Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Fresh Influence

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you realize I love old rock music. Soft, hard, long as it came out in or near the 80s, I love it. And when you listen to a thing as the soundtrack for your life, maybe it's the thing to change if you want to change your attitude. No, I'll never give up Bon Jovi and Def Leppard, but maybe I should make them more of an occasional thing instead of the main course. A guy's gotta grow and change, too, right?

I started my current job near the end of last May. I had to commute about 60 miles each way from my folks' lake cabin until we closed on our house June 30 or so, and I was alone much of the rest of the time. Most of my music was packed or otherwise tied up in the process of moving, and the only reliable stations I could find were country.

Toby Keith. Lonestar. Martina McBride. People like that. You know, it wasn't half bad. There have been little streaks I've gone on where I listened to a lot of country and the soundtrack for about the first 13 years of my life consisted mainly of Dolly Parton, the Oakridge Boys and Johnny Cash. But I don't recall ever actually buying a country CD. That may be about to change.

Think about rock vs. country for a moment. Now, take away from each style all songs related to love, sex and the music/lifestyle itself. You're left with a LOT more country than rock. Sure, country singers spend a lot of their energy on love and sex. They are, after all, some of the most powerful emotions and experiences we have. It would be shocking if people weren't obsessed with them.

But in country, you also learn about a girl who's struggling to make it as a singer so her parents will be proud of her and hasn't made it yet. You learn about a smartass who did make it and wants to rub it in on the girl who wouldn't date him in high school. You learn about a little boy who can't hit his own pitching. You hear how a boy's grandpa and grandma met and ran away to live happily ever after, until she died. Kenny Rogers advises us of how gamblers are. Did you ever notice that most Christmas songs fit much better to a country adaptation than to rock?

I have usually thought of country music over the years as "old peoples' music". It never occurred to me that someday I would be "old people". I better get on the stick, so I can start complaining about all these young 'uns and their damned loud music. The next time I'm in a store, maybe I'll buy a country CD.

This morning I saw a poster for We Fest, a big annual multi-super-country-group multi-day festival that happens each August not so awful far from here. Maybe we should go this year or next? I was in town for it once years ago, though I didn't hit any of the concerts...I was more interested in the girls in the campgrounds at the time, as I recall.

Times, they do change.

Oh, and I'm now also taking recommendations for current country groups that have good CDs that I might like to buy, in case there are any avid country fans out there.


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