Monthly Archives: February 2015

Country Salvation

As a long time country music lover I feel the need to introduce ya’ll to my all time favorite Kenny Chesney. His newish album shows his free spirited personality. He really hit the jackpot on this one because his songs are still on the top 20’s chart and the album was released back in September of 2014. I’ve compiled a few songs I think everyone should hear on the Big Revival album and given them my two cents.

‘Wild Child’ has been named one of his signature songs for the Big Revival album, which in my opinion matches him perfectly. Girls listen up because, “Chesney admits the song kind of describes every girl he’s ever been attracted to.” He opens up to the world revealing a life of chasing and running. He chases girls that are free spirited while he is the same, unable to be tamed. Maybe he’s calling out to tell all the girls how to treat him?

Another song in his album that I feel truly captures the essence of Kenny is ‘American Kids.’ Barefooted for this entire video, Kenny invites his audience to come and celebrate life with him. I think almost everyone can relate to this song from riding school busses to making out on your living room couch. I know I can. It brings back memories that make me want to sway with the music and clap along.

‘Til It’s Gone’ adds on to Chesney’s emphasis on living life to the fullest. “One life, one chance… You and me still holding on right down to the last song.” He’s not going to quit living early. Instead he is going to hold on till the very end and enjoy every bit of it. I always feel like life passes by so quickly, moving from semester to semester not stopping or slowing down.

“It’s the little things that make life worth livin” sings Chesney in ‘Beer Can Chicken.’ Bringing it back to the roots, Chesney reminds me of the times I would spend in the back yard giggling when my dad would pour some of his beer on the chicken. These memories remind me that it’s not always about the big things in life. Something as simple as BBQ chicken can make your life worth living.

I find ‘Save It For A Rainy Day’ empowering. I wont let anything or anybody hold me down. There will be days that I can think about the people that hurt me, but for now I am going to enjoy my life and these perfect sunny, spring days. This song picks up its listeners with a big smile and a pat, sayin’ chin up kid and keep on kickin’ butt.

Overall this album is refreshing and makes me want take my life and live it to the fullest every day so I don’t miss a beat. I hope everyone finds it as uplifting as I do. P.S. to all my southern girls who ever need an uplifting Chesney says, “Southern girls are God’s gift to the entire male population. There is absolutely no woman finer than one raised below the Mason-Dixon line and once you go southern may the good Lord help you-you may never go back.” Kenny loves us, what more could we ask for?


Filed under Music Videos, Song Analysis

Why Dolly Parton Kicks Butt

Last night I was looking for an interesting piece of country news to write about, but nothing I came across interested me. And then there she was, Dolly Parton. The CMT article shares how Dolly Parton has partnered up with NBC to produce TV-movies “based on her songs, stories and incredible life.” The article also says that Dolly hopes to capture a family audience with fun and inspirational themes in her movies. This article got me thinking about how awesome Dolly Parton is; I mean what hasn’t she done at this point?

Her talent never ceases to amaze me. Dolly started performing when she was 13 and since then has had around 42 studio albums. She’s starred in numerous classic movies and TV shows such as my Grandma’s and Aunt’s all time favorite movie, Steel Magnolias (1989); A Smoky Mountain Christmas (1986), which my family watches every Christmas; 9 to 5 (1980); The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982); Reba (2005); and even Hannah Montana (2006, 2007, 2010), which I remember watching in 5th grade when it first aired.

Dolly has also been nominated for and won countless awards including 7 Academy of Country Music Awards, 3 American Music Awards, 9 Country Music Association Awards, 4 Peoples Choice Awards, and 8 Grammy’s; and up until recently she and Beyoncé were tied for the most Grammy-nominated women. Dolly Parton has also been inducted into 14 Halls of Fame. In addition to the entertainment awards, she has also received numerous philanthropic awards like the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service and the Partnership Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Plus, how many people do you know with their own Rodeo Dinner show (1988) AND Amusement Park (1986)?

Dolly Parton made a name for herself at a time when male entertainers mainly dominated country music. Despite any opinions about her personal life, Dolly’s successes as a businesswoman have been (and still are) inspirational to women of all ages. She is a strong face and representation of country music and has influenced many of today’s modern country artists, clearly shown by CMT’s All Time Top 40 list. Dolly finished in the 4th spot with nominations from Kenny Rogers, Luke Bryan, Charley Pride, Jennifer Nettles, Sara Evans, and many more.

Although it is not clearly stated in the article whether or not Dolly or her music will be featured, I can only assume this next project will be great.  Her number of accomplishments as an entertainer portray exactly why Dolly Parton kicks butt.


Filed under News, Women

Home Is Where the Rodeo Is

San Antonio, Texas. I hold so much pride for this city, seeing it is my hometown. There are so many unique aspects to the city whether it be Fiesta, the Alamo, or our five time NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs. Yes I love all of these things, but the one event I look forward to most is right around the corner. The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo is one of the best ways to experience the culture and music of country life. From the clothes to the food, this event has “country” written all over it. I have been to rodeos in other places such as Austin and Houston, but nothing compares to San Antonio’s. I think I may be biased in the fact that I call San Antonio home.

I remember my first rodeo like it was yesterday. I was a little six year old wearing a blue jean skirt, vest, cowboy boots, and a black cowboy hat. Needless to say I was dressed to the nines for the occasion. My dad took me and my friend early so we could walk around the rodeo grounds. After a short visit to the carnival, we finally went into the AT&T center and took our seats. We sat in the nosebleed section but watched each event in amazement. It didn’t matter where we were sitting, that we were there at all was good enough. Then it was time for the entertainment. Brooks and Dunn came on stage and I sang my little heart out. Having listened to country music since birth, this was the epitome of my six years of life. I have been hooked on the rodeo ever since.

My friends and I at our latest rodeo

My friends and I at our latest rodeo

My rodeo experience has come a long way since then. This past year I was fortunate enough to sit in the first row for the show. I knew I would never be able to experience a rodeo any other way. Being up close and personal with the rodeo clowns and cowboys was incredible. My friends and I sat with our boots up on the fence as cowboys riding horses passed by, occasionally kicking a bit of dirt our way. I have to admit though, it was a bit scary when the bulls came close to the fence.

Tim McGraw shaking my hand as he passed by

Tim McGraw shaking my hand as he passed by

Finally it was time for one of my favorite country artists to perform. I was on the edge of seat in anticipation. Tim McGraw gave one of the greatest shows I have ever experienced. He sang his new and old hits. Finally when he was finished performing he participated in a much loved post show ritual. He rode in the back of  a pickup truck saying “hi” to fans and shaking their hands. Words cannot describe how I felt when coming in contact with one of my favorite people. I know no rodeo experience will ever live up to that moment, and I owe it all to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.

I am so appreciative that I grew up in a city that allowed me to express my love of country music. Rodeo season is quickly approaching and once again I will be in attendance. This year I will be seeing Hunter Hayes. Yes, front row again. Hopefully I will be able to see more of my favorite artists this year, but going to school here in Austin makes it difficult to make it down for the shows. Maybe I will give the Austin Rodeo another go round, but I know there is nothing like home.

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Filed under Live Music

Nashville: New Episodes Starting Feb. 4

nashville-tv-show-1-480x240As an urban city dweller from northern Chicago who has quite literally “Gone to Texas,” my take on the hit TV series Nashville is most likely different than most. I am coming up on the end of my third year here at the University of Texas at Austin, but what brought me to the fine state of Texas is different than most: the weather. Two and half years ago I took my first step in Austin, Texas, ready to leave the cold weather behind and embrace the southern charm of a southern state. One thing I did not expect to like so much however, is country music.

While my country music education is not as extensive as some, I have found ways to immerse myself in the music outside of only listening to the country music radio station (which is how my taste for it all really started). One way I have done that is by watching the show Nashville. It began as something that linked my mother and I together, while being so far apart. It was something we could do together, without having to physically be together to watch it. But then, I was addicted.

I love the lifestyle in Nashville. I was fascinated by the simple lifestyle, even for the rich and famous. I love the Bluebird and have made it a point to add visiting the musical landmark on my bucket list. I was enthralled by the concept “old money” and the power that it gave its owners. But most of all, I loved the music.

My favorite music is that of the character Deacon Claybourne, more specifically though is the song “A Life That’s Good.”

The song is simple and sweet and while there is a sad undertone, it is still uplifting. This happens to be a recurring theme within the show. Things do not always go as planned, but family, and those that you love, are there through it all. I would say that most fans of the show are held captive by the drama of the show, most of which includes complicated love triangles and broken hearts. But if you can look beyond the glitter, the flashy lights, and the political hierarchy that runs the city of Nashville, what will capture your attention most is the music.

Artists flock to Nashville (in real life as well as the show), each looking for their “big break” and each contributing different necessities to the country music genre. Whether it is song writing, performing, or the few stars that can do it both, every contribution is important but also meaningful. It gives a look in to country music that is deeper than the surface, and in to what it really means. Every song is a story, a story that is told by a person or for a person. I cannot help but hear a country song now (or really any type of song for that matter) and wonder who the person was that wrote it. And what message are they trying to tell me? Thanks to the show Nashville, I have learned a lot about the genre, but also gained much more appreciation for the artists.

The highly anticipated premiere after the holiday TV vacation airs this upcoming Wednesday, February 4th.

Visit the show’s website.

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Filed under Movies and TV, Nashville Sound, Reflection, Reviews

The Roots of Ernest Tubb

As I was reading Christine Warren’s Honky Tonk Debutante, I made a mental note at her mention of Ernest Tubb, the man credited with starting honky-tonk music. Tubb, nicknamed “The Texas Troubadour”, had an incredible influence on the sound of traditional country music, and as Warren stated, his hit song “Walking the Floor Over You” was the first honky-tonk hit and started the golden era of honky-tonk music. While Ernest Tubb is an important figure for every country music fan, he is especially notable for me. Before Tubb gained worldwide fame and recognition, he got his start in my hometown, good old San Angelo, Texas.

For those of you who haven’t heard of San Angelo, it is located right smack dab in the middle of Texas, far isolated from any interstates or big cities. It never rains (at one point last year we had just 15 months left in our water supply), and there really isn’t anything to do for entertainment. It’s a typical West Texas oil town.

One thing there is to do in San Angelo is see live music. Texas Country artists like Aaron Watson and Kyle Park are always playing at Midnight Rodeo, and local singers play at bars around town. Famous artists like George Strait and Lee Ann Rimes used to play at the San Angelo Rodeo before they made it big, so there is also lots of history in the city’s music scene.

San Angelo country singer Case Hardin

But as I mentioned above, San Angelo’s real claim to fame is the place that gave Ernest Tubb his start. Tubb moved to San Angelo from San Antonio in 1939, and was given a daily radio show on a local station, where he was paid $2.50 a day. The wage for the radio show wasn’t enough to support his family, so he also drove a beer delivery truck for $2 a day, plus 8 cents for each beer sold. In addition to his two jobs, he was known to set up on the street corner to play his guitar and sing for passersby. Tubb liked San Angelo so much that he wrote the song “Beautiful San Angelo”. Just four years after moving to San Angelo, Tubb was a member of the Grand Ole Opry and in the middle of a career which saw him collaborate with singers like Loretta Lynn, and even garnered him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Tubb was instrumental in the sound of honky-tonk music, and none of it would have been possible without his short time in San Angelo.

Ernest Tubb’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame


Filed under Classic Country, Honky Tonk, Live Music, Reflection, Texas, Uncategorized