Ray Benson on Luke Bryan: ‘There’s No Originality’

Asleep at the Wheel founding member Ray Benson has a lot to say about the current state of mainstream country music.

In a new interview with the Lowell Sun, Benson explained why he has a hard time tuning into today’s country hits.

“You can relate to picking up girls, drinking beer and hot pants. The thematic stuff is what bothers me,” Benson explains. “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. Hank Williams used the same four chords, but there’s no melodic integrity and the words are just silly.”

In place of artists like Bryan, Benson still finds himself connected to the traditional country greats. “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.”

Although he didn’t hide his negative feelings towards mainstream country, he noted that he still thinks there are many great country artists that are lurking just outside of the spotlight. “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.”

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Ray Benson on Luke Bryan: ‘There’s No Originality’