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"The Beef Goes On"

I received some more letters from readers today…mostly nice. 
The polarization of Country Music seems to be a hot topic. 
Personally, I think the music should be listened to and enjoyed, 
rather than be a subject of argument. 

I've noticed that the guys who know three chords 
don't like the guys who play four chords. 
I've also noticed something about guys like me, 
who used to have major label hits, 
and are now locked out of the American market: 
We can't stand these young jerks putting out phony country music, 
and getting rich at it. The rich part mainly. 
I'm glad their music stinks. 
It gives me a good reason to hate it. 
(I'm smiling here.) 

I got an email from Rick, who says he's a long time fan of ours, 
so that's the one I've chosen to write about today. 
Rick likes the progressive country of the 70's, mentioning Waylon and Willie. 
Me too. 

He also told me about a lot of Texas artists he likes, 
who are doing something different nowadays. 
Here's my reply: 

* * * 
Hi Rick. 

Thanks for the email. 

I'm not familiar with all of the artists you mentioned, 
probably because Misty and I don't get much radio listening time, 
usually just in the car. 

I do hear quite a lot of traditional country because I master CD's for the artists. 
I like it, especially indie country, 
because there's a lot to choose from. 

On our personal CD player we usually have a couple of our own albums, 
along with Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt, Roger Miller, Donald Fagen, 
Oscar Peterson, Willie Nelson, Credence Clearwater, Gene Autry, 
and some classical music. 

My favorite songwriters include John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful), 
Harry Nilsson, Roger Miller, The Beatles, John Phillips, Randy Newman, Mickey Newberry,
Tom T. Hall, Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Berlin, 
Harlan Howard, and the Gershwins. 
So you can see we like many different kinds of music. 
The only rule is: It has to be good. 

One thing that bothers us is this: 
We have made a bunch of beautiful recordings 
that can never be country singles 
because they don't fit the narrow "Old Country" or "New Country" molds. 
Some may have a couple of chords too many, 
or maybe some strings in the background. 
But they are fine chord changes that fit the songs, 
and the strings were recorded in an era when there was more freedom. 

The studio musicians tell us they really like doing our music. 
They are so used to holding back to fit into the two main country markets, 
that it's refreshing for them to stretch their musical wings. 

We'll keep on doing our thing, even if we don't get rich at it. 
We don't fit into any of the pigeonholes. 
Some of our music is traditional and some is not, 
but it's honest, and not decided by what is commercial.
We make records 
for people who like Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan music. 

Thank God there are a lot of them out there. 

Keep in touch. 

Jack Blanchard 

Copyright © March 21, 2002 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.

 

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