Updated: Luke Bryan Defines Outlaw Country As “Laying in the Gutter, Strung Out On Drugs.”
This story has been updated (see below)
The term “Outlaw” has been so chewed up, spit out, bastardized, reconstituted, run up the flagpole, co-opted, blended with mechanically-separated chicken, and transmogrified for use in all manner of spurious circumstances for commercial gain and marketing antics that I would be perfectly happy if I never saw it again. The only word more misunderstood and malevolently used by marketeers in American music culture these days is “country.” Someday it will be worth launching a campaign to attempt to reclaim these terms from Nashville’s major labels, but for now we’re just trying to stop the bleeding.
Speaking to HITS Daily Double in an article posted Thursday (7-9), and discussing about the always-nauseating subject of the “evolution” of country music, Luke Bryan said,
“Well, yeah. I think that people who want Merle, Willie and Waylon just need to buy Merle, Willie and Waylon. I’ve never been a ‘Those were the good old days’ kind of guy. I’m not big on looking back on the past. I’m not an outlaw country singer. I don’t do cocaine and run around. So I’m not going to sing outlaw country. I like to hunt, fish, ride around on my farm, build a big bonfire and drink some beers and that’s what I sing about. It’s what I know. I don’t know about laying in the gutter, strung out on drugs. I don’t really want to do that.”
Okay so, come again? Laying in the gutter, strung out on drugs was the thematic capstone of Willie Nelson’s Outlaw canon? That’s what Waylon was singing about in his #1 hits “Luckenbach, TX” and “Amanda”? And when did Merle ever say anything about doing cocaine and running around?
Then Luke Bryan made things worse by referring to himself in the 3rd person.
“There’s plenty of room for people to like Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Jason Aldean.”
See, this is one of the problems with mainstream country today. Forget about them respecting the roots of the music, many of today’s current stars don’t even know the very basic history of the genre that has allowed them to become millionaires many times over.
And once again we have a major country music star setting up a Straw Man by painting naysayers into such a narrow mindset that we look like morons—as if anyone who takes issue with Luke Bryan or Sam Hunt is doing so because they believe country music should be all about drug-induced destitution, which Willie, Waylon, and Merle combined sang about in maybe two, maybe three songs throughout their entire careers. And once again, the idea that anyone that takes issue with the quality or country-ness of country music today must be some hardline purist who wants all country music to sound like it’s coming from Waylon impersonators is a ridiculous notion.
But to play devil’s advocate, there are some folks out there in the REAL (all caps) country scene that take similarly shallow observances of the Outlaw era and use them to make bad music that harps on cocaine and how crappy their lives are without any substance to the music either. But at least nobody is listening to them anyway. What’s so scary about Luke Bryan is when he opens his mouth, millions are listening.
READ: Why We All Owe the Smoke Machine Guy at the Luke Bryan Show a Beer
Being an Outlaw never had anything to do with arrest records or cocaine addictions. Anyone found on Willie Nelson’s crew with their nose in the powder was immediately fired. Being an Outlaw was about being yourself, insisting on having creative control of your music, and moving country music forward while still respecting the roots of the genre and all the greats that came before—all virtues Luke Bryan and many others could learn from.
Luke Bryan has responded to the controversy via social network:
Hey guys I’ve been thinking about this all day, every now and then I feel I need to defend myself in this business. I did a great interview with many topics discussed. It’s so frustrating that something negative has spun out of the story. I would never speak against any artist. It’s not my style. I consider Willie, Waylon and Merle musical heroes. I was trying to state what I was about and where I come from with my music. It’s simple as that. Love yall. Signing off. Thanks for the love.
July 10, 2015 @ 10:06 pm
“I would never speak against any artist. It’s not my style.” Except you did…if he was trying to defend what his songs were about, Willie, Waylon, and Merle should have never been name-checked. What a douchebag. Country music has always been classy, and, as if it wasn’t enough to take out the class with his douche music, he adds to that by trashing the names of legends and making a complete idiot of himself.
July 11, 2015 @ 8:22 pm
Of course he will walk back off of his comments, they all do. Liberals have convinced the youth of america that anything and anybody who came before them were wrong. Our schools teach, or rather indoctrinate todays youth to condemn anything that is different than they are, and that patriotism and pride are feelings of a racist mind. I like Luke but am ashamed of him that he really has no clue. To insult the greats who paved the way for him to even have a career is shameful. But this is also the generation who now believe that the great men who founded our nation, the men who faught not only a revolution but the status quo by creating a country where all men are equal, this generation does not believe they were great men but are indoctrinated into believivg they were monsters of hate . So as we all allow the putrid smell of liberal hate to invade every aspect of our society, there will be more Luke’s to tarnish their memory instead of revere them.Liberals have a mental defect that is only about destrouction. Right now, southern roots are what libs want to destroy the most because the south is the ,ost patriotic. This kid has a lot to learn
July 12, 2015 @ 7:34 am
Kim, your diatribe about “liberals” is ignorant and irrelevant. I’m sure Willie would agree. You should have ranted about “morons” which Luke Bryan has proven himself to be.
July 12, 2015 @ 1:48 pm
Only a “Liberal” would be offended by her truthful comments which were pretty much spot on. Anyone can see “Liberals” are ruining this country, if you don’t see it then you’re part of the problem. JS
July 12, 2015 @ 1:56 pm
No, political divisiveness and knee jerk reactions to others based on politics is what is ruining this country, and your comment is a perfect example of that. Hate on liberals or conservatives all you want, but don’t do it in my music forum. We listen to music to get away from all that crap, and there’s no evidence Luke Bryan is a “liberal” anyway. His politics are nobody’s business unless he wants to make them people’s business, and so far he hasn’t.
Any more politically-oriented comments here will be deleted by my Marxist/Nazi-ist/Fascist hand of censorship.
July 12, 2015 @ 8:55 pm
The funny thing is that if you insist on trying to divide the market in that way, “liberals”, in fact, seem to be more into authentic, country roots music than conservatives. Merle, Waylon, Willie, Cash, Dolly, Robert Earl Keen, Dale Watson, et al have always played in New York City and other hipster areas when they toured.. Heck, I saw Wayne Hancock play in a bar in Brooklyn! And Chris Knight on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. On the other hand, the more commercial, top-40 country artists generally haven’t played NYC at all and appeal mainly to “conservative” red-state audiences.
July 13, 2015 @ 10:27 am
God damnit, can’t you fools ever discuss a topic without turning it into a political cat fight. This is like watching Fox News where if you read something you don’t agree with, that other commenter must be a dope smokin’, tree hugging, Prius driving liberal. This isn’t the place for political discussion.
July 14, 2015 @ 6:36 am
And yet you negatively bring up Fox News, the leading conservative network. Leave your politics out of it, buddy.
July 13, 2015 @ 7:30 pm
Johnny Cash was and Willie Nelson still is about as pinko liberal as they come. Many of their fans, even us younger ones, revere them for it.
July 12, 2015 @ 10:01 am
Luke has maybe a handful of songs I consider good. He is not country anymore than F.G.L. or the other 99% of artists that sell their records under the country music label. He and all the wannabe “country artists ” should be thanking Johnny Willie Waylon Chris Kristofferson Conway Twitty and the list goes on and on for laying paving stones on which Luke Bryan and anybody else that falls in this category has been privileged enough to enjoy their lifestyle. Luke wants to call the pioneers of real country music drug addicts because of a reference in a song. In that case he needs alcoholics anonymous, I only hear him sing drinking songs and being drunk. In his interview he said it himself all he does is fish and drink beer. Learn what country really is city boy Luke and all others who sing “C.R.A.P” !!
July 14, 2015 @ 4:09 am
LB has just confirmed what he really is, a wannabee that has infiltrated the country genre claiming he is a country singer. He has now shown his true colors, why, because he won a few awards that appear to be just coming off the cookie cutter assembly line? A great country singer doesn’t disrespect the legends that paved the way for genuine real talented country stars, something which he is not. Perhaps he should now consider “moving on over” as Hank Williams would say, to the pop/rap genre and do all the real country fans a favor. He may have zillions of fans, but get a grip LB, your never going to be a country legend, you just do not have what it takes. This interview was supposed to be damage control for your bad reviews from the last awards show and you managed to screw that up, little too over confident maybe, not enough humility. Would really appreciate it if you and the other country star wannabees would find another genre to call your own , for example pop/rap/crap genre and get your no talent butts out of the genre that you keep disrespecting.
July 10, 2015 @ 10:16 pm
Bryan misaligned outlaw country to protect himself. If he were to acknowledge that outlaw means standing behind your music and maintaining your own creativity he would be denigrating what he does. To admit the truth about outlaw country would mean every day he’d have to admit the shallowness and corporate control of his life. Let’s be honest it takes a strong person to look inside and face what they really are.
July 10, 2015 @ 11:26 pm
Waylon seemed to sing quite a bit about struggles with addiction and recovery. I’d have to go through the lyrics to find the specific references to cocaine, but that was a big part of his persona, especially in the later years–and what made him such a great artist.
July 10, 2015 @ 11:55 pm
Out of everything negative he had to say, the one thing that caught my attention is how he likes to ride around his farm and drink beer. Beer is alcohol and therefore it is a drug, the same as cocaine. The only difference is that alcohol is legal to buy. I agree with everyone else about outlaw country being about going against the grain. It has nothing to do with drugs and other things. I feel that this generation, which I am apart of, is so quick to pass judgement when they dont have the knowledge to be doing so. People of all ages distinguish between alcohol and drugs, when they are the same. Im not saying that a beer every now and then is the same as shooting heroine or snorting cocaine. But in definition, beer is used to alter ones mindset or feelings and the first time someone did cocaine or anything else, it was to feel better or different than they do sober. Not to offend anyone, but this is something that everyone should think about. A few beers can easily lead to other things especially if someone has a genetic disposition to addiction or falls on hard times and wants the pain to stop. If someone is influencing younger generations, I wish they would put a little more thought into the things that they say. With stardom, I feel that it comes with great responsibility that they fail to acknowledge. This will be the downfall of subsequent generations.
July 11, 2015 @ 3:12 am
Country music is made great during times of struggle. The current modern or pop country so called stars have never had parents or grand parents that grew up during the great depression or during wide spread hard times they always lived in a time of plenty. The young people of today seem to lack the manners and respect that we had in the past. I considered country to be dead about 1992 with very few exceptions. George Strait and Alan Jackson come to mind. Those two credit the influences of Haggard, Jones, Frizzell, Williams, and the like. I have listened to Aldean, Bryan, Urban, and Church and its not country and at some points in some of their music it sounds like they would rather be rappers. It is true that many artists of all types of music have their addictions and many times that is one of the struggles that cause them to write amazing songs. I find it interesting that he left out Johnny Cash who was a huge drug addict for many years. Maybe Luke Bryan should listen to Brad Paisleys “This is country music” and learn how to respect the roots of the music form that he is butchering.
July 11, 2015 @ 5:10 am
This guy (and dang near 100% of every other artist out of Nashville) is OWNED by the music industry. Pathetic that he even calls his product (and that’s what it is… created by committee, marketed, advertised, packaged and sold) music. Keep your lying mouth shut – bonfires and beer, my backside – about the old boys.
July 11, 2015 @ 5:26 am
These artist set the path for jackasses like Luke to be successful. They are what country is all about. Maybe you’re to big of an idiot to read the history of real country music. It was outlaws who first sat around campfires and sang. These guys carried it on and you clown artist changed that. You’ll have the little teeny boppers support you but you’ll never have the older generations accept your crap music. You destroyed country music.
July 14, 2015 @ 6:05 am
Charlie H, you said it. I always try to get the demographic that doesn’t understand to play the George Jones hit…..”whose gonna fill their shoes”, listen closely to the lyrics and the true meaning of what real country music is about. If LB doesn’t agree with the lyrics of the country greats, he needs to move his no talent butt over to pop/rap/crap because he has no understanding what true country music is really about. The legends of our time and the history of country music do not need lessons from the auto tone technically enhanced entertainers of today.
July 11, 2015 @ 6:01 am
Luke’s new album is aId to be more “country” than the last. I’m excited to hear it.
Rebas single has auto tune…. Funny I don’t hear anyone mentioning this song.
Everyone wants to hate on Luke and newer artists because it makes you all feel deep and artistic. Meanwhile if “I’m so lonesome I could cry” type of songs were played today, many of you would not listen.
July 11, 2015 @ 8:35 am
Actually I did a whole writeup on Reba’s latest single:
Nobody’s asking for “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”-type songs. How about just some songs that don’t insult the intelligence? Luke used to make songs like that.
July 11, 2015 @ 8:11 pm
Thank you for the link. I guess I was more saying, Reba isn’t making waves by being different and experimenting… Maybe she has earned her right to do so in the eyes of country fans.
I see what you are saying. How would you propose to have our local stations play more variety? Do you think it’s possible. And when you say you want heavier lyrical content- do you mean old school country or new artists?
My local station used to have flashback Sunday’s for a few years. Every Sunday- from 9 to 11 they would play country of the artists listed above. (Merle, Skaggs, hank, Conway and so on). It was very cool. It has now gone away- not sure if the listenership wasn’t high enough or what happened.
July 11, 2015 @ 9:00 pm
The problem Kristi is there’s nothing really similar between the music of Luke Bryan, and the music of Willie, Waylon, and Merle. There’s really nothing similar between the music of Luke Bryan and Kacey Musgraves. There has always been pop country, and there will always be pop country. But traditional country and pop country have now grown so far apart, it has created a constant environment of cultural conflict around the term “country” music. What is needed is separation. Reba was the first artist signed to NASH Icon, which was a joint venture between Big Machine Records, and the 2nd largest radio station owner in the country, Cumulus Media. They want to split country radio into two segments. One would be contemporary “country” for artists like Luke Bryan, and the other for older, and more traditional artists. I think this is the way to offer more choice, variety, substance, and traditional sound for consumers, and end conflicts like the one that transpired over Luke Bryan’s comments.
July 11, 2015 @ 7:27 am
I understand the outrage caused by Bryan’s uneducated comments but it is what it is. He’s not country and he knows less about the genre he claims as his own than my 6 year old but he is what the majority of the public are asking for. He’s not an artist and neither he or his manufactured words are important to me in the least. Luke Bryan is a trained animal in the circus that is the entertainment industry; a gyrating, performing monkey for the ignorant masses. Bryan is a pawn created to fill a demand. He is just a symptom of a larger problem and symptoms are always easier to spot and direct our anger at.
What came first, the chicken or the egg? Did record labels and pseudo-country artists dumb down the fans or did the fans vote to dumb down the genre with their wallets? In my view the majority of music listeners created this problem while the labels and “artists” just followed the money. I’m not saying don’t get mad about Bryan’s statement but let’s place the blame for his ignorance where it really belongs; squarely at the feet of the average, ignorant, vapid country music fan. Society is stupid as is being proven with everything from books to TV to politics. Society prefers the simple and the meaningless so that they don’t have to think or feel anything and the willful ignorance of the masses will always be bigger than those who prefer to think and feel.
As for myself, I’m tired of the Sisyphean fight. I’ve always been an outlier when it comes to the things I like or the things that have meaning to me and I always will be. I’ll just continue to listen to good, heartfelt, meaningful music and give the real artists my support while I look down and laugh at the simple mindedness of the average joe public while they wallow in the shit show of the culture they created.
July 11, 2015 @ 8:30 am
As a younger listener of country music I have to say I love country now i couldnt listen to the older country.I think country music is doing a great job with keeping up with the times. Luke Bryan is one of my favorites and though he shouldnt belittle the past which i dont think he was he was just making his point hes saying he likes more up beat happy get out and dance kind of country and I and ALOT of others love todays country style. Keep doing what you are doing Luke great work dont let people change who you are and what you beleave in.
July 11, 2015 @ 8:40 pm
sorry to disagree but i believe Luke is a perfect example of all that is wrong with America. he is a product of a liberal education. Of course kids and fans today do not listen to music from 20 or 30 yrs ago. That IS NOT the point. The fact that he actually believes he is comparable to them is sad. It is what happens when we overindulge our kids. These men, Reba too, have been in the music industry for decades. if not for them, Luke would have no career. Country music did not enter mainstream America until the llate 60’s and 70’s. It was Dolly, Waylon, Hank, and the outlaws who brought country music out of the south and got airtime in stations across the country. These were, and still are great artists. For Luke to dismiss them so easily by comparing his music to theirs is also a sign of his deep ignorance and pampered ego. He may, someday, be a legend, but right now he is only a few hits away from childhood. Sad that no one respects anyone . Our schools and the liberal agenda is destroying us all
July 12, 2015 @ 8:46 am
Being liberal has nothing to do with it. Why do people always try to invoke that? This is what’s happening……They take these cutie pies and handsome fellers, give them a song or two written by the same folks that write most of the other songs, make them sound good, look good, promote the heck out them giving them the appearance of being the best thing since sliced bread, and then they cram that teeny bopper crap down our throats by controlling ALL country radio programming! So in a way it is an example of what’s wrong with America. Greed. That’s the agenda. I want my country radio back.
July 15, 2015 @ 10:45 am
Bingo. Thank you.
July 11, 2015 @ 9:52 am
Luke Bryan shouldn’t be considered “country music.” He’s a pop singer, who profits off of the stereotypical look of a country boy.
July 11, 2015 @ 1:46 pm
Trigger? Roy Rogers horse. I was at both Woodstock & Willie’s 4th of July picnics and this Luke Bryan little turd doesn’t have a clue what real country is. He couldn’t carry Waylon’s guitar case. Go away Shitbird!!
July 15, 2015 @ 11:36 am
Luke Bryan isn’t a stereotypical country boy. He wears tighter pants than my sister.
July 11, 2015 @ 10:13 am
Everybody ripping into Bryan and others need only to read the Autobiography of Waylon Jennings. It would even do the author of this article some good.
It’s more than 140 characters of text, and takes longer to read than the comments here, so it will require a little effort. Luke Bryan’s comments are quite a bit more on point than most of you knee-jerks realize.
July 11, 2015 @ 11:01 am
Perhaps you didn’t read the followup article. It includes an excerpt from Waylon’s biography:
July 11, 2015 @ 12:25 pm
I’m not regular reader of any of your articles. I picked this one up from a share on Facebook. So, no didn’t read the followup until you shared it here. Even with that, I still think readers need to read the entire book to get the context of an entire life’s history. The country version of Woodstock in West Texas with “Waylon, Willie and the boys,” to Nashville apartment nights with Hank Jr. and Chris Christopherson… and jetting down the street with David Allen Coe in a Hurst to the pretty cocaine recovery excerpt you cited about Waylon. The outlaw idea was very drug/gutter laden and a much larger concept, but VERY drug centered.
So you are saying, that being “Outlaw” means selling your own music, brand, style without the influence of record labels and agents? Sort of like Hank Jr. breaking from the Hollywood piano suits after his accident to rebel flags leather vests? Who knew pretending to be a badass would sell so many records back then?! Or maybe it was a real drug addict personnna that cloaked so many great singers – it’s a deeper discussion than a candy ass article trying to stir the pot by knocking a guy trying to sell some records and not be a dope head in the process (Luke Bryan).
Any of the legends would have done the same of they had a chance to back them… this has ALWAYS been about the MONEY. And you are fooling yourself if you think differrently.
July 11, 2015 @ 12:42 pm
Look man, I don’t like to bully people with country music knowledge because I don’t think that’s cool. Some people are more knowledgeable, and some are less. But since you called my article “candy ass” and then tried to school me on the life of a man I’ve studied much:
**It’s Kris Kristofferson, not Chris Cristofferson
**The country version of Woodstock was not held in West Texas, but in Dripping Springs right outside of Austin at the Dripping Springs Reunion.
**It’s Waylon, not Walin
**David Allan Coe, not David Allen Coe (though you see the ‘e’ version quite commonly)
And yes, Outlaw” means selling your own music, brand, style without the influence of record labels and agents.
July 12, 2015 @ 6:02 am
Not trying to get into y’all’s argument here but just thought id throw in my two cents. First Trig didn’t stir the pot, Luke Bryan did. I agree with many of your parallels with yesterday’s artist and those of today. I stress around here that folks shouldn’t care what today’s ‘country’ music is, let’s just find good music together and that’s what I get out of this site personally. With that said, I think all the anger here over these comments is the pure hypocrisy of Bryan’s comments. He has a song that references cocaine and a lot of songs that support getting fucked up in general. So he should just keep his mouth shut because he has no idea what he is talking about.
July 13, 2015 @ 9:55 am
If he didn’t want the attacks then he should have shut his pie hole. Those legends didn’t attack him for his sissy jeans and cheesy dance moves. Not to mention his mediocre music and voice. He had no right to say anything disparaging about those that made it possible for his no talent butt to get to play music for a living. He’s not worthy to carry their boots. His best bet is to admit he put his high heel in his mouth and beg for forgiveness. I know I won’t ever respect him again.
July 11, 2015 @ 2:22 pm
No worries. You aren’t bullying me. You are bullying Auto Correct on my phone and my not caring to correct it’s interpretation of names. Also, you are correct… Dripping Springs is actually Central Texas, but geography doesn’t change the sentiment.
Look, I’m not trying to bash you personally. I’m glad you care enough to write. But the comments you elicit from readers about what being outlaw actually is, is mind numbing for people like me who enjoy artists like Willie Nelson all the way up to Luke Bryan. Willie was just as corporate as Luke. Both are artists and songwriters who were very successful writing songs for OTHER people’s success until they signed deals to sing their songs.
So what is the outlaw difference between Willie and Bryan? Is either one an outlaw, and if so, why?
Both write. Both sing. Both are rich. One performed in suit and ties to start his career. One has always performed in boots and jeans. One smokes a lot of weed. One performed in Farm Aid, while the other holds farm tours. What’s the difference? Who’s the definition of outlaw, and why?
July 11, 2015 @ 2:31 pm
Here’s an article I wrote about this very subject:
As for Willie, I will agree that in 2015, he is just as corporate as Luke Bryan. But that’s another story. And I’m not sure why comparing Willie and Luke side by side is relevant to this topic.
July 12, 2015 @ 6:56 am
Reading the comments is “mind numbing” to you? And just a 140 characters of so later you drop the nugget of Willie Nelson performed at FarmAid…. He STARTED FarmAid, just a slight difference I know but it is a repetitive trait in your writing.
Stumbling into this site will have been the hard part for you. Now that you are here, take some time and read up on all of the artists you’ve never heard of. Check out Stirgil Simpson, Cody Jinks, Jason Isbell and the many others found here. Read the tops songs of the year articles. I know it’s part of your generations DNA to tear things down that don’t conform to what is popular, it is how the system programs you to conform and refrain from original thoughts. There is a big world outside of your radio dial. Congratulations on being here.
July 11, 2015 @ 4:03 pm
Look what Levi Lowrey said http://ramcountry.yahoo.com/post/123740978261/luke-bryan-has-harsh-words-for-countrys-outlaws
July 11, 2015 @ 6:48 pm
Respects to Levi. I’ve seen him perform a few times and he’s pretty good. And man, his response was right on the money.
July 11, 2015 @ 4:58 pm
Luke, it’s too bad that you can’t think of anything of substance to write about except hunting, fishing, and riding around your farm. There is enough pop country crap already out there featuring the same boring topics! You should consider writing/recording something “real”, before you become another has been.
July 11, 2015 @ 5:22 pm
Funny, heard a LB song today talking about him havinga stash under the front seat of his “big, black, jacked-uptruck”. Guess its ok to sing about bud, just not cocaine…
July 12, 2015 @ 5:45 am
Even though this guy is apparently a total dick-for-lunch, I have to AGREE on some level.. Since Hank III got popular in the early 2000’s it seems like everyone wants to be an “OUTLAW”… As I’ve said before; just because you wear a cowboy hat, a Slayer shirt, have a bunch of patches on your pants, and make drug references in your songs THAT DON’T MAKE YOU A REBEL…
Go to these festivals & look at the crowd: Everyone wants to be the train hopping crusty traveling punk kid… And most ARE NOT. AT ALL. Running around claiming to be OUTLAW COUNTRY is about as genuine as claiming to be PUNK ROCK. If you have to claim you are, THAN YOU ARE NOT.
This guy is a fukk’n dork that plays commercial shit music… HOWEVER, at least he OWNS IT (beers, bonfires, & trucks… BRO)…
I actually have MORE respect for that then some of our current “OUTLAWS”. They are FOLLOWERS. Fakes.
July 12, 2015 @ 8:21 am
The references you list regarding “outlaw” are off topic to what Douche Bryan said. He wasn’t mentioning Hank 3 or Shooter Jennings…he took a swipe at guys who’s guitar cases he isn’t fit to carry. At worst, he shit in his nest within an industry that has ALWAYS held in reverence those who came before and the backlash could be very real. At the very least, he comes off as arrogant, immature and out of touch. If he OWNS it so much, there wouldn’t be much need to take a swipe at legends now would there? Bro-country is feeling the heat by those who peddle this dreck. It may be around for the next 20 years, allowing cynical folks like myself to take pot shots at its’ purveyors, but I doubt it has a lifespan beyond another couple.
July 12, 2015 @ 9:24 am
I mostly agree with you. And that is why I said in the article, “But to play devil”™s advocate, there are some folks out there in the REAL (all caps) country scene that take similarly shallow observances of the Outlaw era and use them to make bad music that harps on cocaine and how crappy their lives are without any substance to the music either.”
Some of the hardliners, whether they are staunch country music purists, or punk kids parading around as country saviors reciting the same six songs from Cash and Waylon and Paycheck about cocaine, they are making it possible for someone like Luke Bryan to make these such characterizations and have them stick. There has always been pop in the country format, and there always will be. The fight should be for more balance and representation in the country format.
July 12, 2015 @ 6:49 am
Just a note about myself, I am 45 years old and was raised on country music coming out of an AM radio. I love music and do not have tv. On my way to work, I was listening to a “country” station when Allan Jackson came on, the steel guitar was music to my ears. Before reading this article, my definition of “outlaw country” was pretty much the same as the author’s, it is making your music, the way you want with no regrets. You like it, or you dont, but it is my music. The only artists that hasn’t been around for a great length of time that I feel that we have that fits that mold is Jamie Johnson and to a certain extent, Miranda Lambert. Allan and George’s Murder on Music Row is a biography of the former version of country music. I am not a fan of the “bro-country” style nor the radio programming that we have today. The only reason FGL is even on today’s country radio is because there is the twang mixed in with the whining of the lyrics. Luke Bryan can say what he wants about the outlaw country, but the music that he and his “bros” are putting out can’t hold a candle to the old outlaw country.
July 12, 2015 @ 6:06 pm
If your talking making music with no regrets you need to add Sturgill to your short list there bud. In my opinion he makes JJ look like child’s play (and I love both)
July 12, 2015 @ 7:41 am
Luke ain’t that kind of person to say that kind of stuff bout anyone!!!! He is a loveable person and idk why yall hate him on his own opinion!!! He was just sayin that he will never be an outlaw country singer.He even said that Willie Waylon and Merle was his musical heros.
July 12, 2015 @ 8:24 am
Even if some did fall into that “gutter” Luke talks about, at least they came out with better music than any of the top 40 shorties of today with their teeny bopper pop crap. And some still are! I want my Country Radio back!
July 12, 2015 @ 10:59 am
Luke is no more country than florida georgia line. He should be thanking willie waylon Johnny kris kristofferson conway And the list goes on. They paved the way for him to live his lifestyle. Rhyming “dirt road” with other phrases doesn’t mean you are country furthermore what cowboy drives a Z71 or any jacked up truck. Farmers have corn fields and only live a few miles from a Walmart. Garth brooks sang about cowboys george strait sang about cowboys! You wanna be country these days lose the skinny jeans and learn what country is! City boys trying to be country, Australian Keith urban trying to sing about American country. Its now know as C.R.A.P music, country mixed with white boys who think they can rap! Get a clue.
July 12, 2015 @ 12:58 pm
Luke sings candy country!Texas red dirt is where the real county music is at!
July 13, 2015 @ 7:38 am
I am a indie Artist Sing/Songwriter, I love traditional country music. When it all started it was written about life, songs that everyone could relate to. It was simple easy to understand and had a lot of heart and meaning. I read comments about country music being all sad songs. If it wasn’t for the sad songs there wouldn’t be country music. If you think that life is now all all about happy think again. The problems back then are still going on today. These great artist did paved the way for other artist to be more original. But bashing the legends is not good on anyone’s part. Luke Bryan, Eric Church and Jason Aldean are doing there thing yes, but if it wasn’t for country music they wouldn’t be. If you gonna use country music to make millions then at least have the respect for the other artist that got it this far for everyone. Rather it be Outlaw Country Pop Country What ever, at least have the respect for it and the rest. You take Traditional Country and start changing it? Be prepared to take the heat. Folks that grew up on country music tend to be irritated when the music they loved there whole life is messed with. You wanna put wrap into country, call it something else besides country. All music goes through changes through out the years some fade in and fade out. But traditional country music has deep roots that has always kept it strong and going on. Look at George Strait, Alan Jackson, There still traditional country even tho they say it’s dieing they are still selling out packed houses. Why? Because they keep the tradition alive. And over seas traditional country is huge and still is and always will be. So as long as i can still keep writing it and recording it it will always be alive. I have two songwriter groups on Facebook we have writers that have written for artist like Keith Whitley, Vern Gosdin, Garth Brooks, Alabama, Blake Shelton and many many more and out of all we have 80- 95% are still writing traditional country. But they do it with respect. And that was the down fall of Luke He could have used or at least show some respect. Instead he bashed the legends.
July 13, 2015 @ 10:34 am
Luke Bryan is a good singer but he needs to keep his mouth shut.
July 13, 2015 @ 10:41 am
Bro Country glorifies drinking. How beer different from marijuana and cocaine Lukey?
Luke Bryan is an arrogant putz. He and Blake are clearly in love with themselves, to which is of the most vile character traits. The Voice should dump Shelton and stop being a conduit for producing more Bro-Country vermin.
Strait Country 81
July 13, 2015 @ 2:15 pm
LB stands for little bitch but the record company couldn’t put that on albums.
July 13, 2015 @ 2:23 pm
Puke Bryan is a turd who keep running his stupid mouth and singing stupid songs that don’t sound country. some of his songs are good but most is crap. I am glad he quit his spring break crap now he can sing bro country now. He needs to make real country music.
July 13, 2015 @ 7:16 pm
Luke was spot on. Thank you for not singing about getting high and breaking the law. It’s not that cool people. F YOU BACK! BET THEY WON’T POST ANYTHING THAT DEFENDS LB.
July 14, 2015 @ 3:03 am
Lets see if Luke is still performing and recording and on tour when he is in his 70’s and 80’s. I doubt it. His cookie cutter songs will never be timeless like Willie, Merle, Kris, Waylon, Johnny and Hank Jr. He is young and made a mistake, his ego and veneers just over powered his better judgement. Maybe George Strait, John Anderson, Dewight Yoakam, Alan Jackson or other traditional country artist that has their own individual sound and style can take Luke under their wing and teach him how to perform and act for a career of longevity. Good luck Luke.
Weird Uncle Bob
July 15, 2015 @ 3:38 pm
He doesn’t know anything about “doing cocaine and runnin’ around” but he apparently knows enough about losing his family to alcoholism to cut You Don’t Know Jack… Lay in the gutter because you’re drunk, not because you do drugs. Have some damn pride!
July 15, 2015 @ 9:10 pm
I cannot stand mainstream country music, drives me crazy. But fortunately here in Texas we have what we call Texas Country music. It is real, true country music. Most cities/towns still have radio stations devoted to mainstream country, but there is at least one station that will play some Charlie Robison, Jack Ingram, Randy Rogers Band, Sunny Sweeney (I could go on for a while), and yes, the greats mentioned in the original article. These stations will not play anything mainstream. Thank God for that!
July 16, 2015 @ 9:29 am
Maybe if he stops falling off the stage or walking into the CO2 blasts his brain might function properly enough to not to crap on the people who kicked the door open for him. But probably not.
July 17, 2015 @ 7:26 am
I feel that today’s country music has been so chewed up, spit out, bastardized, reconstituted, run up the flagpole, co-opted, blended with mechanically-separated chicken, and transmogrified for use in all manner of spurious circumstances for commercial gain and marketing antics that I would be perfectly happy if I never saw it again.
May 22, 2016 @ 4:42 pm
Just now reading this.
To Luke Bryan: Do not and I mean do NOT EVER put yourself in the same sentence as Eric Church. Church has more talent in his left thumb than you do in your entire body.
patrick n smith
September 21, 2016 @ 8:40 am
this guy is a joke a corporate tool stick your dixe cup up your ass luke
patrick n smith
September 21, 2016 @ 8:42 am
patrick n smith
September 21, 2016 @ 8:48 am
when i hear his garbage on the radio it makes me feel disgusted that people actually like this stuff. i would like to cut off his balls if he even has any. Nashville should be ashamed to be bastardizing the country genre for this. money and more money,i get it. thank god for eric church ,chris stapleton , and REAL artists th like . not some country corporate whore who uses a guitar for a stage prop.
November 8, 2017 @ 8:15 pm
LB self loving bitch. Oh! I’m sorry, I can’t say luke brian is a no talent useless BITCH and I apologize and I guess I can’t say he is an ungreatful asshole either
December 31, 2017 @ 3:55 pm
They were outlaws because they created a different kind of music. Waylon never had a bad song. Amanda is onenofbthe most beautiful ever written. Willievandbkris are two of greatest writers of all time. Luke Bryan is showing his stupidity and arrogance. Always bad form to criticize the music of others. Keep mouth shut.
April 3, 2019 @ 3:23 am
He’s not one of those guys to constantly be looking back? Really? Because every one of his songs is about “that night”, or his college buddies, or the time he was planning date rape on a purty girl I’m cutoff shorts down by the lake on a dirt road. Where no one could here her.