My relationship with country music is complicated to say the least. We’ve always recognized each other, acknowledged the other existed, but we were never friends.
Unlike my friends, I grew up in a non-country household. My first concert was KC and the Sunshine Band, so basically disco, not exactly something to brag about to your friends. I remember riding to volleyball practices with my friend and her mom and they would blast George Straight and sing along. When I would innocently ask “Who’s that?” their jaws would drop to the floor, big eyes staring at me in disbelief, questioning,”How do you not know the King of Country?” All I could think to myself was I have no idea…
I went to my first country concert at the age of 14. My friend took me to see Miranda Lambert at the rodeo before she was a mega star. I remember listening to those firecracker songs like “Kerosene” and “Gunpowder and Lead” and being in total awe, kind of shocked by the whole ordeal.
After that day, I began a very long distance relationship with country music. I stopped complaining as much when my friends would turn the radio stations over to 93Q and 100.3 The Bull. I started watching more country award shows and watching those made for television concerts. I was paying attention but I wasn’t interested… yet.
The summer after my freshman year of college was when country wouldn’t stop knocking on my door. My friends desperately wanted to go to a Day in the Country in the Woodlands, which is basically a big country music fest with lots of acts playing all day. I dragged my heels a little bit, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t like it.
I listened to acts like Joe Nichols, Easton Corbin and the Eli Young Band. At the time, I had no idea who any of them were but I still enjoyed it. Slowly, I was finding myself looking up songs on my own and my friends stopped asking me who sang every country song that played on the radio, which was a little unfortunate since they’d give me a quarter every time I got one right. I guess it was happening a little too often for these poor college kids. Anyways, a few weeks later I got to see Lee Brice, Chris Young and Brad Paisley perform on Brad’s summer tour. That got me hooked. From Lee’s beautiful “Love Like Crazy” to Young’s crazy deep voice and Paisley’s incredible guitar skills, my mind was blown. I gained a new appreciation for this music I spent most of my life trying to avoid.
Now, I can proudly say I’ve been to many country concerts from big venues to small county fairs, and I’ve enjoyed every single one of them. It’s true when they say it’ll grow on you; it finally caught up to me. Country music and I spent a long time avoid each other, figuring the other out and eventually becoming friends. Thanks to this class and my country enthusiast friends, I hope this relationship continues to grow.
Thanks for listening to me rant and if you’ve had any similar instances with country or maybe just became a fan like myself, I would love to hear about it!