On the one hand, I have to admit that country isn’t my favorite musical genre. On the other, I still have a certain fondness for it, particularly songs with whacked out lyrics (such as shaggy dog tales along the lines of “My man done left me with 25 cents in the bank and a broken down car and didn’t shut the refrigerator so the milk went bad”).
I’ve always been fond of the final scene of Nashville. Here, the woman in white, Barbara Jean, a country icon attempting a comeback after a burn accident and some uneven performances, sings a typical elaborate story, albeit more cheerful and therefore less tawdry than the sort I like. The final singer, Winifred, who director Robert Altman has conditioned his audience to see as a no-talent wannabe, was played by the marvelous Barbara Harris.
Growing up with Ode to Billy Joe no doubt had a formative effect on what I thought “country” should be:
Bob H provided some other examples:
Del McCoury Band: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert:
Doc Watson – Deep River Blues
Norman Blake – Six White Horses:
I must admit to thinking of county music as all about narrative, but there are some great instrumental piece, like The David Grier Band “Salt Creek”:
And if you’d like to decompose it:
We’ve focused on contemporary music. How about some older genres, say polyphony, or foreign folk music?