Like all things, country music is cyclical and history tends to repeat itself. When country got too pop in the late 60’s along came the Outlaws, when it went too Urban in the 1980’s, the Neo-Traditionalist movement happened. Now with country music seriously flirting with not only pop music melodies but nonsensical lyrics as well, the time seemingly is ripe for another Traditionalist movement and with one listen to Michael Scott’s debut single “Ray Ray’s Juke Joint,” I have to believe that he’s firmly in the traditionalist camp.
In fact, “Ray Ray’s Juke Joint” (which Jamey Johnson previously recorded on his debut album “The Dollar”) seems to be a song that is delivering a neo-traditionalist, buck the trend message. It’s a song that celebrates the hole-in-the-wall bars that we all love more than the sterile, drive-by-night karaoke joints. Michael Scott has a strong traditional country voice that makes the song work and for those traditionalist fans, they should be happy that Michael Scott is around to help turn country music’s tide back in the traditional country camp. While that may happen, the road to the top will be slower for Michael Scott than a ‘poppier’ artist due to the fact that radio seems to think that ‘poppier’ is what all country fans want.