By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Sometimes country music these days comes from Bill Clinton fans who duet with hip-hop stars and talk about running for office (where they might do a lot of good), or from subversive male oddballs who devote DVD time to flirting with each other and railing against corporate entertainment mergers. And on CMT lately, sometimes it revolves around specials called 20 Sexiest Men conspicuously featuring plenty of gay male commentary, or specials set in Plains, Georgia, conspicuously featuring Jimmy Carter. Also, sometimes you can dance to it. Possibly even while reading your copy of Thomas Frank's excellent What's the Matter With Kansas?.
BIG & RICH
Big & Rich's Super Galactic Fan Pack
(Warner Bros. disco-country EP plus DVD)
"You Don't Lie Here Anymore"
(Columbia Nashville country-rock single)
(Republic/Universal soul-country soft-rock album)
MERLE HAGGARD & WILLIE NELSON
Pancho and Lefty
(Epic/Legacy 1982 country reissue)
JJ & THE FOREIGN COWBOYS
Be the Wild in Me
"GROOVY" JOE POOVEY
The Late Great Me: The Little Darlin Sounds of "Groovy" Joe Poovey
(Koch '50s boogie-woogie rockabilly reissue)
Twice the Speed of Life
(Mercury pop-country album)
TRAVIS TRITT WITH JOHN MELLENCAMP
"What Say You"
(Columbia anti-dogmatic blue-collar country-rock single)
"I Want to Know What Love Is (Club Mix)"
(Curb country-singer Hi-NRG trance-disco cover of gospel-rock power ballad single)