I must say I'm pretty out of the loop on current country. I seem to go through phases where I'm really liking new artists or not so much.
Earl Thomas Conley also had a great song in Too Many Times with Patti LaBelle(?).
I always enjoyed the parodies (ala Weird Al) of country songs...Ben Coulder (aka Sheb Wooley) did a lot of them.
I also like the fact of the different genres within the genre. The bluegrass sounds of Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Allison Kraus to name a very few. Allison's CD with Robert Plant is excellent.
The rockabilly of Sun records, Jerry Lee, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash etc really expanded the definition of country music.
Then there's the "old-timey" country ala the Carter Family, Hank Thompson, Little Jimmy Dickens etc.
Then you have Ernest Tubb, Jimmy Rodgers for Texas Swing.
Females you have Kitty Wells, Patsy Kline, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton and many more. Rosanne Cash did a CD called The List that contains songs that her dad (Johnny) wrote down for her when she was 18 years old and he told her these are the songs that are true classics. Excellent CD.
You have your "orchestral" country with Eddy Arnold, Marty Robins etc.
The Lounge sounds of Ray Price...
Plus the Bakersfield sound of Buck Owens (followed by Dwight Yoakum).
Then there's the Hag...Merle was always pretty much his own man. Really like his I am What I am CD that's semi-recent.
It's a great genre that does in fact deserve a thread of it's own. Good job Dr. Fever!
Every time you make a typo the errorists win.