Monthly Archives: March 2015

“Take Your Time” Video Has a Surprising Theme

imageEvery morning on my drive to school, I listen to The Bobby Bones Show broadcast on a country radio station in Austin. During spring break while listening, Bobby, the show’s head personality, was discussing Sam Hunt and his newly released music video for “Take Your Time”. Interestingly enough, the music video revolves around domestic violence, a highly publicized topic in the media since Ray Rice was charged with assault on his wife in 2012. After having listened to the song, I was surprised by the message of the video; it seemed to me like a song about romance, and a guy who wants to treat a girl right. After much discussion on the radio about how the music video fits with the song, I decided it was worth looking into.

The video opens with a confusing fight scene between two unrecognizable people, and the song starts with Sam Hunt walking away from the camera. The video alternates between these two people interacting and Hunt walking down a street. Hunt and the woman have multiple run-ins, but don’t actually interact. This woman takes care of cleaning up after her boyfriend, evident by the large quantity of beer bottles in their home. After the first chorus, the woman and her boyfriend are seen fighting, which takes an emotional toll on the woman. After he gets in a fight in the bar, the couple gets into a fight and he hits her. She proceeds to lock herself in their room while he is outside the door, and begins packing her clothes and her son to move. As she’s about to get into the car, her husband starts hitting her again. Sam Hunt comes up off the street and intervenes, allowing the girl to get away. The video closes out with the boyfriend walking off and the woman and baby safe, but with a large bruise on her cheekbone.

After watching the video, I can completely see how the song connects with the theme of the music video. His lyrics say “I don’t want to steal your freedom”, which clarifies that his intentions are only to help her, instead of taking advantage of her vulnerability in the situation. He also states that “[he] ain’t gotta call you mine”, implying that his interest is more focused in helping her with her situation than fulfilling his desires. Overall, I thought the music video was extremely relatable and deeply intertwined with the lyrics of the song. Sam Hunt portraying a character who acts a Good Samaritan is a great image to perpetuate as he gains more momentum in the music industry. I fully support the belief that the song and the movie follow the same plot line, and I think Hunt does a good job bringing a negative situation to public attention without being depressing.

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Filed under Music Videos, Reviews

The Good Kind of Country Music

A couple of weekends ago, a handful of my friends and myself packed up a change of clothes, jumped in the car, and made our way to College Station. We were making our way to hang out with a couple of our sorority sisters as well as attend the probate of the brothers of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. I was excited to be taking a mini-road trip to escape the stress of school for the weekend and to clear my mind with a nice drive down some country roads.

Since I was the one who would be driving, that meant that I also had control of the radio. Because I knew that my sisters are not big fans of country music, I took this into consideration and kindly turned the dial to a pop station. We got a good thirty minutes of Adam Levine, Taylor Swift, and Iggy before I had to find another station. Unfortunately (for them), shortly after we passed the Austin city line and made our way further into the country we began to lose signal of the pop station and I was forced to turn to a different station.

After browsing through the stations for quite some time, I finally came across a radio station that caught my attention. “Young,” by Kenney Chesney was playing. When I heard this song I initially had passed the station up but as I realized what song it was that was playing, I quickly returned to the station. It reminded me of intermediate school; eighth grade to be exact. It brought back memories of the group of friends I had in intermediate school, the little rebellious phase we went through, and how we would be going our different ways in high school. This type of country music reminded me of my time as a child, growing up listening to country music on trips to Corpus Christi with my parents and siblings.

Next came some good ole George Strait, Reba, and Garth Brooks. I had missed this kind of country music being played on the radio; today’s country music radio consists of artists like Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, and Sam Hunt (who I personally wouldn’t even consider country). I couldn’t really remember the last time I had listened to country music on the radio and actually enjoyed it. It wasn’t really until I spent an entire two hours listening to the country artists that I grew up listening to that I realized there was something wrong with today’s country radio. Today’s country music radio stations should follow the lead of this “Classic Country” radio station and I just might start listening to country music on the radio again.


Filed under Classic Country, New Traditionalism

Welcome to Rodeo Houston

FullSizeRenderThe 2015 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) has sadly come to an end on this past March 22nd. Featuring artists from all different genres, such as pop, alternative rock and country, Rodeo Houston is a hub for great music. It is also a great place to let loose, eat good food, and watch champion bull riders! Besides the show my favorite part of the rodeo is the calf scramble. While I personally never participated in the calf scramble, my little brother did, and my dad is part of the calf scramble committee. Therefore I get to be up close and personal with it every year.

Now for those of you that don’t know, HLSR gives kids the chance of winning a $1500 scholarship if they catch a calf. The scholarship will fund their FFA and 4H projects for the upcoming year. They are also encouraged to show their heifer or steer at the next year’s livestock show. It is a great program that allows many kids to raise animals they wouldn’t have been able to if not for the scholarship. After the scrambling, the kids and audience get to enjoy another few events, and then (my 2nd favorite part) the CONCERT!

635624440226186392-DSC-0535This year I had the pleasure of seeing Blake Shelton and, boy, was it a great performance! He has a charisma on stage that makes the audience feel apart of the show. He talked about The Voice (, his wife Miranda and everyday life. My favorite thing he said was, “I’m sure there’s other things a lot of you dudes would rather have been doing tonight than sitting in here listening to me sing, but I want you to know that you did it for the right reasons—you did it because she wanted you to come out here.”(Blog) There were quite a few headshakes from men in the audience but when he followed up with “Doin’ what she likes” the men grabbed their sweet hearts and swayed right along.

Apart from playing all of his new radio hits he went back to the very first song he ever wrote. “Austin” separated the long time Blake fans from the newly acquired ones and brought everyone back to where he started. Since then he has grown into a great musician and entertainer.

I encourage everyone to go to the rodeo at least once in his or her life because it’s a unique experience. I mean riding rides at the carnival, eating funnel cakes and watching barrel racers isn’t an everyday thing for most people. I highly anticipate the rodeo every year and really enjoy it every time I go!


Filed under Live Music, Reflection, Reviews, Texas

Religion is a Country Music Trope.

Tuesday March 3rd, 2015 was a monumental day for Carrie Underwood. Carrie and husband Mike Fisher gave birth to a baby boy, Isaiah Michael Fisher. Carrie could be said to be the most popular female country artist of the decade. Underwood started with a solid fan base after winning American Idol. This is possibly why she was so successful on the Billboard Top 100 in addition to country music charts. Carrie is one of my favorite artists but not solely because of her music. She has great style, values, and holds herself with grace. I may not know her personally but I think she just has just a wonderful presence that surrounds her. Now in class there has been discussion about whether or not religion is a trope of country music. I believe that in Underwood’s case it is a very big part of her and her music. Her newest single “Something in the Water” has to do with how a person’s life changes after they have been baptized. The song also includes lyrics from “Amazing Grace”. Another attribute of the song is that it is not only on the Top Charts for the Billboard Top 100 but also is on the Hot Christian Songs Chart.

In addition to “Something in the Water”, a good portion of Underwood’s older songs also contains some references of religion. Another example would be “Jesus Take the Wheel”. “Jesus Take the Wheel” was released on Underwood’s debut album Some Hearts in 2005. This was Underwood’s first Christian-Country crossover hit and could be said to be her most successful single thus far. “Jesus Take the Wheel” won numerous awards, including two Grammy’s and an Academy of Country Music.

Others like “Inside Your Heaven” and “Just a Dream” are two other songs that religion is a theme. Both Underwood and the runner-up of American Idol, Bo Bice, released “Inside Your Heaven”. Underwood’s version of the song excelled with approximately double the amount of copies sold than Bice’s. “Just a Dream” is a song about loss and heartbreak. This song is sad in depressing but it clearly illustrates the emotion of denial after one finds out a love one has passed.

Religion does not take place in all of Underwood’s songs though. But seeing as how a number of her songs have religion in it, you can tell it is something she values. Also, if we look back at the birth of her son this past week we can tell she values religion in her life. Underwood and Fisher named their son Isaiah, which is a biblical name.


Filed under Country Pop, Music Videos, Song Analysis, USA, Women

Crawfish and Country Music

Thanks to cold temperatures, rain, and “ice”, the last few weeks in Austin have felt more like Seattle than Texas. Because of this, the 60-degree forecast full of sun and devoid of precipitation for this past Saturday had me excited. While the weather alone could have brightened my mood, my enthusiasm was heightened because Mother Nature was cooperating for my favorite party of the year.

turnpike-truEvery March, my fraternity puts on our “Ranch” party. Good friends, crawfish, and most importantly live country music highlight the event. While past years have boasted big name artists such as Pat Green, I was ecstatic when I heard this year’s party would be featuring one of my favorite country artists, Turnpike Troubadours. While they are still a relatively small group, they have gained momentum in the last several years, even playing the ACL Music Festival this past October. Regardless of this being the third time I would be seeing them perform in the last year, I was still looking forward to the concert.

As people flocked to the crawfish tables, Shane Smith & the Saints took the stage as the warm-up act. Although I was not familiar with their music, I was quickly impressed by their sound. Lead vocalist Shane Smith had a great voice and was accompanied by a classic Texas country sound featuring a fiddle, guitar, drums, and bass. The band recently released their first album, a feat that was over two years in the making. The album, Coast, reflects the relationships and memories made while on the road in the years leading up to the release. They have a great sound and the album is definitely worth checking out.

While I was impressed with Shane Smith & the Saints, Turnpike Troubadours finally took the stage and stole the show like they have done every time I have seen them perform. All hailing from southeastern Oklahoma, the members of Turnpike Troubadours clearly enjoy performing. Lead vocalist Evan Felker truly knows how to take over a stage and engage an audience. He writes almost all of their songs and his passion is clearly evident when he performs. Aside from turning the microphone to the crowd or joking around with other band members on stage, they sounded just like they do in recordings and delivered a great show.

FullSizeRender (1)I chose their most recent album Goodbye Normal Street as my album to analyze for the current class project. My research really allowed me to see their performance in a new light compared to past shows. While songs like “Good Lord Lorrie” and “Gin, Smoke, Lies” have been some of my favorites since they were released in 2012, my research allowed me to listen to them differently this time. For example, I read in an interview with Felker that he writes almost all of his songs about authentic life experiences and real people that have crossed his path. Knowing that Lorrie is a real person with a real story helps explain the passion Felker sings with when performing the song.

Whether at historic Gruene Hall singing on the same stage as many of country music’s biggest names, at Zilker Park for ACL, or in the front yard of a college party, every time I have heard Turnpike Troubadours perform they have delivered the same genuine and authentic performance. They are bonded by their rural roots and sincerely enjoy performing their life experiences to a crowd, regardless of who it might be.


Filed under Americana, Austin, Live Music, Texas