Various Artists

An Average Joe's Muddy Christmas

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There's always a debate going on about country, what it's supposed to be or not supposed to be, whether it's called traditional country or new country or rock and pop slipping south to impersonate country, as if there were an exact place and time (and sound) when country was, well, the most country. Meanwhile, underneath all this debate, artists like Colt Ford have been out there going to mud-bogging parties and realizing that just plain folks, country or otherwise, are listening to a lot of different kinds of music, from country to metal anthems to urban rap, and any and all of it could come blasting out of one of those trucks as it leaps and swerves through the mud -- it's a weekend party and no one cares about the appropriateness of the music that's playing; no one is saying, hey, you can't like country and still like rap, or vice versa. Ford gets this, and his own brand of country/rap is hardly concerned with genre preservation so much as he's trying to document what really goes on out there in the fields, mud bogs, and back roads of what passes for the country in the 21st century. Ford is also a skilled businessman. He runs his own label, Average Joe's, and he understands that you can sell as many CDs at a mud bog fest as you can at a mall. This set is essentially an Average Joe's sampler with a holiday twist, and it includes Ford's own "Home for Christmas," the Lacs' "Santa in a 4-Wheel Drive," Nappy Roots' "Nappy Holidays," the Mauldin Brothers' "Beer with Santa," and other muddy and snowy holiday gems.

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