Author Archives: Taylor Campbell

About Taylor Campbell

is a freshman majoring in Public Relations at the University of Texas. She was born in Alabama and grew up in Virginia. Some of her earliest memories include listening to the Dixie Chicks and Tim McGraw in the car with her parents. Taylor has two younger brothers and a dog. She loves to travel and plans on going to law school after graduation.

Taylor’s Country Music Experiences

I have had so much fun this semester getting a better look at the genre of country music! I went to Erich Church’s, The Outsiders World Tour; watched Shut Up and Sing, the Dixie Chick’s documentary for the first time; visited Willie on 2nd Street; and had lunch at Austin’s famous Threadgill’s!

I have had so much fun this semester getting a better look at the genre of country music! I went to Erich Church’s, The Outsiders World Tour; watched Shut Up and Sing, the Dixie Chick’s documentary for the first time; visited Willie on 2nd Street; and had lunch at Austin’s famous Threadgill’s!


Filed under Austin, Class work, Movies and TV, Reflection, Storify

“Country Chameleon”

Tim McGraw’s recent performance at The Oscars on Sunday night reminded me of an article I read recently for my Country Sub-Genre project. A country blog titled The Boot did a feature article last week called “Country Chameleon: The Ever-Changing Music of Tim McGraw.”

The article provides arguments from both critics and supporters of McGraw’s changing style. Critics believe that Tim McGraw’s newer songs are too automated and are not happy with the electronic sounds of his music. For example one of the critics stated, “LEAVE THE AUTOMATED STUFF TO POP AND HIPHOP!!! I can’t be the only one that missed acoustic guitars and unautotuned voice.” It is noted that Tim McGraw, at age 46, has gotten to the point when artists start to wash out; McGraw, however, is actively keeping his music, sound, and image current to fit with the time. “[Tim McGraw] has always been among the first big-name artists to embrace new changes. That keeps his music sounding fresh and new – even if it risks alienating some of his more traditional-minded listeners,” states the author.

For these reasons I think Tim McGraw was the perfect person to perform the tribute to Glen Campbell. McGraw was able reach two different audiences thanks to his smart business tactics: those who like Glen Campbell and McGraw’s older style of music, and his current fans who appreciate his modern sound.

Although critics of Tim McGraw tend to be harsh, one has to appreciate the barriers he’s broken down to get to where he is now.  McGraw has managed to stay a threat and country music power figure even with his growing age.  This is especially difficult considering he has done all of this as a member of the country-pop sub-genre.  Older fans criticize McGraw’s changing sound and believe he has abandoned his roots, but as an artist if he’s happy with his work and is successful at what he does then who are we to say that Tim McGraw isn’t being true to himself?  I’ve grown up listening to Tim McGraw and as a fan I think we should be commending him for keeping up with the fast-paced and always-changing modern music business, rather than tearing him down.

What do you think?  How was Tim’s performance on Sunday night?  Is Tim selling himself out for modern fame and fortune?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below!


Filed under Awards, Country Pop, Countrypolitan, Live Music

My Ultimate Miranda Lambert Playlist

With Miranda Lambert’s huge success of winning the Best Country Album Award at the Grammys for her album Platinum, I began reminiscing on some of her old albums and decided to compile a playlist of my all time favorite Miranda Lambert songs, although there’s no way I can fit ALL of my favorites I’ll do my best!

“Gunpowder & Lead” has to be one of my absolute favorites. Growing up Lambert’s family took in abused women and children. She wrote this song for those women, describing how she herself would handle an abusive relationship. Although it covers a dark topic the song is a kickass girl power jam.

“Mama’s Broken Heart” was actually given to Lambert by Kacey Musgraves, one of the original writers along with Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally. It’s about a girl who gets her heart broken and starts acting out because of it. When people in the town notice the girl’s behavior her mom is informed and tries to put her in line. I love this song because it perfectly describes the crazy emotions that go through your head when you get your heart broken.  I actually got to see Brandy Clark perform this when she opened for Jennifer Nettles this past summer!

“Only Prettier” is one of Lambert’s snarkiest songs, written about two groups of girls that cannot get along and think the absolute worst of one another. The song is about Lambert’s group of friends saying the only difference between the two groups is that hers is prettier.

“I Wanna Die” describes the singer’s relationship with a guy who she knows is a complete jerk, but wants him anyways. This song is super relatable for just about any girl on the planet.

Now we transition to a group of deeper, more meaningful songs. The song “Over You” was actually written by Lambert and Blake Shelton about Shelton’s old brother, who was killed in a car accident when he was a teenager. Lambert added the song to her album Four the Record to honor Shelton and his brother’s memory.

“The House That Built Me” holds the biggest personal connection for me. Written about a young woman going back to the house she grew up in to visit and try to find a small piece of the person she used to be. When this song first started playing on the radio my mom always told me it reminded her of me because she knew I was going to grow up and leave home (Virginia) someday.

I’ve always loved “Famous in a Small Town.” My dad grew up in a small town and whenever we go back to Alabama to visit I’m constantly reminded of this song. Everyone knows everything about everyone else. This past summer I went to the mall with my dad and my aunt and they saw at least 2 people they knew in EVERY. SINGLE. STORE. It was the longest shopping day I’ve ever had, needless to say this song is not an over exaggeration.

One of Miranda Lambert’s newer songs, “Automatic,” is another great track. I love it because it’s one of those songs that brings you back to your roots. It reminds us all of simpler times before we had internet to do everything and before we started living in this “instant” society. I think it’s a great reminder that we need to work for the good things in life.

Kerosene is by far my favorite Miranda Lambert album, and as many of you may know it was her first album. All of the songs on the album are very simple, such as “I Can’t Be Bothered,” “New Strings,” “Kerosene,” “Me and Charlie Talking,” and “Bring Me Down.” These songs make me think of the battle between the Texas Country and Nashville Country subgenres that we’ve been discussing in class. This album is very much Texas Country and each song has a very raw sound.

Miranda Lambert has been very successful with 5 hit albums, countless music awards, and years of sold out tours. She is a strong woman with admirable morals and amazing talent. Her country music style changes with each album and I can’t wait to see what she does next. What are some of your favorite Miranda Lambert songs? Leave them in the comments below!


Filed under Awards, Music Videos, Reflection, Song Analysis, Women

Why Dolly Parton Kicks Butt

Last night I was looking for an interesting piece of country news to write about, but nothing I came across interested me. And then there she was, Dolly Parton. The CMT article shares how Dolly Parton has partnered up with NBC to produce TV-movies “based on her songs, stories and incredible life.” The article also says that Dolly hopes to capture a family audience with fun and inspirational themes in her movies. This article got me thinking about how awesome Dolly Parton is; I mean what hasn’t she done at this point?

Her talent never ceases to amaze me. Dolly started performing when she was 13 and since then has had around 42 studio albums. She’s starred in numerous classic movies and TV shows such as my Grandma’s and Aunt’s all time favorite movie, Steel Magnolias (1989); A Smoky Mountain Christmas (1986), which my family watches every Christmas; 9 to 5 (1980); The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982); Reba (2005); and even Hannah Montana (2006, 2007, 2010), which I remember watching in 5th grade when it first aired.

Dolly has also been nominated for and won countless awards including 7 Academy of Country Music Awards, 3 American Music Awards, 9 Country Music Association Awards, 4 Peoples Choice Awards, and 8 Grammy’s; and up until recently she and Beyoncé were tied for the most Grammy-nominated women. Dolly Parton has also been inducted into 14 Halls of Fame. In addition to the entertainment awards, she has also received numerous philanthropic awards like the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service and the Partnership Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Plus, how many people do you know with their own Rodeo Dinner show (1988) AND Amusement Park (1986)?

Dolly Parton made a name for herself at a time when male entertainers mainly dominated country music. Despite any opinions about her personal life, Dolly’s successes as a businesswoman have been (and still are) inspirational to women of all ages. She is a strong face and representation of country music and has influenced many of today’s modern country artists, clearly shown by CMT’s All Time Top 40 list. Dolly finished in the 4th spot with nominations from Kenny Rogers, Luke Bryan, Charley Pride, Jennifer Nettles, Sara Evans, and many more.

Although it is not clearly stated in the article whether or not Dolly or her music will be featured, I can only assume this next project will be great.  Her number of accomplishments as an entertainer portray exactly why Dolly Parton kicks butt.


Filed under News, Women