Author Archives: Ramie Payne

Dancing on the Grave of Country Music

Florida_Georgia_Line_Nicholas_ZaludNever before had someone expressed my feelings better than I could myself, but Jaime-Paul Falcon did just this in his review of the Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean concert at the Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas on October 25th. I do not like bro-country because it is not real country. If I showed you a picture of two guys dressed in jeans with chains hanging from their belts and cut-off shirts (that had their own band’s logo on it..) that show their tattoo-covered arms, I doubt you would guess that they are considered to be country artists. I doubt this because country artists are typically considered to be classy, all American boys/girls. Bro-country artists include rap in their songs, which makes no sense to me, wear outfits like the ones I just described, and have no real musical talent (in my opinion). I know I sound harsh, but I just can’t help how much I dislike bro country.

jason-aldeanAnd neither can Jaime-Paul Falcon. He explained my feelings about bro-country better than I ever could. He stated that he would “gladly endure [ebola] so long as I never again have to suffer the experience of sitting seven rows back from the stage while Florida-George Line and Jason Aldean gleefully danced on the grave of one of the most purely American forms of art”. Harsh, but true. So many country artists in the past (George Strait, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn – the list goes on and on) have made great songs that had meaningful lyrics, beautiful instrumentation, and are genuinely good quality songs and bands like Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean are most likely making some of these artists roll over in their graves.

These great artists didn’t make songs about drinking booze and picking up girls in their jacked up pickup trucks – they sang about love, heartbreak, and the country lives they actually lived. Tyler Hubbard and Scott Stapp of Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean did not grow up on farms or live the lives they describe in their songs. And neither did their audience. As Falcon described it, “I swear it’s like the people who love these songs don’t realize that none of them are actually farmers”. Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line also constantly sing about partying and drinking beer and getting girls. That’s not what I want to listen to – I want to hear about love and living the best life possible.

I definitely recommend reading this review for any country fan, especially those who do not think bro-country is real country music. It is humorous, witty, and in my opinion, true. Bro-country is not country music. I’ll admit, I often catch myself bobbing my head to songs like “When She Says Baby” and I know every word to “Cruise”, but I do not think these are good quality songs or are real country.


Filed under Bro Country, Country Pop

5 Reasons Why the Dixie Chicks Need to Have a Reunion Tour

I love the Dixie Chicks. They’re possibly my favorite band and what’s sad about this is even though they’re my favorite, I’ve never seen them live. I constantly check their website to see if they’ll ever tour again and every time I check is a disappointment. I need to see them live. For this reason, I have decided to make a list of five reasons why the Dixie Chicks need to have a reunion tour.

The cover of my all time favorite album Wide Open Spaces

The cover of my all time favorite album Wide Open Spaces

1. Their music is timeless
You know those songs that you hear on the radio over and over again and get so annoying that you can’t stand to listen to them? I don’t think a Dixie Chicks song could ever be one of those. I could listen to their songs one hundred times and still not get tired of them. I don’t know what it is about them, but their songs are catchy, meaningful, and, in my opinion, true country (but more on that later). Seeing the Dixie Chicks live would make these songs even more timeless for me because there’s just something different about hearing a song live and not just on recording. For some reason, I think hearing them live would make me want to listen to them even more.

 2. The Dixie Chicks are true country

Yes, there is some pop in many of their songs, but I still think the Dixie Chicks are true country. They use country instruments like the banjo, fiddle, and steel guitars. Their songs are about country living, love, and nostalgia. They also just have that country sound and twang to them that makes them so connectable. Country concerts are my favorite because, well country music is my favorite kind of music, and country concerts are just so much more fun. You can dance and sing and really connect to the artist in ways you can’t with pop artists.

The girls at one of their last concerts in 2003

The girls at one of their last concerts in 2003

 3. They are great performers

It is hard for bands and artists to sound just as good live as they do when recorded, but the Dixie Chicks are very good at this. Natalie Maines has such a cool and unique voice and it sounds just as amazing live as it does recorded. I can only say this based on the recordings of their live performances, but I’m going to go ahead and assume she truly does sound that amazing. The girls also love their music and love performing it for people and you can see this in any recordings of their live performances. I would love to be able to experience this talent and love for music in person, but I can only do that if they have a reunion tour.

4. They need a comeback

Ever since “the incident” in 2003 when Natalie Maines insulted President George W. Bush, the Dixie Chicks have really struggled to win back the approval of the huge fan base they had in the late 90s and early 2000s. A think a reunion tour will allow the girls to reintroduce themselves and get some of their fans back. I think that if the girls came out and performed their songs and made no statements on the past and simply played their music, people could look past “the incident” and remember why they love the Dixie Chicks. They make great music and I don’t think it is fair for them to not be able to make music because of one mistake they made.

An example of the negative reactions the girls got after "the incident"

An example of the negative reactions the girls got after “the incident”

5. I have never seen them perform live

I know this is selfish, but it’s probably the most important reason why I think the Dixie Chicks should have a reunion tour. The last time they performed in Texas, or even in the United States, was December of 2006. That was EIGHT years ago and I was only 12 years old. At this point in my life, I never really went to concerts and the Dixie Chicks weren’t a huge part of my life. So basically, I never really had the opportunity to see the Dixie chicks because they stopped touring in the United States before I ever really wanted to go see them. I am absolutely obsessed with them now so I think it’s only fair that they tour again so I can see them.

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Filed under Lists, Live Music, New Country, Texas

I Have More Fun When They’re Having Fun

There are few things I love more than watching an artist or a band that loves to perform. I have always had a more enjoyable time at concerts when the band gets into the music and looks like they are genuinely having a good time. This typically only occurs at country music concerts and this trend continued this weekend at the Turnpike Troubadours concert at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

IMG_1928It was a great show, from beginning to end. I camped out at the stage for an hour with six of my friends and it was well worth it because we were about 20 feet from the stage and right smack dab in middle. I swear I made eye contact with Evan, the lead singer, multiple times. He even looked right at my camera at one point. I had so much fun singing along to the songs, but I could tell the band had even more fun.

I loved Turnpike Troubadours before I saw them this weekend and now I love them even more. When they walked on stage, you could see Evan’s face light up when he saw everyone in the crowd cheering and screaming. It was easy to tell that he and his band-mates were beyond honored to be at ACL playing for everyone out there.

Throughout the show, each band member would take turns coming forward during songs to get close to the audience and engage with them. They wanted to see our faces, they wanted to see us sing, and they wanted us to see that they were excited to be there performing for us. They would smile at each other at points in their songs when the crowd shouted the lyrics or when we cheered long after their songs ended. They had smiles on their faces for the majority of the show. I had a feeling they would be excited to be there because they are a smaller band and this may have been the largest stage they’ve played on, but I had no idea how much they would show how excited they were to be there.

That's the steel guitar on the left!

That’s the steel guitar on the left!

Another thing I loved about this concert was how genuine of a country band they are. Until taking this class, I had never really thought about what it meant to “be country,” but know that I have I know that Turnpike Troubadours really are country. They have everything that makes up a country band, from the instruments, the lyrics, and the look.

Their setlist from the concert.

They have acoustic guitars, electric guitars, a fiddle, a banjo, drums, and the instrument I was most excited about, the steel guitar. When I saw it sitting up there, I immediately thought about this class and how influential the steel guitar has been throughout country music history. Their songs are filled with stories about love, nostalgia, and being out in the country. They opened the show with my favorite song, “Every Girl” which describes a girl whom a boy is in love with. The lyrics echo nostalgia, love, and everything it means to be country. It states “she was born in the morning late October San Atone” and describes her as “a sober Sunday kitchen conversation with my dad,” “every friend I’ve ever had,” and “a flighty good time buddy in the corner of the bar.”

All in all, this was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. I was more excited to be there once I saw how excited the band was. I really think it makes a difference when a band shows how honored and happy they are to be performing – it makes it so much more enjoyable for the audience and it definitely made it more enjoyable for me at this concert.


Filed under Austin, Live Music, New Country, Reflection, Texas