When you come across someone making traditional country music for a living, you know they’re not focused on fame and treasure. If they were, the joke’s on them. If anything they must be a glutton for punishment. But when you have a passion that can’t be quenched by compromise, it’s better to scrape by doing what you love than succeeding at what you hate.
Many will tell you that true country music is dead. Then all the more reason to rise to the cause and help bring it back. What fun is it taking the easy way out, writing Bro-Country clichés that you know will sell, and leaving your true passions behind? The best things in life worth doing are the ones where the rewards come hard, and the goal is something bigger than yourself.
Austin, TX’s Mike and the Moonpies are quickly becoming the group with one of the most anticipated releases of 2018 with Steak Night at the Prairie Rose arriving February 2nd. John Baumann (also of Austin) released a really superb, under-the-radar record Proving Grounds earlier this year.
Their collaborative effort “Country Music’s Dead” is not meant to be a statement of fact or an affirmation to forlorn country music fans. It’s a devil may care attitude disregarding what might be trendy, because they’re going to do whatever the hell they want to do anyway, which is make true country music, regardless of the hardship or popularity it may bring. “This song is about being yourself and staying in your lane,” says Mike Harmeier of Mike and the Moonpies. “I think [John] Baumann, [producer] Adam [Odor] and myself all know exactly who we are and what we love to do and will pursue that end no matter the cost.”
And what good would a song be with such and important message if it wasn’t slathered in steel guitar and driven by a thumping beat? “Country Music’s Dead” gets your fist pumping from the message, and your blood pumping from the music. Waylon-esque, if you will. And it’s a one-off affair written a few months after The Moonpies finished up Steak Night at the Prairie Rose, so no reason to wait around to purchase it or put it in your streaming playlist.
“This song came from the need to fan the creative fire and create something with Adam [Odor] again,” explains Harmeier. “We wanted to make a statement about how real country records are still being made and how the bands making that music can still be found playing to ten people in some dive bar. The real deal is still out there, you just have to look for it and support it.”