Looking For Country Music on Radio

Monday, June 27, 2005

For the avid traditional country music fan, it is really becoming harder and harder to find what I would refer to as "real country music." It's out there, you just sometimes have to search around for it. You have to dig even further to find new "real country music." I will blog about that one day soon. But, let's focus on looking for real country music, old or new.

FM radio now is out of the question for this search totally. FM country stations are pretty much identical. I don't care what the disc jockeys say or the commericals for the station say. Pull up the playlists and you will see exactly what I am saying. A lot of what they are calling country isn't country, and what little bit does show up is overplayed to exhaustion. In fact, I even heard new "country" music on the local adult contemporay station... and what is more scary, it fit in just fine. That should be a huge clue that something isn't true country... if the song you are listening to can fit into the adult contemporary format and not see it as out of place.

Next step in the search, AM radio. Um...does that even come on a radio anymore? The AM dial, which usually was a good place to find a decent "real country music" station, doesn't seem to be anymore. If you are looking for sports or talk, yes, if you can get the signal to come in, but country music, not so much. There is one exception to this, WSM-AM 650 in Nashville. Still to this day may be the best place to find country music, other than in your own CD collection (we will get to that in a moment.) In fact, I am listening to it now online. wsmonline.com offers a free Internet stream of the station. (Sirius satelite radio offers it on their service)

I have found the best provider of country music, "real country music," to be on XM Satelite radio. If you have read any of my newsletters, you may notice I pay a lot of attention to what is going on over there, because I am a proud subscriber. There you will find "Hank's Place." A great country music channel that focuses on the older, classic sound. Then there is "Nashville" that focuses on the late 70's, 80's and mid to late 90's. Then, to get caught up on the stuff the FM stations are playing over and over, there is "Highway 16." Then "X Country" is the alternative country, a lot of newer sounds that have some edge to it. Then they also have a bluegrass channel, folk channel, and a Americana channel. So, looks like satelite radio is the choice for convienent country music selections. (Sirius Radio also has comperable stations, but XM is by far the leader in the industry.)

Of course, you can always depend on your own CD collection to hear exactly what you want.