Country for the Non-Believer

Howdy, Pardners. Greetings from Music City, The City That Never Sleeps, The Big Apple, The Windy City… Nashville, Tennessee. That’s right, I stuck the stirrups in and giddy up’d all the way to the sonic south. And to indoctrinate my first post as a resident of the country capital of the world, I figured I might make an effort to show some southern hospitality to a genre I’ve long neglected: country.

You may be skeptical! You might be like I once was, shirking country all together because I had only ever known pop songs thinly veiled with exaggerated drawls and sleeveless flannels as the anthems of conservative America . You may be shuddering at the songs that soundtrack commercials of Ford F-150 or play to slow motion Clydesdales pulling Budweiser. You may think of the genre as rich celebrities pandering to blue collar sensibilities by recycling tropes of alcoholism, barn hoedowns, idolatry of country, and an over-enthusiastic romanticism of the “good ole days.”

There’s some of that.

However, I’m here to make the case that there is something for everyone in there, if you know where to look. So in an effort to make a case for the genre to every disposition, I’ve compiled a playlist of songs that may appeal to those that didn’t find what they were looking for on the radio.

In promoting the genre to those resistant, I’ve included two categories: First, I’ve included some of the established icons of the genre. If you don’t find Cash, Prine, and Van Zandt to your fancy, then you might want to forsake the genre completely. The rest of the list is what I would categorize as “alternative country.” These are songs that are country, but will incorporate some other genres that you know and love (folk, blues, rock, soul) to ease your transition into country-dom.

Yee haw and godspeed,

Ryan

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