Realizing that there has been an injustice towards females in country music, I have really tried to improve my coverage of female artists. It is not a pity party or working to fill a quota. Rather, it’s been more self-awareness that I haven’t done my part to share the female artists I enjoy or come across. It’s not sexist and it was simply because the men are talked about more. It really made me think about why, and I truthfully haven’t been able to come up with a good reason. But I do know, that it isn’t just in mainstream country where it’s a problem, it’s also in Texas.
Being naive and thinking that Texas music is somehow perfect, is downright dangerous. It can be cliquey, money driven and biased, just like Nashville. A true fan of music can see the positives no matter where the music comes from - hence my slogan. I can appreciate the fact that Luke Bryan actually has a great song on country radio called Most People Are Good, and not be biased because it’s from a guy that has been of the worst offenders of bro-country. I try to think logically, and music is no different than other parts of my life.
The female artists I have posted about have exploded and have been by far the most shared, viewed and liked articles I have ever made. And that makes me very happy and appreciative that people have enjoyed reading my work. Some of the comments and shared posts have been the kindest I have ever received. But it also makes me wonder why. And I believe that’s because a lot of publications aren’t spending enough time talking about this immense talent. I have enjoyed the hell out of Laci Kaye Booth, Kenna Danielle, Kaitlyn Harvey, Jenny Tolman, Kensie Coppin, Sarah Hobbs, and Jade Marie Patek this year. Some of these women I have listened to more than the men! Why? Not because they are women, but because their music is awesome. And I have enjoyed it so much, that I felt compelled to share and talk about it.
Feeling curious this past weekend, I jumped over to the Texas Regional Radio Top 100. I wanted to see if some of the women I discussed have charted decently this year. So, I begin scrolling. And scrolling and scrolling until I hit Jade Marie Patek and Kensie Coppin, sitting 33 and 34 respectively. What the heck? Is this some type of joke?
I continued scrolling, only to find Jenni Dale Lord (43) in the Top 50. Three women, yes THREE, in the Texas Chart’s Top 50. That’s messed up.
Within the Texas community, I do notice there is more attention on the women, but this chart really disturbed me. I remember seeing Bri Bagwell, another favorite of mine, sitting at #1 a while back. Overall though, the chart is still largely driven by men.
If it was an issue of talent, then sure, I can understand that a bit. But I’m sorry, there is no shortage of talented females in Texas right now. Sunny Sweeney can make every guy start laughing at one of her shows with her wit and stories and then turn right around and make everyone tear up with Bottle By My Bed. So, it’s not like there is a lacking of personalities.
What does this all mean?
To me, it means we need to realize that there is a disconnect somewhere. It does not mean we need to start discriminating against men. I just believe we need to be more self-aware and work to shine the light on the talent that deserves it. Appreciating talented women does not mean everyone needs to be a hard-core feminist. Rather, it’s about looking at the actual talent and not taking the easy way out and discussing the prominent men in music. There are plenty of women that are paying their dues and they deserve their chance in the spotlight. Just look at Maddie and Tae on National Radio. Even they have struggled with traction despite their amazing harmonies. We can all do a better job at this, and it’s something I’ve worked to better myself at for 2018.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
Check out my spotify for good tunes!