I talk to people about country music, and the same comment comes up often. That comment is: "Today's country music is not country music." It is, and here is the best analogy I have. 

The music industry and the sports industry are very similar. Look at your favorite sports team. Are the same guys who played 20 years ago still playing? Chances are, they are not. The players and the game have both changed drastically in 20 years. Music is no different. There will always be young and fresh talent coming up who have a much different style than the people before them. When a new baseball player debuts, what happens to ticket sales that day? They go up. When new artists come up, chances are they're gonna sell albums and concert tickets.

As with everything in life, things change constantly. Country music has evolved to a new sound that attracts many different age groups. Some of your favorite country artists from the past have happily handed the torch over to many of these newer artists. Take George Strait for instance. I was fortunate enough to see King George on his final tour. He had many different artists open for him and play on stage with him. These artists included: Eric Church (who I saw open and play), Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Chris Young, Luke Bryan, and Kenny Chesney. George Strait accepts today's country music so much, he invited these artists to share the stage with him as he rode off into the sunset. That should speak volumes since he is "The King."

Sam Hunt tends to be in the center of this conversation. I see why many people do not view him as a country artist, but I also can tell you why he is a country artist. His delivery is completely different than any other country artist and it may not be your thing, which is OK. Listen to his lyrics. His lyrics reflect many of the same values that most country songs do.

I am not taking anything away from the greats. Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Dolly Parton, George Strait, and many others are responsible for paving the way for today's wave of artists. Many artists today are just like many of us, they grew up listening to these artists and credit them with being their musical influences.

Today's country music isn't for everybody, and that is OK, but it is still country music and it is here to stay. I ask you to open yourself up to this change, because this music is highly enjoyable. For those of you who still prefer classic country music, we do have the Classic Country Jukebox every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

I want to know your thoughts on this. As always, you can let me know your thoughts on our Facebook page, tweet me @JoeXLCountry or @XLCountry1007, or email me at Joe@XLCountry.com.