In case you did not know it yet, I LOVE music. All kinds of music. My listening tastes span from classical to country and everything in between. Of course, some music I love more than others and consume more than others. Folk is one of those genres that I adored when I was kid. I listened to Woody Guthrie, Peter, Paul & Mary, and early Bob Dylan on repeat, and that’s was on LPs and cassettes! It was music that spoke to me, challenged me, or cut me to the bone. One reason were the actual lyrics—remember those? They were telling a more complex story than the pabulum being fed to us today. The other reason was I felt like someone was speaking for me or for people that I knew. I have never been a party girl, never passed the blunt or the Courvoisier, didn’t break up with guys and diss them, and I have never been anyone’s Bitch or Ho. So, much of what is being recorded by the majority of Hip-Hop artists is nothing I care about or care to listen to. And it’s not just Hip-Hop. Part of the reason a majority of the popular offerings bother me so much is that it also does not speak for me or anyone I know. Yes, that has been a part of the musical landscape for decades, but now we seem to be drowning in that pabulum, and experiencing a desert of rich music that transports you on a magical, lyrical journey. Tracy Chapman, Mellencamp, a handful of others were a bright spot in the late ‘80s; then we went into the slit your wrist, depression/addiction or dance moves and divas music phase, and it seems as though we have never left.
Which is why Oliver Anthony has captured my attention. This young man’s voice rings with conviction, his lyrics brim with intellect, and his talent can be measured against the best in the music industry today. I pray this young man’s voice will get amplified, and what he is singing about will become a bigger topic of discussion than “Try That In A Small Town.” Frankly, that song should not have never been an issue, and the fact that it was shows that people are afraid to confront truth and discuss what really matters. What Anthony sings about are real issues affecting real people, and he does it with true passion and conviction.