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Alternative Country

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Playlist: Alternative Country

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Country music isn't just a synonym for cowboy hats, banjos and American tradition. For decades many artists have tried to distance themselves from the Nashville scene and develop their own alternative version of the the genre, without forgetting their roots. Here's an overview, from pioneers such as The Flying Burito Brothers to today's groups such as Band o...

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Alternative Country

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#
Title Artist Album Duration
1
Wild Horses
Various Artists Sounds Like Nashville 00:06:20

Bernie Leadon, Guitar, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Hillman, Guitar, Mandolin, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gram Parsons, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Leon Russell, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Clarke, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Henry Lewy, Producer - KEITH RICHARDS, ComposerLyricist - MICK JAGGER, ComposerLyricist - Byron Berline, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - Buddy Childers, Flugelhorn, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - Tommy Johnson, Tuba, AssociatedPerformer - The Flying Burrito Brothers, MainArtist - Jim Dickson, Producer - "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow, Steel Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Leopoldo C. Carbajal, Accordion, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Blanco, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1969 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Absolutely Sweet Marie
Jason & The Scorchers EMI Years 00:03:15

Bob Dylan, Composer - Jason & The Scorchers, MainArtist

(C) 2008 EMI Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2008 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 1984 Capitol Records, LLC

3
Blue (Album Version)
The Jayhawks Tomorrow The Green Grass 00:03:09

The Jayhawks, MainArtist - Gary Louris, ComposerLyricist - Mark Olson, ComposerLyricist - George Drakoulias, Producer

℗ 1995 American Recordings, LLC

4
Stranded Pearl
Giant Sand Provisions 00:03:59

Giant Sand, MainArtist

2017 Fire Records 2017 Fire Records

5
Graveyard Shift
Uncle Tupelo No Depression (Legacy Edition) 00:04:43

Uncle Tupelo, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - J. FARRAR, Composer, Lyricist - Paul Q. Kolderie, Producer - SEAN SLADE, Producer - J. Tweedy, Composer, Lyricist - JAY FARRAR, Acoustic Guitar - M. Heidorn, Composer, Lyricist - Mike Heidorn, Drums - Jeff Tweedy, Bass

(P) 1990 Sony Music Entertainment

6
Jesus, Etc.
Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 00:03:51

Jeff Tweedy, Arranger, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Steve Rooke, MasteringEngineer - Jim O'Rourke, MixingEngineer, AssistantEngineer - Wilco, Producer, MainArtist - JAY BENNETT, Banjo, Engineer, Organ, Piano, Tambourine, Writer, Synthesizer - JOHN STIRRATT, Arranger, Bass Guitar - Ken Coomer, Drums - Glenn Kotche, Drums - Leroy Bach, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Saxophone - Chris Brickley, Engineer - Jessy Greene, Violin - Fred Lonberg-Holm , Cello - Jonathan Parker, AssistantEngineer

© 2002 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2002 Nonesuch Records

7
Up with People
Lambchop Nixon 00:06:02

Kurt Wagner, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Mark Nevers, Producer - Lambchop, MainArtist - Pathetic Hindsight Music (Bmi) Adm. By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2000 City Slang 2000 Lambchop And Merge Records

8
Houses On The Hill (Album Version)
Whiskeytown Strangers Almanac 00:02:38

JIM SCOTT, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ryan Adams, ComposerLyricist - Caitlin Cary, ComposerLyricist - Whiskeytown, MainArtist

℗ 1997 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Two Silver Trees
Calexico Carried to Dust 00:03:49

Calexico, MainArtist - Joey Burns, John Burns, Composer, Lyricist - Joey Burns Lunada Bay, John Burns Words Fail Music, MusicPublisher

City Slang Quaterstick Records

10
Everybody Needs Love
Drive-By Truckers Go-Go Boots 00:04:37

Eddie Hinton, Composer, Lyricist - DAVID BARBE, Producer, Mixer - Drive-By Truckers, Artist, MainArtist - Eddie Hinton Music (BMI), MusicPublisher

2011 ATO Records LLC. Released under exclusive license by Play It Again Sam. Play It Again Sam is a label of the [PIAS] Entertainment Group 2011 ATO Records LLC. Released under exclusive license by Play It Again Sam. Play It Again Sam is a label of the [PIAS] Entertainment Group

11
When The Stars Go Blue
Ryan Adams Gold 00:03:32

Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Piano, Strings, Harmonium, Mandocello, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Causon, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Julianna Raye, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
Hold On, Hold On
Neko Case Fox Confessor Brings The Flood 00:02:46

Neko Case, Writer, MainArtist - Dallas Good, Writer - Sean Dean, Writer - Travis Good, Writer - Michael Belitsky, Writer - Sadiesmusic (SOCAN), MusicPublisher - Nedotykomka (SOCAN/ ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2007 Anti Inc. 2006 Anti-

13
Factory
Band of Horses Infinite Arms 00:04:35

Band of Horses, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ben Bridwell, Guitar, Recording Engineer, Vocal - Bill Reynolds, Recording Engineer, Bass - Tyler Ramsey, Guitar - Creighton Barrett, Drums - Ryan Monroe, Keyboards - Stephen Marcussen, Mastering Engineer - Cameron Barton, Engineer - D. Sardy, Mixing Engineer - Ryan Castle, Mixing Engineer - Alec Gomez, Assistant Engineer - Benjamin Bridwell, Composer, Lyricist - Danny Kadar, Recording Engineer - Mimi "Audia" Parker, Recording Engineer - Jon Ashley, Assistant Engineer - Julian Dreyer, Assistant Engineer - Jason Donaghy, Recording Engineer - Dave Wilkins, Trombone - Tommy Terrebonne, Assistant Engineer - Lauren Brown, Strings - Jay Widenhouse, Trumpet - Clint Fore, Tuba - Daniel Shearin, Assistant Engineer - Steve Wilmans, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2010 Huger Lewis and the Dudes Inc.

14
Clogger
16 Horsepower Secret South 00:03:28

16 Horsepower, MainArtist - Bug Music ltd, MusicPublisher - David Eugene Edwards, Jean Yves J Tola, Composer, Lyricist

Glitterhouse Records Glitterhouse Records

15
One Big Holiday
My Morning Jacket It Still Moves (Deluxe Reissue) 00:05:21

Jim James, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - My Morning Jacket, Artist, MainArtist - Kevin Ratterman, Mixer - Removador Songs (BMI), MusicPublisher

2016 ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2016 ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

16
I See A Darkness
Bonnie "Prince" Billy I See A Darkness 00:04:49

Will Oldham, Composer, Lyricist - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, MainArtist - Domino Publishing Company Ltd, MusicPublisher - Royal Stable Music ASCAP, MusicPublisher

1999 Domino Recording Co Ltd 1999 Domino Recording Co Ltd

17
Dirty Blue
Wovenhand Mosaic 00:04:42

Wovenhand, MainArtist - David Eugene Edwards , Composer, Lyricist - Wovenhand Music, MusicPublisher

Glitterhouse Records Glitterhouse Records

18
Are You Alright? (Album Version)
Lucinda Williams West 00:05:18

Gary Louris, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Keltner, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jason Wormer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Vanessa Parr, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Eric Liljestrand, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lucinda Williams, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Overby, Producer, Executive Producer - Tony Garnier, Double Bass, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - MICHAEL DUMAS, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Burger, Hammond Organ, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Doug Pettibone, Electric Guitar, Baritone Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bill Frisell, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - HAL WILLNER, Producer, Samples, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Brown, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jenny Scheinman, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Gia Ciambotti, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Rob Brophy, Viola, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Loo, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Fox, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Brent Bowers, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Kim Buie, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2007 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Okkervil River, Artist, MainArtist

2015 Jagjaguwar 2015 Jagjaguwar

20
Look at Miss Ohio
Gillian Welch Soul Journey 00:04:14

Gillian Welch, Writer, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Producer, Writer - Matt Andrews, Engineer

© 2003 Acony Records, LLC ℗ 2003 Acony Records LLC under exclusive licence to Warner Music UK Ltd

21
Sweet Jane
Cowboy Junkies The Trinity Session 00:03:35

Lou Reed, Composer - Lou Reed, Lyricist - Peter Moore, Producer - Cowboy Junkies, Vocal

(P) 1988 BMG Music Canada Inc.

22
Copperhead Road
Steve Earle Copperhead Road 00:04:29

Joe Hardy, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Steve Earle, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Tony Brown, Producer

℗ 1988 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

23
I And Love And You
The Avett Brothers I And Love And You 00:04:59

Rick Rubin, Producer - The Avett Brothers, MainArtist - Scott Avett, ComposerLyricist - Seth Avett, ComposerLyricist - Ryan Hewitt, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bob Crawford, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2009 American Recordings, LLC

24
Transfiguration #1
M. Ward Transfiguration Of Vincent 00:02:38

M. Ward, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Artist, MainArtist - Crooked Spine Music, MusicPublisher

2003 Bella Union 2003 M. Ward, under exclusive licence to V2 Records International Ltd. T/A Cooperative Music

25
Drown (2015 Remaster)
Son Volt Trace (Expanded & Remastered) 00:03:19

Son Volt, MainArtist - Howie Weinberg, Masterer - BRIAN PAULSON, Mixer - Dave Boquist, Band Member, Banjo, Guitar, Fiddle - JAY FARRAR, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - Jim Boquist, Background Vocals, Bass - Mike Heidorn, Drums - Eric Heywood, Steel Drums

2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. 1995 Warner Records Inc. Remastered 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company

26
Question (LP Version)
Old 97's Satellite Rides 00:02:16

Wally Gagel, Producer, Engineer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - Old 97's, Co-Producer, Writer, MainArtist - Robert Carranza, Engineer - Steve Chadie, Assistant Engineer - Simon Ford, Writer

© 2001 Elektra Entertainment Group Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States. ℗ 2001 Elektra Entertainment Group Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

27
Lungs
Townes Van Zandt Townes Van Zandt 00:02:29

Townes Van Zandt, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist - Jim Malloy, Producer - Silver Dollar Music Inc (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Bug Music Ltd (PRS), MusicPublisher

2009 Domino Recording Co Ltd 1969 Fat Possum Records under exclusive licence to Domino Recording Co Ltd

28
Heart of Gold
Neil Young Harvest 00:03:07

Linda Ronstadt, Background Vocals - NEIL YOUNG, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmonica, MainArtist - Jack Nitzsche, Piano - Ben Keith, Pedal Steel Guitar - Elliot Mazer, Producer - JAMES TAYLOR, Banjo, Background Vocals - Teddy Irwin, Acoustic Guitar - Tim Drummond, Bass Guitar - Kenny Buttrey, Drums

2011 © 1972 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 2002 Reprise Records

29
Boulder to Birmingham (2003 Remaster) (Remastered LP Version)
Emmylou Harris Pieces of the Sky (Expanded & Remastered) 00:03:32

Bernie Leadon, Banjo - Bill Danoff, Writer - Ray Pohlman, Bass Guitar - James Burton, Electric Guitar - Ben Keith, Pedal Steel Guitar - Herb Pederson, Pedal Steel Guitar - Glen Hardin, Piano - EMMYLOU HARRIS, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - RICHARDGreene, Violin - Ron Tutt, Drums - Rick Cuhna, Acoustic Guitar

© 2004 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1975 Warner Records Inc.

Alex Ebert, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Stewart Cole, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Embry, AssociatedPerformer - Kevin Augunas, Mixer, Engineer - Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, MainArtist - Jade Castrinos, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Orpheo McCord, AssociatedPerformer - Nico Aglietti, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, AssociatedPerformer - Josh Collazo, AssociatedPerformer - Christian Letts, AssociatedPerformer - Tay Strathairn, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Older, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, AssociatedPerformer - Nora Kirkpatrick, AssociatedPerformer - Ana Bulbrock, AssociatedPerformer

2009 Community Records, Fairfax Recordings and Vagrant Records under exclusive license to Rough Trade Records Ltd 2009 Community Records, Fairfax Recordings and Vagrant Records under exclusive license to Rough Trade Records Ltd

31
Flightless Bird, American Mouth
Iron & Wine The Shepherd's Dog (Édition StudioMasters) 00:04:01

Iron & Wine, MainArtist

© 2007 Sub Pop Records ℗ 2007 Sub Pop Records

32
Summerlong
Kathleen Edwards Back To Me 00:04:06

Jim Bryson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Benmont Tench, Organ, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - JIM SCOTT, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Elliott, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Colin Cripps, Producer, Electric Guitar, Recording Producer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Kathleen Edwards, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Denis Tougas, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joel Anderson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Peter von Althen, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Kevin McCarragher, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2005 Potty Mouth Productions Inc.

33
You Are What You Love
Jenny Lewis Rabbit Fur Coat 00:02:54

Jenny Lewis, interprète - The Watson Twins, interprète

2006 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2006 Jenny Lewis under exclusive license to Rough Trade Records Ltd

34
The Story
Brandi Carlile The Story 00:03:58

Brandi Carlile, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Phil Hanseroth, Composer, Lyricist - T Bone Burnett, Producer - Stacy Parrish and Glenn Matullo, Engineer - Glenn Matullo, Engineer - Mike Cashin, Amy Worobec, Emile Kelman, Ghian Wright, Assistant Engineer - Amy Worobec, Assistant Engineer - Emile Kelman, Assistant Engineer - Ghian Wright, Assistant Engineer - Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer - Mike Piersante, Recording Engineer

(P) 2007 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

35
Far from Any Road
The Handsome Family Singing Bones 00:02:48

Brett Sparks, Producer - The Handsome Family, MainArtist

(C) 2003 Loose Music under exclusive license from The Handsome Family (P) 2003 Loose Music under exclusive license from The Handsome Family

36
Main Street
Deer Tick Divine Providence 00:03:49

Deer Tick, Producer, MainArtist - Justin Collins, Producer - Adam Landry, Producer - John McAuley, Composer

2011 Partisan Records 2011 Partisan Records

37
Let Him Fly (Album Version)
Patty Griffin Living With Ghosts 00:03:10

Patty Griffin, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Steve Barry, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1996 UMG Recordings, Inc.

38
The Dark Don't Hide It
Magnolia Electric Co. What Comes After The Blues 00:04:14

Magnolia Electric Co., Artist, MainArtist

2005 Secretly Canadian 2005 Secretly Canadian

39
Furr
Blitzen Trapper Furr 00:04:07

Blitzen Trapper, MainArtist - Eric Earley, Composer, Lyricist

2008 Sub Pop Records 2008 Sub Pop Records

40
Slow Burn
Kacey Musgraves Golden Hour 00:04:06

Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - DAVID DAVIDSON, Viola, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Carole Rabinowitz, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Bobby Shin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Craig Alvin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Steve Fallone, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Everett, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Todd Lombardo, Banjo, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Alberto Vaz, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Zack Pancoast, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ivan Wayman, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Colton Jean, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2018 UMG Recordings, Inc.

41
Southside Of Heaven
Ryan Bingham Mescalito 00:06:18

Rick Lonow, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Kevin Bartley, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Marc Ford, Producer, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Executive Producer, Mix Engineer, Steel Guitar, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Ryan Bingham, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jeff Lewis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Ferguson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Standefer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Smith, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Carlton Moody, Producer, Additional Producer - Anthony Arvisu, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Krepinevich, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Shawn Howard, Producer, Assistant Producer - Lucas Hogue, Producer, Assistant Producer - Corby Schaub, Electric Guitar, Mandolin, Kettledrums, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Jeb Venable, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Stepahne Beaussard, Banjo, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 UMG Recordings, Inc.

42
It's Not Supposed To Be That Way
Phosphorescent To Willie 00:03:35

Phosphorescent, Artist, MainArtist

2009 Dead Oceans 2009 Dead Oceans

43
Too Much Fun
Green On Red Too Much Fun 00:03:24

Chuck Prophet, Composer - Green On Red, MainArtist - Daniel Gordon Stuart, Composer

© 1992 China Records Ltd ℗ 1989 China Records Ltd

44
Look Both Ways
Chuck Prophet Brother Aldo 00:02:39

Chuck Prophet, MainArtist

1990 Fire Records 1990 Fire Records

45
A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega
Ashley McBryde Girl Going Nowhere 00:03:29

Jay Joyce, Producer, Mixer, Recorded by - Chris Harris, Acoustic Guitar, Harmony Vocals - Andrew Mendelson, Masterer - Jesse Rice, Writer - Andrew Darby, Engineer - Nicolette Hayford, Writer - Jimmy Mansfield, Recorded by - Jaxon Hargrove, Recorded by - Ashley McBryde, Guitar, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Andrew Michael Sovine, Guitar - Jasen Martin, Bass - Quinn Hill, Drums

© 2018 Ashley McBryde under exclusive license to Warner Music Nashville LLC. ℗ 2017 Ashley McBryde under exclusive license to Warner Music Nashville LLC.

46
24 Frames
Jason Isbell Something More Than Free 00:03:13

Jason Isbell, Composer, MainArtist - Southeastern Publishing, MusicPublisher

(C) 2015 Southeastern Records (P) 2015 Southeastern Records

47
Living the Dream
Sturgill Simpson Metamodern Sounds In Country Music 00:03:51

Sturgill Simpson, MainArtist

(C) 2014 Loose Music under exclusive license from High Top Mountain Records (P) 2014 Loose Music under exclusive license from High Top Mountain Records

48
Ghost Town
Sam Outlaw Angeleno 00:04:06

JOACHIM COODER, Producer - Sam Outlaw, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Six Shooter Records Inc. (P) 2015 Six Shooter Records Inc.

49
Strange Faces
Daniel Romano If I've Only One Time Askin' 00:03:00

Daniel Romano, Artist, MainArtist - New West Independent Music Publishing, MusicPublisher

2015 New West Records, LLC 2015 New West Records, LLC

50
You Say
Dori Freeman Dori Freeman 00:02:54

Dori Freeman, MainArtist

Free Dirt Records Dori Freeman/Free Dirt Records

About Playlist

Country music isn't just a synonym for cowboy hats, banjos and American tradition. For decades many artists have tried to distance themselves from the Nashville scene and develop their own alternative version of the the genre, without forgetting their roots. Here's an overview, from pioneers such as The Flying Burito Brothers to today's groups such as Band of Horses and Okkervil, not to forget singer-songwriters like Neil Young, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, and of course the alternative country girls, from Neko Case to Brandi Carlile.

The Women of Nashville

by Marc Zisman

It's not easy to elbow your way through the macho Music City scene, the birthplace of country music, when you're a woman. Over the years, some of them have nevertheless managed to shift lines and attitudes, like these ten pioneers and revolutionaries who have put – even stamped – their boots on Nashville's table.

Taylor Swift

It is worth recalling that before being a planetary star of modern pop and collaborating with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran and Future, Taylor Swift was first a country star. Unlike her elder sisters Loretta, Dolly and Tammy, she did not grow up abused, among 15 siblings, in a log cabin in a Pennsylvania forest, but alongside a father who worked in finance and a mother in marketing, a fan of James Taylor (hence the name). Initially addicted to musicals, she took singing lessons and wanted to follow in the footsteps of her idols Shania Twain and Faith Hill. She headed to Nashville with her parents who were determined to support her in her dream. Quickly spotted, quickly offered support, she took care of her writing first and foremost. Her self-titled debut album was released in October 2006 and everything is already laid out there. At the age of 16, Taylor Swift, who writes or co-writes all her songs, was already striking beautiful sparks with a pure country pop sound that would remain in the Billboard top 100 for 157 weeks! A bit girly but never over-the-top, she was already playing "confessional" songs with a lot of deft fingerwork and displaying real maturity. Two years later she hit the big-time with Fearless, grabbing all the statuettes possible (which angered Kanye West who stormed onto the stage of the MTV Video Music Awards for a legendary rant), and becoming the new queen of country-pop, setting tills ringing and tongues wagging in the country community, especially among purists... Very quickly, Taylor Swift's music moved away from the old-fashioned Nashville canon: it's not a few banjo lines here and there, nor a pair of boots worn on stage, that make a country girl. With albums like Red (2012), 1989 (2014), Reputation (2017) and Lover (2019), she moved out of Nashville and onto the world stage. But Taylor never stopped dipping her pen in the same inkwell as the older cowgirls, mastering romance, heartbreak, introspection, socio-political commentary and personal experience. Like when she evoked her mother's cancer on Soon You'll Get Better... In 2020, she changed gear by releasing two confined albums, Folklore and Evermore, produced by Aaron Dessner, guitarist from The National, whom she considers one of her idols. She then boosted her credibility with a more indie audience, adding to it by inviting Justin Vernon of Bon Iver as well as the Haim sisters and Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons. This showed a new facet of an artist who still has much creative potential left to explore.

Margo Price

Originally from Aledo, Illinois, Margo Price was lucky to have been spotted by a certain Jack White who signed her to his label, Third Man Records. The favour of the former White Stripes frontman would bring her into the limelight, which she well deserved... Midwest Farmer's Daughter, her first solo album released in 2016, was not a first attempt for the then 32-year-old singer. Arriving in Nashville after high school in 2003, she met her future husband, bassist Jeremy Ivey, with whom she formed the obscure band Buffalo Clover. Three self-produced albums later and a tsunami of misfortunes hitting her head-on (the death of her son, a stint in prison and struggles with the bottle and depression), Margo Price finally went it alone with this record which she conceived in the Mecca of rock, the mythical Sun Studios in Memphis. A beautiful album logically nourished by the misery she experienced. Midwest Farmer's Daughter – a clear nod to Loretta Lynn's Coal Miner’s Daughter – is travelling a path broken by country music's immortal grandes dames. Loretta: but also Dolly Parton and Tanya Tucker. Musically, her approach is quite purist and richly evokes the country music of the glorious seventies, when Waylon and Willie were terrorising Music City. A little honkytonk, rockabilly, twang and blues and Queen Margo intones her songs with conviction and sincerity. Later, notably on her 2020 album That's How Rumors Get Started, she would move more towards classic rock, unfurling Zeppelin-esque guitars, gospel choirs and sounds that were often influenced by rock, sometimes by soul, and always very seventies and very Fleetwood Mac.

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