Country Funk Comp Shows the Strange Treatment of Country Music

I wrote about a new compilation of country music and the strange way the genre is treated by the press for the Atlantic. Below, one of the songs off the compilation, which shows the singer Bob Darin basically rapping–in 1969.

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Merle Haggard and “Okie From Muskogee”

I wrote about Merle Haggard and the 45th anniversary of “Okie From Muskogee,” his famous single (and the accompanying live album). This song threw Haggard into the ’60s culture wars and ultimately prevented him from crossing over in the manner of Willie Nelson or Johnny Cash. Here’s “I’ll Always Know,” from one of Haggard’s greatest albums, Mama Tried.

I wrote about the new Brandy Clark album for Firedoglake.

Read the piece here.

The amusing “Stripes” below.

Buck Em

I reviewed a memoir by the country singer Buck Owens for Paste. Read the piece here. It’s one of the better memoirs I’ve read recently. Unfortunately, it’s surprisingly hard to find Owens’ music–especially relative to many of his ’60s and ’70s peers. The tunes are worth tracking down. Here’s Buck dressed to the 9’s, performing “Waiting In Your Welfare Line.”

Turn Around

I reviewed Rob Sheffield’s new book, Turn Around Bright Eyes (Rituals Of Love And Karaoke), for Paste. Read it here.

Below, a Merle Haggard classic from 1968 that pops up in Sheffield’s karaoke adventures.

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