Country music… you either love it or you hate it, or you might be in the select few whom acquire the taste as you grow up. For me, I hated country music when I was young. I grew up listening to pop songs on the radio and 80s/90s rock songs that my dad always played. Never did I think I was going to cave and end up liking country music. Not many people I knew listened to it at the time.
It wasn’t until the summer after 8th grade when I was in Cape Cod with my cousins for a week that I was really exposed to the genre. I remember listening to “Knee Deep” by Zack Brown Band and “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” by Jake Owen wondering who these groups were that I had never heard of. We listened to those two songs over and over that week and I must say, they started to grow on me.
After that week, I kept listening to those two songs and before I knew it, I was researching and listening to all different country artists on iTunes. Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Sugarland, Eli Young Band, Rascal Flatts, the list goes on. I figured out the local country station in my area of Boston and started listening to it in the car. As the oldest of four siblings, naturally when I kept playing these artists’ songs, my siblings started to catch on and then started listening to country music too, and my dad eventually followed.
Fast forward 6 years, and now I can’t imagine listening to any other genre of music. I listen to it all 365 days of the year. Every country station in the area is bookmarked on my car radio system. My country playlist on Spotify is overflowing with more than 600 songs and is still growing with each new single that’s released. I follow all the popular country playlists such as Today’s Hot Country, Wild Country, Country Pop, and more.
Country music is a genre that can fit any mood, and for me, it has a way of pumping me up at the start of my day, calming me down when I’m stressed, and just putting me in a good mood in general. For many people, country music is only a summer fad that lasts from May until late September when the weather is warm, you crack a cold one on the beach, roll the windows down in your car, or are tailgating at a summer baseball game or concert. When October comes around, these are the people that turn their backs on Country music and look to rap or pop until May comes around again.
But hey, there are still eight other months in the year where the “real fans” are still listening to Country music. The genre doesn’t disappear; it’s still there and growing.
Whether you're from down South or up North in New England like me, country music is what makes cold winters and dark gloomy days bearable and helps you push through when all you want to do is lay outside and relax with the warm sun touching your skin. It’s a reminder that summer is getting closer and closer. It puts you in that summer mindset that we all long for when the school year begins and job demands pick up.
It’s an escape from the stressful parts of your day. It puts you in a good mood and helps bring the simple joys in life to the table. It draws attention to the fact that you should appreciate and be thankful for the good things in your life.
So keep in mind that country music is more than just good tunes you play in the summer months.