Change is Okay


Shooter Jennings is pointing fingers at the phonys.  If anybody in the country music world wanted to pick on the pretty boys, it’s him.  I mean, with a father who defined the term “outlaw country,” hair that repels all shampoos, and a name that belongs on the side of a little boys’ cap gun, Shooter’s allowed to get a little peeved with the way country music is turning.

If you ask me, I think it’s a bit over the top.  I like the song, and even the chorus, “country ain’t just about where you’re at, it’s about bein’ true to what’s inside of you,” but isn’t a little hypocritical when you attack other singers for wearing a baseball cap?  Mr. Jennings, aviator sunglasses don’t really spell out o-u-t-l-a-w to me, so stick to one message, please.

Yes, country music has changed since the Waylon and Willie days, but all genres grow and change.  Run DMC and Will Smith aren’t at the top of hip-hop charts, and the Backstreet Boys aren’t selling out shows, but they’re classic nontheless.  Music morphs to what fans like and what’s overplayed on the radio.  I think, more than many other kinds of music, country holds true to it’s roots.  I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t around when Hank Williams Jr. was playing, but I can sing A Country Boy Can Survive word for word. And do you know why? Because in the more recent song Eight Second Ride, Jake Owen likes the girl who can sing along to Hank.  So, in order to impress Jake I decided to listen to it on repeat for a while.

And he’s not the only one who pulls from country’s past.  Brad Paisley’s new single comes to mind, Old Alabama which features Alabama, the band.  And Chris Cagle’s song, My Life’s Been a Country Song references Merle Haggard, George Strait, and George Jones.  Country music is a family.  True country music fans follow country music, not just one artist – we cheer for the entire genre and wish success to every dreamer with a guitar.  So even though the style has changed to baseball caps instead of cowboy hats, the morals haven’t moved.


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