One more reason for the hatred…

…of the Nashville music establishment.

CMT President Brian Philips, speaking about Lenny Kravitz’s ill-fated performance at the CMA Music Fest:

I’ve heard a bit of grumbling about that, to which I say, with all affection for Nashville audiences, Lenny Kravitz fills soccer stadiums all over the world. It makes us sound a bit parochial when I read tweets like, “Why is Lenny Kravitz in Nashville?” It doesn’t make us look smart to take pot shots at great players who are also brave enough to stretch, in my opinion.

“Lenny Kravitz fills soccer stadiums all over the world.” Which is obviously more than enough reason to give him a slot at a(n allegedly) country music show, apparently. Damn George Strait for not taking him on a co-headlining tour.

I’d like to know exactly how Lenny Kravitz was “stretching,” considering that (from what I understand) he played his standard set of middle-of-the-road rock songs. Honestly, as much as I bitch about Darius Rucker anymore, at least he’s trying to be country even if he’s hamstrung by his record label and most of his recent attempts have fallen short. Lenny Kravitz wasn’t even trying. And don’t get me wrong — that is to his credit. After all, we have enough people who don’t have any respect for country music’s roots and core sound trying to get in on it.

But what else should have been expected? When you go to a festival called the “Country Music Association Fan Fest,” you should have a reasonable expectation of hearing actual country music. And for Brian Philips to sit there and call that audience “parochial” because they rebelled at not getting what they expected is the height of arrogance on his part. Who the hell does he think he is to call them that?

I remember wondering around 2000, when the Texas-red dirt scene started getting more prominent, just how long it could be a viable alternative to the mainstream crap Nashville was churning out and defending as “country music.” As it turns out, it’s still surviving (and even thriving) more than a decade later. While I don’t listen to nearly as much country music as I used to, I am still thankful for that. I am also thankful that we have folks like Jason Boland, Corb Lund, and Aaron Watson (and the elder statesmen like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rodney Crowell, and Radney Foster) giving us that alternative, and that terrestrial radio’s not the only game in town anymore when it comes to gaining exposure for non-mainstream music — because if mainstream music was all I had to choose from in addition to asshats like Brian Philips calling me names like “parochial,” I would be feeling quite stabby indeed.

(h/t Country California)


2 Responses to “One more reason for the hatred…”

  1. Sabra Morse Onstott Says:


    Also, like I said on Country California, “Lenny Kravitz sells out soccer stadiums all over the world” is dipshitspeak for “Lenny Kravitz can’t sell tickets in the US ’cause we got over his schtick a decade ago.”

  2. Les Says:

    Just love it when the hotshots look down their noses at their business base.

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