I'm From The Country And I Like It That Way
Country music and I have quite the love affair going on lately. Now, before you start rolling your eyes and hating on T Swift, let me explain myself.
One: The simple answer: I was raised on country music. It’s hard not to have a special place for something that is so closely tied to some of your fondest childhood memories. The soundtrack for family road trips up and down the East Coast was the early 90’s hits of Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, and The Dixie Chicks. My mother introduced us to strong women, like Martina McBride and Shania Twain, who sang about standing your ground and accepting nothing less than the best. They even wrote songs about girls like me; she used to tell me that Faith Hill’s “Wild One” was written about me (actually, I’m pretty sure she’d still say that). My first kiss was when I was 3 years old with the television screen and Billy Ray Cyrus while he sang Achy Breaky Heart and I ran around less than fully clothed (wild. child.).
My dad’s also a country music fan, he’s just been stuck a few decades before us. I used to grow real annoyed real quick when Dad had control of the radio: Merle, Bocephus, Waylon...cue the teenage groan. He kept the cool factor with Johnny Cash and Skynyrd, but Pops killed me with that 70’s twang. Now? Now, that crap is on my iPhone and I’ll proudly sing every word when it comes on at a dive bar. “Mama’s, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys...”
Two: The same answer I've heard over and over but finally understood the other night at a Jennifer Nettles concert: the stories. I always knew country music told great stories, I just never really paid much attention until the opening act, Brandy Clark, started her set. This girl’s new to the game, but Google her lyrics. Our favorite? “Crazy Women.” Country singers can grab a guitar and a mic, and without a band or backup singers, tell a heartbreaking story with a hint of humor and vulnerability.
Three: The unapologetic, whiskey drinkin' ladies of country music:
Kacey Musgraves: “Follow Your Arrow”
Miranda Lambert: “Heart Like Mine”
You can take the girls out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girls.