There was one upside of being stuck in traffic – and then stuck in the car wash line – on a February day with 60+ degree weather. The Bluegrass Junction station on Sirius XM radio was featuring a live concert of The SteelDrivers – a band I highlighted in my Favorite Roots Music Albums of 2015 post last December. (Oh yeah, it was also the winner of the “Best Bluegrass Album” in that other little year-end list – The Grammy’s.)
After playing “If it Hadn’t Been for Love” from their first project (the black album), fiddler Tammy Rogers mentioned that “some singer you might have heard of – named Adele” – had covered that song earlier this decade and featured it in her Live at the Royal Albert Hall DVD. I knew Andrew would love this.
So I returned home and told Andrew the story. I mentioned that Chris Stapleton – who wrote and sang on the original SteelDrivers version – just won Country Album of the Year for both the CMA and Grammy’s, which gave me some faith in the ability of the country music industry to recognize real country when it bites them in the behind.
We listened to the Adele version, and laughed ourselves silly, over the introduction. But hey, Adele is a great vocalist and this is a top-notch cover.
Then I played Andrew a song by Chris Stapleton off of his Traveller album, so he could hear what a great country voice sounds like. Here’s the tune “Tennessee Whiskey” first made famous by David Allen Coe and especially George Jones.
I was saying something like, “Now that’s real country” when Andrew asked, “Have you heard the mash-up of six bro-country tunes that are all alike?” No? Really? (Yes, I find out I’m the 6 millionth person to view this…but I am a bit slow.)
Anyway, if you want to know what’s wrong with most of what comes out of country radio, listen to this mashup of “Six nearly identical hit country songs” that were “separated at birth.”
Thank God for Chris Stapleton, The SteelDrivers…and Adele!
More to come…