Let the Music Play

There are probably not a whole lot of places better than Fort Worth, Texas to experience some good country music. Growing up just outside of Fort Worth, I have been surrounded by country music basically my entire life. It was the only thing played in my house growing up and I can always remember my mom playing some of her old Willie Nelson records and my grandparents dancing around their house to George Strait and Alan Jackson songs.

I had always loved listening to country music when I was young, but I never really developed the appreciation I have for it today. Until one day, just after my 16th birthday, my mom came home with some tickets to see Robert Earl Keen at a local music and arts festival.

For those of you that may not know who Robert Earl Keen is, here are a few of my favorite songs that he has written.

I remember being excited to experience my first country concert. I had been to some concerts before then, but they were all rock concerts, so I was really looking forward to seeing one of my favorite country artists perform.
I remember walking through the entrance to the festival that day, and I immediately noticed that every single person had on either boots or a cowboy hat. The opening band was already playing, yet there were more people interested in going to the outdoor bar than watching them, so my brother and I managed to get right up to the front row just as the opening band was finishing up their set. You could feel the crowd start to pack in towards the stage, and you would hear the occasional “yee-haw” from the crowd, as they grew anxious to see the headlining artist.

When Robert Earl Keen stepped out onstage, the crowd went wild. I had never experienced anything like it, and as the show went on I felt myself get lost in the music, and I really enjoyed watching the older people dance around. The crowd sang every word to every song, and their intensity didn’t die down until the last note was played on the second encore song “The Road Goes on Forever”.

That concert really opened my eyes to the world of live country music, which I never thought I would enjoy so much. Ever since that concert, I have developed a new sense of appreciation for country music, and nowadays I find myself really looking forward to any chance I get to go see a country artist perform. Although I might spend most of my time these days listening to some rock band, I still have a soft spot for country artists, and if I hear it at a bar or on the radio, or even on my iPod, I always find myself letting the music play and singing along.


Filed under Live Music, Texas

2 Responses to Let the Music Play

  1. Samantha Godfrey

    You almost word-for-word described my very first country concert! That anxious excitement you get when you’re getting dressed to go is something I love, and yes you must wear cowboy boots to these gigs (especially if they are outdoors). That anticipation of just knowing you are going to have a great time just makes you want to get there faster. You mentioned about how everyone’s attention during the opening act was more on the bar and all their alcohol, and I specifically remember at my first country concert, Randy Rogers Band, noticing the exact same thing. I thought maybe that was just because everyone did not like the opener at that specific concert, but as I went to see other artists such as Granger Smith and Josh Abbott I quickly realized it was almost like a tradition/social norm. I guess everyone is just preparing themselves for what is yet to come!

  2. Robert Earl Keen is such an interesting “in” to country music. I don’t think I had heard about him until I moved to Austin, though I had probably run across the “Road Goes On Forever” song somewhere. Anyway, I think you’re right that the best way to fall in love with a performer is to see them live.

Leave a Reply