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New York City Doesn’t get Country

I was discussing the Brad Paisley concert with my friend and fellow country music enthisiast Lisa Fay -who has recently seen acts like Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts (twice), Urban (twice), Chesney, Lady Antebullum (she introduced me to Antebellum a couple of years ago), others…

The point being Lisa knows her stuff and so Lisa tried to define the problem.  She saw it as follows:

1) the size of the room
2) the coolness of the audience
3) the lack of ego of the performers.

“Rock performers are very arrogrant,” Lisa explained “Country performers are much more appreciative but that means they are more humble and humble doesn’t play to the cheap seats. If you saw Brad at the Beacon he would be much better.

I tend to agree with her assessment and would add another. There is no country radio in NYC. Paisley would pointedly thank the audience for finding the songs at all.

I live in a city that didn’t sell out George Jones first concert in NYV in decades a couple of years ago. How is this possible? With the exception of Taylor Swift and Urban if he hasn’t been around in a coupla years, there isn’t ONE COUNTRY ARTIST who can sell 15,000 seats and the reason is because NOBODY CAN FIND THE MUSIC!! As far back as the sixties John Sebastian was singing how nobody back east would buy country music and it is even truer today.

The most important thing the States has given the world is not DEMOCRACY but JAZZ AND ROCK AND BLUES AND COUNTRY AND R&B. Democracy, freedom, flows from there. George Clinton said it best: “Free your ass and your mind will follow.”

NYC had a minor country revival five years ago, a coupla lower east side clubs started having country nights, but nothing happened. There’s that bar in the east twenties.. Rodeo bar?? Something like that…

Other then that NYC is the black hole of country music -a great American art form. It is embarrassing. When George Jones can’t sell out Carnegie Hall it is shameful.

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