An international denim shortage is hitting the country music community especially hard, with sources on Nashville’s Music Row calling this “our Armageddon” and “even worse than when they renamed Fan Fair.”
While global trade and economics experts are unsure how this situation came to pass – many are even doubtful that such a thing is possible except as a far-fetched premise for a piece of satirical news – the repercussions of the denim drought can be felt everywhere.
Among country music’s top artists, some are adjusting to the new reality more easily than others. After busting the seams on his last pair of jeans, current country superstar and failed Chippendales dancer Luke Bryan took to wearing assless chaps for his That’s My Kind of Night Tour, calling the change “a natural extension of where we were heading anyway.” At the other end of the spectrum, George Strait – with his stock of fresh-pressed Wranglers dwindling quickly – has been downright despondent about his final Cowboy Rides Away Tour dates, which might see the reigning King of Country Music forced to take the stage wearing FUBU sweatpants.
That is, if those final Cowboy Rides Away shows happen at all. Record sales and concert attendance are also way down. It seems fans wearing khaki shorts and velour tracksuits find it harder to connect to the hardy Western individualism espoused in so many of Strait’s finest songs.
The impacts of the crisis reach all the way to the top of the music business power structure, with Universal Music Group Nashville CEO Mike Dungan wondering: “If this continues, what will we do? Without jeans to complement my sport coats, how am I to convey that, despite controlling a vast subsidiary of a major multinational corporation, I am in fact a down-to-earth, humble man who is not afraid to get his hands dirty? Only metrosexuals wear dress pants.”
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