Snarkista can say this with authority as she was born and raised in Texas, and has lived in Nashville for a LOOOONG time. Papa Joe And Jessica Simpson’s Country Reinvention Experiment didn’t start off too well. Snarkista’s told you before that country music radio and fans are notoriously hard to crack. Just because Jessica’s decided she’s a little bit country doesn’t mean shizz to most folks who know the real deal.
Jessica squeezed into some daisy-dukes for a performance in Kenosha, Wisconsin Saturday night, but skepticism was elevated hours before her debut country performance. Jess was opening for Sara Evans, who has SERIOUSLY paid her country dues. The crowd at Country Thunder had their doubts about whether the pop diva could stack up against other country music acts. In fact, lots of them were NOT impressed!
“Just because she’s dating Tony Romo it doesn’t make her country,” said Mike Rodriguez, 31, from Lake Geneva. “She doesn’t fit in with country, and I’ll have to drink a lot of beer to sit through her concert.” Zach Schlodt, 19, of Palatine, Ill., agreed. Simpson’s heart isn’t in country music, and she is just banking on the genre’s popularity, he said. “She’s an embarrassment to country music,” he added.
Jessica took the stage to a mixture of boos and cheers Saturday night. She sashayed onto the stage in the daisy-dukes, a white button-down shirt and cowboy boots, singing a cover of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots are Made for Walking.” Yawn. Her set included several cover songs, including “On the Road Again,” and Shania Twain’s “Who’s Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”
She sang a few songs from her upcoming album “Do You Know,” and the first single “Come On Over.” The crowd wasn’t thrilled when she sang one of her pop hits “With You.” They also weren’t thrilled that Simpson played after real country singer, Kellie Pickler.
The audience didn’t seem to buy the schtick. “I just don’t hear the country in her; I don’t hear the twang. She’s not good enough to be here,” said Adam Matos, 21, from Arlington Heights, Ill. One man didn’t mince words: “It’s crap,” said Ryan Sia, 28, from East Troy. “She doesn’t belong here.”
Papa Joe’s got some heavy lifting to do if he’s gonna make this country thing work out. Country fans can spot a phony a mile away, and they’ll STAY away if they do. Jessica hasn’t paid her dues in their eyes, and it’s gonna take a LOT of work to change their minds. Dating Tony Romo doesn’t count.