Do Brits and Europeans listen to our country music?
The CMA awards thread got me curious about this. Do they listen to our mainstream country shit? I'd be surprised but also sort of interested as to why.
Not really. It's mainly an American thing.
They don't listen to today's country music, no. But there are country stars from the past that are immensely popular over there. Johnny Cash springs to mind.
A friend of mine in Germany sends me music sometimes that he thinks I'll like.
Just last week he sent me some Lady Antebellum and I was kind of surprised that he was even familiar with them because they are country. But they aren't traditional country music and have had big pop crossover success, so they might be an exception to the general rule.
Do they listen to my stuff?
Carrie Underpants "I'm playing Maria in SOM you know"
Old timey American music has its roots in Scotts-Irish folk, doesn't it?
Bluegrass and Irish music is hard to tell apart. You hear a LOT of bluegrass artists in Irish pubs to this day.
I'm from South Asia, and believe it or not, some people even there listen to our country music--ahhhhh.
I once knew a German guy years ago who was a big fan of Dolly Parton.
There are quite a few popular Irish country singers like Philomena Begley. There was a nice BBC special several years ago where British and American folk/country singers played and sang together, featuring people like Emmylou Harris.
Merle Haggard played Wembley in 1988, so somebody over there listens to American country. Here he and Tammy Wynette sing "Today I Started Loving You Again":
Country music just SOUNDS better in America, especially when driving. It's not quite the same when you're speeding down the two-lane Dutch motorways (you can't really call them "highways".)
I wonder if any of the major US country performers even bother touring in Europe?
"Alt country" artists like Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown, Wilco, and The Decembrists have a minor following here.
[quote]I wonder if any of the major US country performers even bother touring in Europe?
When they do tour Europe, they usually play little theatres, not arenas or stadiums. The only country artist I know of who was really successful in Europe and played arenas is Shania Twain, but that's probably because 1) Her music has a pop sound and 2) She lives in Europe.
For fucks sake, Jim Reeves and Hank Williams were huge in the UK. Elvis Costello is sangin' country when he's not faping with the Kronos Kwartet.
Roots of country are Scots-Irish. Melanie Griffith lives in Ireland, and they love yhat fat fuck Steve Earle.
Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Garth Brooks (obviously not recently), Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, and plenty more of the biggest country names have all had European stints on some concert tours.
There is an audience for every genre of music in every country around the globe.
Do Lone Justice count? I used to like them but have never heard of Steve Earle or Jim Reeves.
"Before he cheats" did quite well over here in the UK. And that Lady Antebellum song's never off the radio. Country's not really our cup of tea beyond the odd crossover though
R14 Again, most of them play little theaters when they tour Europe and the ones who actually play arenas have more of a pop sound (Taylor Swift, Keith Urban).
Overall, it's not a very popular genre in Europe.
The folkier country acts seems to do ok in Ireland. And the poppier ones -- Taylor Swift, Lady A, etc al -- do well everywhere because it takes very little modification of their sound to make them less country, and better-able to be played on the pop stations.
When I moved to Ireland, the first shop I walked into was playing Tammy Wynette. And I read this at a site I frequent:
"American country music is very popular in Ireland and Australia. They have their own brands but it is influenced by American country."
R13, that's people are saying up thread, the classic country stuff is popular. Everybody has heard of the likes of Hank Williams. Johnny Cash is held in very high regard. However virtually nobody would have heard of Carrie Underwood or Keith Urban.
Generally speaking, the more classic country and folkier it is, the more Europeans will like it. The modern, commercial stuff has a very narrow market here (it's not considered proper country, it's probably in the pop market).
There's a Country Music Festival in Tamworth, Australia:
Tamworth is located in North West NSW, at the junction of the New England and Oxley Highways, an easy five hour drive from Sydney and six from Brisbane.
Several years ago when we went to Ireland we stayed in a hotel that had a banquet hall. They were having some sort of benefit and from the lobby you could hear the music ... country. I was really surprised to hear it there.
Not really. We know very few country music artists over here. The only names that spring to mind are Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton, and perhaps Hank Williams, but I don't know if he's dead and I don't know what he sings. Then, there's Emmylou Harris and also Tammy Wynette, which I'm willing to bet most people don't know. Patsy Cline perhaps. Linda Rondstadt, if that's country music. Kris Kristofferson, only know him as an actor, don't know what he sings.
There's a Scottish band that is fairly successful in several European countries called Texas. Some of their songs have more than an echo of country music. I like them very much. It occurs to me that perhaps we like our European version of country music.
And, of course, Johnny Cash is very much admired. But he crosses beyond country.
Ooooh and I looooove that song by I don't know who "Looking out my backyard" that the Dude plays in his car when he gets it back. Creedance revival? Super song.
It cost 90 euro to see Willie Nelson in a prestigious (but not huge) venue in Paris a few years ago.
It's a curiosity, like your cultural illiteracy, insane politicians, and obsession with guns. As a music subculture, it falls somewhere between Peruvian pan-flutes and Ukrainian balalaikas.
Folk music, on the other hand, is becoming more and more popular here in Europe. Especially among the beard-wearing crowd (don't know if they're hipsters exactly. Probably)
Country music being more popular in countries like Ireland sounds about right. Their own music is indeed similar to country music.
And ABBA, which are still HUGE in Europe when you look at the time they last put out a record, played a kind of music that has very similar roots to country music.
Seems to me music that is very popular has country/folklore roots with a pop/dance beat.
R26, that's funny. My very wealthy, Oxford educated London friend moved to NYC for a couple of years. He emailed recently to say he's gone crazy for CCR. How he discovered them while in NYC from London I have no idea, but he just thinks they are awesome.
There was an actress I found very funny in a Liv Tyler movie called One Night at McCool's (terrible title). She plays the therapist. Turns out she's a country singer and her name is Reba McEntire.
When I was in Alice Springs NT 15 years ago, American country music was wailing out the doors of a popular watering hole.
Odd that I remember that as I have never been a fan.
R28 Yeah, it's inconsequential. Nothing like European achievements: The Great War, Bolshevism, Fascism, the Final Solution, WWII...
Besides Dolly Parton (because of her movie career) and Mindy McCready (because of Celebrity Rehab - may she rest in peace), I know none of the names that have been named in this thread. But I like country music in American road-trip movies, because it really brings out the local atmosphere of those southern and middle west states.
Leann Rimes had a couple of hits, but they were essentially pop like this one "Can't Catch the Moonlight" from the movie "Coyote Ugly".
Like R35, I think we enjoy country music - that scene in Thelma and Louise where they square dance! Very nice. Of course the director had to be British - but most of the time we don't know the names.
Most of the country music names I know I looked for at a time or another, and made an effort to remember because I liked a song or other. Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash are the only names most people know, at least in France, I'm pretty sure. Perhaps it's different in Britain where music and especially rock music is much more of an institution and even almost a religion.
Dixie chicks were in the UK when they made the infamous statement about GWB
I've seen line dancing contests in Germany
Yes R20 Lucinda Williams is really good but don't ever watch her in concert, it takes a long time to get that image out of your mind. She has absolutely no body rhythm, she stands still with her elbows bent and glued to her waist then she just waves her forearms back and forth. It's so clumsy looking you just want someone to hand her a guitar and order her to play it. A friend warned me but I wouldn't listen. I have all of her music and she sounds great.
Wasn't Jolene from The Archers a C&W singer?
R38 And that was at Shepherd's Bush Empire theatre. As I've said several times now, most country acts that tour Europe have such a small following that they can only fill theatres, not arenas or stadiums.
I'm French so I can confirm what R37 just said! Just off the top of my head, I would mention Dumb and Dumber (STFU!), Road-Trip (ditto!), Brokeback Mountain and Transamerica...
Modern country music doesn't play outside of North America.
Last week I was in Germany and they had billboards in the U-Bahn to say that The Big Lebowski was going to show on TV next Monday at 8pm.
I have no idea how popular the movie is in America, but here for a number of people it is what we call CULTE.
There are a number of Big Lebowksi Tests on ok cupid, the one at the link's my favourite.
And sorry for derailing the thread a tad.
I've seen her many times, R20, and I thought every performance was amazing. She's not choreographed, if that's what you mean.
In Germany, country bars exist in the larger cities where one can learn line dancing, etc. While I can't recall ever hearing "new country" anywhere, the classic artists (Johnny, Dolly, etc.) are well known and appreciated. There's also a huge rockabilly subculture and some alt-country-listening hipsters. But for the most part, Schlager is the music of the proles - Germany's equivalent of our rednecks and flyover folk.
The late Billie Jo Spears ("Blanket on the Ground") had a big UK following and toured with Philomena Begley before she died.
Ronan Keating (Irish) is always covering American country hits. Link is to one of them.
Gary Barlow and Cheryl Cole performed "that Lady Antebellum song" for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Country & Western is not mainstream in the UK. I struggle to think of a UK C&W artist although I guess there must be one. The odd crossover song hits our charts occasionally but I don't think it will ever really catch on here to any great degree.
The woman at R20 sounds similar to Courtney Love.
R40, Lucinda Williams has spina bifida, that's why she doesn't move so well. See, some of us Brits and Europeans (I am British and a European, is that ok?) know even more about country music than you Americans.
I also had to explain to some PC feminist American friend of mine who Emmylou Harris is. I was very surprised she'd never heard of her.
Europeans, for the most part, do not care for redneck, red-state Americans. They only like the educated, sophisticated Americans from the coastal regions.
Ach, Schlager. Basically, Schlager works everywhere, it just has different flavors varying on the country.
Actually, I've just remembered country music and line dance are popular among working/middle-class people over 50 in France. They go to clubs once a week, learn the dance, dress in checkered shirts, jeans, boots and cowboy hats.
Also, I meant line dancing, not square dancing, earlier.
There are two Americas for Europeans I believe: the coast and the "road 66". Everything that is Grand Canyon, everything that still evokes the West. And only these two have a cultural identity here in Europe.
[quote]I've seen line dancing contests in Germany
Goose stepping is not the same thing as line dancing.
R57, ironic you think we Europeans have simplistic views of the US when the post immediately below yours displays such an imbecilic American view of parts of Europe.
R59, I am European. I was just offering a hypothesis, as a reply to R55 who said Europeans were only attracted to sophisticated Americans from either coast (although I wouldn't call the West coast sophisticated, just decadent and swimming in money).
My point was the Western is still a myth that has some power in Europe when it comes to America. And country music is part of that myth.
Depending on how well-travelled people are, they may or may not be interested in other parts of the United States, but for most people it's NY-LA and cowboys. Then you can add Las Vegas and I don't know what else, but these are the powerful images that come to mind at least among most people - not those who are well-travelled.
Have you had very different experiences? Perhaps from Europeans who have travelled to the US extensively?
I was talking about people who have not been to the US.
R60 Only in the US red states have I ever been warned to keep my liberal political views to myself.
As I like to question and debate everything, especially politics, I find myself visiting only the places where I feel comfortable doing this. East Coast is my area of choice for US trips these days.
There must be a market for classic country in Britain at least because the Time Life country music 6 cd sets are advertised on late night shopping channels at the arse end of the listings. It's hypnotic, Kenny Rogers with his current Halloween mask face introducing video of himself when he looked human. I know that Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Charlie Pride etc., all the old-time classic singers, are popular among older people. Not a huge segment of the market but enough that the names are known.
[quote] (although I wouldn't call the West coast sophisticated, just decadent and swimming in money).
Seeing how you typified the west coast as, basically, Los Angeles, you don't even know your coasts very well.
Why would I know the coasts very well? Besides I'm just talking about the images we have here. I'm not saying that's the way the country really is.
I thought this thread was about country music and how well-known and appreciated it is in Europe. No need to derail it and make it about knowledge of America, which is not a requirement when you live in Europe. Do you even speak a language that is not your own? Do you realise that most of the time, Europeans contributing to a thread are not writing in their primary language? Would you be able to make that same effort in their own language? Probably not. Do you even know Europe that well? Probably not that well either. Who cares?
This thread was originally about a pleasant subject, music, and you choose to derail it. Sad, really.
Brit R54 and R59, the British usually have a much deeper knowledge of America (and music, especially rock music) than the rest of Europe. The extent to which (rock) music is idolized, scrutinized, looking for every trivia, in England I have never seen anywhere else. There are whole radio shows devoted to how this or that song was composed and who played the guitar and who produced it... Unless they are musicians themselves, I doubt anyone in France takes that sort of passionate interest in music (except perhaps classical music, but that's different and more of a class thing).
But then perhaps in Britain everyone is in a band at some moment or other. Not the case here.
They listen especially to Nicole's Aussie husband.
Brits are dumb as dirt, especially the current crop. It's chav trash city.
No. What are CMA's?
R60, I was contrasting your reasonable statement with the idiot that came after you.
r66 Isn't Nicole's Aussie husband a New Zealander?
You attempted to claim knowledge that you do not have, R64. Simple as that.
[quote]Do you even speak a language that is not your own? Do you realise that most of the time, Europeans contributing to a thread are not writing in their primary language? Would you be able to make that same effort in their own language? Probably not. Do you even know Europe that well? Probably not that well either. Who cares?
No tuve ninguna puta idea que la gente Europea estan usando Ingles como su segundo (tercero, etc) idioma en DL. Como he podido llegar hasta mi edad sin saberlo? Explica como trabaja eso.
Y si, he viajado por Europa, como la mayoria de mi familia viven alli. Satisfecho?
A quien lo importa? Me parece que a ti, hablador de tantos idiomas!
R72, do your European relatives listen to country music?
No. I've never heard them mention it. And I haven't heard it played while there. Probably because I never really went anywhere it might be played.
I like some of the more traditional country music. They have great musicians and songwriters. I also think in country music it is a must for singers to learn the craft of being an instrumentalist and a singer, that's not the case in todays pop music or rap music. I 100 times rather go to a Dolly Parton concert esp if she brings along Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris than go see JayZ or Rhianna. A lot of today's pop music is painfully inane
This is from quite a while ago. Colin Farrell shimmying his ass as a line dancer in Ireland.