Reba McEntire on ‘Bro Music’: ‘I Would Really Like it to Get Back to the Real Strong Country’

Country queen Reba McEntire[1] released her latest album Stronger Than The Truth[2] in 2019. The singer has said the record was a return to her roots, with traditional country ballads like “Tammy Wynette Kind of Pain”[3] and rousing honky-tonkers like “Storm in a Shot Glass.”[4] The album showcases a sound that most mainstream country has strayed from in recent years. In an interview with PBS News Hour[5]McEntire spoke out on the “bro country” trend that ruled radio a few years ago and how she longs for a return to “real strong country.”

“It’s the bro trend. You know, ‘Hey bro, let’s go down to the river and catch some fish.’ And everybody’s ‘good ol’ boys’ and that’s the ‘bro music.’ It’s kind of going away from that a little bit,” McEntire told PBS News Hour[6]. “I would really like it to get back to the real strong country. The country of Merle Haggard[7], Conway Twitty[8], Ronnie Milsap[9], Mel Tillis[10]. I miss that kind of country.”

McEntire also addressed the lack of women nominated for Entertainer of the Year at last year’s Academy of Country Music awards. [11]

“It didn’t surprise me, but when anything like that happens I just know, us gals, we gotta work harder, McEntire told PBS. “We gotta support each other. We gotta get in there next year. It’s gotta change.”

See the full interview below.

Read More: Reba McEntire Songs: Her 15 Best Tracks, Ranked[12]

In a press release for Stronger Than The Truth, McEntire said she selected songs that meant something to her and took her back to her time performing in Oklahoma[13] dance halls, honky-tonks and rodeos[14].

“When I started selecting songs for this album, I stuck with that same formula — go with the songs that touch my heart, and hopefully when you hear me singing it, they’ll touch yours too,” McEntire said in a statement. “I grew up on an 8,000-acre family ranch singing at dance halls, honky-tonks and rodeos with my brother and sister. I haven’t gotten to do that in a while, so I’m thrilled to pieces.”

The album features songs co-written by familiar names, such as Brandy Clark[15], Erin Enderlin[16], Jaida Dreyer[17] and Leslie Satcher[18]. McEntire also co-wrote a song with Ronnie Dunn[19] and Donna McSpadden titled “No U in Oklahoma.”[20]

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