... A Sour Apple Tree

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Name:
Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Friday, June 15, 2007

...ASAT trolls country music.

Here is a semi-random samplin' of some of my favorite country tunes of the past 75 years.

The Carter Family, "Can the Circle be Unbroken" --- Along with Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil and Kool DJ Herc looping of percussion beats, the recording of this particular song is one of the most important moments in the history of American popular music. Before "Circle," guitars kinda hung out in the background with other instruments, for the most part, in popular music recordings. Mother Maybelle, accompanied by A.P. Carter's innovative arrangements and and Sara Carter's angelic voice, brought the guitar to the forefront and paved the way for acts as diverse as P-Funk, The White Stripes, Metallica, Gretchen Wilson, and that Taiwanese kid on YouTube.

Patsy Cline, "Crazy" ---Decades before the development of emo music, Patsy Cline was the unquestioned queen of the saddies. Of all of her songs about loss and heartbreak, her rendition of this Willie Nelson song is my personal favorite. If it doesn't initiate some sort of emotional response, then you might want to check a mirror to see if you still have a reflection.

Waylon Jennings, "Good Ol' Boys" --- Granted, the theme to The Dukes of Hazard has become a bit cliche for some purists to mention in arbitrary lists such as this, but to them I say "up yours, cracker." Anyone that has ever drank moonshine, shot rats at the dump, or that knows that it is damn near suicide to try to keep 'tween the yeller lines when coming off of Kennison Mountain knows what I am talking about.

George Strait, "Carrying your Love with me" --- Let me say upfront that I am a sucker for any song that mentions "West Virginia" in the lyrics. this is especially true for this tune, where Strait could have easily sung "from Virginia down to Tennessee" just as easily, but went ahead and threw in that extra syllable that made all of the difference. Frankly, any song by Strait leans towards greatness and I predict that, in 100 years, he will still be remembered and enjoyed long after acts like Rascal Flats and even the great Garth Brooks are forgotten curiosities.

Dixie Chicks, "Long Time Gone" --- In recent years, it seems that politics have overshadowed the music of the Chicks, with the coastal liberal media folk heaping praise upon them without actually listening to their music and the Idiot America crowd chastising them for having the audacity to exercise their freedom of speech. Both sides cited them in an effort to "divide and conquer" in order to ensure that they got that critical 50% +1 that was sure to be the margin of victory in 2004. The Kerry campaign paraded them around the blue states to raise awareness (and cash) while Bush lashed out at them in order to help solidify his base's support of his wacky misadventures in the Fertile Crescent. What became lost in the brain droppings of both sides, however, was the fact that Home was one of the best country albums in quite some time. The 1990s saw country drift away from its bird-flippin' outlaw roots towards a corporate, conformist, white-bread sound that relied heavily on tired bumper sticker cliches, sophomoric jingoism, and lame-assed puns. In this cover of a Darrell Scott song, Maines, Robinson, and Maguire lament how Nashville has lost its way but also give hope to fans of a rebirth of the music that made our grandparents tap their toes every Saturday night.
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