Mike Sudhalter | July 24, 2007
From a pop-country two hour program to a movie featuring one of the greatest traditional country artists of all time, George Strait in Pure Country.
I own the DVD, but I always seem to watch it on CMT. The plot is pretty weak and the storyline even cheesier, but it's a treat to see the King of Country act and sing some of his songs. My favorite is "King of Broken Hearts", which he performs acoustically on the ranch.
Some had criticized Strait for veering towards country pop with the movie, but I disagree. The storyline also has some symbolism to it, the way I see it, about country music of the day. The Dusty character that Strait is similar to the Garth Brooks concerts of the 1990's, which got away from traditional country music and turned into rock-like extravaganzas. Strait, as most country fans know, holds concerts where it's just about him, his voice, guitar and Texas band.
In the film, he goes back to his roots and sings more traditional-type songs. The film also deals with an impostor playing Dusty while he leaves. That impostor could be meant to symbolize "figurative impostors" that were the hot new country acts of the early 1990's. Maybe I'm overanalyzing a simple, heartfelt movie, but why not?. Tell me what you thought about "Pure Country".
Speaking of pure country artists, check out Jerry Kilgore and Craig Hand. On Monday morning, I received an e-mail from one of Kilgore's friend. He informed me of Jerry's new album, and it sounded excellent. I saw Kilgore at the Missouri State Fair in the summer of 2000. I actually went to see Brooks & Dunn and Andy Griggs at the main stage on the Speedway, but I checked out Kilgore in the free concert area and thought he was great.
"Love Trip" was a great song as was the tearjerker "Cactus in a Coffee Can". On the new album, there's a song about a country singer who doesn't even know who Lefty Frizzell was.
I found Hand on Kilgore's myspace page, and he's got some great honky-tonk songs, including "I Pulled A Hank". You might remember Hand from his single last year, "Direct Connect".