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Country Music?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Alright, this is a random question I've had for a while now -


What about country music?


I see a lot of (headphone suggestion) threads that are along the lines of "I listen to everything but country" or "I listen to [genre]" but it's never country music. So I'm somewhat curious about the genre and the world around it - is it just unpopular in the hi-fi world? Or is it unpopular overall? Is it stigmatized? What kinds of headphones would be ideal for it? Anyone have an example that epitomizes "country music?" 


Let me qualify: I have no knowledge about the genre, other than it existing, and I don't listen to the genre. This isn't meant to be a debate about the merits of any genre of music, I'm just curious.


Posted this in the lounge because it's hypothetical and I couldn't decide between the Music board and the Headphones board.





post #2 of 22

You know, it's interesting - I was in the same spot back when I started on Head-Fi. "I listen to everything but country" That really started to change when I got out here to work. Actually, two things changed that for me. The first was coming to work. I currently work as a field engineer in the oil field and a lot of the older guys up here and a lot of the guys from the Lower 48 listen to a lot of 30s - 60s country music so I really started listening to it, and you know what? I liked it! I think I spent the majority of my time in my younger years in Middle School and High School being force fed Pop-Country that hit the top 100 on the pop lists and that started my distaste for Country. Really getting immersed in some of the older stuff from the previous decades fostered an appreciation for artists I'd never heard. Up to that point, the only country music I had in my collection was my Johnny Cash collection.


The second thing that really did it for me was finding The Wailin Jennys. Now, first off, they are not really classified as country - they seem to be classified more as Folk/Bluegrass. But the minute I heard them, I was floored. They were amazing!! And I think, personally, they are the band that got me fired up in Folk/Bluegrass. Almost immediately, I was following The Wailin Jennys, The Civil Wars, Union Station and anyone else I could find, and that's when I really started noticing, that once I stopped worrying about Genres, everything started to blur together and you could really see where different genres got inspiration from other genres. To this day now, I no longer care whether it's bluegrass, folk, old country or new country - if I like it, I'll listen to it. I think it really comes down to finding the couple of artists or bands that really make you hear the music and appreciate it.

post #3 of 22

It's a fairly typical sentiment expressed by people who think they're open-minded, but are usually not.  It is also frequently applied to other genres from rap to metal to electronic music.  Not to get too political or religious, but in my experience, people who love music and spend a lot of time on the internet involved with it in some fashion or another tend towards young, male, upper middle class, "liberal," and less traditionally "religious," and this doesn't really jive with the demographic of country music. 


That said, like any style of music, there's good stuff in it.  What you'll typically find among the more common avid listeners of a lot of music is appreciation for older country like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and such, and disdain for more modern, pop-leaning artists like Toby Keith and Taylor Swift.  My favorite headphones for this genre are the HD-600s.  I'll post two tracks, one of which is more along the lines of older, traditional country, and another that is representative of the more quality side of modern country.  I lean a little more towards the newer material, personally, but I actually prefer bluegrass, a sub-genre of it, to both.


Edit:  I love the Wailin' Jennys as well (it's a word-play on one of the somewhat older country legends, Waylon Jennings), but they're more contemporary folk than country or even bluegrass.



Edited by LithoJazoSphere - 2/10/12 at 12:49pm
post #4 of 22

It's a common joke here in Denmark. For Europeans, I'd assume it' the fact that we don't really have all that many "country" musicians. It appears to be an American phenomenon which is often made fun of. 


Heck, when someone mentions country I immediately think of trailers and cheap booze. But like another poster said above, there's great stuff in there as well. 


According to EarphoneSolutions, the best earphones for Country music are the SE535 and Westone 3. No idea how they came to that conclusion.

Edited by Staal - 2/10/12 at 12:18pm
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies! 


Showing my ignorance about the topic, I did not know that Johnny Cash was "country music" - I actually do listen to Johnny Cash. confused_face.gif


Thanks for the music examples as well.







Edited by obobskivich - 2/10/12 at 12:46pm
post #6 of 22

Allmusic gives a good insight:


I do love (alternative) country of all sorts...

post #7 of 22

I do like some bluegrass but most country is not my taste....check these guys out...yall


<iframe width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


don't know why this didn't embed?

Edited by tjohnusa - 2/11/12 at 7:32pm
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

No idea about the embed either - but listening to it now. 


What an interesting tune - doubtful my current headphones are ideal for it, but I like it. 


Edited by obobskivich - 2/11/12 at 7:37pm
post #9 of 22

For the more acoustic oriented country, I like headphones with good and slightly warm mids.

The GMP 250 is one of my favorites with bluegrass, because it's very good with acoutic instruments. Even better than the HD650.


When more isolation is needed, the mids forward GMP 8.300 D comes in handy.

Edited by Tiemen - 2/12/12 at 2:20pm
post #10 of 22

I also like the SRH-940 and SR-325is for alternate presentations of country, and sometimes prefer them over the HD-600 for bluegrass as they have more energy.

Originally Posted by tjohnusa View Post

I do like some bluegrass but most country is not my taste....check these guys out...yall


<iframe width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


don't know why this didn't embed?

Hayseed Dixie is fun, but they're a little too tongue in cheek for me to listen to them too heavily.  I actually prefer Iron Horse for the same concept of bluegrass covers of rock/metal tunes.


post #11 of 22


Dolly Parton is a considerable talent in my view. I'm not sure there are many better than she regardless of genre.


post #12 of 22

Cash, I like older country, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Wayland Jennings, Cash, Hank Williams, David Allen Coe, etc but in general I don't like country music

post #13 of 22

I enjoy all the outlaw country artists like Hank, Waylon, Hagard, Willie, Johnny, Coe, Etc.  I also enjoy some of the bands that are influenced by them like Cross Canadian Rageweed, Band of Heathens and I really enjoy Ryan Bingham

post #14 of 22

Does Taylor Swift count I love her so damn much

post #15 of 22
I apologize for the revival, but heck country is a great genre! Growing up in rural Alberta, I listen to lots of country. However I have a question. Would the akg q701 perform well for most of this genre? I dislike the sound signature of my dt770 pro for this genre primarily, but they sound great for rock and electronic.
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