I'm a big Country music fan and I'm intrigued to find out peoples' thoughts on it in the UK. For some reason the genre's never really been particularly big over here; I'm interested to hear why that is.
I genuinely believe it's because there's not enough access to it over here, it's played very infrequently on the radio and beyond the 'novelty' names like Cash I don't think the majority of people could name a Country musician. If people gave it a go I reckon they'd see that it's not all about banjos and cowboy hats - it's actually good music (obviously not everyone will enjoy it, as with any genre, but I think its very small listenership in this Country is about more than that.)
If people gave it more of a chance I think they'd notice striking similarities between Country and a lot of other genres we're more accustomed to in the UK. That said, there are obviously some features about Country which automatically make it more likely to appeal to the US (the focus on the American way of life that is the subject of many of the songs etc.) but I still think it could be big over here if people gave it more of a chance!
To give you an idea of the sort of stuff on the scene at the moment I've attached a link to a hit that's had a bit of airplay on UK radio recently.
Please let me know what you think!
I listen to Johnny Cash fairly often. I quite like Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks as well. That said I know little about the genre beyond those.
Some of the best singers I have heard are country music artists.
I listen to a lot of country music, if you mention it to other people you might be surprised at how many people listen to it but don't really talk about it. Well, that was the case for me at least!
I know Brad Paisley is trying to introduce it to the UK, he did a couple of concerts here last year which I think were quite successful.
As for bands I listen to, well I will list the ones I listen to regularly:
Brooks and Dunn (and Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks now that they are solo artists)
Zac Brown Band
Damn, that is a long list! All great artists, I do listen to some more than others. Hope that gives you some inspiration!
Great to hear that Country (in its many different forms) is getting some attention over here. Particularly interesting to hear people's tastes in some of the more traditional and raw parts of the genre.
I still think those of us who are fans (indeed those of us who can name four or five artists) are in a minority. Undoubtedly some people will listen but not really talk about it (admittedly there's not much of a well-advertised community to talk about it with) but I think ultimately it's not got the exposure it deserves. The perception is, as some have mentioned, that it's a bit of a novelty and jokey genre - particularly with respect to some of the 90s stuff and people need to be exposed to realise that it isn't!
It seems that the artists are getting a lot more comfortable over here - and hopefully that will help. As part of my show (Disclaimer: the following is a
shameless plug) I've spoken to a few artists and they've all been really positive about bringing it over here (interview with Eric Church currently online at URN1350.net if you're interested!). I guess if touring becomes a more regular thing, and they get the UK-based promotion that goes with it, then that can only be a good thing!