Brad Paisley has a song called "This is Country Music" that describes how country music words don't hold anything back. Paisley's song acknowledges that country music lyrics deal with everything from cancer, to "telling your boss to shove it", to the loss of a brother, to patriotism, and of course love (when it's good AND when it's gone bad.)
It's true. Some people make fun of this fact - that in country nothing is NOT okay to sing about. Some people think it's goofy and hokey. I understand. For years I didn't give country music a chance. For many years I lived in parts of the country where it was hard to hear it performed live, or to find a country music station on the radio.
We all go through life stages. Since I moved south I "discovered" country music. I heard a Tim McGraw song one day that I liked and decided to buy his album to give it a listen ( it was really a CD, and that's a topic for another blog - I miss album covers!!). Then I picked up a few more - and then I found a couple of country music radio stations, and set my car radio to them.
For those who don't know my background, I worked in radio, including rock radio, for some years, took piano as a kid and I have played flute all my life. I appreciate ALL types of music. Really I do! In fact, I think music truly makes the world go round! I know just enough about reading music and performing it to know just how talented some musicians are. I'm in awe of them!
Thinking back, I went with a girlfriend my senior year in high school to a "fiddle convention" in Baltimore and absolutely loved it. And, even during my rock & roll days I preferred the California sound at the time of the Eagles, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, etc. I asked my best friend Sue to sing "Longer" by Dan Fogelberg at my wedding.
There's nothing truer than a singer and his guitar. Basic and sincere.
So, looking back, I've always been on the border of what I consider country music. I have always liked songs where I could love the music AND understand the lyrics. The words meant something. I also like music where I hear the musician's TALENT on his or her instrument. I like music that is not fabricated in a recording studio. Country music has that too.
So, yes - I proudly say I'm a HUGE country music fan!
Country music can make you feel great and get you up and dance, but it can also bring you to tears.
As Brad Paisley also sings about in the song, there is connection country music listeners have. It's not for just one artist - it's for the genre. Fans understand the same feeling, and respect each other.
Have I made you want to listen a little?
Paisley's song: "So.... turn it on! Turn it up! This is COUNTRY MUSIC!"