Country Music Is Good Again

Country Music

What happened? Country music is good again – seriously. It’s like it moves in 20 year cycles or something.

I grew up during “the 2nd golden age of country music.” As a kid, I listened to Alan Jackson, Clint Black, Tim McGraw, Travis Tritt, George Strait, Faith Hill, etc. I listened to first wave country music from the late 1960s / 1970s which was also great – Johnny Cash, Waylon, Willie, etc.

But then it got weird in the mid-2000s. Country music was early with cancel culture. And then became a ridiculous, lazy parody of itself. Nativist politics brought a toxic streak. Bro country was a thing. I was formulaic. Even Taylor Swift left the genre. I not only quit listening, but actively avoided all of it. I made fun of it. I mean, some parodies were right on.

But I got the sense that something was bubbling after 2020. I tried Zach Bryan and Chris Stapleton. And they were…good? Yeah – really good!

Nuanced lyrics, a deep feel, leaning into the best of the genre while layering interesting bits from other styles.

Edit 2/12/2024 – ha! Beyonce has a country album lol.

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