Flagpole Music Awards: Country

(Art/Ziona Kocher, lizzybknits.deviantart.com)

Country is really not something I have much of a stomach for. Maybe it’s all the pseudo-country crap coming out of Nashville these days. Regardless, I was pleased with the music I found on the Country ballot of the Flagpole Music Awards. These artists swing from a southern belle with a heart of gold to some down and dirty redneck boys (And DAMN PROUD!) Vote while you can. The chance disappears May 29th.


BRANTLEY GILBERT

The man with a sense of humor, this is that country/rock hybrid that is most recognizable to all us non-country fiends. I’ll admit that “GRITS” made me smirk a bit. Brantley is technically from Jefferson but I’m letting it slide. Mostly because of the haunting “A Modern Day Prodigal Son.” Who hasn’t thought about running off from school/work/life? It’s a cry in your beer song. Lighters up, y’all.

COLT FORD
He’d just been dropped off in Athens on April 26, when his bus crashed near Atlanta. Nobody was hurt (except the bus) and Colt continued on as usual. I guess that describes Ford’s music. His characters go through a lot but they always maintain a sense of humor. “No Trash in my Trailer” has one of the best choruses I’ve ever heard in a country song. But his music is more a mix of country and electronic drums than straight up whiskey soaked twang.

COREY SMITH
What can I say about Corey Smith that hasn’t already been said? His music has drifted a bit away from the fan favorite “21” in favor of more mature sounding songwriting style. He leans more towards a country/soft indie kind of vibe, often reminding me of Jack Johnson. Smith’s constantly touring but won’t be back in these parts til about July.

DANIEL MACK AND THE PICK’N COUP
Out of all the singers, Daniel Mack has the most Nashville twang. He harkens back to the days when Billy Ray Cyrus was known for more than just his daughter. He’s all about the blue collar workers and their trials.

HOLMAN AUTRY BAND
I just had this in the background, mindlessly listening, while doing some other work. When I remembered what I was listening to, I was very surprised to find my foot keeping time. It’s very solid country lite-rock in the vein of CMT. They say Southern Rock, I say more like Country Hard-Pop. Like Sprite, with AN EDGE!

KAITLIN JONES AND THE COUNTY FAIR
The lone female on this part of the ballot, Jones is a Southern songbird. She sounds a bit like a young and troubled Reba. At times, the band leans toward jazzy or slight swing. This is the most traditional country music you’ll hear in this category.

Check back tomorrow for the visual feast that is the Music Video Ballot!

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