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Years ago I would not have been caught dead listening to that "country crap". Now I love it, as do all of my audiophile buddies. Country music has become less nasal and twangy over the years but I believe the biggest reson for it's success is that Nashville (pronounced "Naishvul" down here in the South) boasts recording engineers and studios at least as good as New York or L.A. It is quickly becoming the recording capitol of the U.S. of A.
For Alt Country try Adrienne Young. She has a real clean voice and she is a thoughtful songwriter. Also she arranges traditional folksongs for a more modern audience.
However, everyone you have all mentioned pale by comparison to HANK, every last one. Hank is arguable the equal of Robert Johnson and Stephen Foster for Americana songwriters.
If you take the twang, nasalness and the yodeling out, is it country music? You have to pronounce picture as "pitcher" poor as "purr" to be country. If it has drums
it ain't country.
"If'n it aint got no fiddle, it aint country, boy!" Hank Williams, 1951
You think Johnnie Cash is an outlaw. Faron Young a new country singer went to Nashville with his girlfriend, Billie Jean, an absolutely stunning redhead. Hank saw her,
caught up with the pair, when Faron went to the bathroom, Hank followed him in. Pulled out a revolver and pointed it at Faron: said "Boy she aint your girlfriend anymore, she's mine. Get out of here and get back to your momma, boy" Faron left and that was that. Billie Jean was his girlfriend and later his second wife. Mean MF.