Future of Country
Mike Sudhalter | December 28, 2008
We're on the cusp of 2009, and the question needs to be asked.....where is country music headed?
About a decade ago, I would have told you it's on a one-way express to morphing completely into pop. With Shania Twain, Faith Hill and company leading the charge.
But tradition has made a comeback with the likes of Josh Turner, Luke Bryan and Ashton Shepard. And the Texas/Red Dirt scene can no longer be ignored. It's not the outlaw movement, but it's probably the closest thing we'd ever seen to it. And will ever see towards it.
Yes, Taylor Swift is on top of the charts, and there's no doubt that she's a CSINO - a country singer in name only.
Demographics of listeners are changing, and I think that bodes well for the Texas/Red Dirt scene. For many people who are in their late 20's/early 30's, country music is seen as very uncool. Singers like Roger Creager and Brandon Rhyder changed all that in the Lone Star State.
If Nashville were smart, they would treat Texas artists with respect and not simply try to treat it as another fad, because it has staying power.
However, the scene alone isn't enough to carry country music. The future of country, my friends, is in the diversity of the music. We'll have our Taylor Swifts, Roger Creagers, Big and Richs and Josh Turners all together - maybe not always in harmony - but always among each other atop the charts.