I've actually been to a number of country music concerts throughout the years (including Alabama, George Strait, Tim McGraw and Toby Keith), and I can remember even listening to it in my elementary schools years. I have one memory, in particular, of sitting on my girlfriend's bed listening to an LP of Dolly Parton's Old Black Kettle over and over again. It's funny to think of that now.
These days, I would have to say I'm more of a singer/songwriter type of gal...in the folk/alt country sense. Patrick Park, Ryan Adams, Joe Purdy, Sarah Harmer, Damien Rice. That's my usual speed. That's my musical go-to. And it's often the soundtrack I hear playing to my daily life.
I think that's the key. Soundtrack. I needed a switch up on my summer soundtrack, and country seemed to fit like a favorite t-shirt. That, and a certain someone mentioned on fb last week that she had a particular Brooks & Dunn song stuck in her head. And that's why. That was all she wrote for me, my friends. The mention of that song instantly called up a music file in my head that is still playing.
I don't know much about today's country music. I can't tell you who the newest names are or what songs they sing. In fact, I don't think it could be said that I quite have my finger on the pulse of any music scene these days. Everything in that previously mentioned music file in my head is at least 10 years old...pretty much for every genre. I'm familiar with an artist or a song from time to time, but only because I accidentally listen to the radio in the car on occasion. And by accident I mean my kids begging me to turn on something Top 40, which I sometimes give in to... until my head feels like it's going to explode...which usually takes about 20 minutes. After that, everything is just a repeat of everything that played in the previous 20 minutes anyway. Thank you, heavy rotation.
I AM familiar--and totally in LOVE--with the musical stylings of San Fermin, Lily & Madeleine and First Aid Kit, but only because they're in my preferred genre and hence my most frequently played Pandora station, and I'm not ashamed to admit that Pandora helps keep me at least a little bit current.
I'll confess that I now have a new Pandora station, and it plays every country song I know and love. And, most importantly, can belt out at the absolute top of my lungs regardless of anything called key, pitch or tune. Love it! I added it the night after that Brooks & Dunn comment was made, and as soon as I added it, I went and grabbed my daughter by the hand. Before she knew what was happening, we were cranking Toby and Garth to a ridiculous decibel level, and I was dancing like I was a 15 yr old dancing in her underwear.
I wasn't of course. Fifteen or in my underwear. But the rest of my family looked on in horror as if I were. I'm sure my husband was thinking Who are you and what have you done with my wife? I don't think he'd ever seen me jam that way to country music in all of the years we've been together. Ella, of course, loved it. She couldn't stop laughing and dancing, and neither could I. It was a full on mother daughter dance party. Note to self: Have more of those.
And here we are. It's just about July. Time for sparklers and blueberry pie and a little toe tappin'. Crank it up and dance like no one's watching ;)