Country music has an unfortunate reputation. Chained to a negative image based on regionalism and dead from self-inflicted wounds due to notions of "image" and really, really fucked radio programming, it's no wonder that country music is so mixed up. Come on, let's be honest here; Faith Hill, Lee Ann Rimes, Dixie Chicks are about as far from The Carter Sisters, Skeeter Davis and Patsy Cline as I am, but they're "carrying on the tradition" that these talented women started. Throw in the fact that Kenny Rogers is more talented than many of the musicians on today's modern country radio, and you're really looking at a bleak and weak genre that, yeah, is killing itself.
Too bad for Mike Ireland. Try Again is an awesome record, but nobody's gonna hear it, save for the occasional playing that it'll get on stations that are usually affiliated with NPR. While I'm not saying that's not good enough, for an exceptional talent as Ireland and his beautiful record, NPR IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I've been rather moved by the simple, twangy singing and the lush background, and I'd like to take this time to say something that damn well needs to be said. IF IT WASN'T FOR THE FACT THAT YOU, MR. COUNTRY RADIO PROGRAMMER, HAVE MADE UNCLE FESTER WITH A COWBOY HAT AKA GARTH BROOKS THE NEW HANK WILLIAMS AND THAT YOU'VE CREATED A MOST MEDIOCRE BEAST, AND WHEN PETER JENNINGS CAN GO ON TV AND DIS ON YOUR INDUSTRY AND RECOGNIZE THAT THERES A PROBLEMS AND SAYS "WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO COUNTRY MUSIC" THEN YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT THERES A PROBLEM. AND DONT SAY THAT SINCE THE DIXIE CHICKS DO GOOD "BUSINESS" THAT SUCH THINGS ARE WHAT THE REST OF THE WORLD WANTS TO HEAR. IF I WANT FAT BLOATED AND BLONDE I'LL PULL OUT MY STEVIE NICKS RECORDS, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, ITS NO ACCIDENT THAT THEY COVER "LANDSLIDE" NOW BECAUSE THE ONLY MUSICAL TRADITION NATALIE MAINES IS CARRYING ON IS THE COW-SIZED FRIZZLED HAIR HARPIE TRADITION THAT STARTED OH SO MANY YEARS AGO WHEN THAT FLEETWOOD MAC SHIT WAS UBIQUITOUS AND COUNTRY MUSIC WAS STILL GOOD. THE DIXIE CHICKS ARE AS MUCH "CARRYING ON THE COUNTRY TRADITION" AS MADONNA IS CARRYING ON THE WHORE OF BABYLON TRADITION, DONT THINK YOURE FOOLING PEOPLE, MY FRIEND, BECAUSE YOURE NOT, UNLESS YOU REALLY THINK YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT MIDDLE-AGED HOUSEWIFES AND THEIR PERMED-HAIR TEENAGE DAUGHTERS REALLY LIKE.
I hope that Mickey Newbery, god bless him, was blessed enough to hear this record shortly before his death, for Ireland's carrying on the tradition of singers who mix lush background music with words that I believe. Yeah, when he sings of heartbreak like "Mr Rain" and disappointment like Charlie Rich's "Life Has Its Little Ups and Downs" to the statements of his love such as "I'd Like To"--I believe the man. SEE, MR. COUNTRY RADIO PROGRAMMER, UNLIKE RANDY "DIG MY HAT" TRAVIS AND MANY OF THE OTHER SO-CALLED "MEN" WHO ARE CLOSER TO MICHAEL JACKSON THAN JIM REEVES WHEN IT COMES TO THE SENTIMENT OF THE MUSIC THAT THEY SING, MIKE IRELAND IS A REAL FUCKING SINGER AND HIS MUSIC COMES FROM THE HEART AND SOUL THAT ONCE USED TO BE COUNTRY. NOW THAT YOUVE KILLED COUNTRY MUSIC WITH MEDIOCRITY FOR NEARLY TWO DECADES, ITS TIME FOR YOU TO MAKE AMENDS, OR SIMPLY DIE SO THAT WE CAN GET THE NEXT BORING ASS COUNTRY "TREND" OVER WITH. IF YOU HAVE ANY SEMBLENCE OF A CLUE YOU WILL SEE THAT IRELAND IS BEYOND THE SCOPE OF YOUR JV-FOOTBALL LOVING ASS AND APPEALS TO, OH I DONT KNOW, THE INTELLIGENCE AND THE SOUL OF THE LISTENER. STOP PRODUCING SOULLESS MUSIC FOR RURAL JAILBAIT, UNLESS YOU THINK THAT'S THE ONLY PEOPLE WORTH FOCUSING ON, WHICH IN THAT CASE I HOPE YOU ARE TORTURED IN HELL UNTIL THE END OF TIME SERVING AS THE CROTCH-BOY FOR THE TORTURED SOUL THAT WE KNOW AS BILLY RAY CYRUS WHILE HANK WILLIAMS, CHARLEY PATTON, IRA LOUVIN, AND SPADE COOLEY COLLECTIVELY SHOVE EVERY SINGLE COPY OF EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY GARTH BROOKS, DIXIE CHICKS, WYNONA JUDD, AND GEORGE STRAIT ALBUMS EVER SOLD IN THE WORLD UP YOUR ASS SIDEWAYS IN ORDER TO PUNISH YOU FOR THE WRONGNESS THAT YOU HAVE CAUSED COUNTRY MUSIC AS A WHOLE.
I love Try Again. It's the first honest statement that I've heard. It's also the first country music I've heard that should be played in Flying J's and Rip Griffiths across this fine country, and it's sad to say that such things aren't gonna happen, you know it, and I know it. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm cynical, but Try Again is the first record that I think should be ubiquitous. Austin City Limits is where this man needs to go next. Come on, people, go and buy the damn record already!