The Revival of Traditional Country Sound Through the Electric Guitar

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Country music has been a staple in the American music industry for decades. With its roots in the mountains of the southern United States, it has evolved and grown to become a unique genre that has captured the hearts of millions of people around the world. Throughout its history, country music has seen numerous changes, with various artists pioneering new sounds and styles to push the genre forward. One key element in the evolution of country music has been the use of electric guitars, which has revolutionized the way traditional country sounds are produced and played. In this article, we’ll explore the revival of traditional country sound through the electric guitar, highlighting the key players, songs, and trends that have made this transformation possible. So, grab your guitar and let’s dive in!

Evolution of Country Music

Country music has evolved significantly since its origins in the Appalachian Mountains during the early 20th century. This genre of music is rooted in folk traditions and has grown and changed over time, but its heart remains true to the themes of love, heartbreak, and hard work that have always characterized it.

The early years: In the early days of country music, guitars were typically played in a fingerpicking style, and the music was primarily acoustic. Musicians told stories through their songs, and the sound of the instruments was meant to evoke the hills and valleys of the American South. The Carter Family, a trio from Virginia consisting of A.P. Carter, his wife Sara, and his sister-in-law Maybelle, is one of the earliest examples of traditional country music.

The Golden Age: In the years following World War II, country music became more popular than ever. Electric guitars and amplifiers began to replace their acoustic counterparts, and the sound of the music changed accordingly. Artists like Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, and Johnny Cash dominated the airwaves, and their songs are still beloved today.

The 70’s and beyond: Country music continued to evolve throughout the 70s and 80s, with artists like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings introducing more rock and roll influences into the music. This trend continued into the 90s, when groups like Garth Brooks and the Dixie Chicks brought a pop sensibility to the genre.

The present day: Today’s country music scene is a reflection of its past, with artists drawing from traditional influences while still pushing the boundaries of the genre. The electric guitar continues to be a defining instrument in country music, with players like Brad Paisley and Keith Urban leading the way.

For more information about the evolution of country music and its relationship to the electric guitar, check out our article on The Evolution of the Country Guitar.

Electric Guitar and Traditional Country Sound

Electric Guitar And Traditional Country Sound
When one thinks of country music, they may conjure up images of a twangy acoustic guitar and a cowboy hat. However, the electric guitar has played a significant role in the development and evolution of this beloved genre. With its ability to add a dynamic and lively sound, the electric guitar has become a staple in country music. From its humble beginnings to its prominent role in modern country, this article will dive into the history and impact of electric guitars in traditional country sound. To learn about some of the top country guitars, check out our list of pioneers in electric guitar country music.

The Beginning: Early Country Stars and their Guitars

During the early days of country music, guitars were not as readily available as they are now. The musicians who played country music typically did so on either a banjo or a fiddle. However, with the introduction of the acoustic guitar in the 1920s, early country stars began adding the instrument to their repertoire. One such early pioneer was Jimmie Rodgers, known as the “Father of Country Music”. Rodgers’ popular songs, such as “Blue Yodel No. 1 (T for Texas)”, were heavily influenced by his guitar playing style, which featured fingerpicking and bluesy licks.

Another early country star who helped pave the way for the electric guitar was Les Paul. Although he was primarily known as a jazz guitarist, Paul’s use of amplification and experimentation with multitrack recording in the 1940s and 1950s would greatly impact the future of country music. His innovations ultimately led to the creation of the solid-body electric guitar, which allowed for a louder, clearer sound and paved the way for the electric guitar to become a staple in country music.

It wasn’t until the 1950s that the electric guitar truly took off in country music, with musicians like Chet Atkins and James Burton leading the way. Atkins, in particular, was known for his fingerstyle picking technique, which involved simultaneously plucking the bass, rhythm, and melody notes on the guitar. Burton, on the other hand, was known for his fast, twangy playing style, which featured heavy use of the tremolo arm and flatpicking.

The introduction of the guitar to country music paved the way for the emergence of new techniques and sounds, ultimately leading to the electric guitar becoming a cornerstone of the genre. If you want to learn more about the evolution of country guitars, check out our brief timeline of electric guitars in country music.

The Golden Era of Country Music: Electric Sound Takes Over

During the mid-1950s, country music entered what is commonly referred to as its “Golden Era.” This period was marked by the emergence of electric guitars and their widespread use in the genre’s sound. The pioneers of electric guitar in country music, such as Chet Atkins and James Burton, were largely responsible for this seismic shift in style.

Electrification allowed for the instrument to be heard more easily above the other instruments, resulting in a more forceful and impactful sound. Additionally, electric guitars allowed for new sound effects, such as distortion and reverb, which added to the overall tone and engagement of the music. As a result, the Golden Era saw the emergence of new country stars whose sound featured electrified guitars, such as Buck Owens and Hank Williams Jr.

Electric guitar became the defining element of the country music sound and dominated the industry well into the 1970s. It was during this time that some of the most iconic country music songs were created, including Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” and Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”. These songs would not have had the same impact without the electric guitar driving the rhythm and melody.

As the era progressed, minor adjustments were made to the electric guitar, resulting in the creation of new models such as the Telecaster and Stratocaster. These innovations, along with the wealth of talented musicians who adopted electric guitars, cemented its place as the backbone of traditional country music.

Today, electric guitars are still highly valued in country music. They offer a level of versatility and dynamic range that is impossible to replicate with acoustic guitars alone. However, there is still a debate among musicians and enthusiasts about the merits of vintage versus modern models. Some prefer vintage guitars for their classic sound and craftsmanship, while others favor modern guitars for their technological advancements.

Though, it is clear that the electric guitar has had an indelible impact on country music, and its legacy will continue to shape the genre for years to come.

Learn more about the best electric guitars for country music on our website.

Contemporary Traditionalists and the Modern Country Scene

When it comes to the modern country scene, there is a subset of artists who are considered “Contemporary Traditionalists”. These musicians are carrying on the rich tradition of country music, while also putting their own spin on the genre. They often incorporate electric guitars in their music, but they do so in a way that pays homage to the past while still embracing the present.

One example of a Contemporary Traditionalist is Chris Stapleton. Stapleton burst onto the country music scene in 2015 with his debut album “Traveller”. The album, which won a Grammy award for Best Country Album, features Stapleton’s powerful vocals and impressive guitar skills. He often plays a vintage Gibson electric guitar, which gives his music a classic sound. However, he also utilizes modern production techniques to create a unique blend of old and new.

Another rising star in the Contemporary Traditionalist movement is Tyler Childers. Childers hails from Kentucky and has been making waves in the country music world with his honest lyrics and raw vocals. He often uses a Martin D-28 acoustic guitar, which has a warm and rich sound. However, he also incorporates electric guitar into his music, using it to add texture and depth to his songs.

It’s important to note that not all modern country artists are embracing traditional sounds. There are plenty of musicians who are pushing the boundaries of the genre and experimenting with new sounds and styles. However, for those who want to hear the influence of the past in their music, there are plenty of Contemporary Traditionalists to choose from.

Contemporary Traditionalist Signature Guitar
Chris Stapleton Vintage Gibson Les Paul
Tyler Childers Martin D-28 Acoustic Guitar
Ashley McBryde Fender Telecaster
Jason Isbell Gibson SG
Margo Price Fender Stratocaster

These artists and their guitars are helping to shape the future of country music. Whether they are using vintage instruments or modern ones, they are all united in their desire to create music that is both rooted in tradition and relevant to today’s audiences. As the genre continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see where the influence of the past and the innovations of the present will take it.

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The Best Electric Guitar Players in Country Music History

The Best Electric Guitar Players In Country Music History
When it comes to the electric guitar and country music, there have been some true legends over the years. These talented musicians have not only helped to define the genre, but also to push it in new directions. From early pioneers to modern-day virtuosos, the best electric guitar players in country music history are celebrated for their skill, innovation, and passion. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of these legends and explore what makes them so special. So, grab your favorite guitar and let’s get started. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to create the future of electric guitars in country music! But before we do that, let’s dive into some of the most memorable guitarists in country history.

Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins, born in 1924, is one of the pioneers of the country music genre and an iconic electric guitar player. He revolutionized the sound of country music with his unique fingerpicking style, incorporating elements of jazz and classical music into his playing.

Atkins began his career as a session guitarist in Nashville and went on to become a successful producer, earning him the nickname “Mr. Guitar.” He played on countless hit records for artists such as Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, and The Everly Brothers.

In addition to his work as a guitarist and producer, Atkins released several successful albums under his own name. His album “Chet Atkins in Hollywood” featured him playing alongside some of the biggest names in the music industry at the time, including Les Paul and Ray Charles.

Atkins’ influence can still be heard in modern country music, as many of today’s guitarists cite him as a major inspiration. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973 and passed away in 2001.

Here’s a table highlighting some notable facts about Chet Atkins and his impact on country music:

Born June 20, 1924
Nickname Mr. Guitar
Style Fingerpicking
Instrument Electric guitar
Notable Achievements Multiple Grammy Awards
Impact on Country Music Influenced generations of guitarists and helped shape the sound of country music

As we look to the future of country music, it’s exciting to think about the potential impact of future electric guitars on the genre. Will we see new innovations in guitar technology or a return to vintage, classic sounds? Only time will tell!

James Burton

James Burton is undoubtedly one of the most influential electric guitar players in the history of country music. Born in Louisiana in 1939, Burton began his career as a studio musician in Los Angeles, playing with artists such as Ricky Nelson and Elvis Presley.

Burton’s signature twangy guitar sound was heavily influenced by the country music he grew up listening to in Louisiana, as well as the rock and roll and R&B music he played in the studios. He developed a unique picking style, using his fingers instead of a pick and creating intricate, melodic lines that complemented the lyrics of the songs.

Burton’s work with Elvis Presley in the late 1960s and early 1970s solidified his status as a guitar legend. His incredible solos on songs like “Suspicious Minds” and “Burning Love” showcased his impeccable technique and ability to add excitement and energy to a track.

In addition to his work with Elvis, Burton has played on countless country music recordings by artists such as Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and Buck Owens. He was also a member of Emmylou Harris’s band The Hot Band in the 1970s, and later worked with Elvis Costello, John Denver, and many others.

Born August 21, 1939, in Dubberly, Louisiana
Signature sound Twangy, melodic guitar lines
Notable instruments Fender Telecaster
Notable recordings “Suspicious Minds” (Elvis Presley), “Together Again” (Buck Owens), “Workin’ Man Blues” (Merle Haggard)

Today, Burton continues to perform and record, and his influence can be heard in the playing of countless country and rock guitarists. His innovative use of the electric guitar helped to shape the sound of traditional country music and contribute to the genre’s lasting popularity. As electric guitars continue to play a significant role in modern country music, we can only imagine what future innovations and sounds they will bring to the genre.

Albert Lee

Albert Lee is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists in country music history. With a career spanning over five decades, Lee has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris, and the Everly Brothers.

Born in England in 1943, Lee was first introduced to rockabilly and country music as a teenager. He quickly developed a passion for the genre and began honing his skills on the guitar. Lee’s unique style, characterized by lightning-fast licks and virtuosic fingerpicking, soon caught the attention of country music fans and producers alike.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Lee continued to push the boundaries of country music with his electrifying performances and innovative guitar playing. He played with the likes of Rodney Crowell, Carl Perkins, and Joe Cocker, and was a regular fixture on the Grand Ole Opry.

One of Lee’s most iconic performances came in 1983, when he was invited to play with the legendary Emmylou Harris on her album “White Shoes”. The album featured the hit single “Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This”, which showcased Lee’s blistering guitar solos and helped cement his reputation as a guitar virtuoso.

Today, Albert Lee continues to inspire a new generation of guitarists and country music fans. His influence can be heard in the music of artists like Brad Paisley and Keith Urban, who have both cited Lee as a major inspiration.

Albert Lee’s contribution to the revival of traditional country sound through electric guitar cannot be overstated. His innovative style and technical prowess helped push the genre in new directions, and his legacy continues to inspire guitarists and country music fans around the world.

Born December 21, 1943, Lingen, Herefordshire, England
Genres Country, rockabilly, blues, rock and roll
Instruments Guitar, mandolin, vocals
Associated Acts Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton, The Everly Brothers, Joe Cocker, Rodney Crowell
Awards Inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2002, named one of the “Top 100 Guitarists of All Time” by Rolling Stone

As electric guitars continue to play a vital role in country music, one can only wonder what the future holds for the genre. To learn more about the future of electric guitars in country music, check out our article on The Future of Electric Guitars in Country Music.

Brent Mason

Brent Mason is a Nashville studio musician who has played on countless country hits. He is known for his versatile and soulful guitar playing, which blends elements of rock, blues, and country. Mason has won multiple “Guitarist of the Year” awards and is considered one of the best guitarists in the business.

One of Mason’s signature techniques is his use of hybrid picking, which combines fingerpicking and flatpicking. This allows him to play intricate melodies and fast runs with ease. He also has a unique way of incorporating jazz chords and progressions into his country solos, adding a sophisticated edge to his playing.

Mason’s most famous guitar solo is undoubtedly on Alan Jackson’s 1993 hit “Chattahoochee.” The solo is a perfect example of his style, featuring fast pentatonic runs, tasteful bends, and bluesy licks. It helped make the song a massive crossover hit, reaching the top of both the country and pop charts.

Here are some key facts about Brent Mason:

Born: July 13, 1959
Hometown: VANLEER, TN
Main Genre: Country
Years Active: 1980-present
Notable Instruments: Fender Telecaster, Gibson ES-335

In addition to his work as a session player, Mason has also released several solo albums and toured with his own band. He is highly respected among his peers and is often called upon to play on other artists’ albums.

If you want to learn more about Brent Mason’s playing and style, there are plenty of resources available online, including instructional DVDs and YouTube tutorials. Whether you’re a country guitarist or not, his playing is sure to inspire and impress.

Vince Gill

Vince Gill is an iconic electric guitar player known for his melodious and soulful playing style, which perfectly complements his smooth vocals. Born in Oklahoma in 1957, Gill grew up in a musical family and started playing guitar at a young age. He made his professional debut as a musician in the late 1970s and went on to become one of the most celebrated country music artists of all time.

Throughout his illustrious career, Gill has won numerous awards, including 21 Grammy Awards and 18 Country Music Association Awards. He has also been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Gill’s guitar playing is characterized by his use of intricate finger-picking, smooth bends, and soulful vibrato. He is known for his ability to seamlessly blend different genres, incorporating elements of jazz, rock, and blues into his playing. Gill’s extraordinary skills have earned him a reputation as one of the most versatile guitar players in the world.

Some of Gill’s most iconic electric guitar-driven songs include the heart-wrenching ballad “When I Call Your Name,” the upbeat and catchy “One More Last Chance,” and the soulful “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away.” His contributions to the country music scene have helped shape the genre and inspire countless players and fans.

In the table below, we have listed some of Vince Gill’s notable achievements as an electric guitar player in the country music scene.

Acclaim Details
Grammy Awards Won 21
Country Music Association Awards Won 18
Inducted Into Country Music Hall of Fame 2007
Inducted Into Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame 2005
Electric Guitar-Driven Hits “When I Call Your Name,” “One More Last Chance,” “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away”

Vince Gill’s contributions to the revival of the traditional country sound through his electric guitar playing cannot be overstated. His innovative and soulful playing style has influenced countless artists and continues to inspire new generations of players.

The Most Iconic Electric Guitar-Driven Songs in Country Music

The Most Iconic Electric Guitar-Driven Songs In Country Music
Country music has produced some of the most iconic and beloved songs of all time, with many of those tunes featuring the unmistakable twang of an electric guitar. For those seeking to explore the very best that this genre has to offer, we have compiled a list of must-hear tracks that showcase the power and versatility of the electric guitar in country music. From the raw energy of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” to the heart-rending beauty of Glen Campbell’s “Gentle on My Mind“, these songs have stood the test of time and continue to inspire new generations of country music fans.

Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues

One of the most iconic electric guitar-driven songs in the history of country music is “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash. Released in 1955, this song marked a significant shift in the evolution of country music, incorporating elements of rock and roll with Cash’s signature deep, resonant voice.

The song features a memorable guitar riff played by Luther Perkins, which perfectly captures the raw intensity of Cash’s lyrics. The use of the electric guitar in this song adds a sense of urgency and rebelliousness that perfectly aligns with the subject matter of the song.

One of the most notable aspects of “Folsom Prison Blues” is the way Cash uses his lyrics to tell a story. The song follows the perspective of a jailed man who longs to be free and is willing to go to great lengths to escape. The powerful line “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die” is one of the most well-known lyrics in country music history, and it perfectly highlights the dark, brooding nature of the song.

Overall, “Folsom Prison Blues” is an incredibly important song in the history of country music, and it showcases the power of the electric guitar to drive a song’s message home. It’s no wonder that this song has remained a favorite of country music fans for over six decades, and it continues to inspire new generations of musicians and fans alike.

Loretta Lynn – You’re Lookin’ at Country

Loretta Lynn’s classic hit “You’re Lookin’ at Country” is a timeless example of how the electric guitar has played an integral role in the evolution of traditional country music.

With its upbeat and catchy melody, the song perfectly captures the essence of country music, and is an ode to the simplicity of life in rural America. Lynn’s powerful voice harmonizes perfectly with the twangy sound of the electric guitar, which is played with precision and control throughout the entire song.

As the second track on Lynn’s 1971 album “You’re Lookin’ at Country,” the song was an instant hit and went on to become one of her most beloved works. It opens with a classic electric guitar riff, which sets the tone for the entire song.

Throughout the verses, the electric guitar continues to shine, with strong and steady strumming patterns accompanied by intricate fills and solos. The guitar work in the chorus is particularly noteworthy, with the instrument weaving its way through Lynn’s strong vocal performance.

The song’s lyrics are a tribute to the simple life in the country, with Lynn singing about the beauty of nature and the tight-knit community that exists in rural America. She sings, “You’re lookin’ at country, that’s what you see. You’re lookin’ at me.”

The song’s enduring appeal can be attributed to the perfect combination of Lynn’s heartfelt lyrics, amazing vocal range, and the masterful guitar work. It’s a classic example of how traditional country music can be brought to life through the use of the electric guitar.

Aspect Description
Lyrics The lyrics are a heartfelt tribute to the simple life in rural America, with a focus on the beauty of nature and the strong sense of community that exists in those areas.
Vocal Performance Lynn’s powerful voice is the perfect accompaniment to the instrumentals, harmonizing beautifully with the twangy sound of the electric guitar. Her vocal range is on full display, particularly in the chorus.
Instrumentals The electric guitar is the star of the show, with strong and steady strumming patterns, intricate fills, and solos that perfectly capture the essence of traditional country music.
Appeal The enduring appeal of the song can be attributed to the perfect combination of Lynn’s heartfelt lyrics, amazing vocal range, and the masterful guitar work. It is a timeless example of how traditional country music can be brought to life through the use of the electric guitar.

Overall, “You’re Lookin’ at Country” is a perfect example of how electric guitar-driven songs have helped shape the sound of traditional country music. With its catchy melody, heartfelt lyrics, and masterful guitar work, it remains a beloved classic that is sure to be enjoyed for generations to come.

Merle Haggard – Mama Tried

One of the most iconic and beloved electric-guitar driven songs in traditional country music is “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard. Released in 1968, the song showcases Haggard’s raw vocals and outstanding guitar playing, while also telling a heartfelt story of regret and redemption.

In the song, Haggard laments that despite his mother’s best efforts to raise him right, he still ended up in prison, “doing life without parole.” He reflects on his mistakes and the pain he caused his family, but also expresses hope for forgiveness and a better future.

What sets “Mama Tried” apart from other country songs of the time is the way Haggard blends traditional country elements with a rock-inspired electric guitar sound. The guitar riff that opens the song sets the tone for an energetic and catchy tune that’s sure to get stuck in your head. The solo in the middle of the song is equally impressive, showcasing Haggard’s technical ability and a signature style that would go on to influence countless other guitarists in the genre.

This song has become a classic in the country music canon, and for good reason. It’s a perfect example of how electric guitar can enhance and revitalize traditional country sound, bringing new life and energy to an old art form.

So the next time you’re looking for a great country song to listen to, put on “Mama Tried” and let yourself be transported by Haggard’s heartfelt lyrics and unforgettable guitar playing.

Glen Campbell – Gentle on My Mind

“Gentle on My Mind” is one of the most iconic songs in country music history, known for its beautiful melody, poetic lyrics, and stunning guitar work. Glen Campbell’s rendition of the song took it to new heights, becoming a timeless classic that still resonates with audiences today.

At the heart of “Gentle on My Mind” is the story of a man who is haunted by memories of a past love, unable to shake the feeling that she is still with him in certain ways. The song is a masterpiece of storytelling, painting a vivid picture of a complex emotional landscape with just a few simple words.

The guitar work in “Gentle on My Mind” is equally stunning, with Campbell’s electric guitar adding a haunting, ethereal quality to the already poignant lyrics. The song’s opening lick is instantly recognizable, perfectly capturing the wistful, bittersweet mood of the music.

Campbell’s guitar playing on “Gentle on My Mind” is a testament to the power of the electric guitar in country music, and its ability to convey emotion in a way that words alone could never achieve. His use of vibrato, bending, and sliding techniques creates a sound that is at once delicate and powerful, adding an extra layer of depth to an already masterful performance.

It is no exaggeration to say that “Gentle on My Mind” is one of the most important songs in country music history. Its combination of beautiful melody, poetic lyrics, and stunning guitar work make it a masterpiece of both songwriting and performance. It is a testament to the enduring power of traditional country music, and the electric guitar’s role in keeping that sound alive for generations to come.

Reviving Traditional Country Sound Through Electric Guitar

In a world of constantly evolving music trends, traditional country sound has managed to withstand the test of time. And while electric guitars have played a pivotal role in the genre’s evolution, many artists are now looking to revive the authentic sound of classic country music by incorporating the electric guitar in ways that pay homage to its roots. The question is, how can traditional country sound be revived through electric guitar without losing its original spirit? Let’s dive into this paradoxical topic and explore the ways in which today’s musicians are breathing new life into the timeless genre.

The Resurgence of Traditionalism in Country Music

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in traditional country music, and a renewed appreciation for the use of electric guitar in this genre. This has been driven in part by a growing discontent with the slick, pop-influenced sound that has dominated mainstream country music for the past several decades. Fans of traditional country music are searching for music that honors the roots of the genre.

One reason for this resurgence is the desire for authenticity in music. As audiences have become more aware of the corporate influence over the music industry, they have grown skeptical of the polished, packaged sound of commercial pop country. Traditional country music, with its focus on storytelling, sincerity, and raw emotion, offers a refreshing alternative to the heavily produced, formulaic hits that have come to dominate the airwaves.

Another factor driving the resurgence of traditionalism in country music is the influence of independent artists who are creating music that is true to the roots of the genre. These artists, who often eschew the major label system in favor of self-releasing and touring on their own terms, are proving that there is a market for authentic, uncompromising country music. Streaming platforms and social media have made it easier for these artists to connect directly with fans, bypassing the traditional gatekeepers of the industry.

Moreover, the push for traditionalism in country music can also be attributed to a desire to revitalize the genre and bring it back to its roots. Many fans and artists feel that the genre has lost its way in recent years, and that by returning to the traditional sounds and styles of the past, they can breathe new life into the genre.

Overall, the resurgence of traditionalism in country music is a movement that is here to stay. As fans become more discerning in their musical tastes and independent artists continue to subvert the traditional music industry model, we can expect to see a new wave of traditional country music that honors the past while looking towards the future.

Artists to Watch: Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers

As the traditional country sound backed by electric guitar makes its way back into mainstream music, there are a few artists who are spearheading this movement. Here are three artists to keep your eye on:

  • Sturgill Simpson: With his raw vocals and electric guitar riffs, Sturgill Simpson is often referred to as a “country outsider.” His music is a blend of traditional country and psychedelic rock, making for a unique sound that has gained him a dedicated following.
  • Chris Stapleton: Chris Stapleton has long been a respected songwriter in Nashville, but it wasn’t until his debut album “Traveller” that he gained mainstream success. His soulful voice and electric guitar skills have earned him numerous awards, including multiple Grammy Awards.
  • Tyler Childers: Tyler Childers hails from Kentucky and his music often reflects the sounds of his home state – a mix of traditional country, bluegrass, and folk. His lyrics are poignant and his electric guitar playing adds an edginess to his sound.

These artists are not only reviving the traditional country sound, but also pushing it forward by infusing it with their own unique styles. With their passionate performances and electrifying guitar skills, they are sure to make their mark on the world of country music for years to come.


In conclusion, the revival of traditional country sound through electric guitar is a trend that has taken the music scene by storm. With its roots tracing back to early country stars and their guitars, the evolution of country music has seen electric sound take over during the golden era of country music. While contemporary traditionalists continue to maintain the essence of traditional country sound, modern country is dominated by the electric guitar.

As we saw, some of the best electric guitar players in country music history like Chet Atkins, James Burton, Albert Lee, Brent Mason, and Vince Gill have left an indelible mark on the genre. Their contribution to country music cannot be overstated. Similarly, some of the most iconic electric guitar-driven songs in country music like Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” Loretta Lynn’s “You’re Lookin’ at Country,” Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried,” and Glen Campbell’s “Gentle on My Mind” continue to be popular among fans today.

However, the resurgence of traditionalism in country music is what has given hope to fans of traditional country sound. Artists like Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, and Tyler Childers are leading the way in the revival of traditional country sound through electric guitar. They are proving that the genre still has a lot of life left in it and that it can continue to evolve without losing its roots.

Overall, the marriage of traditional country sound and electric guitar has given us some of the most beloved country music songs of all time. It is a testament to the versatility of both the instrument and the genre. It is hard to say where this trend will lead country music in the future, but one thing is for sure, the electric guitar will continue to play a significant role in shaping country sound, both old and new.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is traditional country music?

Traditional country music is a style of music that originated in the Southern United States and features acoustic guitars, fiddles, and steel guitars. It typically tells stories about everyday life, love, and heartbreak.

How did the electric guitar change country music?

The electric guitar revolutionized country music by adding a new level of sound, tone, and sustain. It allowed country music to incorporate elements of rock and roll, blues, and jazz, and created a new style that appealed to a wider audience.

Who were some of the early pioneers of electric guitar in country music?

Some of the early pioneers of electric guitar in country music include Chet Atkins, James Burton, and Hank Garland. These guitarists helped define the new sound and style of country music in the 1950s and 60s.

What makes a great electric guitar player in country music?

A great electric guitar player in country music needs to have a good sense of rhythm, tone, and melody. They also need to be able to adapt to different styles and genres, and be willing to experiment and take risks.

What are some of the most iconic electric guitar-driven songs in country music?

Some of the most iconic electric guitar-driven songs in country music include Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” Loretta Lynn’s “You’re Lookin’ at Country,” Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried,” and Glen Campbell’s “Gentle on My Mind.”

Who are some contemporary traditionalists in country music?

Some contemporary traditionalists in country music include Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, and Tyler Childers. These artists are known for their raw, authentic sound and their dedication to keeping traditional country music alive.

What is the resurgence of traditionalism in country music?

The resurgence of traditionalism in country music refers to a trend in recent years where more and more artists are returning to the roots of country music and incorporating traditional instruments, sounds, and themes into their music.

How can electric guitar be used to revive traditional country sound?

Electric guitar can be used to revive traditional country sound by blending the old with the new. Adding electric guitar to traditional country songs can give them a new, modern edge while still preserving the authenticity and rawness of the original sound.

What is the role of electric guitar in contemporary country music?

The role of electric guitar in contemporary country music varies depending on the artist and their style. Some artists use electric guitar to create a more rock-oriented sound, while others use it to add subtle layers of texture and atmosphere to their songs.

Can traditional country music and electric guitar coexist?

Absolutely! Traditional country music and electric guitar can coexist and complement each other. By incorporating electric guitar into traditional country music, artists can give the genre a fresh, modern sound while still paying homage to its roots.


About the author

Hi there! I’m Jack Little – an avid country music fan with tons of live country performances in the past. I used to play banjo in a country band with my best friend John Peters, who’s a true country harmonica master. Those were great years and I’m still mastering new banjo playing techniques, writing my own country songs and lyrics, and collecting banjos!

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