Country music, while some despise it and others love it, offers a mix of soothing tunes, peppy knee-slapping dance rhythms and everything in between. If you’re one of those folks that loves to listen to country music every now and then (or all the time), then I’m going to offer up five of what I consider to be the best online resources to listen to country music for free.
The Country “Station”
I think the bottom line is that to get to the best online stations with great sounding music and the highest quality music players, you have to go with the big well-known online radio sites.
It wasn’t long ago that I covered RadioTime, but the only issue with that site is that while it’s fantastic for finding local radio stations, it can take some time to find really good, well-known, popular music. On the other hand, Will headed down the right road when he listed 5 of the best online radio sites for music in general.
To get to the country music the fastest, it’s best to use some of the more popular sites like Pandora Radio that give you the ability to go straight to the genre you want.
To get to those genre stations, all you have to do is scroll down the main page and under your player you’ll see a link for “Genre Stations.” This takes you to the directory. Click on Country Music and you’ll see all of the selections available. One thing that I’ve always liked about Pandora is that while you’re listening to the station you can like or dislike the songs and it’ll gradually customize the playlist to your tastes.
Now, while I spend most of my music-listening time on Pandora, another very popular and well-known site that categorizes music by genre is actually YouTube, believe it or not. At the top of the YouTube page, just click on Music, then “Categories” and finally “Country.”
Voila – you now have a whole world of not only country music, but country music videos to explore. I spent about two hours here in one night just browsing through Johnny Cash songs. Good stuff.
The final well-known online radio site that also features a good country “station” as part of the genre collection is actually AOL Radio. If you want to listen to country music, finding the country section is as easy as going to AOL Radio, clicking on the Country link in the left navigation bar, and then choosing a sub-genre that you’re interested in, like Bluegrass or Classic Country.
The player features its share of ads, but it is free so who’s complaining? Another nice feature that I like about the AOL player is that you can read a bit about each group as you’re listening to the music. Just scroll down the screen a bit and you’ll see an interesting writeup about the group or singer.
Of course, another huge online radio site is Slacker Radio. Like AOL, getting straight to the country music is as easy as clicking the “All Stations” link and then clicking on “Country.”
Devoted To Country
The country website Dixie Streams is all about country music – including reviews, videos and news. However, if you click the Radio link you’ll actually be listening to their country radio site hosted on Loudcity.
It’s one station, but they play the best of the best of country music today, and of course it’s all free. So you can visit the Dixie Streams radio link and just sit back and enjoy.
No country music radio list would be complete without mentioning CMT. Every country fan knows that Country Music Television is at the very heart of Country Music today. At the main site you’ll find everything – awards, news and gossip. Of course, you want to listen to music, so click on the radio link and you’ll see several stations to choose from.
Click on any of them, and a small radio player will pop up and play the station.
You can keep browsing the Internet as you like, and the music or show will keep streaming.
For a lot of people out there, country music isn’t just a genre, it’s an entire way of life. If you want to live it and breathe it even when you’re surfing the web or working at your computer, then these sites are really the best way to keep the music flowing constantly.
Which country music radio site do you like best when you want to listen to country music? Is your favorite not on this list? Share your own resources in the comments section below.
Image Credit: Pam Roth
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