Keaton’s Experiences in Country Music


This class has really taught me a whole lot about country music that I didn’t know before. Through experiences such as two-stepping at Midnight Rodeo, seeing the Willie Nelson statue in downtown Austin, reading about Billy Bob’s in the Texas Music Magazine and watching the ACM Awards, I have earned a great deal of respect for the entire country music scene and view country music in a whole new light.


Throughout this semester I have learned so much about country music and the whole country music scene in general We have covered everything from the roots of country music, to the greats like George Strait, to good ol’ Texas country, brand new country and beyond. I felt like I knew a lot about country music coming into this class, especially being from Cowtown, or Fort Worth, Texas. I could have never imagined just how much about county music I have learned from this class. Doing the experiences for this class have also really helped me to appreciate just how much country music has had an impact not just on me, but on the entire music community.

One of the best experiences I have had with country music, not just this semester, but in general, was two-stepping at a few dance halls in Austin and Fort Worth. I think one of the most important things about country music is that you are able to two-step to it. Not only was learning how to two step fun for me, I also enjoyed just watching people dance around the floor. Anytime a “classic” song came on, there was a whole mix of young and old people who seemed to appear out of nowhere, singing the words and dancing along, it was a really nice experience to see.

Speaking of dance halls, the article I read over Billy Bob’s was actually a really great article. It’s always a bit nostalgic to read anything pertaining to Fort Worth. As I mentioned earlier, I was born and raised just outside of Fort Worth, so I’ve spent a lot of time in the Stockyards and been to the Rodeo and Billy Bob’s a good number of times. I felt like I was an expert of everything to do with Fort Worth coming into the class. However, on one of the very first weeks of class, we read a chapter from “Honky Tonk Debutante” that was all about Fort Worth, and I learned a whole bunch of stuff about the history of Fort Worth that I never knew about, so that was something really cool to me, and it made me really appreciate this class.

Another thing I did this semester was actually sit down and watch the ACM awards. I used to watch that every year with my grandparents, but hadn’t watched in a few years when the whole “Bro-country” music scene started to take over. Even still, I sat down and watched it this year, and was actually pleasantly surprised by the show. Now, that doesn’t mean I agree with everyone that won some of the awards, but I think that happens with any awards show I watch, but still, I felt like the ACM show had a really good mix of old and new country. They even kicked off the show with one of my favorites, the King of Country, George Strait. I watched this year with a more open mind to some of the newer artist that performed, and actually found myself enjoying their performances as well as those of my favorites like Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson.

Overall, this class has taught me so much about the history and the meaning behind a lot of things relating to country music. We learned about everything from themes that frequently appear, to the lyrics used, to the structure of the songs. Now, every time I listen to country music I find myself actually trying to find the meaning of the song, instead of just listening for the fun of it. I have a whole new sense of appreciation for country music thanks to this class, and I find myself enjoying every little experience I have with it. From country standards like two-stepping, to something as simple as seeing the statue of Willie Nelson in the middle of busy downtown Austin, this class has opened my eyes to a whole new world of country music and I know that this newfound sense of appreciation will stick with me for a long time.


Filed under Austin, Awards, Class work, Classic Country, Country Pop, Dancing, Reflection, Storify

4 Responses to Keaton’s Experiences in Country Music

  1. Jordanne Mickle

    I agree with the fact that I thought I knew a lot about country music, but was pleasantly surprised within the first few weeks of the class. Maybe now that you know some more history of Fort Worth, you can visit some of the places mentioned and see them either for the first time or see them in a new light. I also think an important aspect of a song is whether or not you can two-step to it. At Midnight, “Take Your Time” came on and we all decided it was not a two-steppin’ song even though there were people on the floor. Yay for new-found appreciation of country music!

  2. Shannon Smith

    I loved your post. I also decided to go to Midnight Rodeo and had a blast. It really looks like you had a great time working on this project. I wasn’t able to watch the ACM show this year, but it is nice to hear that they didn’t just feature new country. Every time I listen to a country song I do the same thing. I am always trying break it apart and discover the real meaning. My co workers now consider me the expert because I know such a wide variety of country music.

  3. James Pruitt

    I think our country music tastes are very similar, so I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs this semester. Billy Bob’s is definitely a place I want to go to, so I’m jealous that you’ve been able to spend so much time in Fort Worth. Good post!

  4. Thanks, Keaton. Your Storify and notes here show that you experienced country music in a lot of ways this semester, and I found it interesting that you seemed to be doing some things for the first time but also revisiting a lot of other things (like the Fort Worth musical scene) that you had done plenty of times before. How do you think your new appreciation for country music (as you put it) will influence how you listen or dance to it in the future?

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