Cody Johnson, Mo Pitney and William Michael Morgan work to Bridge the Nashville and Texas Country Gap
- Something that is intended to reconcile or form a connection between two things.
It’s something that is much needed in the Texas and Nashville worlds of country music if both are intend to civilly co-exist. Many of us are guilty of the occasional bashing towards Nashville and their sub-par offerings to the mainstream arena, but Nashville is home to some serious talent - not just Texas. While the latter has seen a massive boom in recent years and increased exposure, much of the artists garnered their inspiration from the same idols. It’s the recognition of those similarities that I believe brought Cody Johnson, Mo Pitney and William Michael Morgan together for their acoustic verse swap of Merle Haggard’s, Okie from Muskogee.
If you are familiar with my musical tastes, it should come as no surprise that I enjoy the hell out of all three of these talented artists. Each one brings a little something different to the table - from the honky tonk tunes of COJO, the traditionalist vibes of Mo Pitney, to the neo-traditional sounds of WMM. Cody Johnson is arguably becoming a larger name than the others despite his lack of mainstream radio play, but each has their own passionate followings. All three combined are an excellent recipe for bridging the gap between Nashville and Texas.
While hard-core traditionalists may raise a brow at the mention of Cody Johnson, he’s a true country boy that has stuck to his guns on his style of music. He isn’t pretending to be someone he’s not and as a result, Cody puts out music that is constantly true to form. It’s not always the deepest, but it’s hard to not feel sappy with a love song like With You I Am and Diamond in My Pocket. He’s a guy you just can’t help but root for, and I have been doing that for the better part of 6 years.
What I think many are overlooking with this tribute to Merle Haggard, is the exposure that it has potentially spread of each of these artists. Sure, maybe I’m looking too deeply into this, but it seems to be the perfect trio to work together on this. We have a guy that can’t get mainstream radio play and two that have, yet can’t seem to get traction currently. Each is a young father and is part of that equally young class of upcoming country talent. They all have music that is easy to listen to yet incorporates all of the elements that are missing from mainstream country. You know, the pedal steel, the steel guitar, the meaningful lyrics and yes, the cowboy hats.
One video is not going to change the musical climate in Nashville, but it’s an admirable step in working to join forces with the right people. The Texas artists have so much to offer those country fans that are sick and tired of the same old static they receive each day on terrestrial radio. They can bring rock, honky tonk, traditional folk, and do it in a way that is interesting, fresh and enjoyed by various demographics. Nashville has much of the casual public eye and the wide distribution that still can be a challenge in the Lonestar state.
At the very least, this is a solid collaboration that has seen over 752,000 views on Facebook, has been shared over 7,800 times, and brings three artists together to share their appreciation for one of their biggest inspirations. It’s a win across all avenues in my book.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
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