Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Country Music Rocks!

Well it had to happen - eventually. I've rekindled my love of country music; I'm not ashamed to admit it...there it is plain and simple.

I've practically grown up with the twangs of guitars...ok I didn't listen to it everyday - and it wasn't like mother and father would slap-a their thighs and doe-ce-doe around the living room - rather, I would be in the kitchen with mother as she listened to various artists whilst cooking. Ah yes, Dolly, Charlie and my favorite back then was Jim Reeves. He had a lovely, sombre melodic tone to his voice and the words to his tracks well, lets just say that they weren't always happy and boy did you feel his pain, but still good songs!

And, I think that's what I love about country music. Not only is the music good, you can understand what they're singing and there's an honesty to the lyrics; "put your lips a little closer to the phone...and tell the man you're with that he'll have to go." (Jim Reeves) I mean, he's being so polite about getting her to get rid of the other man! Yes, you could argue that a lot of today's music is 'honest' and has good music, but quite frankly I don't always relate to "Hey Boo, you know where its at, you and me, its just phat!" (I made that up, there may well be a song out there with similar lyrics).

Being an 80s girl (long live Rick Astley), the lyrics I was exposed to were not always meaningful. Band Aid is an example of a song where the words were hard-hitting. But, not many a song was on that scale. A lot of the time I spent confusing nights having recorded favorite tracks on tape, rewinding and playing songs over and over again trying to decipher exactly what people were singing about. For years Bananarama's line " C'mon baby, set me free, I'm lonely as a girl can be" was "C'mon baby, set me free, I'm lonely as a coffee bean". Didn't stop me liking the song and I boogied along to "in the jungle, the quiet jungle, the lion sleeps tonight" and "aah-gah-doo, do, do, push pineapple, shake the tree, ah-ga-do, do, do, push pineapple, grind coffee" along with everyone else and thought nothing of it.

Fast forward a few years and I still love pop music. And boy did I get teased mercilessly for being in love with Rick (Astley). A lot of people couldn't understand why I love(d) trashy pop music. What merit does Copacobana possibly have in comparison to a 'S'wonderful' by Ella Fitzgerald, or a smooth jazz track by Roy Ayers? To some, there is no comparison - Ella and Roy are great artists. Yes, it can be argued that they may be a better clan of musicians; but I argue that music is very much subjective. And, because you like one type doesn't mean you can't appreciate another. I have an eclectic mix of songs on my i-pod from Bocelli to Steps. For me, it's not always the artist that makes me listen. It's the way the song sounds, the way it makes me feel.

BFF and I were chatting about this recently and we both listened to music the same way - we like the tune and then listened to the lyrics, whilst her hubby was the other way around. Another example of where the tune makes the song is Craig David's 'Don't Love You No More'; sister and I really like the song...but it's not one we relate to; I had been married for a year and sis was about to get married when it first came out and we were singing away to it (in the car) when we both commented that it's not exactly a happy song, it didn't reflect our lives, but it was just a catchy tune, therefore liked it.

But I digress, slightly...getting back to my rekindled love for country music. American's love country music - they have a channel dedicated to it and every opportunity I have, I'll tune in. And, boy have I discovered some great artists...Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum...great lyrics, great tunes. There's the usual mix of heartache, lost and found love and then those that just have a laugh (Toby Keith's 'Trailerhood' in particular... "My new tattoos and farmer tans, rodeo and nascar fans, Dallas Cowboy football on TV, When the storm starts getting bad, you hear the those sirens humming, Grab a six pack and a lawn chair there's a tornado coming").

Of course, you have your 'duds'; Tammy Wynette and 'Moo, Moo Land' I recollect listening to in complete horror and of course 'Leroy the Redneck Reindeer' which I listened to momentarily and the now classic 'Achy, Breaky Heart'.

Hubby rolls his eyes, when he catches me singing away to the latest downloaded country track but I say, nothing can beat a good ol' country tune! And I have to say, those male singers in their cowboy hats and boots, well...some look very dreamy! Am I disclosing too much? Ahem...moving on. I encourage all to have a listen...country music isn't just Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood, there's a plethora of brilliant talent out there. So, I say grab a bale of straw, sit down with a cold beer and enjoy the smooth tunes of country!

I wonder if Hubby would wear a pair of cowboy boots?....

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