Alan Jackson is one of a handful of neotraditional country artists who have stuck to their guns over the years. Since day one, Jackson has been making what many people see as real country music. The list of people that can say the same is short. Folks like George Strait and Randy Travis are definitely on the top of that list.
Randy Travis had a stroke back in 2013. That forced him into retirement. However, if that wasn’t the case there’s no doubt that he would still be making traditional country music. Just listen to his output over the years. Later in his career, Randy Travis transitioned into gospel music. But, he never strayed away from his country sound.
Recently, Alan Jackson had some choice words to say about the current state of country music. To sum it up, AJ said that real country music is dead and gone. At the same time, he doesn’t expect it to come back any time soon. He, Randy Travis, and a handful of others worked hard to wrestle the genre away from Nashville’s pop influence.
However, he was a younger man back then. However, he’s getting up there in years. So, it’s up to the next generation to save country music. At the end of the day, he says country music is going down the tubes and he’s pissed about it.
Randy Travis let Alan Jackson know that there are still plenty of artists out there doing it like they did back in the good old days. He goes on to name a handful of artists who are carrying the torch of old-school real country music.
Randy Travis is Absolutely Right
Randy Travis names a great selection of artists in a pair of tweets. Drew Parker, Luke Combs, Riley Green, Eric Church, Ashely McBryde, and Cody Johnson are all on that list. Randy also shouted out Alexandra Kay, the young lady who got the icon’s attention with her “Deeper than the Holler,” cover on TikTok.
Now, let me step up on my soapbox for a minute. Randy Travis hit the nail on the head. Real, traditional, honest country music is alive and well. However, you’re not going to hear much of it on the radio. At the same time, most of it isn’t coming out of the big Nashville labels.
Randy Travis had a good list going. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Most country fans know about Tyler Childers. He’s a Kentucky boy who knows his roots and sticks to them.
Then, there’s Corb Lund and Colter Wall. They’re both from Canada, but they’re keeping the spirit of traditional country alive better than most American acts. If you want to hear new, fresh, roots music you have to dig a little deeper. However, The Local Honeys and Willi Carlisle are keeping hope alive.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention both Vincent Neil Emerson and Charley Crockett. Those two Texas boys carry on the spirit of songwriters like Hank Williams and Townes Van Zandt.
Traditional country music is like gold. It’s there, you’ve just got to dig for it. You’ll be happy you did.