Changing of the Guard
I have to say that deep down, I love it. You could call it the changing of the guard - Country style.
Starting around 2010, I started noticing a new group of Country artists garnering award nominations and actually winning awards.
Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton and the list goes on. These artists were slowly taking over. Oh sure, there's plenty of competition. Tell Martina McBride that her product has lessened since turning 46 - not even. Is Tim McGraw or Kenny Chesney slowing down this summer? Nope, matter of fact, their "Brothers of the Sun" tour is one of the most anticipated shows this year.
It's just County Music evolving. Thankfully, we still have George Strait, Reba, and Kix and Ronnie doing their solo careers. I can remember when they were considered the "new" artists. They serve today's County fans as a touchstone to part of the heritage of Country.
Now Tim, Kenny, Rascal Flatts and many other hit makers for the past decade or more, are becoming part of the legacy. Still making great music, but no longer the "young guns."
Do I like every act or latest trend the record labels send down the pike to us? Of course not, but that's no different than 20 years ago. Their job is to sell records and make money and sometimes try to tell us what we like, before we actually discover that we really don't like it.
I'm glad to see the changing of the Country guard. It means that Country is growing, changing, sometimes to the dismay of many of us. But most importantly, It's still breathing and very much alive.