Holding People Accountable is *So* Pre-9/11 Thinking

Country music stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are shrill (via Hoffmania; with emphasis added):

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw — two stars who usually stay out of politics — blasted the Hurricane Katrina cleanup effort, with Hill calling the slow progress in Louisiana and Mississippi “embarrassing” and “humiliating.” […]

“To me, there’s a lot of politics being played and a lot of people trying to put people in bad positions in order to further their agendas,” McGraw, a 38-year-old native of Delhi, La., told ABC News Radio.

“When you have people dying because they’re poor and black or poor and white, or because of whatever they are — if that’s a number on a political scale — then that is the most wrong thing. That erases everything that’s great about our country.”

McGraw specifically criticized President Bush. “There’s no reason why someone can’t go down there who’s supposed to be the leader of the free world … and say, ‘I’m giving you a job to do and I’m not leaving here until it’s done. And you’re held accountable, and you’re held accountable, and you’re held accountable.

“‘This is what I’ve given you to do, and if it’s not done by the time I get back on my plane, then you’re fired and someone else will be in your place. ‘”

C’mon, Tim. Holding public officials accountable is soooo pre-9/11 thinking. In a post-9/11 world, all of the president’s appointees, no matter how unqualified and inept, are doing “a heckuva job.”

(And incidentally, I’ve always hated Tim, mostly because of that sucky song of his that they play on Monday Night Football. But his newfound shrillness makes me think he deserves some grudging respect.)


Comments: 28


I don’t think it’s really “newfound.”


Jeez! These entertainers must not realize that we’re at war and this is no time to ciritcize the president!


I’ve heard Tim McGraw is running for Governor of Tennesee as a Democrat. It’s amazing to see country music stars speak out at the real risk of sounding “unpatriotic” and doing serious damage to their careers. Remember what happened to the Dixie Chicks? Stars with the stature of Tim McGraw & Faith Hill announcing that they’re Democrats and expressing their dissatisfaction with the Bush administration may actually embolden other Southern “patriots” to take a close look at the koolaid they’ve been drinking as well. And maybe Southerners will finally wise up and vote for the party that actually cares for and looks out for them, for a change. Then again, maybe they already do, and their votes have been “counted” (not) by Diebold!!!


When asked about Country singer Tim Mcgraw’s comments, President Bush said, “Tim McGraw? I loved him when he played for the Phillies.�


When asked about Country singer Tim Mcgraw’s comments, President Bush said, “Tim McGraw? I loved him when he played for the Phillies.�

Tug McGraw is actually Tim’s father. Pretty amazing family, even if Tim’s music is, uh… not my cup of tea.


Tug McGraw is actually Tim’s father.

Or rather, he was. He passed away recently.


I’m quite sure The Dawg is aware of the difference between the McGraws, which is why he mocked GWB for not knowing it. (Another example of killing humor by analyzing it.)


Minor point, but the whole “leader of the free world” meme has always been intensely irritating to me, especially when expressed by citizens of society of which one of the foundational principles is consent of the governed.

I haven’t consented to Bush being my leader.


My favorite part for some reason:

Hill, who grew up in Jackson, Miss., echoed those sentiments. So overwhelmed, she uncharacteristically unleashed an epithet, calling the situation, “Bull- – – -“

Just another angry leftie polluting our national debate with profanity. All her albums must now cary the parental advisory sticker since listening to her will remind little Susie and Sammy that she once said “bullshit.” Outloud. In front of people. About the President.


That’s my favorite part, too, Pooh. I think I just like the idea of a hottie like Faith Hill having such a dirty, dirty mouth.

Welcome to the hedonistic world of secular liberals, baby!


Celebrity Deathmatch: Tim McGraw VS. Toby Keith

Any takers? Anyone?


I kinda disliked Tim McGraw too, not so much for his music, but on the “this guy is with this gorgeous girl and I am NOT” principle. Faith Hill, however, is a totally different story. Especially after her last album.
Shit must have really hit the fan when big country music stars speak out against the prez. I can’t wait for the reactions of the “loyal” ones.
teh l4m3: 40$ on Tim. Toby Keith’s got big mouth, but that’s pretty much it.


teh: though i’m with tim, my money would be on toby. he’d fight dirty, wwf stylee.


teh: though i’m with tim, my money would be on toby. he’d fight dirty, wwf stylee.

And he’d be managed by “The Mouth of the South” (and I’m not talking about Ted Turner).


People who don’t listen to it have weird ideas about country music. Johnny Cash sang about prisoner’s rights, forgotten veterans and how much shit Native Americans have to eat in this country long before anyone else did. Waylon Jennings did songs about how race relations change due to circumstances. Willie Nelson did benefits for Leonard Peltier (which is probably why the IRS busted on his ass as hard as they did). Merle Haggard, “Okie From Muskogee” aside, has long spoke out against how Washington works against the working man. Tommy Cash had a hit with a song that honored the Kennedys and MLK. Hell, Toby Kieth has criticized the war in Iraq.

Most country musicians are pretty much like most of the fanbase. Meat-and-potatoes type people, patriotic but there’s only so much bullshit they’ll take. They know who’s sons and daughters are dying in the wars, and it sure ain’t the sons and daughters of who all’s benefitting from the war.


That being said, Tim McGraw has a special circle in hell for the excreable “Indian Outlaw” song. Someone shoulda slapped that boy good and hard for that one.


If I recall correctly, ol’ Tim’s mentioned Bill Clinton as a personal idol- so no, I ain’t shocked. Could be an interesting time when he does decide to run for office in Tennessee.
Ditto, Matt T. on the oft-neglected side of country music (Farm Aid, anyone?).


Matt- I actually like older country music, and I love alt-country music like Steve Earle.

But most of the stuff coming out of Nashville today, including Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, is utter bollocks.


I don’t know…I kinda liked “Don’t Take the Girl.”

*looks side to side as everyone starts backing away slowly*

What? Was it something I said?


Brad R.,
I hear that a lot. It amazes me, frankly, as I’m 30 years old and have listened to country music since I was a kid. I grew up on John Anderson and Gene Watson and Earl Thomas Conley and the all-mighty Hank Williams Jr. (part of the reason I quit a sweet gig as a music critic was because the job didn’t allow me to dig Bocephus), plus the stuff my folks loved, like Mel Tillis, Charley Pride, Bobby Bare and your Acknowledge Legends (Cash, Willie, Hank Sr., Lefty Frizzell). I remember being made fun of – even in small-town Mississippi – for my allegiance to the steel guitar…up until about 1992 or so.

McGraw and Hill aren’t so much “stuff coming out today” as they’re from the early- to mid-nineties, when Nashville was pumping out some serious, serious crap. About all I listen to on the radio is country (North Georgia is blessed with some good stations, and a couple excellent weekend oldies shows). The newer stuff is better than the McGraw/Hill era, but the production’s still flat and lifeless, and the hype still overwhelms the actual good stuff (which doesn’t include Big & Rich or any of their little proteges; especially “country rapper” Cowboy Troy, who sounds like a bad Bubba Sparxx).

There’s some gems out there, but modern country’s biggest problem is the same problem plaguing modern pop, rock, rap and most of the other stuff on the radio: the whole thing’s being run by guys who care more about profit than good tunes. For sure, Fred Rose or the Chess Brother or Sam Phillips or (especially) Don Robey wanted to make some green – and properly screwed over their artists for it – but they had an ear for a good tune.

J.A. Baker,
Actually, I sorta like that song these days, too, removed from the hype of the time. It’s maudlin as all get out, but hell, this is country music we’re talking about. It’s like complaing because a blues tune is sort of a downer.


Matt- Hank Williams Sr. is even better. I actually consider him the world’s first emo singer, but with a hell of a lot more talent. Seriously, the guy lived like a total rock star- he got famous, recorded a handful of great records, and then fucking died. That’s rock’n’roll right there, muthafucka.

I also dig Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, and yes, Merle Haggard. And if you’re in the mood for the most vile and offensive shit ever written, David Allen Coe is always good for larfs.

And oh man does country rap suck. I feel like it’s a pathetic parody that does disservice to both genres.


And for whatever it’s worth, hearing Steve Earle’s “Guitar Town” for the first time back in ’86 (Jesus, 20 years…) was like hearing everything I thought country music should be was right. I’m still pretty much with him, though I do think he has the tendency to let his politics overwhelm his art. That’s his right, of course, and stuff like “Billy Austin” or “Ellis Unit One” more than prove he can wed the two. Plus, I’ve had business dealings with him, and while I don’t want to go into detail, I have to admit it has colored my perception of his stuff. But, man…those opening chords on “Guitar Town”. Damn, that’s a good record.

And while I don’t want to wander too far afield – and I’ve got a deep love for a lot of the bands (Bottle Rockets, Slobberbone, V-Roys, Drive-By Truckers, Six String Drag) – I remain a bit conflicted about the whole alt-country experience. ‘Course, I also had to deal with Atlanta’s “Redneck Underground” thing, which could turn anyone off forced twang. Suburban white kids in white-trash-blackface, and you know not a one of ’em could take a dip of snuff to save their lives.

But I’m an old crank, so what do I know.


And if you’re in the mood for the most vile and offensive shit ever written, David Allen Coe is always good for larfs.

you aint lyin. that shit is flat out insane.


God, I love David Allen Coe. He’s got a pretty crappy hit-or-miss record, but he’s penned some damn fine country songs. Interviewed him, too, and he’s crazy as a shithouse rat. I heard the notorious “x-rated album” back when I was a little burr-headed stumpjumper, and it was funny in the same way a Richard Pryor record was funny then: hearing people say “fuck” on a reocrd. I listened to it not too long ago, and it’s just painful to listen to. Apart from the song about his (black) drummer’s girlfriend’s ex-husband (figure out the title from that), most of it’s sloppy and forced, like they took a huge pile of coke and thought it was just funny as hell (which, apparently, is how it all came about). Still, he did some great, great stuff, and “If That Ain’t Country” is about the only good musical description of what some folks would call “poor white trash” (I call it “family and friends I grew up with) put to record, like a three-minute version of Tobacco Road.

My grandfather listend to a lot of Hank Sr. (his favorite after Jimmie Rodgers), so I grew up digging it. If you got the bread for it, drop a dime on the 10-disc Hank Williams boxset Mercury put out in the late ’90s. It’s a helluva lot to absorb, but it’s definately worth the effort.

As for Bocephus, he was pretty much the soundtrack for my childhood. There wasn’t a redneck in the ’80s that did love Hank Jr., it seems, and most of his stuff up until ’86 or so holds up (especially the MGM stuff from the ’70s). From then on, though, it was a pretty quick descent into self-parody. I got a concert video of him from ’92 or so, drunker than hell and mad as an old wet hen that the times (and fans) have left him in favor of Garth Brooks. It is sad to see, boy.


My grandpa forced my dad to listen to his Webb Pierce and Ernest Tubb records when he did his household chores- and my dad forced me to listen to his Johnny Cash, Statler Bros., CCR and Alabama records when I did mine (he is more ecclectic than grandpa- he also played the Stones and Led Zeppelin).
As for David Allan Coe- well, I confess “You Never Even Called Me By My Name” is a guilty pleasure of mine…


Okay, Round II — SUDDEN DEATH:

Faith Hill VS. Neko Case

In Jell-O, of course.


I’m not much of a country music fan (though it’s great for driving). However, in the SXSW BitTorrent downloads (go here for 2005, and here for this year), there are a bunch of pretty cool country songs. I can’t think of any off hand, but I come across them in my drunkard’s walk through the cornucopia of SXSW music, and it’s a nice surprise now and then.

[Warning: The Torrents are massive files — three files totaling about 6 GB of music, 1500+ songs — and will take all your bandwidth for about two days to grab. In fact, the 2005 Torrent may take longer, since there will probably be fewer peers to pull it from.]


Also, Tim McGraw was incredible in Friday Night Lights. I knew then and there that this man was not anything at all like Toby Keith pretends to be: Tim’s performance was way the hell too nuanced and humane to be the product of neo-Republicanism.

Also, Toby’s friends with Willie, and for that I’ll forgive a lot.


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