Unexpected Influences

Note: This is an example of Blog Post 5.

Country music has been a huge influence on me as a person ever since I can remember. Everyone knows that I am passionate about the genre and constantly listen to it throughout each day. The genre has instilled beliefs and values into me that make me the man I am today, and I am thankful for that. I will even go as far as to say I would be a much different person if I had never adopted listening to country music. Although I have been around country music all my life, I still have a lot to learn from it. When I signed up for this class I expected to learn a lot about the genre, but wasn’t sure specifically what it would be.

PATThe first activity I completed this semester was to go see a live country show. I have been to so many country concerts in my life, and didn’t think this one would be any different. The only thing I did differently at this concert was to be aware of how this environment influenced me at that particular moment. The concert I chose to attend was a Pat Green concert here in Austin at the Fiesta Gardens. The concert was smaller than a usual Pat Green concert, because he was playing for a student organization to help them raise money for charity. The concert was as anyone would expect. People dressed in jeans and cowboy hats, and of course beer and fried food were being sold. What this concert taught me was how important a good venue is for a concert. The Fiesta Gardens is an open-air venue surrounded by a large lawn, setting the perfect tone for country music. The barn like feel gets you excited to hear country music, and the food and drinks that are available also set a good tone. When picking concerts to go to I now research the venue beforehand to see if looks fitting, I would recommend doing this.

COUPLANDThe second activity I completed was to go two stepping at a dancehall. I went to The Old Coupland Dancehall in Coupland, Texas. I went just last week, and there was a small country cover band playing. It is safe to say I have two left feet, and openly despise dancing. Despite that, I was forced onto the dance floor at the beginning of the night for what felt to be the longest three songs of my life. What this experience taught me was that you do not have to be listening to a big name singer to enjoy a dancehall. This cover band was a local Austin cover band that no one knows; yet I still had a great time. Now I am confident that I can go into a small dancehall on a random night when a local band is playing. After all I could have just as much fun doing that as I do seeing a famous artist.

Last Sunday I ended my semester activities by watching the Academy of Country Music Awards. The event was held in Las Vegas this year and hosted by Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley. When I watched the awards I noticed how many people it takes to make an album or send a star on tour. During the acceptance speeches the artists often spoke of many names that I did not recognize that helped them earn the award. All the fans hear about is the stars, not about the producer who is working long hours to make sure the album is perfect. We also don’t hear about band managers or the guys that are working behind the scenes at a concert. These people are just as important and need more recognition.

All in all I have learned more about country music this semester than I would have ever imagined. It is something I enjoy learning about, and am eager to learn more. I have now realized I have so much more to learn, its just a matter of opening my eyes and looking at the music and its surrounding in more depth. I am excited to continue my journey of learning about country music, and cant wait to see what else the genre has to offer me.


Filed under Austin, Awards, Blog Post 5, Dancing, Texas

4 Responses to Unexpected Influences

  1. Cassidy Wilson

    Walker, I 100% relate to everything you said about country music meaning so much to you. I recently noticed how big of a role it actually plays in my life and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I also saw Pat Green at Fiesta Gardens! Are you talking about when he played their for for “Texas Cowboy’s Harvest Moon”? Because thats when I went and it was so much fun! If we are talking about the same concert, I agree the atmosphere was really cool and totally gave a barn-feel. I haven’t heard much about Old-Copland Dancehall but I’ll have to check it out. My friends and I actually really enjoy cover bands, so it’s sounds like something we’d be interested in. Your experiences with country music this semester seemed to have been really fun! Good post!

  2. Erin McWilliams

    Loved reading your post. I wish you had pictures from Coupland Dance Hall–sounds like it ended up being a good time, and your picture from Pat Green is great! It’s interesting to note what you learned through all these experiences because otherwise, you probably wouldn’t have thought too much about what the experience taught you; we tend to overlook that unless we are told to be aware of it! I totally agree with you about the awards ceremony… you never know how much work and how many hands go into an album until all 10 of them are up there receiving the award!!

  3. Drew Scherger

    I think its interesting that you point out that country music shaped who you are because I can see that with myself and my family. My Grandmother on my dad’s side was a huge Johnny Cash fan and I think she saw something in that music that she wanted her kids to also appreciate. I agree that a concert venue can have a big influence on how much you enjoy the show. I feel like some music (such as country) kind of naturally fits an outside venue. I’ve never been to Coupland, but I’m familiar with being at an old dancehall. I’m also not a big fan of dancing but I feel like I can still appreciate the music and the history of the venue.

  4. Olivia English

    This was a really fun post to read! I think it’s cool that you can still learn a lot from country music and experiences surrounding country music, even after growing up with it your whole life. I definitely agree that the location for a concert is important – I saw the same band twice this past year, but absolutely loved one performance and couldn’t stand the other. Props to you for getting out on the dance floor and being a good sport! As for the ACM Awards, it definitely is important to give recognition to the people behind the scenes, especially because they’re the ones doing all the work that makes the stars look so amazing to the rest of us.

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