As an Angelino (Los Angeles local), we city folk usually cringe at the idea of liking all things country. Country music in particular was almost never seen as an acceptable genre of music to listen to when growing up out here. It was too twangy and too hillbilly. There’s definitely a stereotype that things are more progressive the closer you get to a metropolitan center, and things in rural areas are not as impressive. In some cases this might be true, but I have definitely started to appreciate the culture and beauty that comes from more rural parts of the world… America included!
In college, I stumbled upon a music video by Keith Urban (Someone Like You) and loved it. True, he’s not your average country star… he’s an Aussie with a thick Aussie accent, until he sings – where he sounds like an American country boy. I also must confess that I had a celebrity/model crush on Nikki Taylor in the mid 90s, and she’s featured in this video! Long story short, Keith Urban was my gateway drug into the world of country music. From him, I moved on to Kenny Chesney and Nickel Creek, etc… and now, I can honestly label myself as a country music fan (I have yet to cross over to more twangy stuff like George Strait, which my friends from the country say is “real country music”).
Country music has a dual simplicity and complexity that I love. It has a nostalgia and depth that much of the pop music world can lack at times. Yes, most songs are about love and/or alcohol, but deep within that, there’s an exploration into the human soul… attempting to express the deep longings of people. Like any genre, there are songs about shallow things too… just as rap can speak of both inner-city struggle and big booty hoes at the same time.
This Christmas, I wanted to leave you with a country Christmas blessing. In the spirit of the genre, may you find what your soul truly desires this holiday season. To close, here is an amazing rendition of a holiday classic by Lady Antebellum (check out their silent night rendition too – on itunes for free this week):
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah everyone.