The sound of country music continues to evolve, as artists show their various influences through their music.
Recently, at the Academy of Country Music Awards, Fox talked to several singers about the changing format.
“I think it’s great for the genre, personally, because I grew up listening to everything and if these songs can sort-of be the ‘gateway drug’ to bring people that don’t normally listen to country into the genre and start going back and listen to Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline and the ‘90s era. I think it’s only helpful for our genre to push the boundaries and bring new listeners in,” Maren Morris said.
“Oh, it’s awesome. We’re bringing more fans to country music. Nobody is ever going to touch George Jones or Merle Haggard, they’re the best of the best, but for what they’re doing right now as a whole, you know, all these fans are in Vegas selling out an arena for an awards show,” Scotty McCreery said.
Brandy Clark likes that the genre continues to evolve.
“I’m a traditionalist at heart, and I feel like country music should remain country. But I also believe that things have to evolve to live, to survive, so I’m hearing a lot of things right now that I really love and that inspire me and most of them are more on the traditional side, but I think that country has always had elements of other music – rock, pop, R&B. I’ve always felt R&B and country were cousins, so I think if it’s good music, it’s good music,” Clark said.
For artists like Keith Urban, it reflects the music they grew up on.
“The country that I grew up on was very contemporary country. It was also very forward-leaning. There were pop elements to it always, the kind of country music I grew up with,” Urban said.
And it’s not just different sounds that bring new listeners in – sometimes it’s TV shows!
“Anytime I see that or hear that or someone tells me they found country music through our show [Nashville], believe me, nothing means more to me than that because I love country music and to think that one fan could have been brought towards it because it’s just such a fantastic genre,” Charles Esten said.