Author Archives: Amy Burt

The Country Side of American Idol

UnknownWhether it was Sanjaya’s bizarre Mohawk, Simon Cowell’s cranky comments or Ryan Seacrest’s charming persona, American Idol was by far my favorite show to watch with my family as a child. The peak of its popularity was while I was in elementary school, captivating its viewers by showing the journey of each contestant from the moment they tried out, all the way until they made it to the big stage in Los Angeles. What most people might not realize is how much American Idol has contributed to the country music industry. Almost every season of American Idol produced a country singer, whether they were first place or not. Lets now go through a few contestants who have added to the success of country over the past ten years.

Unknown-1 Carrie Underwood:

Carrie was the winning contestant in Season four, and is no question the most famous artist that has ever come out of American Idol. She’s one of the hottest artists in country right now holding number 26 on iTunes Top Purchased Songs for her single “Something in the Water” and has won several awards for her work. Only some of her awards consist of six Grammy’s, sixteen Billboard Music Awards, and eleven Academy of Country Music Awards. Not only does her record breaking music success have girls all over aspire to be like her, but also her famously toned legs, attractive NHL player husband and the fact that she is insanely gorgeous contribute to that. Her powerful voice captivated millions of music listeners when she won in Season four, and has consistently been loved ever since.

Unknown-3 Scotty McCreery:

As the winner of Season ten, Scotty McCreery stole the hearts of viewers all over at a mere age of seventeen. This North Carolina native shockingly has one of the deepest voices I have ever heard that is undoubtedly country. His most famous songs that are out right now are “Feelin’ It” and “See You Tonight”. After seeing him live at the Orange County fair, I loved him way more than I ever thought that I would. He was such an incredible performer, and so down to earth. He was just so interactive with the audience and you could tell that he was my age by the way that he was acting. After the concert I followed him on Instagram and saw that his posts were so normal that you wouldn’t be able to tell that he was famous just by viewing his profile. To this day he is one of my favorite performers because of his amazing personality and his catchy music.

UnknownKellie Pickler:

Even though she wasn’t the winner of the show, she still had some success in country. Her high, twangy voice and thick country accent caused country fans to be attracted to her. She has come out with four albums since she has been eliminated on the show, and is arguably more successful than the actual winner of her season, Taylor Hicks. Many people compared her to Carrie Underwood while she was going through the show, however she put forth a lot of effort to stand out as an original artist. My personal favorite single of hers is “Best Days of Your Life” because of its catchy tune and lyrics that make you want to sing along.


Filed under Lists, Movies and TV

The Coachella of Country

405096_3599075787548_2122838743_nWhen I first came to Texas many people asked me if I have ever been to Coachella, a music festival similar to ACL held in Palm Desert, which is about 2 hours from my house. I never have been to Coachella but every year in high school I went to Stagecoach, which was basically the same thing except all country music. When I say basically the same thing I mean its put on by the same company, held at the same venue, and its always one weekend after Coachella. I’m really surprised more people don’t know about Stagecoach here, I guess Coachella just gets more advertising.

The venue its held at is actually professional polo fields so there are horse stables all around which only add to the country atmosphere. There are five stages set up throughout the venue, the big one is called the “Mane Stage” (get it like a horses mane) and then there are four smaller ones. There’s also barns set up with food and dance floors inside where people can go to two step, or if you’re me you just went there to get some shade and escape the heat.

IMG_2729The last year I went to Stagecoach was my senior year and it was by far the best year. I got to see Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Toby Keith, Zac Brown Band, and Dierks Bentley. My favorites were Darius and Dierks by far though; they were having so much fun on stage it was contagious for anyone else watching. Darius kept encouraging the crowd to line dance with him, which in hindsight was not the best idea because I was standing in a mosh pit of people trying to dance so everyone was getting pushed around. Despite the blistering heat throughout the day, my friends and I went right as the gates opened at noon, and stayed until they closed after the last performer that night.

It was so amazing seeing the range of people that were all being entertained by the performers. I went with five of my high school girlfriends and we all saw my 30-year-old cousin with her husband and baby, and also my 60-year-old neighbor sitting in a lawn chair with his wife. Ironically enough, I also ended up meeting my roommate for the first time when we were at one of the smaller stages watching Old Crow Medicine Show perform and resting in the shade. This all just goes to show how country music brings people of all ages together to have a great time and enjoy the feel-good music.


Filed under Live Music

My Dad, Tim McGraw and I

People here in Texas wouldn’t expect for me to be a country music fan because I am from California, but I actually grew up listening to country music. My dad’s country music albums were constantly playing in our house as a kid, so my brother and I basically grew up listening to it. The first concert that I ever went to was just my dad and I, and we watched Pat Green play at the Staples Center when I was eight. Ever since then, going to country concerts has always been something that I do with my dad.

IMG_0572The summer going into my senior year in high school my dad surprised me with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw concert tickets that he had gotten through his work. They were playing at Angel’s baseball stadium and our tickets were sitting right on the field in front of the stage. They weren’t exactly seats, they were just a general area that you could stand it right in front of the stage so it was a little weird being in the mosh pit with a bunch of intoxicated young people while I was with my dad, but it was worth it for how close we were. We only caught the last few songs of Jake Owen (who was the opening act), which I was a little bummed about because I love a few of his songs. But then after that, Tim McGraw came on who is my favorite country music artist by far. He played a perfect mixture between his old and new songs, which was great because I knew pretty much all of them but my dad only knew the older ones so he got to hear the new songs he’s come out with. He was really interactive with the audience, which I thought was exciting and towards the end of his performance the sun was setting over the stage so it was a picture perfect moment for me.

IMG_0573As I am now looking back into my photo albums from the concert I realized that every single picture I took was of Tim, and I didn’t have a single picture from when Kenny Chesney performed. I think that was partially because it was dark by the time Kenny came on, and also maybe a little bit because I am a bigger fan of Tim McGraw. Kenny was an amazing performer however; he entered the stage on a blue chair while singing “Old Blue Chair” that was lowered from above the stage. Kenny explained to the crowd that his favorite thing in the world to do is travel to different beaches around the world, which explains why a majority of his music videos take place on the beach. His whole performance revolved around the paradise that he finds when he goes to exotic beaches so there were videos of gorgeous sunsets and waves constantly playing while he sang.

Overall, this was one of the best concerts that I have ever been to and I am still grateful that I got to go with my dad. I think country music gives off a feel-good vibe to its listeners and even more so for me because whenever I hear it, it reminds me of my childhood and all the concerts that I have gotten to go to with my dad.


Filed under Live Music, New Country, Reflection