Play Me Some Country Music

The early 90’s were a golden age for music. Bands such as Guns N Roses and Def Leppard were still releasing great hair metal, but the grunge revolution was also starting, with bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam  already beginning to lead the trend away from songs about girls and cars into much darker territory. NWA and Public Enemy pushed the boundaries of hip hop and gave us suburban white kids an almost cinematic glimpse into the inner city.

We listened to all of it. Skid Row, Pantera, U2, Alice In Chains, and the Wu-Tang Clan. The variety of different sounds was endless and my CD collection enormous. Most still sit in my basement, alphabetized and sorted by genre.

Try as we might, though, we were county boys at heart. When the sun went down and the beer came out, it was Mark Chesnutt, Randy Travis, and George Strait that we listened to. Music made for bourbon, bonfires, and bullshitting.


I’m very fortunate that my wife shares (most of) my tastes. We go to a lot of shows and over the years have rocked out with Motley Crue and Marilyn Manson, chilled with Robert Cray, and jumped around with Ice T.  We’ve sung along with Billy Joel and slow danced to Boyz to Men. In two weeks we’re going to see Irish punk rockers The Dropkick Murphys.




Ask us our favorites, and it’s the country shows that fill most of the top spots. Tracy Lawrence, Brantley Gilbert, Kenny Chesney. We flew all the way to Las Vegas for a Garth Brooks acoustic show. ( Plus, Vegas. )


Dev in Vegas


Last Friday we spent the night in another casino, albeit much closer to home. Jason Michael Carroll was playing the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den, a small venue in an otherwise very big place not far from home. He’s been a favorite of ours since  Livin’ Our Love Song became our official anthem to those that never thought we’d make it this far. To my credit, I completely held it together during  Alyssa Lies , a song that usually turns me into a blubbering simpleton. I dare anyone that isn’t familiar with the song to click on the link and make it through with dry eyes. You won’t.

Listen, I know all the criticism of country music. The twang, the fiddles, the absurd number of songs about trains. Like any genre, there is good and bad. The difference is that when country music is good, it’s music about real emotion, real people, real stories. To paraphrase another Jason Michael Carroll song, it’s about “where I’m from.”

I don’t expect this little blog post to convert anybody who doesn’t already listen, but I will leave you with one more thought, gentlemen. It may be too late for Valentine’s Day this year, but if you dish out a few bucks for a hotel room and have a long-haired, tight-jeaned, Stetson-wearing baritone serenade your lady for a few hours while drinking copious amounts of Jack Daniels, you might just wake up with a new appreciation of the rodeo.








24 thoughts on “Play Me Some Country Music”

  1. I’m definitely more rock but I grew up with all sorts of music from Frank Sinatra to the Beatles, from Madonna to Reba Mcintyre to Reo Speedwagon to Metallica to Nirvana to Boyz II Men. Country definitely played a part in my upbringing growing up in Baltimore, MD where a lot of people are a bit country, country music brings back some positive memories of cook outs, bon fires, camping, and country line dancing (yes, I actually did that once upon a time, lol). Some of my favorite songs were Fancy by Reba Mcintyre, Strawberry Wine, and Hell Yeah by Montgomery Gentry #anythinggoes

      1. Yeah, now that you mention it, country does have that way about it. Every time I listen to certain songs or singers, it brings me back to some positive childhood memories, mostly around camping and cook outs:) Popping back over from #manicmonday Thanks so much for linking up with me!

        1. It can be the same thing with any kind of music. Certain songs that you identify with different places and times. For me, I find that to be more often the case with county

  2. I’m a country girl at heart, but do appreciate most styles. My kids have kept me abreast of what is popular ‘now’, my hubby likes the oldies station when we travel, and my parents always had tues playing when I was growing up. From The Beatles to Frank Sinatra, Simon and Garfunkel to David Bowie…it’s ALL good. But, when I’m the only one around and I get to choose it’s usually country! Have you listened to Ira Wolf? She has a lovely style and my oldest son designed her first album cover!

  3. I don’t mind country music in small doses, but in truth the country music in the UK is a very watered down version. It all seems to be of the somebody done me wrong type. I totally agree about the early 90s, there was a bit of everything happening at once musically and it was fab! #ManicMonday

  4. I grew up with the bands you describe, and in my car I still listen to Bon Jovi, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Guns n’ Roses, and Def Leppard. But I also love loads more, country, Jazz, latest hits, I just love music full stop!

  5. Great post. In all honesty, I don’t really listen to country music but I just listen to whatever music I love or catches my hearing! Thanks for linking up with #justanotherlinky

  6. I will confess, being a Brit country music has largely passed me by. I obviously know the huge stars, Miss Dolly Parton, Garth Brookes Ive heard of as well, but for the most part I am clueless.
    Thanks for sharinf with us, Tracey xx #abitofeverything

    1. I think that most people that listen to it grew up that way. There’s something about the storytelling aspect of it that reminds us of our roots

  7. I love country music! Folk too – I was really disappointed recently when I found out Steeleye Span had been playing locally and we’d missed them. I like most types of music to be fair, but I draw the line at opera which of course my partner loves. He’s brainwashing our toddler into it too! 🙂 #FridayFrivolity

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