Country duo Brothers Osborne, deservedly awarded in 2017 by the CMA in 2 categories, “vocal duo of the year” and “music video of the year”, recently posted some tweets with political content. I’m not here to enter into the debate they created or to talk about this content. This blog is about music and nothing else. But let’s talk about country music and politics.
I’m a great fan of Dixie Chicks as I’m a fan of Brothers Osborne. That don’t make me a liberal guy. I’m a great fan of Granger Smith and I like Lee Greenwood or Hank Williams Jr. That don’t make me a NRA supporter nor a conservative or a republican guy. That’s simply not the point. It just makes me a country music lover.
All along country music history, artists talked about politics, including in their songs. That’s their right. Founding Fathers of USA fought for the freedom of speech and that’s why they voted the first Amendment of the Constitution. Artists can talk about politics or religion as they want, as each citizen can do. That’s not a problem. It’s the expression of what America is: a free country.
What I can’t accept is banning artists for their political opinions, because that’s not the point. We love country artists for their music, their lyrics, their style, because they make us forget, for a while, our everyday life. What’s important is their talent, their voice and our feelings when we are listening to them. What they think about politics or religion is not the point. They can express their ideas if they want but I won’t stop listening to them because of what they say. I’ll only stop listening to them if I don’t like more their music.
Censorship is never a good idea. The Founding Fathers never wanted that. When Natalie Maines talked about Iraq war in London, each one had the right to disagree, but that was not a reason to ban them from country radios. “Cowboy take me away” is and will always remain a beautiful country song, notwithstanding Natalie Maine’s comments in UK.
USA is this country where freedom of speech always prevails and that’s why so many people around the world love it. So, let’s Brothers Osborne express their ideas, but above all, let’s listen to their awesome songs, particularly their last one, the masterpiece “Shoot me straight”.