Country music as a popular entity hasn’t seem to care much for political or social issues much since the rash of tracks issued in the wake of 9/11, which makes John Rich‘s “Shuttin’ Detroit Down” a bit of a surprise. At the very least, it’s enough of one to make the music section of the New York Times.
Here are Big & Rich, in 2004, on what still might wind up the best album any human beings make in the ‘00s: “People getting’ mad on CNN/Who’s right, Democrats or Republicans?/I don’t care who’s right or wrong/I know a way we can all get along.” Well, the getting along didn’t last long, did it?
I know what you were thinking on the night of Nov. 4: What will this definitive Obama victory mean for the state of modern country music? Thank goodness pop critic David Browne is on the case, and presenting his findings in The New Republic.
Roseanne Cash would appreciate it if John Rich left her father’s name out of his tireless rallying of country music’s fanbase behind ABBA fan John McCain. Rich’s comment at a recent McCain rally that “Johnny Cash would have been a John McCain supporter if he was still around” didn’t make the daughter of the Man In Black all that happy, and she released a statement saying that certain people should stick to ascribing endorsements to people who can actually agree with or deny them of their own free will:
John Rich has released the video for his pro-John McCain country boilerplate “Raising McCain,” and it’s a curious clip for one reason: There isn’t a single shot of the Republican Presidential candidate anywhere in it. In what I’m assuming is a way to prove to the Obama-infatuated kids out there that yes, young people actually are going to vote Republican come November, the clip is instead populated by a bunch of Rock Of Love casting-call rejects who are waving around “McCain” signs. (There is one–but only one!–older woman in the audience, who I guess has been placed in the clip because of concerns over “authenticity.”) I understand that getting McCain to the video set was probably tough because he’s in full-on “learn about the Internet before that CNN debate” mode, but were the video’s producers so scared of turning away the youth they wouldn’t even sneak in a still shot of McCain looking even semi-Presidential?
Back in 2004, it was OK to like Big & Rich. They had a remarkably listenable debut album that was a breath of fresh air from the somewhat lousy country music scene at the time, as well as fun personalities. More »