Country Music Is Not Dead

CMT, the channel that doesn’t entirely suck, gives me another reason to think so by featuring Chet Flippo and his always thoughtful and enlightening commentary on The Nashville Skyline section on their web site.
Chet has a nice recent commentary about rescuing a frightened turtle of a feeder road off Highway 100 west of Nashville and sees this terrified reptile as a symbol of the recording industry in the twenty-first century, the myopic economics of radio programming the strong-arm tactics of Wal-Mart and, alas, the inevitable death of the CD.

“But what does country music really have to offer these days? I think it offers more than the exploiters see on the surface. I think the many layers of talent in country have never been fully presented commercially, and, of course, if I knew how to do that, I would be a rich man today. And country has a steady stream of fresh new talent, most of whom will likely not ever get a chance to gain wide exposure because of the changing nature of the marketplace. Already, a number of new artists are having their debut releases postponed because of the market.”

Though I take exception to Chet’s argument that Nashville needs another mega-star like Garth or Shania (I think the mindless pursuit of cash cows is part of the recipe for crap), I do agree with his fundamental point that county music needs to take chances and risk alienation of some fans in order to survive. And I hope indy labels, local bars, the internet and blogs like this one and my other twangy-blog buddies can help usher in a new dawning of country music.

If not, we’ll have a damn fine time trying.

By way of The 9513.

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