A Rebuke of This Whiskey Riff Nonsense

Image result for luke bryan

I don’t do this. I don’t write rebuttals to other blogs articles/think pieces but I think something should be said about the idiocy that is the Whiskey Riff Article Here’s The Real Reason You Hate Mainstream Country. The condescending article from the click bate, faux news site Whiskey Riff (written by Wes Langeler) attempts to paint people who are displeased with the direction of mainstream country as nose picking losers who are just jealous of how good looking and successful mainstream country artists are. The article does nothing of course to delve into actual criticisms that non mainstream fans have of the genre. Instead, the article starts off by comparing the mega stars in the mainstream to the jocks on the football team in high school. “Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and Florida Georgia Line are like those jocks that you loves to hate. The good looking, popular guys that seem to get an unworthy and unjustified amount of attention (and girls). You hated them for it.” So essentially if an artist is good looking and popular then they are off limits to critique. Forget the fact that Luke Bryan has not recorded one above average song during his 11 year career and stop being a hater, obviously Sam Hunt is country. Next in the click bait article Langeler attempts to say that this bro country life style of underage drinking, hunting and fishing is what real people do. If you can’t identify with every song on the radio singing about those things then obviously you never did any of those things. You were just a little geek and you were jealous of the kids that did do those things.

Well Wes Langeler, the truth is we don’t give a rats ass whether the music is mainstream or not, popular or not. The reason that so many fans are fed up with mainstream country is because it lacks any substance, lacks any country instrumentation and is just a cheap rip off of other genres of music and other artists. Your honestly saying that you can’t understand why people would dare say that Sam Hunt isn’t a real country artist? An R&B singer being pedaled to country radio because he would disappear if he went pop? You can’t understand why people would be ticked off at Luke Bryan for putting out songs like “Home Alone Tonight” where he sings about sending drunk revenge selfies to his ex girlfriend? Or how about Thomas Rhett who rips off a different artist with every single?

The reason that independent artists and artists of substance are having greater success than ever and the reason radio is dying is because people are sick of it. Chris Stapleton is the biggest star in country music by a mile according to sales and he can’t even get radio play. Aaron Watson an independent Texas artist has had 2 consecutive number 1 albums despite not getting a lick of airplay on the radio while Chris Lane sold a paltry 6000 albums in his debuts first week. The only place that mainstream country stars are still relevant is the bankrupt, failed radio enterprises who will be lucky to survive beyond the next couple of years.

And as I said, it has nothing to do with mainstream or not mainstream for us it has to do with good music versus bad music. There are certainly artists in the mainstream putting out great music. Eric Church, William Michael Morgan, Miranda Lambert and Chris Stapleton just to name a few. And isn’t it ironic that a mainstream fan would mock independent fans for just being losers. Have you not seen the destruction and chaos that has ensued at some of your hero’s concerts including your boy Luke Bryan punching a concert goer? I could go into more graphic acts of debauchery that have ensued at these concerts but i’ll save you the details.

People are sick and tired of mainstream country because it sucks not because they are/were losers. I sincerely hope you don’t truly believe this incredibly close minded, vacuous idea. This failure to see what is really happening in country music is what is destroying the mainstream and the institutions that support it. When Cumulus and IHeart media’s collapses are complete I hope you have a “safe space” as you so brilliantly called it. TRIGGERED.




  1. Alex, I completely agree. I laughed out loud at the part about Luke Bryan, FGL, and Sam Hunt being good looking. I know I may be in the minority of young girls who hold this belief, and I’m sorry, but those guys are not attractive at all. Tyler Hubbard looks like a toad, Brian Kelley looks like one of those stupid characters/hosts from a children’s tv show (and dresses like one as well), Sam has stupid haircuts, and Luke is just ugly. And none of them seem to care at all about country music, it is just seen as a quick cash grab to them. I can think of four guys who make truly genuine and honest country music, and are super attractive, as well: Jon Pardi, William Michael Morgan, and both Mark and Jess of the group Midland (what can I say–I’m a sucker for a gorgeous cowboy 😉 ). These four guys seem to really care about country music, make awesome music that respects the roots of country music (the most important thing) , and are incredibly sexy (in my opinion), as an added bonus (which for sure doesn’t hurt).

    I’ll tell you something I miss hearing on country radio–sad songs loaded with fiddle and steel guitar. It seems to me that all most mainstream country music (not all–the artists you mentioned (William Michael Morgan, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, and Chris Stapleton) plus Ashley Monroe, Kacey Musgraves, Maddie and Tae, Tim McGraw, Aubrie Sellers, Brad Paisley, Jon Pardi, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, Midland, and the Zac Brown Band are all making respectable music) is just one big “happy happy joy joy” endless party, and that isn’t what life truly is at all. I miss the things that made me fall in love with country music in the first place–fiddles, steel guitars, country instrumentation in general, and honest, raw songwriting. Sorry for the long post but I just really miss getting in the car and hearing great country song after great country song on the radio.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely. As I said not all the mainstream acts are bad in fact I like all the names u just threw out. And how u feel is the way so many country fans feel which is why they have looked elsewhere for good music. Life isn’t just drinking beer and partying. THAT is not relatable. And a big reason why I have turned to Bluegrass so much lately is because of the instrumentation. I might not be able to get it on Country radio but there are absolutely places I can get it. We have more options than ever b4.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Luke’s music is country, it’s just bad. I think sometimes when we don’t like music, we want to make it not-country, as opposed to admitting bad country music exists.
    Also while Chris is massively commercially successful, so are Sam, Luke, Carrie, Blake, FGL etc. WMM though is not, despite being “real country” mainstream. Meanwhile Aaron Watson is independant, but his music sounds pretty “radio friendly”. I think a lot of fans out there do want more meaningful and better written music, but a lot of other people just want meaningless fluff, and still a third group want both, depending on their mood.
    The problem with country radio is a) the lack of variety (it should have both Luke and Chris) and b) the fact that radio as a model is dieing in a world of streaming….as are albums.
    At the end of the day though, what’s great about country music is, and always has been the variety. Music is subjective, and we all have different tastes. Both/all sides, should stop it with the superiority complexes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well first let me say a lot of what Luke does isn’t particularly country. I never hear steel guitar or fiddle in his music which was present until recently in even the more pop leaning country stuff. And I don’t deny those acts are commercially successful that you named but with the exception of Carrie the other names you listed are absolutely dreadful. Aaron Watson does put out SOME commercial songs but even those still at least sound country. For example “Outta Style” is loaded with fiddle play and even though it’s not a great song I kind of like it. Variety your right is important also. Even if you can stand mainstream country in spurts its hard to listen to the radio for more than a few songs because everything sounds the same.


      1. Keith actually uses banjo on several songs, Blake uses both fiddle and steel guitar, and has both a fiddle and steel guitar player in his band. Miranda doesn’t have a fiddle player in her road band at all. I love a good fiddle, but I think we can get to sucked into the instrumentation when knocking someone, and ignore it when it doesn’t fit the argument we’re making.

        Luke’s songs are basically all about “south” and “country” you really can’t characterize it as any other genre. My non-country friends scream it’s country as soon as it comes on the radio. It’s bad pop country (and you can have good pop country), but it’s country.

        Yes the lack of variety on radio blows.


  3. I would argue that Luke was fairly country–up until Tailgates and Tanlines. His first two albums utilized fiddle and steel well, even if most (with the exception of the amazing Tackle Box from his I’ll Stay Me album) had really check-listy lyrics. In fact, his first two albums were quite enjoyable, for me. That all completely changed when he morphed into a silly, ass-shaking, skinny jean-wearing, foolish-looking clown of a “country” singer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah he has gotten less country with every album but even his early stuff to me wasn’t particularly great even though it was more country. I love the fiddle play on “We Rode in Trucks” and “Do I” is a good song but I can’t point to a single song of his that blows me away. And I say that as someone that knows his whole discography


  4. We Rode in Trucks, although bogged down by checklist lyrics, was pretty good. But honestly, there are plenty of mainstream male artists that i’d choose, even over “good” Luke Bryan.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Totally agree Luke/Sam etc. are made fun of for their God awful song lyrics & generic storytelling.
    Church, Miranda, Stapleton, Brady Clark, Ashley Monroe, Isbell etc. are what’s giving current country hope for the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Maybe it’s just me, but I truly believe that William Michael Morgan and Ashley Monroe are just about the best and most country artists in the current mainstream (of artists not named George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Chris Stapleton). They are both also terribly underrated. I think that if they would have been the ones to have broken out instead of Sam Hunt and Kelsea Ballerini, mainstream country would be much better off.

    Liked by 2 people

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