Five country artists that liberals would actually like

Photo by Randee St. Nicholas
Miranda Lambert

Ask someone of a liberal political persuasion what they think about modern country music, and it's often a shrug you'll get in return.

Long gone are blue state-copacetic country heroes like Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash, and now that the Dixie Chicks are no longer a force, most Obama fans have no patience for anything out of Nashville. Members of the supposedly open-minded party tend to believe that the genre is completely saturated with odes to guns, trucks, whiskey, and American flags.

But that's just not the case! Mainstream country has become increasingly friendly to liberals, and these five artists are prime examples.

Photo courtesy of the artist
5. Brad Paisley
Sure, he's a good ol' boy with twang to spare, but Brad Paisley goes out of his way to push his core audience's buttons, preaching a message of anti-xenophobia and anti-racism. Sure, he can be absolutely ham-handed at times (see: "Accidental Racist") but he elsewhere preaches a melting pot ethos ("American Saturday Night") or achieving personal growth by exploring the world around you ("Southern Comfort Zone"). This is more worldliness than Toby Keith's "'Merica, 'Merica, 'Merica" shtick, and liberals will appreciate it.

Randee St. Nicholas/Courtesy of the artist
4. Miranda Lambert
Texas spitfire Miranda Lambert isn't taking grief from any man. On songs like "Gunpowder and Lead" and "Kerosene" -- as well as on tracks like "Hell On Heels" from her side project Pistol Annies - she gives you fair warning not to fuck around. It's a type of no-holds barred feminism (and independence) that plays well among liberal arts college kids.

Courtesy of Bigger Picture Music Group
3. Zac Brown Band
First things first: Brown is known to tour with a giant mobile kitchen, on which his friend Rusty prepares meals for crew and fans made from largely local ingredients. He's also behind something called the Southern Ground Music and Food Festival, and his Grammy-winning band are known for their fiddle-fueled hoedowns. But whatever. We know we had you at "local."

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