumbed to the flash and flair of Hollywood glamour and skin tight pants.
With songs becoming more and more synthesized and rooted in electronic over-dubbing, raw and authentic recordings and methods have been tossed by the wayside in much of the music released in the years of late. Amid the plague of drum machines and computer aided production, what was meant to be an increase in music production productivity, has resulted in what has been perceived as subsequent decreases in musical creativity. With that said, this is the year 2019, and these are the times we inhabit. This is the music that gets the consumer’s attention. But at what cost? How does one go from listening to the defining records of the past, to the pop culture tunes of today without question of the change?
Although country, as a genre, has made many changes by way of production, presentation, and consumption, there are a few old souls that provide listeners a window into the days of old from which to escape back into the times better known by earlier generations. Groups such as Midland, who’s rhinestone flair is characteristic of ‘70s country greats, and other artists such as Chris Stapleton, Sturgil Simpson, Tyler Childers, and Jason Isbell (former frontman of Drive by Truckers) take pride in producing country music in the spirit of old. With recording techniques older and more consuming of time and dedication, these performers are capable of releasing tunes that take listeners to past times through avenues otherwise lost in the digital age. The revival of country music is on a not so distant horizon and with the help of these and many other artists, country will surely remain country in at least some fashion. Be on the lookout for these artists and their releases in the year to come, and keep hope in the future of country music.
Author: Blake Junior