Call it what you will. Whether you call it Hillbilly Music or Country and Western, the music that defines the south has gone global. Once the refuge for reworked and reconfigured Irish ballads is now a multi-billion dollar industry that rivals all genres as one of the most popular forms of music in the world today. While a dash of the Blues was certainly necessary to create what we now call rock and roll, the King himself, Elvis Presley, began his career as a hillbilly music fan. Without country and the blues, it is safe to say there would be no rock and roll.
Behold the enduring quality and popularity of country music. As the music industry posted records losses across all genres, country music actually posted a 17.7% gain in listeners in 2006 alone. The old adage about countrys popularity increasing as the economy tanks seems to have some validity to it. When you lose your job or girl or truck, nothing quite fills that aching spot like a good, sad country song.
Among the pantheon of country stars that have become cultural icons are such luminaries as Johnny Cash, George Jones, Bob Wills, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, and Buck Owens. Mind you, this is a paltry list of the many greats that can still be heard on any country music radio station worth it’s salt. Each artist has reworked and refined the nature of country music, pushing and pulling it to encompass a variety of sub-genres and styles. No two country music performers have ever been the same.
As the summer of 2009 moves into its zenith, it seems there is a new generation of country stars touring the nation. Shows for Kenny Chesney and K.D. Lang are selling like proverbial hot cakes. Those dog days of summer are perfect for a great show and great seats. Dont get left in far left field, having to watch the show on the jumbo-tron. Plan ahead and get in the middle of that swinging country action.
With a few clicks of your mouse you can have the seats you always dreamed about. What to watch Dwight Yoakam do his sidestepping shimmy? How about Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard on the same bill? That’s right, you read me right — do not dally. The sooner you book your tickets the soon you can start to pick out your outfit for the night. Note to self: boots are a must.