Lonesome Onry and Mean

Lonesome Onry and Mean: Nashville Veteran Has A Few Issues With Paper's Country Music Poll

Some people are downright up in arms about the Nashville Scene's Best of Country Music poll. One of LOM's correspondents who went ballistic is a longtime Nashville musician and producer. To say he thinks the whole argument that Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert deserve to be winners because they are edgy and took career chances doesn't wash too well with this 30-year vet of the lowercase Nashville scene.

He also posted this as a comment on Geoffrey Himes' Scene article, but sent it to LOM along with his permission to use it.

"In my opinion, the last time 'big time' country music was original as well as 'country' as well as any good as well as artistic was the '70s: Willie, Waylon, Kris, Billy Joe Shaver, Rodney & Roseanne, etc.,...but not much etcetera. To me, an example of an edgy lyric would be this excerpt from Stoney Edwards' little-heard single, 'Black Bird': 'Just a couple of country niggers tryin' to steal the rodeo.'

"Before you shit yourself in outrage, bear in mind that he was a black man. This was released as a mainstream country single. I realize that this is an extreme example of 'edgy,' but the contemporary examples you give are about as "edgy" as a fencing foil (that would be a blunt-tipped sword). Mount Mushmore might be more appropriate than Mount Rushmore.

Tayor Swift isn't country anyway, so she gets a pass from my curmudgeonly vitriol. The rest just try too hard, too late, for me to ever care. Doesn't matter anyway. Lambert is probably sincere in her scenery chewing and has some solid senders in her production corner, but the covers that Johnson/Johnston(?) does/did when he is letting his country hair down have been in VFW and Legion Hall band repertoires for decades.

"The article is very well-written, but it just caught me on a bad tooth day. I mean no harm and am responding as a former fan of popular music. But if you come looking for me because of this comment, come strapped. I am a member of the Country & Western Legion of the Rock n Roll Justice League. [Signed] The Skull"

Join us again tomorrow when another 30-year Nashville vet with major-label credentials offers his view.

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William Michael Smith