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Commentary: Give country music a listen this summer

Courtesy of MCT

I might be biased because I’m from a small town in the middle of nowhere surrounded by fields, but I love country music. There’s just something about hopping in the car, turning country music up, rolling the windows down, and feeling the sun and the wind on your face as you drive.

In fact, there are country songs about that very feeling.

Country music is definitely an acquired taste, and most who aren’t used to it brush it off, saying they could never like it. I was one of those people until last summer, when I finally embraced my country roots and changed a few stations on my car’s presets to country stations.

There are some things you should know about country. The first and perhaps most important being that there are different kinds of country music. Some people might think of fiddles and line dances, and while that’s a part of the genre, it’s not its entirety.

On today’s radio, much of the country music played actually has a pop feel, and that can be easier to accept and sing along to than older country music. Even the most devout country music haters might fall in love with summery songs like Eric Church’s “Springsteen,” Tim McGraw’s “Felt Good on my Lips” or Luke Bryan’s “Drunk on You.”

Another thing to know about country music is the stereotypes aren’t completely wrong, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Many songs in fact are about trucks, fields, dirt roads, small towns, tractors, pretty girls, America, God and beer. But these themes are part of what makes our country great. Country music is about real life, and what real people in real towns experience on a daily basis, whether it’s love, loss or change.

Yes, some people who like country music are your average beer-drinking, bonfire-starting, truck-driving, small-town Americans. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Those people can also be the nicest you’ll ever meet, so maybe giving them and their music a chance could be a nice change, rather than writing them off as hicks or rednecks.

Living in Columbus, I think it’s harder to find people who will admit to liking country music, just as it can be in any city. But if you’d like to give it a shot, grab some friends, some beer (if you’re legal) and go see a country concert. They are truly fun, amazing experiences. Country musicians are generally more down to earth than other musicians, so maybe you’ll even be able to party with Luke Bryan, like a friend of mine was lucky enough to do.

There are some great country shows coming to Columbus in August, including The Band Perry, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, and Darius Rucker, as well as Zac Brown Band in September. The Band Perry and Luke Bryan were both amazing live when I saw them last summer, so if you have the means, I would definitely recommend checking them out.

Or, if you’d like a cheaper option to get your country fix, don’t be afraid to find a bar or club that features country music, and dance the night away … even if you don’t own a pair of cowboy boots.


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