Category Archives: Blog Post 3

Chris LeDoux For President

Although Chris LeDoux is no longer living, I took a look into the man he was, and why he would have been the perfect candidate for the next President of the United States. I know that this humble he never got too involved in politics, but he never had an opportunity to run against Trump.

When political platforms begin to revolve around the size of opponents hands, a political race seems a little bit more open. I know I sound like I am on a soap box here complaining about The United States’ presidential candidates, but I think adding one more candidate to the mix would make this reality TV series of a debate even more lively. I would like to nominate a living Chris LeDoux for the president of the United States.

I would nominate him into the republican party, just for the thrill of seeing him compete against Mr. Trump. We all know that Mr. LeDoux would be much above low belittling comments that make the debates so interesting thus far. His platform would be based on only one brilliant idea. “A five Dollar Fine for Whining.” As he mentions in his song “Five Dollar Fine,” it is the only problem he faces at the humble Wyoming bar he drinks at his whining. By implementing the five-dollar penalty for whining, LeDoux’s bar becomes only for a fun loving crowd, and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

As Trump spouts off about how he plans to “Make America Great Again” Chris LeDoux has the simple solution. If nobody is whining, there are clearly no problems. It is just one simple rule that it would take to truly make America Great Again. County music can be criticized for being too simple, just like LeDoux will be when he runs for president, but that is where its beauty truly lies. It is relatable, understandable, and just well… American. Because LeDoux embodies these qualities of country music he again stands far above other possible candidates for either party.

Alright, you have made it this far into the post and so you are clearly interested in why Chris LeDoux set foot in the oval office. He is an economic genius, with the same simple song that his campaign is based on. A five dollar fine for whining would lead to immediate government funding, because all the funds would go to the government. This would lead to tax cuts across the board, or a strong decline in whining… Either way America is winning. I know you are questioning how much people really whine, and you may be among the first. Nobody has done a study on it, but Psychology today has many articles talking about why we whine and how to deal with whiners (language disclaimer).

RachelWhine (that’s a five dollar fine!)

This plan of implementing the five dollar fine for whining would do one of two things. Fund the economy, or put an ending to the disease that is whining in America. Both of these are wins of the American public. They either are paying less in taxes, or they have nothing to whine about ever. That is how you really make America great again.

But is Chris a humble American just like you and I? Yes, yes he is. Sure he became famous, and now is doing pretty well for himself, but in this telling interview, LeDoux fans hear about his times competing rodeo where he and his wife couldn’t afford to stay in a hotel unless he won, and how he would just sell his tapes outside the rodeos. Compare this to the small two-million-dollar loan that trump got from his father, or just the political advancements Ms. Clinton can make with just her last name. Both of these people are pretending to be what is right for America when there is really just one clear answer. Chris LeDoux 16. If you don’t like that well there’s a five dollar fine for whinin’, we tell you, before you vote Chris… If only he was still alive.


Filed under Blog Post 3, Politics

Welcome to the Future

It’s always fun to think about what the future will be like and what crazy technology future generations will create. It’s also interesting to think about what kind of role country music will play in our kids’ kids lives, especially because it is so important in many of our lives. Will country music even still be around in 100 years? Will people still listen to Hank Williams or Merle Haggard or Blake Shelton? Will country music embrace new technology or will it cling to the good ole days?

robot_musicianOne way technology could change country music is by creating new ways of making and listening to music. We’ve already seen country music struggle with technologies like Auto-Tune, but what if we get to the point where we don’t even need traditional musicians to create songs? What if computers can generate songs for us based on our personal tastes? What if computers can create new songs including the talents of artists who are no longer with us? It sounds creepy, but it’s already starting to happen and has pretty good results. One reason this might not happen is that people love to see their favorite musicians perform. With technology like virtual reality even performances are starting to change drastically. Performers could record a show once and then send it to millions of people. You could download and watch the concert as if they were actually there except without that drunk guy who spilled his beer on your favorite boots.

vr_concertAnother interesting idea is whether or not some of the traditional country music themes will stand the test of time. For example, would people in the future still enjoy Kip Moore’s “Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck” if they have only ever ridden in driverless cars or Hyperloop Pods? Another theory about the future is that people will mostly live in cities, especially if we automate farming or grow food in labs. Would this makes songs like “Small Town Southern Man” by Alan Jackson or “Down on the Farm” by Tim McGraw difficult for future listeners to relate to?  As more and more people can easily interact with anyone in the world patriotism might become less important.  Instead country songs of the future might be proud of the planet that they live on instead of the country that they are from. Maybe future artists will sing “God Bless Mars” instead of “God Bless the U.S.A.”. Even if some country music themes become more difficult for future audiences to relate to, there are still many themes that are timeless. Humans will (probably) always have Mommas, fall in love, and be sad when their robot dog dies.hyperloop

Country music is loved by so many because of its authenticity, nostalgia, and relatability, but these qualities will be tested as the world changes. Will people still be want the authenticity of a human musician when computer generated music could potentially be just as good or better? Will people in the future still understand the nostalgia of small town life? Maybe country music artists will find new ways to relate to their audience that is unlike any country music our generation has ever heard. Only time will tell.


Filed under Blog Post 3, Country Symbols

Flashback to My First Favorite Country Song

The American Country Music awards ceremony for 2016 will take place tomorrow night, Sunday, April 3rd. Or if you’re reading this after that date, well then, you can bet they’ve already happened! I’m just waiting to see if Rascal Flatts will win Vocal Group of the Year again – because if they win, this will be their eighth ‘Vocal Group’ trophy. And they’re already the current record holders for most wins in that category!

Rascal Flatts first ACM Awards win

In this picture of them holding up their trophies at last year’s ceremony, the lead singer (Gary LeVox) is on the left. He’s definitely aged since I started listening to Rascal Flatts back when “Life Is a Highway” was their biggest hit nearly a decade ago. My sister had shared this song and another one by Rascal Flatts with me back then, even though I had told her repeatedly that my then pre-teen self wasn’t into country music.

Well, after I listened to that song a couple of times (and found myself humming the catchy tune without even thinking about it), I thought that maybe I should give country music more of a try.  The other song she shared with me though is the one that, for whatever reason, really made me love the genre, and that song is… “Mayberry”, which was released in 2002.

The funny thing is that until I had heard this song (and “Life Is a Highway” for that matter), I believed my friends who said that country music was only about girls, trucks, and beer  – three things I wasn’t too interested in at the young age of 11. But after hearing “Mayberry”  when my sister shared it with me, it became one of my favorites. And it still is to this day.

I loved the lead singer’s smooth voice and the catchy background vocals of the song, but more than that, the lyrics are what made this song my gateway into country music. Just like I did back then, I’ll occasionally listen to “Mayberry” when I get stressed out, wishing my Sundays were “a day of rest / not one more day – for progress.” I’ll listen to it when I’m driving through the countryside, passing by small towns and wondering if those were places where “people pass by / and you call them by their first names.” As someone who’s only ever lived in the heart of traffic-filled Austin, I wonder what it would be like to live in a small Mayberry-like town – the type of place with a slow enough  pace for “sitting on the front porch / drinkin’ ice cold cherry coke / watchin’ the clouds go by,” instead of the cars.

People interacting downtown in the fictional city of Mayberry, which was just a set for The Andy Griffith Show

Even though Mayberry is a fictional small town, the song just seemed so real to me back then. And it’s been giving me at least a mental escape from the hustle and bustle of big city life every time I’ve listened to it since then. It’s truly the song that got me listening to more country music, namely artists like Lonestar and Toby Keith that my sister also showed me a little while later. Ever since “Mayberry”, I realized that country music had a way of allowing me to be introspective and just get lost in a song. That’s one of the things about country music that keeps me coming back to listen to more.


Filed under Awards, Blog Post 3, Rascal Flatts, Reflection

Kenny Chesney: Still Goin’ Strong

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 18: Recording artist Kenny Chesney performs at the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Festival at MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 18, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Without a doubt, Kenny Chesney has transcended the generic success of many country music artists, propelling himself to superstardom. However, the most surprising characteristic of his career is the longevity as well as popularity with new and younger audiences. Unlike many of his contemporaries, such as Toby Keith or George Strait, Chesney shows no sign of slowing down. Having been to one of his concerts, I know first hand the kind of energy and interaction he continues to bring, not leaning on his previous fame for popularity, but instead ensuring the audience has a good time. However, this is nothing new for Chesney, as this can-do attitude was shown even at the beginning of his career.

chesneythrow-x600After spending years performing in the country bars and clubs of Nashville in the early 90s, the Knoxville native finally caught his break when he auditioned for music executive Troy Tomlinson. Commenting on his talent and lyrics, Tomlinson was the first to catch onto his personal drive, stating in an interview, “more than anything there was a kind of this ‘I-will-do-it’ look in his eyes – I was really drawn in by the fact that he was so set on being successful in this business.” It was because of this enthusiasm that Chesney landed his first record deal in 1994 for his album “In My Wildest Dreams,” exactly two decades before his most recent album “The Great Revival” in 2014.

However, Kenny Chesney’s continued relevance is not only attributed to his strong work ethic and success-oriented mindset, he is one of the few country artists from the 90s that has continued to change his sound to match the constantly evolving genre itself. For example, while both “She’s Got It All” (1997) and “Somewhere With You” (2010) topped the country charts in their respective years, it’s clear to see the differences in styles between the two. The former displays the typical twangy tones of old school country while the latter employs a faster pace tempo, incorporating electric guitar riffs and strong chorus’ to tie the song together, a style that is far more popular with the contemporary country music crowd.

One of the more distinctive characteristics of Chesney is the frequency of his tours and album releases. Since 2001 alone, he has released a staggering 12 albums and has gone on over 14 tours with the hottest stars of today, such as Miranda Lambert, the Zac Brown Band, Eli Young Band, and Eric Church. Suffice to say, I doubt there were many critics who believed that the 1998 Country Music Awards New Male Vocalist of the Year would continue to put up successful album after album up, continuing to win awards even up to 2015, with claiming his third Country Music Awards Crystal Milestone Award from the same organization. Overall, it makes me glad to see how an artist so devoted to the craft continues to please the fans and master his art from his discovery in the early 90s to continuing to pump out number 1 hits to this day.


Filed under Blog Post 3

Cody Johnson: Give a Cowboy a Kiss

51-atxl1“I don’t want to be labeled as ‘Texas’ or ‘Nashville.’ I am me: Texas, outlaw, cowboy, country, and a God-fearing man using the gift He gave me.” That is how Cody Johnson, better known by fans as “CoJo,” describes himself as an artist and that is exactly why I think he one of the most unique artists out there today. He is a hard-working man from east Texas that is living out his dream to be a country artist. His music is downright full of talent and so relatable that he makes you feel like you’re living out each song. I became hooked on his music when I first heard “Texas Kind of Way,” but his latest album absolutely did not disappoint and got me hooked for good.

What I think is so unique about Cody’s music is its unique mix of Country and Rock, which resembled Garth’s enthusiasm and Chris LeDoux’s style to some extent. His music is honest, heartfelt, and meaningful, and he sings about parts of his life that contribute to where he is today. Growing up in East Texas, he was a country boy that liked to hunt and fish, and family was very important to him. His “ag science” teacher is actually responsible for convincing him for form a band, and he realized he was in love with the music and everything about performing at a talent competition. He starting singing in small bars and dance-halls and began selling CD’s out of the back of his truck during three years of bull-riding. He is a true cowboy, born and raised, and his dedication to his dream makes me respect him as both an individual and an artist.

Cody is a pro at packing dance-halls to max capacity, and even better at holding smaller acoustic shows. I have seem him perform on three separate occasions, and each of those I had the absolute best time singing his songs at the top of my lungs. His music is exactly what I think of when discussing what “real” country music is. He gives each show his absolute best effort, whether it’s a crowd of thousands or a just a few. He genuinely loves the music and that is extremely evident after going to a few of his shows.

After releasing his latest album, Cowboy Like Me, Cody had me so obsessed that I marked my calendar 6 months in advance for his concert at Midnight Rodeo in Austin. Up until the day of the concert I learned every song on the album backwards and forwards, and I have listened to each song so many times its as if he should know me based on number of Spotify plays! There’s no other way to explain how big of a fan I am other than to mention that I somehow ended up with his concert setlist that was taped to the stage in front of him (of course I had it signed)!!!

FullSizeRenderHis album is jam packed with upbeat, two-stepping songs that make me come out of my seat every time. “Dance Her Home” is the first track on the album, and its about a cowgirl walking into a bar and him hoping she’ll “give him have a chance at romance” so he can dance her home. “Me and My Kind” is a catchy tune about how his ex-girl just cannot deal with cowboys like him anymore. “Baby’s Blue” is a heartfelt love song about how his baby needs him by her side when he’s at work late, but he is more than willing to walk away for her. “Cowboy Like Me” is a unique story that touches every heart, pouring out honestly about how “every time I go home, I think I’ll find her gone, but she’s still there and still wants to be, in the arms of a cowboy like me.” Finally, “Give a Cowboy a Kiss” is a song with a story line that resembles “if you give a moose a muffin,” talking about what happens after you give a cowboy a kiss. Hot dang, would I love to give that cowboy a kiss!!


Filed under Blog Post 3