Author Archives: Mark Anderson

Where did all the Country bands go?

Alabama’s Randy Owen was recently quoted saying, “I Want to Hear More Bands.” This message comes from lead singer of the band Alabama, which was one of the main reasons bands were so popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Owen takes a look around and realizes that Country music is growing away from the appeal of bands.

Today in Country music, most artists are individual performers known only by their own name. The shift from bands to individual artists was gradual over time, but was very clear by the early 2000s. The reason for this may be the appeal of fame and being the center of attention. For the most part, famous country artists receive more attention than country bands, because of the focus only being on one single person. Now, there aren’t many country bands that I can currently think of, because of this shift.

In a different interview with Randy Owen, he tells of how he is saddened by the low number of “self contained bands” nowadays. A “self contained band” is one where the band members actually play their own instruments and write their own songs (which is almost unheard of today). Owen tells of how it shouldn’t be this way, and I agree with him. When there is a band (or even an individual artist) playing and you know that they play their own instruments and write their own songs, it feels much more genuine.

Random (but authentic) Country band

Most artists have songwriters that will write the majority of their music, and this has become the standard (at least for big name artists). Many Country artists still play their own instruments though, especially the guitar, which is great. Music has seemed to drift away from bands and pushed the focus onto the individual. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But, there is something about seeing a real band on stage and seeing how they interact with each other and the crowd is just incredible, and it feels authentic. It shows that they care more about the group as a whole than the individual, and I feel that it gives the audience a sense of togetherness and gets them more involved in the performance.

There will probably not be a shift back to the era of bands, like it was in the 80s and 90s. This is because times are changing and most fans have come to like the idea of individual artists more and more, which is also completely fine. It’s all about the audience and giving them what they want, and the shift from bands to individuals (and vice versa) isn’t a bad thing by any means. It is just something different, and it is what we come to expect now in these changing times.

Rascal Flatts


Filed under New Traditionalism, News

Bro, That’s what Country is all about.

Has anyone else every heard of a subgenre of country music called “Bro Country?” Well… Neither have I, but I found this Time article interesting so I decided to look into it further.

Blog post 2 pic 2The well-known Country music duo Florida Georgia Line is the epitome of what is known as Bro Country. It has a really relaxed sound to it, and it makes you think about all the good times that you’ve had with your boys (I’m not sure if girls can relate as much with this topic). Bro Country is all about the bros and that kind of lifestyle. It involves: parties, drinking, and girls, of course!! Other artists that portray this kind of vibe are Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, and Luke Bryan.

The debate over bro country not only divides guys and girls, but also the frat boys and the “old farts.” In response to this situation between the kids and the old men, Blake Shelton comments: “Well that’s because you (old men) don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do, and they don’t want to buy the music you were buying.” The turning point from the older side to the bro side of country was most likely with the release of the song Cruise by Florida Georgia Line.

From then on out, artists used guitars as opposed to fiddles more often, and the sound of Country music in general seemed to shift. It shifted to a more relaxed, younger sound that seems to only be growing in popularity. The appearance of the modern day country artist changed along with the sound, as well. These artists are now covered in tattoos, tank top wearin’, young, party hearted frat boys it seems. Country music has seemed to move to be very modern, and this shift has only occurred in the past few years.

Country star Kenny Chesney is a firm supporter of the Bro Country movement, as displayed in his song “No Shirt, No Shirt, No Problem.” He is a very laid-back and carefree country artist, making him display what being a bro as all about. In his newest album, the track “Wild Child” he describes the kind of girl that country boys are interested in. Chesney says: “If you didn’t wear cut-off jeans or a bikini top, or sit on a tailgate and drink, then you really weren’t worthy.” The Bro Country movement lets everybody know exactly what they’re lookin’ for in life and that it’s all about having a good time.

Comment and let me know what y’all think. Thanks for reading!!


Filed under Bro Country

The Country Anthem

Dirt Road Anthem

Dirt Road Anthem by Jason Aldean

Although I don’t listen to country music very often, this is one song I like very much. When I think of the genre of Country music, I think of dirt roads out in the country, drinking beer, people smoking cigars, and just living carefree. Dirt Road Anthem brings out those feelings when I listen to it. Jason Aldean also has that “twang” in his voice which makes him sound even more country. In my opinion, Country music should be about anything that makes you happy and it should help the listener forget about their worries so that they can just enjoy the music for what it is.

In the music video for Dirt Road Anthem, Jason Aldean is either singing in the middle of an old country road, or inviting all of his friends to come have a good time with him. The music video clips show Jason driving down a dirt road further and further into the country. Then, as the video progresses, all of his buddies and their girls join him with their trucks to start the party. They drink beer and have a bonfire, just like Jason Aldean describes in his song, which helps put a picture to what he is saying.

blog post 1 (2)

In a certain part of the chorus, the lyrics are: “laid back swervin’ like I’m George Jones, smoke blownin’ out the window, and ice cold beer sittin’ in the consol.” I believe this part of the song signifies to me what country is all about. It is about not caring about what the world is doing, but rather just hanging out with your friends listening to music and doing anything that you enjoy. I feel that this is what draws listeners so much to the idea of country music. It gives you piece of mind and helps you forget about the problems you have or anything else you may be going through, at least for a little while. Country music is also about the vibe that you give off, including what you wear. In the video, everybody is wearing jeans, cowboy boots, and cut off flannels. Jason Aldean is going even further and sporting his cowboy hat. This gives the perception that you are somebody who lives in the country and is very laid back as well. But, more importantly this genre is about living carefree and showing you don’t give a damn about what anybody thinks.

This song has turned me on to the genre of country music more than any other song I’ve heard so far. Jason Aldean is a very talented performer and it shows in his music. He’s got that certain “twang” in his voice that many look to achieve, and it seems that he has the ideal attitude of a country boy too. I still do not listen to a whole lot of country music at is it, but I definitely enjoy it more now than in the past.

blog post 1 (3)

Comment and let me know what y’all think!!


Filed under New Country, Reflection, Song Analysis