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Can a Yankee Like Country Music? : RadioPotato

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Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Can a Yankee Like Country Music?


Spoon-fed fist-pumping club music for breakfast, country music never seems to be on the menu for the Yankee population.

Born and raised in New Jersey, my fingers hits the dial faster than a baby’s hand on a stove when country music is on the radio. Now that I live down south, it’s way more prevalent…yet, I still don’t like it.  I’ve got a challenge for RadioPotato readers.

Here’s the rundown:

  • Sugarland doesn’t do it for me (I took big heat for it here)
  • I wouldn’t know Travis Tritt if I fell over him (or Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, or whatever their names are…although their names sound like country music versions of stripper names)
  • I’ve seen Zac Brown Band a bunch of times before they got huge and um, flatline
  • People like Taylor Swift, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, and Lady Antebellum don’t count – because they are crossover + I kinda like them
  • Dolly Parton is the bomb, despite my previous statements

YET, for all you country music fans, there might be a glimmer of hope.  Every once in a while, a country music song will be playing over the loudspeakers and I’ll catch some of the songwriting – and BAM.  I”m a little drawn in.

So here’s what my request is.  Please post a video, link, or suggestion of a song that you think I’ll love.  I’m going to find ONE, buy their entire music collection, and promote it here.

For more music musings, stalk RadioPotato at Facebook, Twitter, RadioPotato’s RSS Feed, and at music news super-site, The Silver Tongue where I’m a contributor. Thanks for checking the music out and as always, support emerging artists!

About the author

Allison Hare wrote 138 articles on this blog.

A modern-day dame with a bionic ear for discovering emerging artists and a penchant for live shows. Admitted radio junkie



33 Responses to “Can a Yankee Like Country Music?”
  1. JrzyGyrl says:

    Oh, my fellow Jersey girl…I felt much the same way about country music until about five years ago when a friend of mine practically dragged me to see Patrick Davis. Patrick’s a songwriter, originally from Camden, SC now living in Nashville, who has written a lot of songs for big country names – Darius Rucker, Pat Green, Lady Antebellum. From his first song, I loved him. Perhaps it’s his personality on stage that does it, or maybe he endeared me by bringing his Dad to play guitar with him (and still does, to every Charlotte show)…but I just adore his music. He calls himself a “Southern Songwriter,” rather than a country musician. His songs definitely have a country flair, but there’s a lil’ bit of rock ‘n’ roll in his presentation. Here’s the link to a playlist of videos I’ve taken of him over the past few years…Hope maybe you’ll find something to like (I recommend “Broken Paradise,” “Beat of Your Heart,” “Lucky,” and the video of “May the Circle Be Unbroken.)

  2. Lindsay says:

    Mallary Hope’s Love Lives On… She is from my hometown in Georgia and I’ve had the opportunity to get to know her over the paszt year. Her voice is amazing! Her CD should be out in the fall. Check her out

  3. this wont be a new discovery, but have you ever given The Wreckers CD a chance? you may have already, but it seems like the CD is kind of missed by alot of people because they broke up so fast.

    we know they don’t really count because the girls are both non-country singer songwriters in their solo work, and the songs they released as The Wreckers go more in the crossover category of pop-folk-rock, but ‘Stand Still, Look Pretty’ is a really good album as far as country goes for country allergic music fans to give a try 😀

    ‘Tennessee’ is one of our favorite songs of any genre…


    some other favorites on the cd are ‘Lay Me Down’, ‘Stand Still Look Pretty’, ‘Cigarettes’

  4. Sarah S says:

    You know how I mentioned this weekend that the only music Eric and I can agree on is Country (even though it was never our first choice)? Well…our wedding song was a country song: Bless the Broken Road by Racal Flatts

  5. brandon says:

    Nickel Creek – “Jealous Of The Moon” – http://bit.ly/i3dHly

  6. Lisa Pallozzi says:

    I am, before the end of this year/tour, going to convince you that Sugarland is worth your while. My fighting argument will remain that you HAVE to see them live. They are about as close to “country music” as Sarah Palin is to being our next President. Their energy on stage is out of this world. I’ve seen them live an embarrassingly large number of times and still absolutely look forward to the next gig each time. God willing, I will change you mind about them.

    But, for your challenge, I am going to direct you to a new single from a gal that doesn’t get more country than this. Her name is Ashton Shepherd and she’s from the backwoods of Alabama. Her new song is called “Look It Up” and it is what I will consider a ‘real’ country song out right now. Watch this video and tell me you dont fall in love. http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US#/watch?

  7. Bruce says:

    I’m with JenniCat on this one, Allison. You’ve got to reach out to the soulful side of country first, and let the storytelling grab you. You can go way back to “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” by George Jones, a short while back to “Unanswered Prayers,” by Garth Brooks, or forward to “Some People Change,” by Montgomery Gentry. And a lot of what Elvis did was both rock and roll and country. Listen to “Kentucky Rain” and tell me that’s not a country song!

    Greatest song of all time: “You Never Even Called Me By My Name,” by David Allan Coe.

    Can a Yankee like country music? I’m a Jew-Boy from Long Island, and I have everything from Hank Williams Sr. and Bob Wills to Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts.

    We’ll have you dumping that Jersey Poof for a Stetson in no time!

  8. Sandra says:

    The Band Perry
    All Your Life (acoustic version)

  9. Allison Rizk says:

    Bruce, you win the award for THE most country suggestions ever. These are tough but I’m trying very hard to listen carefully. Btw, your posts are still hilarious to me. Keep ’em coming! Thanks-

  10. Allison Rizk says:

    My sweet Lisa! I have seen Sugarland live. That was when I heard them for the first time actually at a Coca-Cola festival downtown. And so it might have sealed their fate.

    I did, however, download and check out the Ashton Shepherd song and I like the attitude. It is tough to listen to country. Really tough – but I’m having fun with the songwriting. Thanks, girl!

  11. Allison Rizk says:

    Brandon, “Jealous of the Moon” is a gorgeous song. Is it really country because it seems to fly into the crossover category to me…which is probably why I like it! 🙂

  12. Allison Rizk says:

    My sweet pretty princess girls! Thanks for weighing in. I’d never heard of the Wreckers but I LOVE IT! Downloaded immediately. Thanks for your suggestions and keep ’em coming!

  13. Allison Rizk says:

    Lindsay, Mallary’s voice is gorgeous! It’s definitely got a traditional formula. Nothing wildly different but she has a beautiful voice. Thanks so much for posting-

  14. Allison Rizk says:

    Krissie, Patrick Davis just tugs all over my heart strings. What a fascinating story, too. *fist pump*

  15. Sarah S says:

    I have a hard time putting the Wreckers in that full country category (I do love their music).
    Michelle Branch was definitely pop before joining the duo.

  16. we know, we kinda cheated haha – it was an iffy attempt at the actual “country” challenge, but their myspace claims “Acoustic / Country / Pop” so we figured we’d squeak it in 😀

  17. Bruce says:

    And to dispel a nasty rumor: No, if you play a country song backwards, you do NOT get your wife, dog, and pickup truck back!

  18. brandon says:

    Allison – Nickel Creek is, as you suggest, probably on the cusp of being a crossover artist. Nickel Creek’s guitarist, Sean Watkins, has recently done a side project with Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman. The band is Fiction Family. You’d like the song “When She’s Near” – http://bit.ly/faJ49m.

    Here’s a pure country suggestion: George Strait – “Seashores of Old Mexico” – http://bit.ly/hRzPdP

  19. David Clapper says:

    Problem is Allison….You’re too smart for country.

    You have to dumb it down a little. the songs are silly most of the time and almost always simple but I have to say….As a music snob, I LOVE ME SOME COUNTRY.

    The Classics and the new country. Songs like Summer Thing, or A Little More Country Then That just make me feel good. Fun – they often paint a picture to me…A picture of something I’ve only imagined, but never seen. Simple Rural Life with love, tractors and cowboy boots. So, with that being said….

    Dumb it down – Open your imagination and your mind and head down yonder – Down the Chattachoocie…You’ll never guess how much that muddy water meant to you!!!

  20. Allison Rizk says:

    Wow, Dave. I had no idea you liked country. I’m almost disappointed. Anyway, who sings all those songs you mentioned? I’ll check ’em out!

  21. David Clapper says:

    disappointed? You’re not one to judge Allison! Are you!?!?! 😉

    Troy Olsen sings Summer Thing
    Easton Corbin sings A Little More Country Than That
    Jack and My favorite is Watching You by Rodney Atkins

    Don’t hate – APPRECIATE!!!

  22. Andrea Rizk says:

    Being born and raised in Nashville and having actually worked on Music Row for 2 years, I think that country music has more heart and true talent (i/e not over-processed crap) than any other genre of music (except maybe that of the indie rock singer/songwriter).

    Here are my choices of songs, knowing your musical taste, you might actually like:
    Doubting Thomas by Nickel Creek
    There is No Arizona/Jamie O’ Neal
    Last Call/LeAnn Womack
    Your Man/Josh Turner
    Like We Never Had a Broken Heart/Tricia Yearwood
    Cheap Whiskey/Martina McBride
    Boon Docks/Little Big Town
    Wave on Wave/Pat Greene
    Here I Am/Patty Loveless
    Angry All the Time/Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
    You Look So Good in Love/George Strait

    I hope one of these turns you into a fan. Love you girl!

  23. Bruce says:

    Easton Corbin sounds almost exactly like George Strait, but that’s ain’t a bad thing.

    The bottom line is that you can love any genre, as long as the musician touches you.

    What I’m playing this morning:
    Michael Buble
    Lady Antebellum
    LL Cool J
    and just to make it smooth – Iz (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole)

  24. Raymie says:

    If you can like country not even 0.0000000000001% you’ve missing lots of what’s out there .
    One such person is Bobby Ray Bittle ,unsigned artist ,sings amazing songs too !

  25. Meade says:

    Im from Virginia the Birthplace of Country Music- and I love Country Music. But I think that any mainstream type of Country Music or Rock or Pop is not quality. And Im sorry you are a Bigot. But anyway, Country music really is a wonderful art form and has very great songwriters and singers. Patsy Cline is my favorite female Country singer (she is from Virginia), and also Marty Robbins my favorite Male Country Singer. But there is Country in a lot of Popular songs- most people are listening to Country and dont even know it. But Im so sick of people saying they like all kinds of music except… Because first of all , no you dont. And secondly, its just not true. Mostly people who are not creative or artistic, will not like Country Music, because they are casual music listeners.

    Also, there are many types of Country Music not limited to the Blues Honky Tonk which people assoicate as the only kind of Country Music. There are Lord knows how many styles and types. But in a word, I love Country Music!

  26. Meade says:

    Forgot to mention- Suzy Bogguss is wonderful too:

  27. Jake says:

    I didn’t know that people identified themselves as “yankees” anymore. Maybe it’s because I never referred to them as “yankees”, but “assholes”…but that’s beside the point.

    That said. There is no country music worth listening to in the post-Garth Brooks era. Today’s country makes me want to turn my ears off.

    But to your request, go listen to “Straight From the Factory” by Clint Black. Or that song that he did on the Maverick soundtrack. Both solid songs.

    Now I’ll go back to my regularly scheduled bitching at http://www.effin885.com.

  28. andrew says:

    Challenge accepted! Stereotypical country heartbreak song, but with painful lyrics that will pull you in. “Hank Williams might have been a love sick drinker, but being a love sick drunk don’t make you Hank.”
    Sons of Bill “Broken Bottles” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0OjnedrUGc

  29. MusicLover says:

    Can a Yankee have good taste in music? Thats more the question. The lady started out that she listens to Club/Dance music, and has the nerve to say thats better than Country? Well to each his/her own. Country Music actually has meaning, and its a song driven genre. If you dont like lyric driven songs with stories, you probably wont like Country. But then again, there are so many different types of Country Music. Thats what I dont get. People say “I like everything but Country”. But what kind of Country? There’s Western Swing, Country Pop, Cow Punk, Alt Country, Traditional Bluegrass, not to mention Folk singer songwriters, the list goes on and on.

    And, oh, this is 2011. Country Music hasnt been “Southern” in at least 40 years. Besides the one talking about their “roots” and putting on faux southern accents, you see, Country singers are from Canada and actually I believe Country Music is more popular in the Midwest than it is the South. Its a very commercial format. Today’s Country sounds more Pop than Pop.

  30. NJ2NC says:

    Look woman.
    Dance/Club music all sounds like a retard got happy with a keyboard.

    I was born in NJ, been raised in the South all my life.
    I like a lot of music. But I love country music.

    Can’t really say it’s an acquired taste either. Most modern country has a lot of pop influence. Not all.
    And you can tell when they start playing a lot of it on Pop stations.

    Either way, anytime you feel like it you can come kiss MY country ass.

  31. Meade says:

    I agree with NJ2NC. Dance music makes my ears bleed. At least Country Music is art and has some sorta meaning. Not just a thumping pulsating beat with electronic distorts .


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