I was raised in good music. There was no such thing as techno beats and rap was Aerosmith and Run DMC collaborating on "Walk This Way". I don't recall my first love in music but I know it had to something good, most likely Bruce Springsteen, George Thorogood or The Beatles.
Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young, rivals of sorts, were one in the same. ACDC was something of a forbidden drug as mom hated them and dad listened just to piss her off. Classic rock was familiar and home. I had heard of the country side of life, but we didn't venture there. Grandma Taylor was something of an Elvis fan with a little Hank Williams and some Glen Campbell thrown in for measure but that was more of a memory lane for mom, not a constant.
The late eighties sprouted the band Alabama into mainstream and Reba McIntire. A few years later the world would know the sounds of Garth Brooks and through him the original cowboy Chris LeDoux. Garth wasn't my first country love. I found my heart in the songs of Hal Ketchum along with an introduction to the underground band, The Violent Femmes. I have to thank those rowdy rebellious kids of the mid 1990s for having my sister bring these sounds into my household. It wasn't forbidden just part of the unknown.
Music and life were good then.
Junior high brought about the boy band craze and as much as I loved them then I don't really miss them now as country has stolen my heart and turned me into a person who longs for the simplicity if southern and backwoods life. A place where problems are solved with a fist followed by an ice cold beer; where you love your mama and treat your woman right; where daddies work hard to provide and siblings stick side by side; where cowboy boots are appropriate for all occasions and everyone drives a truck.
The older I got the deeper I dove into the "outlaws" of country music. Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams and Hank Jr on to Hank III. There was an entire undiscovered electic mixture of music. My soul was hungry for more and more. Here was where country roots lay and I wanted my roots to grow deep into the country clay.
Obviously I have a love for all music but there is something about country that just gets into your bloodstream and changes the way you feel, the way you think and what kind of whiskey you drink.