George Strait is back with a new album and a great new song and I couldn’t be more happy about it. Partly because it’s awesome on its own merits but also because of his singular ability to keep country music station programmers honest.

You’ve got George Strait as the anchor of country, with gravity, he centers your programming as in you can’t get too far away from the tone of George Strait or else the programming doesn’t flow right. It clashes. Like listening to a mix tape with all of your favorite songs and going from Eminem to Randy Travis. It’s interesting but it’s hard to get your brain from one mindset to the other.

Right now there are songs on country music stations that are good songs, that are hits, but are not country songs. Not talking about bro country (usually they include enough accents, violins, and country trappings that they can fit in even if they stand out a bit), but how do you go from a Not country song to a George Strait song? Difficult, tricky, and can really hurt the listening experience for the listener. The net effect is keeping the programmers on track and keeping the music on country stations Country.

Or at least that’s my hope, that’s what seemed to happen in the nineties when Pop Country was getting big, they still kept it country because George Strait was so huge. Maybe he’s not that anymore. Maybe he won’t have that effect now. But I have hope. And if not? I still got to hear another great George Strait album so it’s a huge win already.

Also, a cute story with my son: I was driving with my kids and playing George Strait while my wife and I chatted about our week. My son interrupts by telling us to shut up because he can’t hear the song.

Normally we would’ve told him some things (like whose car it is, who gets to control the music volume, who gets to tell who to shut up) but since it was George Strait we allowed it.

And shut up.

And turned it up.

Thanks for reading,

Steve