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Tom Petty Calls Out Contemporary Country Music

Tom Petty
Theo Wargo, Getty Images for Firefly Music Festival

It seems classic rocker Tom Petty is no big fan of some of the artists coming out of Nashville these days. In a new interview, he says much of contemporary country reminds him of “incredibly generic” 80s rock.

Petty first took a public swipe at new country at a concert in New York in March, calling it “bad rock with [a] fiddle.”

As he explains to Rolling Stone, “I hate to generalize on a whole genre of music, but it does seem to be missing that magic element that it used to have. I’m sure there are people playing country that are doing it well, but they’re just not getting the attention that the s—tier stuff gets. But that’s the way it always is, isn’t it?”

He adds that he hopes to see country swing back around to be more in line with its roots, saying, “But I don’t really see a George Jones or a Buck Owens or any anything that fresh coming up. I’m sure there must be somebody doing it, but most of that music reminds me of rock in the middle 80s where it became incredibly generic and relied on videos. I don’t want to rail on about country because I don’t really know much about it, but that’s what it seems like to me.”

Petty and his longtime band, the Heartbreakers, have been putting the finishing touches on their thirteenth studio album, which is tentatively slated for release in 2014.

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