Monthly Archives: January 2015

Tailgates, Beer, Women, and the Bro-Country Takeover

While I love it just as much as the next person when there is “nowhere to go, nowhere to be,” and while I found myself in this situation more times than not over the winter break, I never once chose to roll into town and “ take another lap around.” These lyrics, from Cole Swindell and Florida Georgia Line respectively, seem to summarize the recent level of song writing that has taken over the country music world. Although many country music fans have voiced their negative opinions about this new “bro-country” style, and how originality and creativity has all but slipped away from the genre, do they have any substantial argument for their case? An article that I saw repeatedly posted to my Facebook newsfeed while not having my “bed backed up to the water” over the break might have the answer to this question (Parmalee).

FGLrealI will be the first to admit that I have been known to drive around on a nice day with the windows down listening to the bro-country anthems that sing of this very thing. And while in this post I voice my negative opinions towards this new style of country, I cannot deny that the tunes being put on the radio recently are catchy and easy to sing along to. However, what I can defend, with the help of, is that when these songs come on the radio, I can never tell who they are. Whether it is Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton, or Luke Bryan, they are all singing about warm summer days, hitting on women, and back country roads.

The similarities within this new style do not stop with just the words but continue even further with the music that accompanies the lyrics. A DJ known as Sir Mashalot, and an accompanying article by, shows the truth behind these comparisons. By combining the top hits of six different artists of today’s bro-country movement, Sir Mashalot was able to show the scary resemblances that exist. You can listen for yourself, but combined together, the six songs flow together almost as well as any other bro-country song.

As I have mentioned before, I believe this new style of country music has its appropriate time and place. However, I worry where the future of country music as a whole is headed. What happened to the country music songs that carried with them real life lessons? What happened to the clever lines that the listener can only help but tip their hat and grin to? I fear that classic, meaningful lines like “Daddies don’t love their children every now and then. It’s a love without end, amen” and “to the world, you may just be another girl, but to me, baby, you are the world” are quickly being replaced with butchery of the English language like “keeping it real like chill like only have a drink or two” and “A little something bumping, thump, thumping on the wheel ride” (Strait, Paisley, Shelton, Florida Georgia Line). I can only hope that creativity and originality can resurface within the country music genre.



Filed under Bro Country, Uncategorized

The Demise of Country Music

I stopped listening to country music on the radio a few years ago, right as “bro country” was beginning to become mainstream. I wouldn’t be able to tell you any of the new songs or new artists, but every time I happen to come across a country radio station it always seems to be the same thing: dudes like Florida Georgia Line bro-ing it up and singing songs about their trucks or how country they are. I know that doesn’t describe all country music on the radio these days, but it’s apparent that bro country is what the industry thinks will sell the best. Maybe it’s just my West Texas roots, but to me that isn’t even close to what country music is supposed to be.

Yesterday as I was scrolling through Facebook, through the dozens of stories and articles being “shared” by my friends, I saw one video that really caught my eye and seemed to prove my belief today’s country music. If you haven’t already seen the video I encourage you to watch. It’s kind of eye-opening about the state of country music today.

Pretty crazy, right? That seems like pretty solid proof that Nashville is just pumping out the same song with different words, and people are buying it. That video reminded me of a different video that came out at the end of 2013 with the same concept, but it was a review of more than just six songs:

Whether you like that type of music or not you have to say that video is pretty funny. To me, it is kind of depressing to see country music deteriorate to this state. I guess if that’s what the people want then so be it. I just think that bro country is meaningless and repetitive, and these videos seem to back me.

They say there’s a George Strait song for everything, and the topic of bro country is no exception. In 2001, a full decade before bro country burst onto the scene, George Strait released a song called “Stars on the Water” as part of his The Road Less Traveled album. The song is most likely the first use of auto-tune in a country song, except it is Strait’s way of mocking “stars” who use voice enhancers and other things of that nature. “Stars on the Water” makes George Strait seem almost psychic, giving a subtle dig at the future artists who dominate the world of country music today.

Strait also collaborated with Alan Jackson on “Murder on Music Row”, in which they claim “someone killed country music” in the chase for “the almighty dollar and lust for worldwide fame”. The lyrics to this song perfectly describe bro country music, and they are probably right when they sing “Ol’ Hank wouldn’t have a chance on today’s radio”.


Filed under Bro Country, Classic Country, Country Pop, New Country, Uncategorized

Taylor Swift’s tour isn’t messing with Texas

3371681062_7769c27704During past tours, Taylor Swift has spent the most time in Texas. With concerts sold out in 4-5 Texas cities for each tour, you could say her Texan fans there are very loyal. But is she loyal to them? With the release of the 1989 world tour dates, Texas “swifties” were dismayed to find only one date for one venue in one Texas city. I was extremely disappointed to find she wouldn’t be stopping in Austin this year since I am a huge fan of her new album. Texas girls and guys have been her fans from the start, it just seems wrong to cut us out of her tour.

Austin, San Antonio and Houston have been replaced by places like Seattle, Tokyo and Toronto. Could this be a result of her genre shift from country to pop? I believe it is. Once she was singing about Georgia stars, in her new album she’s welcoming her listeners to New York. I didn’t realize the her transition from country also meant her absence from southern states.

Taylor’s country sound was accompanied by cowboy boots and an acoustic guitar. Her dresses were always modest and her long curly hair was her trademark. She was known for her relatable and meaningful lyrics. I will admit that her songs pulled me through a break up or two. Her lyrics were rooted in typical country topics like pick up trucks, her love for her mom, Tim McGraw and her guitar. Taylor played many of her first shows at Texas rodeos, her music videos were on CMT, and she always could be seen performing at the CMAs.

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show London 2014 **STRICTLY NO WEB UNTIL 9:15PM GMT DECEMBER 2, 2014**With her new pop genre her hair and skirts got shorter. Her music videos got edgier, and she began performing at events like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show which doesn’t traditionally involve any country music. Taylor has traded cowboy boots for her high heels and electronic instruments have taken place of the acoustic guitar. Her lyrics are centered around big cities, bad boys and repetitive catchy phrasing. This change has revolutionized Taylor’s career and taken her music around the world. I love her new sound and look just as I loved the old Taylor. Her old songs went well with a pint of blue bell ice cream and tissues, but her new songs make every dance floor across the world come alive.

I am sad to say this shift away from country has also created a limited amount of tour time in Texas. All us swifties need to come together and reach out to Taylor through social media and let her know Texans love her sound even if its not country.  #TexaswantsTaylor

For other articles about Taylor’s transition click here.


Filed under News, Texas, Women

Let the Music Play

There are probably not a whole lot of places better than Fort Worth, Texas to experience some good country music. Growing up just outside of Fort Worth, I have been surrounded by country music basically my entire life. It was the only thing played in my house growing up and I can always remember my mom playing some of her old Willie Nelson records and my grandparents dancing around their house to George Strait and Alan Jackson songs.

I had always loved listening to country music when I was young, but I never really developed the appreciation I have for it today. Until one day, just after my 16th birthday, my mom came home with some tickets to see Robert Earl Keen at a local music and arts festival.

For those of you that may not know who Robert Earl Keen is, here are a few of my favorite songs that he has written.

I remember being excited to experience my first country concert. I had been to some concerts before then, but they were all rock concerts, so I was really looking forward to seeing one of my favorite country artists perform.
I remember walking through the entrance to the festival that day, and I immediately noticed that every single person had on either boots or a cowboy hat. The opening band was already playing, yet there were more people interested in going to the outdoor bar than watching them, so my brother and I managed to get right up to the front row just as the opening band was finishing up their set. You could feel the crowd start to pack in towards the stage, and you would hear the occasional “yee-haw” from the crowd, as they grew anxious to see the headlining artist.

When Robert Earl Keen stepped out onstage, the crowd went wild. I had never experienced anything like it, and as the show went on I felt myself get lost in the music, and I really enjoyed watching the older people dance around. The crowd sang every word to every song, and their intensity didn’t die down until the last note was played on the second encore song “The Road Goes on Forever”.

That concert really opened my eyes to the world of live country music, which I never thought I would enjoy so much. Ever since that concert, I have developed a new sense of appreciation for country music, and nowadays I find myself really looking forward to any chance I get to go see a country artist perform. Although I might spend most of my time these days listening to some rock band, I still have a soft spot for country artists, and if I hear it at a bar or on the radio, or even on my iPod, I always find myself letting the music play and singing along.


Filed under Live Music, Texas