Friday, 20 February 2009

C is for...Country & Western

For obvious reasons, Country & Western music is not that large a draw in England. A trip into our country will yield no wide expanses with cowboys and High Chaparral style ranches. It's farmers blocking roads with their tractors and the Wurzels singing about how they have a brand new combine harvester. True story and yes it did.
I remember a short lived C&W satellite channel a while back but otherwise the image is of Billy Ray Cyrus and Dolly Parton who is more famous for two other things rather than her songs.
The BBC music website used to lump Country and Folk Music together in the same genre which leads to headache inducing scenes of men skipping while wearing bells on their ankles and banging together sticks while wearing rhinestone shirts.
There have been some decent country singers that have made it here. The aforementioned Dolly and Billy, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers i can name off the top of my head and if i thought a bit harder i am sure i can think up some more men and women who appeared on Top of The Pops wearing a stetson and singing about how their dog died and their car got reposessed or their wife or husband left them.
Unfortunately, what comes with Country and Western music is probably the worst sounding instrument known to man. The Hawaiian steel guitar.
It sounds just like louder and more powerful version of the Stylophone that Rolf Harris would try and hock to us back in the 70s. Bloody nasty thing that was and if i never hear a Stylophone or a Hawaiian steel guitar ever again i will be happy. Even happier if i never hear that Coward of The County song also.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Must have been a while since you listened to C/W. Now it sounds a lot more like rock-n-roll...

Q

Cody Bones said...

JOhnny Cash is a genre unto himself. HE is the man.

Paul said...

It probably has Q for example Shanai Twain who if i didn't know was formerly a country singer, i would never have guessed by her songs. I do think of the likes of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton though when i think of C&W music.

Cheezy said...

I don't think much of award shows like the Brits... however I support their decision to have the 'Best Urban' categories... but no 'Best Rural' ones! Most country music is indeed pretty bad.

I agree with Cody though, that Johnny Cash was a lot bigger and better than the genre to which his music was (dodgily, in my opinion) ascribed.

Annie said...

New country music is more whiny and annoying than ever. Case in point: Carrie Underwood.

Paul said...

It is whiny Annie, you don't tend to get many happy Country songs. Its always about someone leaving, dying or just moaning about something. And then that damn Hawaiian guitar kicks in.

Noah "Nog" M. said...

As we often say: it's all about guys moaning about losing their girlfriends. And it really has been reduced to a sub-breed of pop.

But it is good for some lower entertainment every now and then.

-Nog

Annie said...

Slack key guitar I like.