Saturday, March 18, 2023

ZB's YouTube Cavern #16: Country's Next Generation


Western AF is a must-follow YouTube channel for fans of new school / subversive country. Vincent Neil Emerson is one of the best of "the next generation" as he calls it. Emerson, Charley Crockett, Sierra Ferrell, Colter Wall, Nikki Lane, Bella White, and Margo Price are all country acts I've come across that are keeping the traditional aspects of the genre alive. And all of them are bending lines between country and other genres too; it's a fascinating and exciting group of artists. I'm sure there are many more out there as well.

Just very nice to see. Because my lord the mainstream industry innovations of the last few decades within country are a musical tragedy. It's done a lot of damage to the genre and it's sad. There's always been a cringe pocket within country (and there are cringe pockets in every genre), but the pandering has gotten exponentially worse. Let me guess: you're driving on a dirt road in your pickup truck about to crack an ice cold beer lolol.

It is what it is, I guess. I'm just thankful that folks like VNE are still making well-written country from the soul, and that Western AF is out there documenting it.

Keep on keepin' on fellas. Yeehaw!

- Z.B. James

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