Yesterday I posted a classic country song, so today I thought I’d post something contemporary in the country genre. I’m not a fan of most mainstream country music these days (though alt-country is a whole other thing); however, for Kacey Musgraves I will very happily make an exception. Musgraves is the real deal and an original, a fine songwriter with a unique voice.

Below is a video of her big hit, “Merry Go ‘Round.” Mixing empathy with sharp social commentary, it’s a song that tells some hard truths about life in white, working-class, small-town red America. Take a listen. And check out her album, too — it’s called Same Trailer, Different Park. It’s got several other songs as good as this one.

Kathleen Geier

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee