Growing up in our home we had two music choices: Country or Christian. (Except for those times when Dad would blast “You Sexy Thing” by Barry White out of his computer speakers and I thought it was the greatest, funniest thing. And those times when Mom would go grocery shopping and we’d be waiting in his car. “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley was a favourite. My two non-Christian, non-Country memories.) I listened to a lot of Point of Grace, Newsboys, Bethany Dillon, the “Shout to the Lord” days of Hillsong–classic Christian artists. When I wasn’t mouthing the lyrics to “Step Up to the Microphone” (Christians growing up in the 90s, you’ll get that reference. If you don’t, count yourself fortunate) I was watching the CMT Top 20 Music Video countdown.
My favourite album as a child was “Come On Over” by Shania Twain. Curled up in a chair in the middle of our family room, Shania’s booklet of lyrics in my hand, CD in the stereo system, I read along with her every word. (The lyrics are still with me today. Hello! Love how brains work.) I loved that CD. I still love that CD. Anytime Shania comes on country radio, it’s a blessing. ;) Around age 13, my music vocabulary grew. I discovered favourites like John Mayer, Coldplay, Ella Fitzgerald, Feist, Snow Patrol, Damien Rice, etc. Country (and Shania) took a back-seat. Every now and then, I’d spend a few days reliving my country childhood… but I had no knowledge of “new” country. I’d simply play Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Martina McBride, Paul Brandt and Shania Twain. (Which in my opinion, are still some of the greatest alive.) Somehow country music gets a bad rap. Being the artsy hipster I used to aspire to be, it was no longer cool.
But something happened this Fall. I started listening to country music again… and I discovered it’s FUN. And slightly humorous. (Seriously, while typing this post I’ve been listening to “Country Girl Shake It For Me” by Luke Bryan. What a song title. Funny the first listen, great the next, soooo catchy and brilliant the next 234x.) I persevered with country radio and NOW I REALLY LIKE IT. (Of course, none of my love for other genres has lessened. I’ve simply grown in appreciation for this one. Don’t discriminate.) I now know about “new new” country artists like Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Lauren Alaina. Any other country fans out there? Who’s your favourite newer artist?!
Sun is shining. The Lord is good.
I am a blessed woman.