Saturday, January 10, 2015

an anecdotal case for why Wenatchee The Hatchet would say you'd better listen to Boston than "country" these days

Back when there was this thing called "new country" Wenatchee The Hatchet heard about it sounded like old rockabilly that was reheated in a microwave, much like grunge was the same sort of thing with punk.  WtH has no problem with country in principle.  Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Sr. and Merle Haggard may be a bit more pop than country, maybe, but basically country written and performed by people born before 1960, that's okay.

New country, no.  New new country of the sort that gets targeted at the link above ... that's basically just pop.

Most of the contrasts across styles in contemporary Western popular styles that gets anywhere near Billboard seem to be more a matter of preferences in timbre and the pace of harmonic rhythm.  If you lean toward long and tedious rambling on over a single chord then you're more of a Zeppelin fan, natch. 

But the chords in the six songs mashed up in the link. The chord changes sounded threadworn and lame ... like the chords were used in some chorus in some song that's not even country but more like ...

oh yeah
"chords for heroes"

If the six mashed up songs are the sound of new country then why don't people just keep on listening to Boston?

The first couple of Boston albums may have been played to death but the songs that cement the clich├ęs are the ones that get to own `em better.


Matt Redmond said...

There is still some good country music being made. Though you have to go look for it. Justin Townes Earle is just one good example. My buddy, Corey Nolen, is making some good high and lonesome songs too.

Unknown said...

Wenatchee, what has wrecked modern country is sequencers, drum machines, and all the other digital tweaks that buff out the rough edges. The cool rhythmic vibe that tied country songs together has largely been emasculated.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Matt Redmond, thanks for the names.

Tim Worley, let's throw in the literal and figurative rise in dynamic range compression, too, and across all popular styles. :(