Johnny Cash, Toby Keith & Kacey Musgraves: What Is ‘Real’ Country Music?

Johnny Cash, Toby Keith & Kacey Musgraves: What Is ‘Real’ Country Music?


100 Replies to “Johnny Cash, Toby Keith & Kacey Musgraves: What Is ‘Real’ Country Music?”

  1. Thoughts? Are you a country music fan? What kind of artists do you enjoy? Do you have an issue with what people call "bro" country? Let us know!

  2. I characterize most popular country today as "twangy hip-hop" it doesn't do anything new or unique. It lacks a clear identity and is written to appeal, not be art.

  3. You know, I never really realized how deep this went. I HATE bro country, and it kinda made me hate the genre. But this video kinda opened my eyes to more. I’ll have to start listening to old country more often.

  4. Thanks! While I can drink to the “bro-country” and have a good time, real country is supposed to make you feel something. Give you goosebumps, or make you say “damn”, them lyrics. Kacey Musgraves is great, Colter Wall is great!

  5. I remember being on a road trip with my mom in 2012 or so. She primarily listens to country music and I was not so much a fan. But when I heard follow your arrow come on the radio for the first time, I felt that it was different, fresh and relatable. I’m still not a big fan of the genre, but I can appreciate “woke country” where the artists behind it aren’t afraid to go against traditional country audiences, but rather cultivate a new one

  6. Most country music is crap. Also why does it have its own awards show? Also rarely has a country artist caused such a stir as Johnny Cash.

  7. I would like to see this in two deep dives. One about what is country music. One about women's influences in country music.

  8. Bro country is EXACTLY why I stopped listening to country in my mid- to late-teens (probably also a bit of teen rebellion…yep, I was a goody two shoes). I grew up listening to pre-9/11 and the time after 9/11 before bro country took over. As bro country grew, I listened to less and less country music, and now I pretty much only listen to Christmas songs by country artists…but I'm glad to see things are changing, and I'll probably check out some of the newer, less bro stuff!

  9. I know a lot of people who use Country as party music and only associates it to that, but I miss the old early 2000's country. I've really appreciated Kacey Musgraves' music and I find that she has a lot of courage to speak out about the issues faced in country with her song Old Boys Club

  10. Real country music has been dead since I was born. Pop-country with the trucks and shit is just the pop music factory churning out focus-grouped garbage ad nauseum.
    You wanna hear real country music that lives today? Check out Gillian Welch

  11. A Major song I feel might have been missed here was "Accidental Racist" and many other songs by Brad Paisley. I remember when that song came out and the absolute shitshow that it was

  12. I grew up on Country music made in the 90s. I cannot stand the Bro Country era music. It was always too formulaic and everything sounded the same- without soul or heart. I did find songs like Old Town road refreshing simply because it was different to what has been put out for so many years, and felt that Country music needed a reminder that Bro Country really isn't what country was supposed to be either.

  13. It's not just country music that has a this "bro" problem. It's all of them… I will never understand why people make whole songs about partying, drinking, drugging and Sexting. or why people even like to listen to it. It's boring.

  14. Country fan since I was 2.. I don't have a problem with any of it.. it may not all be for me, but that doesn't mean there isn't a place for it..

  15. Hola bastardo hermoso ❤❤❤❤❤, fist bumps 👊👊👊👊👊, high fives/pats on the back ✋✋✋✋✋, extra thumbs up 👍👍👍👍👍 Maria (looking especially spiffy here) ❤❤❤❤❤🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

  16. as a person that doesn't really like country music it is more of a sound to me. There is a particular twangyness to either the music or the singing voice that is probably caused by accent that literally (and i mean it not kidding) gives me a headache. There has been SEVERAL songs listed as pop that i would put in the country category cause to me it sounds like country music. If it sounds at all similar it gets placed in that category to me..

    That being said .. I think it just comes down to the person.. What does the Genre mean to you? Everyone has their own idea as to what makes a genre, and that is ok.

  17. Bro. Country was the most annoying. I like songs that have a good message. Even if its political. I mean, if rap can have songs like This is America, why can't country do the same in their own way?

  18. So what I'm hearing is "If you listen to Bro Country, the terrorists win." That might not be what you're saying, but it's the gospel I'm about to spread.

  19. Never even talked about Sturgill Simpson when you brought up modern country that still takes on political issues. Damn shame.

  20. You guys missed a huge opportunity to cover country artist like Colter Wall, Tyler Childers, and even Shawn James. I don't know how you talk about social issues and not discuss these gentlemen whose lyrics discuss social issues that predominately effect the rural communities- which is typically considered country musics target audience.

    Possible trusting one source too much- as he seemed knowledgeable in mainstream "pop" country, but not actual country.

  21. As someone that enjoys a good amount of country music, it's been frustrating to see so much talent thrown to the wayside.
    If you're looking for talented, thought-provoking country music, listen to Lori Mckenna, Kacey Musgraves, and Jason Isbell. Not Blake Shelton or Luke Bryan.
    P.S. I ADORE "Follow Your Arrow" and DESPISE "Have You Forgotten".

  22. I'm glad you guys explored this. I've tried to explain Country music's history to non country listeners before but always got shut down by people saying that progressive country artists have always been the outliers rather than the norm. Now I can point at this. I listen to all types of music, and grew up on country so it's always had a special place in my heart. Its really frustrating to see people dumb it down so much. That said… I enjoy "bro country" just as much as I love older country with a more thoughtful message. I think everyone (and especially those in country right now) could learn a lot from the phrase "live and let live". Listen to what you want. At the end of the day, entertainment like music is here to make life suck a little less. If lyrics about trucks and hot girls are what does that for you, go for it.

  23. I feel like people just can't be indifferent about county music; they either love or utterly despise it. Growing up in the rural midwest, the songs honestly relate to a small town boy like me. I think most people that don't like country music consider it pandering. But what music genre doesn't pander to its audience; or what their audience wants to be.

  24. Hey guys. The jump cut way of presenting things is really energetic and fun and works great for Phil but in here? Give the girl at least 1/4 of the second before she starts speaking- in some sentences sudden start nearly choked her. It looks nearly unprofessional (just editing, the rest is awesome as usual).

  25. So I used to love listening to older country, but didn’t feel like a country “fan” so I tried to keep up with the mainstream music and stopped listening altogether with “bro country,” but I’m glad for this deep dive — I may start listening to artists like the progressive ones mentioned. Thanks!

  26. I used to hate country music…..It was like wallpaper in a room I did not want to be in…..now I am in my 50and you should too's…….RECOGNIZE!……………i get it,,,,,,,,,and you should too……

  27. Used to be a big country music fan before the rise of bro country. Just can't listen to the radio anymore. This video only focused on how lyrics changed through the years but nothing about the actual sound and beats have changed throughout the years. Todd in the Shadows did a great job of talking about this in his Old Town Road video. In summantion, Old Town Road isn't a country song, but neither are a lot of the songs played on the radio these days.

  28. FUCK Bro Country!!! I’ll take some more of “Most People are Good,” and “Follows Your Arrow” thank you very much. Country’s rooted in Blues, and it’s when it pays homage to Blues that I find its songs worth listening to.

  29. Women are not being intentionally systematically kept from the country charts is just plain retarded. Have you ever heard of Taylor Swift?

  30. Bro country is like the mumble rap of country music. Fun to listen to, but most of the time it's just shallow dumb stuff. And there's place for both!

  31. Saying “bro country” isn’t country is mind blowing to me. Just like top 40 has changed so has country. Artist are influenced by a plethora of things now in the easily accessible internet age we live in

  32. 11 minutes, 57 seconds into this video: if you want to talk about provocative lyrics, try playing "God Bless Trump and the USA" in downtown LA, and see who's being intolerant and violating the first amendment by intimidation tactics and violence…your the side that has "Anti"-fa. Fascism: the violent suppression of speech that you disagree with and intimidation tactics, is what they are all about.

  33. I love the way the 911 songs made me feel connected. Wish we had that in our country now. Only song I can think of is “Troubled Times- by Green Day” and that’s far from country

  34. There should be a look into the fake universities set up by ICE in the metropolitan Detroit area. It has faked being a university for over 250 people and deported all immigrants trying to become a legal citizen

  35. Toby Keith's "Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue" is one of the best songs of all time. Dixie Chicks' "Let Him Fly" is right up there with it. "Wide Open Spaces," "Cold Day in July," and "Goodbye Earl" are pretty awesome, as well. Let's not forget Toby's "I Wanna Talk About Me" and the lyrical masterpiece "Red Solo Cup."

  36. I used to listen to country music a lot when I was young, cuz my mum loved it, and I hadnt been able to put into words why I had drifted so far away. Thanks for this video.

  37. I love this episode! I haven’t listened to country in 3 years because my bf hates country. I really feel like listening after this. I loved the history. There’s a song I have in my head about selling turnips on a pick up truck, a girl looking for directions and having sweet tea… Good Directions. There we go.

  38. Bro county sucks. I grew up in a medium population farming town listening to the 90's and earlier country music. I left it as a kid in the early 2000 years. But I never put the 9/11 connection together. I haven't even had a southern accent in years, despite living in the same state, but lemme say, if you're singing about the beach, you sure as hell ain't country, and bless your heart.

  39. I definitely do not like post 9/11 country & bro-country music. I like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, & other artists of their era. But it looks like their are some new country singers I should give a listen to.

  40. Not gonna lie, that 4:57 Tanya Tucker bit, that made me tear up, and I'm not from the South, hell, I'm not even American. That was just beautiful on so many levels…❤

  41. Dear lord " Bro county " is such a great way to describe it! I worked a Florida Georgia show and it was like watching a frat party

  42. I think Bro Country is shit. Not only are the lyrics all incredibly similar, but most of the actual music sounds super similar to me.

  43. Music can be dumb. Most modern music is. But we still need music with purpose, a reason to exist beyond fun and money. Same as any other art form.

  44. I remember the Dixie Chicks fallout. I had friends who actually burned their CDs. I still have mine and still enjoy them as a band, but you can definitely tell they were butt hurt over that time period, which you can totally understand. Just listen to “Not Ready to Make Nice” from 2007. I don’t know very many people who stuck by them except me because I honestly didn’t give a crap about their politics, I enjoyed their music. I was also 12 so there was that lol

  45. This isn't really an accurate description of pre nine eleven country music. Sure there were a few more liberal country songs back then, and there still are, but country has always been more conservative leaning. Take artists like Merle Haggard, Hank Williams Jr, or Charlie Daniels for instance. These were all very conservative leaning major country artists long before nine eleven. Country music is not just conservative now because of a reaction to nine eleven, it's always been more conservative because rural America and Southern America has always been more conservative.

  46. Nothing wrong with the occasional song about parties, beers, trucks, and girls but it's good to see country branching out from it's post 9/11… I don't want to say dark ages. I love the angry American, it's a song about being pissed off about 9-11, you should be pissed off at the people that attacked us. At some point though you gotta move on. Certainly, you can't call yourself a red blooded American the turn around and support blacklisting the Dixie chicks for speaking out against the war in Iraq, that's fucking unamerican.

  47. This is a wonderful video and I enjoyed it immensely. I'm very glad my brother sent it to me. I have listened to country music my whole life and taken all the flak for it. And I could always defend it with how meaningful and courageous it can be. How respectful it is and how much fun it can be (no one whom I've ever had listen to "Bubba Shot The Jukebox" has not laughed aloud during the first listen). Guys like Doug Stone and David Lee Murphy saw the women in their lives as people to cherish, not just show off. Nowadays, I just have to shrug and wince when I hear in "Meant to Be" by Florida Georgia Line after BeBe Rexha sings about how her "heart's been hurt a couple time, by a couple guys who didn't treat me right" and the male response is "hold up girl, don't you know you're beautiful". I always want to scream THAT DOES NOT ADDRESS HER WORRY YOU WILL BREAK HER HEART DUMMY! Bro country is fun yeah, you can dance to it, but its style over substance. It wants to be crossover and popular and sell out stadiums instead of authentic. Garth Brooks was respectful and he sold out everything its possible to sell out in the 90s. Basically I can define bro country as any song you would 100% never hear George Strait sing.

    The entire country was hurt by 9/11. I'm sure that many of these bros had friends/family who left to fight and never came home. And that made them angry and sad. But instead of putting the blame where it belongs, they just dig their heels in deeper to say "Well, I have to honor their sacrifice by doubling down on patriotism" and making a ton of songs calling America the greatest place ever that has never made a mistake in its whole history and I'll distract myself and everyone else from sadness by telling that country girl to 'shake it for me'". It's a misstep. It's also why I think there's a HUGE resurgence of alcohol in country songs. There's always been booze in country songs but not in EVERY SINGLE SONG IN THE COURSE OF AN HOUR LISTENING TO THE RADIO (this happens a few days ago at work). Girls drink wine and are considered lesser if they "can't shoot whiskey" and guys are forever drinking beer. It's mostly all beer for men and wine for ladies. People are drowning their pain at the state of the world with beer and whiskey and wine. And instead of the days when men were told "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)" or songs like "I've Always Been Crazy" or "That's Why I'm Here" or "Little Rock" wherein the men realize the drinking is covering/causing deeper problems. Like drinking, alcohol in music is always better in moderation. There's so many where the guy is just gonna keep drinking til he passes out and he is ENCOURAGED in this. They're drinking to get drunk and that's also style over substance.

    And I'd never before put together how after the Dixie Chicks were told to "shut up and sing", the female artists were suddenly pushed to the side so the bros could sing about daisy dukes and bare feet on the dash. I mean, you know its a problem when a band (Maddie & Tae) actually make an entire song as a rebuttal; "Girl in a Country Song" and it gets so much less air time than something like "Shine On". The guys are making it so girls growing up listening to country today have such a warped version of what a country girl is. It isn't about wearing short shorts and tied up plaid shirts or shaking your sugar shaker whatever the hell that means. Being a country girl is ultimately about kindness and respect, for yourself and others. I hope we're going to get back to the activism and courage of Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn. I see Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris and Maddie & Tae as the shining lights to bring us back to the front porch.

    Also I didn't know about Alabama rescinding the confederate flag from their stuff and I respect them even more than the already very high respect I have always had for them.

  48. "We'll put a bullet in your ass. It's the American way!"
    Well looking at gun-violence levels, Toby Keith's not really wrong is he…

  49. I thought as long as it had twang it was country. Seems silly to dis a country track because they didn’t talk about trucks or tractors.

  50. I was raised on some country growing up, but I stopped listening when I got older to understand the lyrics. I was born in 2002. If any of y'all have some recommendations I'd love to listen.

  51. I've listened to country muaic since the day I was born due to it being the only genre my parents listened too. I even did my first big research paper on the life of Johnny Cash. And I wa sold enough to remember when all the songs after 9/11 started pouring in and the Dixie Chicks being cancelled. So I knew a lot of this but some stuff still surprised me. Great video!

  52. Country music, to me atleast, needs to find its voice again. So much of it nowadays is derivative and formulaic. I can pretty much write down a recipe for how to make a country song on a napkin.

    Now this could be radio and corporations fault… but at the end of the day I find country music is just bad, and it must have been 15 or more years since I actually bought a country album.

  53. As a music fanatic (it's unhealthy) OTR is way, way, waaaaaay more country then %100 of that clap/snap beat, bro country garbage that passes for country today. That stuff is the country equivalent to mumble rap. Yet OTR is actually pretty damn real.

  54. It’s amazing how the “crisis” for this particular song is manufactured by the same industry that’s selling it , it’s almost as if they are intentionally creating the debate because hey 2019 , we have to be divided over everything while the companies cash their checks

  55. I agree with this videos analysis completely, however… I can make THE EXACT argument for all of the post 2000's, and Current Rap and Pop music genres.

  56. When I was little Goodbye Earl was my favorite country song. When bro country first started I liked plenty of the songs. That didn't really last though and I don't listen too much anymore. A lot of it has begun to sound like the same recycled stuff. At the same time Carrie Underwood has done a bunch of songs that are all story related. Those are fantastic.

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