The current realm of country music is as full of hot guitarists as any other. One only need listen to a few masterful measures played by Brent Mason or Brad Paisley to confirm this. Yet guitar solos are being excised from singles to appease an audience hungry not for artful playing, but seemingly for another verse filled with cliches that have been tired since Steve Goodman and John Prine lampooned them in “You Never Even Called My by My Name” in 1975. Billboard is running an insightful article on this topic wherein consultant Joel Raab puts it like this:
The listeners’ attention spans are shorter and shorter, and if they start getting bored with whatever it is that we’re doing it’s too easy for them to go somewhere else. So it’s really about forward momentum on the radio station. Is that guitar part moving everything forward? If it is, great. If it’s not, then maybe it needs to be edited.
Spoken like a true bean counter.
You can read more (and be sickened) at Billboard.