One of the go-to knocks on modern country is that they are "pandering to 15 year old girls". We've all said it, I'm guilty of it. But perhaps we under-estimated 15 year old girls. Melody Williamson is a 15 year old freshman from Nashville, Tennessee who plays in her family bluegrass band. She is a perfect example of the target demographic. She decided to sit down and write a song about what she hears on the radio and how she feels about it, and she didn't give the answer most young girls would. What we see here is someone wise beyond their years and crafty with their words who created a protest song that should stop you right in your tracks.
"There's No Country Here" is a classy, yet tough protest of the direction of modern country music. Staring straight into the eye of the synthesizers, drum machines, and bass lines of modern country, she arms herself with an acoustic guitar, a pen, and some hard hitting honesty and goes to battle. She doesn't pull any punches either. "When a grown man never sings about his wife..." she sings, you know she isn't just making cliched complaints. This is serious. Lines like "who toĺd Music Row we want to listen to that crap?" show she isn't afraid to look right at the establishment and not blink. Many protest songs come and go, but often they lack the honesty and classiness this song has. She is able to make her point strongly and not be a jerk about it, which is a big positive.
When you see her list her favorite artists as Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, The Whites, and Sonya Issacs, you begin to get an understanding of her dissent with modern country. Melody was clearly raised in a family that appreciates the art of real country music and ingrained that into her. It goes to show that if teens are exposed to good music, they will gravitate towards it too. People claim that "nobody listens to that stuff", but the truth is, its because they aren't exposed to it enough. If Johnny Cash can have a number one album in country music in 2014 and a 15 year old can list The Whites as her favorite group, that's all the proof you need to see that this stuff has an audience, its just a matter of finding it. Melody's family plays bluegrass, country, and gospel, so she gets to hear some of the best that music has to offer and play it with her family regularly. In return, she expects more of the genre to continue to strive for that excellence.
"There's No Country Here" is another voice in the ever-growing crowd that wants to see country music "fixed" or "saved". This time, its different though. This is one of their own. This is one of the "kids" the establishment claims they are making this music for. When your target demographic sees right through your act, you know the whole show is about to collapse. Good for Melody Williamson to have the guts to write this song. Good on her family for teaching their kids the value of good music. While the "grown-ups" rap and party, the "Kids" are the ones Keeping It Country.