Contemporary Country

Working on the Blue Sky Folk Festival is enticing me to learn more about contemporary Folk and Country music. I tend to like the sound of older Country music, Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubbs, some Willie Nelson. I am exploring.

I listened to some contemporary Country music yesterday on the surface at first, to me, it seemed so sappy and overly produced. I felt it too commercial. On the other hand, I don’t know the entire genre of contemporary Country music so well. Just like pop music, on the surface were I to randomly channel flip and listen I could easily think I don’t like pop music, that much of it is too commercial.

Some things I do like about contemporary Country music is that it typically is so much about honoring one’s relationships with people, with the land and being at peace with one’s occupation. And that’s important to me–that’s what I’m looking for, and that’s why I’m so interested in the idea of Country music.

What I don’t like is that quite often it has been used to sell trucks and the musical themes seem so similar in much of it, the voices so similar.

I mean, I kind of like trucks, but only if one really needs one for one’s work. I can see being emotionally attached to the truck. I think that’s OK. I’ve always liked cars, am very attached to my Prius, was very attached to my Hondas. Will be neat in the future to see electric trucks.

Electric trucking. Keeping on trucking. Electric trucks powered by stored up wind & solar energy. Somehow, it will happen. Imagine an organic farmer in his electric pickup truck looking up at the wind turbines slicing the sky, spirals overlaying the milky way. No monoculture crop fields, but fields abuzz with bees thriving on diverse pollens.

I also don’t like that Country music has been associated so often with being overly patriotic and unquestioning. Smith listens to Country, old Country. It kind of opened my eyes. I mean, what if I was incorrect about most people who listen to Country music being war-mongering? Maybe most people who listen to Country music are actually peaceful. Maybe they listen to Folk music a lot, too. I mean, isn’t Folk Country? What’s the different between Folk and Country? Doesn’t Country aspire to be Folk? Is Folk a kind of rarified Country? Is Country commercial Folk?

Can we step inside all stereotypical associations and instead of saying that, for instance, flag waving is typical of someone who wants to kill people outside the country, that instead it is about someone who is taking pride in their region, and not assume that the person would want to support militarism? That’s the kind of thinking I am interested in, stepping in, observing, reinterpreting, recontextualizing, healing, understanding, being together, approximating the Oneness that we are in more wholesome ways.

~ Lady

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