First off, Chet Atkins died. Then country went Hollywood and got hats. The accountants and the marketing departments took over the music and it became all about the business. (There's a lot of cynicism in this.) For one thing, country was never meant to be played in stadiums. It was meant for bars and small venues where you could get up close and personal to the artists. I think the video channels have been the death of much of the great music in this country. The same thing seems to have happened to the popular music. That's why a no-talent like Britney Spears dominated the late nineties. I listen to very little country or rock and roll now. In the case of rock and roll, I've heard it all before. Much of the black music has been taken over by rap. I grew up on country and the only thing I like these days is Alison Krauss and Dwight Yoakam with an occasional detour over to Randy Travis. You want to listen to some great country, here's some artists to give a listen to: Mary Chapin Carpenter, Hank Williams, Faron Young, Patsy Cline, George Jones, Charley Pride, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Jim Reeves, Johnny Horton, Don Williams, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson (thank God for Willie), Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Price, Steve Earle, and of course, three great instrumentalists: Boots Randolph, Floyd Cramer and Chet Atkins. Much of the great country packed up its bags and went off to Texas. And Mark Knopfler has some great CDs that are rooted in country music. A couple of years ago he did one with Emmylou Harris. Check it out. Oh, and here's a great website: www.lonestarmusic.com.