Monday, May 23, 2016

What The Sam Hunt is going on?

I don't listen to radio. If I hear new music, it's largely EDM-based or indie rock from Spotify. So, it's a rare thing where the hot new thing on radio hits my ears.

This is Sam Hunt.

What do I think about it?

I'm not a great fan.

But, I'm okay with it.

Time was, "country" was the barely-changed-from-Scotland-and-Ireland music of Appalachia. That's a big chunk of the Carter Family songbook, but it isn't all. Plenty of their songs end with "Blues" and fit the format. They might not be Blues quite the way that Memphis Minnie might've done it, but they were Blues: 12-bar with AAB rhyme scheme.

And if the Carter Family weren't bluesy enough for you, "T For Texas" by Jimmie Rodgers should be, and both were there in Bristol, Tennessee, at the beginning of Country music. Making black popular music palatable for rural white audiences is a part of what Country has been about since the beginning.

Western Swing, like Bob Wills and his "Faded Love" and "Big Ball's in Cow Town", is an attempt to make Swing music palatable for rural white audiences.

Honky-Tonk, like Hank Williams' "Hey Good Lookin'", is an attempt to make black string-band Blues palatable for white rural audiences.

Rockabilly, like "Blue Suede Shoes" by Carl Perkins, is an attempt to make Jump Blues palatable for white rural audiences.

That isn't the only tendency in country, but I believe I have shown that this is a core one.

The above track, Sam Hunt's "Make You Miss Me", is an attempt at a Slow Jam. Is it good? I don't know. When I want a slow jam, I go to Tyrese. But it certainly fits the genre. Which means, while I might not like the song (or maybe I do), it fits in tendency of Country music to take on aspects of Black music.

And it's an alternative to current country basically being 80s hair metal with a banjo in the mix.