Like Mother, Like Daughter

By Katerina Biancardi, March 1/27/15

The first CD I have memory of listening to was Shania Twain’s “Come on Over” album at age four. I sang my heart out and danced around to “Man! I feel like a Woman!” and “Honey I’m Home” in my red cowgirl boots. I made the living room my stage, and all my stuff animals, Barbie dolls, and parents were my audience. In my little girl mind I was a country star performer just like Shania Twain.

That Shania Twain CD I was so convinced was “mine” was actually my mother’s. File_000 (4)

My mother is from Gause, Texas. A small town a little over 35 miles northwest outside of College Station, and a population of about 400 people.

Growing up in small Texas town, my mother always told me listening to country music was a normal part of their lives. Eventually, my mother got out of Texas, but carried her deep Texas country roots wherever she went. She found herself with a job as the head women’s soccer coach Boston College. There, she met the assistant men’s basketball coach, Paul Biancardi, a city boy, born and raised (not exactly a country music kind of guy). One can finish the rest of the story; they fell in love and got married, and had me.

Although my dad was not a country music lover, he admired my mother’s deep Texas roots, and once he saw me as a little girl singing to Shania Twain he began to appreciate it. I remember in 2003 when the halftime of Super Bowl XXXVII was about to come on, he called all of us frantically to make sure we saw Shania Twain perform.

My immediate family, a community I have belonged to since birth, has influenced and shaped my love for country music. While Shania Twain, The Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, and the other country music women of the 90s played in my immediate’s family home more often than not, what really helped increase my love for country music was going to my mother’s home town Gause, Texas to visit my extended family.

IMG_7695During this time in Gause, Texas, we would go to rodeos and attend little country music concerts. Additionally, as my cousins became older and chose music as their career path, we’d have our own country jamboree right at my grandfather’s ranch. We would build a small dance floor, string lights around the trees, barbecue and make a bonfire. We’d invite nearby friends, but with at least 25 family members present it was already a party. My cousins played listening to George Straight and Johnny Cash, and we all sung and danced in our cowboy boots. My extended family is a second community that reinforced a positive feeling of country music. The two communities, my immediate family and my extended family, go hand in hand to shaping my love for country music.

About 3/5 of my mother's side of the family!If it were not for my mother’s strong Texas roots, I would never have developed a love for country music. As I grew older my immediate family and I moved all around the country. Therefore, I was able to see how various geographical areas have different music tastes. Nevertheless, my mother’s consistent love for country music, and the memories of spending time listening to country music with my extended family made country music always an easy choice to listen to.

Side note: There’s one more person I have to highlight once more. While country music was not my father’s particularly favorite genre, when Shania Twain came back on tour this past year, he purchased tickets for me before I had to ask. As my father does also remember when I was a little girl dancing to Shania Twain in the living room. Attending Twain’s concert certainly made me feel like that little girl again, and reminded me why I first loved country music.


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5 Responses to Like Mother, Like Daughter

  1. Mae

    Your post was very well written and very relatable, as it reminded me of myself as a little girl singing “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” whenever there was karaoke machine at a party. The Dixie Chicks and Shania were such big influences on us girls growing up in the 90’s, I can’t imagine what life would be like without those strong female leads to look up to. I didn’t make it to the Shania Twain reunion concert this year but I’m sure it was as much fun as I can imagine and I hope you’re going to the Dixie Chicks concert in August!

  2. Laura Morales

    I really enjoyed reading your post! Reading about when you were young and would sing along, reminded me of when I used to put on little performances around my house singing along to the music my parent’s really enjoyed! Your post also brought back memories of the Shania Twain reunion concert that I had the opportunity to attend. I had heard her music, but nothing compared to seeing her live! It was a huge production and it was really cool to see her riding and singing on the crane. My favorite part of the show might have been hearing everyone sing “Man I Feel Like a Woman” at the top of their lungs.

  3. Olivia English

    Your post was really interesting and enjoyable to read, Katerina! You did a great job of telling the story of your life, your mother’s, and all of the other factors that brought you to love country music the way you do. My dad is also originally from a pretty small town in Texas, and ended up moving all over the country as well. I can definitely relate to moving around and getting to know all different types of music, but it’s cool to hear how country stuck with you through all of your travels no matter what. I have family reunions in Kumla, Sweden every few years, and although we don’t listen to country music, I know how great the feeling is to be surrounded by friends and family and enjoying each others’ company over food and music!

  4. Shira Yoram

    We have a lot in common when it comes to our country music roots. My first country album was actually George Strait, but I also had the albums of the Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill and many other country artists you mentioned. I found it really interesting to hear about your back story of a mother who loves country music and a father who isn’t a big fan. My family is similar in that way too. My mom was also raised in Texas while my dad is from Israel. So my love of country music came from my mother’s side as well.

  5. Lottie Glazer

    I absolutely loved this post. It reminded me of being a little girl going on roadtrips in our giant suburban blasting Shania’s “Come on Over” CD. I remember when my mom finally got a new car and we were moving all of her stuff into it and we came across the CD again. We spent the next week listening to it on repeat. She is an extremely talented artist who definitely dignifies women to be strong and be themselves. She and the other artists you mentioned are what is amazing about country music. It truly brings people together.

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