(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
We all could use a good laugh, right? At least that’s what the 77 journalists who took part in the Nashville Scene’s 12th annual Country Music Critics’ Poll decided this year. The artists who came out on top were the ones who didn’t take their music too seriously.
As in the Pistol Annies, the girl group that sings things like “Who in the hell’s gonna pay these bills when one’s drinkin’, one’s smokin’, one’s takin’ pills?” The story goes on to say that humor in country music is too often “submerged beneath goody-two-shoes earnestness, especially when Music Row is gripped by dreams of crossover success and dresses up as if going to church — and later the bank.” It also noted, “Country playlists have been dominated lately by self-righteous, breast-beating songs where fathers and wives are implausibly perfect saints and where dirt roads and fishing ponds were a way of life threatened by heartless city slickers.”
I like to think that country has plenty of room for both kinds of music. The audience IS often conservative and IS full of soccer moms. But that doesn’t mean we (soccer moms) don’t agree with the critics. Just because I have that so-called goody-two-shoes responsibility doesn’t mean I don’t have a sense of humor. The article says it best when they end it with, “Think of (Hayes) Carll and Pistol Annies as the hillbilly-music equivalents of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.”