Monday, May 23

In defense of country

I was raised in a rather loud household. Not only did we speak loudly but we all listened to different kinds of music. Every corner of our house seemed to have some sort of music loudly playing. As a result I learned to be accepting of all types of music. I learned at an early age that you really can't help what you like and don't like. Some music you learn to love while others are love at first sight (or listen).

My Dad loved classical music and classic rock. Mom took a shine to country music and show tunes. My brother liked rock and punk. I liked all of the above and even learned to enjoy jazz. I didn't come to love show tunes until much later in life when I finally had the opportunity to see musicals in person. Love was born. I was a big time concert goer when I was in high school and college but that habit was eventually replaced with seeing live musicals and theater. I only recall Mom and Dad going to a handful of concerts in my childhood. I do, however, vividly recall the very first time I heard the phrase "ape shit". Dad used it to describe my mother's behaviour at a Waylon and Willie concert in the 70's. Mom apparently "went ape shit!". Dad said he'd never seen her act that way in all his life. I must have been impressed because I remember the comment so fondly.

Which brings me to my current obsession: Outlaw Country. I have gone ape shit over the Outlaw Country radio station on Sirius/XM Radio. I've tuned in from time time time with no real love lost until recently. A couple of weeks ago I caught Shooter Jennings Radio Show and fell in love. I've also become a fan of Steve Earle's show. Even the silly country girl morning show plays some killer tunes. On my commute, and later at work, I heard kd Lang, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Lucinda Williams, Marcia Ball, Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson, Mojo Nixon, Hank III, Allison Krauss/Robert Plant, Buddy Holly, Merle Haggard, Southern Culture on the Skids, and (of course) Waylon Jennings on Outlaw Country. I assure you, my day was better for it. Where else on earth can you hear that kind of killer mix?

Now, I admit that I thought the idea of satellite radio was bullshit when I first heard about it. I was then given a free three month subscription when I purchased my car. I've been sunk ever since. I can't tell you the ridiculous sense of freedom a new car, GPS and satellite radio gives a girl. Honest to God, you feel like you can take on the world with that magical three pack goin' on. When I had a nervous breakdown/meltdown a few weeks ago, I hopped in my car and drove out to the desert. My satellite radio made for some fantastic company along the way. When I arrived back home I was like a new person and listening to everything from La Boheme, Mahalia Jackson and Johnny Cash had a lot to do with it.

I hate to be a pusher but I must say that I highly recommend satellite radio. I can honestly say, if given the choice, I would seriously consider taking my satellite radio over cable tv. I know that's just plain crazy talk but I can tell you that more and more I've been tuning into my online radio connection instead reaching for my remote after a long day at work. If you ever have a shot at some sort of free trial of subscription radio, you've gotta try it!

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