Book Review: Her Country by Marissa R. Moss

“A highly-readable deep dive into the lives and careers of the women of country music – and the history of why they needed to blaze their own trails to succeed.” Continue reading for our thoughts on Her Country: How the Women of Country Music Became the Success They Were Never Supposed to Be by Marissa R. Moss — out now from Henry Holt and Company.


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It’s not until the afterword of the vital Her Country that writer Marissa R. Moss breaks down exactly why she – a native New Yorker who moved to Nashville a decade ago – chose to write about the trailblazing women of country music. But the book itself makes it clear from page one: these are the most interesting, uncompromising, and passionate artists in music today. This book does their talents justice.

Moss does stellar work delving into the backgrounds of Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton and a handful of other artists, tracing their common fandom of outspoken performers like The Chicks while forging their own paths in the business. Fans of these artists will be rewarded with deeply reported anecdotes about their early lives and breakthroughs into country music, while newcomers will see just how much work they put in to achieve the success they have today.

It’s that work, set against the background of the institutional sexism and racial biases of commercial country radio, that stands out again and again throughout the book. It is made crystal clear that Musgraves, Morris, and especially Guyton achieved their hard-won success despite the country music business establishment, with the echoes of The Chicks’ Iraq War-era banishment still reverberating nearly twenty years later. Moss weaves the thread of The Chicks’ experience throughout the book to fine effect, showing the stark differences of “outlaw” male artists compared to their female counterparts.

Despite the potential heaviness of the book’s thesis, Her Country is no dirge – instead, it’s a celebration of the persistence and vision of these women and a call for change to the industry they’ve transcended. Marissa R. Moss has created something that – like The Chicks have been for the subjects of this book – will be an inspiration to young musicians and a forewarning to anyone standing in their way.


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