Ray Benson, frontman and co-founder of the iconic country music band, Asleep at the Wheel, is the latest country music legend to express his harsh criticisms on today’s country music.
Speaking to the Lowell Sun before a recent show, Benson didn’t hold back. Anything. Not even a little. Safe to say, Ray Benson is not a fan of country music (today).
Benson doesn’t like Luke Bryan.
“You can relate to picking up girls, drinking beer and hot pants. The thematic stuff is what bothers me. I don’t like Luke Bryan and those guys, because there’s no originality. Every song follows pretty much the same chord progression.”
Benson doesn’t mind pop singers singing country music.
“Hank Williams used the same four chords, but there’s no melodic integrity and the words are just silly. You listen to Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline or Willie Nelson. None sound like the other. It’s individuality at its best. Patsy Cline was a pop singer, but with country sensibilities.”
Benson thinks some country music is good, but it’s not on the radio.
“Let me qualify this by saying there’s great country music made today by lots of people, it’s just not getting on mainstream radio.”
Benson isn’t here to judge, but he does have more than one GRAMMY.
“I try not to throw stones too hard, but I am very fortunate of having a legacy of music we’ve created that I can sit back and say I’ve done this with great pride and great success. No, I don’t own a house in the Bahamas and Telluride, but I make a living and have a great time doing it.”
Asleep at the Wheel was formed in 1970 and has won nine GRAMMY Awards since its inception. The group’s highest-charting single, “The Letter That Johnny Walker Read,” peaked at No. 10 on the country charts in 1975.
Image Source: UMG