Announcing: A Modern Country Music History – Part Seven

Photo credit: Tanner Gallagher

Two years ago, I published a series in which I explored country music’s modern history, from the emergence of the class of ’89 all the way to the end of the 2010s. It’s a book-length project offered to shine a light on an area in country music history that, to me, at least up until that point, hadn’t been properly documented. If you’re relatively new to this website and don’t know what I’m referring to, I hope you give it a read and enjoy it.

Anyway, as you can tell from the headline, I’m pleased to announce that I’m ready to write about the past three years.

Oh, that’s right. This isn’t a piece that’s coming tomorrow or soon by any means. This is just me announcing that I’m thinking of researching the piece soon. It’s an announcement of an announcement. Hey, even us bloggers have to resort to dumb music industry-centered marketing tactics from time to time, you know.

But gosh, where to start? Well, I left off at 2019 and only briefly touched upon the oncoming pandemic, so I supposed I’d start there. Let’s see … yep, lockdowns, no concerts, the weird-ass nature of the country music world in general as it felt frozen but had to push on regardless – it’s been long enough, right? You all would be excited to read what would likely be a 5,000 entry on 2020 alone, right?

Well, what next? I guess we’d have to pivot toward the rise of Morgan Wallen. Not a fan of the guy at all in general but I suppose I can gloss over him like I did before … except, oh yeah, his Dangerous album caught like wildfire after he got caught using a slur in public. Well, should be easy to remain objective on that one. Now we’ve got another 3,000-word entry on Morgan Wallen and why he sucks. This is really coming along well so far!

But it’s more than just Wallen sitting at the top, right? We’ve also seen the rise of artists like HARDY, ERNEST, Bailey Zimmerman in recent years … hmm, I’m sensing a pattern here in who these guys look and sound like, but I can’t quite place my mullet, I mean, finger, on it. They’ve all got that whole “we hang out in front of 7-Eleven stores and will buy beer for minors” look going on, but it’ll be interesting to dive in further! And hey, they’re the future of country music, right? The numbers don’t lie. I’m sure I’ll be delighted to write about HARDY at length, given how much I’ve loved his music thus far.

What next, then? I could talk about how the album artform has somehow thrived in the modern day, thanks to 30-plus-song projects emerging more and more, further thanks to artists like Wallen and Zach Bryan. OK, so maybe the artform has actually died and its corpse is just being exploited for streaming gains, but that should be fun to dig into at least, right?

Of course, if we really want to dig into the commercial side of things, we’re going to have to discuss the rise of TikTok – at least in terms of its integration into the country music world and how it’s helped launched artists like what’s-his-face and what’s-her-name, essentially carrying on the same commercial legacy of the singing competition shows of yesterday. Hell, the platform could already be banned by the time I publish this, so maybe we can just skip over it. After all, the hot new thing is about how robots are going to take over the world and write our country songs for us, more than they do right now, at least.

But yeah, that’s basically been the last three years in a nutshell, I think. Should be an exhilarating, lighthearted, and totally fun read!…

… No … I can’t do this. No. Let’s just scrap it and work on more top ten lists, OK? Happy April Fool’s Day and all that. I’m sorry I even attempted this. Yick.

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