Put it in C minor, please

26 12 2010

My family and friends make fun of me for overusing the phrase “this is my favorite!”  There are two common questions which a normal person could answer without even thinking about but I have no definite answer for:  where are you from and what’s your favorite (fill in the blank).  My favorite color changes daily.  Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures – why pick a favorite when variety is the spice of life??  And the most difficult of all: music.

What’s your favorite song?  What type of music do you like best?  Best artist?  All time favorite album?  Are you kidding me?  People that have quick, definite answers to these questions worry me.  They must really be set in their ways.  So much new music comes out every day.  And so much music is out there I know I’ve yet to discover.  I get excited just thinking about the possibilities of what still awaits!

Now, I have to admit, I miss Texas country.  I realize there is pretty large segment of the population that truly has some kind of prejudice against country of any kind.  Which is fine; we all have our own tastes and opinions.  I personally don’t like screaming, grunge hate-your-mother heavy metal where the angry drums and screaming vocals distract from any music that might exist in the background.  But I know plenty of people who do like it, and someone must or it wouldn’t exist.  However, I believe some people are missing out by automatically discarding TX country.

A lot of country music coming out of Nashville these days sucks.  It just does.  But TX country is a separate genre.  Maybe sub-genre is a better term.  Artists like Cory Morrow, Randy Rogers Band, Roger Creager, Casey Donahew Band, Josh Abbott Band, Jason Allen, Kevin Fowler, and Aaron Watson.  They have a different sound to them, often including more influence from blue-grass or rock.  The lyrics are more down-home and easier to relate to.  The songs have a good-ole-boy feel to them that is catchy and easy to dance to, usually full of fiddle.  Good stuff.

One of my beloved roommates bought me Randy Rogers’ new CD, Burning the Day, for Christmas.  And I love it.  Most of these guys are out playing shows all over Texas, so its usually easy to catch them live.  Roger Creager puts on one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen (and that’s saying something).  From huge festivals like The Music Fest in Steamboat Springs, CO, to dive bars like Cheatham St Warehouse in San Marcos, TX, these guys like to get up and play for their fans, even if there aren’t many.  Many will sit and have a beer with you at the bar after the show.

I’m excited that many of these TX bands are getting more exposure outside of Texas (Randy Rogers’ CDs are in Oregon!), but a lot of these guys will never go Nashville.  It’s not how they roll.  Rumors say Cory Morrow called Pat Green a sell-out when he went to Nashville and refused to play with him – though they used to be good friends.

Where ever they might play or sell their CDs, its good music worth listening to.  And don’t give up after one artist – most have their own unique sound.   I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you find!

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