Popular-music trends come and go, and sometimes they hit a crossroads. That's where things stood in country music a dozen-or-so years ago. Mainstream country had devolved into such hackneyed pabulum that it was clear something would have to come along to change its direction. For one brief shining moment, most analysts were putting their money on a group of smart, pop-trained, folk-inspired singer/songwriters determined to buck the trends of the day. Incredible as it may seem now, when Garth Brooks first came along, he was often perceived as part of this revisionist wave, one that would make stars of such acts as Rosanne Cash, Rodney... More >>>