There is hope for country music yet

I’ve mostly stopped listening to modern country music. For the most part, it’s really just pop bubblegum crap. When someone does a decent piece, everyone else jumps on it and makes their own cookie-cutter clone. Give me Hank Williams, Senior or Junior, over this new crap any day.

But I ran across a mention of a new-to-me-anyway group called “Pistol Annies.” Figured what the heck; checked them out on YouTube. So far I’m liking what I hear.

For those who are now regarding me as some backward redneck… well, maybe.

But what I have mostly been listening to lately is goth and symphonic metal. John Ringo often mentions a group named Within Temptation in his books. I decided to check them out.

Wow.

That led me to Nightwish when Tarja Turunen was their lead singer.

Wow. Again.

According to Wikipedia, Tarja is a soprano with a three-octave range. I believe it. And the ladies who’ve replaced Tarja — Anette Olzon, and currently Floor Jansen –over the years are just as good, if with different styles.

And Nightwish does really interesting stuff. They do their own work (their songwriter is a genius, with pen and keyboards), but they do occasional covers… A metal version of “Over the Hills And Far Away,” an old folk song; a duet from “Phantom of the Opera” that I can actually enjoy (I’ve never made it through the opera because it grates like fingernails on slate… except for Tarja and Marco’s version); they did an old religious hymn… at a concert with something like 70,000 metalheads… and got a screaming ovation.

Their instrumental line-up includes Irish bagpipes, and it works. Very, very well.

And that just led me down the symphonic metal rabbit hole.

When you’re done with Pistol Annies, try that metal hole, too.

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