I’m not a music snob, and music snobbery is one of my biggest pet peeves. I like pretty much every genre of music from 90′s grunge to punk to singer/songwriter to hip hop, with the exception only of techno. I just don’t get techno, but for those who love it – more power to you.
I don’t fully understand classical, big band or jazz – but I appreciate those genres on occasion.
However, one genre that I adore happens to be one that gets a bad rap – country.
I’ve mentioned my love for it many times, but I want to delve a little deeper.
I grew up on country music. Garth Brooks was my man, and I had a little girl crush on him that carried on for many years.
George Strait, Travis Tritt and Brooks and Dunn were additional favorites. I watched CMT (Country Music Television?) all day before I had to start going to school full time and would dance and sing along to the songs with my mom – one of my best childhood memories, as it was before things got bad with her.
As the years have gone on my love for country has ebbed and flowed. I went through the typical pop phase (read: ‘N Sync all day every day for three years), a rock/alternative phase (still stand by those choices), and eventually an emo phase.
However, every summer my love for country music would return. Summer just is country music to me. I get so nostalgic for it as soon as the weather turns warm.
Plus, sophisticated and class though I may seem, I’m really just a redneck at heart.
I love it so much, in fact, that I want to help you guys love it too. If you’ve got an open mind and trust me, even just a little bit – read on!
Note: You will find no mention of Taylor Swift in this post, unless perhaps it is to illustrate what country music shouldn’t be.
If you like rap, try Jason Aldean:
Jason Aldean is “new” country, and his style is a mix of old school country with rock and hip hop-ish influences. I mean, he’s a country boy wearing Wranglers (actually I think they’re probably designer country jeans, which rubs me the wrong way but whatever) so he’s far from gansta, but it’s good stuff.
Similar artists: Billy Currington,
If you like ballads, try The Band Perry:
This actually isn’t even one of my favorite country bands or songs, but it proves that there are GREAT voices in country music. Carrie Underwood can sing too, but I don’t like her. At all.
Similar artists: Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood
If you like soul, try the Zac Brown Band:
Zac Brown is far and away my favorite country artist right now, and among my favorite artists in general. The man can sing and every song literally grips your heard and smashes it up into a little ball of emotional mush. I saw him live last year and I think I had chills the entire night. You can tell he means every word he sings. I love all of his music, most notably: Free (^), Highway 20 Ride, Colder Weather, Whatever It Is and Chicken Fry. He does an amazing cover of Jolene as well.
Similar artists: I really can’t think of one – they stand on their own.
If you fancy yourself a badass, try Miranda Lambert:
I don’t love Miranda Lambert as much as a lot of people do, but she’s fun to listen to. Girl power!
Similar artists: Sugarland
If you like singer/songwriter music, try Eli Young Band:
Eli Young Band is a more subtle and quiet type of country. This video isn’t the best example, but there a lesser known band and not as searchable.
Similar artists: Cross Canadian Ragweed, Stoney Larue (for a good time, check out the song Oklahoma Breakdown)
Other country songs I love:
I could go on, but I think I’ve shown you enough of my country bumpkin ways.
Really though, country music isn’t all that bad. Did you like any of the songs?
What’s your favorite music genre? Country isn’t my favorite, but it’s up there. My all time fave genre is more Indie/alt rock like Modest Mouse, Flaming Lips, Wilco, Cake and punk-ish bands like Say Anything and Motion City Soundtrack. I’m all over the place really.