I wonder how much of this is sour grapes?

Pat Green, on mainstream country radio:

“I mean I’m an artist when it comes to songwriting and being on stage, but I do get it. It’s a tough market out there, man. Radio guys are trying to do one thing and one thing only, and that’s selling advertising. It’s not about cutting a cool radio station anymore; I mean those days stopped with WKRP in Cincinnati. You know, you can’t blame them.”

Like I said, I wonder just how much of that is sour grapes. Pat Green abandoned his Texas sounds to get national success and from what I could tell got roundly slammed for it with not that much success to show for it. Now that I think about it, I also have to wonder how much of that is pandering to all the red dirt music fans who think mainstream country music and radio suck. Try as I may, I really can’t see it as anything else. Call me a cynic if you wish, but after “Country Star,” I can’t come to any other conclusion.

And what’s this crap about “wearing a Texas country brand can mean limited exposure”? Some of the Texas-red dirt music might well only have success regionally, but when you take the radio factor out of it that’s largely a function of what the artists choose to sing about — and maybe not even then. Sure, you might think something like Jack Ingram’s “Travis County” might only appeal to Austinites or those who have fond memories of Austin — but I loved that song long before I went to see George Strait in Austin in 2005 and got the best seats out of all the 15 Strait shows I’ve seen (4th row from the stage, yeah!).

And as for “music down the middle” having the best chance of success — once again, if this is true, why weren’t the Cross Canadian Ragweed songs I mentioned the other day smash hit records? They were all pretty much as mainstream as red dirt music gets. I know the answer to that and you do too — radio suckage — but it still puts the lie to the contention that going mainstream is good for red dirt music because it’ll get more exposure.

(Full disclosure: I actually love the Ragweed tunes I mentioned in that earlier post; they all rank among my favorite songs from the band. In fact, I bought the purple album for “17,” and “This Time Around” was what got me to fork over the bucks for Garage. Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Wanna Rock and Roll” is the reason Soul Gravy is in my collection, but I really do like that new version of “Alabama.”)

As for this snippet…

I totally understand why there are numerous people who come out of record labels and feel like they got spit out. At the same time there are a lot stories like mine where we had some huge hits.”

Sabra: “You just keep on tellin’ yourself that, Pat…here I am over here tryin’ to defend him..”

Me: “And he makes it so hard!”

Indeed.

(h/t Country California)

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