NASHVILLE, TN Sources at the major country music record labels confirmed Monday that they were "baffled" and "nonplussed" by a new country music artist who is "get this - from the actual country and making actual music."
Record executives said the "bizarre" style of country music, in which someone writes, performs, and records songs of actual quality about topics germane to people living in the actual country, "doesn't really speak to them" and is "pretty confusing."
"We just don't get it," said Bud "Dwayne" Dingles of Capitol Records Nashville. "Is it like, some sort of joke? I don't understand the punchline. Is it the beard? Because it's a nice beard, but it doesn't really make me laugh." Dingles went on to point out that the viral single "Rich Men North of Richmond" by the artist in question, Oliver Anthony, doesn't mention drinking beer while driving a truck on the backroads with a "girl all up in it" a single time, doesn't have a guest hip-hop artist, and doesn't appear to just be a pop track with a quiet banjo track added in post.
"This will never catch on, and it's antithetical to our values as the gatekeepers of country music," Dingles added. "Maybe if this Anthony fellow goes out and gets himself a college education and learns to write a catchy radio tune that's barely indistinguishable from what you hear on the pop stations, then he'll be going somewhere."
But Dingles isn't optimistic about Anthony's chances of making it in the country music industry.
"I want something peppy, something happy, something up-tempo. I want something snappy. None of this tragic lamentation crap being all sad about the actual plights of people from the actual country - that's not what country music is all about."