And yes, there is the option of saying we are fans of “classic country.” But of course, that excludes all the great country music that still is put out today, but ignored by the mainstream: artists like Hayes Carll, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers Band, Brandy Clark, Lindi Ortega, Dean Brody, and the list can go on.
Or, we could label ourselves as fans of “alternative country,” which makes sense, and is true, but it leads to the same end of explaining what we mean. Call yourself a fan of alternative country and people who aren’t familiar with the term will ask you what you mean. There are radio stations devoted to “alternative rock,” but aside from satellite and internet radio, there’s very little outlet for alternative country.
Country, more than any other genre, has been stolen from its fans. It has been stolen from its artists, from the artists who made its traditions and heritage great. And the industry involved with the mass production of the music seems to be the only one intent upon making a complete joke and mockery of the genre.