The 10 Biggest Douchebags in Country Music

Categories: Columns

luke.jpg
Courtesy of the label

Mainstream country music gets an unfair rap as being universally over-polished and formulaic, a notion that artists like Kacey Musgraves and Eric Church obliterate every time they strap on their guitars. But there's a granule of truth to the stereotype, and a particularly damaging sub-genre -- known as "bro-country" -- is lending it far too much credibility right now.

Booze, chicks, jacked-up pickups, extreme redneck sports, spring break -- artists like Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, and even Blake Shelton are leaning way too heavily on such themes in their music these days, and the entire trope can be summed up in one word: douchey. Yet bro-country isn't the only brand of 'baggery currently afflicting Nashville. No, douchebags are a diverse lot, and here are the 10 biggest 'bags currently cranking out (s)hits in Music City today:

tobyk.jpg
Courtesy of the label
Toby Keith

10. Toby Keith
Drinking has long been
fertile fodder for country songs. But for Keith, who's devoted entire
concept albums to the topic, it's too often the only fodder. His lyrical over-reliance on the bottle is at least partially responsible for spawning bro-country, and Keith also bears a heavy burden for souring the Dixie Chicks on country radio (and vice versa), a setback from which Nashville's female insurgency is only now recovering.

chazk.jpg
Courtesy of the label
Charles Kelley

9. Charles Kelley

He seems like a sweet, goofy guy, but sounds like supremo-'bag Michael Bolton, and is in a trio with "Lady" in its name. There's no place for the sort of soft-rock sheen Kelley brings to twang's table; it's high time Hillary Scott ditched the dudes and made Lady Antebellum all about the Lady.

danshay.jpg
Ram Country
Dan + Shay

8. Dan + Shay

This douchey duo is managed by Belieber-in-Chief Scooter Braun. That's the only argument we need.


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Courtesy of the label
Chris Gaines/Garth Brooks

7. Garth Brooks

Brooks admirably took a decade off in his prime to focus on his family, but we still can't get the Chris Gaines debacle out of our head, nor can we entirely dismiss it as the reason for Brooks's "retirement" in the first place.


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61 comments
itsobamasfault
itsobamasfault

Dixie Chicks got what they deserved. I will never ever forgive that or them. Listen to whatever you want, but if a singer, or actor, or celebrity of any kind wants to inject their political views into their craft then they can't complain about the consequences when my entertainment dollars go with MY beliefs. 

Anna
Anna

@itsobamasfault Nobody gives a flippin' you-know-what about your forgiveness. People don't need to justify their beliefs to you or anyone else. 

itsobamasfault
itsobamasfault

@Anna @itsobamasfault WTF is the matter with you? I wasn't asking anyone for anything! Are you one of those angry liberals that just missed out on the logic genes and just vomit shit like that? I think there are medications for that. Wow.

thetruthwillsetufree
thetruthwillsetufree

alcoholism, misogyny and all that hair product; telltale signs of a self-loathing, closeted man. bravo to ty herndon for "facing the music."

mcsegeek1
mcsegeek1

Garth Brooks is now totally irrelevant. If I hear that extremely poor singer Blake Shelton sing another one of his inane songs I will literally puke.

pajamadancer
pajamadancer

I think you need to replace Garth Brooks with Blake Shelton you can't be mixing "old farts and jackasses" with people taking the genre in a new direction.

wetbar1
wetbar1

YOU FORGOT JASON ALDEAN!!!!!!

realestatediva
realestatediva

You're an idiot. I worked at your company 20 years ago and thank God that's over. You probably don't even know the difference between your head and your ass.

antyk1977
antyk1977

I guess that  even if a lot of this stuff is mundane and lacking in artistry, apparently some people like it because it makes a lot of money. THe part that bothers me is that the very talented people that make real country dont receive any air play. there should be room for everyone, but anyone that does not "fit the mold" is excluded, no matter how good they are. Just one example, Old Crow Medicine Show is extremely popular, ahve a huge following and receive  no airplay on mainstream Country radio.

timothy.kelley18
timothy.kelley18

Does this really matter? All Country singers do is sing from there heart. Singing about there life. If you think you could better then get your ass on that stage is sing play a guitar! aswell. If you can't do that then shut your mouth

pb2atG
pb2atG

@timothy.kelley18 LAME response.  Art is out there to be judged.  And alot of this crappy "country" music is barely even art, its more of a business and it sucks to listen to.  There are plenty of people out there making real country music that is great, but there's no room left in the business, it is saturated with this crap.

Also,  it's "THEIR" not "THERE"  and it is NOT true that "all country singers do is sing from their heart" - not true. 


fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

I don't know, these guys sing more from their hard-on. If you listen to the lyrics (and I recommend against it) there's not a whole lot of heart.

Anna
Anna

@pb2atG @timothy.kelley18 Since we're judging grammar here, it's "A LOT," not "ALOT." What makes you think you're the expert on art? Art can be criticized, but never forget that it's subjective. What you may call shit, others call art. 

island_pride
island_pride

So let me get this right Mr. Seely, you propose that just because these major artists are going with the trends, what people like and are spending their money on to listen to that they are douche bags? this is like saying that just any music artist is doing the same thing with their particular genre of music. Lets take the super famous Lionel Richie and his album Tuskegee  for Example, he brought in some of the newer country artists and redid his famous hits. does this make him a Douche as you would say? i think you as well are doing what these artists are doing as well, listening to only a small subset of country music fans and basing this weak article on their likes and dislikes of aforementioned artists. this article to me sounds like you listened to only an older generation of fans who grew up with George Jones and Merle Haggard and so forth and do not like the new country. this is what happens every generation the music the younger generation listens to, the new generations music liking's is garbage or " A bunch of noise". i think you should look at it for what it is, a new generation making their mark on a genre they love and have made it their own.

pajamadancer
pajamadancer

@island_pride Weel considering what I've heard these acts say about "old farts and jackasses" douchebag is the wrong word.  Ungrateful ignorant spolied babies would be better.

pb2atG
pb2atG

@pajamadancer @island_pride right! also a lot of the music-listening and music-buying public is not discriminating enough - many people will buy what the marketing tells them to buy.  They are missing out on the quality music that's not being marketed, pushed, promoted in favor of this other formula pop country. douchebag is probably not the right word. but the criticism still stands

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

@island_pride: Look, people pay good money to subscribe to 'Piss Drinkers Monthly,' too. There are always people willing to separate idiots from their money, by that doesn't make it worthy of anything.

Frank
Frank

Hmm, calling Garth Brooks a "douche". Well, there goes the authors credibility 

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

Garth Brookes the guy and the musician are great, the Chris Gaines act, not so much. That's what he's saying.

You're welcome.

allijesse
allijesse

you forgot jason aldean dude

underthescars.96
underthescars.96

you're just upset they succeeded and you didn't. you butthurt pansies lol

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

No, there at plenty of good, successful acts that have been praised by the author. This article is meant as more of a helpful warning, in case anyone is tempted to download bro-country.

underthescars.96
underthescars.96

pssh you're just upset because they all succeeded and you didn't

pajamadancer
pajamadancer

@underthescars.96 Yeah I am upset the succeed when great artists making REAL country music get the shaft on radio.  This twats are so ignorantto their craft and the history of their craft and music is astound me (Garth Brooks excepted).

underthescars.96
underthescars.96

@pajamadancer @underthescars.96 I can agree with that actually. they're are so many unaccepted that deserve to be out there. I think about Lady A for example. she to me is exceptional and was turned down by American Idol

Anna
Anna

@pajamadancer @underthescars.96 I didn't know that you were the expert on what constitutes REAL country music. Nothing better than hearing someone tell the world that their OPINION on music is actually fact. THAT is what I call douchebaggery. 

osc707
osc707

LMAO, did a search for Bro Country music and found this article. Now I spent 30 minutes youtube'ing these videos and I will NEVER get that time back. Thanks bro country

tabair44
tabair44

you can call someone a DB because you dont like how they sing or the lyrics to their songs? well i dont like your article so does that make you a DB of journalism?

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

They're called DB bro-country because they suck so hard and they're ruining country for a whole generation. Dallas Observer is just doing a public service.

Anna
Anna

@fred.garvin.mp.713 Oh, please. They're not ruining anything. You just can't accept music you don't like. All this author is doing is throwing his opinions around like a stripper's tit. If he was doing a public service, he'd focus on world problems that actually matter. Douchebags calling out douchebags. That's all you people are.

jnbary11
jnbary11

How about the biggest douchebags in Rap Music? I bet your leftist magazine doesn't touch that with a ten foot pole!

kkw211
kkw211

Resurrect Vern Gosdin and the Outlaws!

darrylrs
darrylrs

I think many of these DBs are just playing to their audience, just like Ann Coulter. They really don't like singing this cliched shit, but it brings in the bucks. Capitalism at its best.

julieamueller
julieamueller

Your are on the money when it comes to Luke Bryan & Florida Georgia Line.  Stupid songs, cookie cutter get them out quick songs for the simple minded.


There is no room for RAP in country music. Keep it in your own genre (in my opinion Rap is crap)


Yes, Rascal Flatts is nothing but a "Boy Band' with aging men. 


Toby Keith is so past his prime, he needs to quit. Another cookie cutter stupid songs for the simple minded.


Right on the money with regards to Taylor Swift.  She was great in the beginning, but now to commercial and full of herself.  Her early albums/songs had better writing.


Hunter Hayes is someone we need to watch. Talent to no end.  Hopefully he does not fall into the cookie cutter form.


Keith Urban is awesome!!!  He can play so many instruments, writes, sings, produces the whole package.  He is more new country with a lean on rock. He's my guy

Anna
Anna

@julieamueller "There is no room for rap in country music." That's a crock of horseshit. Any genre can be intertwined with another. You don't like it? That's just tough. You think someone who listens to a band you don't like makes them simple-minded? Well, that's just douchebaggery at its finest, isn't it? If you're going to insult someone, come up with better reasons, rather than throw around "cookie cutter" and "simple-minded" every two seconds. Now, because everyone seems to think their opinions are facts, I might as well get on the band wagon. Keith Urban sucks donkey dicks. Just thought you outta know.

Ugh.
Ugh.

Maybe you need to read about the reason Chris Gaines existed in the first place.

harlan.roberts
harlan.roberts

I'll take Hank Williams Sr., Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves over any of today's artists. 

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

Well dude for better or worse, this is country music. Musicians of just about any genre that are popular are castigated by guys like you. While I can understand your disdain for these artists, you might as well have also written another article saying the sky is blue and women really do fart. Must of these artists have made tens of millions, doubt they care much what a guy with a little blog does and doesn't like.

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

They've made tens of millions for the same reason televangelists make money: there is no shortage of idiots willing to part with their money.

Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings were very popular in their day, in their genre, made millions, critics loved them, and people still listen to them. But the bro-country DB's? No one is going to remember them in a few years. Disposable music.

Anna
Anna

@fred.garvin.mp.713 Calling people idiots for listening to music you don't like makes you a douchebag. A douchebag who thinks he's God and can tell you what constitutes real music. Get over yourself. 

JohnGalt
JohnGalt

The Dixie Chicks are, themselves, douche bags. 

You have political opinions, I get it..feel free to aiir them  However, when you find that you've alienated your entire fan base, don't whine about your "First Amendment Rights," which only mean the GOVERNMENT can't jail you, not that you'll never suffer repercussions from misjudging your market. 

What the Chicks did was basically no different from, let's say, an NBA team owner making racist comments and then being surprised that he's no longer welcome.. 

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

this guy nailed it- now I don't agree that they are 'dbags' I like the Dixie Chicks but, Ms.Maines did the damage. her comments from the stage insulted the audience that put them on top. doesn't matter where you stand on the issues, she spit at them. that's pretty common sense and to blame that on Mr.'boot in your ass' is pretty simpleton. why would you give him so much credit.

these articles seem to stray when the writers stray into politics.



WaitWhat
WaitWhat

@JohnGalt The government gave Clear Channel control of country artists' speech.

kduble
kduble

@ChrisYu  I doubt Michael Moore will ever again receive an Oscar from the Motion Picture Association either, but both have been vindicated as having been right.

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

Yeah, except the Dixie Chicks were right. Their fan base may have deserted them because of their man-crush for Bush, but look at what that got the fans, who supported a totally useless war. Good country music v. dead American vets.

itsobamasfault
itsobamasfault

@fred.garvin.mp.713 ^^^[speaking of DB's]^^^No, they weren't. Only a dumbass would go on stage in a foreign land and diss their country by talking smack about their President. They got exactly what they deserved. Are you talking about that useless war that the following Democrats voted to engage?  Sens. Lincoln (D-AR), Feinstein (D-CA), Dodd (D-CT), Lieberman (D-CT), Biden (D-DE), Carper (D-DE), Nelson (D-FL), Cleland (D-GA), Miller (D-GA), Bayh (D-IN), Harkin (D-IA), Breaux (D-LA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Kerry (D-MA), Carnahan (D-MO), Baucus (D-MT), Nelson (D-NE), Reid (D-NV), Torricelli (D-NJ), Clinton (D-NY), Schumer (D-NY), Edwards (D-NC), Dorgan (D-ND), Hollings (D-SC), Daschle (D-SD), Johnson (D-SD), Cantwell (D-WA), Rockefeller (D-WV), and Kohl (D-WI). Plus 82 Democratic Representatives voted for the resolution. You lying hypocritical leftards make me sick. [spit]. GFYS.

itsobamasfault
itsobamasfault

@fred.garvin.mp.713 ^^^[speaking of DB's]^^^No, they weren't. Only a dumbass would go on stage in a foreign land and diss their country by talking smack about their President. They got exactly what they deserved. Are you talking about that useless war that the following Democrats voted to engage?  Sens. Lincoln (D-AR), Feinstein (D-CA), Dodd (D-CT), Lieberman (D-CT), Biden (D-DE), Carper (D-DE), Nelson (D-FL), Cleland (D-GA), Miller (D-GA), Bayh (D-IN), Harkin (D-IA), Breaux (D-LA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Kerry (D-MA), Carnahan (D-MO), Baucus (D-MT), Nelson (D-NE), Reid (D-NV), Torricelli (D-NJ), Clinton (D-NY), Schumer (D-NY), Edwards (D-NC), Dorgan (D-ND), Hollings (D-SC), Daschle (D-SD), Johnson (D-SD), Cantwell (D-WA), Rockefeller (D-WV), and Kohl (D-WI). Plus 82 Democratic Representatives voted for the resolution. You lying hypocritical leftards make me sick. [spit]. GFYS.

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