In college, I’ve learned that just because someone says they like country music, it doesn’t mean they like country music.
Your friend may only love the country that they hear on the radio. I’m talking about the Sam Hunt, “Body Like a Back Road” loving-friends. That’s not country. I’m a firm believer that any “country” song with people saying “aye, aye, aye” in the background isn’t country. I also firmly believe that Keith Urban’s “The Fighter” with Carrie Underwood isn’t country. During the verses, the background music reminds me of the Bop It toy from my childhood. While yes, I will absolutely jam to both of these songs, that’s not country.
Friends that love this kind of music aren’t necessarily bad people. They just may not know better, so it is your job to educate them on country music. If they’re looking for some iconic country, point them to George Strait. Say they want girl-power music. Shania Twain is the queen of feminist country music. Show them that Alan Jackson can teach them how to love summertime. If you want to impress the socks off of them, spit out all the lyrics to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. If they want something modern with a classic feel, give them William Michael Morgan.