So It Turns Out I Actually Love Country Music

I vividly remembering walking into the classroom for this course on a chilly January day. I remember sitting down in one of the rolling chairs and discussing the millionaire dollar question – what is country music and what about it makes it so, well, country? I had no idea what I was getting myself into then, but I’ve learned a heck of a lot along the way.

1. Lessons from Willie

IMG_4768To be honest, I didn’t really know a single thing about Willie Nelson before coming into this class. I read the Texas Monthly write-up on the statue, and I love that the statue was put there to help keep Austin weird, especially since Outlaw country singer Willie Nelson certainly has helped our city do just that. I also love the fact that our city changed the street name to “Willie Nelson” in his honor, seeing as how he’s part of what has made our great city the Live Music Capital of the world (and that’s far weirder than “2nd street”).

The funny thing though is that all I had heard about him was that he was a pot-smoking hippy still recording country music. But after studying him in class, especially seeing the clear cut picture of him as a young boy, it’s amazing to see just how much he changed his image over the years. That made me realize and gain a new respect for country artists who don’t just change to fit an ‘image’, but rather, those who are born a country boy or cowboy and just make music as one (like, you got it, good ole Chris LeDoux).

2. Reading the Texas Music Magazine
For Blog 5While reading the Texas Music Magazine the other day, I stumbled across this particularly intriguing article about Kacey Musgraves, a young singer-songwriter from a small, East-Texas town who is, as they said, “taking Nashville by storm.” The article discussed a hit single (“Merry Go ‘Round”) she wrote off of an album she released a few years ago. The chorus includes a little something like this “Mama’s hooked on Mary Kay / Brother’s hooked on Mary Jane / and Daddy’s hooked on Mary two doors down.”

These subversive lyrics, and especially hearing how Musgraves and some fellow cowriters came up with them, shocked me a bit – these are very real struggles in a small town. When I came into this class, I truly thought the stereotype about country was true: that songs had to talk about romance (or cheating), drinking, or trucks or something to be “country.” However, this song helped me realize just how clever and realistic country can be too!

3. Two-Stepping at a Dance Hall
FullSizeRender (2)Now, I’m not the most coordinated guy out there, and I had actually been out country dancing once or twice last semester, but I didn’t particularly enjoy myself – the dance floor was too packed and I was too focused on the proper movements. I’ve had lots of practice since then though, and going to Dance Across Texas on Saturday night with my fiancé and a bunch of other couples was a blast! I genuinely enjoyed not only dancing, but especially listening to the nice country tunes that were playing.

My perception of country music has completely changed over the past few months. I came in judging the genre according to incorrect stereotypes that I’ve already explained a little, as well as being naive about artists within the genre, and I’m finishing this course recognizing that I truly, legitimately love country music now. I can’t wait for another chance to go to a Country Western dance hall, enjoying the dancing and the music.


Filed under Austin, Blog Post 5, Dancing, Reflection, Song Analysis

3 Responses to So It Turns Out I Actually Love Country Music

  1. Max Holter

    This was awesome! Nothing beats a story with a dynamic main character. I think that it is awesome how open you were to submerge yourself in country music. I am becoming a big fan of these fifth blog posts because it just ends happily. I thought this was really well written, and a fun read. Just like you I wasn’t so sure about country music until I took this class, and really fell in love with it. I thought the hyperlink’s included only made this strong article even stronger. I really can’t think of enough good things to say about this, it was just really really good! great final post!

  2. Adrian Ortiz

    I really enjoyed reading about your experiences. I could relate a little bit to be honest. Before I started this class I basically did not know anything about country music, yeah I had heard some songs before and knew some of the artist’s names but that was about it (and I also thought Willie Nelson was just a pot-smoking hippie). But now that I’m almost done with the class I feel like I learned a great deal and actually like country music a lot. Unlike you I haven’t had the guts to go two-stepping but after reading your final blog posts and many others I’m starting to think it’s a good idea. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Julie Kleberg

    I really enjoyed this post. The title is great because it shows you really took a lot out ofthis course. Also great selfies too! haha. I like the part about the texas music magazine because that was one of the ones I wrote about too. I thought it was really interesting diving into a magazine I probably wouldn’t pick up otherwise. I also really enjoy the part about two stepping in a dance hall because that is one of my favorite things in the world to do. Looks like you really explored the world of country music during this semester. Great post!

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