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Jason Isbell is one of those country artists that has learned, for the most part, to keep to himself. He plays the music he loves, he doesn’t pay much attention to the charts and he rarely airs his disdain for modern country music.


Well, actually that last one’s not true.

Because when Jason is specifically asked about current country music, he is always one of the first in the industry to be painfully honest about how he really feels about it. “I don’t like that kind of music at all,” Jason recently told “Rolling Stone.” “Most of that stuff is just real bad music to me. It also seems like a huge mess. I like Nashville when it’s just regular old Nashville and there’s not a whole lot going on.”

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Of course Jason, whose current album is titled “The Nashville Sound,” does have some favorites in that “huge mess” he speaks of.

“Sometimes I’ll hear a song that I really like that’s in that world,” Jason admits. “I like that [Little Big Town] song ‘Girl Crush.’ Some of Miranda Lambert’s songs are really well written. [Chris] Stapleton’s great.”

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Jason, the former Drive-By Truckers member turned Grammy Award-winning solo artist, also weighed in on the tough road that artists like Miranda have these days in the country music genre. “Some idiot country radio guy said that women were ‘the tomatoes on the salad,’ meaning they were there to kind of decorate country radio’s actual revenue stream,” he says in the article. “That got me thinking how little value is given to women in that world. You don’t get the same respect. It is not a level playing field by any means.”

A country traditionalist rips into the current state of modern country music Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Americana Music Association
Tricia Despres is the contributing editor for Rare Country, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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