It’s becoming an increasingly popular trend for young people to say they hate country music, and while I’m not big on the popular country music of today, I can’t help but disagree with this sentiment. Artists like Johnny Cash, Judee Sill, and John Prine are some of the most important musicians in American music and should get better treatment from today’s youth. Beyond that, some of my favorite rock music has its roots in country.
Back in the mid-90’s the country rock Uncle Tupelo split in two with Jeff Tweedy creating Wilco and Jay Farrar forming Son Volt. Those two groups, alongside others like The Jayhawks and Old 97’s, helped evolve a new genre born out of a fusion of alternative rock and country. While these bands have not been welcomed by the country fanbase as one of their own, they are firmly cemented as titans of indie and alternative rock. Below are my picks for a starting point in a genre that laid a large part of the foundation for my music taste today.