John Baumann Bemoans How “The Country Doesn’t Sound The Same”
Country music is a compass to American life. Even if you’re not especially drawn to the music as a fan, it still often resides in your ethos from the strong memories the sounds of it evoke like the smells in your grandmother’s kitchen. Country music’s qualities of nostalgia and timelessness give it that unique power to awaken a warm memory at just the right time, or imbibe you with a sense of place and consistency just when it’s most needed. That is, if it’s still around to be heard.
That’s why so many find a vested interest in attempting to protect and preserve the traditional modes of country music, no different than preserving that historic building in the center of town, that old growth of trees on a hill, that farm at the crossroads, or that sense of community we all feel with each other where differences in opinion are seen as subtle, and a mutual respect for your common man prevails.
These are the themes and feelings interwoven into the quality writing of John Baumann’s new song “The Country Doesn’t Sound The Same”—the second song he’s released from an upcoming record called Country Shade due June 5th, and the opening track from the album. Not your standard and cliche-riddled country protest song, this more thoughtful, reflective, and hushed effort bemoans the passing away of important things in life—country music included—to the onslaught of progress and noise, while resisting the new favorite American pastime of finger-pointing and laying blame.
John Baumann has made a name for himself by releasing quality songs such as “The Country Doesn’t Sound The Same.” It’s this attribute that Kenny Chesney found when choosing to record “Gulf Moon” on his last record, or what had Saving Country Music naming Baumann’s “Old Stone Church” as a nominee for the 2017 Song of the Year.
John Baumann has also earned the mutual admiration of his songwriting peers. He’s currently a member of the supergroup The Panhandlers with Cleto Cordero, William Clark Green, and Josh Abbott. He also recorded another song that sticks up for country music a couple of years back called “Country Music’s Dead” with Mike and the Moonpies.
Looking through the track list of the new John Baumann record, it appears like you can anticipate plenty of similar efforts to “The Country Doesn’t Sound The Same” in the 12 tracks. The album is now available for pre-order.
1. The Country Doesn’t Sound the Same
2. Next Ride Around the Sun
3. Daylight’s Burning
4. Homesick for the Heartland
5. Fool’s Crusade
6. If You Really Love Someone
7. Sunday Morning Going Up
8. I Don’t Know
9. Second Wind
10. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
11. Flight Anixety
12. Grandfather’s Grandson
May 17, 2020 @ 10:45 am
So, I see you are still aware of how to write a review without a seven paragraph axe grinding about the artist’s political beliefs. You should try that again.
May 17, 2020 @ 10:52 am
Oh shut the fuck up you whiny little bitch.
Go start your own damn website and stay on it instead of polluting this one with your presumptions and incessant insistences on looking for something to be pissed at that’s not even here.
May 17, 2020 @ 11:05 am
Seems I hit a nerve.
May 17, 2020 @ 11:11 am
Shit on me all you want. What’s unfortunate here is that John Baumann has released an excellent song that among other things, directly addresses the acrimonious environment we currently live in which it permeates every single element of life and is inescapable, and here you come like a political ooze creeping under the doorway, bringing your anger from an article two articles ago to infect this comments section as well. Out of respect to opposing viewpoints, I gave you a forum to voice your opinion. But what a fucking disrespect to John Baumann and his song that this is how you chose to start off the discussion. That’s a dick move that deserved a strong response.
Now please, let’s get back to discussing this song.
May 17, 2020 @ 11:15 am
Yet not a word on how your article itself did exactly what you accuse me of doing: permeated your review of an album with your own axe grinding. And then to try to take some high ground and complain about how that permeation?
Maybe you need to take a look in the mirror, because your ow hypocrisy is just as disrespectful.
May 17, 2020 @ 11:19 am
And the disrespect isn’t to John Baumann….it’s to you and your shoddy hypocritical “journalism.”
May 17, 2020 @ 2:32 pm
Curious to why you continue to read. If a website was curated by someone who I felt practices “shoddy” journalism, I wouldn’t visit it, much less comment there. I’d spend my time with content I felt was of a higher standard.
That’s just me, though.
May 17, 2020 @ 11:02 am
I fear we’re living in the strangest of times
Where no matter where you stand you’re always on opposing sides
As the noise runs ’round the clock and no one can cut through
I don’t know when it will end. I don’t know what we can do.
—John Baumann, “The Country Doesn’t Sound The Same”
May 17, 2020 @ 11:10 am
So, in other words “he started it”?
Got it, Kyle!
May 17, 2020 @ 3:56 pm
Sweetheart you really need to back up
May 17, 2020 @ 11:28 am
Do you really need to pepper your reply to Cobra with the vilest of language. Yes, this is what your country has come to.
Nicolas De Vos
May 17, 2020 @ 12:49 pm
I am so sick of toxic comments, I don’t care which side. I have to skim through all the bullshit looking for something relevant to the article.
Trigger, please, I know you love freedom of speech and letting everyone have his/her say. But this is damaging the goal of the website, I used to find out new things skimming the comments. Now it’s all just filth.
Just don’t let these people post. It will only result in childish crap, which takes away from the goal of this website. It’s about “saving country music”, not about “saving freedom of speech”.
May 17, 2020 @ 12:57 pm
I completely agree. I feel I should be blocked from commenting. That’ll teach me! XD
May 17, 2020 @ 1:28 pm
I am very aware these comments are taking away from the goal of Saving Country Music. That’s much of the intent, to make this site such a war zone people avoid it, just like when Shooter Jennings was perpetrating 16 different aliases here years ago with the stated intent to destroy this site. It’s a real shame that people take advantage of my desire to host an open forum and to invite criticism, while at the same time painting me as a closed-minded autocrat. Over the past few days I’ve been able to uncover some malfeasance that I may bring to light shortly. If I thought simply deleting comments would solve the problem, I would have done so. But most of the time it just fans the flames. Nonetheless, I am actively working to bring some more equilibrium to these comments sections. That said, they’re really nothing more than a reflection of society at large. What’s especially ugly is that people like Cobra and others would so disrespect the discussion surrounding someone’s song that addresses this very concern. I think it speaks to the severe lack of character were seeing from people these days that profess to be the purveyors of inclusivity.
May 17, 2020 @ 1:56 pm
Once again, you speak about me “disrespecting the discussion surrounding someone’s song” when you spent the first half of your review of an album disrespecting discussion of the album by grinding your axe about someone’s previous comments that you disagreed with. You are such a hypocrite and I have absolutely no qualms about shining a light on that hypocrisy.
May 17, 2020 @ 2:49 pm
I respect your opinion about my Jason Isbell review. I also try to respect everyone’s opinion, period. That is why I have continued to allow you to post at will in these comments sections, despite you continuing to be disruptive. But your concerns about my Jason Isbell review need to remain in the comments section of the Jason Isbell review. That is what that comments section is there for. This comments section is for discussion about John Baumann’s song, and you showed great disrespect to John, his song, this site, this community, and the fellow commenters with your off-topic trainwrecking of this discussion. You want to point out my hypocrisy for broaching politics in the Isbell review but not this one? Do it on the Isbell review, where it’s just as much, if not more relevant. If you don’t understand this very basic point, then you’re not fit to be a member of this commenting community.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 18, 2020 @ 6:49 am
I know one thing we can do!
We can enjoy and analyze music on its own terms, rather than dedicating more than a third of an album review to pearl-clutching about an artist’s being a dick online, and another third complaining about your perception of the political alignment of that artist’s (non-existent) “scene”!
May 17, 2020 @ 2:01 pm
If you don’t like it, don’t keep reading it. Seems very troll-ish.
May 17, 2020 @ 2:53 pm
Cool Lester Smooth
May 18, 2020 @ 6:43 am
…how on Earth is he a “snake” for coming right at him?
Like, do you understand what calling someone a snake means, champ?
May 18, 2020 @ 7:47 am
Hey champ, I think it was a joke because his name is cobra.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 18, 2020 @ 7:56 am
Heh, fair enough.
May 18, 2020 @ 4:20 pm
That, and I also don’t consider anonymously commenting on a website coming right at anyone haha
May 17, 2020 @ 3:17 pm
It wasn’t the first time Trigger has written reviews that basically said “these guys are assholes, but this is actually a very good song/album”. He’s done so for Toby Keith, Eric Church, Aaron Lewis, Florida-Georgia Line, Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan, Sturgill, the list goes on. That’s quite a wide variety of left or right wing artists, and some that don’t broadcast their politics. Therefore, he’s not being hypocritical. Pay better attention.
John Baumann is awesome, but I don’t wanna listen to another song before I hear the full album. Pretty excited.
May 18, 2020 @ 6:12 am
I didn’t realize that Pudge Isbell’s Nut Swinger was considered an essential job. Get back to quarantine and knit yourself a pink pussy hat.
May 18, 2020 @ 6:23 am
Troll gotta be a Troll I guess. If you don’t like the this site, I recommend reading something else. it’s really just that simple.
Ew in DFW
May 18, 2020 @ 8:27 pm
I bet Cryin’ Cobra thinks it’s perfectly ok for Rolling Stone to spew their commie horseshit while covering music.
May 17, 2020 @ 12:28 pm
I find Baumann’s voice extremely compelling and I think a lot of his songs are well-written. Some are truly memorable and outstanding.
I actually think this one suffers the fate of some of his other songs, in that it tries just a tiny bit too hard and ends up slightly over-written and melodramatic. He pushes himself as a writer, though, and that’s exciting–and bound to lead to both hits and misses. I’ll enthusiastically buy anything he releases.
May 17, 2020 @ 12:34 pm
I am so excited for this project
May 17, 2020 @ 1:13 pm
Unrelated post alert: trig please tell me you are working on an article about Dick Daddy?
May 17, 2020 @ 1:38 pm
That’s exactly what I need to do to chill these comments sections out—post an article about Sturgill Simpson.
May 17, 2020 @ 1:50 pm
Why would he not release the albums and then donate profits??? I’m confused.
May 17, 2020 @ 2:38 pm
Every song, every album John has put out is a masterpiece. I’m such a huge fan of his. I’d love to see him perform live one day. Sadly, John is still more of a regional artist and hasn’t gained a huge following outside of Texas. That said, his following has continued to grow so there’s hope he’ll visit my town one day. Oh, and The Panhandlers album is fantastic, too. Check that one out as well.
May 17, 2020 @ 3:27 pm
Hey Trigger, don’t change, seriously don’t change one damn thing.
May 17, 2020 @ 3:44 pm
I really enjoyed his last record, “Proving Grounds”.
I’m excited for this new record. It’s important that we support artists like Baumann.
May 17, 2020 @ 3:55 pm
“Old Stone Church” was so good. I never looked into any of his other songs until I heard the Panhandlers album. This guy is amazing. Thanks for helping me find great music as always Trigger.
May 17, 2020 @ 4:06 pm
Great song. Melodic. Meaningful. Deep. Genuine. Good lyrics. Now let’s see if it has a cold chance in hell of ever being played on country radio. My guess is not a prayer. And therein lies the problem. Garbage gets played all day on loop. Real stuff does not. Ask yourself why that really is?
May 17, 2020 @ 4:14 pm
John Baumann gets my respect for being a great songwriter and artist, Saving Country Music gets my respect for being a very informative unbiased website, and Trigger gets my respect for being an articulate and knowlegable journalist. And if I knew him personally I’m sure he would have my respect as a decent human being. And that’s my opinion on the whole situation.
May 17, 2020 @ 6:28 pm
This comment gets my respect.
May 17, 2020 @ 6:32 pm
Trigger is one of my favorite “critics” these days. I go to this site to revel in this music, hear opinions (Yuk) and see what’s goin on.
John Baumann is one awesome songwriter and musician ..and person.
May 17, 2020 @ 6:49 pm
I have really enjoyed The Panhandlers and also John’s contribution. This album should do really well. Great review. Some of the comments, not so much.
Keep it going Trig. Snakes eventually die.
May 17, 2020 @ 7:28 pm
“while resisting the new favorite Americana pastime of finger-pointing and laying blame”
It speaks to your ignorance of Americana and Alt Country that you think this is new. Jay Farrar would like a word with you.
May 17, 2020 @ 7:52 pm
That was a typo. It should have said “American” to encompass the full range of American life the song addresses.
May 18, 2020 @ 2:34 am
I appear to be missing something here. For years the best music (country or otherwise) has been coming out of other countries (Canada, Australia, NZ, UK & Ireland). And they appear to avoid insulting anyone. Is it in the water? By the way, John Baumann is very good.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 18, 2020 @ 6:53 am
I mean, UK/I folk/country artists tend to casually talk a ton of shit about the Tories, haha.
We just get fewer articles crying about it
May 22, 2020 @ 3:23 pm
i like the think the typo was “new”, as (left leaning) bellyaching has been a part of Americana/alt country and is nothing new. i am a little sad to see how pervasive the divide and anger is in this country that it even appears here. you can read the anger on both sides in this discussion. can’t we all find some common ground to hate?
china lied, prine died; cuomo lied grandma died.
May 18, 2020 @ 12:33 am
I’m a huge John Baumann fan. As a kid growing up in San Francisco I didn’t know much about country outside of what was on country radio, Willie, Waylon, Johnny, and George (Strait). But I started dating a native Texan in 2012, and she would always play Texas country when we were hanging out. I got to know some of her faves, REK, Guy Clark, Townes, etc. I was introduced to a whole new world. I loved them all, especially Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt. Sometime in 2013-14 her Dad told her about a song called “Midland” that he heard on satellite radio. My girlfriend fell in love the song instantly, and we bought John’s EP and LP.
His lyrics, especially on those first two albums, are smart and clever, and a few really tug at your heartstrings. I really dug it. His songs Romona, Late Great Eagle Scout, and his version of Gulf Moon, are well worthy of your listen. And to paraphrase Trigger, Old Stone Church is a great song. So is Pontiacs. Not to mention he steals the show in The Panhandlers new album.
In a way John Baumann was a gateway for me to seek out more modern Texas country artists like him. I have found more music than I can consume in a lifetime.
May 18, 2020 @ 5:20 am
I like the song in the video except I had a hard time understanding the words- they sounded mush mouth, which is a shame (as far as I’m concerned) it takes away from – the words – when you have to work to listen/understand.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 18, 2020 @ 6:55 am
Baumann’s freaking awesome. So glad the Panhandlers introduced me to his music.
May 18, 2020 @ 8:07 am
Great song. I’ll be checking this album out.
May 18, 2020 @ 9:12 am
“where differences in opinion are seen as subtle, and a mutual respect for your common man prevails.”
Well said, brother. May we all persist towards this.
May 18, 2020 @ 3:51 pm
“I don’t know when it will end. I don’t know what we can do.”
That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. To borrow a line from BJ Barham, this ain’t the country my grandfathers fought for. But I sure do see the hate they fought against.
It would be great to be able to flip a switch and change everything, but no election can fix what’s in people’s hearts. It’s destroyed churches. It’s destroyed families. And it very well may destroy our country.