Country songs and the Southern inferiority complex

A (or One) Skeptic

A few years ago I was playing in a band, and we got a new lead singer who was especially adept at country music. Now, I don’t listen to country music — I actually mostly play jazz-funk — but I recognize that country artists often have very good voices and that country tunes are often very melodic. I was open to playing a few country songs, just to see what that was like.

What absolutely struck me about the half-dozen country songs we did play was how many of them were basically extolling the Southern life-style. The songs we did included:

  • That’s How Country Boys Roll (Billy Currington)
  • Where the Blacktop Ends (Keith Urban)
  • Southern Voice  (Tim McGraw)
  • Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

Sweet Home Alabama is, of course, a direct response to Neil Young’s Southern Man, which really pissed off the boys from Lynyrd Skynyrd

Even the songs that…

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