I think mainstream American music should be Roots Rock; a genre with elements of vintage rock n roll, folk, and even bluegrass. Artists like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, etc. Bandanas as opposed to cowboy hats. Story telling, not constant singing about alcohol, pickup trucks, and getting laid, or trying to impress the women in the audience. Bob Dylan-esque vocals instead of whiny tenor voices like Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts, or "too deep" voices like Jason Aldean, Eric Church or Dierks Bentley.
Honestly though, why do so many people like country and not rootsy music or bluegrass?
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Obviously, there are bad country artist that pander to an more modern audience so it's going to sound more pop like (bro country). But artist like Chris Stapleton, produce amazing songs that I would consider real country music. Comparable to John Denver, Hank Williams jr. and George Strait