In my opinion this overlooks a fundamental element of how the music needs to be played.
I actually played modern country for a living for about 5 years back in the mid-1980's.
Since that time, today's modern country has certainly taken on more elements of "rock" drumming. However the feel remains different.
I've heard a few "rock" drummers in my town try to play modern country and it's simply not that great to listen to. Country drumming requires a more swampy / funkier edge to it than straight rock drumming does. They get the "what" correct but the "how" is very wrong. Sort of like trying to listen to Neil Peart play jazz.
Great story Larry. We have something else in common.Back around 2001 or 2002, I was on board for the creation of a band that played almost exclusively "young country" music. I started having second thoughts almost immediately. I didn't like the music and I hated not being able to play "my stuff." I took the grin-and-bear-it approach and made the best of it. We played songs by the artists you list above.
In hindsight, it was one of the most important musical experiences I had. I sucked at it. I was terrible. I was a frustrated fusion drummer trying to play simple and not cutting it. I thought I understood feel and groove, but I didn't, and this experience made it painfully clear to me.
The band eventually shifted some personnel and we went in a more rock direction. I loved that transition, but I found that the music we were playing was still outside my comfort zone; I liked rock, but more on the adventurous drumming side, so it was still hard for me to play the simpler stuff with the right feel and attitude.
To bring this story full-circle, I wound up really working hard at becoming a solid rock drummer. I have come light years from where I was. I could do a country gig now in a way that I couldn't have back then. In a way, I wish I could go back and do that gig again with what I know now.
Playing simple things with the right feel, authority and conviction is incredibly hard. On another thread, Jeff Almeyda mentioned this is what separates pros from amateurs, and I concur. Chops and this skill, whatever you want to call it, are two separate things. Don't misunderstand, I'm not saying they are mutually exclusive; most pros are really good at both, even if they're mostly known for one or the other. But it's much harder and more important than most young players realize.
So after that long-winded diatribe, my short answer is: I'd take a gig with any of the five!
Actually, the question was, money aside, if you would enjoy playing with any country artist. I was pointing out that to do so is not as clear cut that some make it sound.Its a given you'd have to do the music justice in order to play (be considered for) those gigs, and it'd would require the ability.
Ability not being a given, its clear some y'all have missed the point of the OP's original post of the money 'not' being in the equation.
So hypothetically $500K to tour with the country acts mentioned (and they're magically OK with your ability), or $500k to do what ever you want.
I'd take the money and do other gigs.