I respect Merle, and when I list country music artists that I respect, he is towards the top of the list, in the top 10 at the very least. I do think he should qualify his statement: MOST of today's country music sucks. That's because, like rap and punk, it's been coopted by the music industry machine and pop music. But there are still a few artists who break the mold: Brad Paisley (sort of, maybe I just cut him some slack cuz he can pick that geetar), Marty Stuart, Kenny Vaughan, and there are others that I can't think of. So, yes, while 97% of what we see on the CMA's is junk food, there are some artists who are "keepin it real country."