The evolution of music has brought forth hundreds of music variations in so many forms to the basic music categories. This diversity in music forms have categorized in alternative music those ish style music that come as slight style alterations to most popular music forms (i.e. alternative rock or rock-ish music for rock music that does not really fit into the mainstream genres of a particular time period).
Alternative music is a category coined as a sort of catch-all for those sub-genres that are unclassified but can be traced with similarities to popular genres. These alternative music are usually those that were not released commercially and are recorded on independent labels. Some music from this category, from word of mouth, would soon find its way into the mainstream and become commercially successful.
Country music that does not conform to the prevailing country style is generally classified as alternative music. Musicians playing alternative country music are generally those who do not subscribe to high production values and popularity concerns. Their music are of lo-fi sound quality and often incorporated strong punk and rock and roll qualities and contained lyrics that are bleak, gothic or socially aware. The range of their music spans American folk tune to rockabilly and honky-tonk to a fusion of rock and country music. Alternative country music has developed several namesakes like Americana, neotraditional, progressive country, lo-fi country, and twang core.