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Tom Petty Blasts Modern Country Music

Tom Petty
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

On May 26, Tom Petty took a swipe at modern country music from the stage of the Beacon Theater in New York City. He called today’s country “bad rock with a fiddle,” and further expanded on those comments during a recent interview.

It was far from a clarification or apology. During a chat with Rolling Stone published Monday (Aug. 5), Petty laments what is missing in country music, a genre he says roots the Heartbreakers.

“I don’t really see a George Jones or a Buck Owens or any anything that fresh coming up,” Petty explains. “I’m sure there must be somebody doing it, but most of that music reminds me of rock in the middle 80s where it became incredibly generic and relied on videos.”

Petty didn’t name names or call out a specific sound before backing away from the topic. “I hate to generalize on a whole genre of music, but it does seem to be missing that magic element that it used to have,” he furthers. “I’m sure there are people playing country that are doing it well, but they’re just not getting the attention that the s—tier stuff gets.”

Petty is expecting to release his 13th album with the Heartbreakers early next year. The new project doesn’t yet have a title.

Next: See Country Music's Most Well-Known Feuds

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