All The Country Sub-Genres You Need To Know
When you turn on the radio today, you get something that really hasn't happened before, essentially, you are listening to whole new genre's of music every time a different song comes on the radio. No matter what you like you will inevitably hear someone say, "that's not real country" there is no mystery about that, country music is different. It has changed drastically in a very short amount of time, featuring elements from R&B, Pop, Rap, Rock, etc. You'll hear different names like, Bro-Country, Country-Rap, and no matter where you go, you're gonna find someone who hates that with a passion. So what I have done, is i've created my definitive list of the country sub genres.
Classic Country, AKA, Country, Real Country:
These are the cowboys, the ones that started the genre, George Strait, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Tanya Tucker, Reba. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that these are true blue country artists. Modern artists are following their example, Jon Pardi, William Michael Morgan, Midland, Kasey Muskgraves, just to name a few.
Red Dirt Country, Alt-Country, Americana
Here we have an interesting blend of music for this genre. They're not country, they're not rock, they're the outlaws of country music, names like, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings were the forefathers of this genre. While Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Cody Jinx, Sturgil Simpson can be considered part of the second wave of artists.
This is the most popular form of country music out there right now. Started back in the 90's with the legendary Garth Brooks. He showed the world you can put on a top of the line show and still be country. Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, all fall under this category. Powerhouse vocals with dynamite production putting on a show. Modern artists have begun doing this as well, Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, Florida Georgia Line, bands formerly known as bro country artists are now focusing less on the girls and more on the music, unfortunately they will always be put on that shelf.
Needs no explanation. Its catchy fun music with lyrics that are easy to remember. Pop artists with a slight southern drawl. It all started with Taylor Swift. Sam Hunt is now the main guy leading this race, Keslea Ballerini, Raelynn.
White Collar Country
This is my own name, I am claiming this name right now for the new breed of country artists showing up. Country artists that definitely did not grow up on a farm, but you can tell they still respect the genre of country. Artists like, Brett Young, Devin Dawson, Dan and Shay, fall into this new category.
Now of course these names are not set in stone, some artists have songs that fit categories outside of their niche. I'm not saying any one of these are better than the others as well. This is just an outline of what the genre has become. Next time you hear someone say "That ain't real country" tell them to get over themselves, country music is changing, and that is totally fine.