Ask anyone what kind of music they listen to and it's not uncommon to hear this response: "I like everything but [insert genre] and country."

Ask anyone what kind of music they listen to and it's not uncommon to hear this response: "I like everything but [insert genre] and country."

Though some modern country is rightly derided - we're looking at you, Florida Georgia Line - the genre remains rich with fantastic singers and songwriters. With Eric Church and others getting set to visit Legend Valley for the WCOL Country Jam, here are 10 country albums released in the last five years that could serve as a musical gateway.

Jamey Johnson: The Guitar Song

The awesomely bearded Johnson is one of the best songwriters working today - regardless of genre - and the rightful heir to Waylon Jennings' outlaw throne.

Key track: "Even the Skies Are Blue" is darker than its title would suggest.

Miranda Lambert: Platinum

Lambert still knows her way around a punchline ("What doesn't kill you only makes you blonder," she muses on the title track), but her voice carries significant weight on the ballads.

Key track: "Bathroom Sink" is the sound of pulling oneself together in the mirror.

Kacey Musgraves: Same Trailer Different Park

The Texas singer-songwriter emerged fully formed, dropping a batch of witty, sharply realized songs.

Key track: "Follow Your Arrow" is a be-who-you-are anthem that plays like a country twist on Lady Gaga's "Born This Way."

Hayes Carll: KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories)

Like a comedic actor with serious dramatic chops, the Texas-born Carll can bust your gut or break your heart.

Key track: "Another Like You" comes on like a musical version of Arianna Huffington and Al Franken's short-lived "Strange Bedfellows."

Eric Church: The Outsiders

Country music's "Bigger, Longer & Uncut" is both darker and weirder than its predecessor, an anything-goes tone established by its stadium-sized, hard-rocking opener.

Key track: "A Man Who Was Going to Die Young," which rests among the album's quietest moments, finds Church embracing the gray hairs sprouting beneath his baseball cap.

Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

This Kentucky-born singer-songwriter should inherit the bong from genial country grandfather Willie Nelson.

Key track: Simpson turns in a surprising cover of "The Promise," a tune by British new wavers When In Rome, and makes it sound like a country standard.

Ashley Monroe: Like a Rose

Monroe might be a traditionalist at heart, but the songs here still retain a modernist touch.

Key track: "She's Driving Me Out of Your Mind" is a big, heartfelt bawler of a ballad.

Kelsea Ballerini: The First Time

Taylor Swift might've left the genre in the rearview, but this up-and-comer has picked up the pop-country torch.

Key track: "Secondhand Smoke," about growing up in a broken home, is rooted in the divorce of the singer's parents.

Dierks Bentley: Home

Bentley's blue-collar appeal surfaces in everything from his voice (gruff, workmanlike) to his songwriting, which resists flash in favor of solid construction.

Key track: "Breathe You In" is less a slow dance than a romp in the sheets.

Taylor Swift: Red

More pop than country, Red finds Swift dueting with Ed Sheeran and teaming with famed Swedish hit maker Max Martin for the clubby "I Knew You Were Trouble."

Key track: That said the mandolin cutting through "Treacherous" still serves as a reminder of her roots, which evaporated completely on last year's 1989.