Few modern artists encapsulate a classic country sound -- while simultaneously putting their own spin on the genre -- as well as Jon Pardi. A traditionalist who doesn't mind a healthy dose of swagger in his classic country, Pardi shows his love of his roots in his latest album, 2019's Heartache Medication.

When it comes to his own definition of country music, Pardi says that it boils down to the subject matter, and to a love of talking about real-life struggles, hardships and joys. The singer says that watching Ken Burns' recent documentary about the genre cemented his thoughts on what country music means, and how the music's emphasis on truth-telling continues to stand out through each era of the genre.

Read on as Pardi reflects on what country music means to him.

Country music, well, I just finished watching the Ken Burns documentary, which was great. And it really does a great job of showing you what country music is. And I think it's our roots. It's "human being" music, I guess you would say. It's really the only genre that talks about hard stuff, talks about emotion, talks about truth. And I think that's what we gravitate towards. So I think that country music is truth.

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