I watched a video, a while back, of Dale Watson, at one of his concerts, talking about who is and isn’t a living legend, and he made some great points! Living Legends. You hear this term thrown around a lot, but who really IS and who really ISN’T a living legend? The ones who we say for sure AREN’T living legends are sometimes obvious. Obviously, the new kid on the block who came out with his first single from a yet to be released CD yesterday isn’t a living legend, but are we headed into a period of time where he will be refered to as such? I’m afraid so. I’m afraid we might hear somebody call Taylor Swift a living legend. Yes, she’s living, but is she a legend? Well, anytime you are considering calling someone a living legend, check to see if they meet these qualifications:
1. Are they living?
2. Are they well known?
3. Have they been around more than 15 or 20 years?
4. Did they do something original in their music?
5. Are they good?
6. Did they change the game of the industry when they started?
7. Do they say “No” to every single demand or request from a big city record label or industry exec?
If the answer is “Yes” to all of the above, you have yourself a living legend. But, the problem we find here is that some people will answer yes to some of the questions above, when the answer is no. For example: Some of these Nashville cats that are being labeled as “Outlaws”. I don’t know all of their names off the top of my head, but it includes all the Jason Aldean, Brantley Gilbert types. They act all big and bad because the record label image groups said it would work. If you make them look like they’re rebelling, people will buy the records and think they’re a bunch of bad you-know-what’s. They always reference people who ARE living legends like Hank Jr., Waylon Jennings, etc. And almost always, somebody’s going to write a song where they reference A Country Boy Can Survive, and name drop Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, David Allan Coe, or any other classic outlaw artist you want to throw in there, as if this somehow validates their own music. I can write the worst song in the world…hmm…not being specific to any real life situation here, but let’s say this song’s about…a dirt road and a muddy pickup truck. (cause THAT’S original!) It could be the worst song ever (Truck Yeah, Dirt Road Anthem, etc. PICK ONE! THEY’RE ALL THE SAME!), but as long as I name drop a classic country outlaw, that means I’m one of them, right? WRONG! But, that’s a different rant altogether. The video of Dale talking about that was taken off of Youtube, but if you look hard enough, you can find something.
Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Dale Watson, where he talks about modern Country. http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/saving-country%E2%80%99s-ass-dale-watson-interview
After Blake Shelton called older Country artists “Old Farts”, Dale Watson wrote this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpfnrjgBzJk