Without country music, life would B flat

Photo courtesy of Céline, flickr.com

Photo courtesy of Céline, flickr.com

These days, country is a controversial music genre. The fans that have been listening to country since Johnny Cash first picked up a guitar would argue that the genre has been turned into something formulaic and commoditized. They would argue that the genre has lost touch with its roots, and it’s nothing more than watered-down pop music with a Southern attitude to appeal to the masses, and that you’d have to do some serious researching to find an act that plays with that old, country soul.

They’re not completely wrong — but that’s not to say that the genre should be looked down upon. In fact, country songs are very prevalent in the world of mainstream music today. Don’t forget, before charting No. 1 hits as a pop icon, Taylor Swift got her name in headlines as a country star. But not all country stars have to become pop artists to have hits of their own. Uncle Kracker, Lady Antebellum and Luke Bryan have all topped the charts while still remaining as country artists.

I think more and more people are starting to like country, which is a good thing. People used to hate it because it was just what everyone did, but that’s not the case anymore — it’s no longer seen as just “hillbilly music.” Not everyone is in love with the genre itself, but anyone can find at least one song that they like from its many sub-genres. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t sing along to “Sweet Home Alabama” with a big grin on their face.

For me, country is a number of things. The slower songs help me unwind and relax after a long day, or they keep me entertained during a long and sunny drive. The more upbeat songs are a great way to get a party started, and they’re instrumental to a good day at the beach. I also enjoy the older, foot-stomping and fiddle-heavy songs of the older country days. Bluegrass and country folk hold a dear place in my heart as a result of my mom playing the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? every time we road-tripped to Kentucky.

My favorite thing about country is its ability to raise anyone’s spirits. Whenever I’m feeling down, I can always count on country to cheer me up. A little country goes a long way.