College and Country: how country music has transformed my college experience

Note to students: This is an example of Blog Post 5, which asks you to reflect on the experiences you have had with country music outside of class.

This year I have been so blessed to experience so many fun nights and adventures–and I owe several of these good times to the thrilling Austin country music scene. Here are a few of the fun things I have gotten to do this semester:

Brad Paisley Concert. It was early on in the school year but the Brad Paisley concert was quite an experience. Believe it or not it was my first country music concert ever. Of course I had been before to events where country bands were playing, but this was my first time seeing a big country star live. Pat Green opened for Brad which was exciting because I had heard of him and knew a few of his songs. They both played their hits and some other songs I had not heard before. The night was slightly rainy before but it cleared up for the concert and the weather was perfect. I danced and sang with my friends until the final song. It was the perfect first country concert!

11261199_10205049372816338_4008965929679170115_nDance Across Texas (formerly Midnight Rodeo). Earlier in the semester a couple of my friends and I decided spontaneously to go two-stepping on a thursday night. It was labor day weekend and we were ready to kick it off by dancing the night away at Dance Across Texas. When we arrived we found that the entry fee had escalated quite a bit from before the transition from Midnight Rodeo. We were so excited to dance that it didn’t matter. We snapped a few pics and then ran inside to the tune of a familiar country song. My friends and I danced and sang all night long amongst the elderly folk, true Texan cowboys, and pool playin’ rednecks. Several times we formed a circle and danced with some elderly ladies who knew how to bust a move or two. The night was one to remember and I am looking forward to another spontaneous trip to Dance Across Texas!

Nashville. For my final country music experience I watch the pilot episode of the hit TV series Nashville. I’ll just say this–it was FANTASTIC. I’m honestly probably going to be hooked on it from here on out. The episode deals with an issue we have discussed in class, which made me feel like I had some insight that I would not have had otherwise. The main character Rayna has hit a point in her career where she is a little too old to be selling #1 hits and her label is losing money. They ask her to join tours with an up-and-coming country music diva Juliette Barnes. Rayna is so dismayed that her label would make her open for this young artist that she walks out on them. This reminded me of our class discussion on outlaws. Rayna is an example of a country music artist who will not allow her label to define her or stoop to the level of an opening act after building her career for over twenty years. I strongly recommend this show to anyone who is interested in learning about the business side of country music.

I’m so thankful for the fun times I have had this semester and I owe it to my country music class for pushing me to do things that I would not have even known about or considered before this year.


Filed under Blog Post 5, Dancing, Live Music, Movies and TV, Reflection

8 Responses to College and Country: how country music has transformed my college experience

  1. Kelby Floerke

    That is so great that this class is pushing you to go out of your comfort zone! This class has taught me to think about things that I had never really thought about, like how country music really has changed over the decades and not just here in the past 10 years. I am so jealous that you got to go to the Brad Paisley concert. I wanted to go really bad, but I had something due the next day for school so I wasn’t able to go. I also want to see the TV show, Nashville, it sounds really interesting!

  2. Lauren Harris

    College is definitely a time to experience things outside your comfort zone and shapes who you are. I am jealous you got to see Pat Green and Brad Paisley because I love both of them and that is an amazing first country concert to go to. I am glad you took this class to discover a new genre of music that you may not have known a lot about. My roommate watches Nashville and loves it and I really want to watch it now too! They music that has come out of that show is incredible and the two little girls are my favorite for sure. You have done a lot of cool things with country music this semester and I hope you continue to do more.

  3. Adam Keyrouze

    I’m so glad someone else takes advantage of all the opportunities and concerts here at UT when it comes to the country music culture. When I first came here, I thought I was going to be one of the ones who didn’t fit in as much as others because I didn’t live and breathe country music. But it has actually been quite the opposite since i have came here. Ironically, in my opinion, here at UT more people I feel most of the people who wear the cowboy hats and jeans and boots do it for fashion and style and not because of the country culture. Most of everyone I have met here don’t really care for country music and that has been very surprising to me since we are still in the state of Texas!

  4. Talia

    Reading your post made me so excited to do my final blog post! I am still super upset that I talked myself out of going to Brad Paisley. I really wanted to go and was super excited but my friends ended up not going, the weather wasn’t great, and I couldn’t find anything to wear…I made up plenty of excuses. I’m glad you had a good time! I have seen Pat Green a couple times and he’s a great entertainer. Now I still have to see Brad Paisley sometime though. I wanted to go to Midnight Rodeo all of last year and never went. I’m actually supposed to go to Dance Across Texas in a couple weeks for my friends birthday so I can finally mark that off my Austin List of Things To Do. I’m sad to hear the price went up though; I am a poor college student. I have heard so many people like Nashville, after I finish New Girl I will have to check it out! I definitely agree though about how you saw Nashville differently because of our class, I have thought that about multiple things myself since starting our class! Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. Matt Wills

    Great post! Going to school in Texas is such a unique experience, and really unlike any other college experience in the nation, and I legitimately believe that this class has helped me realize that. Whether its dancing at a Texas honky-tonk or attending the Zac Brown Band concert last night, this class helps all of us take advantage of Austin’s amazing music scene. As an out of stater, the Texas culture was completely foreign to me at first, however, after spending more than a year here, I can confidently say that Texas is one of the coolest places I’ve ever had the pleasure of being and I feel so grateful for the opportunity to live in such a great state. I had no idea that my country music class would impact my overall life here so greatly.

  6. Claudia Boyd

    This was an awesome final blog post! I loved that you incorporated your college experience in it so that we were really able to see your perspective in the post. For my final blog post, like you I started and became absolutely obsessed with the hit show, Nashville. Planning on only watching a few, I am now on episode 10 i believe, it is addicting to say the least. I wish I had gone to the Brad Paisley concert as well but I guess I just didn’t see the announcement in time. Thank you for sharing your country music adventures thus far, I loved your post.

  7. Kayla Miracle

    Darah, I love this final blog post! I can always hear you saying these things whenever I read them which proves what a strong writing voice you have. I love that you weren’t that into country music before the class began and now you have some background and an appreciation of it. I’m still so jealous that you got to go to the Brad Paisley concert, I think that would’ve been so fun. He seems like he would give such an enthusiastic performance – I’ve also heard that he’s super funny. Ok, I need to go country dancing in Austin. Everyone always talks about it and I have to experience it because it seems like one of the most fun things to do here. Honestly, starting the show Nashville today because I’ve heard waaaay too many good things about it from people in this class. I trust yalls judgment! Austin is such a terrific place to learn about country music and really take it in and I’m so glad you were able to do that this semester. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  8. Alyssa Buchanan

    Darah you have such a strong writing voice which makes your posts so much fun to read! Sad to hear about the escalated pricing for Dance Across Texas. I didn’t get to go to the Brad Paisley concert so I’m very jealous. Nashville seems like such an interesting show but I really don’t need any more excuses to start a new Netflix show, however that likely wont stop me. It’s funny how there are so many “everyday” things I would consider country music having any part of, and yet there are so many. Yay for final blog post! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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