Category Archives: Garth Brooks

Radical Rednecks

I’m sure most of you who read this title were a little confused, while others of you probably could think of a few times that your favorite country artists said something that went against the staunch-republican-country grain. What may surprise you, though, is that there are more country artists that lean left (in one way or the other) than you think. Here’s a brief list of artists that don’t fit the conservative stereotype of country music completely like you might think they do:

  1. Kacey Musgraves

Alright, this one might be blatantly obvious. Kacey Musgraves’s second single was “Follow Your Arrow,” a song advocating, well, doing whatever the hell makes you happy. This was a very risky decision considering she was just starting out in her career and didn’t have a solid foundation yet, but it’s been met with approval (and some disproval) by her younger target audience. The most obvious “offense” against the stereotype that Musgraves commits is the mention of “kiss[ing] lots of girls, if that’s something you’re into”—it’s no secret that Kasey is a supporter of marriage equality, but did we know that she also supports the use of marijuana? “When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight, roll up a joint.” She also makes mention of sex before marriage *gasp*. So risqué, Kasey.

  1. Toby Keith

Are you shocked? I am. With his harsh twang, I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that Keith is a “bleeding heart liberal,” but apparently he is. According to the Witty Bitches website (The name makes me question credibility), Toby Keith advocates for marriage equality, universal healthcare, and women in combat. But, here’s the kicker: he banned guns from his Virginia restaurant. WHAT?! Toby Keith hates the Second Amendment??? Okay, I’m clearly hyperbolizing, but still.

  1. Tim McGraw

Wipe your tears, everyone. Tim McGraw told People magazine that “It’s innate in me to be a blue-dog Democrat.” He and his wife vehemently support President Obama. SURPRISE he also advocates for gun control. And you thought you knew him…. It’s a crying shame.* Actually surprising, though, is that his song “Red Ragtop” touches on the issue of abortion and lyrics indicate that a couple who becomes pregnant decides not to keep their child–very controversial, indeed.

  1. Garth Brooks

Depending on how much you know about Garth Brooks, this might be surprising. Brooks sang at Obama’s 2009 inauguration and is a “long-time democrat.” His song “We Shall Be Free” speaks about being free to love whoever you chose and “worship from our own kind of pew.” He apparently also sings songs about civil rights, race, and domestic violence, some less controversial causes.

  1. The Dixie Chicks

Possibly one of the most obvious on this list, the Dixie Chicks are known for their criticism of President George W. Bush. Perhaps this doesn’t make them liberal, but it certainly puts them at odds with many conservatives. At a show in London in 2003 (introducing the song “Travelin’ Soldier“), lead singer Natalie Maines told the crowd “We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.”

  1. Willie Nelson

This list would not be complete without our pot-smoking, quasi-religious, country folk star. It is said that once he offered up a joint to Jesus (sweet Willie), but he still believes in reincarnation and wrote a book called the Tao of Willie, detailing Taoism. As you can probably guess, he advocates for the legalization of marijuana. Despite all the criticism that he receives, many country-lovers of every sociopolitical background love their Willie Nelson.

There are many more that make up this list, but these I feel are the most relevant. Regardless of political agendas or causes advocated, we still love our favorite country artists—Keep on keepin’ on.

*note: I am being highly sarcastic and exaggerating in this entire article, especially here.


Filed under Blog Post 4, Garth Brooks, Politics

A Family Tradition

HometownPeanut butter is to jelly, as country music is to drinking. That’s true in my family at least. I come from a rather large family that were all born and bred in a small town outside of Waco, Texas. As far back as I can remember, country music had always been apart of my life. I don’t think I really had a choice! My grandparents, affectionately known as “mamaw” and “papaw”, were diehard fans of artists such as; George Jones, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and Loretta Lynn. I would always be introduced to a new artist from back in the day, when I went to visit them.

What came first…the chicken or the egg?

When I reached my teenage years, 16-17, I began to notice a pattern in my family. No matter what time of the day it was, when country was played…drinking would commence! I really don’t know which would happen first, if my family would be listening to country music one night and just get the urge to drink, or if they were already drinking and country was just the appropriate choice for background music.

One thing I do remember for certain is, you would always know if my mamaw and papaw were drunk if you pulled up to their house and “Hello Darlin’” by Conway Twitty was blaring out the front door. I would always find them slow dancing in kitchen while, drunkenly singing to one another. (Everyone’s grandparents acted like right?) The great thing is, that while my parents were married my sisters would catch them dancing in the kitchen at our house to “This Woman and this Man” by Clay Walker. (My momma’s favorite song)! It’s great to see how not just how country music is intergenerational but also how the traditions are passed down as well.

 Country by the grace of God!

Coming to college I have the amazing opportunity to make friends with students from all over the world, and a lot of the ones I do life with had a completely different upbringing than I did, so their appreciation for country music isn’t there, so I don’t listen to it as much I did growing up. But there is nothing like the feeling I get when I turn on the radio and hear “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” by Brooks and Dunn or “How bout them Cowgirls” by George Strait.

It’s almost like comfort food; whenever life is hectic listening to the music takes me back to the simpler days of my childhood. Because it was so heavily ingrained in my upbringing there are a plethora of songs that are connected with certain memories and feelings of being with family. Country music is therapy to me. Country music is home!

Family Playlist:

There were always staple songs that were played when my family got together and though I don’t necessarily have a “favorite” these are the top five songs on my “most played” playlist on my phone and I would like to share them with you…

1). “Family Tradition” by Hank Williams Jr.

2). “Deeper Than the Holler” by Randy Travis

3). “Fishin’ in the Dark” by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

4). “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks

5). “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Ole Days)” by The Judds


Filed under Blog Post 1, Garth Brooks, Honky Tonk, Lists, Music Videos

What I Grew Up To

Imagine every time you got into the car to go to a basketball practice, church or just out to dinner you knew exactly what to expect. Well, for my siblings and me, we did know what to expect. My dad would always play 3 country artists. I grew up in a small town in Maumelle, Arkansas and I can honestly say listening to these three country artists almost every day truly shaped sweet memories of my childhood.

  1. Garth Brooks

I know what you’re probably thinking… “Of course, who didn’t listen to him?”, but you’re right! To me, listening to Garth Brooks is a classic memory. Now, my dad and I tended to be a bit theatrical at times, so when it was just him and I in the car on the way to some event, we would always play “When the Thunder Rolls”. What a better song to play when you’re planning on acting and being all dramatic, right? I mean, really, who can’t resist to belt out and dance during the thunder parts of the song. The next most played Garth Brooks song was, of course, “The Dance”. My dad knew this one a lot better than I did, but I enjoyed it just as much.

  1. Dixie Chicks

Here we go, another wave of childhood memories come flooding back anytime I hear ANY of the Dixie Chicks songs. “Good Bye Earl” is still my jam until this day. While at the time, I only thought of it as a fun, upbeat song, I still bolt it out today knowing it is about domestic abuse. I think it’s a song that catches people’s attention and brings awareness to a serious issue. “Ready to Run” also deserves a huge honorable mention because my sisters and I use to act out that song all the time. While these are two of my favorites, every Dixie Chicks song that comes to mind has a unique place in my heart.

  1. Shania Twain

I saved good ole Shania for last because it’s a personal favorite. Her songs bring back probably the sweetest memories I have. Mainly because my dad belted out her songs louder than anyone, and if you knew my dad, you’d know why this was such a funny and entertaining site for me. “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “Man! I Feel like a Woman” are easily my top two favorite songs by her. I mean, come on, can you imagine your father singing “let’s go girls” at the beginning of the song “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and that not bringing a smile to your face? I didn’t think so.

63403_1612221839461_1793417_nNo matter what I tell people about my childhood from Arkansas, no story is told without mention of at least one of these country singers. That is how I know country music has touched my life and I have grown a genuine sentimental value from listening to it.


Filed under Blog Post 4, Country Pop, Dancing, Garth Brooks, Reflection, Women

September 18th, the day I finally saw Garth Brooks!










I have grown up listening to Garth but it wasn’t until junior year of high school that I actually became fully obsessed. It all started with my first love who also happened to be long distance. Garth was our thing. “Wrapped Up In You” was officially our song. Whether we were finally together driving around his small town or I was back home sitting in class with my headphones in Garth was playing. Even though that relationship ended horribly I was left with a new relationship with Garth. When I heard Garth Brooks would be touring again I immediately called my mom and told her I was going to find a way for us to see him. Financially I wasn’t sure how though. My grandma didn’t react to well when I posted on Facebook that I would sell my car, kidney, and sister just to go see him in concert! Lets just say no one understood how badly I wanted this. At the time he hadn’t announced his Dallas date only the Houston ones. Too quickly those days came and passed and I didn’t get to go, but not too long after I heard news that he was coming to Dallas.

After enough whining, hinting, and begging my mom(who secretly also was dying to go) came up to me and said, “Talia, we are going one way or another. The day that tickets became available mom and I were sitting with our laptops ready to buy at 9:59AM. Some how through our lovely internet connection or big businesses our immediate reactions to the clock switching to 10AM were not fast enough. I almost broke down. Thanks to Craigslist and my mom and I’s savvy shopping we found tickets for a pretty reasonable price within the next hour. It had been seventeen years since Garth was in Dallas I wasn’t going to wait until I was in my 30’s for him to make it back.

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That day I drove home from Austin, got all dolled up, and made the 45 minute trip to Dallas. I think I was shaking with excitement the whole day. The show ended up not starting until an hour after it was supposed too since the previous show ran over but I didn’t care Garth was way better than sleep. When the countdown finally reached zero and I first saw his silhouette I broke down. I cried for probably the first ten minutes of the show and a couple times through out. Only twice have I ever been so happy; my first Opening Ceremonies and watching the US Mens National Basketball Team in London(I cried at those too)! Throughout the whole music industry Garth Brooks is one of the most amazing performers ever! From the sincere softer songs like “The River” and “The Beaches of Cheyenne” to the fun and upbeat songs like “Callin’ Baton Rouge” and “Friends In Low Places” the concert never lost my attention. Garth finished his concert with an encore of course as he promised he would keep going if we stayed loud. His very last song was one I feel is often forgotten but I absolutely love, “Standing Outside the Fire.” If you’ve never heard it I highly recommend it. When he finally said his goodbyes, bowed, and thanked the crowd I was left stuck in place. I did not want such an amazing night to end. I left that concert around 2AM with a T-Shirt, Koozie, iPhone pictures and a memory that will last forever! IF YOU EVER HAVE A CHANCE TO SEE GARTH BROOKS, GO! YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!!!



Filed under Blog Post 2, Dallas, Garth Brooks, Live Music