Something is stirring in country music.

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Deana Carter – I’m Just A Girl

Something is stirring in country music. Fuelled on the one hand by the success of O Brother, Where Art Thou and on the other by the declining sales of the sugar-coated, production-line mainstream acts, a new, tougher breed of independentminded female country singer is now emerging.

Included among their ranks are the likes of Allison Moorer, Kim Richey and Deana Carter, and although none of them are what you’d really call alt.country, they do write their own material and retain an integrity that the likes of Faith Hill, Reba McEntire and the other hollow Nashville divas either lost long ago or never had. Carter’s interesting lyrics are sometimes let down by trite pop arrangements. But it’s an encouraging step in the right direction.