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SIS: Let's Go to Church

I drive a big assed truck. I love the beach & I really enjoy beer. Therefore, I tend to enjoy songs about trucks, beaches & drinking. That's why for the last year or so, I've really gotten into Country Music.


I realize that country is probably RR's least favorite genre, but with today's country music everything seems to be about fun. The songs are usually similar to each other and repeat the same themes over & over. The music is full or references to partying, drinking, weed, bonfires, beaches & doin' it.


If you were to tune into a modern country radio station, you probably wouldn't recognize it as the country music you are used to. There is a major Hip Hop influence (coined "Hick-Hop") and it's about as far from Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash & Randy Travis as you're going to get. It has also become a haven for artists that have faded in popularity. Over the last few years artists such as Sheryl Crow, Darius Rucker, LL Cool J, Kid Rock, Ludacris, Brett Michaels, Nelly, Jimmy Buffett, Snoop Dogg and Rob Thomas have crossed over into country music with varying degress of success. In a lot of ways, country music has turned into 90's pop radio.


That said, there is still A LOT of crap being produced in Nashville. There are bands like Florida Georgia line that are incredibly popular, but also very cheesy. I enjoy their music because it is fun, but there isn't much substance to it. Then there are artists like Luke Bryan, Hunter Hayes and Rascall Flatts that are little more than glorified boy bands. This SIS is not about trying to sell country music to Red Reporter. This SIS is about artists that perform in a genre you aren't particularly fond of, but you still REALLY like them.


This brings me to my new musical obsession, Eric Church. Church doesn't sing about the beach. I would label him as a rock artist that happens to make country music. Aside from the traditional country artists, Church lists his influencers as AC/DC and Metallica. That comes through very clearly in is last 2 albums, Chief and The Outsiders. In fact, Eric Church is the only country artist that was invited to play either Metallica's Festival or Lollapalooza. He is also a huge advocate for the legalization of Marijuana. It's a common theme in his songs including "I'm Getting Stoned" and "Smoke a Little Smoke". The first time I heard "Smoke a Little Smoke", I couldn't believe it was being played on FM Radio.


I'm not expecting anyone to share my taste in music. After 8 years of Red Reporting, I've given up on that. However, if you are a fan of music, I suggest you give his last two albums or his live album (Caught in the Act) a try. This Q&A from a couple of years ago is about him trying to reach audiences outside of country music.

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2012/06/eric_church_interview_orion.php

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via ecx.images-amazon.com


One last note on Church, you guys will be happy to know that OBC2 absolutely HATES his music.

So, enough about what I like. What artists to you enjoy that you wouldn't have expected to? Is there a type of music you generally avoid? What artist from that genre rises above its style? Who should I be checking out?

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