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I’ll admit I’ve been to a few concerts featuring new country artists.  More often than not they’ll throw in a cover song or two.  The thing is, the cover songs they usually do are from the classic rock genre as opposed to classic country.  Now I’m all about melding influences but is new country really ripping off classic rock?

‘Ripping off’ is a negative term I guess.  I’m sure these new artists are equally influenced by old rock as they are old country and I see nothing wrong with showing those roots.  I’ve heard more than one country fan tell me that the stuff that plays on country radio today is not country, it’s rock.  There’s even a little hip-hop thrown in but they call it ‘hick-hop.’  Is it now part of the brand?

Sometimes I think paying tribute might go a bit too far when it comes to creativity.  To illustrate my point check out the videos below.  One is from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and the other is from new country star Jake Owen.  It’s virtually the same song. 

Here’s AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’ followed by country artist Randy Houser’s ‘How Country Feels.’

Is it an unintentional tribute or outright theft?  What do you think?  Leave a comment on Facebook.