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Country Music States 11-20

Mike Sudhalter  |  June 19, 2009


Can Sarah Buxton release a complete album
and move Kansas higher on the list?

20.Nevada For all of the Old West flavor behind the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas and Reno, one would expect more country music. Sure, there's the National Finals Rodeo, and a couple of weeks during which country stars visit Las Vegas, left and right. The stars also perform in Las Vegas, and occasionally, Reno. The rest of the state is simply too sparsely populated to have many concerts. No artists of note have emerged from Nevada, either.

19.Kansas The Jayhawk State has produced artists like Martina McBride and Chely Wright. Then, there's newcomer Sarah Buxton. You have the Country Stampede festival annually in Manhattan, Kan. And little Opry houses are all over the state. Kansas is in a position to move up the list with the breakthrough of a few more stars.

18. Arizona Arizona was the home state of country music legend Marty Robbins. It's also the home state of budding superstar Dierks Bentley. But aside from that (and its breathtaking scenery), Arizona seems to have lots of honky-tonks and country nightclubs. It's the real West and unlike other Western States, it hasn't forgotten its history.

17. Florida The Sunshine State has produced lots of country music artists, especially from the northern portion of the state. But it will always be associated with resorts and beaches rather than honky-tonks and steel guitars. As Florida has grown, much of its country roots have disappeared.

16. Virginia While Tennessee gets much of the credit, country music was born along the Tennessee/Virginia border. And lots of artists have hailed from the Commonwealth.

15. South Carolina With artists like Aaron Tippin and Josh Turner calling South Carolina their home state, it's hard to discount the Palmetto State's contributions to country music. Alabama wasn't from there, but it's the place where they built a fan base. There's also the Carolina Opry in Myrtle Beach -which is a nice showcase for the genre.

14. North Carolina Two words - Randy Travis. While North Carolina is definitely becoming more modern and upscale in places like the Research Triangle and Charlotte, it still retains its country roots. I'm not sure about the country nightlife there. But the state is still producing country artists - check out Eric Church, Bucky Covington and Jason Michael Carroll.

13.California If this was 20-25 years ago, California would be a shoo-in for the Top 10. Bakersfield - the Western Capital of Country Music - is no longer what it used to be. The late Buck Owens' Crystal Palace is still open, and Merle Haggard calls Redding, in extreme northern California, home. But there's no more Bakersfield Sound, and the state hasn't produced an artist of any significance since Gary Allan. With the entertainment capital being Los Angeles, that still has a huge effect on the genre. Artists go there to promote their albums or to try their hand in the movie industry. But California and Country Music no longer go hand-in-hand as they once did.

12.Louisiana This state has its own sub-genre of country music (Cajun/Zydeco) and lots of artists like Eddy Raven and Jo-El Sonnier have represented those sounds in the mainstream, and lively nightclubs are plenty in southern Louisiana. Sammy Kershaw has incorportated it into his music. But the northern half of Louisiana can't be forgotten - thanks to Trace Adkins, one of the biggest stars of the past decade.

11.Alabama Historically, you have the late Hank Williams, and all of the stories and legends that go along with one of country's most important performers. Then, in modern times, there's the band, Alabama. Jamey Johnson could continue to raise Alabama's profile on the country music map.

:: Posted at 12:02 AM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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