Well, not so random, as they were all inspired by what I’ve been reading and hearing on the radio today, but anyway…
I am constantly amazed at some people’s blind hatred for anything that gets played on modern-day country radio. Sure, there’s a shit-ton of crappy music out there, but I don’t understand why people would automatically dismiss someone like Jamey Johnson or Gary Allan just because they went to Nashville. I can’t help but think if Jamey Johnson were on some minor label and was just a regional phenomenon those folks would be singing his praises. Same goes for Gary Allan. I distinctly remember someone bitching about how he ruined, RUINED Todd Snider’s “Alright Guy.” Well, you know what? I’ve heard the Todd Snider original and it’s pretty damn good, but I am not going to lie. I think Gary Allan’s version is better — one of the few instances in which a Nashville singer took a favorite from the country music underground, for lack of a better term, and made it better. I thought Gary Allan’s raspy voice suited that song just perfectly, and I don’t see how his being on a Nashville record label makes that such a bad thing to say.
On a slightly different note, so to speak, as I was pondering that and listening to the Allman Brothers’ “Ramblin’ Man” (ahhh, Dickey Betts), I thought of Dale Watson’s “Nashville Rash”:
Ain’t it funny how things can really change
Rock and roll back in the 70’s are country hits today
This is true, but it should be noted that there wasn’t really that much distance between the Southern rock of the day and what Willie and Waylon were doing. Recall, again, that Willie and Waylon both did covers of popular Southern rock hits of the ’70s, to wit, “Midnight Rider” and “Can’t You See.” Waylon also did a cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “For Lovin’ Me.” I’d like to think that sort of thing wasn’t what Dale Watson was talking about, but who knows? I know there were those who got all wound up back then at what Waylon and Willie were doing, though, and no doubt a number of them still are.
Speaking of getting wound up, you should see some of the vitriol being slung at Aaron Lewis in the comments here. To wit:
“If you’re packing every time you leave the house, that sounds pretty ghetto.”
“.357 is from urban WI, and they are a country band. I don’t know that they go around claiming they grew up next to some moonshine still in the hills of Tenn. Of course they don’t go around in a video mentioning the pop. of the WI suburb they are from either and the need to carry a gun for no reason.”
“I should note that Aaron’s paranoid need to pack heat when he heads for the supermarket is probably more attributable to his being so heavy of a pot smoker…”
Interesting, to say the least. It’s like reading Japete on crystal meth. And then there was the Triggerman’s criticism of the song itself:
It perpetuates every single negative stereotype about gun owners and patriots that is possible. It paints them as ignorant, self-centered assholes that feed their pit bulls gun power and beat their girlfriends with rubber hoses.
I guess we were listening to two different songs, because when I listened to that song I never once got that impression. Good grief, it’s not like he talked about going out and shooting people and “showing his woman who’s boss if she got all uppity and shit, IYKWIMAITYD.” Sorry, but that just strikes me as getting a bit carried away with the criticism of the song, unless you already subscribe to the urban left’s stereotype of gun owners and rural residents. There are those who accuse Lewis of pandering — and while that’s a legitimate gripe, as I say in the comments there, if someone like, say, Dale Watson sang about carrying a gun would they call him paranoid? Or would they say, “Oh, yeah, he’s rough, tough and don’t take shit offa nobody. Fuck yeah!” Or how about, say, Charlie Daniels?
“Well I’m the kinda man wouldn’t-a harm a mouse, but if I catch somebody breakin’ in my house I got a 12-gauge shotgun waitin’ on the other side…”
Paranoid redneck son of a bitch? Or realistic individualist?
(I never got a straight answer to that question, by the way, just another slam at gun owners who carry. From an alleged gun owner, natch.)
If it’s the latter, then why is Aaron Lewis’ character the former? Food for thought…