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Country Music in UK Watch

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    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!

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    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.
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    Some of the best singers I have heard are country music artists.
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    I love outlaw country and alternative country myself. Stuff that has a more badass, bluesy/rock oriented style than mainstream country and western.

    I wouldn't say its entirely unpopular in this country. My local BBC radio station plays country all the time (not just Cash and the like either). I find a lot of my friends who are into metal, punk, hard rock, indie etc, also like a lot of country music too. But having said that, i guess there is still something of a stigma around the genre. To many in the younger generations, the term "country music" will often just conjure up images of out of shape pensioners, dressed up in ridiculous cowboy outfits, line dancing to some horrendous song like 'Achy Breaky Heart'. They just dismiss the entire genre for fear of looking "uncool". Shame, they are missing out.

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    One of my favourites are the moment is Scott H Biram.




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    With a few notable exceptions, such as Brad Paisley, I'm not really into mainstream country. It's all too clean cut and polished for my liking. A lot of it is pop music with a steel guitar. One of my favourite genres of music is "Texas country" which is much more rough around the edges and has that Heartland Rock feel to it with lyrics that tend to focus on the working man's struggles. Here are a few of the artists I love:





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    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:

    Alan Jackson
    Brad Paisley
    Brooks and Dunn (and Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks now that they are solo artists)
    The Eagles
    Eric Church
    Johnny Cash
    Keith Urban
    Kenny Chesney
    Kip Moore
    Lady Antebellum
    Lonestar
    Rascal Flatts
    Tim McGraw
    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!
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    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!
 
 
 
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