JONES | Everything Except Country

I remember this being a very fashionable response to “What kind of music do you like?” back in junior high California. Country wasn’t a cool thing to like: too safe and too corny, too all-American for an age when kids are excited by anything that claims to challenge authority, like the aggressive punk and rap to which my friends and I gravitated. “Everything except country,” besides being a non-answer, really only addresses the genre of music that is currently played on “country” radio. These songs are far in sound, style, and substance from the music that formed in the American South as an amalgam of blues and folk. There is really nothing on country radio today that is simply country.