Author Archives: Lynden

About Lynden

I'm Lynden Orr and I'm a big city girl who spent the last 6 years of my life in a small town. Moving from Charlotte, North Carolina to Boerne, Texas has given me a wide range of taste in country music. I've always loved the classics, like Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline, thanks to my country music singin' mom. But it wasn't until I came to Boerne that I truly appreciated everything from Honky Tonk to Texas country.

Country Music Summer Survival Guide

Summertime has become a country song cliche. But it’s no wonder there are so many songs about sunshine, sand and bikinis. Summer is great time of year! Country artists sing about reality and true feelings. Well, the joys of warm weather and vacation are real and worth singing about! This summer soak up the country music! Get your fill of country at a country music festival. I was surprised to see how few summer country music events are held in Texas. I found 3 Lone Star State festivals that sound awesome! For the Texas Country Crowd, Crudefest is in Midland may 14-16th. 3 full days of country! Audience members can set up camp on the grounds in a tent or RV. Lots of attendees bring 4 wheelers to sit in and watch the concert. Jason Boland, Josh Abbott, Whiskey Myers, Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen and Casey Donahew will be performing there.


Another Texas Country Festival is Homer’s Backyard Ball in Amarillo, Texas. It will be held May 16th. Performers include Granger Smith, Reckless Kelly, Randy Rogers Band, Hayes Carl and Kimberly Dunn. This festival also hosts a cook off and activities like mechanical bull riding. For those who like pop country The Texas Thunder Festival is August 21-23 on farmland in Glendale, Texas. Brad Paisley is the headliner! Some other the names playing are Florida Georgia Line, Big & Rich, Joe Nichols Thomas Rhett. This festival also gives the option of camping on the festival grounds. Another 3 full days of country.

If you can’t make it to one of Texas’s few festivals. I’ve come up with a few summer playlists that will do the trick. Hottest country songs for this summer for pop country listeners according to XM channel 56 and Vevo are:

Dierks Bentley- Say you do

Keith Urban- Raise em up

Tyler Farr- A guy walks into a Bar

Billy Currington- Don’t do it

Kenny Chesney- Wild Child

Sam Hunt- Take your time

Florida Georgia Line- Sippin on Fire

For my personal summertime jams I’ll be listening to something far less commercial. I love country songs that fly under the pop radar. They have to have a good beat, meaningful lyrics and more traditional country instruments. Absolutely no rapping. If a song has a bass, fiddle or even acoustic guitar, count me in! Here is a list of recent summer country song for listeners like me.

Kacey Musgraves- Biscuits

The Damn Quails- Fool’s Gold

Whiskey Myers- Anna Marie

Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen- In the Next Life

Granger Smith- Silverado Bench Seat

Turnpike Troubadours- 7&7

Josh Abbott Band- Oh Tonight

Then there are the songs that are so precious because of the memories they carry. Songs that raised my generation during the summertime when school was out and so were the popsicles. A 2k summer playlist for those who love the memories from 5-10 years ago:

Alan Jackson- It’s 5 o’clock somewhere

Kenny Chesney- When the Sun goes Down

Tim McGraw- Something Like That

Deana Carter- Strawberry Wine

Zac Brown Band- Toes

Brooks and Dunn- My Maria

Keith Urban- Days Go By

Brad Paisley- Mud on the Tires

The kindest blessing I can think to leave with you is this: I hope each day this summer is like a summertime country song.


Filed under Lists, Live Music, Texas

My Randy Rogers Week

With great anticipation I was counting down the days until the The Randy Rogers Band in concert. I rounded up a huge group to see him live at Floore’s country store on Saturday, April 25th. The week before I listened to all my favorite songs on repeat. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I listened to the albums Trouble, Burning the Day Away, and Randy Rogers Band. Late Tuesday afternoon I realized I was missing something. Randy’s new duet album recorded with Wade Bowen had just been released at record stores that very day. I needed to go to Waterloo records to pick up a copy. I hopped in the car, picked up my best friend Jake, who introduced me to Randy Roger’s music, and headed for Waterloo. The savory smells of 24 Diner greeted us as we approached the record store. Randy Roger’s voice welcomed us over the loud speaker singing a song I had never heard before. We scanned the rows of records for the country music label that would lead us to Randy’s new album, instead it lead us to Randy himself, in the flesh. Yep, Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen stood in the far corner of the store signing albums and greeting fans. My soul began to soar as my dreams were coming true. My heart beat fast as Jake and I stood in line preparing ourselves to meet our favorite Texas Country artist. He wore a plaid button up and trucker hat. His sleeves were rolled up enough to reveal large tattoos covering his upper forearms. I said hello and that I couldn’t wait to see him that Saturday! He was a polite, but a shy guy, with a well groomed beard and mellow speaking voice. He was glad to hear I’d be joining him at Floore’s country store later that week and told me he would be performing a song or two off the new album. We discussed one of the songs, “Hold my Beer”. My day was absolutely made! What an outstanding surprise! Randy and Wade had performed live in Waterloo records earlier that day to promote their album and I arrived just in time to meet them before they moved on to their next obligation. It was my lucky day. By the time Saturday rolled around I was loving the new album and pumped for the concert. The songs I was most excited to hear were my old favorites, ”Buy Myself a Chance”, ” In My Arms Instead”, and my from the new album,” Standards”. “Standards” is Randy and Wade’s pledge to always sing good quality songs, not shallow fluffy pop without meaning like many country artists do today.

“…..I don’t have hits, I’ve got standards” is a line that pretty much sums up the song and The Randy Roger’s Band. My friends and I loaded up in a van Saturday night and headed to Floore’s. Everyone wore cowboy boots; boys in jeans, girls in cute dresses. The venue was smoky and crowded. Every audience member held a beer and most wore cowboy hats. My group shoved our way through the crowd and found a spot with a great view of the band. I’m not sure that we had room to two step but we did it anyways. We sang our favorite songs at the top of our lungs as the stage lights saturated the band with orange, blue and white light. My favorite moment of the entire concert was during the song “Too Late for Goodbye”, my best friend and I sang as loud as we could and jumped up and down. Toward the end of the song the boy I have a crush on lifted me up high above the crowd. I could see the band perfectly and everyone looked up at me. I reached out and felt like I could almost touch the band. I was on cloud 9. Randy ended the concert with “Kiss Me in the Dark”, probably his most popular and beloved song. My Randy Rogers week was one I will never forget. I now love him even more if that is possible!

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Filed under Austin, Live Music, Texas

Lynden’s Country Music Adventure 2015

Some fun expiriences with Country music so far this year

Some fun expiriences with Country music so far this year

Some fun expiriences with Country music so far this year


Filed under Class work, Reflection, Storify

How to Get a Record Deal These Days

Over spring break I went to Nashville with my mom, who used to work as a back up singer for Barbara Mandrell in the 80’s. The little boy my mom would babysit before she began working with Barbara in Nashville is now a Writer-Publisher relations director at Broadcast Music, Inc, better known as BMI. Over spring break I had the pleasure of meeting him and his father, Tom Collins, who produced Barbara’s albums for years. Tom’s favorite saying about the country music industry, “Nothing stays the same but change” is evident in music’s sound, top artists style, lyrics and in many other ways. I wanted to know how becoming an artist had changed.

Did aspiring country music stars still go door to door on music row with a guitar in hand hoping to land a record deal? Or did scouts from music companies do most of the work, finding artists performing live at small open mic venues? So I asked the Collins men, “What does it take to get a record deal these days?” Bradley was quick to answer with a reply that surprised me. Many artists BMI signs today come in with an already produced album of quality original songs. By this point the artist has released and promoted these songs, and preferably already gained a following. Bradley said the company was holding back on signing new artists and keeping them for two or more years waiting for their big break. The days of empty handed but talented artists are virtually over. Singers have to walk in with material to show, a fan base to prove the music’s potential and a lot of leg work already done. Artists like Sam Hunt used this approach and have seen amazing success.

At this point I was wondering how I would ever go about this on my own. Do I have the resources to record a demo? How would I promote my music on my own? Do I have the talent to write original songs? I decided to ask about how to find songs to sing on a demo. He asked who my favorite writer is and I told him Kacey Muskgraves. He advised me to look up Shane McAnally, who writes a lot of Kacey’s songs with her and look through his catalog, or list of all the songs he has written. Then read through these and find one that I like that hasn’t been released as a single or hasn’t been played often over the radio. This is a great way to find a song to put down on a demo to show record labels, but cannot be sold because of copyrights. 

Shane and Kacey with Kenny Chesney at the ACM awards

Another option is to write your own music. The first step to writing is to listen to the radio, find songs you like, look up the writers and look at other songs in their catalog. This way it is easy to find patterns in song structure, lyrics, and music that you find appealing. Start by copying the patterns you like and eventually, once you’re comfortable, come up with original material. He said playing an instrument is not vital, there are many successful lyricists who can only write the lyrics to their songs. I loved hearing that since I don’t play any instruments! After you have an original song, you have to find a recording studio with good studio musicians and an idea of how you want to produce your song. Once your song is recorded with the right instruments and arranged the way you want it, it’s up to you to get it out there. With the internet it is so much easier these days to promote new music, but without any fan base, it is a difficult task to get a song out to the world. Through social media and word of mouth it is possible for a hit song from an unknown artist to reach millions of ears.

The key is to be as prepared as possible when walking into a record label, even if that means doing a lot of work on your own. A few talented singers, like Lennon and Maisy have been found from a simple video on Youtube, that is rare and takes a lot of luck. I believe quality is the best policy when promoting music. Another tip is to make connections. The best way into the music scene is if you already know someone involved. Go to that person for guidance and advice. Some advice Tom gave me that I will never forget is “Don’t be intimidated by competition, there might be someone out there who is better than you. There will always be someone better. The successful person is the one who wants it the most.” This advice definitely applies to the new style of getting a record deal. The artist who works the hardest to promote their music will come out on top.


Filed under Reflection

Taylor Swift’s tour isn’t messing with Texas

3371681062_7769c27704During past tours, Taylor Swift has spent the most time in Texas. With concerts sold out in 4-5 Texas cities for each tour, you could say her Texan fans there are very loyal. But is she loyal to them? With the release of the 1989 world tour dates, Texas “swifties” were dismayed to find only one date for one venue in one Texas city. I was extremely disappointed to find she wouldn’t be stopping in Austin this year since I am a huge fan of her new album. Texas girls and guys have been her fans from the start, it just seems wrong to cut us out of her tour.

Austin, San Antonio and Houston have been replaced by places like Seattle, Tokyo and Toronto. Could this be a result of her genre shift from country to pop? I believe it is. Once she was singing about Georgia stars, in her new album she’s welcoming her listeners to New York. I didn’t realize the her transition from country also meant her absence from southern states.

Taylor’s country sound was accompanied by cowboy boots and an acoustic guitar. Her dresses were always modest and her long curly hair was her trademark. She was known for her relatable and meaningful lyrics. I will admit that her songs pulled me through a break up or two. Her lyrics were rooted in typical country topics like pick up trucks, her love for her mom, Tim McGraw and her guitar. Taylor played many of her first shows at Texas rodeos, her music videos were on CMT, and she always could be seen performing at the CMAs.

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show London 2014 **STRICTLY NO WEB UNTIL 9:15PM GMT DECEMBER 2, 2014**With her new pop genre her hair and skirts got shorter. Her music videos got edgier, and she began performing at events like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show which doesn’t traditionally involve any country music. Taylor has traded cowboy boots for her high heels and electronic instruments have taken place of the acoustic guitar. Her lyrics are centered around big cities, bad boys and repetitive catchy phrasing. This change has revolutionized Taylor’s career and taken her music around the world. I love her new sound and look just as I loved the old Taylor. Her old songs went well with a pint of blue bell ice cream and tissues, but her new songs make every dance floor across the world come alive.

I am sad to say this shift away from country has also created a limited amount of tour time in Texas. All us swifties need to come together and reach out to Taylor through social media and let her know Texans love her sound even if its not country.  #TexaswantsTaylor

For other articles about Taylor’s transition click here.


Filed under News, Texas, Women