Over the semester, I have thoroughly enjoyed furthering my knowledge of country music by our in class work, writing blog posts and essays. However, by doing this final post it certainly pieced various experiences that make up what is country music.
See a Live Country Music Show:
As part of my Country Experience reflection, I decided to see my cousin’s band, The Cody Sparks Band perform at the Wild West Cedar Park Night club. They were not only performing, but also promoting their new record. In that night alone I noticed one main thing:
Life in the country music business is tough. But starting out in Austin is the way to go. For example, while my cousin’s band is at the very, very beginning stages of their music careers, they found all their connections through going to shows, festivals, and being around and present.
Plus, I learned the process of writing an album, recording it, and getting the album on iTunes is a lot harder than one would think. They just finished theirs, “Sinners and the Saved”, and now they are booked every weekend playing at small venues like the Rattle Inn and Hole in the Wall, and while they are trying perform, they are also trying to sell merchandise and albums. However, seeing them dedicate their lives to it, and really care about this music they are performing is admirable, and everyone has to start out somewhere like at the Wild West Cedar Park Night club!
Movie: Walk the Line
I first saw “Walk the Line” as a kid, and when I saw it on the list I definitely wanted to re-watch it. Here are three things I learned and reflected based on watching “Walk the Line“:
-It’s hard to encompass the life of Johnny Cash in one film, but the movie clearly focused on the beginning of his career and life with June Carter. And boy, it was full of drama.
–Reese Witherspoon and June Carter are the definition of America’s sweethearts. And Witherspoon surely convinced the Academy after they awarded her Best Actress in 2006.
-My favorite scene was when the couple sings “Jackson.” I liked this because in class we watched the actual Johnny and June sing the song, and it was neat to compare and contrast how the Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon sang it in the movie.
Texas Music Monthly: Article
I came across this article in Texas Music Magazine about Kacey Musgraves. I was intrigued because first, I did not realize she was from Texas and two, I think she is very true to her music. Here are two things I learned:
-She’s a genuine country music songwriter. Her hit song, “Merry Go ‘Round” is based on her own personal experience of living in a small town. Plus, through that song alone, you can tell she has humor and a personality.
-Musgraves mentioned how she likes songs that make her think, such as ones by Willie Nelson and John Prine. I think Willie and Musgraves would be friends. Although Musgraves isn’t Outlaw Country, she’s certainly sing about wider ideas than the normal conservative country artist, which is outside the norm. An example of this is her song, “Follow Your Arrow.”
Wrap It All Up
To say the least, my perception of country music has definitely evolved. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being know nothing to 10 being an expert like Prof. Dusty, I realized quickly I was about a 4. Now, I would say I am about 7. I understand the complexity of what makes up country music and have much more of appreciation of the genre as a whole. We took to the time to learn the history, which is something I enjoyed. So wrap up how these three experiences play into that evolution is:
-Experiencing my cousin’s band perform made me reflect how all artists we have talked about had to start somewhere, and they all have their unique story. Plus the effort it takes one to dedicate their lives to the industry is a lot, so they better love it!
-Seeing Walk the Line with fresh eyes certainly made me more aware of the life of the Cash’s, but also helped me reflect on how movies shape our perception of country music. And although there can be debate as to how well the movie represented Cash’s life, I think they did the best job they could, and I enjoyed the both actors actually singing music!
-Reading the article by Kacey Musgraves, made realize although every artist’s music is a representation of who they are, learning more about their personal story and who influenced their music is really intriguing. Because then you understand who really are and how their music mirrors that.
Thanks Prof Dusty for making going to class fun: we got to listen and talk about country music!