Op-Ed: Why Kacey Musgraves Matters to Today’s Country Music

Riding high on the wave of modern traditionalists that have starting taking over country radio airwaves in recent years, Kacey Musgraves is a breath of fresh air. After what seems like decades of hollow country pop princesses being force-fed to fans, she’s shaking things up and giving young women everywhere a brand new voice to relate to. Press play and follow along as we take a deeper look at why Kacey Musgraves is probably the most important female ambassador of modern country music today.

Kacey Musgraves & Ruston Kelly

In the early 2000’s country radio was slammed with the onset of bro-country, pushing women to the back-burner and the content they sang about into tiny little boxes of home, family, and love or heartbreak. Taylor Swift is probably the best example of the overall place girls were put in, and as a result, most of country music felt that it lacked substance and real relate-ability for anyone past their prom years. Artists like Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert would come along and make a big splash with a fiery sass or heart-wrenching anthem, but those hits were few and tucked far in-between the tropes of, as Maddie & Tae put it, being a girl in a country song. Then along comes Kacey Musgraves.

Right out of the gate, Kacey gave us raised eyebrows and a hidden chuckle or two as she slipped her open-minded point of view onto the airwaves masked in a traditional sound.In the same fashion as the legendary Loretta Lynn did while singing about birth control and taking her man, Kacey pulls no punches when speaking (or singing) her mind in the most conservative platform available, and we love her all the more for it!

One of the things country music has always done, and Kacey does so well is bring light to the parts of life that are really hard to talk about. In her track “Merry Go Round” off the album “Same Trailer, Different Park” she manages to capture the exact feeling you get when observing life in the small towns of rural America. The simple truths set against a beautiful but melancholy tone paint a superbly clear picture of something that so often gets glossed over as a anecdotal cliche.

Same checks we’re always cashin’
To buy a little more distraction
Cause Mamas hooked on Mary Kay
Brothers hooked on Mary Jane
Daddies hooked on Mary two doors down
Mary Mary quite contrary
We get bored so we get married
And just like dust we settle in this town

Her game-changing approach to otherwise controversial topics has made her an icon in young country fans hearts, and a favorite among the legends of the industry. Instead of playing it safe like so many others, she flows head-on into lines about smoking marijuana, girls kissing girls, and being honest about the hardships of life.

In a time when pedal steel and rhinestone suits are relics of the past, Kacey Musgraves reminds us all why this sense of pageantry and propriety still has a place in modern country music, proving that you can keep up with the times while still honoring the genres roots. If country music is just three chords and the truth, then Kacey’s the cover art for the story it tells.

Kacey Musgraves is currently on a publicity tour celebrating the phenomenal “Golden Hour” album release with select tour dates across the U.S. all summer long.

Kacey Musgraves on Country Music News Blog

About Shauna "WhiskeyChick" Castorena

Shauna "WhiskeyChick" Castorena is a freelance writer for both Country Music News and Country Music On Tour. Want to collab on some content? Email me. Want my rates for commercial promo work outside of music? Get them right here.