Thursday, June 12, 2014


This is an actual photo of me on the range

Inspired by my recent comment exchange with Robin on Your Daily Dose, I have decided that it's time for a change, and I'm gonna cowboy up!

Yep, DiscConnected is moving to Nashville and goin' country!

I wasn't too interested until somebody told me that cowgirls look like this:

If I'd only discovered country bars sooner....

One word.


The latest issue of Rolling Stone is devoted to country music, and includes their list of the 25 Greatest Country Songs of All Time.

And it goes something like this:

I am hoping some of you regulars who are more versed in the sound of the redneck, um...the south, will weigh in here, but I actually think for once, Rolling Stone gets it pretty close to right!

Most of what has passed as country for a few decades now is really pop, and I expected to see "Achy Breaky Heart" on this list, at which point, I would have promptly lost my lunch.

While I do not know all of these songs, I am familiar with most of the artists, and think they belong here.

Why they chose Tammy Wynette's cover of a classic Blues Brothers song did confuse me.

Even songs that border on novelty songs ("Take This Job And Shove It" and "All My Exes Live In Texas") are hard to argue with, in fact, I could make a case for "All My Rowdy Friends" needing to be here, except I am sure Stephen T. McCarthy will beat me to it.

I certainly would like to hear an argument against "I Walk The Line" being in the top spot.

My only real problem is at number twenty-four. Isn't Taylor Swift really just a pop singer? She's from Pennsylvania, although I give her credit for not faking a southern accent in the interviews I've seen (see my comments below).

But would we be talking about her if she did not look like this:

more cheerleader than country

What's that? 

She's old enough to vote now? 

Oh heck, let's talk about her more!

Seriously, when I think of Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt" not being on this list, it's hard to swallow anything by Ms. Swift being there, cute as a button though she may be.

And I have nothing against cowgirls. Look-here's another one!

I accept that I am, at heart, an adolescent

Now for the record, I know I may a lot of country music jokes, but I am really not a hater, it is just not my favorite genre of music (but it's ahead of rap).

Although the ladies do love to dance to it...

no real point to this-just another gratuitous picture

But there are some reasons for my opinion on the genre, and like The Man With No Name, I am ready to defend my position!

Clint Eastwood's iconic spaghetti western image

I recognize that there are many fine songwriters in country music (always have been). The genre has two traits that make it difficult for me.

First and foremost is the guitar tuning-the twang is a signature sound for country music, but I just hate the way it sounds.

Webster defines twang as "harsh," and it sure sounds that way to me.

If you go back and listen to any 70's era Skynyrd album, the twang is the only thing separating the band from most of today's country artists.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

When the twang is less pronounced, I like the music a lot more.

What can I tell you? That's my preference!

Plus, go back a few posts and look at my CD collection already-where the heck would I put any more?

My second issue is with people who do not normally speak with a southern drawl who "put one on" because they are now country artists.

That includes you, John Eddie-you started out at the Jersey shore, and you went from saying "Yo Faithful" to "Y'all."

Stop it!

Same to Jo Dee Messina (a lot of southern accents in Boston, honey?) and Shania Twain (you're from Windsor, babe-a Detroit accent, maybe!).

Just talk the way you talk, and let the music speak for itself!

And if you can manage to muffle the twang, so much the better!

And now, in classic country fashion, I am gonna ride off into the sunset!

In the next scene, I fall on my back, break my neck and get bitten by a rattlesnake

One of Darius Rucker's solo songs...the guitar tuning has the country twang, but his voice sounds just like it did on the Hootie & The Blowfish records...which is why I own his "country" records.

Ditto for Sheryl Crow (although she's so sexy, I'd almost forgive a fake country accent in her case...may not even notice!).

If all country singers would just be comfortable with their own voices and stop being posers (if you didn't have a southern accent before you were a country singer, you shouldn't have one now), I'd respect their work a lot more.

Here's an example of a rock song that with a nudge (or a twang) would be a country tune (from Tom Kiefer, frontman for Cinderella).

In fact, his lead guitar is real close to twanging....

And now, I am off to a hoedown! Catch y'all later!


  1. Okay, this is only an OPINION... I like most of the songs on that list. There are some that are too old for me. I have heard of the artist but not the song. My big problem with the list is that ALL of the songs (with the Taylor Swift exception... WTH)... oh, and George Strait (which is JUST FINE) ignore everything that has happened in country music in the last 40 years.

    There are plenty of artists that have been playing since the 80s-90s and still going strong and they SHOULD be on that list. For instance, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks (even though he has stopped and started a few times), Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, Alabama (who are mostly stopped now but flourished for decades), Toby Keith, Alison Krauss, and REBA. There are fringe artists like Mary Chapin Carpenter who still make records but they just don't have a niche. Her Come On Come On album from the 90s was exquisite and she still records today. Tanya Tucker deserves a mention. Who doesn't know Delta Dawn???

    I don't know what Alan Jackson song I would choose (there are SO MANY). If I hadn't already selected something for you today I would have picked his song Gone Country JUST FOR YOU. But is that his BEST SONG? I bet his song that stayed longest at number #1 was Where Were You? about 9/11, but is it his best??? I like Drive, but I bet it wouldn't make the list. I don't know... I am lost in the sheer volume of choice.

    Looking for that clip for you on YouTube showed a Brooks & Dunn video in the sidebar. Egads. How could I have forgotten Brooks & Dunn??? Boot Scootin' Boogie I am sure still gets tons of play at the country clubs. It was a HUGE song for them.

    Tim McGraw has a ton of songs, too. I would probably choose Don't Take The Girl. (None of my choices are based upon how long the songs stayed at the top of the charts... just sayin'.) Garth Brooks would probably be Friends In Low Places (who doesn't know that?). Kenny Chesney's The Good Stuff, Faith Hill's Like We Never Loved At All (with Tim McGraw), Alabama's Mountain Music or If You're Gonna Play in Texas (I particularly like 40 Hour Week, but that is just me), Toby Keith's How Do You Like Me Now? or I Love This Bar are my faves, but I bet his patriotic songs got more time in the #1 slot, Alison Krauss's Whiskey Lullaby with Brad Paisley (who I forgot above and deserved a mention kills two birds with one stone), Mary Chapin Carpenter's I Feel Lucky, and Reba McEntire's... OMG, how do I choose???.. Fancy!

    I think Taylor Swift is a talented girl - she writes her own songs - but she is at the beginning of what I hope becomes a long and VARIED career. I look forward to what her music evolves into as she matures. It feels too much like kid stuff for me (most of the time). She has some exceptions... although Mean (the one on the chart) is not one of them. I think her best effort is actually Safe and Sound featuring The Civil Wars...

    I took the long way around to say that if I were any one of these artists I would not be happy with this list. There have been PLENTY of amazing artists that have killed it in country music in the last 40 years. Having ONLY George Strait be on the list is RIGHT. Taylor Swift and Mean is just WRONG. And at least some of these other artists should be in the Top 25. As usual, in my opinion, Rolling Stone has a skewed list.

  2. I hold to my previously stated opinion (the Top 25 should be a better mix of all decades and not just song recorded before the mid-80s - with the exception of Ms. Swift who doesn't belong there at all.)

    However, this post caused me to pull up my country playlist and that made me think of EVEN MORE people who should be considered. Bah. This list just looks worse to me the more I think about it. But that isn't why I came back.

    Jason Aldean is fairly new to the music scene. I think he released his first song about 10 years ago. And that means (to me) that he should in contention. Yeah, he is still going strong. But, I thought that YOU would appreciate this song. I will let you figure out why...

    1. I certainly do not have a strong enough opinion to make a strong argument either way, Robin-on other lists, it seemed to me that the magazine erred on the "recent" side to appear trendy. so the fact that this list did not I found as a positive.

      I expected a list full of Garth brooks and Billy Ray Cyrus mention Garth, and while my initial take is he didn't belong, I think I'd agree with "Low Places" for the same reason I was okay with "Take This Job And Shove It."

      I have nothing against Taylor Swift's music-I just have never heard anything that was any less disposable as any other pop song.

      Any if a song is that good, I don't care if they have one album and make the list.

      Quite frankly, I'd put Eric Church on there before Taylor Swift...but I may be partial to him because of that "Springsteen" song.

      I'll have to hold off commenting on the clip until after work...


    2. I know that we are partial to Wikipedia and their information, BUT I googled Country Billboard Top Songs of the Year and got a list on Wiki not only for country, but other genres. If you compare the top songs as they charted with this list you will see a large degree of separation. Oddly enough, George Strait has never had a song be number one for the year. And Ms. Swift has not either. I have no idea, even if you exclusively used only songs that were number one for their year, how to decide which ones would go in the Top 25 or their order. But, you can see by looking at this list what I said before about the last several decades being left off the list (quite wrongly) and how could they not include Always On My Mind by Willie Nelson????

    3. Robin- Not sure this is clear, but that was not my list, it was Rolling Stone's.

      I am not sure what their criteria was, but it's usually all opinion (sometimes that of staff writers, sometimes other musicians).

      I do not think sales is a consideration (or at least not the only one).

      And when I make the comment about them getting it right, I really meant by not pandering to recent artists.

      I saw a best albums list not long ago where Radiohead's "OK Computer" was number one.

      So many or the artists you reference, I do not have a strong opinion on one way or the only strong opinion is that there is no way any song by Taylor Swift should make the list in place of Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt."


    4. Ignore most of my comment-when I read yours at first, I thought you were asking me if I excusively used certain criteria-I reread it (because I thought I was clear the list was not mine) and get that it was a case of me speed reading and not getting everything.

      But that last paragraph stands. The Man In Black + "Hurt" equals a top 25 entry!

  3. I was surprised that more "newer " songs weren't included. I think that is a pretty tight top ten. And I agree with you on TSwift and twice the agreement on Hurt. I would have put Wichita Lineman higher, but that's just me. And Darius is EXCELLENT as a country star, I cry at the thought of It Won't Be Like This For Long.

    1. I think Darius really does switch genres while remaining who he is at heart, which makes me appreciate him all the more.

  4. Kenny Rogers' 'THE GAMBLER'?


    I'm more a fan of the Country Outlaw movement, so my selections would lean more that way, although a few of the songs on that list are hard to argue with (e.g., 'I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry', 'Crazy', 'Walking The Floor Over You').

    And where's Jim Stafford's 'Cow Patty'?! Ha!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. I'm partial to "Spiders And Snakes" myself...I always forget that the song really is country.

      I was just happy that there were no "trendy" selections (like Radiohead having the best album ever a couple of years back)...but do see Robin's point that there should probably be some recent representation.

      No list is perfect, but this may be the best one I have seen from Rolling Stone.