Oh Blake Shelton

If you ever wonder what it’s like to live in Nashville and work in the music industry, you can either read Ashley’s hilarious recaps of Nashville, or you can read this article about Blake Shelton and just imagine a million douchy meetings where people sit around and say this same thing repeatedly, you’ll pretty much have it.

It’s not that this–

If I am “Male Vocalist of the Year” that must mean that I’m one of those people now that gets to decide if it moves forward and if it moves on. Country music has to evolve in order to survive. Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, “My God, that ain’t country!” Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do, and they don’t want to buy the music you were buying.

–doesn’t have a certain kind of truth to it. But as the dude writing the article points out, it’s a very small kind of truth. After all, Mumford & Sons and the Avett Bros. and just about anyone on the Americana state wouldn’t be making a living if people didn’t want to listen to their grandpa’s music. Or the music of someone’s grandpa, anyway.

And then, if you think about it for longer than five seconds and start to think how much country music sounds like rock music in the 70s, you know that people who listen to Blake Shelton are, indeed, listening to their grandpa’s music. Just that their grandpa didn’t listen to country.

And then, to second Saving Country Music’s point, dude, come on! The only people who still regularly and consistently buy music anymore are us oldsters.

I don’t really care if country music doesn’t sound like country music, because lord knows that they’ve been complaining that country music doesn’t sound like country music for as long as I know of.  Fuck, I’m convinced people were all “Oh, John Carson! That doesn’t even sound like old-timey fiddlin’!” The fight about what real country music is resides in the bones of the genre.

I do care that a musician has no sense of his own history. If Blake Shelton isn’t listening to the good music in his own genre because it’s grandpa music, it’s his loss as an artist. It shows a failure of imagination on his part, that he can’t love it, not a failure on the music’s part to be relevant.

13 thoughts on “Oh Blake Shelton

  1. Oh, you know how country music always lags 5 or 10 or 15 years or whatever behind pop in its main trends? This is just another example. Because it used to be true that people didn’t want to listen to their grandparents’ music. Good heavens, when I was a kid no one I knew wanted to hear Lawrence Welk! But in the past little while, kids have wanted to listen to their grandparents’ music — the verdict on whether they’ll listen to their parents’ music is still out, and seems to depend a lot on how old their parents were when they had kids. But Blake, he’s country, so he’s old-fashioned. He’s still in the “kids don’t listen to their grandparents’ music” mold. In another 15 years or so, he’ll catch up.

  2. That’s funny, because I bet Blake Shelton sings the shit out of some Conway Twitty when he’s just hanging around.

  3. Although, the more I think about it, the more intrigued I am by the idea that being voted Male Vocalist of the Year gives one decision-making powers over what the genre as a whole, and the other artists in it, get to do. That’s kind of a cool thing — most awards only give you a statuette.

  4. I know, right?! I thought it was just an honor, but apparently it’s some kind of executive position. I hope, for his sake, it’s not a sacral kingship. That never ends well for the king.

  5. The CMA awards would be so much cooler if the winner of Entertainer of the Year was put in a giant Wicker Man and….I digress.

    My anecdotal research doesn’t back up Blake’s position.

    First, two of “the kids” asked me how to convert YouTube url into an mp4 file. Because they are of the generation that thinks buying music is for suckers and old people.

    Second, their grandparents and parents listened to a lot of Fleetwood Mac/Eagles/James Taylor and whatever other 70’s icons are currently being “re-imagined” on Music Row. Way too many people over the age of 40 get worked up about the soft-rock sounds of the Country charts these days.

    Third, I’ll believe that Nashville doesn’t pander to grandparents when we stop seeing songs that name check actual grandparents.

  6. No, Blakey doesn’t have a sense of his own history at all. The fact that he didn’t get noticed until he put on a hat, cut his hair and had a single about a prison bloodhound has no bearing on his intimate knowledge of jackasses.

    I believe a gentleman named John Cash cut a cover of a song that goes “you can run on for a long time, but good God almighty gonna cut you down.”

    If Miranda ever shoots him, I want on the jury. Justifiable assault.

  7. Holy shit! My boss told me that Blake Shelton has recorded a Conway Twitty song! Someone better tell Blake Shelton that Blake Shelton is making Grandpa Music.

  8. Woops. Should have read the attribution — turns out that’s someone in his fan club. Hmmm…his listeners have a jones for Conway Twitty?! Really. I thought they didn’t like grandpa music.

  9. Anyone old enough to have heard Conway and Loretta do a show together instead of going on a senior trip is practically old enough to be a grandparent themself. So evidently Blake Shelton’s fans and grandpas are not mutually exclusive categories. This is not important, but it sure amuses me.

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