An Ode to Country Music

Everyone, gather ‘round. I have a confession to make. You see, I haven’t always loved alternative music (yikes!). Nope, my first musical love was country music. It was all I listened to for the first 15 years of my life. Before Coldplay, Keane, and Passion Pit, there was George Strait, Tim McGraw, and Alan Jackson.

Often I find myself crediting Coldplay for truly causing me to fall in love with music. While, yes, they are the reason I love live music and want to pursue a career in that (Viva la Vida Tour…July 21, 2009…Dallas, Texas…changed my life forever, y’all), I can’t attribute everything to them. In fact, I have something else to confess: my friend once played Coldplay for me in middle school and I…well, I didn’t like them (please forgive me; I’ll forever regret that moment).

It was the sweet sounds of the steel guitar and fiddle that I used to fall asleep to as a kid. It was country music radio that I used to flip through while riding in my parents’ cars, hoping to land upon one of my favorite songs. It was a country album that was my first to listen to in full (Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying” album was my jam). It was a country concert – George Strait, to be exact – that was my first show. It was a country song that I turned to in times of distress (what causes distress to a ten year old anyways?).

I had this realization about country music while at Blake Shelton’s show at Bridgestone a couple of weeks ago. I was working the after-party for Warner and was able to catch a bit of the show beforehand with my fellow interns. I knew it would be a good performance to watch, but I can’t say I was particularly excited about it. However, as he played a couple of his old hits that I actually knew (and remembered the words to even though I hadn’t heard it in years! Memory is cray, am I right?), it occurred to me that country music has greatly affected my life. The passion that I have for music can be traced back to the days my father would play Sammy Kershaw songs as we drove down to an old fishing camp my great grandfather built in the middle of nowhere, Louisiana.

So while I have moved on from the genre, it does deserve some recognition from me. Country music is my childhood, and I’d be a total goob to forget this.

George Strait will be on the last leg of his final tour this coming year, and what better way to pay tribute to country music than to watch the “cowboy ride away” with my dad (fun fact: generally the only tours that stop through Shreveport, Louisiana are the country ones). [Update: JK because tickets sold out unnecessarily fast so this didn’t happen after all. UGH SAD FACE.] I feel that it will be a bit like saying goodbye to my childhood, but I suppose adulthood is waiting for me. I mean, I will be 21 in a couple of weeks, so there’s that.

Country music, you’ve been good to me. So with that, I will go listen to some George and wallow in a bit of nostalgia. But only for tonight, because this upcoming Friday brings Phoenix to town and this girl is PUMPED OUT OF HER MIND.

Currently Listening:

“Amarillo by Morning” – George Strait

A song about bull-wrangling, Texas, freedom, break-ups and the lack of money… I mean, doesn’t get much more country than that. And that FIDDLE.

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