Legendary Artist Has Some Harsh Words About Luke Bryan


Western swing band, Asleep at the Wheel, has quite the outspoken front man in Ray Benson. The legendary lead recently told the Lowell Sun in Massachusetts how he feels about modern country — and he held nothing back.

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. That’s not a bad thing, in and of itself.

Benson then compared modern country artists to the genre’s icons, pointing out the distinct sounds of some of the greats.

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 wasn’t all negativity when he confronted the topic of today’s genre, and recognized that there are artists whom he feels are making commendable country music.

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.

These statements come only weeks after Merle Haggard was quoted on Infoforum.com stating:

I can’t tell what they’re doing. They’re talking about screwing on a pickup tailgate and things of that nature. I don’t find no substance. I don’t find anything you can whistle and nobody even attempts to write a melody. It’s more of that kids stuff. It’s hot right now, but I’ll tell you what, it’s cooling off.

What do you think of Benson’s and Haggard’s statements regarding today’s country music? Let us know by leaving a (likely colorful) comment below.



This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. boss@fmtc.com'

    Sour grapes, plain and simple. Old country music, (Merle and the boys), was no more high minded and deep than today’s new pop country.
    I have no idea who the outspoken member of Asleep at the Wheel is…my best guess is that that the band was appropriately named if he is their spokesperson.
    Without fail, Luke Bryan is the whipping boy for the whiners and moaners of country music of the past. They need to remember that when they were “hot”, the traditional country singers of the day didn’t approve of their music., either. Time moves on; history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes, or maybe in this case, the melody is familiar!

  2. Blondebombshel3038@gmail.com'
    Betty Russell

    Sounds like someone is jealous. I heard of Aleep at the Wheel and Ole Merle and Patsy Cline. Ray just wishes he could of been as hot as Luke, Kip or Florida Georgia Line. How old is Ray Benson? Come on now.

  3. Terry917@webtv.net'

    When the group Alabama became popular they were so harshly critized that it is amazing that now they are considered one of the best groups of all times.I just don’t get why these contemporary country artists are so dispised by the artists of the past.

  4. JB4375@hotmail.com'

    same thing zac Brown said last year. They’re talented but it’s the same people writing all their songs and it’s become very formulaic. They actually taken a half dozen of these songs and laid them on a track on top of each other and they flow together perfectly proving that it is the same chord progresions and obviously the same subject matter.

  5. Larri78@msn.com'

    You can like Luje as a person but his music, especially his newer CDs are just awful. That is what makes it sad b/c his first songs had stories and you know he is can produce good tunes but now it is all based on his personality and dancing. Yikes!

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