Star-Spangled Kid

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A Beginner's Guide To Country Music Pt. 1

This list was needed for a long while now (although Hans did a good list sorta like this), and I've been meaning to do it for at least a week but frakin' Battlestar Galactica is on Netflix Instant! Anyway this Part of the Guide covers country music released in the past twenty years.
1Drive-by Truckers
Decoration Day

Song: "Loaded Gun in the Closet"
Two reasons I almost excluded DBT from the list: They're technically a southern rock band and I wanted to focus on more obscure artists. But shit DBT writes too many great country songs. Loaded Gun is a Mike Cooley song and damn does he have a perfect voice for country, and damn does he write great lyrics.
2I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House

Song: "Rachel Corrie"
Okay Sonofabitch is a southern rock band too, but they're a good example of punks gone country and Rachel Corrie is a good example of a leftist country song. Also the chorus kicks a bunch of ass and they sound a lot like DBT.
3Corb Lund
Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier!

Song: "Brother Brigham, Brother Young"
4Guirf Morlix
Last Exit to Happyland

Song: "Music You Mighta Made"
A eulogy to his late friend Blaze Foley (Morlix is basically to Foley what Steve Earle is to Townes Van Zandt). Morlix's cover of the Marty Robbins tune "They're Hangin' Me Tonight" is also great.
5James McMurtry
Saint Mary of the Woods

Song: "Choctaw Bingo"
McMurtry's lyrics are wonderful, and Choctaw Bingo is him at his best his characters are always so realized that it would be easy to adapt his songs into movies. His father acrtually wrote "The Last Picture Show in Texas" and "Lonesome Dove".
6Old 97s
Hitchike to Rhome

Song: "504"
It's a little repetive (the chorus is repeated at least 100 times) but
7Robert Earl Keen
A Bigger Piece of Sky

Song: "Corpus Christi Bay"
Sometimes I think I prefer Corpus Christi Bay to The Road Goes on Forever but I just listened to the Live at the Rymen version of The Road Goes On Forever and jesus christ am I insane, the song is fucking perfect in everyway. Toby Keith tried to rip off The Road... for his song "Bullets in a Gun" which is crazy to do as The Road... is the most famous alt. country song ever recorded (hell The Highwaymen covered it), but Keith is pretty shameless. But Corpus Christi Bay is a great sad song about alcoholism.
8Ray Wylie Hubbard
A Enlightenment B Endarkenment Hint There is No C

Song: "Drunken Poet's Dream"
The guy wrote "Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother" so he's an original country outlaw but I decided to put him on this list since Drunken Poet's Dream so perfectly exemplifies the best of modern Texas country.
9Jason Isbell
Sirens of the Ditch

Song: "In a Razor Town"
10Rachel Brooke
Down in the Barnyard

Song: "Don't Forget Me When I Die"
11Joey Allcorn
50 Years Too Late

Song: "50 Years Too Late"
12Wayne Hancock
Thunderstorms and Neon Signs

Song: "Thunderstorms and Neon Signs"
13Dale Watson
One More Once More

Song: "San Antone"
14 James Hand
The Truth Shall Set You Free

Song: "Shadows Where the Magic Was"
The last three are the best of the Texas honky ton revivalists that i have heard.
15Scott H. Biram
Something's Wrong / Lost Forever

Song: "Judgement Day"
16 Ben Prestage
Real Music

Song: "God Is Gonna Cut You Down"
The last two are apart of the whole "one man band" scene which isn't really country but has a lot in common w/ the modern country scene so it counts. Possessed by Paul James, McDougall, Lone Wolf OMB, and Hasil Adkins are some of the others. Actually the Adkins song "Your Memories" is one of my favorite songs, not sure why I didn't put him on the list, oh well.
17Lydia Loveless
Indestructible Machine

Song: "Jesus Was a Wino"
18Big Red Goad
Truck Drivin' Psycho

Song: "Poor White Trash"
The country album by Jim Goad the writer/magazine publisher whose most famous article is titled "Let's Hear it For Violence Towards Women". He spent two years in prison in for domestic violence. He wrote a book called "The Redneck Manifesto". Poor White Trash is a great song.
19Jonny Corndawg
Down on the Bikini Line

Song: "Shaved Like a Razor"
Just look at that album cover!
20Slim Cessna's Auto Club
The Bloudy Tenent Truth Peace

Song: "This is How We Do Things in the Country"
I should have included more of the gothic country scene but Slim Cessna's makes for a good representation of the whole scene.
21Hank Williams III
Straight to Hell

Song: "Dick in Dixie"
Funny story that this song's chorus references ("I'm here to put the dick back in dixie and the cunt back in country"). Okay in 1978 Carlene Carter wass playin' a show and Nashville and before singin' the song "Swamp Meat Rag" she said "this song's gonna put the cunt back in country". Of course she has no idea that her mother June Carter and her stepfather Johnny Cash were attending the show.
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