George Jones

Please don’t leave us, Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley’s music is about as traditional as today’s mainstream country radio gets – he even used to feature George Jones! – so it was troubling to read last month that the new album will feature dubstep and be EDM-inspired. But you know, he did promote it on Prairie Home Companion of all places, and the lousy sound could be limited to just a track or two. It could even just be hyped. So I took a wait-and-see approach – the album’s not even out yet; let’s ignore the rumors and just wait to judge it on its own merits.

But then I read this in this week’s country issue of Rolling Stone:

Think Van Halen in a 10-gallon hat. “I couldn’t have done that in 1989,” Paisley says. But with country borrowing more and more from classic rock, “that kind of playing fits our format now,” he says. “It all becomes country eventually, somehow.”

It all becomes country? NO! Maybe it all becomes country radio, but that doesn’t mean it becomes country. The sound is the sound and country is country – you can’t just relabel the rest!

I love that Paisley’s guitar is taking centerstage with his voice more and more. But can’t it stay country guitar? Or at the very least, do we still have to call it country once it isn’t?

Please don’t leave us, Brad Paisley.