My Musical Education – Part II

Guitar rifts, twanging banjos, harmonica harmonies, fiddles, and violins. 

Country music has always been an integral part of my life. I remember helping my dad with projects as a young child. Working away in his basement workshop, the radio was always on, usually set to the country station. Back then, it was classic artists like Brooks and Dunn, Kenny Rogers, and Dolly Parton that ‘Boot Scooted’ across the air waves.

Today’s “new” country has often been criticized as too pop, too rock, toosomething. It’s not all mainstream-hybrid muck, but it’s certainly falls under the “they don’t make ’em like they used to” category. But, long before Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler’s sugary pop-laced tunes there were artists like Hank WilliamsMerle Haggard, and June Carter Cash. I remember well, electric sliding around my livingroom and junior high school gymnasium to Alan Jackson’s Chattahoochee, and belting out Shania Twain’s Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under as though I had been the one scorned. 

Somewhere over the years, country music has lost it’s way. As has most music, its evolution has veered in the direction of pop-monotony. So, to break the chain, here are a few not-so-mainstream classic selections to whet your country curiosity…

Johnny Cash: Sunday Morning Coming Down
Best known, these days (sadly) for his Nine Inch Nails cover of Hurt, no country music playlist would be complete if it didn’t have at least one song from “The Man in Black.” 

On a Sunday morning sidewalk, I’m wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
‘Cause there’s something ’bout a Sunday, That makes your body feel alone. 
And there aint nothing short a’ dying, That’s half as lonesome as the sound,
Of the sleeping city sidewalk, And Sunday morning coming down.

Reba McEntire: Fancy
The guitar in this classic Reba song, are iconic country, to me. One of the first songs I remember with a story line written in the lyrics, and a music video i always thought was a movie. 

Here’s your one chance Fancy, don’t let me down…

 

Willie Nelson: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
It’s not often you encounter singing voices that are truly unique and recognizable across generations. Willie Nelson has one of those voices that any music lover, regardless of preference would recognize. This song gets me every time. I never know whether to smile fondly, or cry because the lyrics, accompanied to Nelson’s voice are so heartfelt…

In the twilight glow I seen her
Blue eyes crying in the rain
When we kissed goodbye and parted
I knew we’d never meet again
Love is like a dying ember
And only memories remain
And through the ages I’ll remember
Blue eyes crying in the rain
Someday when we meet up yonder
We’ll stroll hand in hand again
In the land that knows no parting
Blue eyes crying in the rain

Who are some of your favourite classic country artists?

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox

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