I was being driven up from a night-time visit to the Iwo Jima memorial south of the Potomac, in Arlington Virginia, back to a hotel near the concrete people-mover horror of Dulles airport, when my driver asked me what I thought of country music. 'Isn't it some kind of Appalachian Mountain amalgam of Ulster Irish and English West Country folk music supported by a blend of African rhythym unwittingly brought up the Mississippi by slavers from New Orleans?'
'Have you heard of Dolly Parton?' he asked, ignoring my attempt at historical revisionism. Before I could answer he plugged his MP3 player into the car's dashboard and said, 'This ain't Dolly Parton.'
He then proceeded to play an album by Big & Rich, the starring track of which was 'Save a Horse - Ride a Cowboy'. After plugging Orson below, I thought I better try to restore some kind of North Atlantic balance.
If you ever get the chance, I heartily recommend 'Big & Rich', which is sort of like Stiff Little Fingers meets Crash Test Dummies meets the Banjo player from Deliverance.
If you ever get the chance, do have a listen. It really ain't Dolly Parton.